Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scardiff Event

Had a day out in Cardiff today with Paul Lewis. We attended the second year of The Scardiff Event in The Masonic Hall and thoroughly enjoyed it.

There was a lot of cosplay going on, some creepy, some scary, some VERY scary, some sexy and then there was Paul and me...

Met some old friends, including, Steve Upham, Steve Lockley, Mark Howard Jones, John Llewellyn Probert, Tim Lebbon, Chris Teague, Gwilym Games and some new friends were made, mainly ones I already knew online but haven't met in the flesh (and bones and gristle...) such as Adam Nevill. David Price, Wayne Simmons and Teresa Derwin of Knightwatch Press, the publisher of the Potatoes Anthology.
There were snakes and spiders there too but we decided to give them a wide berth!

Steve Upham's table with severed hand and Paul Lewis's finger of doom...

 A young lady with a craving for our blood...

Lunchtime was spent at Carluccios where the food was excellent and reasonably priced too. I was surprised how busy the centre of Cardiff was on a Sunday, nothing like the ghost-town of Swansea where the only things you'll see moving are the tumbleweeds, empty fast-food packaging and the zombies sobering up from the Saturday night binge in Wind Street.

Me, taking a photo of Steve Upham, who was taking a photo of me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chuck Wendig Horror Spam Email Competition

Chuck Wendig has set a horror competition over at Terrible Minds.Com SpammerPunk The challenge this week was to write a horror story as spam mail. Here is my offering:


Congratulations, your email address has been chosen by our computer from a worldwide database of organ transplant patients. We have great satisfaction in offering you a choice of the following:

Pair of Lungs

To qualify for any of the above please sign the attached form of consent for us to harvest from you one of the following:

Testicle (or ovary – depending on gender)

Immediately upon receipt of your signed consent form we will arrange for our team of highly qualified surgeons to visit you in their state-of-the-art mobile surgery to collect your chosen donation. 


Once you have recovered from the harvesting operation (usually only a matter of weeks) be assured we will return with your choice of organ to be transplanted.

Contact us now as this offer is for a limited time only.

Thank you.
Doctor S Todd – CEO – We Purchase Any Organ Ltd

Monday, October 06, 2014

Blog Hiatus - Writing Hiatus - Hiatus in general

Surprise surprise! I'm still here!

Was March really the last time I scribbled on this blog?  It certainly looks like. As you've probably guessed I haven't done much writing lately, not even blog writing. I'm in one of my slow periods when my muse seems to have packed her bags and gone on vacation for a few months. I hope she gets back soon because I have a stack of unfinished writing to get on with.
Well, I have written and finished some things, mostly short stories, one-liners (I sent to Newsjack but didn't have any success with) one was for example :

 Pope Francis' skull cap has reached over a hundred thousand euros on Ebay. We interviewed a group of nuns in St Peter's square who expressed a worry that it could become a habit.

Unfortunately it didn't impress them, neither did my others :(

Other news is my story 'King Edward's Mines' is out in the Knightwatch Press Anthology 'Potatoes'  and the book has received favourable blurb and two 5 star ratings so far on Amazon.

I also have a couple of poems coming out shortly in the Swansea And District Writers' Circle (the site is down at the moment so linked to their Facebook page) anthology of WW1 

Finally I have two horror short stories coming out in Tickety Boo Press's Anthology 'Malevolence' which should be released soon.

So I suppose I have been writing, it just seems that I haven't done enough. Perhaps now that winter is coming (wow that's a good phrase, perhaps I can use that in a story somehow) I'll be able to concentrate a bit more and not have the distraction of a lovely sunny day to keep me from the keyboard. Bye bye for now :)

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.
‘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.
‘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!

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 

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.


 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 :)