Friday, August 14, 2020

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW

The Five Stages of Grief (Fantasy) was made free to read online at the Intergalactic Medicine Show

The Bad Ones Are Always the Best (Horror) was published in Issue 27 of Kzine


FORTHCOMING:

The God of Blood and Bone (Horror) will be reprinted in Terror Tract

Supply, Demand, and Armageddon (Fantasy) will be published in Rogue Star Stories issue 1

You Don't Want What I Get (Horror) will be reprinted in the anthology Greed by Black Hare Press

Thursday, June 11, 2020

New story in Kzine - The Bad Ones Are Always the Best

Issue 27 of Kzine, a wonderful British genre mag featuring SF, fantasy, horror, crime, and mixtures thereof, is out now - including my homicidal-grandpa story The Bad Ones Are Always the Best. Who says sociopathy is a game for the young, right?


The Bad Ones Are Always the Best - horror - 2,500 words

Marty’s grandson takes the cup of tea he’s offered — without saying thank you, mind — and stares at it dubiously, as if he doesn’t know what it is. Marty wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t; kids all seem to be brought up on vitamin water and kale juice, these days.

 ‘Drink up,’ he says, nodding encouragingly. Marty’s cuppas are the real thing: brewed until they’re the colour of brick dust and made with full-fat milk, four sugars and a thimble of whisky. ‘It’ll put hairs on your chest.’ Gary — no, Garrett; Marty’s been corrected on that point at least twice already — doesn’t seem impressed by the thought. No doubt he’d just have to wax them off afterwards, because God forbid he should spoil any of the smooth surfaces and rounded corners. The kid looks like he’s been popped out of some kind of designer mould, all rough edges pre-sanded off. Model no. 87: Corporate Tax Consultant.

Read the rest at Kzine now!


Friday, May 15, 2020

Free to read - The Five Stages of Grief at The Intergalactic Medicine Show

My superhero story The Five Stages of Grief was published in issue 55 of The Intergalactic Medicine Show back in Feb 2017. Since the magazine has subsequently made their back issues available online, the story is now free to read here!

I’ve always thought the superhero/nemesis relationship is a fascinating one, and probably more complex than it’s sometimes presented. If you’re defined by being the opposite of someone else, who are you without them?

The Five Stages of Grief - Fantasy - 2,174 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. But it’s coming from multiple sources, including some usually reliable ones, with witness reports and footage of what does actually look very much like a body. Her body.

Read the rest at IGMS online

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Latest Story News!

Forthcoming:

Always Room for More (supernatural, 1,723 words) will be reprinted in the LTUE benefit anthology Twilight Tales from Hemelein Publications, 2020

Ghosts in the Psycho-Surgical Transmutation Machine (SF, 4,700 words) will be published in Bourbon Penn, 2020


Out Now:

Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings (crime/horror, 3,775 words) was reprinted in the debut issue of The Macabre Museum, Nov 2019

Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition (fantasy, 2,600 words) came out in audio at Drabblecast, Oct 2019


Saturday, December 7, 2019

New podcast - Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition at Drabblecast

Bit of a late update, but my fantasy story Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition was podcast by the wonderful folks at Drabblecast. Inspiration for this story came from the finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when the town of Sunnydale gets [!Spoiler Alert!] destroyed and turned into a giant crater. I often wondered what happened to it afterwards, and came to the conclusion that some enterprising soul would undoubtedly have turned it into a tourist attraction.

Take a listen to the story here.


Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition - Contemporary Fantasy - 2,600 words - originally published at Interzone, March 2016

Damita managed The Fracture’s visitor centre and gift shop, while Jem took the guided tours. There was also a cafe, which always had fresh coffee and an inventive selection of hot sandwiches, although Damita had never met anyone who worked in the kitchens.

‘They’re all very industrious, just highly introverted,’ Jem said. ‘You should go and get one of today’s specials — Cajun pheasant and fried pickles on a toasted sesame seed bagel. Marvellous.’

‘Sounds a little rich for breakfast,’ Damita said. ‘Maybe later.’

A stock delivery had arrived in the night, and she was working her way through the boxes. They contained fridge magnets, earplugs, bandages with pictures of cacti on them, and snowglobes. Damita picked one up and shook it. Black glitter fell on a scale model of the visitor centre, and lightning flashed.

‘Food is important,’ Jem said. ‘Blood sugar should be kept within optimum parameters to ensure emotional stability. It says so in the Employee Handbook.’

Listen to the full story at Drabblecast 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Reprint - Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings in The Macabre Museum

Out now: Vol 1, Issue 1 of The Macabre Museum - The debut issue of indie horror lit's newest journal! From the genre's freshest (and most disturbed) minds come 10 dark tales, 12 twisted poems, and 3 pieces of demented art... including my paranormal crime story Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings.

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 is a kind of horror take on Groundhog Day, without the possibility of the escape-through-self-improvement ending. It’s no wonder she’s 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 - 3,775 words 

Dom doesn’t lose his temper as easily as his brother, so normally he’s the one who deals with it when shit goes pear-shaped. But shit has been going pear-shaped a lot lately, and by the time Dom gets to the warehouse Marc is already in full swing. Literally—he’s gone after poor Jimmy with a nine iron. 

Dom picks his way across the warehouse floor, cursing under his breath. His shoes are new, and it’s a fuck of a thing to get blood out of tan leather. He puts both hands up, palms out. ‘Marc. Take it easy.’ 

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.

Read the full story in Issue 1 of The Macabre Museum !

Monday, September 16, 2019

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW:

Garden of Fog and Monsters (SF, 2,089 words) was reprinted in First Contact from Indie Authors Press, Apr 19

Sometimes You’re the Windscreen, Sometimes You’re the Fly (Fantasy, 877 words) was published in audio at Toasted Cake, May 2019

For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times (Fantasy, 3,210 words) was published in audio at The Overcast, Aug 19


FORTHCOMING:

Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings (Horror/Crime, 3,775 words) will be reprinted in issue 1 of The Macabre Museum, 2019

Let the Buyer Beware (Fantasy, 4,700 words) will be published at Kaleidotrope, 2021

Possibly Nefarious Purposes will be reprinted at Strange Constellations, 2019/2020

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

New podcast - 'For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times' at The Overcast

The podcast of my fantasy story 'For Your Safety and Comfort, Please Keep Arms, Legs and Tentacles Inside the Car At All Times' is now live at The Overcast!

One of my favourite stories, and definitely one of my favourite titles, this was written for Penumbra Magazine’s ‘Utopia’ issue, and reflects my belief that you don’t have to scratch a utopia very deeply to find a dystopia underneath.


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.’


 Listen to the story at The Overcast now!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

New Reprint: Garden of Fog and Monsters in First Contact

I have a reprint in First Contact: A Science Fiction Anthology from Indie Authors Press, out now in ebook and paperback.

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.

They created a whole new branch of physics to make sense of it, but everybody was way more interested in the practical applications than the theorems. Rolling green hills and crystal blue lakes? You got it. A skyscraper fifteen miles high? You got it. Furry purple dinosaurs? You got it. In this garden, everybody’s God.

Read the rest of the story in First Contact

Saturday, June 1, 2019

New Podcast! Sometimes You’re the Windscreen, Sometimes You’re the Fly at Toasted Cake

Sometimes You’re the Windscreen, Sometimes You’re the Fly (Fantasy, 877 words) has been published in audio at the marvellous Toasted Cake.

Life -- especially a very long one -- is nothing but a game...

Listen to the story here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Latest Story News!

OUT NOW:

Wolf, or Faith in the Future (SF, 621 words) was podcasted at Manawaker Studio

In the Fog, There's Nothing but Grey (Horror, 1,437 words) was published in Black Static Issue 67

God State (SF, 1,299 words) was reprinted in Sins and Other Worlds edited by Eric S Fomley

FORTHCOMING:

Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition (Fantasy, 2,600 words) will be podcasted at Drabblecast, 2019





Saturday, February 9, 2019

Reprint - God State in Sins and Other Worlds


Sins and Other Worlds is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 30 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.

Includes my story God State (1,299 words) Originally published in 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. Is the past better than the present? Maybe. Maybe not.

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 they call that shade ‘Spectral Indigo,’ and ever since then it’s given me a slight case of the creeps. 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 they call that shade ‘Spectral Indigo,’ and ever since then it’s given me a slight case of the creeps. 

Read the rest in Sins and Other Worlds, available in ebook now.

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!