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*****'CUTS' PUBLISHED IN 'THE COLORED LENS', WINTER 2014 - NOW AVAILABLE*****
***** OVER 11,000 DOWNLOADS THROUGH SMASHWORDS *****
I'm a writer of mainly horror, science-fiction and fantasy stories, and live with my wife and three cats in County Durham, England. When I'm not being a full-time registered carer, I enjoy writing, reading, watching films and TV, drinking good beer with good friends, and collecting rejection letters.
In the past I have had stories published in small press magazines including, "The Colored Lens", "Cthulhu Cultus", "Dark Legacy", "Dread", "Pop Fiction", "The Domain", "The Ancient Track", "Blue Silver Dementia"; e-zines and websites, "Frightnet", "Nightscapes", "Dark Portal", "Magnetic Fiction" "alt.ghoststories.", "Writers Dungeon", and "Raise The Dead".
After a ten year break, and thanks to friends Jonathan Strickland and Robert Wilkins, and my wife, I am seriously writing again, trying to catch up on a boat-load of new ideas, and sending them out into the world. My newest success is my short science fiction story 'Cuts', which appeared in 'The Colored Lens', Winter 2014 Issue.
My many influences include H.P.Lovecraft, Stephen King, Clark Ashton Smith, Thomas Ligotti, Angela Carter, Sue Townsend and many more.
Of the stories here, UNCONTAINABLE, DREEK MIDWINTER and EYE CHECK are the most recently written, while HUNTING COMP, OBLIVIOUS and CONS go back to the mid 1990's.
Thanks to all who have downloaded, read or reviewed my stories. Like most writers [some don't give a hoot], any feedback is very important to me, and I appreciate every review.
Comments, queries, or correspondence can be sent off to email@example.com
The next story to be published here will be ???
on June 14, 2013 :
Very good short story.
(review of free book)
on May 14, 2013 :
Before reading this, I read the author's short, grumbling complaint on his blog about Doctor Who having apparently jumped in and used a similar idea after he was finished with his story drafts. As much as that is an awful set of circumstances to be caught up in, I'm quite behind in watching episodes of the said Doctor's adventures, and have yet to catch up to whichever episode blatantly stole Mr. Carter's tale from him. (The swine.)
Anyway -- aside from the unfortunate synchronicity that played out there, the tale was an interesting idea, and delivered in an interesting way. I enjoyed both of the stories that he and his friend Jonathan Strickland wrote for their Ghost Story challenge; it's always interesting to see how someone else will take an idea and run with it, and as always, both went in directions I wouldn't have considered.
I could comment on many parts of this, but the one that I can mention without spoiling anything too much is the blending of light sci-fi with the ghost story itself. As much as I never think of myself as a sci-fi reader, I always love seeing those elements make it into fiction, especially when delivered with enough authority to make them believable. That was done here to great effect, or at least I thought so. A tale that's certainly worthy of your time.
(review of free book)
on May 02, 2013 :
Writing an original ghost story? That's some challenge you guys have set yourselves.
Just as it's been said that there are only really a small handful of different types of joke, or different types of magic trick, most ghost stories tend to be derivative of one of a small number of set themes. Common examples include:
* the person who is experiencing some odd things then discovers they've actually died and come back as a ghost
*the person who meets someone, and later discovers that person died years before
*the person who is given some sort of a warning by a ghost, doesn't heed it, and becomes that ghost
*the person who fakes a haunting to scare a third party, then encounters a real ghost
Then you've got all your poltergeists, doppelgangers, possessions...
I'm not convinced this story truly passes the originality test... Several of the individual elements have been used before, such as people capturing ghosts (Ghostbusters), ghosts being echoes that are 'recorded' by the fabric of a building (The Stone Tape), and the concept of haunted computers has been around for a few years now. The idea of behind the 'main entity' I'd not come across before though (I can't say more without spoiling the story).
But a story doesn't necessarily have to be wholly original to be good.
I still can't decide if the story really benefited from being told via a series of emails/reports. I fully understand why this method was chosen, given the conclusion, but sometimes I felt it meant that events in the story lacked a certain immediacy.
Having several characters, there were times when I had to check back who was who because they invariably only get mentioned by surname. They're defined okay initially, but a few more reminders throughout the text (eg further references to, say, Sheridan's ponytail) might have helped.
I spotted a few typos - but these were deliberate, right? Because they were mistakes Stan typed in his emails :-)
No, overall I liked the story, it was well-written, imaginative and held my attention, plus it had one or two nice twists at the end.
I also like the way you and Strickland set yourselves these challenges, so that you're really trying to stretch yourselves both in terms of skill and imagination. And hopefully inspire other writers to do the same in the process. I know the challenges certainly get ME thinking...
(review of free book)
Jonathan Antony Strickland
on April 18, 2013 :
In it's time the ghost story has been (pardon the pun...and yes, I know the "pardon the pun" joke has been done by a billion other people but like an old senile comedian I'm going to repeat it anyway) done to death. So coming up with an original and exciting plot to hold the readers atention and keep him/her in suspense is becoming increasingly difficult.
As for the poor writer racking his brains as he performs mental gymnastics and tries squeezing out a myriad of ideas and plots...some bad, some awful and some so awfully bad, that one, if one has actually indeed got a brain worth racking in the first place, thinks why bother. So it becomes a rare thing indeed then to hit on that one truly original plot that will unquestionably keep the reader thrilled throughout.
It is this last part that the story "UNCONTAINABLE" I'm glad to tell you falls into.
The story is about a guy sent to secretly investigate a group of ghost-hunters who capture spooks (ghost-buster style). The reason he is sent to investigate the S.T.A.R organisation (the name of the ghost-hunters) is because the ghosts they capture and keep are mysteriously going missing.
This gives the story a who-dunnit feel as our narrator explains through e-mails to the company his working for his findings throughout.
The rest you'll have to read as you discover bit by byte the characters (some of who are ordinary, some intersting, and one who's just plain annoying), the ghost-hunting exploits, and the shock ending, all of which congeal into a truly exellent story.
It may (or may not) also interest you to know that me and Mick (while in the pub) set ourselves the writing challange of coming up with an original ghost story. This is how "UNCONTAINABLE" came to be.
My own dirty scribblings can be found here too on smashwords as well. The original ghost story I came up with is called "THE GHOST OF A CHANCE" and can be downloaded from my smashwords page.
As a fellow writer I know that the one thing we strive for is productive feedback (be it good or bad) on our stories. So if you,ve read either mine or Mick's story/stories then why not leave a review of what you thought of it.
(review of free book)