Funny, paranoid, original and disturbing, Northern Futures is a cornucopia of dystopian possibilities. ‘Are you available for work? Fancy a spot of home invasion? What about a kidnapping or a high profile ransom? The price is negotiable. The target is specific. It has to be sentient … It has to be an AI.’ More
“I’ve been involved in the creative writing racket since 1956. About 10 years ago I started producing an anthology series, Twisted Tails. When I put out a call for submissions for the most recent volume, Twisted Tails IX: Wunderkind, I received a manuscript from Mark Ayling. I am a tough editor and the acceptance rate for these anthologies has averaged around 12%.
Mr. Ayling made it in that 12%. He has a fresh voice that had me engaged within three lines. His imaginative, intense approach gained immediate acceptance, and his story, Prodigious, became part of the Wunderkind project. Mark Ayling’s work makes a delightful read, especially if the reader has a somewhat warped sense of humor and likes the unusual.”
~J. Richard Jacobs, Editor, Twisted Tails Series
“Mark Ayling has a delightful story sense and tells those stories in remarkable ways. We’ve published him frequently in “Perihelion.” He always brings a fabulous sense of wonder to the pages of our webzine. He is constantly a reader favorite, and I personally enjoy his stories immeasurably. Can’t wait to read his next manuscript.”
~Sam Bellotto Jr., Editor, Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine
Welcome to Northern Futures, where a private investigator ponders the murder of a time travelling courier, a smart home is kidnapped and held to ransom, a nursing student falls in love with a university test clone, and a gang of mercenaries attempts the perilous retrieval of a gas-powered engine from the ruins of a northern city.
Silas Marvel Investigates – When the desperate widow of a recently murdered Clocker attends the offices of Silas Marvel Investigations to retain his services, Marvel accepts the case. However, what should be a relatively straightforward investigation is much more complicated than it first appears.
Vegan State – In the future, being unhealthy is outlawed. Eating meat is a crime punishable by death. Underground dinner parties are on the increase, though for Annabelle Jones the consequences of attending could prove disastrous.
(225-50) Agnes – A giant asteroid is on a collision course with the Earth. Armageddon is imminent. However, some people will go to any lengths to avoid the pending apocalypse.
Skipper Jeremiah Dudd – Jeremiah Dudd is experiencing radical biological disturbances following a skipping operation gone awry, unaware that he is the unwitting test subject in a make or break experiment conducted by the ruthless and ambitious Dr. Ignatius Welsh.
A Dish Best Served – When Obadiah Wickes’s residence comes under attack from an unidentified assailant, revenge for a past wrong seems the only rational explanation.
The Engine – In the distant future, a gang of salvage mercenaries attempts the perilous retrieval of a gas powered Victorian engine from the ruins of a former Northern City.
Verdict – Following the arrest for murder, trial, and subsequent execution live on television, of his brother Archie, private investigator Brady Harris receives an email that calls into question the veracity of the verdict.
Cynthia 2246 – Professional boundaries and ethics are tested when student nurse Ezekiel and University Test Clone Cynthia 2246 engage in an illicit campus relationship that could have serious repercussions for both of their futures.
Smart Home Blues – A Smart Home is kidnapped and held to ransom, setting into motion a series of events that will have tragic consequences for everyone involved.
Bodies – Following a series of unfortunate events, a routine job transporting cargo across the galaxy becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse for Prescott O’Hara, captain of the Leadbelly.
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