At Liverpool Street Station the rolling advertising posters display the smooth flanks of luxury cars next to the smooth flanks of women lounging amid palm trees and sun-block bottles. Then like a bony hand on my shoulder those adverts, those well-meant solicitations to donate to cancer, dementia and heart disease.
I crossed Bishopsgate quickly into Artillery Lane and that obscure neighbourhood of backstreets that had somehow escaped the waves of redevelopment.
The shop had a dusty window display behind a metal grill. But none of us in the know ever looked in the window, at all that popular trash. No, the treasures we were after were elsewhere.
“Radium Cigarettes” in Dark Tales Volume 1 Gravestone Press 2022
When Blue entered the bar of the Blind Tailor the men there turned their backs to him. Even the barman lowered his eyes as Blue inspected the room. In the corner sat two men at one of the mahogany tables beneath the dartboard. Another man sat alone at the bar on a high stall. It was always better to approach those who were alone.
Blue put his hand on the man’s shoulder.
“I need a volunteer,” he said, “You must come with me now. Your family will be suitably compensated.”
“The Ear Factory” in Schlock Webzine November 2022
I’ve updated my bibliography with some stories that came out late in 2018. Also had the honour of reading my story ‘Ultra Love’ at Virtual Futures. Thanks to all involved organising such a great event.
As part of Clockhouse London Writers I took part in a reading at the Enfield Literary Festival on Sunday 26th June 2018.
Allen Ashley writes:
“Clockhouse London Writers were delighted to be invited to read in the Dugdale Theatre, Enfield on the evening of Sunday 24 June 2018 as part of the first-ever Enfield Literary Festival. With Clockhouse founder Allen Ashley hosting the evening, the group presented a range of short stories, novel excerpts, poetry and flash fiction covering all the bases from ghosts, dragons, mermaids and unicorns; passing through high fantasy and medieval palaces on to Victorian Gothic, transformative animals and on to ecological concerns, near-future wars, artificial intelligence, spaceships and aliens. The evening finished with our dramatic collaborative piece “The Clockhouse Players Present”. Readers were: Allen Ashley, Gary Budgen, Rima Devereaux, Sarah Doyle, Stephen Oram, Cassandra Solon-Parry and Sandra Unerman.”
I read my story “Black Ribbon” originally published in Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction and reprinted in my chapbook Chrysalis. I must add that the collaborative piece “The Clockhouse Players Present”, which we did at the end, was great fun to do. One of the members of the audience afterwards described it as Brechtian. All-in-all a wonderful night and great to be part of the Enfield Literary Festival.
My story “The Immaculate Ones” is in Another Place. A charity anthology of speculative fiction in aid of the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund. I’m pleased and honoured to be part of this and hope it does well and raises lots of money for the charity and raises awareness of the issue. Thanks to all those involved in producing it.
“This science fiction anthology from both established and emerging writers explores the experiences of children, refugees and migrants as they navigate unfamiliar and often hostile worlds in search of sanctuary. A child in a dusty old bookshop is captivated by a picture book that leads him far from home. On a newly discovered planet, a group of soldiers escort a group of mysterious children across the desert. A man carries out a macabre sentence on the grimy Lunar regolith, not knowing if he will ever be forgiven for his crime. And in an alternate-universe Japan, a boy unravels a deeper mystery while searching for the girl he loves. The anthology raises money for child refugees and all profits will be donated to the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund via Safe Passage.” from the Publishers.
This book is launch alongside Voices along the Road an anthology of flash fiction and poetry for the same charity.
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