That picture isn't me. It's my much-loved Border Collie bitch, who I lost to a spinal tumour in April 2011. She deserves this memorial.
I was born a very, very long time ago, very close to my mother in England. Now I live in Wales, which isn't England but is part of the UK. I've written all sorts of stuff, but mostly science fiction. It's sort of believable sci-fi - maybe it can't happen today, but might tomorrow, you know? The sci-fi novels are all on the theme of 'first contact' and the first one is being given away free. You'll have to pay for the others. Sorry.
I've got other novels, short stories and things that are supposed to be funny too but whether they are is your decision, right?
Some of the books are based on real incidents - I know they are, because they happened to me. There are five in total, I've released two, two are being tidied up and the last one won't be finished for a while yet. If you read one, remember it all happened to me and that I don't mind being laughed at. I'm used to it.
A while back I released a free book, 'Top Of The Shop'. (If you're a writer you might want to read it. I'll say no more.) I've since released another one, 'Tea, Drums And Speed'. So now the first sci-fi novel is free, 'Top Of The Shop' is free, and there's a free volume of short stories. I must be mad, giving this stuff away. Mind you, it hasn't stopped me giving away a book of political thoughts. If you're from Wales, or British, or even interested in Welsh politics, it might be worth reading.
There's also a free book about some films that appeal to me. You might find it interesting but I thought it would be a bit cheeky to want money for it. Have it on me.
There's one little thing I don't understand. Of everything I've put on this site, I think the stories in 'Swift Shifts' are the funniest, yet it's the title that's looked at least often. Why is that, do you think?
After a gap of several months I've now added a new three-story volume of funny stories. To balance this, there's a thoroughly miserrable one on its way!
A word or two about my pricing strategy might be worthwhile. A lot of people on this site (and I apologise if I've got this wrong) quote prices that are just a bit cheaper than you'd see in a bookstore. I don't do that. Ebooks don't have production or distribution costs, so why should you, the book buyer, have to pay even a tiny share of something that doesn't exist? Isn't it better to spend, say, $3 on three little books than on just one? I want you to enjoy what I've written, and at a realistic cost to you that I can live with. Simple, isn't it?
I'll add to this from time to time - there's no point saying everything at once, is there? You'd have no need to come back, would you?
Where to find Les Broad online
Three Guilty Pleasures
This trio of funny stories starts in the future, visits the present then travels back to the 1960s. They really have nothing in common with each other, except that they are meant to make you, the reader, laugh. If you have an urgent need to find out about brain transplants, digging holes in roads or how the British tried to beat the Americans to the Moon, this little book is for you.
Those internet e-mail scams where somebody wants your help to access millions of dollars, perfectly legally of course, are well enough known and, although it's almost impossible to believe, people have actually fallen for them. A few of the funniest ones have been gathered together here, just for the sheer fun of it. They are, literally, unbelievable!
Swift Shifts is a trio of science fiction stories, connected only by being funny. 'Swift Shifts' is about an interplanetary parcels delivery service run by a man who leaves his wife on Earth and flies with his mistress; 'Sid. Reg And Floppy Ears' features two musicians and a hundred foot rabbit that floats in the air. 'Moon Lights' features the Welsh, Irish and English getting very confused!
Movies Worth Watching
(4.00 from 1 review)
This is a small selection of the author's favourite films, from the endearingly romantic Un Homme Et Une Femme to the brilliant-but-execrable Fire Maidens From Outer Space. There may be a concentration on sci-fi, but this reflects the author's own influences. It's a free book, and very nearly worth it.
Rudeness, bad service, incompetence – do we have to tolerate such things from businesses who rely on us for their income? The author doesn't think so, and complains about it all. In writing.
He kept the correspondence too, and a lot of it is reproduced here. Much of it is really quite funny but the occasional frustration of dealing with big, faceless, corporate entities is all too obvious!
Trains, Planes And Taxicabs
For Jim Tubbs, furniture salesman extraordinaire, life seemed to roll out the red carpet when he travelled: he set off, he arrived where and when he intended to. On the day that he happened to be travelling over an expanse of salt water, and therefore couldn't drive to his destination, of necessity he put his fate in the hands of others.
That might have been a mistake.
2 4 U
Just two stories appear in this volume. The second follows a not-quite-wide-awake commuter going to work but the first isn't a conventional short story. Told as a series of stories from a variety of fictional newspapers, it leaves the reader to decide what's actually happened, how much has been reported and whether its accurate. Try it – you might well enjoy the challenge.
This book is based on real events in England in 1990, a maelstrom of large scale financial fraud that left a lot of people breathless at the time. The author was at the heart of the efforts to put it all right. Inevitably it is in involved story but the inclusion of the hero's girlfriend allows all the explanations to be given as the story proceeds. Try it - you'll be wiser for having read it.
Weep Not The Widow
Do you want a crime story with a beginning, a middle and an end? Well, look elsewhere, because this isn't it. Instead, this story is told by way of a series of newspaper articles covering a crime. It's up to you, the reader, to decide what's true and what isn't, who you believe, who's just trying to sell newspapers and what actually happened. Why it all happened is worth thinking about, too.
Comments On Welsh Politics
By Les Broad
Published: September 13, 2011.
Wales – a bit of Great Britain that has punched above its weight globally but which has a population of not a lot more than two million people. So how much government does it need? The answer would seem to be 'a lot', qualified, sadly, by 'but not necessarily good government'. That and financial services regulation are the themes explored here.
Jokes Good & Bad
There are good jokes and bad jokes, but which is which depends on the individual. In this book there are a lot, and very, very, few of them are new. Some of them pre-date the last ice age, but they say the old ones are the best, right? There are long ones and short ones, and some in the middle, and even some off gravestones. And there are limericks, lots of limericks!
Lisa Marshall, Time Detective
Imagine having the ability to travel in time. It would be interesting, and you could make a lot of money: sports results, lottery numbers, you'd know them all. It didn't work that way for Lisa Marshall. Oh, she could travel in time, true, but only to solve mysteries. As a result she jumped off the Titanic, got seduced by Henry VIII, had a holiday in space and much, much more!
The Ditch And Other Stories
Unusual stories, unusually told probably sums up this quintet. 'The Ditch' has an unexpected ending, 'Flight' tells the story of a man who's sure his plane's going to be hijacked, and 'Thumb' is a really weird, scary story. Add in a couple of others and what you've got is definitely not a comfortable read, but it'll make you think. It's well worth the effort.
Tea. Drums And Speed
Six short stories offering a surprising range of topics, this little group sets out to make the reader think a little. They range from deliberate rumour-spreading, the tale of a 1960s pop band, the interesting world of a vicar's wife and her sisters and a sporting tale. Add in a couple of other very short works and the whole becomes worthy of its description – 'thought-provoking'.
This is a story about international sports car racing; books like this can get horribly technical, so this one is, possibly uniquely, told from a team sponsor's perspective. To enjoy this book it helps if words like Ferrari, Corvette, Porsche and Lamborghini make you salivate, but it isn't actually necessary. It's a glamorous, exciting story with much going on apart from the racing
Sitting in a valley in the bleak moorland of northern England, Greywinton is a village that is home to just a few people. The first snow of winter comes early, but one year it brings with it some strange events: eerie glows from the hilltops, strange noises in the sky and some very odd, never before seen plants.
Some hard questions need answers, but who's to supply them?
In the most demanding and dangerous environment possible, the moon, specialists in a range of disciplines live and work. Their training is extensive, thorough and tough with a high drop-out rate. The men and women who complete their training know what to expect, and how to survive.
But nothing could prepare the last batch of moon rookies for the shock and terror to come.
Humour - Is It Funny?
What anyone might think of as funny is all a matter of taste, isn't it? Here, your author is taking a chance; there are all sorts of different things in this book from an actual, real letter through funny stories to an essay on Scottish tourism. There must be something that will appeal to you so why not give it a try?
On a planet not too far away there are two land masses. One is an hereditary monarchy, the other is a fully democratic society despite its population originating on the other land mass. The two are at war.
Slowly, rudimentary technological advances are being made. But the arrival of a spaceship triggers fear and reaction. The outcome is truly, surprisingly gruesome.
This is weird stuff, off the wall, unusual – all sorts of characters crop up in these few short stories including an immortal, a time-traveller, a half-man-half-tree hybrid, two old men who don't ever want to die and others. But somehow, when you read the stories, it all makes sense. Be warned though – there's nothing here you'd want to read right before going to bed!
Putting Asunder And Other Stories
In this little group of short stories your author has taken a wrong turning somewhere and ended up writing about romance and relationships. Although the stories are fictional, each has a solid grounding in real events. The author knows this to be so because those events, even the more unusual and improbable ones, happened to him.
The Turning Of The Tide
Take one family – dull father, frustrated mother, smelly son, daughter who wants to be a 'celebrity' – and mix in a brash American escort agency owner, an Argentinian playboy, a gay hotelier, an overweight and very dim policeman, an exotic teenager, several assorted lawyers, a burly furniture maker, the Riot Squad and a loyal, philosophical little dog.
Chaos must, and does, result!
What connects a series of seemingly impossible disappearances, a minor traffic accident in south-east England, a rural English village shop and a retired supermodel? It all becomes clear as the story progresses to an emotionally charged conclusion with a sinister twist at the end.
It is a 'first contact' novel that is frightening, touching, satisfying – and well worth reading.
Your author is not a brave man; that will become all too clear in the recounting of his treatment in the hands of the Great British National Health Service. You will learn why he unexpectedly turns left surprisingly often; you will learn of the blood-soaked horror resulting from a not-so-simple accident and of his battle with skin cancer. It's not for the uncaring!
There may come a point in the future, or perhaps it's already been reached, where the power of multi-national corporations is as great as national Governments. That is the theme taken for this third book in the author's 'first contact' series.
If Governments can't regulate vast corporations who knows what unspeakable horrors might be going on?
Me - Frankie Sidebottom
Oh dear. What can you say about Frankie? He's a (fictitious!) uneducated soccer player, pundit, newspaper columnist, publican: he doesn't express himself well but really is quite funny. You should be warned, though; Frankie has been described, pretty accurately, as a 'sexist self-opinionated racist homophobic pisshead dinosaur'. So there.
The Penny Legacy
Unusually constructed, the first part of this book explains why an old lady left, in her Will, a single penny to somebody her family had never heard of.
There follow four separate stories explaining the background to elements of the main story.
It's an interesting and compellingly different way of telling a story.
The last thing any newly inaugurated US President wants is a sudden, major international crisis, but that's exactly what President Blackwell had to face. The weeks and months that followed tested the President's skills in military planning and strategy, global diplomacy and sheer nerve in ways that no other world leader had ever been tested.
The world has been devastated by a chemical war; humanity survives only in isolated pockets of civilisation. With a poisonous atmosphere closing in on one such pocket the community must decide what to do. The problem is that there is nowhere else on Earth they can go.
Their destination must be somewhere that is not on the planet and they think they've found it.
Maybe, just maybe, they have.
Top Of The Shop
This little book is being offered free because it shows how, with a little bit of luck, a writer can become very, very rich.
It's also being offered free because it shows how, with a little bit of poor research, a writer can suffer all sorts of very, very expensive bad things.
Call it a cautionary tale that's fun to read.
History, And More
In this series of four unique essays you'll discover the complete history of the world from the Big Bang until yesterday afternoon, why there are more Greek philosophers that Inuit and why, in the author's opinion, we should all be deeply suspicious of the motivation of 'scientists'. You'll probably find it funny, too.
In this trio of comic sci-fi stories you'll read about the vastly overweight King Ogod, who goes missing in impossible circumstances, and what happens next. You'll read about two very strange Englishmen who talk in odd accents and might have found a crop circle, and then a bunch of cavemen, and women, who meet an astronaut. Well, it could all happen, couldn't it?
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- Are Extra-Terrestrials Edible?
on Oct. 18, 2011
I think Mr Challis might be as odd as me, but his work is thoroughly instructive; I'm going hunting right now.