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!







Sunday, December 13, 2015

New story sale

Extremely pleased to announce the sale of my 2,600 word fantasy story 'Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition' to Interzone (the longest-running British SF magazine), for publication next year. Interzone's one of those dream sales - can't wait to get hold of my very own contributor's copy!

Jem used to work in London, but lost her job at the start of the last financial crisis. How she'd ended up at The Fracture was a complicated story involving a diverted flight, a gangster's mother-in-law, and twelve hours locked in the trunk of a car. Somehow, she'd managed to make it seem like a logical sequence of events.

Read more at Interzone next Spring...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Latest Story News

1. Meredith Said (Science fiction - 1,618 words) was reprinted in Spaceports & Spidersilk

2. Jeanette's Feast (Horror - 3,953 words) was reprinted at Infective Ink

3. The God of Blood and Bone (Horror - 4,315 words) was reprinted at Liquid Imagination

4. Possibly Nefarious Purposes (Science Fiction - 4,308 words) appeared in the anthology Love Hurts from Meerkat Press

5. Send in the Ninjas (Science Fiction - 3,282 words) will appear in Artemis Rising at Podcastle, Feb 2016

6. Always Room for More (Supernatural - 1,723 words) will appear at Unsung Stories, Feb 16

7. Never Leave Me (Dark fantasy - 1,281 words) will be podcasted at Far Fetched Fables

8. The Kind Hearts of Children and the Spirit of the Season (Horror - 954 words) will appear at Every Day Fiction, Dec 16

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Anthology out now!

This fabulous-looking antho from the fine folks at Fantasy Scroll -- which includes my dark fantasy 'The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling' -- is out now!




There's a family & friends discount for purchases from their own site -- Dragons, Droids & Doom: Year One -- so hit me up for the code if you fancy one!

Also available from:

Trade PaperbackAmazonBarnes & NobleAbe BooksAlibris
EbookKindleNookKoboGoogleSmashwordsScribd

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Ebook Sale!



Welcome to 99centnovember! All throughout this month, there are a whole load of great speculative books  from some brilliant authors on sale for just $0.99 / £0.99 -- including the omnibus edition of my short story collections:


Transient Tales Omnibus 1: forty-six funny, sad, and thrilling stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror — featuring dysfunctional (and sometimes demonic) families, a time-travelling reality TV show, a Halloween game with a chilling price, robot wolves, carnivorous plants, a call-centre at the end of the world, witches, doppelgangers, misanthropic psychics, immortal gang bosses, apocalyptic survivors, alien voyeurs, flesh-eating criminals, a cunningly-disguised space teleport device, zombies (some helpful, some not so much), and much, much more!

Available for just $0.99 / £0.99  from Amazon UK / Amazon US  / Smashwords  now!

Go here to check out all the other offers from Milo J Fowler, Daniel Ausema, James Garcia Jr., Anne E. Johnson, Simon Kewin, TB Markinson, Tyrean Martinson, Rhonda Parrish, and Loni Townsend. Grab a bargain!

Monday, October 26, 2015

New story at Daily Science Fiction - And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After

... or not, as the case may be.

And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After - Fantasy - 474 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 more at Daily Science Fiction

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Anthology - Dragons, Droids and Doom

Dragons, Droids and Doom, the first-year anthology from Fantasy Scroll Magazine, is out now -- including my dark fantasy story 'The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling'

I’m glad to see the cards. Hope can read anything, and likes to prove it. I’ve watched her read palms, tea leaves, biscuit crumbs, a waste bin full of used tissues and the pattern of dandruff on the shoulders of a man’s jacket. My aunt, the Psychic Dandruff Reader. 

‘What’s your question?’ Hope asks Frizzy. 

‘I want to know when I’m going to meet my future husband,’ Frizzy says. 

Hope rolls her eyes, but hands over the deck. ‘Shuffle.’ 

Frizzy does as she’s told, handling the cards like an expert. She cuts the deck and gives it back to Hope, who turns over the top card. 

‘Nineteen years,’ she says. ‘Next question?’

Read more in Dragons, Droids and Doom: a collection SF, fantasy and horror stories from authors all around the world -- available here

Monday, September 21, 2015

New story at Kzine - Smash and Grab

My SF short story 'Smash and Grab,' which is set in the world of my novel-in-progress, is out now in Kzine Issue 13 -- available at Amazon UK or US

Smash and Grab - SF - 3,037 words

'Don't give it away like that,' he said. 'People won't know you've been in their heads if you don't react, and they won't realise there's anything different about you. Which is good. You don't want to be normal, but you do want to be able to pass for it. Got it?'

Read the rest, plus seven other great stories, in Kzine #13

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Latest Story News

1. The omnibus of my short story collections is now available as an ebook: Transient Tales Omnibus 1 collects the first four volumes in the series: forty-six funny, sad, and thrilling stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror — featuring dysfunctional (and sometimes demonic) families, a time-travelling reality TV show, a Halloween game with a chilling price, robot wolves, carnivorous plants, a call-centre at the end of the world, witches, doppelgangers, misanthropic psychics, immortal gang bosses, apocalyptic survivors, alien voyeurs, flesh-eating criminals, a cunningly-disguised space teleport device, zombies (some helpful, some not so much), and much, much more!

Available from Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble now! (Paperback version in production. Watch this space...)


2.  'You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance' (SF, 1,248 words) was published in Volume 7 of the annual Bards & Sages anthology, available in ebook and print.

3. 'Congratulations on Your Apotheosis' (Fantasy, 4,028 words) was recorded for audio at Podcastle.

4. 'Not the Pizza Girl' (Fantasy, 1,000 words) was reprinted at EGM Shorts.

5. 'The Portal to a Lost World' (SF, 957 words) was reprinted at Sirens Call Magazine

6. 'One Free Go' (Horror, 2, 105 words) will be reprinted in Beyond Imagination magazine in September 2015

7. Smash and Grab (SF, 3,037 words) will be published in Kzine issue 13, available on 18th September.

8. 'Possibly Nefarious Purposes' (SF, 4,314 words) will be published in the Love Hurts anthology from Meerkat Press, October 2015

9. 'And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After' (Fantasy, 474 words) will be published at Daily Science Fiction, TBA

10. 'Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings' (Horror, 3,800 words) will be reprinted in the Idle Hands anthology from Horrifed Press, TBA

11. 'An Object Lesson in Misanthropy' (SF, 912 words) will be reprinted at EGM Shorts, TBA

12. 'The God of Blood and Bone' (Horror, 4,284) will be published at Liquid Imagination, TBA


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reprint News

Available now:

Garden of Fog and Monsters (SF, 2,088 words) in the May 2015 issue of Beyond Science Fiction

Coming Soon: 

Congratulations on Your Apotheosis (Comic fantasy, 4,028 words) in audio at Podcastle

Not the Pizza Girl (Comic Fantasy, 1,000 words) at EGM Shorts

The Fine Art of Fortune Telling (Dark fantasy, 3,966 words) in Eldritch Embraces from Dragon's Roost Press

Friday, January 30, 2015

New story at SQ Magazine - The Visitors

My SF flash 'The Visitors' is out now in the January issue of the wonderful SQ Magazine!


The Visitors - SF - 760 words


Nothing was normal, not any more. The word was redundant, obsolete, anachronistic. Normal had taken one look at the visitors and given up.

Read the rest, plus more stories and reviews, at SQ Magazine issue 18

Monday, January 12, 2015

New story at Daily Science Fiction - Wrong Word

My SF flash 'Wrong Word' is free to read at one of my favourite venues, Daily Science Fiction. This piece was inspired by a part of Richard Adams' Watership Down that creeped me out when I first read it over forty years ago (eep!) and has stayed with me ever since. That book is SO not a kids' story.

And it's also just occurred to me that this could be read as a sequel to my earlier DSF story Jump and I'll Catch You  even though it was actually written first. The subconscious is a wonderful thing.

Wrong Word - SF - 818 words

Alliance, that was what you were supposed to call it. Not invasion. Alliance. We're all friends here.

Read the story at Daily Science Fiction.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New collection available - Transient Tales Volume 4

My latest short story collection is now available! I'm currently putting together an omnibus version of the first four volumes, which will run to about 80k words. Then I'll be learning how to produce a paperback version too! As Dean Wesley Smith says, you have to love this new world of publishing :)



Available now at Amazon UK / Amazon US / Smashwords / Kobo

The fourth in the Transient Tales series collects 11 short stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror, totalling 20,000 words and ranging from light to dark and all shades in-between. 

Volume 4 features a life coach to the Gods, a ghost-disposal expert, a time gambler, a singing slug, a cunningly-disguised space teleport device, a girl who can eat anything, an inter-dimensional auction, a suburban demon infestation, a Garden of Eden where everyone can be God, a long-suffering Memory Transfer Manager, and a life-saving zombie.

Congratulations on Your Apotheosis: Being an all-powerful superbeing might be better than working retail, but Sharon’s still bored. All she wants is an arch-enemy, so that they can fight an epic, eternal battle across space and time. Is that so much to ask?

The Visiphorical Art: All of life is art and no one wants to die. Not even the ghosts.

You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance: Some people (and insurance companies) think going into the Time Pocket is reckless, but maybe it’s worth the risk.

Black Thumb: Debra thinks there’s nothing for a slug to feed on, in her blighted garden. She’s wrong. 

Out Shopping in Hyperspace: It seems like Mia’s the only one who recognises her father’s genius. But she’s not giving up.

Jeanette's Feast: Gavin’s heard that cockroaches can survive anything. Maybe even his family.

Free to Loving Home (Donation Required): Interdimensional travel can be time-consuming, physically debilitating and sometimes illegal, but the auctions at the Hugh Everett Rehoming Centre always make it worthwhile.

Not the Pizza Girl: In the battle of man’s stomach versus his immortal soul, the stomach wins every time.

Garden of Fog and Monsters: They pitch it to the volunteers as a contest that can be won, but there’s no such thing as a free paradise.

Re: Corrections to Consciousness Module 14 (Memories: Age 41-60): Upgrade Ltd, and it’s Memory Transfer Managers, are very committed to making sure customer complaints are resolved, whatever it takes.

The World Doesn't End, Even When it Should: Since the government won’t make zombies available on the NHS, Lucy will have to make her own arrangements. 

Transient Tales Volume 4 is available now at Amazon UK / Amazon US / Smashwords / Kobo

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New story at Unsung Stories - Born Under a Lucky Star

My short dark fantasy 'Born Under a Lucky Star' is free to read now at Unsung Stories.

'You know what they're like, these two. When does anything bad ever happen? Born under a lucky star, the pair of them. Hell, the whole family was.'

Read more at unsungstories.co.uk 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Coming soon!


Coming soon, to all good ebook retailers!

The fourth in the Transient Tales series features an omnipotent facilitator in search of a nemesis, a ghost-disposal expert, a time gambler, a singing slug, a cunningly-disguised space teleport device, a pet cockroach, an interdimensional auction, an accidental demon infestation, a Garden of Eden where everyone can be God, a fed-up Memory Transfer Manager, and a purring zombie...


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Creepy Freebies!


Creepy Freebies is go! 



Courtesy of the wonderful Milo James Fowler, it's time for our annual Halloween Giveaway! My spooky treat this year is a copy of the third volume of my Transient Tales collections -- available in all e-book formats from Smashwords, free with the discount code SW82Z


Transient Tales 3 includes 12 stories of SF, fantasy and horror, featuring demonic spiders, robot wolves, witches, doppelgangers, carnivorous plants, reclusive psychics, immortal gang bosses, apocalyptic survivors, alien voyeurs, flesh-eating criminals, clairvoyants, and God.

Get your free copy here, using code SW82Z!

Then check out the rest of the wonderful spooky treats on offer from:


Happy Halloween! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

New story at Chrome Baby - Waiting to Burn

I have a fantasy flash piece, Waiting to Burn, out at Chrome Baby today. I love the illustrative photo they used - totally perfect.  Getting artwork to go with stories is one of my absolute favourite things.

Waiting to Burn - fantasy - 700 words

'Fire's the most natural thing in the world,' she said. 'Or, if you want to get mythical, the gift of the gods.'

Free to read at Chrome Baby now

Friday, July 25, 2014

New story at Daily Science Fiction: Jump, and I'll Catch You

My near-future SF story, 'Jump, and I'll Catch You', inspired partly by an abiding love of alien invasion stories and unreliable narrators, partly by a novel about the Tudors and partly by the Mad Cow Disease scare of the nineties, is out today at Daily Science Fiction.

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.

Read the rest at Daily Science Fiction today!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Star Quake 2

Very pleased to repot that my ghost story 'The Visiphorical Art' has been selected for the Star Quake 2, the second 'Best of' anthology from SQ Magazine. The first one looks great, so looking forward to this coming out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Latest story news

New story in Fantasy Scroll Magazine

My dark fantasy story 'The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling' which originally appeared in the Orbital Hearts anthology, has been reprinted in the wonderful Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and is now free to read here, alongside an excellent crop of 13 other stories, from the likes of Mike Resnick and Ferrett Steinmetz.

Having your name on the cover? NEVER gets old :)

The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling - Dark fantasy - 3,966 words
It clearly isn’t considered decent to try to duck out of your own mother’s memorial ceremony, especially in favour of a trip to Pizza Express. Even Alan’s tolerance has some limits. In my husband’s world, when your parents die you mark the occasion appropriately. And since I like his world and want to carry on living in it, that’s what I’ve agreed to do.


Reviews

My Strange Horizons story, 'Tomorrow, We'll Go Yak Herding' picked up a couple of nice reviews! Lois Tilton of Locus said: 'At it's heart, a story of comfort between friends' -- which is pretty much exactly spot on (my personal theme when writing this was 'Keep Calm And Phone Your Mates').  And Tangent gave it a Recommended, which was a great thrill.

It's always a bit nerve-wracking when a story goes out, and a massive relief to know that somebody likes it :)


Forthcoming stories

My SF story 'Jump, and I'll Catch You' will be published at Daily Science Fiction on Friday 25th July. You can subscribe to get the stories delivered by email, or read them at the website. This is one of my favourite stories, and I'm thrilled it found such a good home!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New story at Strange Horizons - Tomorrow, We'll Go Yak Herding

Story day! My Weird Apocalypse story 'Tomorrow, We'll Go Yak Herding' is available to read now at Strange Horizons.

There is also a fabulous podcast of the story, read by Anaea Lay. She has the most gorgeous voice and it's wonderful to listen to--although strange to hear my Essex Girl dialogue said in an American accent!

Go listen and comment: Strange Horizons have a free download code for the audiobook of John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey's apocalyptic anthology 'The End is Nigh'  available as a prize. A comment or post could win you 15 hours of free fiction!


Tomorrow, We'll Go Yak Herding - Science Fiction - 2,500 words

'Scientific study of the displacements is a new and mostly untested field. For at least the first few weeks, it was all written off as practical jokes, mistakes or overactive imaginations. It wasn't until Buckingham Palace became a theme park that it started to be taken seriously.'

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New story in Black Treacle - Black Thumb

My lonely-housewife-meets-space-slug story 'Black Thumb' is now available in Black Treacle Issue #6 - free to read in epub/Kindle formats from Smashwords here

Black Thumb - Horror - 2,735 words
It takes Debra a while to realise the phone is ringing. She's finding it harder and harder to hear anything other than the song, now. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New collection available - Transient Tales Volume 3

My third short story collection, Transient Tales Volume 3, is now available!

Volume 4 is scheduled for November 2014, to be followed by an omnibus edition of volumes 1-4, which will also be available in paperback.

I love publishing. At some point, I want to start putting together anthologies of others' works as well as my own collections -- I think that would be great fun. I want an Editor's hat, too :)


Available now at Amazon UK / Amazon US / Smashwords / Kobo

The third in the Transient Tales series collects 12 short stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror, totalling 20,000 words and ranging from light to dark and all shades in-between.

Volume 3 features demonic spiders, robot wolves, witches, doppelgangers, carnivorous plants, reclusive psychics, immortal gang bosses, apocalyptic survivors, alien voyeurs, flesh-eating criminals, clairvoyants, and God.

Sweetie: Sweetie's changed, since the days of the travelling carnival. But she still knows how to teach an audience respect. 

Wolf, or Faith in the Future: Language evolves just like everything else. There are different words, in the future. And a different definition of horror.

Never Leave Me: Katrine knows her story is supposed to end with happily ever after. But what happens after that?

The Portal to a Lost World: The phone call comes every year. 'Where are you?' Tollie asks, but she never gets an answer. She hopes she never will.

Seeing Red: Even though they're not living on Earth any more, Halden's family are still human—still the same people they ever were. Unfortunately for him. 

An Object Lesson in Misanthropy: Zoe's never been able to work out what nice guy Bill sees in her bitter, reclusive mother. Today, she's going to find out.

Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings: A lot of problems can be solved with a gun. But not all.

No Past, No Future, Just Now: The world might have suddenly become a strange and confusing place for everyone else, but Louisa's used to it. She knows what to do.

Game Over: Adrian's sick of providing free entertainment for the passengers in his head. He's not going to carry on performing unless he gets something in return. 

You Don't Want What I Get: Richie suspects he's being cut out of a sweet deal, and he's not happy about that. He wants his fair share, and he's going to get it. 

There You Are, My Love: If Marcus sees enough clairvoyants, will one of them eventually channel his father's spirit? And is that what he really wants?

For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times: Katie gets worried when her best friend says she's found God—especially when she realises Lia means that literally.

Transient Tales Volume 3 is available now at Amazon UK / Amazon US / Smashwords / Kobo