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.

Borrrrrrn Freeeeeee(bie)

Summer is almost over, and my first spell in Amazon’s exclusive stable is coming to an end as well. So, as promised, I’m putting my OTHER collection of short ebooks on discount in the desperate hope of trading free copies for shopper-encouraging reviews!


DARK MATTERS contains two tales mixing humour and horror, as the faces of tragedy and comedy on the cover may suggest. No-One-One is that old story of Guy Loves Girl, Girl Marries Guy, Someone Grabs A Kitchen Knife, Here Come The Crazy Police – you’ve probably lived it yourself. And in The Hungry Dark we sink into the dimly-lit world of the New York comedy circuit, where nothing is worse than dying on stage… well, almost…

Dark Matters is free on Amazon until the end of the month! But that’s not all


Both of the other books in the series are also on discount, until September 2nd – right now they are available for $1 each, but that will rise to $2 in a couple of days.

ABSENCES is the first of two sets of apocalyptic stories. Here, the end is not yet upon us, but the first signs of it are – in the bizarre loss of key aspects of the natural world. And AFTERMATHS takes us past the end to visit the grim world to come, in which no friend or neighbour can be trusted, and the cost of loyalty and betrayal are terminally high.AftermathsLRG

So, if you enjoy the stories in the first book I hope you’ll grab a copy of the other two while they’re going cheap – and if you have time to write a review as well, that would be doing me a real favour!

Finally, you might consider this an opportunity to prepare yourself for what is to be the fourth and final title in the series, which will be out next month. There’s still more news to come regarding Dark Matters, but that shall wait for another day…