Anthology News: TWILIGHT WORLDS. Also an AVIANS update.


Depicts a person playing violin in a hat and cape, silhouetted against a cloudy sunset.

I have been anthologized! I have a short story in Twilight Worlds, a compilation of best stories from the folks at

My contribution is “Far Gone,” the story of a desperate attempt to preserve humanity. It’s a prequel to Avians, set some two hundred years earlier. If you’ve ever wondered about the connection between Earth and Celadon, this will answer some of those questions. And raise others, but that’s part of the fun.

Twilight Worlds features dozens of stories on the theme of doomed worlds and new beginnings, including some award-winners. I can’t wait to receive my copy. This is the first time one of my short stories has appeared in an actual book, so I count that as a happy milestone. Buy it, read it, review it!

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I guess I forgot to announce that Avians is back in print… since late this summer. At first I was waiting for the printer to complete the run before writing a post about it, and then I got wrapped up in doing the print-on-demand stuff for Amazon, and then I ran into a couple of problems at Barnes & Noble, and then I just sort of forgot that it was news I hadn’t shared.

Anyway, the second edition of Avians is available through Amazon in print or kindle format, and also from Kobo as an e-book. Good news: the price is the lowest ever! Here are some links:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Kobo Canada

Kobo USA

NOTE: at the time of this writing, when I was verifying the links above, listed the paperback at a stunningly low price of $6.93 US, but with only one copy available. They show it marked down from $35.99, so I believe this must be a first edition, marked down to clear. The US list price for the second edition is $14.99, so if you’re in the USA, this is a bargain!

If you’re elsewhere, search for “Avians Timothy Gwyn” to find the book and price in your country. My name is as close to unique as you could hope for, but throwing in the title cuts down the number of partial matches.

Use the contact tab on this website to get in touch if you would like a signed or personalized copy.

If you’re in Kenora, the second edition is available at my favourite bookstore: Elizabeth Campbell Books is on Main Street, right next door to The Plaza restaurant. Elizabeth still has a few signed first editions, too.

What’s different in the second edition? Mainly the change in publisher: the first edition was from my contract with Five Rivers Publishing, but they have closed. The second edition is under my Binary Planet Books imprint. Minor changes include:

  • enlarging cover artist Ann Crowe’s delightful title page illustration and giving it a whole page as a frontispiece
  • matte finish on her cover instead of gloss
  • white paper instead of bone
  • trimmer margins to reduce the page count, weight and shipping cost
  • a new graphic of the airship Sitka for the chapter headers
  • minor edits and corrections
  • updated acknowledgements and new author’s notes

The audiobook version of the first edition, wonderfully narrated by Grace Hood, is still available from Amazon/Audible.

“The Emperor’s Dragon”

I’ve sold a short story, and it will appear in the next issue of I’m not sure it’s science fiction, because it introduces no extrapolated science or technology ideas. Instead, it looks at the development of aviation in the distant past.

When I was doing some reading on the history of aviation, something struck me: the Wright brothers were not ahead of their time. I say this because of the way aviation exploded across the globe in the years following their 1903 flight. It was as if they let the genie out of the bottle.

For thousands of years, humans had dreamed of flying, but progress was sporadic and slow. The Montgolfiers flew a hot-air balloon in 1783, but it went nowhere. Did we have transatlantic balloon flights in 1800? Nuh-uh. Dammit, they were French: they had Champagne. They could have been doing a thriving business in sight-seeing excursions. Pardon the pun, but it just didn’t take off.

Otto Lillienthal made over two thousand glider flights in the late 1800’s and any modern observer would recognize his aircraft as a hang-glider. But he remained a novelty, a curiosity. There could have been hang-gliding clubs taking railway excursions to fly the Alpine slopes in droves, but there were not. Where was our dream then?

But after the Wright brothers did their little hop at Kitty Hawk, progress was exponential. A mere sixteen years later, in 1919, Alcock and Brown flew across the Atlantic. By 1931, the Supermarine S.6B was flying at 400 mph (on floats!), and in 1947, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in level flight. Let’s stop and think about that: we went from the first powered flight to the speed of sound in less than fifty years. Orville Wright was alive, aged 77, when Captain Yeager flew the X-1.

The speed of this progress suggests that aviation was waiting to happen, like a dam about to burst. The Wright brothers made not the first crack, but the critical, fateful one.

I omitted the role of war in my summary, but it is inescapable. The Vickers Vimy flown by Alcock and Brown was a modified WWI bomber. The S.6B was a forerunner of the Supermarine Spitfire. And Chuck Yeager’s flight was at least partly a military project.

Aviation is good for warfare, and vice versa.

But what if the dam had not burst in the twentieth century? What if the river had flowed much earlier?

China had silk and bamboo a long time ago, and they experimented with manned kites and developed a good understanding of some aspects of flight. To say that this was before the Wright brothers would be an understatement; it was around the time of Jesus Christ.

By a thousand years ago, the Chinese had gunpowder, and were close to developing rockets. I think they could have devised a form of powered flight, and could have used it to defend the Great Wall on their northern border.

The technology I imagine is plausible, but risky. You wouldn’t volunteer to pilot such a contraption.

You’d have to be conscripted.

“The Emperor’s Dragon” will appear in issue #39 of on June 15th.

Yup, it’s in there.

One of my stories has reached publication in the latest issue of “Far Gone” is about the terrible sacrifices a crew must make on a long journey to deliver their precious human cargo to a new world. It’s also a prequel to my novel, Avians of Celadon.

The novel began as a story about girl pilots, eco-friendly gliders and solar powered airships. To make that work, I had to build a whole world, with the kind of society that would drive young girls to take dangerous work. That raised questions: How was Celadon colonized? Why the divide between the technological Haves and Have-nots? Why do the locals marry so early, and why not for love?

“Far Gone” is what I like to call licking the spoon. I baked up a whole cake planet, and I had all these stories left over. It’s a sad and bitter story, I think, and I find it strange that it has been one of my first to find success. If you click on the NewMyths link above and read it, you might be interested to follow developments a little further- “Freezer Burn” is a flash fiction piece about one of the first colonists of Celadon, and it appeared in January’s issue of Antipodean SF.

Publication in NewMyths counts as my first semi-pro sale. That is, they pay, but not at the professional rates endorsed by the Science Fiction Writers of America. After some thought, I decided to frame the cheque rather than cash it. It hangs on the wall of my cluttered office, just above a certificate for a story that won a contest. Still looking for a home for that story – “Fermi High” is about being the new kid, struggling to fit in… and roller-skating on the moon. Cute, positive and slightly romantic, it’s proving a tough sell. Anyone know a good place for something like that?

You may have noticed that all three of those stories have two-word titles beginning with F. It’s not a thing. “Flesh is Weak” has a three-word title. It’s making the rounds now, but it’s SF Horror, so that means I had to research a different market. So far my list of likely publishers is short, and just because I think it’s right for a particular magazine doesn’t mean that the editor will agree. Seriously, the F thing is a coincidence. Two word titles are a thing, despite the exception. Two words is short enough to be concise and memorable, long enough to be original and evocative.

All this activity means that my submissions spreadsheet is growing longer. And wider. I have added a column for Rights. This is where I note, in shorthand, what rights a publisher has acquired to one of my works, and what they paid for them. For instance, many magazines reserve the right to reprint a story in a “Best of…” anthology. I wish! I keep an eye on that clause for the word exclusive. Maybe one day, I’ll assemble some of my spoon-lickers into a Celadon anthology.

500 words. Time to stop.