A coffee-guzzling journalist turned novelist and occasional poet, Mark Cantrell lives and works by the weave of his words.
By day, he works for a media company in Manchester, England, where he writes about the social housing industry. It provides plenty of fuel to keep the old social conscience simmering.
The rest of the time, Mark chases the literary dream.
He is the author of two novels, a host of short stories, and a multitude of articles and thought-provoking essays. Over the years, his writings have appeared in a number of small press 'zines, websites, and multi-author collections.
His fictional work tends to fall into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, with a little macabre horror thrown in for good measure, but he's not averse to touching upon social and political themes too.
That's certainly true of Mark's first novel, the dystopian science fiction thriller, Citizen Zero (Indie release, 2010), but it's also there, twisted into the DNA, of his second, the macabre urban fantasy, Silas Morlock (Inspired Quill, 2013).
Born and bred in Bradford, Mark now lives in Stoke-on-Trent, though he remains proud of his Yorkshire heritage.
Where to find Mark Cantrell online
Where to buy in print
One For The Road
Short Fiction | December 2013
When Death comes along for the ride, be ready to find out exactly what you are…
Deadly Night Shade
She was the one who was afraid of the dark, that's why the other vamps in her gang laughingly called her Shade, but now the joke's on them, and she's the one still breathing.
A small collection of essays and journalism, On Literature explores the creative life, from poets waxing lyrical to poets getting down right political. Some crucial excursions with the muse are explored in the 'pages' of this book, so dip inside and be inspired, there's more to literary living than you might think.
Isolation Space (Anthology)
Isolation Space is an anthology that brings together 20 of Mark Cantrell’s short stories into one exciting volume.
The collection presents a hard-hitting and entertaining combination of science fiction, horror and fantasy, with stories of a more satirical and thought-provoking nature added to the mix.
It all adds up to a powerful and enthralling experience that is not to be missed.
Deus Ex Insomnia
(5.00 from 1 review)
Deus Ex Insomnia is the début poetry collection by journalist and novelist Mark Cantrell. The collection pulls together 80 examples of his writing, with the added sweetener of prosaic essays pondering the mysteries of the written word. He has a reputation for darkness in his writings, so taste his night-life for yourself – and discover that life isn't all in shadow.
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
JobNet was supposed to usher in a better life for unemployed David Mills; instead it plunges him into a bitter struggle for survival when he is caught in the midst of a political conspiracy that pushes Britain to the brink of civil war...
A gripping political thriller, Citizen Zero presents a dystopian glimpse of a broken future born in an age of austerity...
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Smashwords book reviews by Mark Cantrell
- Time Standing Still
on May 20, 2011
A small selection of short stories it may be, but they are all finely written depictions of lives in motion.
The stories don't depict grandiose themes, or great adventure, but those small moments that might seem fleeting but are of great import.
Here, in these little slivers of living, is where human life is really defined, and these stories are engaging, moving, and filled with human warmth, even where the story touches upon the darker aspects of human nature.
Time Standing Still makes for a worthy introduction to Farrell's work. It will not disapoint.
on June 04, 2011
The mistake I made about Spore was to envisage it as a full-length novel when in fact it is a short story released as a standalone title, so in that respect we might consider it as a digital pamphlet.
Well, it’s all part of the cultural learning curve from established print publishing norms (an industry that, historically speaking, cut its teeth on the pamphlet and serialised forms), and an observation that has no direct bearing on this review except insofar of the ending.
No, no spoilers – if you want to know what happens, read it for yourself – but because I had perceived it as a novel it no doubt goes some way to explain why I felt it ended so abruptly. By the time I had gorged myself on its succulent two chapters it was over and I hadn’t had my fill by a long way. That doesn’t mean the ending was poor fare – it wasn’t – but that there is so much more potential to this story.
Said ending is pregnant with possibility, it leaves the reader wondering what happened next, which is often the sign of a good end. There is no sense of indifference, no sigh of relief, but a desperate cry for more! It speaks of a story that has gripped the reader right from the start, just as Spore does: it pulls you in and keeps you thoroughly entertained.
Woodhead has presented a finely-crafted horror story here, threaded with suitably dark humour that nevertheless refrains from ruining the macabre by over-stepping into comic territory. You’ll be horrified at Spore – for all the right reasons.
on June 04, 2011
A quick review this one, but once again I find myself filled with words of praise for Ian Woodhead's work. This short story was a cracking read, thoroughly original, with some nicely depicted characters -- and I really wasn't expecting that ending. Great stuff!
on June 04, 2011
This is a short but far from sweet story. That's not a comment on the writinng, but on the relationship the writing depicts. Howells pulls no punches, much like the thug of the title, who brutally betrays his girlfriend's trust and affection by, well... read the story and you'll see. Written to raise the issue of domestic violence, it leaves no doubt (as if there ever could be any) of the cowardly brutality of those 'men' who hide their inadequacies behind their fists.