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!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Latest Story News!


Out Now:

1. Harmonious Music and the Spawn of the Devil (Crime, 500 words) was published in Crooked Holster: Treachery

2. Responsible Employers Take Care of Their People (Horror, 1,467 words) was published in Dark Moon Digest Issue 26

3. Waiting to Burn (Fantasy, 700 words) was reprinted in Spirit's Tincture Issue #2

4. When I Loved Him, it was Forever (Horror, 388 words) was published in Fifty Flashes from Whortleberry Press

5. The Five Stages of Grief (Superhero Fantasy, 2,172 words) was published in InterGalactic Medicine Show Issue 55

6. For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times (Fantasy, 3,210 words) was reprinted in the March 2017 issue of Strange Constellations.


Forthcoming:

1. Of Course You Think He's a Monster (Horror, 2,241 words) will be published in the Spectral Book of Horror Volume 5, from Tickety Boo Press.

2. Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors (Fantasy, 2,592 words) will be published at Metaphorosis

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

4. Failure's Not an Option (Horror, 1,992 words) will be published at Bourbon Penn

5. Never Leave Me (Fantasy, 1,281 words) will be podcasted at Far Fetched Fables, 7 Jun 3017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Story at Strange Constellations -

The March issue of Strange Constellations is out now, including a reprint of my story For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times (definitely one of my favourite titles!). You can read it for free here

This is a story about finding God. Not in the usual sense of undergoing a religious conversion, but literally discovering the omnipotent creator of the universe. During a house clearance in Balham.

For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times  - Fantasy - 3,215 words

'God,' Katie said. 'Actual, biblical God.' 
'I know. But it's amazing what you can find tucked away in these places, sometimes. And that old lady was one hell of a hoarder. I wouldn't exactly say biblical, though―we're not talking about the old man in the flowing robes and long white beard. It's more of a... well, a...' she trailed off.
'A trickster coyote? A shower of gold? Alanis Morisette?'
'No, no,' Lia said. 'Nothing like that. It's more like... okay, remember my Great Aunt Doris, the one with all the tea cosies? Try to imagine a cross between her, that security guard who arrested us for shoplifting eyebrow pencils out of Superdrug when we were kids, and the Grand Canyon.'
Katie dutifully tried to imagine this. She failed. 


Read the rest of the story at Strange Constellations 

Monday, February 20, 2017

New story at InterGalactic Medicine Show - The Five Stages of Grief

My superhero fantasy story 'The Five Stages of Grief' is out now in Issue 55 of the InterGalactic Medicine Show!

I've always thought the superhero/nemesis relationship is a fascinating one, and I suspect it would probably be a lot more complex than it's sometimes presented. If you're defined by being the opposite of someone else, who are you when they're gone?


The Five Stages of Grief - Superhero Fantasy, 2,172 words

The news breaks at half past ten in the morning. At first I just snort and dismiss it, because faking her own death is exactly the kind of thing she does all the time. 

 Published in InterGalactic Medicine Show Issue 55, Feb 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New story in Dark Moon Digest - Responsible Employers Take Care of Their People

My workplace-horror story 'Responsible Employers Take Care of Their People' is out now in Dark Moon Digest issue 26 from Perpetual Motion Machine!


I love horror set in mundane, everyday scenarios, with characters who take it all very much in their stride. Dr Harper, in this story, is a classic example -- someone for whom it is, literally, just part of the job...

Responsible Employers Take Care of Their People - 1,467 words - horror 
‘I’m Dr Harper,’ she says, holding out her hand and offering him a professional smile. He ignores both and spits on the office floor, missing her shoe by an inch. Good start.

Read the rest of the story in Dark Moon Digest Issue 26 at Amazon US or Amazon UK

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