‘The Reaping’ in Cabinet of Heed (SF edition) – Tom Brown’s school days meets Ender’s Game. ‘Coppers’ in Spelk – beware the penny falls. ‘Menace’ in Reflex Fiction (longlist) – the moment on the dark street when you fear the worst. Unforgotten insults turn into galactic vendettas. ‘The Volunteer’ in Marauder Literary Journal – an Ebola volunteer makes one mistake; love. ‘Paths of Least Resistance’ in Deracine – a man zones out of life whenever he encounters stress – for 5 years at a time. This magazine looks so good it even makes me feel cool, which I’m not.
‘Good Time Manual’ in Former Cactus – the heart of Saturday night. ‘Innocent in the City’ in Train Lit Mag – paranoia in Manchester. ‘Three-sided quadrilateral’ in Spelk – think Lana Del Ray meets Catcher in The Rye. ‘Reciprocation’ in 365 Tomorrows – 26 years of betrayal in 600 words.
‘The Lens’ in Marauder Fiction. An aspiring author meets his hero in a Sydney bookshop. Their shared history leads to uncomfortable revelations.
‘Blame’ in Hypnopomp Magazine, an allegorical and surreal piece written after Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
‘Lock Rise’, in Metaphorosis, October 2017 – I promise this is the only speculative fiction you’ll read inspired by the fate of the Romanovs and canal boats.
‘Half a heart on smoked glass’, in Occulum, October 2017 – flash fiction.
‘Blue Loops’ a 1500 word sci-fi story, appears on the Short Story.me website. Ellipsiszine, a new magazine, published ‘The Aesthete’ in June. Also in June, ‘Sky Blue Gene’ was performed at a charity event as part of Refugee Week (courtesy of White Rabbit). Hypnopomp, another great new venture, published ‘The Statues’.
‘The Interview’ was published in Nebula Rift (£), Doll’s Eye on the Backhand Stories website, and three more flash pieces at 365 Tomorrows. Liars’ League Hong Kong presented ‘Pinnacle City‘, about two young people who meet fleetingly in a block with over 300 floors. In June my 7000 word fantasy ‘Sheer’, set in a world of seemingly limitless rock towers, was published in Metaphorosis. I wish this magazine all the best; the editor gives personalised feedback to authors and works hard to improve selected submissions. Authors also answer a question on some aspect of the creative process!
365 Tomorrows, a website publishing flash sci-fi every day, has posted The Spire, Flag Rights, The Engine Room, Longevity, The Black Death, The Internet of Things and The Social Integer . The site has had a makeover recently and looks great.
2015 was a great year for short stories, with a handful being performed in London, Leeds and Hong Kong courtesy of Liars’ League (a literary & performance group run by author Katy Darby). The links will take you to the LL website where you can access videos and the texts, or straight to the YouTube videos. Having stories accepted by Liars’ League was a huge boost for me, and they deserve massive thanks for encouraging authors in the UK.
Problem Child – a transplant courier holds the fate of a teenage girl in his hands; trouble is, he despises her father.
Wandering Eye – a family man reflects on a more romantic existence.
The Consular Agent – what sort of prison is this?
Two Glances – alienation and sexual clumsiness on the Gringo trail.
Cough – a doctor plays a trick on his best friend; the consequences are disastrous [published in Bunbury magazine].
A New Elliptic – an accident at the Large Hadron Collider takes a bite out of the Earth; they knew it was on the cards.
Halo Effect – a man suffocates a child soldier on a planet made for battle. You just can’t get away with that (sound quality variable…).
The Casual – a waitress plans the downfall of a foul mouthed head chef [last minute of video lost!].
Way back when…
Previously I published a collection called Malady/Therapy. The stories here are inspired by life in London, various adventures in foreign lands, and the spirit my favourite doctor-writer, Somerset Maugham (I wish!).
One of them is true.
Blurb – ‘12 short stories of fate and tragedy.’
The Printer’s Assistant – A nail-bomb in Brick Lane, another in Brixton; London changed in 1999.
Stromboli – The elements turn against a group of backpackers on a Sicilian volcano; some pray, others do not have that luxury.
The Treatment – After his car is wrecked in Richmond Park, the driver is liberated; it is a sickness that must be cured.
The Embrace – A public school chaplain falls victim to rumour.
Into Perspective – A light touch.
Ladbroke Grove – 1999, 31 died. We assumed she was just late…
‘It was only supposition’ – A traveller plans a destructive assignation.
Tricks – How to win or lose $60,000 in Malaysia.
Kandy – They met only once, but already the Tamil Tigers had made their terrible plan.
Confessions – A strong marriage, based on a lie; better to let it go, there are children involved…
Atonement – A relationship sundered by careless words, a brain swollen by bad Ecstasy. Life rarely offers the opportunity to mend what we have broken…
Beijing – In a sweltering petrol station a lit cigarette falls into the vapour.
Malady/Therapy cover art (by the author)