New serial book announcement- This Was Meant to be the Future

Blimey, it’s the year Twenty Twenty, a year that sounds incredibly futuristic. We’re past the setting of Blade Runner. The world is different and weirder in ways we couldn’t imagine before.

With that in mind, I’m announcing my next book of short stories, called This Was Meant to be the Future. I’ve been working on these stories for the last couple of years and it feels an appropriate time to release them.

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Tis the Season

Come sip the festive juice.
It tastes of cinnamon, cloves,
something strange you can’t discern.
Join us in the circle as we chant,
Tis the Season, Tis the Season

Feel your head expand and contract,
like a blinking light on a tree.
Watch as the world is delayed
by half a second, maybe more.
Tis the Season, Tis the Season

Hear the chant continue like
a runaway train, your mouth moving
without thought, unstoppable now.
Try to clench your jaw shut. Fail.
Tis the Season, Tis the Season

Understand, like falling from a cliff,
this ritual is older than the holiday.
older than the first human societies.
Around fires, they called to the darkness
Tis the Season, Tis the Season

Leave your body far behind.
Become one with us in the circle,
unsure of where you end and begin,
as we call to the cruel ancient god
Tis the Season, Tis the Season


Thanks to The Bristol Magazine for the incredibly creepy headline about cocktails, that was phrased in such an odd way I had to write this.

Brace brace brace

-and the clouds gather above your head, darker than you thought possible, bringing sudden night and you are now aware this field is too exposed and how you stick out like an antenna over the-

-and the airhostesses are telling passengers to sit down and adopt the position, hands behind the neck, back bent forward and they are trying to remain professional but two of them have tears running down their faces even as they try to-

-and they are gathering in the streets, emboldened by political events you only have the dimmest understanding of, some new leader maybe, and they are laughing and joking, all wearing shirts and buzzcuts, and you are glad you wore contacts and not glasses or else you could have been singled out and for now you hold your breath and walk past, when one says-

-and this the hottest day on record but you are sure it’s fine, the government has a plan or maybe the scientists or someone will come up with steps to be taken and you will listen and shade offers no relief but-

-and no one is shouting now, everyone is in their seats and everyone has adopted the position and it’s very quiet now-

-and the air crackles around you.

Move fast and break things

We’ve found a way to monetize breath.
It’s simply a game changer. Can you feel
the paradigms shifting under your feet?
We are shaking up the world like a snowglobe
and breaking traditions. Each inhale a cent,
each exhale is free. Thats it! Simple!

After all, we are providing a service.
We could flood the atmosphere with
deadly chlorine gas, killing everyone
painlessly and quickly, but we don’t.
We allow seven billion humans to live.
So we are providing a service.

The market has responded favourably.
All hail the market! Praise stock tickers!
We’ve revolutionised food and water,
turned the streets into profit, now we
spin gold from the air itself. Our
investors are very pleased indeed.
If you don’t like it, don’t breathe.

6 Ways to Promote Your Book

  1. Be active on social media.  Don’t just endlessly spam your book, engage with different conversations. Make book marketing personal!
  2. Get a professional to design your cover. If the book is a romance novel, make sure they include archaic runes, a dragon, headshots of the cast of Saved by the Bell: The New Class and kittens. If it’s a fantasy novel, add two dragons.
  3. Know your audience. Know who they are, what things they like to read and watch. Know the bars they hang out at. Know where they live. Know what their diary says, the one they keep in the locked drawer. Know the sound their breathing makes in the darkened room as you stand in the shadows, watching them. You need this information for marketing!
  4. Seek out the old woman who roams the moor at night, moaning to herself in a strange tongue unlike any other language you have ever heard, ancient words not heard on the earth for millennia. Others claim to be deaf to her guttural groans, but you hear her every night, don’t you? Seek her out. You where to find her. Cross her palm with silver but do not look her directly into her eyes. She’s a PR manager and can probably help you out.
  5. Give up and start drinking. Drink heavily for most of the evening. Meet a man who claims he knows some people in a newspaper and he can get you a cheap advert for your book. Be suspicious, but go along with it because you’re drunk. Go to an ATM. Get out most of your life savings for ‘advertising’. Wake up the next day and regret what you have done. Call the number he has given you over and over, only for it to go to voicemail every time. Check the newspaper every day, hoping that an advert for your book will appear. It never does. Keep checking for weeks. Gradually stop buying the newspaper. Gradually lose hope. Avoid social situations. Retreat into yourself. Spend your days cursing your stupidity. Vow never to drink again. Drink anyway. See that same man in a different bar, years later. He’s happy. He’s laughing. Feel the rage boil in your veins, uncontrollable, like the hurt was only yesterday. Start a fight with him. Realise, too late, it’s the wrong person. Run as he is much stronger than you. Exit into the night, into the cold, into the unknown future.
  6. Have you tried advertising online? It’s cheap and effective!

Previously published on Pure Slush January 2017

My debut chapbook, Our Voices in the Chaos, is out now through Selcouth Station.