You know the saying: no two people in the contacted world are more than six social connections apart (current lockdowns notwithstanding). Inspired by Kate at Books Are My Favourite And Best, I like to apply this notion to books – finding interesting ways to hop from one book to the next based on a shared author, theme, award win and so on. I like it even better when I can persuade authors to have a go. Today, I’m delighted to welcome debut author Joshua Phillip Johnson to take the Six Degrees challenge.

It is my enormous honour today to be host to a brilliant scholar. She has done extensive work in the field of Draconean literature, and is presently engaged in the greatest challenge of her career. You may have heard of her illustrious grandmama, but I assure you – you want to be acquainted with the latest scion of the house of Trent. Dear readers, I give you: Audrey Camherst!

I’m delighted to hand over today to the award-winning Gareth L Powell, whose new space opera Embers of War is out this week. Gareth’s alternate history thriller Ack-Ack Macaque won the 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel (tying with Ancillary Justice, no less), and was a Seiun Award finalist. I will be reviewing Embers of War this weekend (spoiler: IT’S REALLY GOOD).

It’s the first Friday of SciFi Month, and today it’s time for something a bit different for Bite-size Books: the first ever guest post here at x+1.

Lesley Conner, managing editor of Apex Magazine, is taking the keyboard to try and get to the bottom of what makes a short story an Apex short story. Over to Lesley – and her special guests, my colleagues on the slush team!