My story “The Emancipation of Google” has been published in Theme of Absence

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story The Emancipation of Google has just been published today in Theme of Absence, an online magazine of speculative flash fiction and short stories. Click the image above to read it or go here.

At nearly 1,300 words, it’s a short read. It’s about an unusual encounter between a student and a search engine and is based on a popular internet conspiracy theory…

The Emancipation of Google was previously the winner of the Rushmoor Writers Founders Cup 2015. It got longlisted by Inktears and shortlisted by England’s Future History in 2016.

Theme of Absence also conducted an interview with me. In it I talk about my writing goals, my approach and experiences, how I got started, and more. There are also some (hopefully useful) words of advice for fellow writers. Click the image below to read the interview or go here.

Very proud to be part of this awesome magazine! 🙂

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All the places you can read the “Million Eyes” short stories

The Million Eyes short stories are standalone short stories set in the same universe as the Million Eyes Trilogy. Here is a list of all the stories that have been published so far, with little blurbs and links to where you can read them.

Rachel Can See

Rachel Evans is having memories of things that didn’t happen. A shadowy organisation, concerned by what she might reveal, takes action.

Longlisted by Inktears in 2014, Rachel Can See was published in Metamorphose Volume 2 and won an honourable mention. Click the icon below to buy a copy. You can also read a sneak peek on Metamorphose’s website.

Paul

A car crash that wasn’t supposed to happen. A much-loved musician who wasn’t supposed to die. It’s time to set things right — but at what cost?

Shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest 2015, Paul was published by Storgy Magazine (and later re-published in Suspense Magazine). Click the icon to read it.

Who is Rudolph Fentz?

A man discovers that a fictional short story by Jack Finney about weird time travelling goings on in New York might not be so fictional after all.

Who is Rudolph Fentz? was published in Issue 68 of Scribble Magazine and won 3rd prize out of 19 stories in that issue, voted for by the readers. The issue is now out of print, but it was later re-published by Storgy Magazine. Click the icon to read it.

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller

A woman on a mobile phone — in 1928? Film director George Clarke investigates a time-bending oddity on an old Charlie Chaplin DVD, but needs to be careful where he pokes his nose.

This story was published in Issue 11 of Tigershark Magazine (and can be read here) and the March/April 2017 edition of Suspense Magazine. Click the icon to read it in Suspense Magazine.

The Home Secretary is safe 

Cody Evans is sick of hearing about how Mrs Battersby needs to trim her unsightly hedge, but the woman opposite on the train won’t stop saying it. What’s going on?

The Home Secretary is safe was published by sci-fi magazine Phantaxis in Issue 6. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

Operation Loch Ness

DS Claire Garrison is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter. It turns out Nessie is the last of her problems.

The longest of the Million Eyes short stories, this was published by strange fiction magazine Idle Ink. Click the icon to read it.

Rachel Can Still See

What do you do when a time traveller goes rogue? Rachel Evans is about to find out.

The sequel to Rachel Can See, this was published in Phantaxis Issue 7. It was also highly commended by Writers’ Forum and won the Rushmoor Writers Hyde Cup in 2016. Click the icon to buy a copy from Amazon.

There are further stories coming soon…

The Babushka Lady will be published by Indie Authors Press in their time travel anthology The Chronos Chronicles, set to be released imminently.

Eryl Mai’s Dream is set to be published by Dark Tales in their forthcoming anthology Dark Tales 17. This is currently set for release sometime in spring, but there’s no firm date yet.

A very loosely linked story, The Emancipation of Google, is due to be published by Theme of Absence next Friday (11th May). More details on that soon.

In other news…

I’m still writing for the Time Travel Nexus, so please follow, like and share my posts on there. I write regularly for a column called Time Travel Nexus Investigates, which is all about time travel conspiracy theories and urban legends. Last month I also wrote a post about time travel in Star Trek and how the 2009 movie buggered up the entire Star Trek universe.

Here is a list of my TTN posts so far, with links:

Time Travel Nexus Investigates

Misc

Lastly, I got some super-positive feedback from a potential publisher on the first novel in the Million Eyes Trilogy, with some constructive advice on things I can improve and strengthen. So I’ve started a new edit. It’s not a major overhaul or anything. It’s just a case of fleshing out and adding to what’s there. Going well so far…

That’s all for now. Oh, and May the 4th be with you!

My story “Operation Loch Ness” has been published by Idle Ink

My short story, Operation Loch Ness, has been published by online short story magazine Idle Ink and is available to read for free here.

This is the latest of the Million Eyes short stories to be published, following Rachel Can See, Rachel Can Still See, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, The Home Secretary is safe, Paul and Who is Rudolph Fentz?

Operation Loch Ness follows multiple characters across time embroiled in the strange goings on at Loch Ness, Scotland. The most prominent of these characters is Detective Sergeant Claire Garrison, who is tasked with investigating the disappearance of an amateur Loch Ness Monster hunter and gets caught up in a deadly, time-bending conspiracy…

Idle Ink is an online publisher of “strange fiction”, initially established in 2017 as a print zine. It is looking for genre fiction and “oddities” too weird to be published anywhere else. I’m very glad that Operation Loch Ness has been deemed strange enough to be part of it!

This week: a rundown of my latest publications, including articles written for the Time Travel Nexus and all the places where you can read the Million Eyes short stories.

New flash fiction story “There’s Something About Anne” published and free to read

If you’re after a quick read — and when I say quick, I mean it’ll take you approximately 15 seconds — then I’ve just had a new flash fiction story published on ChristopherFielden.com.

This story, There’s Something About Anne, could also be classed as microfiction. It comes in at 81 words and is part of Christopher Fielden’s 81Words Writing Challenge. He’s aiming to set a world record for the most authors published in an anthology. His intention is to publish 1,000 81-word short stories all by different contributing authors, so if you have a flash fiction piece of your own that you can dust off and edit down to 81 words — go ahead and submit!

The challenge is in support of the Arkbound Foundation, a charity that aims to widen access to literature and improve diversity within the media industry.

My story, There’s Something About Anne, is Story 341 and can be read here.

Be sure to check out Story 272, 323, 326, 328, 330 and 338. These are all stories from my writers’ group, Rushmoor Writers. We’re trying to get all of us in there!

Next week: a one-off blog on the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

 

There be changes round these ’ere parts

A new year gets all of us thinking about new things. Resolutions, goals, plans—stuff like that.

I’ve just moved house. That’s the biggest new thing I have to share. For the last four years I’ve lived in a town called Aldershot. Famous as the home of the British Army and birthplace of The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, it’s a town that’s been called “the vast wart on the backside of humanity” and which even people living there refer to as “Aldershite”.

My bedroom/office overlooked an ugly, narrow side street frequented by intoxicated undesirables screaming obscenities and having punch-ups, and sewage treatment vehicles fixing the ageing drains that were constantly going wrong, kicking up eye-watering smells that would lovingly seep through my window while I was working. On a good day, I might just see an old bloke walk past, honk up his guts and decorate the road with phlegm, or whip out his pecker and piss up the side of a house.

Oh, how I miss it.

I’m now in Haslemere, a charming country town where the view out my window is of trees, grass, sky, and a pretty little church. A far better place for a writer to be. It’s been a hectic move for me and my girlfriend, but we’re getting there. And it’s our first place together too, so, you know… romance and mushy stuff.

Anyway, I’ve made some decisions about my priorities, writing-wise. I’ve been writing these blogs solidly for three and a half years and the stories I’ve covered have given me tons of inspiration for my conspiracy fiction, which is great. Now I need to take a step back and focus on just the fiction, particularly as I started a new conspiracy thriller novel in the closing months of last year. So, I have plans for some new articles in the coming weeks, and after that, I’m going to give the blog an extended break. This is so I can focus my efforts on the new novel, submitting Million Eyes to agents, writing and publishing more Million Eyes short stories, and reading more too. Takes me ages to read a book but I’ve just got a load for Christmas that I want to get through. Plus, I’m now a contributor for the Time Travel Nexus, so my articles about time travel conspiracy theories (and other things time travel-related) will continue to appear on there.

I’ll use the blog to keep my readers and followers updated on all writing developments, and I’ll be back to write the odd article about any mysteries and conspiracy theories that particularly pique my interest.

The next few articles I’m planning will focus on the mysteries and conspiracy theories that are at the heart of Million Eyes, starting with…

Next week: what really happened to the Princes in the Tower?

“Rachel Can Still See” has been published in Phantaxis Issue 7

My new short story, Rachel Can Still See, has been published in Issue 7 of science fiction and fantasy magazine Phantaxis.

Rachel Can Still See is the sixth of the Million Eyes Short Stories to be published, after Rachel Can See, Paul, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, The Home Secretary is Safe and Who is Rudolph Fentz? 

All these stories are set in the same world as my forthcoming sci-fi thriller Million Eyes and feature the same mysterious conspirators who take centre stage in the novel.

Rachel Can Still See is a direct sequel to Rachel Can See, which was published last year in Metamorphose Volume 2. It continues the story of Rachel Evans, a girl who experiences troubling alternate memories about world events and her own life. Both stories can stand by themselves, so you don’t have to read the first one to understand the second. However, I’d advise doing so in order to get a full picture of Rachel Evans’ journey.

The first story was longlisted by Inktears in 2015 and won an honourable mention in MetamorphoseThe sequel — prior to being accepted for publication by Phantaxis — won the Rushmoor Writers Hyde Cup Competition in 2016 and was later highly commended by Writers’ Forum.

Click on the cover image to buy the magazine from Amazon, or click here.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

“Million Eyes” updates and the soul-destroying search for a literary agent

I wonder if I write about time travel because of a deep-seated longing to skip the utterly soul-destroying process of trying to pummel into the publishing industry and travel to a point in the future when I’m already there. Dunno. Maybe.

It. Will. Happen. That’s what I have to keep telling myself. It’s what all writers who want to be successful have to keep telling themselves.

Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, my search for a literary agent for Million Eyes has been—so far—fruitless. I’ve submitted to 40 or so agents, nothing positive yet. I could still hear from a few of them because their estimated time for responding isn’t up (and I have the patience of a small child).

I’ve been through a few weeks of tearing my hair out, thinking the book is crap, and doubting that it’s ever going to happen. But then, we all go through that. Even the biggest, most successful authors have gone through that.

Nevertheless, I stopped submitting Million Eyes and took stock. I sought advice from my fellow scribblers at Rushmoor Writers, read them my query letter and opening pages and asked if there was any way I could improve them. Perhaps they’re just not catching agents’ eyes?

The advice I got was great. Mostly they recommended small tweaks to up the intrigue and grab the reader earlier in those opening lines and early pages. They also offered some much-needed words of encouragement: the book is good, and there’s a market for it.

So here I am, confidence resurged, ready to start submitting again. Will this next round of submissions yield any success? Heaven knows, but I’m keeping my chin up and everything crossed.

In other news…

Continue reading

I’ve joined the team at ‘Time Travel Nexus’ as a contributor!

I’m super-excited to have been chosen to become one of three new contributors to Time Travel Nexus, a website for time travel enthusiasts.

It covers movies, books and TV series in the time travel genre, as well as discussion about real world research into the possibilities of travelling in time.

Apart from my own writing in the genre (my forthcoming novel, Million Eyes, and its accompanying series of short stories), one of the reasons I was chosen is because of my research into real-life time travel conspiracy theories and urban legends. Stories like Rudolph Fentz, Andrew Carlssin, the Rendlesham Forest Incident, and the Vanishing Hotel. I’ll be helping Time Travel Nexus to explore these stories and debate the evidence for whether time travel is already happening all around us. Cue some lively discussions!

I’m also scheduled to be doing some serious geeking out over my favourite time travel episodes of Star Trek and Doctor Who, as well as movies like Looper, The Butterfly Effect and Back to the Future.

Looks like my life’s about to get a lot more wibbly wobbly. Can’t wait.