Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New story in Black Static -- In the Fog, There's Nothing but Grey

I have a new story in Issue 67 of the always-marvellous Black Static!

 In the Fog, There's Nothing but Grey is a pending-apocalypse story taking place during an epidemic of amnesia, and is about finding out who you are by watching what you do...

In the Fog, There's Nothing but Grey - 1,437 words

Nobody’s gone in or out of the pub for a long time, so it makes us all jump when the door opens. I hadn’t even realised it was unlocked. 

‘Here comes trouble,’ Gil says. He says that about everything, from Chrissie coming back from the Ladies to pigeons landing on the roof, but this time I think he could be right — there’s something about this newcomer that sets my spidey-sense humming. I can’t put my finger on what, but sometimes that’s how it is: the eyes send a message straight to the hairs on the back of the neck, bypassing the brain completely. Which maybe isn’t such a bad thing, considering the brain’s not the be-all and end-all it used to be.

 Read the rest of the story in Black Static 67, available now from TTA Press.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Latest Story News!

Out Now:

For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times (Fantasy, 3,210 words) was reprinted in Issue 3 of The Weird Reader.

The Visiphorical Art (Supernatural, 917 words) was podcasted at Manawaker studio.

One Free Go (Horror, 2221 words) was reprinted in Issue 41 of The Sirens Call, October 2018

And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After (Fantasy, 500 words) was reprinted in Issue 24 of Three Drops from a Cauldron, Nov 2018

Dead Bodies Don't Scream (Horror, 4,033 words) was published in Tales from the Lake Volume 5, from Crystal Lake Publishing, Nov 2018

Forthcoming:

Sometimes You’re the Windscreen, Sometimes You’re the Fly (Fantasy, 877 words) will be podcasted at Toasted Cake, May 2019.

In the Fog, There's Nothing but Grey (Horror, 1,437 words) will be published in Black Static

Friday, December 14, 2018

Reprint: And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After at Three Drops from a Cauldron

My fairy-tale flash 'And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After', a different view of the Cinderella story, is available to read in the latest issue of the marvellous Three Drops from a Cauldron, full of weird and wonderful, magical and mystical prose, poetry, and art.


And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After - Fantasy - 500 words

The coachman knows his place, so he stays outside, even though the music swirls in his head and tries to draw him into the ballroom, with all its vibrant colours and beautiful dancers — glamorous, graceful people whirling around the floor in complicated patterns, not needing to look where they’re going because they fit so perfectly into the shape of this grand, wonderful design; people who belong, who follow their steps and play their roles and smile so gloriously because they know, they all know, that they are precisely where they are meant to be.

Read the rest in Issue 24 of Three Drops from a Cauldron

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New story: Dead Bodies Don't Scream in Tales of the Lake Volume 5

Tales of the Lake is a marvellous horror anthology series from Crystal Lake Publishing, and the latest volume is out now -- including my story 'Dead Bodies Don't Scream,' which is a variation on one of my favourite themes: Be careful what you wish for...


Dead Bodies Don't Scream by Michelle Ann King (Horror, 4,033 words)

Allie wipes her eyes, then stands up and kisses Rae’s hair. ‘I’ll be back soon,’ she says. 

Because the universe doesn’t care about right and wrong; she’s always known that. It doesn’t care about fairness or justice or providing miracles. 

If you need any of those things, you have to go and get them for yourself. 


Read the full story in Tales of the Lake Volume 5:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2q8Edtz
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2O01VBx
Universal Link: http://getbook.at/Lake5
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42425396-tales-from-the-lake-vol-5


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New reprint: One Free Go in The Sirens Call

My Halloween story 'One Free Go,' along with a ton of other dark and creepy stories, his available to read for free now, in Issue 41 of The Sirens Calls 👻 🕷️💀


One Free Go (Horror, 2,221 words)

When I was a kid, a Halloween party meant a couple of ghost stories, some bat-shaped gingerbread, and a bag of fun-sized Mars bars. That was it, job done. These days you have to decorate the whole house, get everyone fancy dress costumes, lay on enough chocolate to sink a battleship and buy boxes of specially-made black cupcakes topped with fondant-icing eyeballs.


Read the story for free in Issue 41 of The Sirens Call now!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Kickstarter for The Weird Reader

Kickstarter for volume three of The Weird Reader, which includes my story 'For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times' -- this is the cheapest option for print copies, so if you fancy one, get in now!


Monday, October 22, 2018

New podcast! The Visiphorical Art at Manawaker Studio

My domestic ghost story The Visiphorical Art has been podcasted by the fine folks at Manawaker Studio. To listen to the story (9 minutes) click here.

The Visiphorical Art (917 words)

There are remnants of lives all over the house, drying out and growing mould like abandoned plates of half-consumed meals. They lie in wait under the surface of reality like landmines, like unexploded bombs. Waiting for the unwary, the ones who don’t watch their step, to explode them back into the world...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New story at The Weird Reader


One of my favourite stories (definitely one of my favourite titles), 'For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times' has been reprinted in Issue 3 of The Weird Reader a literary magazine of the strange, disturbing, fantastic, and otherworldly.

This is a fabulous publication with lots of stories and poems, and some marvellous art, too (I particularly like the illustration for Horseface by Justin Tolman). It's free to read, so check it out here!


For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times (Fantasy, 3,210 words)

Lia waved a hand. ‘Hon, I’m sorry, but you’ve just got to hear this.’ She grinned and leaned back in her seat. ‘I found God.’

Katie stared at her. ‘I’m sorry, you did what?’

‘I found God. And I don’t mean I became a born-again Christian or anything, I mean I literally discovered the omnipotent creator of the universe. While I was doing that house clearance in Balham.’


Read the full story at The Weird Reader!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW:

1. Gifted (Horror/SF, 3744 words) was reprinted by Dark Fire Fiction, Jun 2018

2. My second collection, Possibly Nefarious Purposes and Other Stories, came out in paperback, Jul 2018

3. Precious Things (Horror, 100 words) was reprinted in the anthology Drabbledark, Jul 2018


FORTHCOMING:

1. God State (SF, 1,299 words) will be reprinted in Sins and Other Worlds from Shacklebound Books

2. The Visiphorical Art (Fantasy, 917 words) will be podcasted at Manawaker Studio

3. Wolf, or Faith in the Future (SF, 621 words) will be podcasted at Manawaker Studio

Friday, July 20, 2018

New anthology -- Sins and Other Worlds

Forthcoming from Shacklebound Books:



'Sins and Other Worlds is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors. The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond. Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field. The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.'

Including mine! My story 'God State,' about a rather dystopian utopia, is being reprinted in this marvellous collection.

Check out the kickstarter page here!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Paperbacks!



My babies! Aren't they cute? :)

I had a lot of fun putting this collection together, and I'm really pleased with how it came out.

Possibly Nefarious Purposes and Other Stories, available now in paperback:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Reprint: Precious Things in Drabbledark anthology

My creepy little story Precious Things has been reprinted in Drabbledark from Eric S Fomley (@PrinceGrimdark), available to preorder from Amazon now!

The drabble (100 words long) is a perfect form for ‘hint fiction’—the story makes a suggestion, the specifics are left up to the reader. I think it was Stephen King who said that the scariest thing in the world is a half-open door, and drabbles are a wonderful way to open that door and invite the reader inside...



Drabbledark: An Anthology of Dark Drabbles is an anthology of drabbles, stories of exactly 100 words in length. Within these pages are 101 tales of dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction from 87 new and veteran voices of speculative fiction. This anthology combines both original fiction and reprints, with a majority of original fiction, celebrating the power of micro flash fiction in the form of dark plots and themes.

To be released on 20th July. Available for preorder now!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reprint: Gifted at Dark Fire Fiction

My SF/Horror story 'Gifted' has been reprinted by the fine folks at Dark Fire Fiction and is now free to read online here!

As they always say, 'Be careful what you wish for...'


GIFTED by Michelle Ann King - 3,744 words

Francie sat cross-legged on the floor. The rough carpet scratched her legs and she shifted position.

‘Concentrate, please, Francie,’ Dr Lomax said. Concentration was a virtue. So was obedience.

Francie sat still and focused on the items in front of her: a cotton wool pad, a fifty pence piece, a yellow tennis ball and a large textbook called Gifted: Developing Extraordinary Potential in Ordinary Children by Dr Paulina Lomax. Francie had tried to read it once, to be polite, but she didn’t get very far. She liked the photos of all the brains, though.


Read the rest at Dark Fire Fiction...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Reprint: You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance at Luna Station Quarterly

Very pleased to have one of my stories reprinted in Issue 34 of the awesome Luna Station Quarterly: 'You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance'

I’d jotted that phrase down at some point, with the note great title for a story. When I came across it, the idea of the Time Pocket and its ‘gain a year/lose a year’ gamble immediately sprang into my mind as something people might pay to take a chance on (because of course, any supernatural discovery would be instantly commercialised). For most people, the stakes wouldn’t be that high—betting a year wouldn’t bankrupt them, as it were—but there are some, like Disa, where it’s effectively going all in. I’ve still never been able to make my mind up whether I would have a go or not. Would you?


You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance (SF, 1248 words)

The smiling Time Pocket receptionist showed Disa into the waiting room. It had sofas and leather recliners, a free bar where discreet white-coated staff poured tiny measures of top class spirits, and tables laid out with finger food: miniature scones and delicate cucumber sandwiches cut into crustless triangles. It evoked a sense of separateness, of floating in a stream cut off from the rest of the world. A kind of civilised timelessness. Which was, Disa supposed, the point.

Read the rest at Luna Station Quarterly!

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW:

1. You Don't Want What I Get (Horror - 1,197 words) came out in The Siren's Call ezine, Feb 2018

2. No Past, No Future, Just Now was reprinted at Literally Stories, Mar 2018

3. You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance was reprinted in Issue 34 of Luna Station Quarterly 

4. Possibly Nefarious Purposes (story collection - 55,000 words) came out in ebook at:







FORTHCOMING:

1. Precious Things (Horror - 100 words) will be reprinted in the anthology Drabbledark, 2018

2. God State (SF - 1,299 words) will be reprinted in the anthology Sins & Other Worlds, 2018

3. Gifted (Horror - 3,744 words) will be reprinted in Dark Fire Fiction, 2018



Thursday, May 24, 2018

New Short Story Collection! 'Possibly Nefarious Purposes and Other Stories' Available Now!

Very thrilled to say my second short story collection, Possibly Nefarious Purposes and Other Stories is available in ebook now!



Come for Christmas dinner at the house of a little girl with very particular interests; let the residents of an old folks’ home show you how to save the world with self-hypnosis; celebrate (or mourn) the death of a supervillain; consult with Clarity, who can tell you why things happen as they do (if you really want to know); and learn how to score points for decapitation in a never-ending game of life and death.

Featuring all of the above plus protective aliens, bickering ghosts, gangster vampires, robot ninjas, and floods of man-eating hamsters, the second collection of stories from the wicked imagination of Michelle Ann King will horrify, amuse, and chill you in turn. 

“Don’t get upset. You know that’s a bad idea. It only leads to severed limbs and evisceration.” 

Available now at:



Paperback coming soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stories available at Curious Fictions

I've recently joined Curious Fictions, a place where you can subscribe to me to support my work and read my stories. Visit my author page at http://curiousfictions.com/authors/113-michelle-ann-king to check it out and subscribe!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Forthcoming Anthology: Drabbledark

I love drabbles (stories of exactly 100 words): so easy to read, so hard to write 😀

Editor Eric Fomley is putting together an anthology of dark SF, fantasy, & horror drabbles that looks awesome (and will feature my story 'Precious Things'). Check out the kickstarter!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reprint at Literally Stories - No Past, No Future, Just Now

My sad, pre-apocalyptic story No Past, No Future, Just Now was reprinted at Literally Stories, a site with some marvellous stories and great reader interaction.


This story came about because I started thinking about who survives the end of the world. With a specific enemy—zombies, invasions—it's going to be people good at fighting. With a plague, it’ll likely be the fit and healthy. But what if it’s a different kind of problem?


No Past, No Future, Just Now (1,661 words)

I’m pretty sure I treated most of my doctors rather badly. I don’t feel good about that, but it’s too late to apologise now. Ellis, though. Ellis I liked. The others were all about tests and pills and forms and charts, but they never once looked me in the eye. Ellis was the only one who talked to me like I was still a person rather than just a malfunctioning brain. 

Read the full story at Literally Stories now

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

COMING SOON!


COMING SOON!



POSSIBLY NEFARIOUS PURPOSES AND OTHER STORIES
BY
MICHELLE ANN KING

Come for Christmas dinner at the house of a little girl with very particular interests; let the residents of an old folks’ home show you how to save the world with self-hypnosis; celebrate (or mourn) the death of a supervillain; consult with Clarity, who can tell you why things happen as they do (if you really want to know); and learn how to score points for decapitation in a never-ending game of life and death.

Featuring all of the above plus protective aliens, bickering ghosts, gangster vampires, robot ninjas, and floods of man-eating hamsters, the second collection of stories from the wicked imagination of Michelle Ann King will horrify, amuse, and chill you in turn.

“Don’t get upset. You know that’s a bad idea. It only leads to severed limbs and evisceration.” 
— Amy, ‘Possibly Nefarious Purposes’

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New audio story at Tales to Terry - Not With a Bang

My apocalyptic SF story Not With a Bang (SF - 1,275 words) came out in audio at the wonderful podcast Tales to Terrify...

'She logs back in and the console lights up immediately. She clears her throat. ‘Thank you for calling the Central Health Advice Line, my name is Elizabeth, can you please tell me your primary symptoms?’

Listen to the story at Tales to Terrify now!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Reprint in The Sirens Call issue 37 (Women in Horror Month) - You Don't Want What I Get

The latest issue of The Sirens Call magazine (Women in Horror month) is out now, featuring my 1,197-word 'don't underestimate a female gangster' story You Don't Want What I Get

The others don’t like me. Partly because I’m a girl and partly because I don’t like them either, but mostly because I’m treated differently. When they go up to collect their cut I stay where I am, sitting on the table. Smoking. They don’t like that either, some of them. Bunch of tough guys, worried about lung cancer. Crazy.

Read the rest in The Sirens Call now!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW:

1. Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings (Horror, 3786 words) came out in audio at Tales to Terrify

2. Behind Glass (Horror, 2,181 words) was reprinted in The Sirens Call Ezine

3. The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should (Horror, 2,443) was reprinted in The Misbehaving Dead anthology from A Murder of Storytellers


FORTHCOMING:
1. You Don't Want What I Get (Horror, 1,197 words) will be reprinted in The Sirens Call Ezine, Feb 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Reprint in The Misbehaving Dead - The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should

One of my absolutely favourite things about selling to anthologies is getting the contributor's copy -- and I'm loving this one!




The Misbehaving Dead from A Murder of Storytellers features a feast of marvellous zombie stories, including my 'The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should', in which zombies are a commodity to be used, rather than a monster to be feared.



The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should - Horror - 2,460 words 

Yes, it was morally ambiguous. Potentially blasphemous, depending on your religious affiliation (although what was Lazarus, really, if not a zombie?) and, of course, highly illegal. But since when had any of that stopped anybody? Lucy wasn’t some kind of anarchist—she believed in the need for rules and principles as much as the next civilised person. But it was her dad. What was she supposed to do? It all looked very different when someone you loved was at stake.

Read the rest in The Misbehaving Dead 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Reprint in The Sirens Call Ezine - Behind Glass

Thrilled to be part of this creepy zombie issue with my story 'Behind Glass'!


Behind Glass  - Horror - 2,181 words

At lunchtime, after four hours of achieving absolutely nothing, Tom decides to pack it in and go home. It’s the firm’s own fault, anyway. Old McKay makes such a fuss over sick time that everyone always crawls into the office no matter what’s wrong with them. And then, what with the dodgy air con recycling all the germs, everyone else immediately goes down with it.

 Today, the place looks like a ghost town. Even McKay himself hasn’t shown up, and if that isn’t a sign of the apocalypse Tom doesn’t know what is. 


Read the rest in The Sirens Call issue 36,

Friday, December 8, 2017

Latest Story News!

Out now

1. Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors (Fantasy, 2,592 words) - was published in Metaphorisis Magazine

2. Never Leave Me (Fantasy, 1,281 words) came out in audio at Far Fetched Fables

3. 15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes (SF, 520 words) came out at Daily Science Fiction 

4. Where There's Magic (Fantasy, 6,980 words) came out in audio at Far Fetched Fables.

5. Failure's Not an Option (Horror, 1,997 words) came out in Bourbon Penn issue 14

6. The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should (Horror, 2,460 words) was reprinted in The Misbehaving Dead from A Murder of Storytellers


Forthcoming

1. Not With a Bang (SF, 1,275 words) will come out in audio at Tales to Terrify

2. Dead Bodies Don't Scream (Horror, 4,032 words) will come out in Tales from the Lake Volume 5, from Crystal Lake Publishing

3. Behind Glass (Horror, 2,127 words) will be reprinted in The Sirens Call eZine.  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

New story at Bourbon Penn - Failure's Not an Option

Very pleased to announce I have a new story out now in the latest issue of the marvellous magazine Bourbon Penn.

 'Failure's Not an Option' is probably best described as a dark workplace comedy, and I suspect anyone who's ever been faced with an impossible-to-meet target might feel a tiny twinge of sympathy :)

Failure's Not an Option - Horror/Comedy - 1,997 words

It’s the first of the month and we’re ready to crack on. Our target’s only gone up by five percent, so we’re not panicking. It’s fine. We can do that.

Read the full story at Bourbon Penn

Also available in kindle or print form at Amazon UK / Amazon US



Bourbon Penn's devotion to visionary storytelling continues with issue #14: nonhuman species pursuing questionable agendas provoke two minimum-wage workers into doubting their own humanity … a small town fraught with economic despair, where mothers mysteriously die, drives boyhood pals into an emotional quest for meaning through building their own fortress … a college janitor seeks redemption through confrontation with parallel selves … corporate co-workers take hyper-efficiency into a new brutalism where failure is not an option … a wandering girl and her intended rescuer might've simply run away, or do they wait in cold river mud to reunite with the anguished living? For connoisseurs of the liminal whose appetites exceed the offerings of traditional speculative fiction, follow these explorers of existence into landscapes emotional and mysterious … return with artifacts stranger than love, but hauntingly intimate.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New podcast - Where There's Magic at Far Fetched Fables

Where's There's Magic, my fantasy about sassy witches, doomed lovers, and evil twins (originally published at Kaleidotrope, April 2016) has is now available in audio at Far Fetched Fables,

Magic! Betrayal! Blood-drinking cats! What's not to love? Listen to the story here, narrated by Nikolle Doolin.


Where There's Magic - 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 original at Kaleidotrope or listen to the audio at Far Fetched Fables

Saturday, July 15, 2017

New Story at Daily Science Fiction - 15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes


My SF story '15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes' came out this week at Daily Science Fiction, and is free to read on their website here.

I love list stories because so much is told between the lines — each statement needs to carry a lot of backstory and worldbuilding, which is fun to work out. I also love aftermath stories, where it's not about the big events so much as the 'what do we do now?' that comes when it's all over. Sometimes, in the case of a successful invasion, the answer to that question might have to be 'exactly what we're told.'

15 Things You Should Know Before You Say Yes - SF - 520 words

1. Technically, you don’t have to. The Special Ambassador programme is for people who can embrace the future in a spirit of friendship and harmony, and our Allies do realise not everyone is ready to do that yet. So they’ll understand if you say no, although it will upset them. 
 2. You don’t want to upset them. 

Read the rest at Daily Science Fiction

Sunday, June 18, 2017

New story at Metaphorosis - Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors

My comic fantasy Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors is free to read in the June issue of  Metaphorosis Magazine!

Like Harry in the story, I also once read a piece about the 'what happens after you die is what you believe' theory, and decided it could create a different, and interesting kind of apocalypse. I LOVE end-of-the-world stories, but so often the characters who fix it are soldiers, scientists and superheroes — and they're almost always young, fit and gorgeous. I thought it might also be different, and fun, if this time it was a bunch of irreverent pensioners in an old folks' home who saved the world. Plus, I couldn't resist the idea of killing off someone in a tidal wave of hamsters. I think that might be my favourite fictional death yet.

Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors - Fantasy - 2,592 words

‘That’s the worst thing about the end of the world,’ Elsie said, staring mournfully into a teacup that had long ago been licked clean of every last drop of Tetleys and soggy crumb of custard cream. ‘Routines go straight out the window.’ 

Read the rest of the story at Metaphorosis Magazine now!