Flash in F&SF

I have another tiny “where-are-they-now” story in the May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction called ‘Modern Cassandra’. I wrote this in January 2020. It’s about that jerk Apollo and I want to dedicate it to Medium Amanda, who tried so hard to get in touch with me towards the end of 2019. And yet I never opened any of her emails! Who knows what would have happened if I had?

Extract: "She worked as an artist's assistant before she matched with Apollo on Tinder. In the middle of painting exquisite hyperrealist copies of torn-out newspaper pictures to inspire her employer, Apollo took her to lunch in a Covent Garden restaurant filled with pheasant feathers and stags' heads"

The restaurant is Rules! I’m pretty sure it’s run by Apollo the Hunter. Who else?

Podcast – ‘City of Wolves and Lightning’ in Tales to Terrify

Graeme Dunlop has done a fantastic reading of my story “City of Wolves and Lightning” for the Tales to Terrify podcast.

This bit of Roman civil war weird was originally published in Lamplight back in 2016, so it’s not currently available anywhere else online. Sometimes I thought about calling it “Sorry Caesar, But Your City is in Another Country!” Maybe I should have done.

Fantasy Magazine Flash Free to Read

My little labyrinth story, ‘After Naxos, Ariadne’, is now free to read in Fantasy Magazine. It’s a very short short, so all I’ll say is that I know a lot of you are very keen on the second person, but my preferred weird point of view is the first plural.

Also, as always, you can buy the entire issue RIGHT NOW for just $2.99, or subscribe to a whole year for $23.88!

Flash in Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy Magazine cover (Feb 2022)

I have a tiny story in this month’s Fantasy Magazine! It’s about labyrinths. Did you know the Cyprus government gateway portal is called Ariadni? You do now.

After Naxos, Ariadne moved to Nicosia and built a new labyrinth online. Here she sits and smiles and buries her bullish secrets: where to buy building permits and apply for trademarks and government grants and benefits. How to join the fire service. Authenticating seafarers. “That way leads to an external labyrinth,” she says pleasantly. “Oh dear, has the roof fallen in? I’ll send someone down to dig it out later.”

I’ll come back to this in a couple of weeks when it goes live online, but meanwhile you can buy the whole amazing issue or subscribe to read all those fantastic stories and poems now.

Flash in On Spec Issue #116 vol 31.2

The latest issue of On Spec is out, featuring my very short story ‘The Opportunity Costs of Adventure: Unsent Emails from Stephen Greenwood’s Drafts Folder’. Did you ever wonder what it does to your career when you keep running off to save the world? Dr Greenwood (last seen in The Journal of Unlikely Academia‘s ‘Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood’) would really like to tell you! However, he’s not going to, because nothing ruins a reputation faster than emailing a professional mailing list about apocalypse and ancient prophecy. Maybe he’ll just save that email to Drafts.

Detail of Onspec cover.
‘The Opportunity Costs of Adventure’. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to smuggle a vial of lion’s blood and a ceremonial knife through a Turkish airport nowadays…

3LBE anthology Vol. VII

Three-Lobed Burning Eye Vol. VII cover

The latest limited edition print anthology of Andrew S. Fuller’s Three-Lobed Burning Eye zine is out, with all-new art. This one includes a reprint of my story from Issue 28, ‘Delia’s Door’, as well as stories by Cat Rambo, Mari Ness, JM McDermott, Gwendolyn Kiste and many more, and I cannot wait to get hold of my copy!

Podcast – ‘Tongueless’ in Tales to Terrify

Hello! Jasmine Arch has done a fantastic reading of my story ‘Tongueless’ for Episode 468 of Tales to Terrify. This story was originally published in The Sockdolager back in 2016; it’s a messy little horror story about professional jealousy, alien experiments and extremely poor decision-making.

There was a white light in the dark where there shouldn’t have been. It lit up the window and glowed around the door, so I said, “Hello? Is someone out there?” and no one replied. I wrestled the bolt back and stepped out into the porch on my bare toes, shivering as the breeze pushed up my cotton nightie.

There wasn’t anyone there. The light beamed down unnaturally from above. I looked up and saw the thing blotting out the stars just as everything went black.

I love this reading! It’s absolutely spot on. The whole episode is great; I loved The Cremation of Sam McGee and Louis B. Rosenberg’s Dogs, Cats and the End of the World too.

Short story in PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD cover

26 authors, 26 locations, 347 pages, 100k+ words; original horror stories from many of the genre’s darkest minds. Nightmares imagined into real places; from Nigeria to Japan, North America to Australia. Locations the authors have inhabited and imbued with the sinister–hiking trails, haunted lakes, relics of faded industry, and even a Hawaiian volcano!

I have a piece of London weird in this anthology. Real places featured include:

It has now been six months since I’ve seen any of those places (thanks, 2020!) so I’m delighted to revisit them in print.

Story extract

(If you think £20k is a lot to spend on a sofa, so did I. But I had only been in London for a month or so, back when I was eavesdropping on that particular conversation, so I kept my mouth shut.)

I originally wrote this story as a birthday present for a friend. Her birthday has come around again, so happy birthday L.S.!

Apparition Lit story free to read

And it’s out!

Anna’s reference to the university at Felsina, the city where Violante had been born, made Violante lean happily forward in her chair. “Do you know people at the university? I always wanted to go to the anatomy at the carnival, but my parents wouldn’t let me. That was before I was married, of course.”

“I studied the anatomy with Jacopo Barigazzi,” Anna said. “He spent some time here not long ago. We dissected one of Pietro’s criminals.” She poured herself wine, then filled Violante’s cup too. “Is that enough? How is Baldesar? I thought he might bring you. Pietro would have liked to see him again.”

“Oh no, he’s too busy with his writing. I’ve brought letters from him, though.”

“Last time, he wrote that you had a problem for me. Do you still?”

Read the rest of ‘Passavanti’s Fantasima’ (and buy the whole amazing issue) here.

Short story in Apparition Lit

The Experimentation issue of Apparition Lit is out, with two poems and four stories, including ‘Passavanti’s Fantasima’, a piece about Anna, my natural scientist and incidental sorceress, trying really quite hard to be a good hostess for an old friend’s wife. And mostly succeeding! When I think about this story, what I remember is the cherry torte, which plays a very small role in the story but an outsize one, apparently, in my gustatory imagination.

Apparition Lit Issue 9 cover

You can get the issue now for just $2.99 or wait for it to become available online.