Want more of your favourite Liars' League authors but don't know where to look? Not to worry, we've compiled a list of over 80 novels, short story and poetry collections, and other printed works by authors who have contributed to Liars' League since 2007. Check it out and support some of our fantastic writers!
Alan McCormick is Writer in Residence with InterAct, a charity providing fiction readings for stroke patients. His stories have been widely published and frequently read at the Liars’ League and Decongested. His short fiction and illustrated writing with artist, Jonny Voss, can be seen on www.scumsters.co.uk, 3:AM, NthPosition and DeadDrunkDublin.
Stories Written: "The Runner" (read by David Mildon), "The Sacred Elephant" (read by Becky Hands-Wicks), "The Steel Rim" (read by Alex Woodhall), "Deal or No Deal" (read by Lin Sagovsky), "The Badger Sett"(read by Karl Niklas), "The Storyteller" (read by Rebecca Hands-Wick), "Charlie Parker, not Parker Knoll" (read by Cliff Chapman)
Dogsbodies and Scumsters by Alan McCormick (Roastbooks Ltd)
Alan McCormick’s stories delve into a world of unfortunates and unforgettables, where humour is found in the darkest places and humanity comes in unexpected forms. This charged and intense collection brings together the brittle poignancy of McCormick’s Dogsbodies stories with the absurd surrealism of Scumsters, shorter works inspired by the illustrations of Jonny Voss.
Alex Smith is author born in Cape Town who has written four novels published by Random House’s African imprint, Umuzi. The most recent, Four Drunk Beauties, is a speculative fiction set in Iran. In 2010 she won an award for youth literature and was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Stories Written: "Icosi Bladed Scissors" read by Liz Bowers
Four Drunk Beauties by Alex Smith (Umuzi)
Left to rot in an Iranian prison and under the shadow of death, Kamaal tells fellow-insurgent Drew the story of the four drunk beauties – Elvira the housekeeper and ex-assassin, Lou the Senegalese sculptor, virtuoso cellist Mimi, and Adriette, a food fundi from the Free State. The two men follow the beauties’ wild chase through Iran in pursuit of a killer, a quest undertaken to prevent a catastrophe. And all the while the ancient and modern flavours of a country – its poetry, architecture and music – come to life in the rich and sensual tapestry of Alex Smith’s story-telling.
Agency Blue by Alex Smith (Tafelberg)
An illustrated youth novel, a cross-over between a graphic novel and a full text teen fiction work.
Little Jo is born in miraculous circumstances. He is an orphan but has a devoted older brother who recognises his talents for drawing. Little Jo excels at art and becomes a drawer of comic books. In a story that moves between the creator and the created, the story is told of Kitty and her gang of hip young friends who must solve the riddle of Kitty’s father’s death. This takes them on some wild adventures as they solve a series of riddles in order to find out the truth.
Drinking from the Dragon's Well by Alex Smith (Umuzi)
Part memoir, part travelogue, Drinking from the Dragon’s Well is an entertaining, insightful account of the author’s time spent teaching English in China and Taiwan. Alex Smith, aspirant novelist, jaded social editor, and reluctant English teacher, makes her way to the centre of China in the hopes of writing a ‘Great Chinese Novel’. On a scant budget, she trips through Shanghai, sails the Yangtze, explores the dusty relics of Xi’an and sojourns in Beijing.
Algeria's Way by Alex Smith (Umuzi)
Satisfying story of a troubled soul finding unconventional peace...written with confidence and a mature and original voice.
Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England. Like his story “The Donkey” previously featured in Liars’ League, this piece ["Princess"] is drawn from his unpublished novel, When We Were Saved. His Songs from Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award and his collection Rembrandt’s Bible was published in 2013 by Indigo Dreams.
Songs From Bialik: Selected Poems from Hayyim Nahman Bialik, translated by Atar Hadari (Syracuse University Press)
Hayim Nahman Bialik is considered one of the greatest Hebrew poets of modern times. As he possessed a thorough command of Hebrew and the unusual ability to use fully the resources of the language, his literary career is touted as a turning point in modern Hebrew literature. He greatly influenced and, to a large degree, anticipated the Hebrew spoken in modern Israel. He is considered Israel's national poet. Until now there has been little academic attention in English about Bialik's work; Hadari's new translation of a selection of his major work fills that void
A collection of sceptically religious poems, with monologues by or about many of the Bible s major characters and the title lament of Rembrandt s own copy of the book, which feels the painter is rather slapdash. Included are a series of monologues in the voices of King David's various wives, sons and lovers called "Songs of David" which won the David Wright prize from University of Strathclyde. Interspersed are poems of mourning responding to the death of a father and reflections on how you carry on while remembering what was lost.
Barry Walsh is a Londoner and an ‘I was always going to write’ writer who has finally got going. He has not been published until now. His novel The Pimlico Kid (from which his story is taken) was published by Harper Collins in July 2013.
Stories written: "The Cowboy Hat" (read by Marc Forde)
The Pimlico Kid by Barry Walsh (Harper, July 2013)
One boy. One street. One summer he will never forget.
A powerful and poignant debut from a compelling and authentic voice in commercial fiction.
It’s 1963. Billy Driscoll and his best mate, Peter ‘Rooksy’ Rooker, have the run of their street. Whether it’s ogling sexy mum, Madge, as she pegs out her washing, or avoiding local bully Griggsy, the estates and bombsites of Pimlico have plenty to fire their fertile imagination.
Bernard O’Keeffe studied English at Oxford and teaches at St Paul’s School. He has been an editor ofThe English Review, has reviewed for The Literary Review and The Oxford Times, and published his first novel, No Regrets, in 2013.
Stories written: "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Pig" (read by Nicky Diss)
No Regrets by Bernard O'Keeffe (Acorn Independent Press
What would happen if you spent a year accepting every invitation that came your way? Rick is about to find out...
He’s had a bad year. Sarah, his wife of nearly twenty five years, has walked out on him to move in with Colin. Perhaps they simply grew apart, perhaps the magic was no longer there, or perhaps, as his friend Jerry suggests, Rick has become boring.
This nagging thought, together with too much beer on New Year’s Eve and shock at the sudden death of his college friend Alex, leads Rick to a New Year’s resolution... To make the most of the time he has left, and show himself and his old friend Jerry that he is not boring, he will undertake a peculiar challenge: for a whole year he will accept every invitation that comes his way.
Any invitation. No excuses. No regrets.
Bobbie Darbyshire is the maturest student at the National Academy of Writing, UCE Birmingham, and has had two novels published:Truth Games and Love, Revenge, & Buttered Scones. She hosts a group Writers Together, came to cheer member Peter Higgins’s story at Liars’ League in August, and thought, “Hey, I’ll have a go”. Bobbie won the 2008 fiction prize at the National Academy of Writing and the New Delta Review Creative Nonfiction Prize 2010. Her third novel 'Oz' will be out in June 2015.
Stories Written: "Something Missing" (read by Clive Greenwood)
Truth Games by Bobbie Darbyshire (Cinnamon Press)
After the hippies and before the yuppies, between the advent of the Pill and the onset of AIDS, between the 'summer of love' and the 'winter of discontent', the newest game in town was sex.
In mid-seventies London a group of friends play a dangerous game of open marriages, secrets and lies. "It's only sex, Ann. It won't hurt us," claims Lois, beautiful, talented and determined to get whatever or whoever she wants without being held back by her longsuffering husband, Hugh. Wherever they are, sex is there for the taking. But can love be free? 'Truth Games' bares all. It's fast, funny and sexy, but as the summer heat increases, stakes are raised and consequences have to be faced...
Love, Revenge and Buttered Scones by Bobbie Darbyshire (Sandstone Press)
We've all done it - gone haring off after one thing and found entirely another - but surely not as disastrously as Henry. Antagonistic London brothers, Henry and Peter, each rush to Inverness after receiving mysterious letters. Henry hopes for love. Peter is on the trail of genius Gaelic bard Calum Calum, believed by the world to be dead. Troubled Elena is also drawn to the Highlands, seeking revenge on el malo, the evil one, the Scottish gunrunner who betrayed her family during the Spanish Civil War. Their three destinies are entwined, and each has a difficult truth to face in this hilarious comedy of errors.
Brindley Hallam Dennis has published the novella A Penny Spitfire (Pewter Rose Press, 2011), and a collection of short stories called Talking to Owls came out earlier this year from the same publisher. He has also published That’s What Ya Get! Kowalski’s Assertions with Unbound Press in 2010, and around 100 short stories. His new collection of short stories, Not A Matter of Choice, is due to be published in the near future by Sentinel. As Mike Smith he has published poetry, plays and critical essays. He blogs at http://Bhdandme.wordpress.com/
Stories Written: "The Rage" (read by Martin Lamb), "Hecho a mano" (read by Susannah Holland),"The Workers on the Cross" (read by Steve Wedd),"Sal and Me, and Big D's War" (read by Tom Sykes), "Consommé" (read by Jennifer Aries), "When You Are Gone" (read by Kevin Potton), "Wheel ruts in the snow" (read by Tony Bell), "The Cold Blue Morning of Gidley Jones" (read by Lin Sagovsky), "Product Placement" (read by Louisa Gummer), "His Lordship in a Mirror" (read by Clive Greenwood).
Talking to Owls by Brindley Hallam Dennis (Pewter Rose Press)
A work of great versatility, Talking To Owls showcases a writer unafraid to tackle the short story in its many and varied forms. Shot through with wry humour and underscored with moments of genuine pathos, bar stool yarns and traditional fables sit comfortably alongside startling experiments in form and style. Brindley Hallam Dennis opens up the imaginative possibilities of narrative, lifts the lid and takes a peek below the surface of the lives we might live and the worlds that might be.
A Penny Spitfire by Brindley Hallam Dennis (Pewter Rose Press)
Charles pulled out his wallet and fished out a small green banknote. I keep finding these, he said. Allierte Militarbenorde. Pardon? Five fennigs, Charles said. Occupation currency. Practically worthless. He folded the note back into his wallet. I expect we all brought something back we didn't intend to, Derek said. They sat in silence. That's a spit you're wearing, isn't it? Yes sir. Penny Spitfire. I used to knock 'em up in the workshop. Found a couple when I got back. Shouldn't think there are many left now, sir.
That's What Ya Get! Kowalski's Assertions by Brindley Hallam Dennis (Unbound Press)
Kowalski, a curmudgeonly old New Yorker living in England with his long-suffering wife Mildred, that's my old lady, takes us on a hilarious outsider's tour of contemporary life, from the frustrations of petty regulations, to the maddening irrelevancies of public information; from the complexities of race relations and green politics, to the incomprehensibilities of personal relationships, geophysical temporalities, and fishing!
Bruce Holland Rogers
Ordinarily, Bruce Holland Rogers lives in the American state of Oregon, but he is spending two years in London. His most recent collection of stories,The Keyhole Opera, won the 2006 World Fantasy Award. He currently spends his free time interviewing ghosts in the Kensal Green Cemetery for story ideas.
Stories Written: "Letter of Recommendation" (read by Mia Holmes)
The Keyhole Opera by Bruce Holland Rogers (Wheatland Press)
Since January 2002, for five dollars a year, subscribers in sixty countries have been receiving short-short stories by Bruce Holland Rogers in their email boxes. The stories are an unpredictable mix of literary fiction, science fiction, fairy tales, mysteries, and work that is hard to classify. Many of the stories in The Keyhole Opera began as subscription stories and went on to be published in magazines and anthologies.
Thirteen Ways to Water and Other Stories by Bruce Holland Rogers (Panisphere Books)
This collection of stories by award-winning author Bruce Holland Rogers is a ticket to Places You've Never Been, from the heart of the Tulgey Wood to the forests of the Highland People. While some of the stories are set in the real world, from Vietnamese jungles to the Seattle stomping grounds of an anarchist monkey-wrench gang, even mundane reality turns out to lie on the border of Elsewhere. By turns funny and poignant, Rogers treats readers to fantasy stories they won't soon forget.
Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer by Bruce Holland Rogers (Invisible Cities Press)
For any writer who has felt daunted by the demands of the daily battle with the page, this book provides reassurance and insight. Appealing to your head and heart, an award-winning fiction writer offers understanding and practical advice on facing a writer's difficulties. Personal stories drawn from two decades of writing experience alternate with psychological theory and anecdotes from the lives of other established writers.
Wind Over Heaven: And Other Dark Tales by Bruce Holland Rogers (Wildside Press)
From dark fairy tales to creepy science fiction to a theological mystery set in the Old West, the mind of Bruce Holland Rogers takes you to territories of the bizarre: Wall Street, Suburbia, and Mexico. In the Nebula Award-nominated story "These Shoes Strangers Have Died Of," a World War II veteran confronts the perpetrators and victims of genocide, and the would-be perpetrators, through his art. The title story, "Wind Over Heaven," exposes the weird underside of the upscale restaurant business. And the 1998 Bram Stoker Award-winner "The Dead Boy at Your Window" (which also won a Pushcart Prize for literary fiction) takes readers on a journey to the land of the dead like no other.
Cally Taylor lives in Brighton and works in London. Her stories have been published online, in print and have placed in fifteen competitions. When she's not writing Cally goes to gigs, the cinema, museums, galleries and the pub. Her debut novel, a supernatural romantic-comedy called Heaven Can Wait, was published in October 2009 (Orion Books). Her second novel,Home for Christmas, was published in November 2011. Her latest novel, The Accident, is due to be published by Avon in June 2014.
Stories Written: "Full to Spilling" (read by Clive Greenwood)
Home For Christmas by Cally Taylor
Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox - a charming but rundown independent cinema - and has a boyfriend who's so debonair and charming she can't believe her luck! There's just one problem - none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn't look like Aiden's going to say it any time soon. Desperate to hear 'I love you' for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and instantly wishes she hadn't. Just when it seems like her luck can't get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he's determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?
Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor
"What would I do without you, Lucy Brown?' he said, and kissed me softly. I held his face in my hands and kissed him back. I felt that life just couldn't get any more perfect. And I was right, it wouldn't. By the end of the next day, I'd be dead. Lucy is about to marry the man of her dreams - kind, handsome, funny Dan - when she breaks her neck the night before their wedding. Unable to accept a lifetime's separation from her soulmate, Lucy decides to become a ghost rather than go to heaven and be parted from Dan. But it turns out things aren't quite as easy as that.
Cherry Potts is the author of two collections of short stories, Mosaic of Air and Tales told before Cockcrow, published by Onlywomen Press. She also edited Stations, a collection of short stories inspired by the Overground Line and London Lies, the Liars' League anthology. She will shortly be looking for a publisher for a ridiculously long lesbian fantasy epic.
Stations: Short Stories Inspired by the Overground Line edited by Cherry Potts (Arachne Press)
Twenty-four new short stories in homage to the East and South London section of the Overground Line: a story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the line, all the way to Highbury & Islington.
From tigers in a South London suburb to retired Victorian police inspectors investigating train based thefts, from collectors of poets at Shadwell to life-changing decisions in Canonbury, by way of an art installation that defies the boundaries of a gallery, Stations takes a sideways look through the windows of the Overground train, at life as it is, or might be, lived beside the rails: quirky, humorous and sometimes horrifying.
Tales Told Before Cockcrow by Cherry Potts (Onlywomen Press)
"How about a dragon whose ‘scales rattled softly like a spring shower on leaves’; a tailor, normally the plucky little hero of a dozen fairy tales, who is not to put too fine a point on it, a spiv; a knight, who far from being the wounded, ‘ill-made’ but redemptive figure of myth behaves like an investment banker on the run from the credit crunch; a Sleeping Beauty who is in fact a chemically coshed lesbian feminist activist? Archetype, myth, scripture and fairy tale, Cherry Potts takes ingredients from these potent sources, shakes the kaleidoscope of her imagination and reveals new facets of such timeless companions. Her characters are described by a pen that is always painfully sharp, sometimes acid and never far from acutely funny." - Kate Foley
Mosaic of Air 2013 edition by Cherry Potts (Arachne Press)
Delving into lecturing spiders, Helen of Troy, seaside libraries, space pirates and computers that fall in love, murder disability and memory; Mosaic of Air explores many genres and many voices. Challenging, touching and funny but most of all taking a delight in all that women can be.
The Dowry Blade by Cherry Potts (Arachne Press)
Trust anyone, even an enemy…
…Trust no one, not even a friend.
Voices rose suddenly and Brede felt the thrum in the earth of approaching horses. At last, here was Luce come to carry off Ivo’s horses, so that he must follow and be ‘captured’ and taken away as her hand mate.
Laughter erupted in the circle as Ivo leapt to his feet with a whoop, eager to follow his lover and start his captivity. His next kin and the closest of his band of friends scurried after him, all of them mounted in a few moments, and rode a wide sweep about the fire before heading out into the darkness…
Into darkness and a flurry of arrows.
Courttia Newland is a novelist, short story writer, and literary activist. “Gone Away Boy” is taken from his collection A Book of Blues, published by Flambard Press.
Stories written: "Gone Away Boy" (read by Tony Bell) from A Book of Blues (below)
A Book of Blues by Courttia Newland (Flambard Press)
The blues speak of many things, most of all love. In these contemporary, often humorous and frequently surprising stories, Courttia Newland's collection of family, friends, lovers and strangers endeavour to navigate a world where love presents as many obstacles as opportunities. A music journalist suffers a crisis of faith in Miami. Young London goes hip-hop crazy circa 1988, turning from Farahs and Clarks to baggy jeans and fat-laced trainers.
David Hartley is a writer and performer from Manchester. His latest collection of weird flash fictions Spiderseed (Sleepy House Press, 2016) very nearly won a Saboteur Award. He can be found online at @DHartleyWriter and davidhartleywriter.com.
Spiderseed by David Hartley (Sleepy House Press)
Twenty small tales of our twisted world, our haunted lives, our fearful hopes and our strange dreams. From time-traveling libraries to haunted bathtubs, via a barricaded Jenga tower and a crime scene for insects, these bothersome stories spin a web across your brain and wait for your mind to be caught and devoured. Written by master of the quick and weird, David Hartley and fully illustrated throughout by the inks of Emmy Ingle. Prepare to be disturbed, amused, delighted and surprised by the creatures that lurk between the weird lines of this most unusual web...
David McGrath graduated from an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths University in 2012 and lives in London. He has won the Peirene Press Short Story Competition, StorySlam at the Royal Festival Hall and was highly commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize 2013. He regularly contributes to literary events and performs his short stories across London and beyond. He featured in London LitCrawl 2013 and has worked with Spread the Word for Towersey Festival and performed at Rattles Tales in Brighton. He received Most Valuable Player for writing from Liars' League, London 2013. Rickshaw is his first novel.
Stories written: Many, but start with The Elephant in the Tower (read by Ed Cooper Clarke)
Rickshaw by David McGrath (Thistle).
Having spiralled into self-destruction, Irish finds himself homeless on the streets of London. In a last-ditch effort to sort something out, he rents a rickshaw, propelling him into a frantic sub-culture of criminals, misfits and lost souls.
Elizabeth Hopkinson has had over 50 short stories published, as well as a historical fantasy novel, Silver Hands. She has won several prizes, including the James White Award, Jane Austen short story (runner-up) and Historic House short story (runner-up). She lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Her website is elizabethhopkinson.uk
Stories written: "Desperately Seeking Hephaestion" (read by Nicholas Delvallé)
Silver Hands by Elizabeth Hopkinson (Top Hat Books)
A mysterious pendant. A sinister suitor. And an epic chase to the Edge of the Map... 1706. The rival Dutch and English East India Companies sail the world's oceans, bringing back exotic treasures and tales of fantastical lands. In coastal Hollyport, Margaret faces a terrible choice: to abandon herself to a marriage that could erase her very soul, or to risk all aboard a ship bound for dangerous waters. With her betrothed husband, the sinister Mr Van Guelder in pursuit, Margaret embarks on a journey like no other: where pirates, flying islands and secret empires await; along with unexpected friendship from troubled young nobleman Taro, whose estate holds surprises and sorrows of its own. But Van Guelder is never far behind, nor is the power of the mysterious lodestone round his neck, and Margaret will have to learn the true nature of suffering before she can ever be free.
Erinna lives in Brighton. She was a runner up at the Guildford Book Festival and has taken part in many events including Brighton Fringe. Her first novel STARLINGS is out now through Revenge Ink! She is a founding member of Rattle Tales and is writing her second novel.
Stories Written: "Underneath" (read by Elizabeth Bower).
Starlings by Erinna Mettler (Revenge Ink)
Starlings is a daisy-chain novel set in Brighton. Each chapter tells the story of one of its varied inhabitants. Disparate lives collide in surprising ways, showing that destinies are often shaped by those we live beside. In a coastal tower block we meet Andy, a conflicted paedophile battling his urges. Next door is May, a desperately lonely old lady. Their lives are connected by the past and the future. In between are the stories of those they have touched - briefly or profoundly - Andy's violent father, his mother and her transgender lover, May's absent husband, the parents of abducted children, the drug dealer down the hall. Like the starlings swarming the skies above, these characters dance around each other until the final shattering climax when the destinies of Andy and May are revealed.
She loves reading, has published a novel called The Glassblower’s Daughter and a collection of short stories called Unusual Salami, she updates a blog every Friday but can’t get the page to come up as the home page, works for Southampton University and is writing a second book very slowly.
Stories Written: "Kenny" (read by Jo Widdowson).
The Glassblower's Daughter by Frances Clarke (Vesta Publishing)
Greta's life is carefree until the abrupt disappearance of her elder sister. After that, all her courage can't save her from the sinister shadows that engulf her. Even when she finds a way out betrayal and treachery threaten her. This is a wonderful first novel and Greta is a winning heroine. The writing is powerful, lyrical and funny... (Rebecca Smith, author of A Bit of Earth (Bloomsbury, London 2006; paperback edition, 2007))
Unusual Salami and Other Stories by Frances Clarke (Vesta Publishing)
There is humour ('Imaginary Col') or strange lyrical horror (the title story) but the characters in this collection struggle to make sense of life with sometimes dreadful consequences. Greg is weirdly empowered by reading a book, Anna escapes an enchantment (or does she?) God creates the world and Arkle is... well, Arkle. And what exactly IS that raggy brown stuff under the tree in 'Pneumonia'?
Gaie Sebold has a day job. She has published short stories, poetry and two novels, is finishing a third, is a member of T-Party Writers, and posts flash fiction on Plot Medics. She gardens, waves swords around, and hasn’t had enough sleep since 1992.
Stories Written: "The King's Pleasure" (read by Marc Forde)
Dangerous Gifts: A Babylon Steel Novel by Gaie Sebold (Solaris) - available 31 January 2013)
Babylon Steel, former avatar of the goddess of sex and war, owner of the Scarlet Lantern brothel, has been offered a job as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, candidate for the Council of Incandress; and as spy for the barely acknowledged government of Scalentine. Incandress is on the verge of civil war. Enthemmerlee represents the hopes or fears of a large portion of its population and is a prime target for assassination. Babylon attempts to turn Enthemmerlee's useless household guard into a disciplined fighting force, dodge the Moral Statutes and the unwilling presence of a very annoyed Scalentine diplomat. Keeping both herself and her client alive is a hard job that only gets harder. And that s before she is driven to a choice that has terrible and far-reaching consequences...
Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold (Solaris)
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock. She's not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it's tax time, and there s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night's takings are at risk when Babylon's hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat. Babylon Steel: a heroine who gets really up close and personal.
Graham Buchan has published two books and a pamphlet of poetry with The Tall Lighthouse; individual poems in two national newspapers and many magazines; short stories in The London Magazine, Litro, Zembla andButterfly; regular film and art reviews for East End Life and The Detour; and travel writing.
There is Violence in These Vapors by Graham Buchan (tall lighthouse)
"Graham Buchan's first full-length collection proves that he is a master of 'viral poetry' - words that infect the reader with their anger, cynicism and intelligence" - Agnes Meadows
Gregory Adams's fiction combines horror, comedy, and drama. In his stories, you'll find demons, aliens and otherworldly horrors, but they will make you laugh as often as they make your skin crawl, and you may experience both sensations simultaneously. He has published two collections of strange stories, available at www.gregoryadams.net
Stories written: "Arkham Roadside Assistance" (read by Katy Darby)
The River Above by Gregory Adams
A collection of strange stories in the tradition of Ray Bradbury, Robert Aikman and Rod Sterling.
One Day in Hell by Gregory Adams
From the mean streets of Hell’s capitol city to the well-appointed condominiums of Miskatonic Valley Planned Community, these 13 stories explore where unexpected realities and familiar horrors meet. Face lifeboat economics with the unsinkable Mr. Pinneped, hunt witches in Colonial Massachusetts, dodge suicide bombers in a quiet American city, and take a guided tour of New York’s most haunted house. This book will take you places that you have never imagined, and you will never forget.
Gregory Norminton was born in Berkshire in 1976. He has published four novels, including The Ship of Fools and Serious Things. 'At prayer in the madhouse' is part of a collection of very short stories published in 2013 by Vagabond Voices entitled Thumbnails. Gregory lives in Edinburgh. His website is www.gregorynorminton.co.uk
Stories Written: "At prayer in the madhouse with Kit Smart" (read by Steve Wedd)
The Lost Art of Losing by Gregory Norminton (Vagabond Voices)
Gregory Norminton transforms the aphorism into something more accessible and personal. Ultimately he uses aphorisms to question everything - including the aphorism itself: 'Incessantly we ask the meaning of life to protect us from hearing the perfectly obvious answer.' In The Lost Art of Losing, the author analyses the process and the hubris of literary invention, and is brutal in revealing its limitations: 'No revelation sparkles brighter than the one scribbled down from sleep, nor looks duller when revisited by the light of day. What we dream is the image of meaning. The object eludes.'
Serious Things by Gregory Norminton (Sceptre)
In the early 1990s, at an old-fashioned boarding school, two boys form an intense friendship that will shape the course of their lives. Bruno Jackson, the shy and lonely son of British expats, is infatuated by the glamorous but troubled Anthony Blunden. Taken under the wing of an idealistic English teacher, the boys are encouraged to explore the 'more serious things' of life beyond college. But in the hothouse of the school, a slight from their mentor seems of earth-shattering importance, with fateful consequences. Years later, with the memories of that time almost buried, Bruno leads a blameless, uneventful life. The sudden reappearance of Anthony forces him to revisit the dark corners of his past and to decide how far he's prepared to go to assuage his conscience.
Ghost Portrait by Gregory Norminton (Sceptre)
This intimate and compelling novel deftly interweaves three periods in the life of 17th-century painter Nathaniel Deller: in 1650, just after Charles I's execution, the young Deller joins a political group too radical even for the Roundheads; ten years later, on the night of Charles II's return from exile, Deller is accused by his former friend Thomas Digby of betraying their ideals; and in 1680, the increasingly blind painter commissions his former pupil William Stroud to finish the portrait of his late wife, knowing this could reignite the romance between Stroud and the daughter he tyrannises. Offering a vivid picture of England during a period of great turmoil, "Ghost Potrait" explores the conflict between public duty and private desire, idealism and ambition.
Arts and Wonders by Gregory Norminton (Sceptre)
Arts and Wonders follows Tommaso Grilli, dwarf and talented art forger, from his unhappy beginnings in Renaissance Florence, via a life of crime in Prague, to the minor German Dukedom of Felsengrunde. There, as curator and (more often than not) 'creator' of a fantastical Library of Arts, he makes himself indispensable to the impoverished duke - with whom his own fortunes will be murderously linked.
The Ship of Fools by Gregory Norminton (Sceptre)
The characters on Norminton's purgatorial 'Ship of Fools' - a ship that's going nowhere fast - bicker and struggle for attention; telling tales that bounce off one another to form a compendium of interralated stories, running from lyrical romance to scabrous satire, by way of fairy-tale and black comedy. Often wickedly funny, always stunningly written and displaying an astonishing range of voices (the prudish nun, the bawdy old woman, the penitent drunkard, and the glutton whose stomach does all the talking - to name a few) 'The Ship of Fools' is truly a treasure chest of a novel, and an example of story-telling at its very best.
Thumbnails by Gregory Norminton (Vagabond Voices)
In these forty-eight very short stories or "micrograms", Gregory Norminton once again experiments with form, using his stylish and witty prose to examine the nooks and crannies of our distracted lives. Taken as a whole, the collection is an exercise in storytelling, proving that narrative can be found in the most unlikely packages. Sexual love flourishes briefly in a retirement home; British soldiers in eighteenth-century America give a very dubious gift to the natives; a Portuguese naturalist loses his life's work to Napoleon. These are just a few of the premises that run through the book. Myth, social comedy, tragedy and speculative fiction follow one another in tales that vary widely in form and content - united by the task of conveying a complete narrative with the greatest possible economy.
Harry Whitehead works in film and television production. He has an MA in creative writing from Birkbeck and an MSc in anthropology, which makes it remarkable he’s employed at all. He has had short fiction, poetry and academic work published, and is twiddling his thumbs waiting for a book he’s written on Nepalese Tantric art to be published.
Stories Written:"Ringtone" (read by Suzanne Goldberg)
The Cannibal Spirit by Harry Whitehead (Hamish Hamilton)
George Hunt has a white father and a native mother. A shaman and chieftain among his people, the Kwagiulth, helplessly he has watched them die-from disease, warfare, alcohol, despair-as their world is besieged by the arrival of the twentieth century and the encroachments of the young country called Canada. Yet he is also an assistant to the famed anthropologist Franz Boas, and a collector of native artefacts for the white man's museums. He inhabits both worlds, looking in and looking out, at peace in neither. Masterful, unforgettable, and utterly gripping, The Cannibal Spirit broods with nostalgia for a passing world and pounds with relentless tension. Based on the life of the real historical figure George Hunt, this astonishing evocation of the fog-wrapped forests of the northwest coast, and the heedless bustle of the arrival of modernity in the midst of an older, beleaguered way of life, tells the story of the grappling of two civilizations in the life of one man.
Heidi James’s novella The Mesmerist's Daughter (published by Apis Books) was launched in July 2007. Her novel Carbon was published by Blatt in October 2009. Her essays and short stories have appeared in various publications and anthologies including Dazed and Confused, Another Magazine, The Independent, 3:AM London, New York, Paris, Pulp.net etc. She lectures at Kingston University.
Stories Written: "Now, possibly" (read by Jennifer Tan)
Carbon by Heidi James (Blatt)
Heidi James's debut novel is a dystopian meditation on identity, fiction, Cartesian duality, and stolen jewels. A hallucination of decline and disintegration, this darkly comic novel unpicks the seams of manic realism.
Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel by Heidi James, Kay Sexton, and Lucy Fry (Apis Books)
Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel, is a collection of stories by three of the UK's brightest new writing talents: The Mesmerist's Daughter by Heidi James, Smokin' the Queen by Kay Sexton, and In the Clear by Lucy Fry. Together the stories transport the reader into the minds of three very different characters. "Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel is inventive in language and exuberant in narrative. You'll be hard pressed to find such fantastic fictions in more mainstream, well-behaved publications." Russell Celyn Jones
Hunter Liguore is a rebel writer and witness to our times. Her stories push conventional boundaries of genre, and usually end unpredictably. She holds advanced degrees in writing and history, and has been published in a variety of well-known publications. To become a Liguorite visit:http://about.me/skytalewriter.
Stories Written: "Elder Leah" (read by Carrie Cohen)
The Last Man Anthology: Tales of Disaster, Catastrophe and Woe edited by Hunter Liguore (Sword & Saga Press)
The Last Man Anthology takes inspiration from Mary Shelley’s novel, The Last Man, and showcases short stories and poems that build on the theme of finality—of being last. From experiencing the last snowmelt to taking part of the last day on Earth,The Last Man Anthology propels catastrophic literature into the twenty-first century while staying true to Shelley’s timeless themes of chaos and isolation. How would it feel to know you were experiencing your last day on Earth? What would the end of the world look like to the Greek gods, the last bookstore owner, or the last philosopher? Includes veteran writers Ray Bradbury, C. J. Cherryh, Barry N. Malzberg, along with such classic sci-fi authors as H. G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jack London, and an assortment of contemporary writers from four continents. We’re also honored to have a third grader make the cut!
Heart-Shaped Box: Up-Stream Stories for the Far-Out Man by Hunter Liguore (Sword & Saga Press)
Stories are like friends. We tell them to keep a part of us alive. We need them to move past our own obstacles, to answer questions about ourselves that we are afraid to ask, and to heal and learn. We also read to escape the ordinary, if only for a time. Most of the stories in Heart-Shaped Box will take you out of the ordinary, and deal in some way with the fantastical, the far-far reaches of the normal universe. A few of the people you’ll meet in this collection are: a forty-year old city man having a mid-life crisis, who turns to wizardry as a profession; a woman led by her father to believe her mother was abducted by aliens; a lawyer seeking to redeem himself by representing a wife accused of poising her husband; an average Joe who sees himself—literally; a British scholar who dares enter the mysterious Mayan temple, despite the fact no one has ever entered and left alive. And more. (This edition also contains the controversial piece, “Maple Street, 1966.” One editor didn’t dare to publish it, while another did. You decide if it’s too risky.)
Jackie Walker joined her local writing group WOOA in Brockley five years ago and had her first book Pilgrim State published by Hodder in hardback 2008 and in paperback 2009. Pilgrim State, a family memoir narrated in four voices, won the Association for Social Policy award for Best Publication, 2009.
Stories Written: "The Games They Played" (read by Adam Ganne)
Pilgrim State by Jacqueline Walker (Sceptre)
Pilgrim State is a stunning memoir which tells the story of Dorothy Walker - equal parts beautiful, headstrong, brave and tragic. Her life is lovingly recreated by her daughter Jacqueline in homage to the remarkable woman she was. In the haunting opening pages, set in Pilgrim State mental facility in New York State in 1951, Dorothy has been forcibly sectioned and is battling to keep her children and her sanity. She will struggle all her life to retain both. Dorothy and her children return to Jamaica before finally making a home in post-Windrush London in the early 60s.
Jeffrey Green is a freelance literary and academic translator. He was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Jerusalem since 1973
Stories Written: "Truthteller" (read by Patsy Prince)
Thinking Through Translation by Jeffrey Green (University of Georgia Press)
Punctuated by thoughtful wit, this engaging volume of essays offers Jeffrey M. Green's personal and theoretical ruminations on the profession of translation. Green begins many of the essays by relating the specific techniques and problems associated with translating from Hebrew texts. From this intimate perspective, he forges wise reflections on such subjects as identifying and preserving the writer's voice, the cultural significance of translations and their contents, the research and travel that are part of a translator's everyday life, and the frequent puzzles associated with the craft.
Largest Island in the Sea by Jeffrey Green (Vox Humana Books)
Naples is an overactive city of nobility and squalor, sprawling in the menacing shadow of Vesuvius. Not far from Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, the streets of Naples are lined with Africans and Asians selling sunglasses and watches, and young men from North Africa, seeking work, lounging in the streets. It is here, an island battered by successive waves of war and conquest - from the rivalry between the Phoenicians and the Greeks in the sixth century BCE - through the battles of World War II - that Europe merges with the Third World. Jeffrey Green had wanted to visit these places since his childhood in Greenwich Village, New York City, which, as much as it was a haven of poets, painters, bohemians, and intellectuals, was also the northern fringe of Little Italy. At the age of 60, he finally got to Sicily, in the company of Judith his wife, and another couple. By the time he got there, it meant much more to him than an echo of his Manhattan childhood, for he had been living in Israel since 1973, and was now a citizen of Mediterranean civilization himself.
A Typical Extraordinary Jew: From Tarnow to Jerusalem by Jeffrey Green (Rowman & Littlefield)
This book tells the life story of an extremely engaging and charming Polish Jew, Shmuel Braw (1906-1992), who lived through the traumatic historical events that shaped Jewish experiences in the twentieth century. The story is told largely in Shmuel's own Yiddish- inflected Australian English to two avid listeners: Calvin Goldscheider, a social scientist, and Jeffrey M. Green, a writer and translator. Both the Holocaust and Shmuel's harrowing experience as a prisoner in a Soviet labor camp in Siberia figure prominently in this book, but Shmuel also describes his community of Tarnow, a town in southeastern Poland, in rich detail. After World War II, Shmuel settled in Melbourne, Australia before eventually immigrating to Israel. Shmuel was lively, colorful, entertaining, deeply concerned about other people, and a devoted and kind family man. The book is true to Shmuel's spirit and shares the life of a man whom everyone fondly remembers as a typical extraordinary Jew.
Jennifer Steil is an American author and journalist living in Bolivia. Her first book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010) is a memoir about running theYemen Observer newspaper in Sana’a. Her novelThe Ambassador’s Wife is published by Doubleday. Her work has appeared in Vogue UK,World Policy Journal, and the Washington Times.
Stories written: Fault Lines (read by Louisa Gummer)
The Ambassador's Wife by Jennifer Steil (Doubleday)
From a real-life ambassador’s wife comes a harrowing novel about the kidnapping of an American woman in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices she and her husband each must make in the hope of being reunited. When bohemian artist Miranda falls in love with Finn, the British ambassador to an Arab country, she finds herself thrust into a life for which she has no preparation. The couple and their toddler daughter live in a stately mansion with a staff to meet their every need, but for Miranda even this luxury comes at a price: the loss of freedom.
Jessica Lott’s first book was the novella Osin, published in 2007. She is a New York City-based fiction writer and art critic and the recipient of frieze magazine’s 2009 Writer’s Prize. Her first novel, The Rest of Us, was published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster. Her website is www.jessicalott.com.
Osin by Jessica Lott (Low Fidelity Press)
Offering a fresh perspective on the problem of being a middle-aged male completely out of touch with his world, his family, and himself, this tragic yet funny novella tells the story of Osin, a recently retired publisher adrift on the sea of his mostly pointless life. His first wife left him after many extramarital trysts, his second wife is leaving him for someone else, and he is estranged from his son. Obsessed with the idea that his family holds the key to his redemption, he attempts to reunite with his first wife, whom he hasn't seen in 15 years, and mend his life.
The Rest of Us by Jessica Lott (Simon & Schuster)
A smart literary debut, "The Rest of Us" is an indelible love story that explores the legacy of an affair between a young student and her older professor. As a college student, Terry fell madly and destructively in love with Rhinehart, her older, famous poetry professor, tumbling into a relationship from which she never fully recovered. Now, fifteen years later, she is single, still living in the New York City walk-up she moved into after college, and languishing as a photographer's assistant, having long abandoned her own art. But when she stumbles upon Rhinehart's obituary online listing his many accomplishments, she finds herself taking stock of the ways her life has not lived up to her youthful expectations--and disproportionately distraught at the thought that she'll never see him again. Imagine her surprise when, a few weeks later, she bumps into him: very much alive, married, and Christmas shopping at Bloomingdale's.
Jet McDonald has written a novel about furniture made out of living dogs called "Automatic Safe Dog" and a novella about comatose American women called "The Centrally Locked Mothers of America". His short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies and he has told his tales all over the country in clubs, pubs, boats and lighthouses. He runs "Folk Tales" a much loved storytelling and music night in Bristol and writes songs and perfoms in the twisted folk band Jetfly. firstname.lastname@example.org
Automatic Safe Dog by Jet McDonald (Eibonvale Press)
In this, his extraordinary debut novel, Jet McDonald has created a heady brew of volatile cocktail ingredients. Madcap surreal hu-mour blends with vicious parody of the world of work, the vanity of "Creative" types, the torments of unrequited love, animal cruelty and the excesses of consumer society. Words and sentences undergo some kind of alchemy under McDonald's reckless stewardship, he whips them up into little frenzies like performing pooches and makes them jump through the burning hoops of our open mouths and frazzled brains. Not so much a breath of fresh air as a snort of something industrial, read this book and become initiated into a rebellion of the mind that will leave you inspired and laughing with exhilaration.
Jim Murdoch is a Scottish writer living just outside Glasgow. He is the author of four novels, Living with the Truth, Stranger than Fiction, Milligan and Murphy, and Making Sense and a poetry collection, This Is Not About What You Think. You can find out more about him on his blog,The Truth About Lies.
Stories Written: "Funny Strange" (read by Steve Wedd)
Milligan and Murphy by Jim Murdoch (Fandango Virtual)
There are no reasons for unreasonable things. So the protagonists of this novel are told having found themselves setting out on an adventure that they really didn't plan. Like many people, Murdoch has always had a great affection for the two lead characters in Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Have you ever wondered what Didi and Gogo were like when they were young and what led them to end up waiting for a man who would most likely never turn up? That's basically the premise Murdoch set out to explore in Milligan and Murphy but that was not the question he finally answered.
This is Not About What You Think by Jim Murdoch (Fandango Virtual)
The seven sections of this book, when read in the sequence in which they are presented, show snapshots from childhood through to old age. Some of these are things that happened to me, others are things I've seen happen, that might have happened. This might be someone's life but not mine.
Stranger than Fiction by Jim Murdoch (Fandango Virtual)
Stranger than Fiction is the sequel to Jim Murdoch's first novel, Living with the Truth in which Jonathan Payne nearing the end of a wasted life gets the opportunity to spend two days with the personification of truth.
Without giving away too much about either book, Stranger than Fiction takes place in a landscape generated by Jonathan Payne's memories of his past life. Everyone and everything is as Jonathan remembers it, not necessarily the way it was.
Living with the Truth by Jim Murdoch (Fandango Virtual)
Picture, for a moment, Jonathan Payne, probably the last person in the world you would expect to be the lead character in anybody's novel, a faded old bookseller nearing the end of a wasted life. We meet him sitting alone in his flat just waiting on Death to knock at his front door.
But life has something else in store for poor Jonathan. Instead of Death he gets to spend two days with the personification of truth who opens Jonathan's eyes to not only what his life has become but what it might have been. He learns what he's missed out on, what other people are really thinking and the true nature of the universe which, it transpires, has been in the hands of entities like Truth, Reality, Destiny and others who've always been with us and yet haven't always made the best choices for humanity.
By the end of the book, having learned far more about himself than he ever wanted to know, he discovers that it's usually never too late to start again. Only sometimes it is.
Making Sense by Jim Murdoch (Fandango Virtual)
How do you make sense out of life? Some say that you can't and you shouldn't bother to try. Still, most of us try to impose a sense of sense onto it. We dream up reasons, justifications or excuses to give our lives meaning. In this collection of short stories from Scottish writer Jim Murdoch we meet twenty people who have nothing in common apart from this need to make sense out of their lives: a murderer, a gambler, an adoptee, a stand-up comic, a teacher; men, women, parents and children, all doing their best to answer the self-same questions, and where their five senses fall short they have to rely on their other senses: those of humour, of justice, of right and wrong, of decency...
Joan Taylor-Rowan has had several stories on Radio 4 and has been a finalist in several international short story competitions. Her novel The Birdskin Shoes is now available in paperback and e-book format. She is a teacher of Art and Textiles in London.
The Birdskin Shoes by Joan Taylor-Rowan (CreateSpeace Independent Publishing Platform)
"He had seen it, just as clearly as the day it had happened, right there in front of him. He’d felt it with all his senses, and she had too. He stumbled, opened his mouth and a long groan slid out of it, like a foghorn, warning the ships of the past to stay away, but too late, too late." Born with feet so skilful they can even sense the restless shifting of the earth, Joey Pachuca is king of the high-wire, thrilling crowds in a Mexican circus. But he carries a dark secret. He may have changed his name, but the tragic events that caused him to run away from Ireland all those years ago will not let him be. The Birdskin Shoes is a marvellous story of love and redemption that transports the reader from the grey skies of rural Ireland to the dazzle of the Mexican circus in the company of Joey, a young man with a remarkable gift but a guilty conscience. This unusual novel is in turns gritty and enchanting, moving and funny, insightful and wise.
Jonathan Pinnock has reached that difficult stage in his writing career when it has become as essential to him as eating, sleeping and breathing. Despite this, he is still married, with (as far as he can recall) two children. His imaginatively-titled website is at www.jonathanpinnock.com.
Stories Written: "The Patience of a Saint" (read by Paul Clarke),"Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions" (read by Sabina Cameron), "Rare Meat" (read by Greg Page), "The Last Words of Emanuel Prettyjohn" (read by Tony Bell and Lin Sagovsky)
Dot Dash by Jonathan Pinnock (Salt Publishing)
Prepare to enter a world where nothing is ever quite what it seems, where elephants squat in living rooms, plastic ducks fall from the skies and even the rabbits can’t be trusted. The fifty-eight stories in Jonathan Pinnock’s Scott Prize-winning collection Dot Dash show a vivid yet disciplined imagination at work.
These stories, many of which have individually won prizes, are populated by a rich variety of characters, including a tightrope-walking couple with marital issues, a graffiti artist with an agenda and an interviewee who’s about to find out some awkward truths about himself. Very few of them turn out to be completely innocent, and none of them remains unaffected by the experience.
Mrs. Darcy Versus the Aliens by Jonathan Pinnock (Proxima Books)
A year or two into her marriage, Elizabeth Darcy has much on her mind: she has still not produced an heir for Mr Darcy, there are preparations to be made for the Pemberly summer ball, and her youngest sister Lydia has been abducted by aliens. As Regency England sleepwalks towards tentacled oblivion, will she be able to reunite with her old foe Wickham and put a stop to their evil plans? Meanwhile, in the East End of London, the repulsive Mr Collins is running a Mission for fallen women whilst his poor wife Charlotte has fallen under the malign spell of Lord Byron and is now a laudanum addict. But is everything at the Mission all that it seems? What is Mr Darcy doing there? And why are there strange lights in the sky over Lady Catherine de Bourgh's seat at Rosings? This is probably the most unconventional sequel to a Jane Austen novel ever written. It is certainly the funniest.
Juleigh Howard-Hobson's work has appeared inAesthetica, Going Down Swinging, and KeyHole, among other places. A Million Writers Award "Notable Story" writer, she's been nominated for "The Best of the Net" and The Pushcart Prize. Born in England, she grew up in Australia and now lives in Portland Oregon, USA.
Stories Written: "On the Catching and Cooking of Magical Folk" (read by Rob Whitcomb)
The Cycle of Nine by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (Ravenshalla Arts)
The Cycle of Nine is one of the best representations of the New Formalist movement that has taken root in literary circles. Written by Juleigh Howard Hobson, an award winning formalist poet and Assistant poetry Editor at the highly respected Able Muse Journal, The Cycle of Nine brings a post-modern darkness to traditional form and meter resulting in a precisely loaded synthesis of old and new, charm and bleakness. The Author's nods to European and English myth and echoes of History grasp towards light, combine and contrast, ebb and flow with an organic rhythm and faultless style.
Julie Mayhew is a writer and actress. Her Afternoon Play Stopgap will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on September 8th and you can currently hear her performing in Radio 4 sketch series Recorded For Training Purposes. She has recently completed a debut novel Red Ink. Julie is currently working on her second novel entitled Mother Tongue, supported by the 2011/12 Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring scheme. More details at www.juliemayhew.co.uk.
Red Ink by Julie Mayhew (Hot Key Books)
When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce Melon to a 'living, breathing' father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and is unlikely to be jumping on a plane and coming to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has 'The Story'. 'The Story' is the Fourakis family fairytale. A story is something. "Red Ink" is a powerful coming-of-age tale about superstition, denial and family myth.
Kachi A. Ozumba
Kachi A. Ozumba is a winner of the Decibel Penguin Short Story Prize. His stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and appeared in journals and anthologies. He lives in Newcastle, pursuing a research degree in Literature/Creative Writing. The Shadow of a Smile is his first novel.
Stories Written: "The Devil's Lies" (read by Steve Wedd)
The Shadow of a Smile by Kachi A. Ozumba (Alma Books)
Torn from his father and a loving sister, the young student Zuba is imprisoned for a crime he has not even thought about committing. His misfortune: to live in a world where corruption is rife and honest and law-abiding people are crushed by the wheels of a blind, unscrupulous bureaucracy. What seems at first to be an irksome judiciary misunderstanding gradually becomes a journey through the hell of Nigerian prisons. Only by showing the utmost daring and integrity will Zuba be able to regain his freedom. Funny, crude, poignant, Kachi Ozumba's debut novel reveals the darker side of a country striving to consolidate democracy after years of dictatorship and tribal in-fighting.
Katy Darby studied English at Oxford University, where she apeared in over 30 plays in Oxford, Edinburgh and London, and took her MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, where she received the David Higham Award. Her work has won several prizes, been read on BBC Radio, and appeared in magazines and anthologies including Stand, Mslexia, The London Magazine, the Arvon anthology and online at Untitledbooks.com, Carvezine.com and Pulp.net and her plays are published by Samuel French. She teaches Short Story Writing at City University in London.
Stories Written: "The Fan" (read by Max Berendt)
The Unpierced Heart by Katy Darby (Penguin)
First published in trade paperback as "The Whores' Asylum", "The Unpierced Heart" is a thrilling, gothic debut sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Waters' "Fingersmith" and "Tipping the Velvet" and Michel Faber's "The Crimson Petal" and the "White".
Oxford, 1887: brilliant medical student Stephen Chapman volunteers at a shelter devoted to reforming fallen women, where he meets and falls for Diana, a girl who has broken hearts and inspired deadly duels. His best friend Edward sees her as a dangerous temptress, but Stephen believes she is a wronged woman. What secrets does Diana hold, and what will happen when Stephen strays further into unknown and forbidden territory?
As well as writing for the UK's premier sustainability journal, Green Futures, Pushcart-nominated Kay Sexton is a finalist in the University of Hertfordshire Writing Award . She blogs about writing fiction at http://writingneuroses.blogspot.com and has a regular column at www.moondance.org. Her fiction is widely anthologised.
Stories Written: "Still Life with Shirt and Sheep" (read by Sharron Byrne)
The Allotment Diaries: A Year of Potting, Plotting and Feasting by Kay Sexton (Summersdale Publishers)
Anyone who's ever spent their weekends, evenings and even lunchtimes at the allotment will delight in Kay Sexton's stories of life at the Voodoo Plot and the entertaining characters that keep her amused throughout the year. As the plot thickens and the growers thrive or struggle to flourish, there's an abundance of year-round horticultural advice for any kitchen gardener, with month by - month sections on sowing and growing, crop care and allotment tasks, what to harvest and tried and tested seasonal recipes. Along with numerous helpful tip boxes, Kay's diary takes you through a year in the life of an allotment site, from mulching to munching and everything in between.
Minding My Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life by Kay Sexton (Summersdale Publishers)
When Kay Sexton becomes the proud holder of an allotment, she hopes it will be her first foray towards self-sufficiency for her family. Instead, she finds herself in a strange and hostile world of arcane rules and regulations, and hosepipe standoffs. She finds her mud-caked Wellingtoned feet and successfully navigates her way through allotment-keeping: battling Biblical-scale pest invasions; learning the dark arts of the competitive vegetable grower; and, practising ninja-like disappearing acts to avoid yet another free cucumber from a neighbouring gardener. Witty, well-observed and with mouth-watering recipes, this book is for anyone who dreams of a slice of the good life.
Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel by Heidi James, Kay Sexton, and Lucy Fry (Apis Books)
Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel, is a collection of stories by three of the UK's brightest new writing talents: The Mesmerist's Daughter by Heidi James, Smokin' the Queen by Kay Sexton, and In the Clear by Lucy Fry. Together the stories transport the reader into the minds of three very different characters. "Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel is inventive in language and exuberant in narrative. You'll be hard pressed to find such fantastic fictions in more mainstream, well-behaved publications." Russell Celyn Jones
Kurt Tidmore has been a construction worker, printer, tortilla manufacturer, illustrator, photographer, ice-plant worker, paid scientific guinea pig, salesman, dish washer, national magazine editor, jazz musician, dark-room technician, truck driver, published novelist, and radio disc-jockey. He was born in Texas and now lives in Ireland.
Bigger 'N Dallas by Kurt Tidmore (Grove Publishing)
Bigger 'n Dallas, the bar-dancehall at the edge of the small West Texas town of Tyrone, is central to the lives of the 13 characters whose stories are related in respective chapters here. Most of the characters are linked in some way, and by the near-disastrous climax, which involves six of them, we've become involved with the lot. Evoking climate and personalities with affection, Tidmore offers a varied cast: Lucille Marie Wintergarten is "17 years old and on her way to 30 with no stops in between." Her aunt Lucinda is a beauty whose image is marred by an unmoving left eye, 'like a headlight." Jerry Wintergarten, "'a man who tried to do right," is confused by his wife, daughter and everything else. Independent Sharon Ann Morrison has "been lonely sometimes, but that's often what strength costs." Among the book's joys are a wonderful rant by a late-night-radio preacher, a dreamy description of baton-twirling and Lucinda's getting-ready-for-the-bar routine. The chapter devoted to Sharon could be vintage John O'Hara. Tidmore, who wastes no words, is someone to watch.
Hong Kong-based Matthew Harrison is reliving a boyhood passion for science fiction. He has published numerous SF short stories and is building up to longer pieces as he learns more about the universe. Matthew is married with two children but no pets as there is no space for these in Hong Kong. www.matthewharrison.hk
Stories written: "Rated" (read by Carrie Cohen)
Queen's Road Central and Other Stories by Matthew Harrison
The eight stories in this collection explore romantic relationships against the background of Hong Kong’s crowded streets. A hillside walk, a tram ride, a court case, a demonstration – or warming noodles in the office pantry – bring the characters together and provide the setting for their encounters. The unique spirit of the city pervades the stories and plays a part in their resolution.
Jessica's Choice by Matthew Harrison
Jessica’s Choice is a novel about delusion and self-knowledge. A young woman, seeking to lose herself in pursuit of a mission, is forced to make a choice and through choosing know herself again.
Unlucky in love, Jessica Wong has returned to Hong Kong to convert the territory’s corporates to social responsibility. Yet the corporates prove resistant to her message. And Jessica becomes entangled with divorcee Errol and her mother’s friend Nathan. Enigmatic Mainland analyst Liu Rong seems to offer Jessica a way out.
But in the complex crowded Hong Kong of 2002, all is not what it seems. SARS and national security legislation under Article 23 cast their shadow. And despite help from Jessica’s down-to-earth assistant Mandy and mentor Shu-li, misunderstandings mount into crisis. Then Jessica must make her choice.
Benjamin Bunce by Matthew Harrison
Benjamin Bunce is a humorous treatment of Hong Kong office life.
Hong Kong bachelor Benjamin Bunce has found his niche as PR manager of the Prospect Group. But when olives replace the spiced beef in the PR department pantry, it’s a sign of trouble. And when the olive-eater turns out to be dominating new boss Alexandra, Benjamin finds himself on the menu.
Benjamin Bunce takes our hero through a busy year as he wrestles with casinos and caged men, and fung shui and female impersonation in pursuit of his boss’s wild schemes. His mission takes him beyond Hong Kong to Macau and Mainland China, and a series of large ladies test his bachelor resolve. But Benjamin’s biggest challenge is himself. Can he learn to face his fears and bring home the bacon?
When her novella was longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Novella Award in 2007, Michelle Shine decided to take writing more seriously. Since then, she has completed a full length novel and achieved an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. Her work appears in this summer's edition of Grey Sparrow Literary Journal.
Stories written: "Skin Deep" (read by Claire-Louise Amias).
The Subtle Art of Healing by Michelle Shine (Food for Thought Publications)
Contemporary fiction that would appeal mostly to mature women. The story is an unfolding tangled mass of difficult personal issues for the main character with an underlying theme of emotional healing and yet it is an easy read.
Mesmerised by Michelle Shine (Indigo Dreams Publishing)
The year is 1863. Paris is imbued with the spirit of revolution. A group of rogue painters,later to become known as the Impressionists, revolt against the ideals of the art establishment. One of them,Dr Paul Gachet,is also inspired to update the world of medicine ... with homeopathy. 1863, Paris, newly built by Haussmann. Avenues have superseded alleys, and cafés have sprung up where there used to be hovels. A group of talented creatives want more than just the face of the city to change. They want their stark truth to be accepted by society, and they are prepared to fight for their ideas to be heard. Dr Paul Gachet, doctor, artist and trustworthy friend to the Impressionists is one of them. He explores the spirit of substances by testing them upon himself and brings Camille Pissarro s brother back from the brink of death using one of his unlikely medicines. When he successfully treats a young prostitute at the hospital Salpêtrière who is diagnosed with insanity, he discovers that there s much more than just his integrity at stake.
M. L. Stedman
Originally from Western Australia, M. L. Stedman lives in London. Her stories have been published in the anthologies Desperate Remedies, Tales of the Decongested Volume 1 and the Mechanics' Institute Review, as well as Litro. Rabbit's Foot Ralph is from her collection Outsiders Within. She released her debut ovel in 2012.
Stories Written: "Rabbit's Foot Ralph" (read by Steve Wedd)
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (Doubleday)
This is a story of right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.
1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world. One April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant - and the path of the couple's lives hits an unthinkable crossroads. Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they make that day - as the baby's real story unfolds ...
M L Stedman's debut is a mesmerising novel of love and loss and unbearable choices.
Niall Boyce has written short stories for Doctor Who and Bernice Summerfield, and articles on subjects such as Outsider Art and alien abduction. His first novel, Veronica Britton: Chronic Detective is out in November from Proxima Books. His work is available at http://bit.ly/npboyce, and he is on Twitter as @NPBoyce_Writer.
Stories Written: "Christmas Future" (read by Paul Clarke), "Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life" (read by Ray Newe), "A Call to Arms" (read by Annalie Wilson), "Blood Relative" (read by Claire Louise Amias), "The Love Machines" (read by Sarah Feathers), "Salvador Dali's 115th Dream"(read by Ben Crystal), "Viral" (read by Annalie Wilson), "A Vindication of the Rights of Frankenstein's Creatures" (read by Cliff Chapman)
Veronica Britton: Chronic Detective by Niall Boyce (Proxima Books)
A Victorian private detective, Veronica Britton specialises in tricky situations that occur in time as well as space. Working alongside her young apprentice, the brilliant time-sensitive Gabrielle Pendleton, she’s very much in demand. If a necklace goes missing and you suspect that someone is selling it off in the future as a valuable antique, or you find yourself being blackmailed by someone who knows a little too much about your past, she’s your woman. Smart, efficient and (almost) always discreet, Veronica is the best chronic detective in London. Time travel is an open secret in the city; it operates under the supervision of the Ministry, an obscure branch of the British government that has taken a sudden interest in Veronica.
Nicholas Hogg's second novel The Hummingbird and the Bear was published in May. Winner of the New Writing Ventures award for fiction, and prizes in the Bridport and Raymond Carver short story contests, his work has also been broadcast by the BBC. His flash fiction, Father and Gun, appears in the Saatchi & Saatchi 'Photo Stories' exhibition he collaborated on with Notes from the Underground. www.nicholashogg.com
Stories Written: "California Burning" (read by Katy Darby).
The Hummingbird and the Bear by Nicholas Hogg (Corsair)
Sam Taylor knows he should be content with his life; with a high-flying career in the city and a beautiful fiancee, his lot is better than most. But he can't help but feel something is missing. When Sam meets enigmatic American Kay at a Cotswolds wedding as he holds out his umbrella for her in the pouring rain, he believes he has found someone who completes him. Throwing caution to the wind, Sam decides to risk everything and pursue Kay across the Atlantic to her native New York and the home she shares with her husband, Chris.
Show Me the Sky by Nicholas Hogg (Canongate Books)
Time is running out for James Dent. On the trail of missing singer Billy K, his team has exhausted every lead. The investigation has cost Dent his marriage, his home and possibly his job. All he has left is his instinct, and a copy of 'Show Me the Sky' - the book Billy was reading when he vanished. With only the clothes on his back and GBP5000 in his wallet, Dent himself disappears. He believes he can solve this case alone. He can have little idea where this journey will take him. Mystery, adventure, historical voyage, coming of age - Show Me the Sky is all this and more. It is a dazzling novel about the power of books to change lives, which will keep you guessing until the final page.
Nichol Wilmor lives in London where he writes - very slowly - under different names.
Godfrey's Ghost: From Father to Son by Nicolas Ridley (Mogzilla Life)
Godfrey's Ghost is, at its heart, the story of a father written by his son. As a young man, Arnold Ridley was chiefly known as the author of the long-running comedy thriller, The Ghost Train. Today he is remembered for his television performances as Private Godfrey, the oldest member of the Dad's Army platoon. But Dad's Army came towards the close of a long life, and although Arnold Ridley was Private Godfrey, Private Godfrey was not Arnold Ridley.
Phil Berry (b. 1971) is a novelist, medical writer and the author of a book series for children called 'All The Pieces'. He studied medicine in Bristol and works as a hospital doctor specialising in liver disease. He lives in London.
Proximity by Phil Berry
Mistakes, omissions, instructions misheard...no system is perfect, and culpability cannot always be assigned. In hospital such errors lead to death. Peter Owens knows that. For him death is a treatment that only he is brave enough to administer. He has found a way to commit euthanasia without causing suspicion.
Nina Charan is new to the hospital, and quickly submits to his enthusiastic tutelage. Within weeks she has witnessed two inexplicable deaths. Her investigations will gradually bring her to the source of her mentor's skewed understanding of medical ethics. But as her naivety is stripped away she is overcome by circumstances...and soon finds herself on the brink of collusion.
This novel explores euthanasia, medical negligence, ethics and the fine balance between autonomy and paternalism.
All the Pieces by Phil Berry
Together at last, five volumes in one - The Cloud Marble, The Diamond Rivet, The Meteorite, The Mosaic Tile and The Spot and The Spiral. It all starts with an old marble in a damp sandpit. The strange and wonderful powers that it gives Tamsin lead her to adventures in Paris, Dubrovnik, London in the year 1666 and, ultimately, the very edge of our galaxy. With the help of Tomas (a French pickpocket), little brother Jake and astronomer Alejandro, Tamsin joins the ancient company of Piece Finders in an attempt to track down the remaining magic objects and reunite them with the source - a rock that is not of this world.
Quintin Forrest’s four principal activities are writing stories, rewriting his novel, playing PS2 and wishing for a PS3.
Stories written: "Elephant's Graveyard" (read by Dave Zezulka), "Pete Doherty's Christmas Carol" (read by Max Berendt), "Lavender Bunny and the Big Brother House" (read by Will Goodhand), "The Notting Hill Punisher" (read by Stephen Butterton), "Sarah Palin's Yuletide Epistle 2009" (Daisy Whyte), "Worst Review of My Career, So Far"(read by Al Woodhall, "Lavender Bunny and Celebrity Come Dine With Me" (read by Will Goodhand), "Barry Trotter And The Staff Of Power" (read by Stephen Bellamy), "Lavender Bunny and the Ninth Circle" (read by Will Goodhand),"The H-Meister Hits Thirty" (read by Tom Sawyer), "Investment Opportunities in the Isle of Man" (read by Cliff Chapman), "The Mad Prince's Dinner Party" (read by Alex Woodhall), "The H-Meister Gets Hitched (a tale of Prince Harry)" (read by Alex Woodhall)
Tales of Modern Stupidity by Quintin Forrest (CreateSpace)
Somewhere between William Burroughs and Beatrix Potter, between Triumph Of The Will and Tom & Jerry, between South Park and The Sun lies Tales Of Modern Stupidity, a meditation on fame, delirium and celebrity burn-out in twenty-first century London. In a fictional world where armed men take to the streets to protect property values, an ambitious restaurateur puts Gordon Ramsay on the menu, Prince Harry is kidnapped by al-Qaeda and a Machiavellian toy rabbit may be pulling the strings, is anything certain?
Richard Smyth is a freelance writer, editor, researcher and proofreader. He also draws his own Christmas cards. He's been freelancing for two-and-a-bit years and is still not entirely sick of it. Before that, he worked unhappily for a publisher, unhappily sat by A-roads counting traffic, and unhappily sold waterproof trousers. Emma Thompson bought some once. In 2014 he will have two more books published, Strange But True English History from the History Press, and his first novel, Salt Pie Alley, from Dead Ink Press.
Stories Written: "Lie There, My Art" (read by Greg Page), "Legerdemain"(read by Greg Page), "The Miller's Tale" (read by Paul Clarke), "This Isn't Heat" (read by Silas Hawkins), "In the Shadow of the High Gable" (read by Katy Darby), "Something Wicked" (read by Tony Bell), "The Work Is Not God's" (read by Steven Bellamy), "Love Says Truth" (read by Patsy Prince),"Saint Theresa" (read by Susan Crothers), "Heriot" (read by Silas Hawkins)
Bloody British History: Leeds by Richard Smyth (The History Press) - available 1 February 2013
Leeds has one of the darkest histories on record. From the fatal Dripping Riot of 1865, sparked by the theft of two pounds of congealed fat, to the violin-playing killer Charles Peace, said to still haunt the city's prison cells, you will find all manner of horrible events inside this book. With plague and disease in the city slums, dreadful disasters in Roundhay Park, and riots in the city centre, this is the real story of Yorkshire's first city.
Bumfodder: An Absorbing History of Toilet Paper by Richard Smyth (Souvenir Press)
This is the hidden history of an invention that we use every day but seldom dare to speak of. In medieval China it was cutting-edge technology. For 19th-century Americans it was a newfangled alternative to dried corncobs and the Sears & Roebuck catalogue. Wits in Georgian London preferred pages of bad poetry. The sages of ancient Athens were content to wield the xylospongion instead. It's the tale of toilet paper; the biography of bumfodder.
Wild Ink by Richard Smyth
Wild Ink is a blackly comic story of friendship and envy, love and memory, booze and uproar, secrets and scandal. Albert Chaliapin is dead – or at least, he feels like he ought to be. He lives in a world occupied only by the ghosts of his former life (and his nurse, who can’t even get his name right). Then, one day, his past – in the form of a drunk cartoonist, a suicidal hack and a corrupt City banker – pays a visit, and Chaliapin is resurrected, whether he likes it or not. He doesn’t, much.
Robert Paul Weston is the author of several internationally award-winning novels for children and young adults. His short fiction has appeared in literary magazines in the UK, United States & Canada, including The New Orleans Review, Postscripts, Kiss Machine and others. He lives in London.
Stories written: "The Anonymity of Buses" (read by Silas Hawkins)
Blues for Zoey by Robert Paul Weston (Razorbill)
Kaz Barrett is saving all his money for a treatment he believes will cure his mother’s mysterious illness, but when pink-haired street musician Zoey Zamani wanders into his life, his well-laid plans are quickly derailed—in the most unexpected ways.
The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston (Framestore)
The Creature Department is the story of two children, Elliot and Leslie, who discover their favourite inventions were created by a team of very unusual engineers in the top secret R&D department of the world’s fifth largest electronics manufacturer. Hijinks ensue.
Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff by Robert Paul Weston (Razorbill)
Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff is the story of Puggly, a commoner chosen to be the prince (not the king, definitely not the king) of the rather unfashionable Kingdom of Spud.
The newly crowned prince is surprised when he receives an invite to a party in the nearby (and extremely chic) Kingdom of Spiff. When Puggly shows up in his plaid trousers and a polka-dot cape, the Spiffians are not amused.
But all is not lost! Puggly soon finds an unexpected ally in Francesca, the bookish Princess of Spiff. Together, the two friends set out to teach the Spiffs an absurd lesson in style.
Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (Razorbill)
Dust City is a hardboiled fairy tale. The dust jacket sums it up nicely: “When your dad is the wolf who killed little red riding hood, life is no fairy tale.”
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston (Razorbill)
Zorgamazoo is a novel about a brave young girl; a strange, subterranean creature; a bizarre lottery; a secret map; an imminent alien invasion; a sport that brings together the finer points of cricket, swimming and chess; and, most importantly, adventure!
Oh, and one more thing: It’s a poem—all 288 pages worth. Zorgamazoo is written entirely in rhyming anapestic tetrametre. (Don’t what that means? Better sample an extract.) An international award-winner and perennial favourite, Zorgamazoo is a children’s book unlike any other!
Stephen Parrish is the author of The Tavernier Stones and The Feasts of Lesser Men. In 2011 he was awarded the Independent Publisher (IPPY) gold medal in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. He edits The Lascaux Review, an online literary journal, and blogs at www.stephenparrish.com.
Stories Written: "Passing the Spatula" (read by Martine McMenemy).
The Feasts of Lesser Men by Stephen Parrish (Lascaux Books)
Germany, 1990: The Berlin Wall has fallen. East and West Germany are discussing reunification. After four and a half decades of cloak-and-dagger intrigue, the Cold War is coming to an end. Not for Jimmy Fisher, a plans clerk in the American 111th Infantry Division. Fisher black markets cigarettes, steals valuables from the dead, and takes advantage of every weakness he identifies in each living person he meets. Which makes him the perfect target for foreign agents seeking to buy documents.
The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish (Midnight Ink)
When the well-preserved body of seventeenth-century mapmaker Johannes Cellarius floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany, a 57-carat ruby clutched in his fist, the grisly discovery attracts the attention of criminals, crooks, and thugs across the globe. It ignites a deadly international treasure hunt to find the fabled Tavernier Stones, a stash that reputedly contains some of the world's most notorious missing jewels.
Tania Hershman loves science. Half the stories in her debut collection, The White Road and Other Stories(www.thewhiteroadandotherstories.com), published by Salt, are inspired by New Scientist articles. Tania is the European regional winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition, and editor of The Short Review, (www.theshortreview.com), a site dedicated to reviewing short story collections.
Stories Written: "The Painter and the Physicist" (read by Susan Crothers)
My Mother Was An Upright Piano by Tania Hershman (Tangent Books)
My Mother Was an Upright Piano builds on the strengths of Tania Hershman's first collection of short stories, The White Road, which was commended by the judges of the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. Hershman's fiction is inspiring, thought-provoking and witty. Her economy with words cloaks her subtlety and power, and she is able to create characters with distinct voices and explore deep and sometimes disturbing relationships is just a few paragraphs of prose. Her writing style has a lyrical quality and often the meter of her work brings added resonance to her themes.
The White Road and Other Stories by Tania Hershman (Salt Publishing)
What links a cafe in Antarctica, a factory for producing electronic tracking tags and a casino where gamblers can wager their shoes? They're among the multiple venues where award-winning writer Tania Hershman sets her unique tales in this spellbinding debut collection.
Being With Me Will Help You Learn by Thomas McColl (Listen Softly London)
In Being With Me Will Help You Learn Thomas McColl uses poetry and short fiction to guide the reader through the murky streets of time and space to find what lives inside our being.
McColl uses his experiences pounding the streets of today to show you what could be, if you choose to live in ignorance of the world around you, and where you can go if you sit up, listen, and take heed of those who have been there already.
Todd Wheeler is a writer of speculative fiction. When not writing, he stays busy being a stay-at-home dad, which is just as satisfying as being a writer and pays about the same. Additional information is available at his website:http://todd-wheeler.com
Stories Written: "Sour Notes" (read by Steve Wedd)
Dreams Like Snowflakes by Todd Wheeler (Mad Endeavor Books)
A game show with a AI judge. A murderous delivery drone. Multi-dimensional mistaken identities. And, of course, giant robot legs. These and more make up the eclectic collection of fiction by Todd Wheeler. Including previously published and new stories, these short works span fantasy and science fiction, the bizarre and the grotesque, and the absurd and silly.
Garbageland by Todd Wheeler (Mad Endeavor Books)
Steve Quiroga is a teacher living in the suburbs of Los Angeles. When Steve loses his deferment from mandatory civil service, he is assigned to the largest landfill on earth. In Kansas. Tamora Maddox is Director of the landfill known as Garbageland. Fueled by coffee and ambition, she has to handle belligerent unions, Congressional inquiries, and dangerous cargos. But something more sinister is afoot and she suspects her boss is involved. Facing double crossing ex-lovers, secret agents, and exploding airships, they manage to avoid disaster and stay true to what they believe in most.
Will Boast was born in Southampton and grew up in Ireland and Wisconsin. His story collection, Power Ballads, won the 2011 Iowa Short Fiction Award. He’s held fellowships from Stanford University and the University of East Anglia. He has new work appearing in The New York Times and The Atlantic.
Stories Written: "Beginners" (read by James McNeill).
Power Ballads by Will Boast (University of Iowa Press)
Real musicians don’t sign autographs, date models, or fly in private jets. They spend their lives in practice rooms and basement clubs or toiling in the obscurity of coffee-shop gigs, casino jobs, and the European festival circuit. The ten linked stories in Power Ballads are devoted to this unheard virtuoso: the working musician. From the wings of sold-out arenas to hip-hop studios to polka bars, these stories are born out of a nocturnal world where music is often simply work, but also where it can, in rare moments, become a source of grace and transcendence, speaking about the things we never seem to say to each other.