Short Stories

All the wonders of the novel, only easier on the eyestrain

I'm not sure what compels people to write short stories. Perhaps it's because they don't take as long as novels. That's not to say they're easier to write, though. A well-crafted short story is a very difficult thing indeed to pull off. You can be the judge of whether I've managed it ever. A couple of these have been published by the wonderful Spinteingler magazine, so that must count for something.

Because I have a tidy mind, I've arranged these in something of an order. Well, it made sense to me at the time. Get with the clicky for some short-form goodness.



    The Tie
      Have a Heart
        The Sorcerer's Apprentice
          I Was Present At The Birth
            The Idiot's Parade
                A Dream of Water and Cars
                  The City of Dreams
                    To the Stars
                      The Contract
                        A Game of War
                            The Man Whose Television Wouldn't Work
                                The Package
                                    Comfort Farm
                                      Martin Scorcese's Underpants
                                            The Final Reel
                                              Natural Causes
                                                The Birthday Party
                                                        Sir Gwynfor's Lament
                                                            Unnatural Causes




                                                            Aberdeen in the early nineties - what a place that was. We were young and foolish. We had high hopes. Nothing could get us down.

                                                            My good friend Mike McLean, who now owns and runs Asylum Games and Books, decided to launch a Comics, SF, Fantasy and Role Playing Fanzine, for lack of anything better to do on a rainy afternoon (and it's always raining in Aberdeen, ask Mr Stuart). So was born From the Sublime...

                                                            Being a lazy sod I gave some of my old comic scripts (rejected by 2000AD) to the cause. One of them was in the very first issue. But Mike was not content with my cast-offs and bullied me into writing something fresh and new, something prose.

                                                            I was into Iain Banks then and I always wondered how machines would achieve intelligence. Around then I read an article about cryogenics and I recalled the story of how Walt Disney's head is supposed to have been frozen for revival when science can rebuild and revive him. All so much hooey, I know, but it sparked off an idea.

                                                            Two ideas, to be truthful, for another comic script came of the cryogenics idea - a Tharg's Future Shock called It's a Cold World.

                                                            That was published in December 1993 (prog 865 for you Sqax Dek Thargo) and to date is my only professionally published piece. Go figure.

                                                            Only one Drones story was ever published in From the Sublime... but that was only because the magazine folded prematurely, before Mike could let the rest of them see the light of day.

                                                            Read them now and enjoy



                                                            The Sorcerer's Apprentice

                                                            Arctrin Benzooit is a drone with a mission. He's far too busy to worry about the old man who sweeps the floors of the empty hospital.



                                                            I Was Present At The Birth

                                                            Deep in the bowels of the mysterious hospital, something is awakening. A new life, intelligent and sellf-aware. But has it come too soon for its own good?



                                                            The Idiot's Parade

                                                            When the tower calls, all must go.




                                                            Hundreds of years ago the Weird Plague wiped out all human life on the planet. Since then the machines have lived alone and unconcerned, waiting for a time when their masters would return to be served.



                                                            A Dream of Water and Cars

                                                            Drones were created to serve mankind. But mankind disappeared centuries ago, a victim of its own folly - the weird plague. So how will the drones cope now that they have the Boy to look after?



                                                            The City of Dreams

                                                            No one has lived in the city for a thousand years. Even the drones have shunned it, for those few who travelled this far never returned. Now Arctrin, Milin and The Boy must uncover its dark secret if they are ever to complete their strange quest.



                                                            To the Stars

                                                            The City is dead. All hope of finding human life on the island, or the planet fo that matter, has evaporated. Where else is there to look but further afield? Where else to go now but to the stars?