I’ve been listening to podcasts almost as long as I’ve been writing seriously, and I’ve recently been enjoying ones dedicated to short-stories. Listening to a whole novel doesn’t appeal to me, but short fiction’s a different matter. It’s a great way to explore new authors.
One of those podcasts is Pocket Pulp, where professional audiobook narrator Eric Bryan Moore reads a new story each week, across a range of genres. Because he knows what he’s doing, both with narration and with audio, the quality’s very high.
Why am I mentioning this? Because I was thrilled when he accepted a story I submitted.
That story is The Reason We Run (which first appeared in the anthology It’s Behind You), and he reads it in this week’s episode.
Pocket Pulp is available through loads of the usual podcast apps and services, including Spotify (there’s a link to the show on PodBean here), and there’s also a YouTube channel.
Check it out, leave a comment — I’m sure Eric would love to know what you think. And if you want a new short story each week, I recommend subscribing to Pocket Pulp.
Rodin has the contract under control, drawing the target in, ready for the removal. Not a simple job, but nothing too complicated. But nothing happens in isolation, and Rodin has no idea how this contract will impact others—or himself.
Impact is a new release in the Dominions series, a set of four connected stories. It’s available from all the usual ebook stores, and is currently free*.
As it’s Halloween, I thought I’d let you know about loads of free anthologies of scary/horror stories, all compiled by Samie Sands. She’s been releasing these collections for ages now, and she’s currently got loads of them set to free.
You can find all of them by searching for her name in Amazon (most, if not all, are Amazon exclusive—apologies to those of you who prefer other platforms). I’d like to draw your attention to a couple that contain short stories I wrote:
Electromagnetism is filled with tales exploring the troubling side of technology, and contains my vaguely voodoo-based story Touch.
It’s Behind You deals with fear. My story in this anthology is The Reason We Run.
There are vampires and mysterious alien invaders. There are mobsters and shut-ins. There are those struggling to come to terms with loss, those nearing the end of their lives, those eager to make their mark on the world. There are conflicting realities and future nightmares. There are bitter lies and painful truths.
Some escape the darkness, others are consumed by it.
Millenary 5, the final (for now) collection of my 1000-word short stories, is now available for free download (click here). And if you want more short stories, the previous four volumes are also still available (and, yes, they’re free too)—click here for more information.
I started this series of short stories way back in 2016, and I’ve finally reached number 100.
This story has been bubbling away for some time. It started, like many stories, from an image that popped into my head—a man covered into tattoos, each one related to an important part of his life. I wasn’t sure what to do with this image, played about with it for a while, and over the last month it became more coherent.
As the 100th story, this is a suitable point to draw a line under this 1000-word story project, and this story feels like a good one to close on.
See what you think. You can read Canvashere. And don’t forget the other 99 stories (click here for the complete list).
One of the first short stories I wrote for this website, way back in 2016, was called A Lesson In Death. That story told of a child witnessing an assassination, not realising the danger to himself as he started asking questions.
I always wondered how this incident impacted on that child as he grew up, and wanted to write a follow-up story. Finally (as we approach a hundred of these stories) I’ve got round to it.
And here it is—after A Lesson In Death we have A Lesson In Life. It also features the main character from The Job, the first story I published on this site.
Back when I was teaching, I’d always look for some purpose behind the work, something that would make the learning relevant to the students. Sometimes the only thing I could come up with was that this was part of the syllabus.
But even that was relevant—no matter how wonderful our jobs, no matter how ideal out home lives, there will always be things we need to do that we’re not enthused about. Sometimes, we have to do things simply because they need to be done.
I recently took part in J Thorn’s Supercharge Your Scene 5-day challenge. Along with the instruction from J, this challenge involved writing a scene (or short story). He presented us with a number of prompts and suggested we pick one in a genre we don’t normally write or read (because stepping outside comfort zones is a great way to learn).
The one that drew my attention was the Western prompt, and the end result is The Hangman. I’m not sure how well it ‘works’ (according to J’s teaching), with much of the ‘action’ left to the imagination, but overall I’m pleased with it. For something that could have become very dark, I think there’s a lot of hope in this story.
This story was another one that started life as an exercise in free-writing (writing whatever came to mind, with no plan). For ages, I wasn’t sure where it was going, and it was only when I returned to it recently that I added the last few lines, then the first few—and the story made some kind of sense.
There’s a classic study from 1972 where children were presented with a small marshmallow. They were offered a choice— eat it straight away or hold off for a short time. If they waited they were rewarded with a large marshmallow. Further studies seemed to indicate that those children who were better able to wait would later perform better in SATS tests, and would ultimately be more ‘successful’ in life.
But it’s not only children who struggle with delayed gratification. Too often, we all want something good straight away, grabbing what we can in the moment. Sometimes it’s hard to take that step back and view each situation subjectively.
This idea rears its head in my latest short story, Payment. It’s also influenced by the Raymond Chandler books I’ve been reading recently (partly as research for a new project I’m working on, and partly because I enjoy his writing).
You can read Paymenthere. As always, I’d love to hear what you think of it.