Home > My Writing > “The Ballard” – First Place in “Book Love” competition

“The Ballard” – First Place in “Book Love” competition

I’m happy to report that my short-short story “The Ballard” has been awarded First Place in Fiction on Demand‘s “Book Love” competition. The prize, which should be lobbing in my postbox any day now, is both a copy of Angela Slatter’s Sourdough and Other Stories, and $25 which was donated by Amber Hunter of Webliterate.com. I had a lot of fun writing this 600 word  story, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it too.  I read and enjoyed one of Slatter’s stories in Sprawl, so I’m looking forward to getting into some more of her work. Expect to see my review in the near future. Thanks to Dan Simpson for running this and other writing competitions, and Amber Hunter for the prize. While I’m in the business of thanking people, thanks also to the now-deceased J. G. Ballard for writing the amazing stories that were the inspiration for my short piece in the first place.

  1. December 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for joining in Guy – the universe has conspired against me getting to the post office so far – but the books are now in my office and glaring at me… so I’m hoping to post them off today or tomorrow!

  2. guysalvidge
    December 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    No worries Dan. The school year ends in two weeks and I’ve got some plenty of goodies to read over the summer. Not only Sourdough, but 2012 from TPP, Australis Imaginarium from Fablecroft, and Memento Mori and A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India from Interactive Publications. Looking forward to them all.

  3. Matthew
    December 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm


    I saw your comment on my entry and decided to drop on by. Congratulations are in order for you being able to snag first place. I like your story, it’s simple and neat and just speaks of a person’s wanting for a book they long for. I can relate to how the man feels, I’m a bibliophile through and through and I like to collect books that catch my attention.

    I’ve also looked through your site somewhat, and I picked up the Vibewire link, so I’ll try writing something for them sometime. I don’t consider myself to be a true writer unless I’m published in print.

    Aside from that I’ve seen some of your reviews on P. K. Dick and I would like to direct your attention here: http://www.subterraneanpress.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=dick03&Category_Code=PRE&Product_Count=8
    The best thing is this five volume set will just be his short stories, so it would be a cool collection. The first volume is sold out though, but you could always try looking for it some time later.

    Take care,


    • guysalvidge
      December 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm


      Firstly thanks for stopping by, and congrats again on the competition. I’ve got a postcard for Glitter Rose from TPP so you’ll have to let me know if you like it. As I wrote before, I’m planning on making a habit of Vibewire. If nothing else it’s a reason to write a 1000 word story each month and a place to store them online. Dunno how I’m going to approach the ‘Love’ theme though…
      There are a number of real Philip K Dick aficionados in the world (perhaps several thousand) and I am among them. I own the original collections of short stories, so I’m not tempted to try for the Collected Stories. Those are handsome editions though, so in a way I’m glad that the first one has sold out already. I got the Subterranean edition of Ubik: The Screenplay a year or two back and was very happy with their production values.
      Thanks again and hope to see you hereabouts and over at Dan’s in the near future.

      • Matthew
        December 3, 2010 at 7:36 am

        Well it’s going to take awhile for me to get the book as I live in Canada. But I’ll let you know how the book goes. It would be easier if I have a site like the kind you and Dan do, but I’m really not that good of a writer. The reason why my entry did so well is because my friend edits my work for me, it helps him practice as he wants to be an editor. But I do want to improve, though at the moment I’m busy with school so I need to focus my attention else where.

        I don’ think I can do the love theme on Vibewire though in a thousand words. It’s like the contest Dan held before “Book Love”, I couldn’t find a way to write a piece so I didn’t. But I agree with you on the fact that at least the contest will help me continue writing even if I don’t get accepted. Still, I will keep an eye open for the contests they’ll have later on. Also I found the Better World Books site from here, and I thank you for giving the link. I like Abebooks as they help me find the books I want in first edition, but sometimes I just can’t find a book that I want, so BWB should be able to help me.

        Ah, well if I tried to find the original collection of his short stories it may cost a little. Still, I want to read P. K. Dick, as to me to be a really good writer one needs to open themselves up to many different authors of different genre’s. But it’s not just P. K. Dick I’m going to look into getting his work, I’m into may different author’s like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow (just to name a few); so to collect all of their work will take time and money. To get the five volume set will save me time in going around and hunting his work. Though I do like the cover, it is pretty cool.

        Hey no problem, you got a few things set up here that I’m going to go poke around through so I’ll be around for sure. But don’t worry, I’ll definitely be over at Dan’s as I like his contests. If it wasn’t for the latest one then I probably never would have written “We’re all Stories in the End”.

        Take care,


  4. guysalvidge
    December 3, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Well, the best way to improve your writing is of course to write, which is why competitions like Dan’s are so valuable to us all as motivation. I’m a bit of a budding editor myself (I’m an English teacher by day) so I can understand how your friend feels.

    I love Better World Books – they have free shipping in the US, so I’m not sure what the deal is for Canada. But it is an awesome place to buy books, as long as you don’t mind that most of them are ex-library (I cut & rip all the library markings off).

    Philip K Dick – in my opinion his novels are superior to the stories. Most of the stories were written in his ‘apprentice’ period (1950-55). Novelwise, I’ve actually done my ‘Ranked Top Ten PKD Novels’ which can be found hereabouts. Start with The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch or Martian Time-Slip and go from there.

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