August 14, 2014
STORY WEEK DAY 4: Message In A Babygrow.

The baby-grow is so so cute and Catherine is so so poor between pay packets that when she sees it at £3, she has to have it for little [Shane] then and there and thus: she puts it on her card.

She watches Shane eat his first solid food, then uneat it down the felt picture of a rabbit sitting at a loom. She checks the washing instructions: glyphs command 60C, tumble dry, lights only. Then a crudely stitched message: 2 CHILDREN. LOST FINGR. SORY - A MOTHER.

She closes her eyes, and turns the washer to Boil.

August 13, 2014
STORY WEEK DAY 3: Paper Dolls.

They speak in another’s language. From bus stops and phone boxes and billboards, the paper peoples’ copy says there is something better than your life for you in Malta, or wrapped in this sweater or with these young people.

But when the lights go out and the salesman’s words are spent, the figures of the posters whisper to each other of the little fleshy creatures that look up at them. The lip-flap noises they made. How deep and warm and moving they look.

August 12, 2014
STORY WEEK DAY 2: The Presence Of Solomon Parr.

I first saw him in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 on TV. Every other spectator watched the 100m, while this one old man’s eyes gazed into the camera, searching me. Then the World Cup final in 2000. The 2006 Tour de France, on the finishing line. A street corner on 9/11. On archive footage of the Berlin Wall crumbling, the same hooded eyes. I looked for him looking at me, asking the question: did his witness make these things real, or did they make him real? And him, with the same answer: no matter. I was here.

August 11, 2014

Imagine, a city building itself. Almost Mievillean.

August 11, 2014

There are deer, says the guide, and then there is the white stag. And seeing the white stag is an evil omen because it means death. Which suits Piotr and me just fine, since we carry guns and snares that we might kill death.

Once the packs and guns are empty and the snares still not full and the moon has waxed to watch our decline I hear Piotr shout with rattling breath, “Ava, there!” and in my vignetting vision, yes, there stands death, shining death, and it turns and we follow together.

August 7, 2014


That is to say, I’ve found myself with a backlog of flash fiction, and not enough competitions to fling it at. But hey, flash fiction is a literary indulgence anyway, right?

So, to herald in Loncon 3 (awwyeahItotallyplanneditallalong), starting on Monday next week, there will be a new 100 words, every day, for a week.


Okay, see you then.


9:39pm  |   URL:
Filed under: flash story 100w 
August 5, 2014
"…Vyr had decided some time ago that she would just get older naturally for the time that she had left, given that the big kablooey of transcendent smashingness that was the Subliming would be along soon to make this life and everything in it seem feeble and so on and such like."

Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata.

Now he’s gone, it’s funny how you can’t help but read his last Culture book in a certain white light.

Loncon in two days now. Transcendent smashingness, indeed.

7:14am  |   URL:
Filed under: iain m banks sf loncon3 
July 7, 2014

On the 30th of June, fiction f(r)iends of London got together in the basement of The Harrison for the last Hubbub of term. Hubbub’s a night of spoken fiction and poetry. And a joke fantasy story I wrote, called In The Dark Lord’s Keep. And I even tried to do voices. Oh dear.

(On a personal note, it was great fun to get back in the reading saddle. And on a professional one, reading the thing over and over again brought out tons of errors of cadence and repeated words that I’d never have got by sight alone.)

If you’ve got ten minutes, have a listen. And check out the rest of the night, here:

July 5, 2014
Story: Times Of Conquery

Welcome to Times Of Conquery! The hit social game of building and domination, No.1 in the App Store in over four regions including Paraguay. ToC will test your smarts, strategy, and patience. Who will be the Lord of Lords? Definitely not whoever has the most disposable income!

To begin, enter thy name:


We are sorry, my lord, but SimonKiller has already been taken. Please chooseth another:


We are sorry, my lord, but SimonKiller98 has already been taken. Please chooseth another:


Your people rejoice at your ascendancy, xXYourMom420Xx! The prophets predict a thousand year reign of peace and prosperity under your banner. 

Also by AppyLife Games: Dragon Wars, Orc Wars, Dragon Wars Plus, Skinner’s Boxing. Give them a try and, get 100 gold!

Here’s 1000 gold. It’s time to build your first building, a Towne Hall. The Towne Hall costs 999 gold, and takes five(5) minutes to build. It’s fun!

If you’re having fun, why not rateth us on the App Store?

Congratulations, lord xXYourMom420Xx! Your towne hall stands proud and strong, complete with Medieval European-style gilding. But how will you defend it? There are numerous barbarians, marauders and ne’erdowells roaming the plains of Kingdomania. They can attack at any time - while you’re in a meeting, taking a bath, or arguing with your spouse or life partner - so you’d better keep your phone handy. Plus, y’know, get a Knights. Build a Knight in the Build A Knight submenu now. 

Do it, now. We can’t carry on until you do it.

Congratulations, you just built a Knight! Why not tell your friends on twitter, and get 100 gold?

Oh no, you’ve been attacked, and your knight has been slaughtered! You should have built better defenses, which are now unlocked for building.

…he had a wife and child, bro. How do you feel now?

Calendar Reminder: Court hearing, 11:30

To build a Big Fence and protect your Kingdom, you’ll need to spend 100 gold, and five(5) days. Like, real days out of your life. Or you can Hurry Build. Hurrying the Big Fence costs just ten(10) Gems, available for $19.99 from the App Store.

Congratulations my liege, your people have constructed the Big Fence! 

You have now unlocked the Bigger Fence, which can be hurried for twenty(20) Gems, available as part of our Daily Deal for just $24.99 from the App Store. If you’re enjoying thyself(yourself), why not Like(like) AppyLife Games on Facebook, and get 100 gold?

Message: OMG Simon are you playing ths too? 

Sorry, liege lord, you require more Peasants to build this farm! Peasants can be bought at the Towne Hall Shoppe.

Message: Simon, Jerry is asking about you. Pls call.

Sincerest regrets, Noble-born, you do not have enough Wheat to sustain more Peasants. Wheat can be grown in Farms, which can be built with enough Peasants.

Message: Simon??

If thou art generally having a good time, why not leave a review on the App Store?

5:26pm  |   URL:
Filed under: story fantasy satire 
June 25, 2014
Reading Aloud, Allowed

Event page here

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