Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Latest Story News

Out Now:

1. Good, Fine, No (Horror, 2,308 words) was published at Solarcide
2. Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings (Horror, 3,798 words) was reprinted in the anthology Murder Mayhem from Flame Tree Publishing.
3. Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly (Fantasy, 878 words) was published online at Outlook Springs
4. Smash and Grab (SF, 3,037 words)  was reprinted in 9 Tales from Elsewhere, Vol 9 from Bride of Chaos
5. The Visiphorical Art (Fantasy, 917 words) was reprinted in the Hestia volume of Pantheon Magazine
6. We're All Friends Here (Science Fiction, 4,385 words) was published at The Sockdolager
7. Fast as Lightning, Still as Stone (Horror, 1,860 words) was published at Unsung Stories
8. Sweetie (Horror, 1,669 words) was reprinted in Onyx Neon Shorts Horror Collection 2016
9. No Past, No Future, Just Now (SF, 1,664 words) was reprinted in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Vol 6

Forthcoming:

1. Garden of Fog and Monsters (SF, 2,089 words) will be reprinted in the anthology First Contact from Indie Authors Press
2. The Five Stages of Grief (Fantasy, 2,172 words) will be published in Intergalactic Medicine Show, 2017
3. Supply, Demand and Armageddon (Science Fiction, 2,828 words) will be published in Secrets of the Goat People, 2017
4. Harmonious Music and the Spawn of the Devil (crime, 488 words) will be published in Crooked Holster: an Anthology of Crime Writing, Dec 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

New Reprints



My pre-apocalypse story 'No Past, No Future, Just Now' has been reprinted in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Vol 6. This story came from thinking about what type of person survives the end of the world. When there's a specific enemy—zombies, invasions—that’s going to be people good at fighting. With a plague, it’ll likely be the fit and healthy. But what if it’s something else?

No Past, No Future, Just Now - SF - 1,660 words

Have to take it easy, no rushing around. Hip’s been playing me up again lately, and I can’t afford a fall. If I go down, will I be able to get back up again? Best not to find out. I can’t rely on Henry coming to help me, not any more.

Read the story in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Vol 6


Also, my short horror 'Sweetie' has been reprinted in Onyx Neon Shorts Horror Collection 2016

This is the only story that’s ever come to me, almost fully-formed, in a dream: the travelling show, the terrified man with the tarantula on his palm, and the audience yelling ‘There’s nothing to be scared of, it’s just a spider.’That’s something you get told a lot, if you’re even slightly arachnophobic. And common sense says it’s true (unless you’re talking about the kind of fanged, venomous monsters they have in Australia, and I try very hard not to talk—or even think—about those). But I once held a tarantula during a visit to a wonderful (and, as far as I know, demon-free) bug zoo in Canada, and I know how easily the common sense of ‘It’s just a spider’ can get drowned out by the deeper, darker voice that starts whispering, ‘But what if it’s not?’

Sweetie - Horror - 1,669 words

Admittedly, my little travelling show isn’t what it once was. We’ve been on the road for a long, long time. But I like to think that for the discerning customer, we still provide value for money. An experience you can’t get from the computer screen—the modern freakshow—despite all its tricks and special effects.

Read the story in Onyx Neon Shorts Horror Collection 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New story at Unsung Shorts - Fast as Lightning, Still as Stone

My creepy urban horror 'Fast as Lightning, Still as Stone' was published by the very fine folks at Unsung Stories this week, and is free to read on their site here.

There's a quote by Stephen King in Danse Macabre, talking about the nature of horror, that's stayed with me for years: 'Nothing is so frightening as what's behind a closed door.' That idea, combined with my own indecisive tendency to overthink and 'what if' things to a borderline-neurotic level, produced this story.

Fast as Lightning, Still as Stone - Horror - 1,860 words

She's been waiting for this knock for half the night, but it still makes her jump. Adrenalin hits her like a well-aimed punch in the gut, robbing her of breath for a long and painful moment.

Read the full story online at Unsung Stories

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New story at The Sockdolager - We're All Friends Here

I have a new story out in the latest issue of the fabulous Sockdolager Magazine: We're All Friends Here (SF, 4,385 words)

I love 'where do we go from here?' stories -- ones that focus on what life is like when the Big Event, whatever it happened to be, is over and the dust has settled. How are things different, and how do people deal with it? 'We're All Friends Here' is set in a post-alien-invasion world I've written about before, one that was strongly influenced by a story that has haunted me for DECADES -- the tale of the Warren of the Snares in Richard Adams's Watership Down, where most of the rabbits are fed and protected by the local farmer, in return for a couple being turned into rabbit stew every now and then.

Is that a good deal? It's kind of sensible and utterly horrific at the same time, so I've never been able to settle on an answer. For the rabbits themselves, some say no, and some go insane trying to avoid asking the question at all -- but the majority say yes, it's worth it. They follow the rules, and learn to live with it. And they tell themselves the farmer is their friend.

Read the full story for free in Issue 7 of The Sockdolager, and make up your own mind...


We're All Friends Here - SF - 4,385 words

In the old book our film's based on, Kip has a different reaction: he becomes more determined than ever to go out swinging, and the story ends with him getting killed during a huge shootout with the police in a third act packed with gunfire and explosions. Violent nihilism was popular in the twenty-first century.

Also available for Kindle or print

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reprint publication -- The Visiphorical Art in Hestia

My 917 word fantasy short 'The Visiphorical Art' has been reprinted in the Hestia volume of Pantheon Magazine, available now from Amazon

This story came to life after I read a story about ghosts, then one about bombs, and the two ideas immediately combined to produce the image of someone creeping around their house, wary of setting off a bunch of dormant ghosts. I love stories that you might call ‘domestic supernatural’—embracing the weird as a part of everyday life. Marcy, who treats her situation as simply the normal way of things, is a great example. I also agree with Cathillion that creating new words is a glorious thing. Visiphorical is one of my favourites.

The Visiphorical Art - Fantasy - 917 words 
Marcy isn’t one of the unwary, the clueless. She’s careful. She’s a bomb-disposal expert. She picks her way through the booby-traps of memories and the tripping hazards of lost opportunities with skill and delicate flair. She’s intangible, untouchable, an interloper in the territory of the dead. A ghost among ghosts.

Read the rest in Hestia from Pantheon Magazine

Monday, September 19, 2016

New story online - Sometime You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly - Outlook Springs

My fantasy flash 'Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly,' published in Outlook Springs issue 1, is now available to read online --  along with some fabulous other stories and poems (I loved 'Mephistopheles Never Said he Told the Truth by Chloe Clark)


On Monday evening, my sister got decapitated by a tube on the Northern Line at King’s Cross. We’d heard a story about that happening to some poor unfortunate a few years ago; apparently, the head rolled around the tunnel, shot through the open window, and ended up on the driver’s lap. It was exactly the kind of flourish that appealed to Viola, but I think it might have been a bit of an urban legend. As far as I could tell, her head was more or less vaporised on impact.

Read the rest of the story at the Outlook Springs website now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New anthology - Murder Mayhem from Flame Tree Publishing

My 3,798 word crime/horror story 'Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings' has been reprinted in a wonderful anthology, Murder Mayhem, from Flame Tree Publishing -- available from their site here or from Amazon

I always think there’s great fun to be had with characters who think they’re the Big Bad, only to run into someone worse. This story a kind of horror take on Groundhog Day, without the possibility of the escape-through-self-improvement ending. I think it's no wonder my villain here has gone homicidally insane, but at least she kept her sense of humour. I think you have to admire that.

Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings - 3,708 words

On the floor, Jimmy groans. He’s pulled into a foetal position so Dom can’t tell the full extent of the damage, but his clothes are soaked in just about every bodily fluid there is. At first guess, Dom would say the kid’s lost his teeth, his fingernails, his bollocks and at least a couple of internal organs. ‘Fuck,’ he says, and pinches his nostrils shut. The whole place is going to have to be hosed down.


Read the story in Murder Mayhem: Hardback Deluxe edition, printed on silver, matt laminated, gold and silver foil stamped, embossed.: 280,000 words, 480 pages, 25 illustrations


Thursday, September 1, 2016

New story at Solarcide - Good, Fine, No

I have a new horror story, Good, Fine, No out now at Solarcide. I absolutely love the way they've used little illustrations to break up the sections instead of the usual blank line or asterisks -- it looks great, and goes so well with the text. I think my favourite is the blood-drenched Barbie doll, but it's not easy to choose :)

Good, Fine, No - Horror - 2,308 words

When it’s over — which is a ridiculous thing to say, she knows, because it’s never going to be over — Gina runs. She shaves her head, changes her name and tries to disappear into the anonymous concrete rat runs of a dozen different cities. Tries to forget any of it ever happened. She doesn’t succeed on either count.

Read the rest at Solarcide

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW

The latest round-up...


1. Where There's Magic (Fantasy - 6,980 words)came out at Kaleidotrope

2. Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly (Fantasy - 878 words) came out in Issue 1 of Outlook Springs

3. Best Friends Forever (SF - 790 words) came out at Daily Science Fiction

4. My Sister, the Fairy Princess (Horror - 1,700 words) came out in Black Static Issue 52

5. I Am Not Your Doppelgänger (Fantasy 497 words) came out at The Flash Fiction Press

6. A Partial Inventory of Things I Have Loved (Fantasy - 973 words) came out at Flash Fiction Online

7. Wrong Word (SF - 817 words) was podcasted at Manwaker Studio

8There You Are, My Love (Supernatural - 1,000 words) was podcasted at Manawaker Studio

9. Free to Loving Home (Donation Required) (SF - 729 words) was podcasted at Manawaker Studio

10. God State (SF - 1,400 words) came out at Daily Science Fiction

11. Legion (Horror - 1,667 words) was reprinted in Abstract Jam Issue 4



FORTHCOMING

1. Good, Fine, No (Horror - 2,308 words) will be published at Solarcide, 2016

2. The Shining Wire (SF - 4,406 words) will be published at The Sockdolager, 2016

3. Smash and Grab (SF - 3,037 words) will be reprinted in 9 Tales from Elsewhere, September 2016

4. Waiting to Burn (Fantasy - 700 words) will be reprinted in Spirit's Tincture, Nov 2016

5. Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings (Horror - 3,798 words) will be reprinted in Murder Mayhem from Flame Tree Publishing

6. For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times  (Fantasy - 3,210 words) will be reprinted at Strange Constellations, March 2017

Monday, August 22, 2016

New story at DSF - God State


My 1,400-word SF story 'God State' is now free to read at one of my favourite magazines, Daily Science Fiction!

When you get to a certain age, conversations with your mates often turn into a nostalgia-fest about The Good Old Days — although it's usually debatable whether this idealised, romanticised past was better than the present at all. I tried to explore some of the ambiguity in this story — which is better here, the past or the present? I think it's still debatable.


God State - SF - 1400 words 
On the way out of the gig, I stop at the merchandise stall to get a t-shirt. I find one in my size and pull out my wallet, then hesitate. It looks good quality, but the colour — almost exactly the same blue as a scanner booth — puts me off. I read somewhere that they call that shade 'Spectral Indigo,' and ever since then it's given me a slight case of the creeps. 

 Read the rest at Daily Science Fiction

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Audio Story - Free to Loving Home at Manawker Studio

My SF flash piece, 'Free to Loving Home (Donation Required)', which was first published in the anthology You, Me, and a Bit of We by Chuffed Buff Books in October 2013, has been podcasted at Manawaker Studio.

The story was inspired by a news report on rescue centres for dogs, which made me wonder how that might work for humans. (The Hugh Everett Rehoming Centre, incidentally, is named for the American physicist who first came up with the Many Worlds theory of quantum physics). What if, when you lost a loved one, you could get a ‘rescued’ version? I started with the idea that it would be literally ‘free to a loving home’ but I couldn’t help thinking that such a place, even if it started out altruistically, would at some point be turned towards making a profit—and the rather cynical ‘donation required’ aspect began to take over.

Manawaker Studio have done a great recording -- the narrator has done a really good job of capturing the rather smarmy auctioneer's tone of this story -- the kind of 'I know this is illegal and horrible, but aren't we all having fun?' vibe.  Listen to it here

Friday, July 1, 2016

New podcast - There You Are, My Love at Manawaker Studio

My flash piece 'There You Are, My Love', originally published at Every Day Fiction in January 2012, has been podcasted at Manawaker Studio today!

I think the core of this story is that everybody copes in their own way, and that’s okay. I don’t really know where I stand on the issue of clairvoyance: I don’t think it’s necessarily impossible, but Sheila’s and Ros’s dialogue comes almost verbatim from a real-life demonstration I once attended, and it’s hard to argue with what Ros says. Maybe, in the end, whether it’s objectively ‘real’ or ‘fake’ doesn’t matter. Maybe, like the reader of a story, the audience gets to choose what they take from it.

Listen to the story here

Monday, June 6, 2016

New stories

A few new publications out now:


A Partial Inventory of Things I Have Loved  - Fantasy 973 words - at Flash Fiction Online
I take off my gloves and fold them in my lap. ‘Octavia McNeill. We spoke on the phone this morning. I’m here for emotional redirection.’ 

This is the second story to feature mercenary empath Johnny Kellard, who first appeared in Smash and Grab, published in  Kzine Issue 13, Sep 2015. The latest story, a murder mystery featuring his daughter Alexa, is currently in progress.


Wrong Word - SF - 817 words - podcasted at Manawaker Studio
Jana found the body—stumbled across it, literally—on the beach, sticking out of the grey sand like a sculpture. Or an art installation, like the ones they used to have in the streets and parks back when this was still part of civilisation. Something commemorative, or symbolic, or just beautiful.

This is a podcast of a story first published in Daily Science Fiction in January 2015 and is part of a another shared world -- Wrong Word is the second in a loose triptych about a post-alien-invasion society that started with Jump, and I'll Catch You (Daily Science Fiction in July 2014) and will finish with The Shining Wire, forthcoming at The Sockdolager.


I Am Not Your Doppelgänger - Fantasy - 497 words - at The Flash Fiction Press
We're not that different, really, he and I; it's all shapeshifting of a sort.

This is a short piece that came about because I'd happened to read one too many predatory-men-on-the-pull stories :)


Read/listen to the stories in full at Flash Fiction Online, Manawaker Studio, and The Flash Fiction Press

Friday, May 20, 2016

New story in Black Static - My Sister, the Fairy Princess

Black Static is the sister magazine to Interzone, and I'm thrilled to have a story, 'My Sister, the Fairy Princess' in Issue 52.

I leave my rental out front, next to Mom’s old pickup. I don’t bother locking it, since the plan is to do this fast: get in, get it done, get away. I’m sure the house and whatever money Mom had will be going to Daisy, so it should be easy — sign any paperwork, maybe pick up some random piece of jewelry as a memento, and shoot back to the hotel. Then, after I’ve shown my face at the funeral, I can get back to forgetting this place exists. 

Daisy’s sitting on the tyre swing at the side of the house, gripping the rusted chains and leaning back so far her body is almost horizontal. Her long dark hair hangs down to the ground, the ends brushing through the sandy-colored soil. 

Out here, everything turns the color of sand in the end — a reminder that this land is still desert at heart, no matter how much people try to change it with irrigation systems and imported plants. Inch by inch and year by year, it reverts to its true nature. Maybe we all do.

Read the rest in Black Static Issue 52, from TTA Press, available now...

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Story at Daily Science Fiction

My little philosophical robot story, Best Friends Forever, is free to read now at Daily Science Fiction!

Best Friends Forever - SF - 790 words 

Suelita and I are friends. This is a fact. She tells me so, and I agree with her. Suelita's mother is called Ana. 

'That's nice, dear,' Ana says, when Suelita tells her we are friends. 'And I got arrested for murder, and the house is on fire,' Suelita continues. 

 Ana carries on tapping at her phone and says, 'Mm-hmm. That's nice, dear.'

 I am also supposed to agree with Ana, but it is sometimes difficult. Those things, were they to have happened, would not be nice.

Read the rest at Daily Science Fiction now...

Friday, April 22, 2016

New Story in Outlook Springs - Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly

I have a new flash, 'Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly' out in the first issue of Outlook Springs -- which looks FABULOUS, and I can't wait to read it!




 Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly - Fantasy - 878 words

I took to crossing the road without looking, since I’ve always wanted to get run over by a bus. There’s a sort of poetic amusement in it, especially if you say something like ‘I don’t see the point of worrying about cholesterol, you could get run over by a bus tomorrow’ just beforehand. Instant irony bonus.)

Read the rest in Issue 1 of Outlook Springs (and get a cool t-shirt while you're there!)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New story at Kaleidotrope: Where There's Magic

The latest issue of Kaleidotrope is out now, including my fantasy story 'Where There's Magic' -- Witches! Doomed lovers! Evil twins!

Where There's Magic - Secondary fantasy -- 6,980 words

The witch had a favourite saying: where there's life, there's magic. There was a second part--where there's magic, there's death--but she usually kept that to herself.

Read the rest at Kaleidotrope

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Latest Story News

It's round-up time!

OUT NOW:

1. The Kind Hearts of Children and the Spirit of the Season (Creepy horror, 954 words) appeared at Every Day Fiction 

2. Black Thumb (Horror, 2,734 words) was reprinted in Issue 13 of  The Literary Hatchet

3. Please Enter Through the Meditation Room, the Snack Bar's on Your Left (Comic fantasy, 1,941 words) appeared in Vol VIII of Bards & Sages 

4. Jump, and I'll Catch You (Science Fiction, 2,780 words) was published in audio at Drabblecast.

5. An Object Lesson in Misanthropy (Dark modern fantasy, 984 words) was reprinted at EGM Shorts.

6. Always Room for More (Supernatural, 1,723 words) was published at Unsung Stories.

7. Send in the Ninjas (Comic SF, 3,282 words) was published at Podcastle

8. To Haunt His Own Exhausted Heart (Supernatural, 604 words) was published at Scarlet Leaf Review

9. The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling (Dark fantasy, 3,980 words) was reprinted in Eldritch Embraces from Dragon's Roost Press

10. Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition (Comic modern fantasy, 2,600 words) was published in Issue 263 of Interzone

FORTHCOMING:

1. Best Friends Forever (SF, 790 words) and God State (SF, 1300 words) will be coming out in Daily Science Fiction, 2016

2. Sometimes You're the Windscreen, Sometimes You're the Fly (Modern fantasy, 878 words) will be coming out in the first issue of Outlook Springs, April 15th, 2016

3. Where There's Magic (Secondary fantasy, 6,980 words) will be coming out in the next issue of Kaleidotrope, April 2016

4. The Visiphorical Art (Supernatural, 917 words) will be reprinted in Pantheon Magazine, 2016

5. My Sister, the Fairy Princess (Horror, 1,700) will be coming out in Black Static

Friday, March 18, 2016

New story in Interzone - Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition

Beyond thrilled to have a story in a magazine I have wanted to be in for a LONG time: Britain's longest-running SFF magazine, the Hugo-winning Interzone.

My story, 'Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition,' is featured in Issue 263, out now. This story was inspired by some of the strange roadside attractions you come across in the States. I think 'Goats on the Roof' is my favourite of all time, but I think I would have enjoyed The Fracture if I'd come across it :)





Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition - Fantasy - 2,600 words

'The ingestion of intoxicating substances can be useful for the expansion of consciousness during meditative rites,' Jem said, 'but it's not particularly recommended otherwise. Do you think you'll be meditating today?'

Read the full story in Interzone issue 263, from TTA Press.

And in other excellent news, I'll soon have a companion contributor's copy to this one, since my creepy little story 'My Sister, the Fairy Princess,' has just sold to TTA's horror magazine Black Static. Can't wait to get my hands on that too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Eldritch Embraces

My story 'The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling', has been reprinted in this great-looking anthology from Dragon's Roost Press: Eldritch Embraces (kindle version - paperback here)

'Combine the mind splintering horror of the Cthulhu Mythos and the heart shattering portion of that most terrible of emotions - love - and what do you have? You have Eldritch Embraces: Putting the Love Back in Lovecraft. This collection of short stories from some of the best working in the fields of horror and dark speculative fiction blends romance and Lovecraft in a way which will may make you sigh, smile, weep, or leave you the hollow shell of your former self.'



My story doesn't directly reference the Mythos, although an early review once described it as 'domestic Lovecraft' so I still think it fits :-)  It kind of imagines the Elder Gods now living as a dysfunctional suburban family...

The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling - Horror - 3,980 words

Some interminable time later, the noises stop. The heat fades, and that painful, sliding sense of dislocation eases off. Planes and angles drift back into normal configurations. The house feels like a suburban semi again rather than a disjointed, unhinged little corner of the universe that’s grinding and scraping against the rest like nails against slate. 

Read the full story in Eldritch Embraces from Dragon's Roost Press

Friday, February 19, 2016

New Story at Scarlet Leaf Review - To Haunt his Own Exhausted Heart

I have a little ghost story in the second issue of Scarlet Leaf Review, out now:

To Haunt His Own Exhausted Heart - Horror - 604 words

At first he thought that animals — especially birds — reacted to ghosts, but now he thinks it's just random skittishness. But then again, who knows? There don't seem to be any rules as to how any of this works, which remains one of his great disappointments.

Read the full story at Scarlet Leaf Review

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New story at Podcastle - Send in the Ninjas

Very thrilled to be part of the wonderful Podcastle's Artemis Rising event!

My fantasy story Send in the Ninjas is available to listen to/download now, read wonderfully by Christiana Ellis (although I don't think it will ever entirely stop being weird to hear my stories in an American accent)

Most of my characters aren't much like me (which is probably good, considering how many of them are deranged homicidal murderers) but to chronically indecisive Isabel, I can certainly relate.

Send in the Ninjas - Fantasy - 3,282 words

The streets are more full of snow than people tonight, lending everything an enjoyably deserted, apocalyptic air. Isabel smiles as she walks home, humming happily to herself. Getting stood up never fails to put her in a good mood. She always goes on the dates her mother sets up, but she much prefers it when the other person doesn’t show. That way, Isabel still gets credit for trying, while also getting to skip straight to the part where she doesn’t have to go on a second date.

Hear the rest of the story at Podcastle.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love Hurts - Goodreads Giveaway

Meerkat Press are running a giveaway at Goodreads (UK, USA, Canada) for the anthology Love Hurts, which includes my story 'Possibly Nefarious Purposes,' along with tales from Hugh Howey, Charlie Jane Anders, Jeff VanderMeer, Karin Tidbeck and many more!

Possibly Nefarious Purposes - 4,308 words - SF

When she got back from Las Vegas, Dayna found a padded envelope on her doormat containing a set of keys, a glossy brochure for a health spa called Rejuvenation, and a sheaf of paperwork that said she owned it. She didn’t know anything about health and beauty, but she did know that when the aliens dropped that kind of hint, they expected her to take it.

Read more in Love Hurts from Meerkat Press.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Love Hurts by Tricia Reeks

Love Hurts

by Tricia Reeks

Giveaway ends March 10, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Story at Unsung Stories - Always Room for More

My 1,723 word ghost story 'Always Room for More' is published (and free to read) at the wonderful Unsung Stories today!

This story grew out of a line that was cut from an old flash piece about a man visiting a medium (There You Are, My Love, published at Every Day Fiction). In the deleted line, his skeptic sister said 'Why the hell would people bother to drag their arses all the way back from the afterlife just to come out with nothing but trite and meaningless platitudes?' I always thought that was a very good question.


Always Room for More - Horror - 1,723 words

'If he looked too smooth, people wouldn't trust him. They'd think he was a fake, just in it for the money. A real medium is supposed to look a bit scrappy. A bit distracted. Don't you think? I mean, this isn't supposed to be fun, is it?'

Read more at Unsung Stories.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Reprint available at EGM Shorts - An Object Lesson in Misanthropy

My fantasy flash 'An Object Lesson in Misanthropy' has been reprinted at the wonderful EGM Shorts, and is available to read for free.

There’s a common complaint about parapsychology experiments, that psychic powers can never be demonstrated under strict laboratory conditions. And it started me thinking; if you could do that—perform for a scientist on demand—why on Earth would you want to? You can see what the researchers would get out of it, but what about the subject? There’s also the theory that by the time you learn to control great power, you evolve beyond the desire to actually use it. Putting those two ideas together gave me Nina, who could be a superhero (or villain) but who really wants nothing more from the world than to be left alone so she can sit in her bedroom playing online poker. I can definitely sympathise...

An Object Lesson in Misanthropy - fantasy - 986 words

 I’d always believed my mother was destined to become a certified Crazy Cat Lady, so the idea of her having a friend of any kind, let alone a boyfriend, took some getting used to.

Read more at EGM Shorts

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Audio Story - Jump, and I'll Catch You - Drabblecast

My 2,780 word SF story 'Jump, and I'll Catch You' -- first published at Daily Science Fiction in July 2014, has been podcasted by the awesome crew at Drabblecast. I love getting illustrations for stories, and this is a fabulous one -- that creepy stretched grin is exactly how I imagined my aliens to look.

I love hearing stories in audio too, although it never quite stops being weird hearing them read in an American accent.

Jump, and I'll Catch You - SF - 2,780 words

'This is lovely,' Anton's father said, but his voice sounded higher than usual, and Anton knew he was just Being Polite. Being Polite was like lying, but not the normal kind. If you were trying to pretend your sister had broken something when it was really you, that was normal lying and that was still wrong. This kind of lying was special, and it was only done because you wanted to make people happy, and have a nice time. Especially with Our New Friends.

Listen to the recording at Drabblecast here

Friday, January 1, 2016

New story at Bards & Sages - Please Enter Through the Meditation Room, the Snack Bar's on Your Left

I have a story in the latest issue of Bards & Sages Vol VIII:

Please Enter Through the Meditation Room, the Snack Bar's on Your Left - Fantasy  - 1941 words
Rupert nodded encouragingly. ‘Good choice,’ he told them. ‘You don’t want to go into something like this on an empty stomach. Balanced blood sugar, that’s the key.'

Available to read now in Bards & Sages, Jan 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Anthology - Love Hurts by Meerkat Press

Nice Christmas present from Meerkat Press! A review on Amazon says my story Possibly Nefarious Purposes 'could adapt into a good X Files episode', which has just made my day. I could TOTALLY see Mulder going undercover to investigate my alien-sponsored beauty salon. You can just tell he loves a good pedicure.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reprint at The Literary Hatchet - Black Thumb - Horror - 2,734 words

My domestic horror story 'Black Thumb' has been reprinted in Issue 13 of The Literary Hatchet -- available as a free pdf download, and also in print, from the website here



Black Thumb - Horror - 2,734 words

When I started this, I intended it to be as a sweet story about the friendship between a lonely woman and a cute alien, in the same kind of style as ET. It changed quite a lot in the writing, but I think you can still see that core idea. Especially if you think, as I do, that slugs are cute. Having a broad definition of the word sweet would probably help, too.

Curled around the cracked base of her abandoned flower pot is a huge slug, sleek and iridescent in the patchy afternoon sun. Once, she would have worried about how to get rid of it, but there’s no point now.

Read more in The Literary Hatchet

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Story at EDF - The Kind Hearts of Children and the Spirit of the Season

My nasty little Christmas horror story, The Kind Hearts of Children and the Spirit of the Season, is free to read at EDF today!

Every Day Fiction is a wonderful venue, and was the very first paying site to publish one of my stories, back in 2010. So when they decided to do a special invitational month in December, while working on a new submissions system, I was thrilled to be asked to take part.

I'm not sure what it says about me that I gave myself a prompt of 'Family Christmas Dinner' and this is what came out, but there you go :)

Happy Holidays!