___WORDS FROM ME_____________________________________

mad scientist journal, spring 2014 ebook

Anyone who's been reading this blog -- which I reckon amounts to two guys in the Australian Outback and a mule somewhere in the deep forests of Montana -- might remember I had a short story called "We Shall Make Monsters" up on the Mad Scientist Journal site earlier this year. You can still read that tale, completely free of charge, by clicking here.

But if you'd rather read the piece on your trusty e-reader, along with the other tales that appeared in spring of this year, then you can buy for very little money a copy from Smashwords here. Or by going to Amazon.co.uk here. In a few weeks' time, the tale should blow through onto the Kobo store. I'll put in a direct link when it's appropriate.

Jeremy Zimmerman and Dawn Vogel have done the editing and compiling. Big cheer for them and raise your glass in their honour.

dr aljimati, professor of the forlorn sky

The good folks over at Bad Dream Entertainment have been kind enough to publish one of my short stories. Editor in-chief Brett Reistroffer (here's one of his short stories) went the extra mile in helping out with a good edit. (I didn't know, for instance, that the plural of ballast is ballasts. You learn something new every day. Brett caught my mistake - among other bits and pieces that needed a twiddle - thus helping to make me look better, and there's nothing finer that an editor can do for you than to make you look sweeter and smarter. Thanks, Brett!) The story's all the better for his guiding hand.

Anyway, my short story is called "Dr Aljimati, Professor of the Forlorn Sky," and here're the opening paragraphs.

I’m near the barrier before La Vite comes in. I’m here early. The crowds will arrive later. They will gasp and sigh at the lines of the rail network’s answer to supersonic passenger flights.
Beside me is a dusky coloured man in a tired suit that doesn’t quite fit. It’s worn to a shine at the elbows and knees, mottled across the shoulders with what I imagine is chalk-dust rather than an excess of dandruff. Through professional necessity I’ve become something of a people watcher, and I take this gentleman’s measure from the edge of my eye, fielding more direct glances as I pretend to look around the station concourse. If he notices me watching him, he doesn’t appear to care.

You can carry on reading by clicking here.

I hope you do, and I hope you like it.

questions and answers

I have a tale due for publication on (or is that in? I'm never entirely sure) NewMyths.com come September. It's a piece called "This Land of Shadow", a sort of fantasy piece. In the meantime I was asked to answer some questions, and those answers have been uploaded to the net.

You can read what I said here.

Also, as if that wasn't enough for you, there's a picture with Millie dog in it too. So come on, how can you refuse to click on the link?

the mourning worm

New from Firbolg Publishing, available in handsome hard- and soft-cover editions as well as in Kindle ebook format, is an interesting anthology with the natural world and the dangers of eco collapse at its heart.

Enter at your own Risk: The End is the Beginning is edited by Dr Alex Scully and contains reprint tales by some of the great luminaries of fantastic fiction, such as Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mary Shelley. As well as pieces from the greats, there is newer work as well, from the likes of Norman Partridge, Gary A Braunbeck, Gene O’Neill, Lawrence Santori and even newer work from others – all or any of whom may, at some future date, be regarded as masters of the genre too. Holly Newstein provides an introduction. 
But because there’s always something to spoil what could amount to perfection, I have a tale in there as well. Hey, you can’t have everything. My piece is called “The Mourning Worm”.

It starts like this:

Suzanne and I drove from the city on a Friday afternoon to arrive at my old friend Benjamin’s house, which he shared with his young wife Robyn, deep in the Wiltshire countryside.
Willowhart was an old cottage. Hundreds of years scored its piebald walls and its roof sagged in repose like an elderly cat enjoying the sun. It was recently renovated, though from external appearances you wouldn’t have credited the place with the modern luxuries we’ve grown used to in our Corbusier Habitats. It looked rundown, unloved even, which could not have been farther from the truth.
Our get-together was much anticipated, easily worth the rigmarole of the official barriers we had to cross to make it happen. Spending time amidst lush forests that might have favoured one of my fantasy novels was an enchanting bonus.
It was only when we were safely in bed that night, as dull chimes from the distant church bells rolled across the woodland, that Suzanne raised her concerns.

If you’re so minded, you can read the rest by buying a paperback copy in the UK here, or a Kindle ebook edition here. In the States, the paperback’s available here, while you can get the Kindle version here.

Gregory L Norris, who provides a tale called “Every Seven Years, Give or Take”, has his own blog, and he’s got a few of us (mostly the still living contributors) to offer up a few titbits of information about the stories we’ve written, background info, that kind of thing. If you so fancy, you can read that here.

If you want to read up on the thoughts of some of the writers behind some of the tales, click here.

And there's a review of a previous Enter At Your Own Risk anthology. Here it is.

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