1. "Build Guide" reprinted in Best British Fantasy 2014 (July 2014)

    Best British Fantasy 2014 cover

    Build Guide" has been selected for Salt Publishing’s Best British Fantasy 2014, edited by Steve Haynes. Table of contents:

    • Priya Sharma: “Thesea and Astaurius”
    • Jess Hyslop: “Triolet”
    • Georgina Bruce: “Cat World”
    • Tim Maughan: “Zero Hours”
    • David Turnbull: “Aspects of Aries”
    • Helen Jackson: “Build Guide”
    • E. J. Swift: “Saga’s Children”
    • Carole Johnstone: “Ad Astra”
    • Jim Hawkins: “Sky Leap – Earth Flame”
    • Guy Haley: “iRobot”
    • Chris Butler: “The Animator”
    • V. H. Leslie: “The Cloud Cartographer”
    • Sarah Brooks: “Trans-Siberia: An Account of a Journey”
    • Nina Allan: “Higher Up”

    » Buy The Best British Fantasy 2014

  2. "City of Words", in New Writing Scotland 31 (July 2013)

    New Writing Scotland 31 cover


    Three-metre-high letters, brushed into the January snow in Princes Street Gardens. A snowman holding a broom stood by. Two points for “G”, one for each of the “O”s and two for the “D”: a total of 6 for Bobs, winning her the game. It was the final tweet from her account; her last word.

    Two weeks later, when the snow melted, it revealed a word in the grass below. @DoneEdin tweeted the photo, hashtag #EdinburghWords. It showed the first flowering of snowdrops. BYE was spelt out in delicate white blooms; letters only twenty centimetres high, but clear nonetheless. The bulbs must have been planted in the autumn. Who could have planned that?

    » Buy New Writing Scotland 31
    » Photo of Helen’s reading at the Edinburgh launch

  3. "Ms. Chalmers and the Silent Service" in Penumbra, May 2013

    Penumbra May 2013: Oceans

    The rooflight shattered. Black-clad figures dropped down ropes.

    My colleagues and I looked up from our computers in confusion, then alarm. Invaders crunched across broken glass and waved damn great guns.

    "We’re here for Gemma Chalmers," shouted one.


    » Buy Penumbra, May 2013 (Volume 2, Issue 8, theme: oceans)
    » Subscribe to Penumbra
    » Guest post on the Penumbra blog: One Writer’s Reading

  4. "Build Guide" in Interzone 244 (Jan/Feb 2013)

    » Voted fourth best story of 2013 in the Interzone annual Readers’ Poll.
    » Reprinted in The Best British Fantasy 2014, edited by Steve Hayes.

    Title spread for Build Guide

    The new apprentice was a slight, childish figure, maybe 150cm tall and massing about 50 kilos. She clung to a grabrail and glared at us. She looked nauseous. She wasn’t what I’d hoped for.

    The Gaffer said what we were all thinking: “Great. They’ve sent us a little girl. She’s no good to us. Did you know about this, Peggy?”

    I shook my head and sighed. I was too old to wrangle teenagers. The Earthside contractor we worked for had embraced the New Modern Apprentice scheme. They got government subsidies, tax breaks, and good PR. We got a stream of unemployed — possibly unemployable — youngsters. This was the youngest yet.

    "Solidly entertaining."

    Gardner Dozois, Locus Magazine, June 2013

    "In terms of SF as social commentary, it’s bang on the money. The sort of thing which, really, more people should be reading."

    Matthew S. Dent, A Mad Man With a Blog

    » Reviews
    » Buy Interzone 244 from publisher TTA Press

  5. "Dragoman" in Daily Science Fiction, 15 May 2012

    Screengrab of Dragoman on DSF website

    "On the day giant lizards invaded, Amanda Jarrett was the only girl who could save the planet."


    “Giant lizards, indeed! Very good, sweetheart,” said Amanda’s Gramps Thompson, getting up. The holo projected by Amanda’s com unit wavered as he moved through it.

    “Gramps, sit down!” said Amanda, waving her arms in agitation. “My holo hasn’t finished yet.”

    The little girl’s homemade animation continued. Stop-motion lizards were dismembered by a Barbie — an Earth artifact brought to Lazuli-G fifty years ago by the original colonists. The distinctive blue rocks and sand of the planet’s surface formed a colorful backdrop to the holo.

    » Read online

  6. "Going, Boldly" in Rocket Science, 2012

    Front and back covers of Rocket Science

    “‘Welcome to the Holodeck’,” quotes Frankie.

    Her best friend, Olivia, sniggers into her pint. Olivia’s wearing an “Evil League of Evil” T-shirt and black jeans. Her hair’s dyed black and worn long and tousled. Frankie has dressed up for her first day at work which, for her, meant a brand-new XKCD tee over an A-line skirt and emerald tights. The green matches her spiky crop.

    "Seriously? Tell me she didn’t really say that," says Olivia.

    "She really did," says Frankie. "Honestly, it’s geek heaven."

    "Helen Jackson’s ‘Going, Boldly,’ confidently embedded in nerd culture, is a quirky and humorous look at what might dissuade rather than encourage human beings to leave their home."

    Dan Hartland, Strange Horizons

    » Reviews
    » Buy anthology from publisher Mutation Press

  7. "Power of Scotland" in ImagiNation: Stories of Scotland’s Future, 2011

    Photograph of ImagiNation anthology

    It’s ungodly early when Penny skids into line at the rickshaw rank outside Waverley, and near enough pitch black once her dynamo switches off. She rubs her eyes, engages in some half-hearted banter, and buys the first of many strong coffees from the cart. A train from down South pulls in two minutes later.

    Penny’s fare is a couple on holiday — which is good news. They’re too early to check in at their hotel, which is even better. She takes them around to Stevie’s left luggage booth on the Bridge and gets them chatting. He’s up for the rugby at the weekend, but she’s interested in seeing the sights.

    "You know," says Penny, casual like, "I’ve a brother works at the Royal Mile 360 Degree Experience. I could get you twenty percent off the entry — and there’s no queue at this time of the morning."

    "these tales … show a bright way forward for Scottish literature"

    Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald

    » Buy anthology from Word Power Books