During the summer, Dave Clements of Imperial College organized a Science for Writers conference, which I attended and blogged about. On the first evening, most of the group dined together in a restaurant. Alastair Reynolds and I talked about writing SF when we were schoolkids. I think it was Dave who suggested an anthology - but it's OK, we're not doing that...

In my first three years of grammar school (for US readers: high school for the brighter kids), my English teachers would accept stories in lieu of essays. I recalled, for our dinner group, writing about either My Garden or The Lawnmower (probably the latter), and having a guy with a lawnmower crush a pocket universe lying in the grass, while inside that pocket universe, another lawnmower destroyed another pocket universe... And my submission for "The Salad Bowl" involved an assassin in a botanical garden.

There were others I didn't mention, including another riff on infinite recursion, plus a Lunar exploration thing, and others. Unfortunately, decades ago, my Mum threw out my old exercise books while tidying the house. All those, er, precious relics lost...

But wait, what is this? A previously unpublished Alastair Reynolds story in not one but two colours of crayon! Check it out, you hard SF fans.


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