The story is loosely based on the last minutes of Vladimir Komarov, the first man to die in space. I'd picked through a couple of books on it at the British Library - Epic Rivalry, and Fallen Astronauts (which possibly has the best subtitle in history), both of which are really intriguing.
Silver Tree is told from the perspective of a park keeper who is suddenly confronted with a silver tree that makes everyone who climbs it want to jump out.
Then there was Sky Island which I'm a fan of, told from the POV of an Ivy League undergraduate who kills someone while at a party held by a billionaire on a floating venue in the sky. Been loose with the details because I reckon the character wouldn't go into too many details. I got the idea for that on the flight back.
We All Need Space was the story of an old man going mad at the bottom of his garden; he's an amateur radio operator who thinks he's detected an astronaut's heartbeat (this was a first draft of Lost Cosmonaut which I kind of stuck with). Anyway, I'm going to leave these here until I figure out what I want to do with them. My favourites are probably Sky Island, Lost Cosmonaut, Silver Tree and We All Need Space, in that order.
Alan Campbell, who is represented by Mic Cheetham - and as well as being a very talented writer he was one of the programmers on the computer game "Vice City" - read a couple and said some very promising things, which I really appreciated.
22/05. I've been reading Interzone, F&SF, Pen Pusher, Litro and Ambit. William Boyd.