Bastion SciFi again

Another short fiction in Bastion Science Fiction Magazine. June issue (3), this time. The story was based on a note in Somerset Maugham’s “A writer’s notebook”.

My last story for Bastion in April’s issue is also featured on their site to promote the mag. **update – They were on site, until I asked for them to be removed because I plan to put them into print. You can still read the stories if you buy a copy of the Bastion emag, of course.

If you haven’t read anything in the slick and diverse Bastion yet, you can get the last two issues (April, May) from here:



Bastion Science Fiction Magazine

After a long spell of serious ill health, which stopped me dead in my tracks for a while, I’m finally back into the submitting game and looking forward to seeing one of my shorts in this new science fiction mag paying writers semi pro rates: Bastion Science Fiction Magazine, edited by R. Leigh Hennig. Inaugural issue out in April.

Bastion Science Fiction Magazine April, 2014 – “That World Up There” (again I’m writing about being underground/isolated, which seems to be a leitmotif with me these days!)


The book is finally doing the rounds with the agents now, at last. One down, seven more to fix up and send off. Unless you’re a writer, you really don’t realise how labour intensive this business can be at times.

I don’t do cover letters (and despite one smallpress editor mistakenly thinking I lovingly crafted a cover letter, I never have) … unless I’m submitting to an agent or book publisher. 🙂

Trick starters

I rarely blog unless something really sticks in my craw. Well, recently after reading a post about an editor only reading a line or two of a story before making a decision, it got me thinking. I know that no two editors work in the same way (the same can be said of writers), but it occurred to me to think about my reading habits. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather read a slow-starter that becomes a great story than a facile story with a great opening. I read lots and lots and lots, and I’ve read too many stories in my time that start off great and fast and end up with a pile of nothing. It’s the slow burners IMHO which are written by the more competent confident writers writing the kind of thing worth reading. And anyone who says they know if a story is any good by the second sentence is pretending to be psychic. Besides, a trick opening is as puerile as a trick ending. What qualifies me to say this? Well I’m also a voracious reader – I’ll eat your words for breakfast.

Notes from Underground


I was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2008. I think it was 2008. Or was it 2009?

Below is a short list (by no means comprehensive) of some of the recent publications where you’ll find my frantic scribblings.

“Chilling Ghost Stories” – Pro anthology published by FlameTree publishing.

Publication date: late August 2015

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine


Novella “The Empty Space” – May 2016

“Night Lights” – a pro science fiction anthology published by Geminid Press.

“The Singular Martian Invasion”, Fall 2015

Bastion Science Fiction Magazine.

“Two Gentlemen”, June 2014
“That World Up There”, April 2014
Bastion Science Fiction

Suddenly Lost In Words – professional young adult fiction publisher. First anthology issue due in September/October 2012.

“Grandma Silence” – Literary
Suddenly Lost In Words

“Return of the Dead Men (and Women) Walking” – Anthology of fourteen stories about … well you can guess. Due out in October 2012. Like “Field Called Massacre”, this story was based on a folktale.

“Duppy” – Horror/Literary
Bards and Sages Publishing

Ryga: A Journal of Provocations (literary, Canadian), forthcoming in issue five, 2012- (which means I’ve come full circle back to the kind of thing I started out writing before I discovered I could make a few quid selling genre stories)

ryga 5
“The Country” – Literary/Allegory
Ryga Issue 5

Third Flatiron Publishing (Environmental Disaster Issue – due in 2012)

“How I Made My Name as a Sci-Fi Writer” – Humour
ThirdFlat Iron

Cover of Darkness Anthology 2011 May (will be my second time in this antho published by Sam’sDotPublishing).
“The Nightmare Jaunt” – Supernatural

“Sick Things” anthology, Comet Press 2010 (June), “Rotsworth”, a dystopian fiction set in Wandsworth – with my usual bit of social commentary

“Rotsworth” – Dark/Literary
Comet Press – Sick Things

Belong Anthology 2010 (Australian antho, sci-fi)
“An anthology of stories exploring the idea of home, belonging and immigration”

“Prisoner of the Faceless” – Science Fiction/Literary

Shroud Magazine – The Journal of Dark Fiction and Art (issues 3 & 7 non-fiction, issue 4 fiction)

May issueShroud Mag 70980187095

“The Nazi Medical Officer’s Tale” – Supernatural/Literary – Issue 4, Dec 2008
“The Black Dog” – Essay, Issue 3, 2008
“Fahrenheit 3000” – Essay, Issue 7, 2009
Shroud Magazine

Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (Vol 3) Anthology, 2011 (I won author of the year, reader’s choice, in 2010, hence publication in this volume of the “best” of BSQ Journal. With appreciation to the readers)

“A Keepsake For Nightmares” – Supernatural, 2010
Bardic Tales And Sage Advice

Bards and Sages Quarterly (a speculative fiction journal I’m particularly fond of; published in multiple issues since 2010, six issues if I remember rightly -with one of those under a pen name. The latest was in 2012, April. Also, this journal has one of the nicest editors I’ve come across … but if we’re talking about nice editors I’d have to mention all of the editors I’ve ever worked with; actually come to think of it, nice editors are not as rare as you might think.

“Witlow Versus the People of Urr”, Fantasy, 2010
“Prisoner of the Faceless”, Science Fiction/Literary, 2010
“The Field Called Massacre”, Horror, 2010
“The Secret Turkey Experiment”, Humour/Fantasy, 2011
“Mourners”, Horror, 2012
Plus some under a pen name.
Bards and Sages Quarterly

Flash Fiction Online (April 2008)

“How Not To Stage a Play in the Aftermath of a Zombie Apocalypse” – Humour/Literary
Flash Fiction Online April Issue 2008

Something Wicked (South African Mag, print issue 9).

“Southern Bride Gothic”, Horror/Literary 2009
Something Wicked Magazine

Underground Voices (Literary, under a sort of half pen name; don’t ask!).

“In Deference to the Humble Potato”, Literary/Experimental 2007

Ballista (UK mag, pen name, I think this mag is defunct now).

Cover of Darkness Anthology (“Resurrection Insurrection”) published by Sam’sdotPublishing. May 2008

“Resurrection Insurrection” Horror/Humour

Sniplits (an audio publisher). Defunct, as far as I know.
“Faith in the Good Doctor” – Dark, 2009

Shine Journal (Literary; won their annual fiction contest some years back; that winning story was nominated for the Pushcart)

Other –

Sein Und Werden (experimental), Swimming Kangaroo Books, Characters Magazine, Shalla Magazine (lit), Midnight Horror (now defunct), Big Pulp (pen name), Darwin’s Evolutions (pen name) … there are numerous others that I’ve forgotten about but should show up on a google search under my other names. Most of my “early” fiction (2007- ) was published in places like Sein Und Werden, Shalla, Rose & Thorn … These “early” submissions were somewhat experimental.

I’ve used a couple of other pen names, so far, and for publications that I’ve not mentioned here.  In time …


I was born in South London, UK, where I was raised by stray dogs.


” … there is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion.” – George Orwell.