This interview is with Peter Ford, whose story Golf Planet appeared in the Fusion Anthology. Peter is a retired teacher. He’s been reading and watching science fiction since 1947 and has previously been published in various poetry anthologies, specialist journals and local newspapers. Having loved the dry humour in Golf Planet I’m not surprised that local newspapers snap up Peter’s material.
What made Peter enter the Fantastic Books Publishing short story competition? He says, ‘I would have entered anyway, but the prospect of being published among an international group of science fiction/fantasy writers was appealing, as was the charitable aspect.’
I’m surprised to learn how little confidence Peter had of making it into the anthology. He tells me, ‘I thought my work had only a slim chance of being accepted.’
He was wrong there. With its very human story set on another world and with that understated current of humour, it always stood a good chance. What is Peter’s response to his success? ‘The message I would pass on to others is “Have a go!”’
Unsurprisingly, given his reasons for entering, Peter says, ‘I feel very positive about writing in the company of established and professional authors.’
And how was the editorial process? ‘The editorial team’s comments were fantastically helpful, searching yet positive, both for the story under consideration and for my writing in general.’
His idea of a compelling tale to whisk the long-haul traveller painlessly across thousands of miles is one of the new Inspector Frost series by James Henry. Peter says, ‘I find each of this series so far a great read that also helps me to focus on why I keep turning pages.’
When asked to become a space scout for an alien race who has discovered Earth and learnt its history, Peter’s message is brief and again reflects the dry humour that runs through his writing. ‘Yes. Earth may stay in the Federation. We are impressed.’
And what is Peter doing now in the writing context? He tells me, ‘My writing usually focuses on factual subjects using fictional and cinematic techniques. Current projects include a personal archive of the Sixties and a continuing review of a major UFO case of the Fifties.’
Peter does not have a writing presence on the web (yet) other than in Fusion, but his picture of Comet Hale-Bopp (1997)
and his Second World War memoir, What did you do in the war, sir? (Brown Owl Publications 1995), are both sold in aid of local charities.