Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gimme The Prize!








Had a parcel though the post today from Start Publishing which contained my prize for winning the  
Neal Asher competition, a short story to describe the book cover of his novel The Departure. The parcel contained a large and colourful cinema poster of The Europa Report signed by the writer Philip Gelatt and a Blu-ray disc of the film too, again signed. Many thanks Philip and guys! And a special thanks to Anjelica of Start Media who organised the signing and delivery.




The Europa Report is a SF film about a mission to Europa (one of Jupiter's moons) to discover if life exists there and the outcome of their exploration, good stuff and the sort of film I enjoy.
Thought I'd post the story which won me the competition in case you are interested and fancy a read.


The Shell Game by Bob Lock

Kyle Benedict’s eyes opened and took in the scene of devastation. The colony’s control room was wrecked. A last remaining monitor flickered intermittently whilst a thin ribbon of smoke curled up from the bullet-shattered desk. The smell of burnt flesh, cordite and plasma-discharge crept its way through his ruined suit’s filters. Benedict groaned. He’d survived the Prador incursion. ‘Shit!’
‘I am Captain Samark. I am so pleased you are alive, human.’ The monitor stabilized and Benedict saw the Prador captain staring out from it.
‘Pleased? So that you can put me into thrall I guess?’ Kyle replied and his right hand groped for the last grenade he’d managed to hide between his suit and the wall he was propped against.
‘No, no,’ Samark’s huge claws waved across the screen, ‘I want to test you. I want to give you an opportunity for freedom.’
‘Yeah right.’
‘I believe you humans call it, The Shell Game?’ Samark asked.
‘What?’
‘You are in the command centre. There are five passages to five outer habitats. I have sent a second-child into one. The other four are empty. Choose one to go to human. If you select an empty one then I will let you take your shuttle and leave unharmed. Choose the one my second-child is in and you…’
‘Get eaten?’ Benedict asked.
‘Obviously.’
‘Why?’ Benedict demanded.
‘Call it an experiment, human. What have you to lose? I could come and eat you now, if you prefer?’
Benedict shrugged. ‘What the hell…’ He stood up and chose an airlock.
‘Choose wisely, human.’
Benedict chose the closest. ‘Bite me.’
‘Perhaps I just might,’ Samark replied.
At the end of the corridor the airlock to habitat three beckoned. Benedict wished his rifle hadn’t been totalled. He shrugged; no matter. He should have died with the rest of his rescue squad when they’d attempted to liberate the colony anyway. He cycled the airlock and entered the dark habitat. Nothing moved. His failing suit’s sensors picked up no sound.
Then something clicked and clicked again. The second-child loomed out of the gloom towards him.
‘So… Samark. Either I’m an unlucky sod or you’re a lying bastard,’ Benedict said towards the surveillance pod in the ceiling as the Prador launched itself at him and hungrily began to crack open his ravaged suit with its massive claws. Benedict pulled the pin from the grenade and thrust it, and his arm, as deep into the second-child’s maw as he could. ‘Crab Benedict on the menu tonight!’ He managed to shout before the huge explosion.
Samark snacked on the bloody mixture of human and second-child flesh as he contemplated. The experiment was inconclusive he thought. His attempt at mimicking a human’s ability to lie and be believed was unclear. Did the human truly think he would be freed? The human’s final outburst made him think no. However, Samark imagined he was beginning to grasp their sense of humour. ‘Crab Benedict,’ he said and attempted a laugh.

Hope you enjoyed it,
and loads of thanks to Neal for allowing me to use and abuse his creations!
Bob

Friday, January 17, 2014

Need your votes!

Hello everyone, first of all Happy New Year 2014 to you! (A bit late I know :-) )
2013 wasn't a bad year as far as writing was concerned, especially short stories for anthologies.
I managed to get published in a couple of anthologies: Astrologica - Cthulhu Cymraeg  and have a few in anthologies coming out in 2014 - Ticketyboo Press's Malevolence will have two ghost stories of mine.
I'm also hoping to have a SF short for their Space – Houston We Have a Problem antho. Then Fringeworks should be publishing their mad 'Potato Anthology' in 2014 too and my story King Edward's Mines will be one of the weird tales in it.
Regarding my novel writing *sigh* I must have snail DNA in me somewhere because the novels are progressing so slowly. However, they are moving, albeit lethargically and who knows? They might be finished this year!

Addendum! D.F.Lewis has pointed out that I was in another anthology!
Horror Without Victims
and a fine antho it is too... please excuse my miserable memory!



 

In the meantime, I am one of a short-list of five writers in a competition set by the media group and publishers Start Publishing with a SF short of 500 words called The Shell Game. The brief was to write a story based on Neal Asher's Departure cover. 

 

Start Media is the group that made The Europa Report and I'm hoping the prize is a trip to Europa :-P
If you'd like a free read and if you think my story deserves a vote here are the links:
Short Story Finalists - Stories where you can leave a vote and comment.
StartPublishing - Twitter Vote 
Facebook StartPublishing - Vote on their Facebook wall

Thanks all!


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Two new Anthologies are out and I'm in great company!

This month sees the release of two anthologies in which I have stories. Both anthologies contain stories by World Fantasy Award Winner - Joel Lane and British Fantasy Award Winner - John Llewellyn Probert so I am in some great company!

First we have 
Astrologica:

What's your star sign? Is our fate pre-determined by the constellations and the position of the planets? Can astrology really present an alternative vision to the apparent certainties of science, politics, religion and celebrity culture? Or should its claims of determinism, fate, fortune and personality profiling perhaps be taken with a large pinch of salt? Here are fourteen brand new astrologically themed stories to delight and enthral, spanning the range of science fiction, fantasy and horror, with stories by Doug Blakeslee, Mark David Campbell, Storm Constantine, Adam Craig, Megan Kerr, Joel Lane, Bob Lock, Jet McDonald, David McGroarty, Ralph Robert Moore, Christine Morgan, David Turnbull, Neil Williamson and Stuart Young. What is the secret of the white bull and his labyrinthine ranch? Why should you never trust gifts you win at a funfair? And why are twins always apparently at war with each other? 



 

Then the next book is

Cthulhu Cymraeg

The old gods are dead … The older gods have returned! Before the American master of the macabre H. P. Lovecraft there was the Welsh wizard of the weird Arthur Machen, who filled his pages with tales of ancient evil. Now, completing the circle, comes a collection of original tales from the land of Machen following in the footsteps of Lovecraft and his uncanny creations. In What Others Hear by John Llewellyn Probert , a musician comes to rural Wales to convalesce in peace. But what terrible secrets hide behind the notes of the music he so loves? Adrian Chamberlin shows us that seemingly innocent old traditions can conceal sinister intentions when dark forces use them to deadly ends in Stranger Crossings. In Charles Black's tale, a brilliant Welsh scholar finds the price of knowledge can cost you everything when he discovers the true purpose of that dreaded tome The Necronomicon. And six more Lovecraftian tales of the otherworldly.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cthulhu-Cymraeg-Mark-Howard-Jones/dp/190665221X/ref=pd_ybh_2

 



 Click on the book covers to take you to Amazon :)


 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Another string to my bow!

Well, I've written books which are in print, I've written e-books, I've had short stories on websites, anthologies, in magazines, in fact I have my stories and poems all over the place. But recently an idea came to me for another possible outlet to plague the unsuspecting world with... dial-a-story. I don't think anyone has come up with this idea before (I'm sure if they have someone will point it out to me in the comments!)
So, basically the idea is this, every month I will upload stories to an 0872 number I've bought and I have an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system put in place to answer and redirect the caller to the story (or poem) of their choice. At the moment you can choose a science fiction story, a fantasy story, a horror story or a poem. Calls to an 0872 number cost 10p per minute from a BT landline and will cost more from mobiles and possibly other network landlines, you'll need to check. Think of it as a dial-up service for the more sophisticated and cerebral individual and at 10ppm it's certainly cheaper than the £1.50p plus that other, more raunchy services, cost (so I've been told!)
Initially all stories and poems will be mine and mostly narrated by me too. however, if the project turns out to be a success I might invite others to participate, perhaps have a guest writer or narrator every month. So, if you want to give the system a try the number is 08726657636

Scifi-Tales is my website.

Stories on dial-up this month are:
  • Science Fiction - Do We Not Bleed? 
  • Fantasy - The Secret Weapon
  • Horror - A Matter Of Taste
  • Poem - Follicly Challenged

At the end of the stories or poem you can leave feedback if you like :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Review of Horror Without Victims

There's a very detailed and excellent review of Horror Without Victims over at Paintthistownred


Bob Lock’s ‘You in your small corner, and I in mine’ concludes this collection and is perhaps the finest example of what Lewis calls “curative force”. This is a short, sweet tale of faith and hope, and how holding on to both, allowing them to become your “armour”, can bring about change for the better.
Many thanks for the kind words, AJ :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

New horror anthology: Horror Without Victims

D.F.Lewis's newest anthology is out and is called Horror Without Victims and my story, You In Your Small Corner, And I In Mine, is the last of the twentyfive horror stories in this well put together tome.



Here is the TOC

EMBRACE THE FALL OF NIGHT – John Howard

THE HORROR – Gary McMahon

CLOUDS – Eric Ian Steele

THE CARPET SELLER’S RECOMMENDATION – Alistair Rennie

WAITING ROOM – Aliya Whiteley

FOR AGES AND EVER – Patricia Russo

NIGHT IN THE PINK HOUSE – Charles Wilkinson

POINT AND STICK – Mark Patrick Lynch

THE BLUE UMBRELLA – Mark Valentine

LAMBETH NORTH – Rosanne Rabinowitz

THE CURE – John Travis

WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY HERE – David Murphy

LORD OF PIGS – DeAnna Knippling

LIKE NOTHING ELSE – Christopher Morris

IN THE EARTH – Rog Pile

SCREE – Caleb Wilson

THE WEEK OF FOUR THURSDAYS – David V. Griffin

IN DREAMS, YOU’RE MINE – Jeff Holland

WALK ON BY – Katie Jones

VENT – L.R. Bonehill

THE YELLOW SEE-THROUGH BABY – Michael Sidman

THE BOARDING HOUSE – Kenneth C. Wickson

THE CALLERS – Tony Lovell

STILL LIFE – Nick Jackson

YOU IN YOUR SMALL CORNER, AND I IN MINE – Bob Lock
 
Hope you all enjoy it :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Man Of Many Parts


 



I've been on a roll lately with stories I've sent into the avant-garde magazine that is Sein und Werden run by the lovely Rachel Kendall as I've had three or four accepted, the latest being for her Exquisite Corpse Anthology. There are over forty short stories in the anthology all written around the exquisite corpse subject and my one is called 'A Man Of Many Parts' and is a SF/Horror/Weird tale that can be read here: STORY
If you get time please give it a read and let me know what you think :)


In other news. The novella I was writing and trying to keep to about 30,000 words or so has now grown to a massive 69,500 words and has become a novel. I'm still writing it and I guess there's about another 10,000 words to go. Because I've wanted to get this done and dusted I've put the sequel to 'Flames' on the back burner again but that has grown to 75,000 words plus and once I get back on it I can see the end arriving fairly quickly. I've also written notes for another two stories but don't know yet what sort of size they'll be, whether novella size or novel but both are science fiction.