I’m an award winning science fiction and horror writer living in the south of England, with my first novel CREATIONS already on sale (more details here, including links for ordering). I’ve also been published in a number of short fiction markets such as The Book of Dark Wisdom, Neo Opsis and Midnight Street. In addition, in 2012 I was a winner in the prestigious “Writers of the Future” contest, with my winning story “Contact Authority” appearing in volume 28. In this site is an overview of my writing and publishing history so far, book reviews from my own reading, and links which might be of interest to other writers.
Follow me on Twitter: @wmfiction
04-Aug-2017: I’ve been featured in the latest edition of the “Age of Robotics” magazine, again talking about the technology of self-replicating machines, and the prospects (and implications) of making them a reality. The link is here here; also interviewed is Dr Alex Ellery (associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa) whose real-life research into this very technology is echoing the directions I went down when writing about these things from a fictional standpoint (see Space.com for a description of his work.)
I hoped when I was writing CREATIONS that the subject would generate a high degree of interest, but to see real-life advances and research independently following the same directions I predicted is just amazing. I’ll be following this subject with a great deal of interest.
08-Jul-2017: A podcast interview I was invited to take part in has just gone live. It is Mark Sackler’s “Seeking Delphi” podcast, and the edition I’m in is here. Follow the link and you’ll hear me discussing the themes raised in CREATIONS, namely self-replicating machines, the plausibility of actually building them, and the implications for human space colonisation if we do. (Thanks to Mark for the chance to participate – I really enjoyed the interview and really appreciated the opportunity to take part.)
06-Jun-2017: One of the best feelings as a Science Fiction author is when stuff you predicted starts to come true. And in my case it seems to be happening. In CREATIONS I wrote about the implications of creating self-replicating machines, including how they might actually be designed and built, and the fact that technologies like 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing might be central to their development.
So sure enough, here is a link to a news story about the real-life research into this kind of tech. Dr Alex Ellery (associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University, Ottawa) is behind the work. Right now they are trying to form complex electro-mechanical devices (like motors) using 3D printing, and they are looking at how raw materials representative of the constituents of lunar soil could be employed.
The self-replicating lunar facilities I was making up from scratch just a few years ago are suddenly one step closer…
08-Mar-2016: So I finally took the plunge and went self-published. I had three stories of 15000 words or more, which due to their length were proving difficult to sell to traditional markets, and all of which were previous entries in the Writers of the Future contest (one was a finalist, one got an Honourable Mention, and one went on to win). So here they are on Kindle:
06-Dec-2015: Another great review for LUNAR SEARCH AND RESCUE:
Love this game.
Great game. Realistic physics and takes an age to master. Better with later iPads that have the processing power to make it smooth. If only there were more missions!
…Mitchell creates a plausible near-term future world filled with plenty of sci-fi tech goodness
…I enjoyed Creations and recommend it for readers that might otherwise be reluctant to the sci-fi genre. The plot is action-driven and explores the plausible technologies available a quarter-century from now and their implications for humanity. And not to spoil the ending, but Mitchell definitely saves the best for last.
… I thoroughly enjoyed Creations, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction.
…The ending of the book is a fantastic “That was set up all along and I should have seen it coming”, and leaves you intrigued about where a sequel could go. The plot is clean, the characters fairly well developed and relatable, and importantly in a near-future sci-fi, the world is believable.
…Mitchell does a really good job writing a fun, gripping, action-filled ending to the book.
Current pricing is $1.99 (US), £1.49 (UK) — watch out for giveaways and other offers.
3-Jun-2014: Yet more news for CREATIONS: release has been set for 29 August 2014, but it is already available for pre-order (e-book & print). Follow the links below to get to some of the sites which offer it, and I’ll add others as they come up:
Also my author copies have arrived, and now, finally, I have the chance to see what it looks like in the flesh, something I’ve waited a long time to be able to say!
11-Aug-2013: Yet another Five Star review for LUNAR SEARCH AND RESCUE! This one is on the Italian App Store, and translates as:
Excellent and comprehensive lunar flight simulator. Very realistic and complete. The missions are fun and well laid out. Thanks to the well written tutorial, learning how to master the lander is both easy and fun! Recommended to all lovers of realistic simulations.
11-Aug-2013: Another good review for LUNAR SEARCH AND RESCUE, and a really nice one at that – Five Stars!
Excellent, Five Stars … This has tons of depth and a great flight model. If you are into the Apollo missions it’s what you are after.
22-Apr-2014: More news for CREATIONS: the cover design is ready, and I think you’ll agree it’s breathtaking. I couldn’t have hoped for better, and it’s been described as “gorgeous”, “evocative” and “beautiful” since I started showing it around. The designers at John Hunt Publishing definitely excelled themselves this time.
12-Dec-2013: The biggest and best news so far – I’ve just signed the contract paperwork for publication of my first SF novel, “CREATIONS“, which will be coming out sometime in the next 12 months. The publisher is John Hunt Publishing. Big thanks to my agent Sara D’Emic at Talcott Notch Literary Services for getting me this break! There’s a lot to do between now and the eventual release date (including copy editing, typesetting, cover design etc), but hopefully within the next year I’ll have it in my hands and it will be available for sale!
11-Aug-2013: A good review for LUNAR SEARCH AND RESCUE, on the App Store!
Very realistic-feeling Moon simulator. Challenging…but super duper fun nonetheless … Some of the most exiting moments have been low-altitude flying where collision warnings have occurred. These have been unexpected surprises … For enthusiasts of games like Orbiter Sim, I recommend giving this a shot. I don’t know many sims like this in the app store, and I have found myself coming back for replays simply for the flight experience.
25-Jul-2013: Having branched out from writing fiction into writing games, my first iPhone/iPad app is now available on the App Store! LUNAR SEARCH AND RESCUE is now live and ready for download. For more info look here, and the App Store link is here.
The story is an interesting twist on the traditional alien contact story … in the end, I wanted to read more about the Alliance and the aliens that comprised it, which seems to me to be an indication that the story was successful.
Don’t think of this as a collection of amateur stories. These stories are as proficient as those you will find in any anthology, more than many I’d say. Many of these stories are not even the first publication of their authors.
25-Nov-2012: I’m happy to see that a good review of the Writers of the Future 28th anthology has been put up on Goodreads, and my winning story “Contact Authority” is one that the reviewer has picked out as one of the highlights!
“Contact Authority” by William Mitchell was a good first-contact story with a twist. Nicely done in the first-contact aspects, and the galactic ramifications were interesting and well-thought-out.
(This review also shows up on the anthology’s Amazon page.)
05-Jul-2012: More great news — 2012 just keeps getting better! Getting agent representation is a big milestone for any writer and opens all sorts of opportunities in publishing, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve just signed with Talcott Notch Literary Services in the US. My agent is Sara D’Emic, and you can visit the agency’s site at www.talcottnotch.net. The novel I queried with is now undergoing some minor edits and tidying up, and will then be on its way to the editors! Time to rekindle novel number two…
03-May-2012: Sometimes reading a review, even a one-liner, can really make your day. This one (on Tumblr) is in response to the StarShipSofa podcast of “Contact Authority” from Writers of the Future volume 28. As you’ll see, this is pretty much as good as it gets 🙂
No text for this story, sad to say :(. But the story “Contact Authority,” which I’m listening to right now, is spectacularly awesome and I’m not nearly done with it yet. Can’t pass verdict on the other fiction selection in this episode, but this story is just too good to miss.
Thank you Kam Martinez!
30-Apr-2012: Publishers Weekly has put out a review of Writers of the Future Volume 28, which makes special mention of my winning story “Contact Authority”.
Standouts include … William Mitchell’s “Contact Authority,” a tale of outer space espionage…
30-Apr-2012: The UK-based podcast StarShipSofa has recorded my Writers of the Future winning story “Contact Authority” to audio, along with the Gold award winning story “The Paradise Aperture” by David Carani. I listened to it in full for the first time today, and it’s a great rendition of both stories! Well worth downloading, and big thanks go to Tony C Smith (who organises and presents the podcast) and Dave Robison (the voice actor who did the reading). To hear something read just as I imagined it as I wrote it, with every nuance preserved intact – great job guys!
29-Apr-2012: I’m now back from the Writers of the Future week in L.A. — the week was fantastic, and a full write-up of what I saw and did is here. The anthology itself will be available soon (in hardcopy and electronic form), which means that my winning story (Contact Authority) will be reaching the biggest readership I’ve had so far! Great news!
10-Oct-2011: Well, how do I put this one into words? Basically — I won! I now have a first place winner’s position in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, which is widely acknowledged as the contest to get into in SF and Fantasy writing. So some time next year I will be flying off to Los Angeles for the writing workshop and awards ceremony. Once, that is, the news has sunk in and I actually believe it myself!
All in all, a good pretty result. The announcement itself is here.
03-Oct-2011: One of my historical horror stories, “Jiang Shi“, is now available to read in Something Wicked magazine. Seems ages since I had anything out in print (or electronic form in this case) so it’s good to have it finally published!
07-Sep-2011: For the second time I’m in the finals of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. As before I can’t say which story just yet (there are rules on anonymous judging which they stick to pretty hard, and rightly so) but I’m down to the final 8 from which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be picked. Which means that so far in 3 attempts at entering I’ve had a finalist place, an honourable mention, and now another finalist place. Fingers crossed!
11-May-2011: Got some good news today — Joe Vaz of the South African horror magazine Something Wicked has accepted a story of mine. The story is titled “Jiang Shi“, a Lovecraftian horror set in nineteenth century China. Publication should be sometime later this year — more details nearer the time!
15-Dec-2010: Some encouraging competition news — I recently entered a contest run by New Scientist magazine where the challenge was to write a story of no more than 350 words “about worlds in which scientific theories we’ve long since dismissed turned out to be true after all”. The news is that I made the shortlist of 10 (from a field of around 700) which is pretty good. Unfortunately I didn’t make the final 3 (chosen by Neil Gaiman no less) but getting this far still justifies a minor celebration! The link to the NS blog post showing the 3 winning stories is here (I’m told the other finalists will appear in due course).
11-Nov-2010: More news on the Writers of the Future front: I got an Honourable Mention for my story “Ascension” which I submitted for the 3rd quarter of 2010. Of course getting to the finals again (or even winning!) would be great, but the certificate is welcome nonetheless. Will pin that up somewhere prominent when it comes.
11-Apr-2010: “The Turning of the Screw” (Midnight Street issue 12) gets an Honourable Mention in “The Best Horror of the Year”, compiled by Ellen Datlow (of Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror fame) published on her blog (link here — you might need to skip back a bit to get to the 11th April 2010 posting, but to get a mention alongside the name at the top of that horror-story-achievement-list, a certain Mr S. King, is pretty damn cool).
25-Nov-2009: Double Bummer — unfortunately I’ve lucked out in the War of the Words contest as well. However, hearty congratulations have to go to the winner, R J Frith, author of “The Nemesis List”, for being chosen as the lucky writer who will be getting the deal with Tor. I’ll certainly look forward to reading the book when it comes out, and the fact I got so close should hopefully give me a good advantage when I’m pitching “Creations” to agents and editors. Fingers crossed! (For the winner announcement itself, look here.)
23-Sep-2009: Bummer — the story I had in the finals of Writers of the Future hasn’t been picked as a winner. However there is still an opportunity to be picked as a “published finalist” if the twelve 2009 winners form a shorter-than-average anthology. I’ll have to decide whether to go for that, then cross my fingers all over again while the third- and fourth-quarter winners are chosen (then hope that they pick shorter stories as winners, and that mine is the best of the also-rans). Congratulations to those that did get through, and I’ll post the news here if I’m lucky in the final sweep.
08-Sep-2009: Well, I seem to have found myself in the unusual position of being a finalist in two major writing competitions at once. I heard yesterday from the SciFiNow / Tor UK War of the Words contest that I’m in the final 10, with the winner to be picked sometime before the end of November. The prize is a publishing deal with Macmillan, and while there’s no guarantee of success (for this or “Writers of the Future”) I’m still pretty chuffed to have got this far. Fingers crossed! (The novel is titled “Creations”, and for the full shortlist, look here.)
20-Jun-2009: A story of mine has been announced as a finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. I can’t say which story at present (the rules require anonymous judging so nothing linking my name to the title can appear online) but I’m down to the final 8 from which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be picked. I’ll post the result when I get it…
…Conan Doyle on a speed trip… …spins towards a gratuitously gory conclusion…
…Mitchell’s Victorian gentleman is an enjoyable narrator for this classic story…
…but I still don’t think you would anticipate this marvellous story and its masterly climax…
…A good helping of suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy “Junk Wars,” but nevertheless, I did.
…This is a great mystery that involves the sole survivors of a mysterious ship sinking succumbing to the same horrible death…
…Mitchell’s elegant prose sustains a Lovecraftian mood while also evoking scenes from “The Exorcist”…
28-Aug-2006: A welcome bit of critical acclaim — the 2006 Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror has given an honourable mention to my story “His Wonders in the Deep“, published in the Elder Signs Press anthology “Horrors Beyond”.
08-Jan-2006: At last! My credentials as a writer are now complete as I recieve my first bad review (well, mixed at least). It’s for my “Horrors Beyond” story (“His Wonders in the Deep“) and was posted in a blog a few months ago. (Note: for me personally, all comments are welcome, favourable or otherwise, so a bad review is something I’m more than happy to take on board as long as it’s constructive (which this one is). The blog entry itself appears to no longer be visible online so look here (in the “Reviews and Accolades” section) to see the text relating to my story.)
01-Aug-2005: Chance meeting with an existing member leads to me joining The T-Party writer’s group.
…The suspense and mystery of the story is well-paced … The characters are interesting. The anthology definitely keeps its strength with its second story…
…seems to carry more than a touch of HPL’s [H.P.Lovecraft’s] The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, in this mad scientist romp…
…well written, enjoyable…
…a fine example of powerful material narrated in elegant prose…
01-May-2005: In print at last — Elder Signs Press have released their anthology “Horrors Beyond”, containing my story “His Wonders in the Deep“. Got my contributor’s copy and am impressed — the quality of the other stories and the quality of the book’s overall design and printing are as good as I’d expect from a big name publisher.