James Gordon Harper

About Me

Display Name

James Gordon Harper

Twitter Handle




What I Write

Writing Sample

Every adult has at least one injury from childhood. Learning scars, they’re called, because there are so many ways to die in the ocean around Mornslough. The Chant of Do Nots lists one thousand such deaths, and parents sing this to young children every night as they play along on harps and fingerbells. But there always comes a time when you want to see what happens when you break a Do Not. If you’re lucky or your parents are vigilant, a scar is all you get.

I earned my learning scar by trying to touch the nest of a prickly turtle. Back in my twentieth season I was out with Papa Voust on one of the sunward beaches, rooting through the skirtgrass for boxeye turtle eggs. He’d shown me how to spot the gentle footprints a turtle leaves between the swash and the backdunes, and how to part the dune grass with a long stick to reveal any dangers. I liked it. Seeing eggs and taking them was so much more satisfying than dropping a fishing line into the ocean.

What I Write

Bizarre morality tales set on a desolate rain-soaked island. Heavily researched SF/fantasy/horror hybrid stories, often set in different decades of London’s history. Technically optimistic near-future stuff. Ridiculously over-the-top space opera pastiche. And for the next six weeks I’ll be working on all of these.


A Clean Start, Amazing Stories (free online here)

My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Like all writers, I have a healthy slagheap of rejected stories. Lately I’ve been getting more personalized rejections with advice on what’s not working in the stories. So over the next six weeks I’m going to take four of the most promising rejects, read them again with fresh eyes – I haven’t looked at any of these for at least six months – and apply the editors’ suggestions and my own new insights to fix them. If I feel they’re suitably improved, I’ll send them out to new markets at the end of the Write-a-thon.

Fundraising Goals

Anything, really. It’s all for a good cause.