Category Archives: short stories

Two new stories and an audio recording

I’ve been lax about mentioning publications recently. Time for a roundup.

‘To Ashes, Dust’ is one of my series of Mars stories featuring crawler bases, shifting sand dunes and ‘aye-aye’ robots. It’s been published in Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #61, available to download for free or to buy as a print copy for just over £3. Des Lewis has reviewed the issue and had this to say about my story:

“In a relatively short space, this moving story of a base on Mars captured me, even with its bespoke names for various factors, like the robots employed, and again, with this set of fictions, a treatment of old men and death, and an amazing concept of moving sand dunes that really NEEDS reading about to be inspired as I became by it and by what the dunes can contain.”

‘The Pale Shadow and the Conjuror’ is my first sale of a mystery story – it’s been printed in Mystery Weekly.

‘For a Tooth’, a spoofy space-opera flash story first published in Every Day Fiction, has been recorded as an audio reading – you can listen to it free at 600 Second Saga.
(Or via several other routes: iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter)

 

 

Short story collection: AND THE HOUSE LIGHTS DIM

Luna Press have released some more details about my first collection of short stories, which will be published in 2019 as part of the ‘Harvester’ series. It’s called AND THE HOUSE LIGHTS DIM and features strange stories about houses, homes and family.

Here’s my statement about the collection in full:

AND THE HOUSE LIGHTS DIM is my first collection of short stories, which were written over a three-year period. They’re pretty diverse, spanning weird fiction, horror and SF – but I confess that when I wrote them they seemed more diverse than they really are. It was only recently that I realised just how prevalent particular themes have been in my writing: houses, homes and family.

Perhaps it’s no surprise. The earliest of the stories was written when my wife was pregnant with our first child; one of the novellas was written in a mad hurry in the weeks before his birth; nowadays I write in a fog of fatigue due to my second child’s sleepless nights. I think about family constantly and as a freelance editor I’m trapped in my home for the greater part of every day.

In this collection are stories about a sentient house overprotective of its new occupants, a supernatural Greenland shark that attacks a family via sound, a married couple alone on a lengthy space flight, two young girls who live in isolation and in fear of the world beyond their walls, a camping trip that turns a family feral, a post-apocalyptic Center Parcs, a man who has defragmented his mind and another who splices a rival’s brain patterns onto his own.

Most of the stories have been published in various places, including Interzone, Not One of Us, The Literary Hatchet and anthologies published by Fox Spirit, Jurassic London and Hic Dragones. ‘Carus & Mitch’ was previously published as a standalone novella by Omnium Gatherum and was shortlisted for a This Is Horror Award in 2015. People have been very nice about it: Lynda Rucker said it was a ‘compelling, unconventional page-turner… blending a John Wyndham-esque melancholy with a dose of existential despair’. Adam Roberts called it ‘punchy and scary and tense and genuinely moving’ and James Everington said it was ‘an intimate, original, and character-driven take on the post-apocalyptic genre’, all of which made me feel awfully proud.

Publication announcement: my first collection of short stories

A new announcement for the new year: I’m delighted to be able to say that my first collection of short stories will be published as part of the ‘Harvester’ series from Edinburgh-based Luna Press, alongside collections by four brilliant authors. Find out more here – and Luna Press will be revealing more details on 11th January.

New Year writing roundup

Phew, a fresh start. Actually, the arrival of 2017 is the first of a couple of fresh starts in quick succession for me – I’ll be moving house (and town) in mid-January, when I and my family will be packing up in Oxford and moving to York.

Still, this seems a good time to round up all the loose threads from the tail-end of last year…

You Don’t Belong Here

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 22.42.03Firstly, another positive and thoughtful review for YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, this time from Rising Shadow. The reviewer summarises the novel as ‘delightfully different from the time travel novels that have been published recently’.

Also on Rising Shadow, you can read an interview with me, in which I discuss SF influences, failed novels, the Infinite Monkey Cage and gratefulness.

If you haven’t read YOU DON’T BELONG HERE yet, it’s currently available on Amazon for only £6.88 for the paperback or £6.54 for the ebook. Bargain!

Short stories

Jonathan Green is currently prepping the Kickstarter for the followup to his popular Sharkpunk anthology, sensibly titled Sharkpunk 2. Alongside stories by James Lovegrove, Jon Oliver, Guy Haley and more, it’ll feature my weird horror story about the Greenland Shark, ‘Eqalussuaq’. You can join the Facebook group to receive updates.

Tunnel Vision

I also have new stories forthcoming in Hic Dragones’ Into the Woods anthology and the British SF magazine, Shoreline of Infinity. More info as and when.

You can read a reprint of my creepy primary-school story, ‘Tunnel Vision’, for free on the Pantheon website, which features the excellent illustration by Carrion House shown on the right.

See my list of published fiction for a full list of the stories and reprints I sold in 2016.

Writing progress

I’d been prepared for 2016 to be lacking in new writing, given the birth of my second son in June and a whole three months away from writing fiction. Somehow, however, I ended up writing slightly more than in each of the previous three years – around 126,000 words. My being freelance (and therefore more flexible) must have been responsible, despite the fact that it’s felt like more of a struggle finding writing hours.

Anyway, these 126k all-new words were plugged into just two projects. The first was BLIGHTERS, now available from Abaddon. The second project is a new SF novel, about a group of people who spontaneously produce clones. I’m nearing the end of a second draft and I’m hoping that a third will clinch it.

Other than that, I have two other writing projects coming up in 2017. They’re secret for now. It’s immensely exciting to be looking forward to what’s next.

Winter Tales from Fox Spirit

Winter TalesFox Spirit’s new anthology, Winter Tales, is available today!

As well as having been edited by the very lovely Margrét Helgadóttir, and featuring terrific cover art by S. L Johnson, and featuring stories from a wealth of exciting authors, it also contains my story, ‘Winter in the Vivarium’, which was written specifically for the anthology.

The Amazon.co.uk link is up now.