Mark Cantrell


A coffee-guzzling journalist turned novelist, Mark Cantrell lives and works by the weave of his words.

He is the author of two novels (both published by Inspired Quill), a host of short stories, and plenty of social commentary. 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.

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


At Death's Door
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,130. Language: British English. Published: April 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Crawling from the wreckage of his car, delirious, surely hallucinating, Jeremy finds himself haunted by the spectral figure of a woman calling him to follow. She's the very image of his wife, rejuvenated; how can that be possible?
One For The Road
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,510. Language: British English. Published: December 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Short Fiction | December 2013 When Death comes along for the ride, be ready to find out exactly what you are…
Deadly Night Shade
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,130. Language: British English. Published: January 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
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.
On Literature
Price: Free! Words: 9,290. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
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)
Price: $3.15 USD. Words: 61,070. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
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
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,040. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2011. Categories: Poetry » U.K. Poetry
(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.

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Smashwords book reviews by Mark Cantrell

  • Spore 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.
  • Lumps 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!
  • Thug 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.