When I first began writing short stories, I made several entries in the Aeon Award Contest run by Ireland's Albedo One Magazine. One of these stories made the quarterly shortlist and I promptly jumped to the erroneous conclusion that I had cracked this short story writing business.
In fact of course I still had an awful lot to learn; there is a considerable gulf between the literary demands of novel writing and those of short stories. It took a year between my first published piece of flash fiction Elementary Mechanics and my first published short story, Spatchcock. There followed another ten months before The Old Man on The Green.
Of the four acceptances that I received earlier this year, two have so far been published and two are still awaiting publication. The queue awaiting a public airing have now, I am pleased to say, been joined by another story, Passage of Time which will finally take me back very close to where I started when it is published in Albedo 2.
Passage of Time will be my first published story set (at least partly) aboard a space ship. I wouldn't really call it a space opera, since most of the conflict portrayed in the tale takes place upon Earth. However it does feel as though I'm getting closer to my ideal of being an all-round speculative writer.
By the way, I do write non-speculative stories too. So far none have made it to publication, but a couple have been competitively placed and I hope may yet see the light of printed day.