Early Versions of Published Stories and E-book Artwork
Some of my stories change almost out of all recognition during what can be a lengthy draft-critique-revise cycle. Others are discarded, although key elements are sometimes recycled. The same is sometimes true of artwork for e-book covers. Here you can compare and contrast original versions and their finalised counterparts.
Tony Hughes, my regular artist, came up with two cover concepts for the cover for my Touching Distance ebook. The final artwork is shown on the right, while Tony's sketch for the rejected concept is available for you to download below. I like it almost as much, but I think Tony made the right decision.
First published in Hub (2007), The English Dead remains one my personal favourites. It's an SF adventure story that addresses the abiding mystery of whether George Mallory and Andrew Irvine reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1924, some twenty-nine years before Edmund Hillary and Norgay Tenzing officially conquered the mountain. Before I wrote The English Dead, I drafted Out of Time, which addressed the mystery in a different way. The seed idea for The English Dead occurred to me shortly after I completed the first draft off Out of Time. I soon realised which concept was stronger. If you've not read The English Dead, it's available to purchase in various ebook formats (click on Books & Stories). Out of TIme is free to download, as is a JPEG depicting some early sketches of the snake-like robot that appears on the ebook editions of The English Dead (courtesy of cover artist, Tony Hughes).
Star in a Glass / A Glass of Stars
First published in Music for Another World from Mutation Press in 2010, Star In a Glass is another of my personal favourites. This SF story set in the world of drug-fuelled rock bands had an exceptionally long gestation. The version I took to the Milford Writers' Conference in 2005, which bore a slightly different title, received a daunting though constructive set of critiques from my fellow writers. A few years later, I rewrote the story so completely that none of the original characters or plot elements remained, only the underpinning concepts. You can download the original version of the story using the link below. Although Music for Another World anthology is no longer on sale, Star In a Glass can be found in my Ultimate Show and Moondust Memories ebooks.