I've known how my next novel starts for some time, because I've had three goes at it so far. Here's to number four. It starts like this:
One of the more curious things about… well, things, is the number of those things that begin in pubs. Not the biggest things, obviously. Universes only do so, for example, if they happen to be quite small, and exceptionally alcoholic, ones. For things more generally, however, pubs are traditional.
This pub, in the middle of the small town of New Wrexford was called the Frog and Spigot. It sat sandwiched between the town’s theatre, which appeared from the outside to suffer from a typically theatrical excess of architecture, and a small firm of architects, which didn’t. The landlord generally found it quite a profitable place to be, so long as he remembered not to offer any credit to anyone about to wander off on an extended tour of the Scottish Play in Madagascar. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Incidentally, I have a short story coming out sometime at the beginning of next week, in the new magazine The Empress of Mars, which is run by the ever busy Alex Wolfe. It's called 'The Green Planet' and features the words 'Martian tourist industry'. Hopefully, I don't need to say much more than that.