Bergamot Silhouetted – Flash Fiction in Unquiet Earth from Static Movement

My hard (?) sci-fi story “Bergamot Silhouetted” is out now in the Static Movement anthology Unquiet Earth. Yes, this is collection of zombie stories (just look at that cover), and yes, mine includes zombies, eventually. At $17 from Amazon, with dozens of stories – it’s a collection of flash fiction, ie, all under 1000 words (mine is 998) – it’s a bargain. Here’s the opening paragraphs of my story:

Corey stared through the Astoria’s viewport at the battered Bergamot. Years amongst explosion debris, and tidal stresses from the gas giant system, and from swollen and pocked Bellatrix, made her look like a lump of dead coral. The ship seemed modular though the briefing said she was a bulk carrier.

“Lover,” Luese said. “Nearly time for the briefing.”

“I never thought you’d notice me,” he said, staring at the shard that had once been a spaceship.

“Well, you are blocking the viewport.”

Corey dropped back to the bunk. “I meant the whole trip. I’ve been watching you since we left Mintaka.”

My thanks to editor Chris Bartholomew

Zombie Love for Morons in The New Flesh

Well, it’s Christmas here, but my special Christmas Eve story “Zombie Love for Morons” should be appearing in The New Flesh right about now.

I’ve always thought those “for dummies”, and so on, series had a kind of built-in problem, but they seem very popular (our library has around 150 titles – thinks like “Rugby Union for dummies” [well, duh], Golf Rules and Etiquette for dummies”, “SQL for dummies” [I mean, how many dummies are computer programmers?]). Zombie Love seemed like a good topic to parody that – but how to do it without getting too boring? Flash fiction, of course. How to write it as flash – ah, well, that’s the approach: have a read.

Happy Christmas, all.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Carrie Ryan‘s young adult novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth is perhaps one of the most extraordinary works I’ve read all year. This horror novel is remarkably literate and astonishingly well-paced. Somehow Ryan manages to balance an unusual setting and circumstance – an isolated village – with conflicted relationships – Mary, betrothed to Harry, loves Travis his brother while Cass, Mary’s best friend, betrothed to Travis is keen on Harry (sounds straightforward, but really it’s not and it really adds an enormous level of tension to the book). And, though it’s amazingly well done, it’s a zombie novel, even if the word “zombie” is never used in the text. Actually, the unconsecrated, as they are known, provide a somewhat evil backdrop to the controlling religious order which governs life in the village. Be prepared – the novel is harrowing and intense and a great character and relationship study.

Cool – in checking out Carrie Ryan’s details, I’ve discovered there is a sequel, and a third book coming. Ryan’s also got some stories in anthologies which seem to be set in the same milieu (okay, actually, I think I’d like to see some of her writing set outside that – she’s such a precise and crafty wordsmith that it would be good to see what she’d do with other stuff. Like vampires).