Tag Archives: science fiction

As the Crow Flies included in QuickFic Anthology 2

I’m thrilled to announce that my very weird flash fiction story, As the Crow Flies, has finally found a home having been included in QuicFic Anthology 2: Shorter Short Speculative Fiction out now on DigitalFictionPub. This time out, I’m honoured to be sharing antho space with Lisa Finch, Liam Hogan, Greg Chamberlain, Tanya Bryan, Suzie Lockhart, Amy Sisson, Pedro Iniguez, D.J. Cockburn, and many others.

QuickFic Anthology_

“He remembered the stories his grandfather told him when he was a kid. The stories about how the devil himself, the original fallen angel, stalked these mountainous peaks under cover of darkness, preying on weary travellers. Granddad never elaborated much on what he meant by ‘preying.’ He never had to.”

– From As the Crow Flies

I wrote As the Crow Flies in 2011 or 2012. At about 750 words, it’s one of my shortest short stories. I submitted it to a few magazines and websites, nobody wanted it, so I dumped it in a folder on my desktop and moved on with my life. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m re-organising (okay, organising) my writing folders and I come across this again. I re-read it and remembered I had based it on a creepy old Welsh folk tale I read about in a history book. So yep, this story might be true. Equally, it might NOT be, but who the fuck knows, right?

The ‘H’ Word

I’ve lost count of the amount of times people have asked me why I write ‘horror.’ It comes up in every interview, and eventually most conversations. I guess it’s the obvious question to ask, but I’ve always found it a difficult one to answer. Firstly, I hate the H word. There are so many dimensions and sub-genres involved, the H word has become kind of a catch-all umbrella term. Asking google to find you a horror book is a bit like going into the finest restaurant in the world and asking for some food. Or calling up your local radio station and asking them to play some music. What do zombies, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, demonic entities, possession, serial killers, monsters, and haunted houses all have in common? That’s right, you can find them all in the horror section. But in most cases, the similarities end there.

I’m not a big fan of classifying anything, to be honest. It’s restrictive and fills the prospective reader’s mind full of semi-fixed ideas. I know it makes it easier when you are looking for something in particular. In theory, anyway. But most things in this brave new world we’ve created just don’t belong in tidy little labelled boxes.

If I had to choose a tag for my writing, I would probably go for ‘dark fiction.’ Because it’s fiction, and most of it is pretty damn dark. At the same time, though, a lot of my stories contain evidence of what one reviewer called ‘sardonic humour,’ so its not all doom and gloom. I can usually find something to poke fun at. My new novella, Out of Time, has elements of horror, thriller and science fiction, all rolled up into a murder mystery. If you look closely enough you might even find a giggle or two.

Out of Time

Out of Time

Another reason I don’t care for the ‘H word’ is that the genre is rarely taken very seriously in literary circles, apart from the classics like Dracula and Frankenstein. When was the last time a piece of horror fiction won one of the big awards? Most critics treat it like a snot-nosed little brother who spends all his time locked in his room listening to Slipknot and smoking weed. That isn’t entirely fair. Use caution, critics. Because if you ignore him for too long that snot-nosed little brother, frustrated and disaffected, might just scale the walls of your ivory tower and slice your throat while you are asleep in your bed. You have been warned.

The original version of this post appeared here:


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