The Man Who Left is a short fairy tale about a man sent to war, forced to fight incomprehensible battles in unknowable places for increasingly unclear reasons, who has become so weary and distraught by this life of constant toil and terror that it is only his dreams of returning to his wife and child that keep him sane. It's the 150th (and final) tale in my Thousand And One Tales project (previously on projects: 1, 2, 3, 4), which I originally planned to keep up for another 851 stories, but in the end failed spectacularly to do so. But still I tried... [more inside]
I have collected my short fiction from the last ten years into three collections. [more inside]
You might also like... A crowd-sourced short story MetaFilter meta-collection spreadsheet! Anyone can add to it directly. Or add to it by filling out this form. Sort by publisher, author, word count, audio, buyability, and more. [more inside]
For the last few years, I've been working on a weekly fairy tale project called A Thousand And One Tales (previously posted here at 25 tales, 50 tales, and 75 tales), which has now reached Tale #101 with A Story In The Afternoon, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. To celebrate this arbitrary milestone, I put together a remix/cut-up project of old Brothers Grimm tales and made 13 new Brothers Grimm tales (The 1st New Tale, The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th). Meanwhile, A Thousand And One Tales continues with Tale #102: You Don’t Have To Read This, But I Hope You Do, a retelling of another famous tale. [more inside]
YOU (September 1994 – June 1996) is an autobiographical short story that attempts to recreate what it felt like being a 16 to 18 year old at school in the 90s.
Seven stories for Halloween: Trick Or Treating By Car (a story about sadness and loss, death and dying); Separations (a tale of parallel worlds, break-ups, and breakdowns); Magic Trick (the story of a disappearance); The Wedding (unsettling events at a royal wedding); Front Door (an ever-escalating haunting); Flood (the strange tale of a crocodile home invasion); The Second Moon (a final tale of slightly overwrought melancholy).
In The Terminals Of Minraud is a trilogy of thematiclaly-linked short stories - March My Captive Head, Last Of The Gallant Heroes, and Fading My Name Through Dying Air - assembled entirely out of sentences from William Burroughs novels. (Stories contain sex, violence, unpleasant language) [more inside]
The Crow Tree is a short piece of folk horror. "It is often tempting for outside observers to judge a society or community solely by its traditions, rituals and festivals, to bestow a significance and seriousness onto events beyond that which they hold for their participants, to see superstition and fear in theatre and frivolity. Equally, of course, the reverse can be true for those involved, leading to a refusal to recognise the serious intent that underpins their festivities. The event which takes place at the crow tree is one of the community’s least talked about rituals, and consequently can be assumed to be among its most serious." [more inside]
An Accumulation Of Things is a website which collects together various selections of my (fairly eclectic) writing output, including numerous fairy tales, short stories, comics, graphic novels, children's picture books (both rough scripts and fully illustrated books), and occasional short poems and other ephemera. This week is the site's first anniversary, and in that year to date so far it has accumulated roughly 300 things, and my current ongoing projects include Violent Penguin (a daily comic strip about a Penguin), A Thousand And One Tales (my weekly ongoing fairy tales project), and Places In Space (a weekly series of short science fiction comics, detailing a voyage through space). [more inside]
"The child in the cage had been found in the forest, they said, left behind by the fair folk there at the passing of the midsummer sun. Or, they said, the child had been a gift from the gods. The child was a traveller, the child was a spy, a thief, a lie. The child was a warning. A warrior. A weapon. The child was an offering. The child was a beast. But the child in the cage was none of these things. The child was a child." The Stolen Child is a short fairy tale in six parts, about imprisonment, escape, and revenge. [more inside]
A thousand and one tales is an ongoing and ever-growing collection of new fairy tales and folk tales, with a new story posted every Friday. The 30 stories so far include retellings of famous fairy tales (Ariadne and the Minotaur in The King's Daughter And The King's Son; Cinderella in Lonely Isobel; Bluebeard in The Three Doors And The Fourth); stories about good queens (The Lunar Queen; The King And The Light), bad kings (The King And His Weeping Wife), and even worse fathers (The Wolves In The Woods; The Farmer's Daughters); transformations (The Unhappy Bride); beasts (The Three Sorrowful Sisters; A Long Winter's Night); and the telling of tales itself (Old Tales Are Made New In The Telling). [more inside]
In The Adventure Of The Empty Nursery, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are called upon to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a child from a locked nursery room. But as the case progresses, things begin to take a turn for the strange and the weird. (10,000 words long, contains some violence, self-harm)
An accumulation of things is a website collecting together lots of pieces of my writing, including various short stories, fairy tales, picture books, and comics. [more inside]
2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the first Magna Carta, and Liberty Tales is a collection of stories and poems that take a wide-ranging collection of responses to the issues of liberty, both personal and legal. Some of these 25 tales relate to specific clauses of the original document, while others are more concerned with how we experience and search after freedom in the 21st century. [more inside]
After three invitation-only anthologies organized by founding editor Paul Starr, in 2015 The Sockdolager made three key changes: an additional editor (Alison Wilgus), open submissions, and a quarterly release schedule. As of December 15th, with Issue #4, we've completed our first year! [more inside]
An unhappy bride weeps beneath the moon on her wedding night. A priest who should know better leaves the safety of his church to follow a cat out into the city and see where it is it goes. A lonely girl sits at her window and wishes, just once, to go to the ball. And is that the devil on the road, waiting for you as you make your way home… The Unhappy Bride and other tales is a collection of contemporary fairy tales, in which you'll find Queens and Kings, wolves and cats, the devil himself, even the stars made flesh. You’ll find love here, too, so much love. And with it always sadness. [more inside]
My small press, Upper Rubber Boot Books, has just released the first nine titles in the Soles Series of Stories, which comprises standalone ebook short stories spanning the speculative fiction gamut, including science fiction, literary stories using SFnal tropes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, utopian and dystopian, fantasy, and horror. [more inside]
I wrote a book of 100 very (very) short stories. Each story is around 100 words. They're mostly all dark/strange/grim, but some of them are funny, too. I self published and released it this week. It's available as ebook, paperback or free PDF download and released under Creative Commons license.
26 tales, each starting with a letter of the alphabet, each written in one sitting. [more inside]
Barbara Latham is a therapist from New Zealand who practices in London. (She is also my mother-in-law, and I am also her editor). She's a published writer of short stories who recently asked me to start putting them up on a bare bones website. Here they are. [more inside]
Every week in 2012 I'm going to pick a song, at random or by request, post the video for that song, and write a short story inspired by it. [more inside]
I've been running Mirrorshards, my daily microfiction site (previously), for over three years now, relatively quickly closing in on publishing my 1000th story. [more inside]
The Long Yuletide War is a series of short stories I'm working on about the hidden history of that mysterious figure known as Santa Claus and his dark alpine shadow Krampus. [more inside]