The Hole in the Wall

I’m delighted to say that one of my short stories has just been published in Metaphorosis, an online speculative fiction magazine the looks for “intelligent, beautifully written stories for adults”, and though the implication is flattering I’m far too modest to had said so myself!

The story in question is The Hole in the Wall, which follows the journey of a trader of unique goods who relentlessly pursues the best possible deal for herself, and learns the high cost (but good value) of wisdom as a result.

I mentioned this story at the beginning of the year when it was selected as a runner-up in the fifth annual Friends of the Merril short story contest. That modest prize and this modest fee make this my most lucrative work — worryingly appropriate, given the subject matter…

I hope you enjoy it!

Life Imitating (my) Art

Self-aggrandising, I know, but I was, first, impressed by the scale and, second, struck by the parallel with one of my stories when I saw this article online:

Monumental 1,320-Ton Sculpture of Chinese War God Watches Over the City


Guan Yu, was a Chinese military general who had tremendous martial prowess during his time, and was deified as a god of war after his death. He is also an epitome of loyalty and righteousness … often depicted holding his “reclining moon blade” named the Green Dragon Crescent Blade, which he wielded against his enemies and was said to weigh an impressive 40 lbs (18.25 kg).

A sight to behold, the entire sculpture stands at just over 190 feet (58 meters) tall, seeming to watch over the city and its residents. Over 4,000 strips of bronze were glued over the sculpture, and Guan Yu is portrayed as a fearless warrior who is ready for battle, proudly posed atop his pedestal which was modeled after a warship.

And the connection to me? Well, the last mini-ebook I put out, Dark Matters: Memories, features a story that could have been set in this monument’s past – The Foundation, in which a team of engineers begin to lay the groundwork for a monumental project…

…a strident figure, noble in form, classic in style: an archetypal warrior, naked but for crested helmet, pleated skirts and sandaled feet, one hand resting on the pommel of the sword sheathed on its hip. With the other arm raised to the sky, it is posed in mid-step upon a plinth. Constructing the foundation for that must be my first charge.

It is only then I realise, and am unable to credit, the intended scale. “It must be—”

“Hundreds of feet, let us say only that.” He unrolls the second sheet, revealing the profile view: a mighty forward pace, the upraised hand with palm to the heavens, as though Atlas now carried them without effort. “The Colossus of Rhodes was as nothing beside this. Beneath, rather.”

Okay, yes, my story is set in an alternative Europe rather than present-day China, and this statue’s pose and outfit is a little different, and there’s no supernatural horror on the way in reality — or so I presume — but those minor issues aside…

If I’ve convinced you of my startling prescience, you can get the story here – and if you need more persuading, with some spoilers, you can read a pleasingly positive review/analysis here.


MEMORIES – Dark Matters: Volume 4


MEMORIES - LRGThose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and only the dead have seen the end of war. The last book in the series, Dark Matters: MEMORIES presents two stories in which the shadow of the First World War lies heavy upon those who endured it — and those who did not…

In The Palimpsest, a soldier-turned-artist has tried to put the horrors of the trenches behind him, only to discover that a horror still stalks him. But in The Foundation, a future persists in which not only was the Great War’s outcome very different, but the conflict itself has been… forgotten.

One is a ghost story in the classic vein, inspired by the writing of M. R. James; the other a piece of alternate history — or maybe alternate future. They stand against George Santayana’s wisdom, because here the end of war is seen, and the past returns to repeat itself, upon another victim…

These are stories that step out from the light, where only the dark matters…

Amazon: US | CA | MX | BR | AUS | IN | JP

Amazon Europe: UK | FR | DEES | IT | NL

Apple | Barnes&Noble | Smashwords | Goodreads

The cover art was created using Creative Commons-licensed images. My grateful thanks go to the State Library of South Australia for Men in the trenches, and to Tony Hisgett for Poppies Again 6.