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The third volume of my Dabbler in Drabbles project has been published. As I have said elsewhere, this is a four volume work. There will be one-thousand drabbles in total.

The first book features 100 of them, the second features 200, this new book features 300, and the fourth will feature 400. This is an allusion to the tetractys of the decad, and the reason for a classical analogue of this kind is that the sequence involves the cyclops Polyphemus and the centaur Chiron as the teller and witness of the drabbles.

I have a mild obsession with the classical myths and legends and this stems entirely from my exposure to the Ancient Greek tales at a very impressionable age.

The four collections will be published as soon as each is ready, as paperbacks and ebooks, and after the fourth has been released, an omnibus will be prepared that will contain all the drabbles.

In some ways, I think this was a crazy project to embark on. Writing drabbles is difficult, not so much because of the requirement to keep coming up with new ideas (that's one thing my brain seems to do without any prompting) but to hone each drabble down to exactly 100 words. It's the precision of the wordage that takes up a lot of time... But it's too late now. I have written 600 out of the proposed 1000 and I might as well continue going until the very end.


Last year I wrote a weird Western called The Sunset Suite. It's actually a set of flash fictions linked by a framing device. The novella is about what happens when cups of coffee turn into tall tales after two cowboys set up camp for the night. 26 cups of coffee in total means 13 weird stories each. So it's a sort of portmanteau novella. The cover of the book is a painting by 
Mia Wolff and the paperback edition is less than $5.

Now that this book has been published, I have been thinking about the weird Westerns I wrote in the past and those I plan to write in the future. The first weird Western I wrote was the middle part of my novel Captains Stupendous. The second was my novel The Honeymoon Gorillas, which I guess can be seen as a collection of linked short-stories rather than a novel. The third was the collection Weirdly Out West, which contains short-stories, one-act plays, an article, and poems. The fourth was Yee-Haw, a collection of poems and illustrations with one-act plays and flash fictions.

My next weird Western will be Growl at the Moon, a novel I wrote last summer. It shuld hopefully be published later this year. And next year I plan to start work on another, a novel called Fists of Fleece that I conceived more than thirty years ago but still haven't done anything about. There might be others after that, I don't know.

My second book of the year is the second volume of my Dabbler in Drabbles project, a four volume extravaganza. There will be one thousand drabbles in total. The first book features 100 of them, and this new book features 200.

The collections will be published as soon as they are ready, and after the fourth has been released, an omnibus will be prepared that will contain all the drabbles. But that probably won't happen for quite a while, because writing drabbles is hard work. The ideas come to me easily enough (I have been writing weird fiction for so long that now my subconscious offers me original ideas almost hourly) but the precision of the form is tricky. Adjusting a microfiction so that it is exactly one hundred words long requires a good editing eye. But I like to challenge myself and I enjoy writing flash fiction and so drabbles are absolutely a form I need to get to grips with, and I believe that I have.

This book is available in paperback and ebook editions, and the ebook is currently a free download from any Amazon platform for the next two days (today and tomorrow). This link is to the relevant page on Amazon US but look on your own Amazons if you are in a different country...


My first book of the year 2024 is in fact only the first volume of a four volume project. Dabbler in Drabbles will consist of exactly one-thousand drabbles (flash fictions that are exactly 100 words long). Such a project will make a very big book and will take a long time to write. Therefore I have decided to divide the project into four and publish each volume when it is ready (even though the later volumes will remain to be written).

It might be supposed that one-thousand drabbles spread across four volumes means that each volume will feature 250 drabbles. But this isn't the case. I have devised a different scheme. The first volume contains 100 drabbles; the second volume will contain 200 of them; the third volume 300; and the fourth and final volume 400. That's one-thousand in total but every volume is of a different length. After the last volume is published there will be a large omnibus edition.

The first volume has just been published. Furthermore, the ebook edition of Dabbler in Drabbles #1 is free from any Amazon outlet for the next five days. This link is to Amazon US but check your own Amazon if you are in another country.

To quote the blurb about the book: "A drabble is a flash fiction that is exactly one hundred words long. And here we have a cyclops who is writing them and telling them to his friend, a centaur. One hundred drabbles. The stories are miniature adventures, comedies and tragedies, tales of space and time, accounts of voyages and discoveries, many of them ironic or paradoxical, some of them featuring robots and monsters and ghosts, but each one compressed into an easily-digested snack for the mind. And this is the first volume of four..."

My massive book of fairy tales has just been published, MY BIG GLIB BOOK OF FLIPPANT FAIRY TALES. Hundreds and hundreds of pages of fiction. I don't actually think the stories are glib or flippant but that's a pre-emptive strike against those reviewers who don't like me for reasons that have little or nothing to do with my work (you know the kind of person I am referring to). Anyway the book I had published a couple of months ago, STARFISH WISH, was a sampler for this one.

Originally the manuscript of this monster was 914 pages long, but Amazon said no to that: it was too long. So I took out 141 pages and put them into another book, a companion volume called MY LITTLE GLIB BOOK OF FLIPPANT FAIRY TALES.

The former volume has been in preparation for what feels like ages. It is done now at long last. 313 stories contained in 773 pages. These two books don't include ALL my fairy tales, fables, parables, whimsical flapdoodles and paradoxical picaresques, but they do contain many (or even most) of them. I put in a lot of work to make this happen, foolish amounts of work, in fact, over many years, decades. It has been a very tough climb. But whatever happens now, whatever my writing future holds (or doesn't hold) for me, at least I can point to the two GLIB books and say: here you are, here I am, this is how my imagination works. And that counts for something.

Review PDFs are available for anyone who feels they can review one or both of these volumes...

I am retiring Gloomy Seahorse Press, which was my first small-press venture. Ten years is long enough for a small-press imprint. Any future books I issue will be from Gibbon Moon Books or a new imprint called Trojan Donkey Press. The former will mostly focus on my own books, the latter on works written by other writers. You can expect several books in the next couple of months featuring work from W.E. Bowman, Jason Rolfe, Boris Glikman, D.F. Lewis, Mitali Chakravarty and others.

The first book issued under the Gloomy Seahorse imprint was More Than a Feline, a collection of cat-themed stories and poems. That was at the end of the year 2013, exactly one decade ago. The last book to be issued under this imprint is The Golden Fleas, a story collection published two days ago...

The Golden Fleas contains previously uncollected work that is among my earliest surviving fiction. In fact, this new book has been created primarily for those select few readers who have expressed a wish to read all my stories. When I recently examined the contents of my published collections to date I noted that many of the stories I wrote between the years 1989 and 1995 don't appear in any of my books. These stories are cruder than my later fictions, true, but I do believe they have some value and now they are available to be read.


My new book, Adventures With Immortality, has recently been in the USA by Oddness. It is a collection featuring stories all concerned with the theme of immortality. I think it contains some of my best ideas. Anyway, it's not easy finding outlets for this kind of fiction, i.e. stories that are more like pseudo-essays à la Borges with almost no characterisation, plot tension or opportunities for readers to achieve 'immersion'. This kind of fiction is more like non-fiction but with the difference that it doesn't have to be true or even possible in what it claims. I am therefore extremely grateful to the publishers for accepting the manuscript and publishing the book.

I am honoured and delighted that my book has been illustrated by one of my favourite artists working in the science fiction and fantasy spheres, Mike Dubisch. His illustrations are absolutely intergral to the progression of the text.

The hardback is available from most outlets that deal with books, but I have been asked to prioritise links to Barnes and Noble and I am more than happy to do that... 

The stories examine the consequences of immortality by taking those consequences to a logical extreme. Among my science fiction reading friends, I often see discussions about immortality, usually in the context of asking the question, "How would you pass the time if you were immortal?" And people generally answer that they would do everything they had ever wanted to do, try every activity, acquire all knowledge, because they would now have unlimited time in which to do things.

But I wonder if people are failing to understand that a physiological change also produces psychological change. If you could suddenly fly, you would soon lose your (natural) fear of heights. The change in your physical capabilities would alter your psychology. So it is with immortality. If you had unlimited time in which to do things, all sense of urgency would be gone. There would be absolutely no motivation to do anything. Everything could be put off for another day and almost certainly it would be. And put off again and again forever. That is one logical consequence of the quality of immortality taken to an extreme. I examine this and others in the book.


I am now a married man. We went for our honeymoon to a remote part of the Western Ghats, staying on a coffee plantation. The day before we left for the trip, a box of books turned up from the USA. I was therefore able to take a copy of my volume of coffee-themed poetry to the isolated coffee estate. That was a nice little touch.

The Coffee Rubaiyat has been published by Alien Buddha Press. It's a spoof of the first edition of Edward FitzGerald's translation of Omay Khayyam. 75 quatrains to match the 75 of FitzGerald's translation. The originals are all about wine. Mine are all about coffee. I preserved the AABA rhyme-scheme and mostly mimicked the metre (not always).

But it's more than that. It's a genuine prayer and eulogy to coffee. Yes, coffee, the second most traded substance in the world after crude oil (and a damn sight tastier). People often talk about how wine is bottled sunshine. Well, coffee is night in a mug, the kind of night where you feel energised but tranquil and want to go for a long walk to the sea. And when you reach the sea and see the surf washing the shoreline, you understand that this is the cappuccino of the gods.

Anyway, enough blather! The book is available from Amazon and elsewhere, and there is even a pocket-sized edition, which is smaller and cheaper than the main edition.


A new book of poetry about aardvarks, to a greater of lesser extent.

There's an aardvark
on my uncle's shoulder
and he's waiting
for my aunt.

He is a type of aunt-eater,
that creature with a long
sticky tongue.

And so is the aardvark.

I wondered if I had written enough poems about aardvarks to issue a book of aardvark-themed poetry. I went through all my poems to see if this was true. Turns out it nearly was (I had to write a few more to make up the shortfall). Anyway, I put the collection together and here it is...


, a slim volume of poems about the man himself, his chin and his pantheon, has just been published and the ebook edition will be a free download for five days (from July 3rd to July 7th). But the paperback is a permafree PDF download too. This will be my last self-published project before I leave India one week from now.

The free PDF can be downloaded here. Only click on this link if you really want to download it, as the download should start automatically.

I think it's funny and I hope you will too, though if you are a fanatic for Lovecraft you might not. That's the risk we take when we do things like this. It's unfortunate, but some devotees of the Weird take things far too seriously, and then they get angry, and their anger becomes bitterness, and really the whole thing becomes even weirder than the Weird fiction they believe they are defending. My own view is that Weird fiction (or fiction of any sort) doesn't need to be defended. It can defend itself perfectly well.

Anyway, the book is there to be read for free and I will say only one more thing about it. Lovecraft often disparaged people, entire races of people in fact, so any disaparagement or mockery that comes his way is entirely his own fault. He has no one to blame but himself. As for the argument that he was "of his time", that's fine: I am also "of my time", so if his foibles can be justified that way, so can mine. Let us at least try to be logical and consistent.

My new poetry book has just been published. THE JAZZ HANDS PTERODACTYL is a slim collection, a chapbook really. But you don't have to be a chap to read it. Ladies can read it too. It's a personbook.

The ebook edition also happens to be a FREE download from any Amazon outlet for the next five days (starting right now). If you do download it, I would be grateful if you could also promote it by sharing the link. This link is to the free book on Amazon US, but look on your own Amazon too.

My poetry has been compared to that of Spike Milligan, Ogden Nash, Ivor Cutler and Richard Brautigan. Not very often have I been so compared, true enough, but I have occasionally been compared in this manner, yes indeed.

My new collection includes poems about dinosaurs, dictators, writers, jazz musicians, explorers, metaphors, armchairs, dogs, devils and more. It also includes one of my personal favourites of all my poems, a mini-mock-epic called 'The Voyages of Caractacus Gibbon'.


My new book has just been published and before I say anything else, let me point out that the ebook version is a FREE download from any Amazon outlet for the next three days. Click on this link to get it from Amazon US or search on your own Amazon for the book.

Now for the book itself. STARFISH WISH is a sampler of modern fairy-tales and fabular fantasies. It's a taster for a much larger volume that will soon follow (closer to the end of the year). Most of the stories it contains have never been published before: some are long, other very short, flash fictions in fact.

I designed the cover myself. I used an online art program to do so. I am not an artist or designer. I just mess around with things until I end up with something I like. In the old days (ten years ago) I made covers by making models and photographing them. I prefer this new digital method.

Here is the back cover material...

Once upon a time there was a book, a collection of modern fairy tales and fables, and this book lived in the uncharted regions of availability. It featured 27 stories, and each one of those stories was a prisoner of the book. The book was rather like a dragon in this regard and the stories were like damsels in distress. The book guarded the stories jealously but no knight ever came to rescue them. Until now. Yes, the reader is the true knight and the act of reading is the method by which the stories can be set free. The stories will escape from the book into the head of the reader where they will be free to enjoy life. You are the reader, the hero of this adventure. Unsheathe your eyes and prepare to do battle!


My new book has been published. It's a concise collection of whimsical stories about ghosts, monsters, mythical heroes, giants, talking cats and pots of custard, divided into four sections: (1) crime, (2) fantasy, (3) science fiction, (4) horror.

The sections are all separate in theory but the stories rarely or never confine themselves to one precise genrew. There is plenty of overlap. One or two of them don't fit into any genre at all, unless it be the 'fabular' genre. The only thing they really have in comoon is that they are all whimsical and colourful in a gentle way.

Of the twelve short-stories in the collection, ten have never before been published. Most of the stories were written last year and the book could have been published in 2022, but what with one thing and another there was a delay. Not that this matters.

The title for the collection, Pastel Whimsies, was suggested by something the late Joel Lane said to me many years ago when we were discussing the works of Lord Dunsany. I am an enthusiast for Dunsany's stories; Joel wasn't, and he declared that he had no intention of wasting time reading "pastel whimsies". The next day I wrote a Dunsanyesque story called 'The Pastel Whimsy' which I sent to Joel (who said he enjoyed it). That story appears in this book.

I am delighted with this little collection. I am especially pleased with the stories featuring the detective Belo Custardo, the caveman story, and the story about demonic critics (I had the idea for that tale when I was 15 years old, but only recently sat down to write it). One of the other stories, about two trains, has my favourite last line of any of my short stories. Another story, 'The Library', is a flash fiction that I plan to extend into a full length story and is therefore not yet part of my official bibliography, but I think it works well as a flash too, which is why it is here.

As a promotional device, the ebook edition will be a free download from any Amazon outlet for five days starting from Monday 24th April.

My new novel has just been published. I love working with Telos Publishing. They are excellent and I don't think any author could rightly want more from a publisher. They published my novel Captains Stupendous some years ago and it so happens that it is now on special offer, only £3 for a book I think is one of my best adventure tales. The link for that offer is here.

I regard my new novel, The Wistful Wanderings of Perceval Pitthelm, as an even better novel (just my own view, of course, and who am I?).  As well as being available directly from the publisher, it is also available from Amazon in paperback and ebook editions. As I have said before, it's an adventure story but a little more philosophical than most adventure stories.

Already it has had a good review. I am hoping for more reviews soon. The story concerns a writer of adventure stories who becomes caught up in a series of adventures himself, in East Africa, Brazil and the Sahara Desert between World Wars One and Two. Philip José Farmer was a big influence on this, as were Karel Čapek and Michael Moorcock and even Mia Couto. I think I have successfully managed to capture a certain atmosphere.

My thanks are to Ana Da Silveira Moura for providing the initial nudge that started the first chapter/story rolling. Salutations also to Jim Burns, the legendary cover artist. I have always wanted a Jim Burns cover, ever since I saw the covers he did for Jack Vance's Durdane Trilogy when I was in my teens and had just started reading fantasy and SF.

For the next few days, in order to help promote my novel, my collection of Lovecraftian stories Cthulhu Wants You will be a free ebook from any Amazon outlet. I am striving to reach new readers with this freebie in the hope that some of them will like it and then go on to purchase The Wistful Wanderings of Perceval Pitthelm. Trickle-down doesn't work, we all know that, but maybe capillary-action-sideways still has a chance. Let's see! Free for the next five days. Feel free to share.  

Whatever happens, my new novel now exists as a real item in the world and is available to be read, and that's something very nice to know. Review copies are available, epub, mobi and PDF. Contact me if you think you might be able to review it. Thanks.


A slim collection of my (mostly new) flash fiction has just been published. Has a dozen illustrations too, by the artist David Bowman. The conceit is that each microfiction or nanofiction is a tiny arrow shot from the bow of a mythical archer.

Low price for both paperback and ebook versions. Is this a chapbook or a real book? I'm not sure. It's 83 pages, so you decide about that.

A few of the fictions within are metafictional. Here is one of those, to set an example: 

The flash fiction writer went out into the storm. “I need some inspiration,” he said. The lightning bolt turned him into ashes. That’ll do,” he whispered, and the index finger of his ghost began scrawling a story on the damp ground with the carbon of his death.

There's not much more to say. I enjoy writing flash fiction, probably more than I enjoy writing full-length short stories. I sometimes think that if I am ever remembered for anything as a writer (but how can any of us know who will be remembered?) then my flash fiction might end up defining me. I am pleased that Samuel Delany, Ian Watson and A.A Attanasio, three writers I enormously admire, have all praised my flash fiction. That in itself justifies the endeavour.

But anyway... The book is available from every Amazon outlet. As most of my sales happen in the USA here is the relevant link to Amazon US.


My new book has been published. YEE-HAW is a collection of poems, mutant campfire songs, short plays and other small prose pieces, a 'Weird Western' and companion volume to my collection WEIRDLY OUT WEST, published last year by Black Scat Books.

It is priced very low, only $3.99 for the paperback edition and 99 cents for the ebook, because this is very much an offbeat project and not a commercial venture at all. 

The official description of YEE-HAW is as follows:

"The West has always been the place where the sun sets best, and when it has slipped over the horizon it is time for the embers of the campfire and the blushing cheeks of the long riders to take over the rosy glow duties. And around this campfire, songs must be sung and poems recited and tales should be told. The Honky Tonk Squonk, the Ghost Riders, the Biscuit Kid, the Robot Hobo, the Purple Sage, and many others. Then, and only then, will it be time for coffee, beans and dreams, and yee-haws that turn into snores."

I think that says it all, or almost all... It was one of those books that are great fun to write. All my 'Weird Westerns' have been fun to write, more fun than most other kinds of books, from 'The Gargantuan Legion' novella to THE HONEYMOON GORILLAS and beyond. There is something about the West as a setting that is both inspiringly bracing and also mythically absurdist and I find it irresistible...


My new book has just been published. A mini-saga is a complete story with a beginning, middle and ending but done in exactly 50 words. The form was invented by Brian Aldiss in the 1980s and has since become one of the most popular and significant microfiction formats.

FIVE HUNDRED MINI-SAGAS presents no fewer than five hundred of these flash fictions, most in prose but some in verse. I began this project back in May when I was in Aberystwyth and finished it here in Bangalore just a few days ago.

I have been interested in flash fiction, sudden fiction, microfiction, drabbles, etc, for a long time. The mini-saga has an especially rigorous structure due to its short length, though the title can be used as an essential part of the story, lending the writer a few extra words.

I am pleased with the mini-sagas in this collection. Obviously some are better than others, but I believe that the best are fine examples of this tricky literary form. The book has been published in paperback and ebook editions, and for the next three days the ebook edition is a free download from any Amazon outlet. Here is a link to the book on the British Amazon, but check your own Amazon if you wish to receive it for free.


Back in 2012, I put together a collection of short stories that were tributes to authors I admire. Then I sent it to Centipede Press and it was accepted fairly quickly.

Now, ten years later, the book has finally been published. My delight is no small thing. Anyone who knows how magnificent the books of Centipede Press are will understand why.

Good things come to those who wait, but even more fantastic things come to those who wait longer.

Or to put it another way: Six balls bowled at wickets in cricket is an over. And so is the wait...

More information about The Senile Pagodas can be found on the Centipede Press website.

The book is now also available for purchase from Ziesings, one of my favourite booksellers. They sell my Raphus Press books too, and books from other publishers...


My new book of flash fictions has just been published as a paperback. It was originally published as a deluxe limited edition by Raphus Press of Brazil with only 30 copies for sale. The paperback, on the other hand, is a mass market product and has been priced low, and the ebook has been priced very low (in fact it is a free download on any Amazon outlet for the next three days).

Many rascals are too tense to be comfortable. Real life rascals have much to worry about. But rascals in fiction can afford to relax a little in the waves of prose that surround them, gently swirling on the wit and wisdom, bobbing on the contrivance, floating on the syntax. It is nice to be a comfy rascal.

"Each of these stories is a shimmering whimsical fleck which not only satisfies in and of itself but, taken with its compatriots, builds an image of life and language that is pure play and discovery. Like Kafka's parables, if Kafka's sense of humor was less dark and had more puns." — BRIAN EVENSON

“If I said he was a Welsh writer who writes as though he has gone to school with the best writing from all over the world, I wonder if my compliment would just sound provincial. Hughes’ style, with all that means, is among the most beautiful I’ve encountered in several years.” — SAMUEL R. DELANY


My new book of robot poems (entitled Robot Poems, logically enough) has now been published. It's a collection of long and short poems about robots, androids, cyborgs and other assorted cybernetic beings, and it includes a mini-epic, 'The Mime of the Android Stammerer', one of my longest ever poems.

All in all, I think it's my best poetry collection to date. Some of the poems concern themselves with competent robots, our future overlords, but most are about robots that have been wired wrongly or who aren't sapient at all. A few are even powered by clockwork.

I have been interested in Artificial Intelligence since I was young and many of my favourite works in the science-fiction genre are about robots (rather than spaceships, aliens and distant galaxies). I am especially thinking of Stanisław Lem's Cyberiad and Mortal Engines, and John Sladek's Tik-Tok and Roderick. The first Brian Aldiss story I truly enjoyed and which turned me into a lifelong fan was about robots ('Who Can Replace a Man?'). Robots can be very amusing as well as instructive. They can be terrifying too.

My own robots tend to be comical, absurdist, whimsical creations, but not always. The earliest poems in this book (from the early 1990s) tend to be more serious; the later ones tend to be more humorous. I now hope to have a rest from writing poetry about robots...


Back in 1994 I began writing The Darktree Wheel, a series of stories about Robin Darktree, a highwayman, but I didn't know it was going to be a series when I wrote the first tale, 'Flintlock Jaw'. There ended up being five tales in the series at first, but things became more complicated because in 1995, between the writing of the second and third tale in the series, I also wrote a Darktree novella called Eyelidiad that was published as a separate book. Then I returned to the original series and finished it in 1997. The five stories combined made a novella.

So now I had two Darktree novellas and I put them together and decided to write a third novella called Ghoulysses. All together, the three novellas would make a fairly substantial novel. But I never finished that third part and still haven't, though I absolutely intend to do so one day (maybe this year). That big novel will be called The Clown of the New Eternities.

Anyway, The Darktree Wheel was published in an anthology called Leviathan 2 in 1998 and there it languished for two decades before it was resurrected to appear in a very prestigious book, the Big Book of Modern Fantasy, published by Vintage.

But in fact only part of the novella appeared in that Vintage anthology and so I have decided to reissue The Darktree Wheel in its entirety. Then it occurred to me that it might sit well with another pair of my favourite novellas, The Impossible Inferno and The Swine Taster, both of which I had considered at stages in my writing career to be my best works. The end result is a collection called THREE NOVELLAS and it has been published by my own Gibbon Moon Books press.

I would say that this book is absolutely representative of my best work as a whole. In other words, if you don't like this book I can confidently state that you probably won't like any of my others.

The book is available as a paperback and an ebook. Earlier this year I paid for ten proper ISBNs for my small press and I will be issuing ten of my own books to form a set. This book is perhaps the most vital part of this set.


My new book has just been published. It is a novella (or set of linked stories) about the inept non-canonical son of the renowned Carnacki.

I have had the idea for writing these stories for many years but only completed the project recently. Carnacki's son wants to follow in his father's footsteps but is simply not up to the job. He earns the nickname 'Clumsy' as a result of his occult bungling. Whereas his father was known as 'the ghost finder' the son is 'the ghost loser'.

And yet he often muddles through despite his incompetence... at least until he bites off more ectoplasm than he can supernaturally chew....

I am very pleased with this book. I believe that my stories of Clumsy Carnacki are both a genuine tribute to the original tales of William Hope Hodgson and an ironic variation on them in postmodern mode.

Whether hardcore Hodgson fans will like them is a different question entirely. But my own view is that variations on a theme or style or tradition are valid and can be amusing or even epiphanic in some cases.

Anyway, the book is now available from Amazon and elsewhere in both paperback and ebook editions and in fact, as a promotional offer, the ebook is free to download for the next four days.


"'The World Beyond the Stairwell' may well be the finest tribute (with love) to Hodgson ever written." — John Clute.

First published twenty years ago as part of a limited edition hardback collection from Sarob Press, my novella THE WORLD BEYOND THE STAIRWELL is now available as a standalone paperback and ebook. It is simultaneously a tribute to Hodgson and Borges, with a bit of Lovercraft thrown in for good/bad measure.

This novella received many enthusiastic reviews when it first came out and I am delighted to be able to give it another chance to reach a wider readership. The Sarob Press volume where it originally appeared was limited to only a few hundred copies.

"Enter the weird and original world of Rhys Hughes, an eerie nightmare place of monsters, demons, devils and other strange horrors. If you haven’t read anything by this author previously, then get ready for a truly terrific helter-skelter ride of the imagination." — Jeff VanderMeer.

The novella is avaialble as a paperback and ebook from Amazon and elsewhere.


My new poetry book has just been published. It's a collection I am very happy with because it has a satisfying unity. The official description says it all: "A slim book of poems about the thwarted passions of implausible and even impossible lovers who nonetheless manage to get it together thanks to some timely and snappy advice. Star-crossed, moon-spangled, kiss-splattered romantics should rejoice!"

This is one of the three new poetry collections I recently decided to put together. The other two are called Big Baboons and Sorry I'm Late, Sir: Barnacles! and I will be submitting them to publishers soon. Get a Room! has been published by Gibbon Moon Books and there will be a total of ten of my books from this imprint. At least that's the idea and my hope...

One of those books will be a massive collection of my more fabular stories called My Big Glib Book of Flippant Fairy Tales and I am really looking forward to seeing that one in print.

In the meantime Get a Room! is available in both paperback and email editions from Amazon and elsewhere.


My first book of 2022 is a slim collection of five OuLiPo ghost stories that I wrote in the 1990s. One of them was published in the journal Ghosts and Scholars but I can't remember if any of the others were published. But I do know that they are being published all together for the first time now.

OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Litterature Pontentielle) is a perennial workshop of experimental fiction that was founded by Raymond Queneau and Francois le Lionnais in 1960. Its members attempt to create original fictions using mathematical and logical constraints that are arbitrary but rigorously applied.

Some OuLiPo constraints are complicated, some are simple. For these ghost stories a simple constraint has been chosen. Five of M.R. James’ stories (the more obscure ones) have been taken and sequels written for them. Each sequel is exactly the same length as the original and has an identical structure, which means it has the same number of paragraphs, the same number of sentences in each paragraph, the same number of words in every sentence, and all the punctuation marks are in exactly the same places.

The book is available on all Amazon outlets in both paperback and ebook editions.


The second omnibus volume of several of my OOP (out of print) books is now available, with cover art by the always excellent Selwyn Rodda. The books contained in this second omnibus are:

(1) The Young Dictator.

(2) Twisthorn Bellow.

(3) The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange.

(4) The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding.

This is hopefully the second of four omnibus volumes. Each will have a particular flavour. The flavour of this second omnibus can be said to be 'twisted superheroes'.


I created a little book for Halloween, but then I realised it was good for any other time of year too. It's a slim pocket-sized volume featuring four horror stories, two of which have been previously published in anthologies, two of which haven't. The stories are diabolical, kafkaesque, macabre and grotesquely comical in turn. Anyway, it is available on all Amazon outlets at the cheapest possible price that I was permitted to set for it.

I supposedly gave up writing horror stories ten years ago, but here I am, still writing the occasional horror story. How do I resolve this contradiction? I guess I could say that my 'horror' isn't conventional horror and maybe isn't horror at all, but something else: dark absurdist fantasy, perhaps, or ironic gothic fantastika. But no, that doesn't really wash.

The truth is that I hardly read horror now but I read it when I was young, in my early teens, and began to move away from it over the subsequent years. By the time of the publication of my first short stories I had completely abandoned horror for other kinds of writing. The stories I wrote between the ages of 14 and 17 (all lost now) were probably the purest horror I have written. However, formative influences can never be entirely disengaged from. There is some horror still deep in my writing soul and it comes out now and then.


My new book has just been published and is available as a paperback and an ebook.

The Seven Deadly Sinbads is a set of linked stories featuring the famous sailor, but they are rather different from the traditional tales in which Sinbad is the hero.

On the surface they are fantasy adventures in which Sinbad visits strange islands, dips beneath the sea to meet mermaids, is shipwrecked and rescued and shipwrecked again, finds a message in a bottle that tells a most remarkable story and ends up performing in a very unusual music festival.

And yes, he has learned wisdom over the years and wraps legends around himself like a cloak.

But here also are the delights and perils of experimental forms. Sinbad is locked into a rigorous numerological exploit with previously unknown brothers, is compelled to find safe passage through labyrinths of layered, divergent and fractured narratives, and must put his supreme talents to surviving cultural catastrophes.

"The wages of sin are death, they say, but we sin every day, and Sinbad earns his salary anyway, on seven salty seas."


I have collected many (or most) of my 'Lovecraftian' tales into one volume. These stories are not parodies or pastiches but darkly ironic fantasies that connect with the Cthulhu Mythos at a tangent. Open-minded devotees of Lovecraft may find amusement in the offbeat ideas, paradoxical plots, whimsical language and strange originality of these tales. Lovecraft purists and horror fans with a visceral dislike of comedy might be repelled and outraged. Or they might not be. I am quite unable to anticipate the reactions of individual readers, let alone readers in groups or sets. There may well be no reaction to my book at all.

I regard Lovecraft as an important writer for several reasons, but these reasons tend not to be the same as those offered by his devotees to justify his high standing in the world of weird fiction.  He strikes me as a wholly emotional writer (rather than the cool philosophical rationalist he is often portrayed as) and the currents that froth and flow beneath his work are surely powered by an organic frustration instead of a scientific fatalism. I may be wrong about this, and I surely have no intention of viewing his stories through a Freudian lens, but it seems to me that his palpable yearning for a better life drove his creativity and his visions do not originate in a deliberate turning of his back on the petty concerns of humanity.

Does any of that make sense? Whether it does ot not, my book features twelve stories written over the past 25 years, from the deliberately silly humour of 'Bridge Over Troubled Blood' (only barely a Lovecraftian story and thus highly vulnerable to derision from any Lovecraftians who read it) to 'On the Other Hand' which I wrote late last year. In between there are stories I really am very proud of, such as 'A Languid Elagabalus of the Tombs' (about the dire consequences of semantics), 'Sigma Octantis' (about an attempted manipulation of astronomical forces), 'How Gangrene was my Sally' (concerned with the overlap of layers of different narratives) and 'The Sauce of the Guile' (in which I believe I finally truly fused the comic with the horrible in an effective manner).

This volume doesn't contain all my 'Lovecraftian' stories. Missing are 'Get Recipe for Mina' and 'The Whisperer in Darkness Bangs his Head on an Unseen Projection' among several others, but I believe it is a comprehensive enough showcase of my short prose fiction in this particular milieu.

The book is available from Amazon and other online bookshops in both paperback and ebook editions. The cover of the paperback was meant to mimic the cover of the Led Zeppelin IV album.


My latest collection of stories is now available from Raphus Press in Brazil. This is an ultra-limited edition of only 30 copies.

Unlike my other Raphus Press books I won't be issuing a POD paperback edition, though I might eventually include it in an omnibus edition of works. I am especially pleased with this collection, which thematically is dear to my heart, as the concept of utopia is one I have thought about a lot over the years. Utopia in Trouble includes my longish short story that is a tribute to the film director Jacques Tati, 'The Playtime of Monunculus', the kind of story I only write occasionally because of the complexity of its multiple layering.

The book has already been treated to a real time review by Des Lewis. It is available from specialist bookstores such as Ziesing Books, Barnebys, and a few others. Utopia in Trouble is the fifth new book I have had published this summer (I don't count self published books) and it may not be the last.


My new book has just been published. It's a collection of poetry and furthermore the first collection of poetry I have had published by a 'real' publisher (all my others have been self-published). I am grateful to ImpSpired Press for publishing the book.

The back of the book reads as follows: "The bunnies of imagination are seeking entry to your mind. Offbeat but timely, whimsical but wise, playful but perceptive, these quirky and mostly short poems may put you in mind of Ogden Nash, Ivor Cutler, Spike Milligan or any other absurdist poet you like, and put a smile on your face while doing so. It is sensible to be silly, profoundly so in some instances. That is the general message of this collection. The bunnies of imagination are already queuing. Will you let them in?"

It has blurbs from Samuel Delany, Bruce Boston and Maithreyi Karnoor (my favourite poet) and I am waiting for the first reviews to roll in (assuming there are any!)

I was on radio recently to talk about the book and that programme can be found here on Siren Radio.

I am a regular poetry contributor to Borderless Journal and three of the poems in Bunny Queue can be found online in the May 2021 issue (I have had poems and articles in every issue of Borderless for more than one year now).

The book itself is available at Amazon and other online bookshops and maybe in some bricks and mortar bookshops too.


My new novella, Students of Myself, has been published and I have my copies. I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. This novella is one of my own favourites among all the works I have written. In fact I regard it as being in the top two (the other one, My Rabbit's Shadow Look Likes a Hand, will be out very soon).
The publisher is Elsewhen Press, a marvellous publishing house. The novella is available from Amazon and other online retailers in both paperback and ebook editions. There is also a Goodreads page for the book. And there will be a 'launch' at BookBub tomorrow....

I began writing Students of Myself back in 2017 and finished in early 2020. I wanted to create a complex story that had to be told from many different and often contradictory perspectives for it to be fully fleshed out. I think of this story as being like a circle with the truth as the centre point. This circle is divided into eighteen segments, each of which represent one 'view' of the truth. These views are only partly true but they do always contain some truth. Near the end of the novella the framing device becomes part of the story and is itself framed.

Enought of that! If you are interested, the novella is there to be read... and if you aren't interested there's not much point in trying to persuade you otherwise :-)


I am extremely delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Weirdly Out West.

It's a Western, yes, and furthermore it's a Weird Western, and I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. It's a collection of stories and poems and includes a play and an article too.

Published by Black Scat Books, the book description runs as follows:

"Rhys Hughes saddles up & blasts his way across the vast plains — kickin’ up trouble in this hog-wild collection of Western Weirdness. Using various forms (short stories, a play, lonesome poems — even a garsh-dang essay!), he roasts the genre & serves up some hearty, avant-garde grub — fresh as a dew-dappled Texas rose. Guns, puns, cowgirrrls & tumbleweed — what more could ya ask for?"

I am going to run a book promotion for this book as follows: if you purchase the book and take a photograph of yourself holding it, I will put your name into a hat and when there are 25 names in that hat I will dip in my hand and pull one out. The winning name will receive a free copy of my next book, My Rabbit's Shadow Looks Like a Hand, when it is published.

In fact I think I might do this with all my subsequent books... Anyway, this new book is now available on Amazon and elsewhere. I had enormous fun writing it and I hope you will have fun reading it.

Adios amigos!


Last year I was asked to edit a selection of the surviving verse and prose poems of unjustly forgotten 1930s writer Victoria Plumjob. She was friends with André Breton, Salvador Dali, Chump Rumple, Edith Shriek and Roger Dammit Upstairs, and she was one of the leading lights of the Furious Ducks, an obscure avant-garde collective. Most of her work was lost in a series of bizarre accidents but enough remains to fill a slim volume (one of her poems was rescued by an owl from a burning canoe).

Preparing the scattered manuscripts of Victoria Plumjob (1917-1960) for republication after so many decades has been an insightful experience. She was a precocious child and began writing stories when she was very young. Her earliest publications were in ephemeral student magazines, few of which have successfully endured the ravages of time. The only collection of her work published in her lifetime was issued in a limited edition by Catwheel Press and is now extremely rare.

Vampires with Fairy Wings is thus the first volume to feature her work for more than eighty years. It includes an excellent afterword by noted grammatical scholar Jaggery Feeley, and thanks to the efforts of historical researcher Nina Vangerow it also features photographs of Victoria published here for the very first time.

"This book strikes a valedictory note that is neither sharp nor flat but deserves to be struck anyway." -- Bernardo Puffin.

Available from Amazon in both paperback and ebook editions.


The novel I wrote when I lived in Spain twelve years ago is now both a paperback and an ebook. The Pilgrim's Regress was mostly written in Madrid but also on a farm in the mountains near Segovia.
I have talked elsewhere about how it began as a single short story that spawned a few sequels. It was only after I had written five linked stories that I realised I was actually writing a novel and that the stories were chapters in a longer work.

The Pilgrim's Regress is a sort of 'Don Quixotic' picaresque adventure, although it's not strictly speaking a set of unrelated episodes as there is an overall arc. The novel is one of my favourites among all my books but I know it is far too metafictional to be commercially successful. No matter! I had huge enjoyment writing it.

There is something about the Spanish landscape that lends itself very well to picaresque wanderings; but in fact the hero of this novel travels to Africa and India as well as across Persia.

The book is available on all Amazon outlets.


A paperback 'sampler' of my work has just been published. It is entitled SAMPLER because potential readers often wonder what is the best entry point to my large corpus of fiction. 
It features 48 stories, at least one a year from 1993 to 2020. All but two of these stories  ('The Chimera at Home' and 'Dogears') have been published before in other books. I regard this volume, however, as a very good cross section of my writing career to date. Details about the contents can be found on my Aardvark Caesar blog.

Paperback and ebook editions also available and priced low.

This book was published at the end of 2020 and samples 27 years of my writing career, but my writing career is 29 or 31 or 40 years old depending on how it is calculated. I began writing short stories when I was fourteen years old; made my first submission to an editor when I was seventeen (it was rejected); but had no fiction published until I was twenty-five.



The first omnibus volume of several of my OOP (out of print) books is now available, with cover art by the always excellent Selwyn Rodda. The books contained in this first omnibus are:

(1) Eyelidiad

(2) The Postmodern Mariner

(3) The Sticky Situations of Zwicky Fingers

(4) The Just Not So Stories

(5) The Crystal Cosmos

This is hopefully the first of four omnibus volumes. Each will have a particular flavour. The flavour of this first omnibus can be said to be 'ironic adventure fiction'.


A new poetry book, CORYBANTIC FULGOURS.

"Who are the Corybantic Fulgours? They are monsters. They live in a room, a room as large as the inside of the Moon, and in this room there are all sorts of ways and means, odds and ends, curves and bends, and no one but no one can ever say what the right way from here to there is. Most monsters don't care about things like that, and the Corybantic Fulgours are made from curdled light, so they care even less. Let's open the door to that room and step inside..."

A book of verses written for monstrous doodles drawn during the summer of the pandemic year 2020. Samples of pages and an interview about the project can be found at Borderless Journal.


I am delighted to announce two new poetry books:


Quirky poetry in the light-hearted tradition of Richard Brautigan, Don Marquis, Hilaire Belloc, Blaise Cendrars and Edward Lear. 133 verses and prose poems ranging in length from one-sentence quips to absurdist ballads. Space, time, love, journeys, fruit, the thoughts and feelings of inanimate objects and monsters are among the themes covered. Available from Amazon here.


An adventure story in verse form. Bertie Random is an ordinary man and an unlucky traveller. While fleeing monsters on foot, he is accosted by an octopus on roller skates who gives him eight letters. These letters tell the tales of strange incidents across time and space. If Bertie learns the appropriate lessons from reading them, he will be knighted by Fate herself and his bad luck will turn into opportunity. Arise, Sir Random? Available from Amazon here.

Cover art by the excellent Selwyn Rodda.


My first book of short plays has been published and is now available. I am more excited about this volume than I am about most of my short-story collections!

Cover artwork by Selwyn Rodda. Fifteen one-act plays in the absurdist tradition including one longish monologue. Also songs and dances! One of the plays was written in collaboration with the Mauritian author Vatsala Radhakeesoon. None of my plays has ever been performed and only one ('Yesferatu') has even been published before (in Brazil), so maybe writing plays at my age is the super folly/crisis of a middle-aged man :-) But by heck, I enjoyed the process of writing them!

They were written for the page as well as the stage, but I do hope that one day some of them will be acted (with puppets or people) or turned into animated films. When the first is performed I will consider myself a playwright but not before then. Nonetheless, I am delighted with this volume and the way it has turned out. I only began writing plays in the year 2018. Wish I had started sooner!

The book is available from Amazon and elsewhere :-)


I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Crepuscularks and Phantomimes. The book was originally published in an ultra-limited edition in Brazil by Raphus Press. That edition has sold out now (unless there is a special reserve copy in the possession of the publisher; email him to inquire) but the paperback and ebook editions have just become available. The limited edition is a collector’s item. The paperback is a mass market book.

The cover of the paperback was created by the excellent artist Selwyn Rodda. The book includes thirteen tales (the limited has eleven; I always add a bonus or two for paperback editions) of a strongly gothic, ghostly and lovecraftian slant. This will certainly be my very last book of horror stories. My short story writing career is drawing to a close. I planned a long time ago to write 1000 stories and no more. I am finally nearing that limit, a destination I never imagined I would arrive at.

Unlike so many of my story collections, which use horror ideas and tropes for non-horror or even anti-horror purposes, the comedy and whimsy and invention in Crepuscularks and Phantomimes is wholly with the horror authors who inspired the tales in the book. These stories are tributes to Lovecraft, Machen, Dunsany, et al. Already the book has had great reviews, for example this one, and spectacular blurbs, as follows: 

“Wryly dark and creepily funny, the stories in Crepuscularks and Phantomimes simultaneously scratch the horror itch and strike your funny bone, What might happen if Firbank’s head was grafted onto Lovecraft’s body and then released into the wild.” – Brian Evenson.

Crepuscularks and Phantomimes, Gothic, Ghostly and Lovecraftian tales in the ironic mode is a perfect showcase for the author’s adroit wordplay, for an imagination as whimsical as it is grotesque. His voice is refreshingly original, darkly witty, dazzling and delightful. My highest recommendation.” – Jeffrey Thomas

“These tales defy anticipation, schoolbook rules, humdrum parsing, genre conventions. They stutter, they sing, they ingest and indigest. They gimp and they gag, they traject orthogonally, they do the seven year itch. They show us butts inside butts, ruts atop ruts, and guts within guts. They kick and they frack. They love craft, they craft love. They rapture and enrapture, if sometimes only fractionally. They case shadows and shadow casts. They separate and conjoin, and when they stop dancing, the jig still isn’t up. Enter this collection at your peril and try not to fret if you emerge as someone you don’t yet recognise. All will be well, and if it isn’t, oh well, you’ve had a hell of a slide.” – Michael Bishop.

One of the stories in the book has been translated into Russian and has just gone up on the website of the premier Russian horror fiction journal, Darker Magazine. This is only the second time I have been translated into Russian.

My new book has just been published. Copies arrived for me today.

SLAP-ON-THE-WRIST STORIES is a selection of tales controlled by numbers. For example, 'Postcards From the Hedge' is told in 50 postcards from 50 different animals and each postcard is exactly 50 words long... 'Trouble with Drabbles' is a story made up of 100 stories each 100 words long... 'Only Sixty-Nine Whims Away' consists of 69 chapters each 69 words long... 'Ten of Our Trombones are Missing' consists of 66 chapters each 66 words long.

This book is therefore an example of OuLiPo writing. The title of the book was suggested to me by fantasy writer James Bennett after I had expressed my enthusiasm for Kawabata's Palm-of-the-Hand Stories, one of my favourite short story collections of all time. My book is available on Amazon and elsewhere in both paperback and ebook editions.


My Western The Honeymoon Gorillas has just been published. It's a very weird Western indeed. Gorillas play only an indirect part in the book but it is an important one nonetheless. They are always-present but never seen.

I had wanted to write a weird Western for a long time. This urge was considerably amplified by the weird Westerns of two great writers that I enjoyed immensely, The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan and The Place of Dead Roads by William Burroughs, both of which I read a couple of years ago and which were an inspiration on my own novel.

My novel has been published by Bizarro Pulp Press and is available directly from them, or from Amazon and other online bookstores (and also from some bricks-and-mortar bookstores). The book consists of two sections that are separated in time and yet the West remains a persistent force in both, unchanging in certain ways, an eternal backdrop to the rugged minds and battered bodies that pass through it.

I always have fun writing fiction but I can say that I've never had quite so much fun writing anything as I had during the creation of The Honeymoon Gorillas. It was a romp and a rumbustious delight. I hope you get the same enjoyment from reading it !


The longest single author short-story collection in publishing history is now available as an ebook!

In fact it is available as two ebooks, because it comes in two different editions, male and female, that differ in 10% of their contents. This is a trick that I picked up from Milorad Pavić, whose Dictionary of the Khazars also comes in male and female editions.

People keep asking me how I selected the variant stories for the two editions. The fact of the matter is that there is no rhyme or reason to the selection. I am not trying to make a point about differing male and female tastes in fiction. Quite the contrary! The differences are surely there but also insignificant.

As incredible as it sounds, there may actually be a print version next year. A publisher who has already issued a couple of my books is interested in bringing out a strictly limited multi-volume edition. It remains to be seen how practical this venture will turn out to be...

In the meantime here is the collection for the Kindle. THE MILLION WORD STORYBOOK features exactly 365 stories, one every day for an entire year. If you follow the link and click on 'Look Inside' you can read a sample for free. The book is so long that the sample, which is a certain percentage of the digital book, already contains 54 stories.

Links to purchase this ebook can be found below...

Amazon US -- Female Edition
Amazon US -- Male Edition

Amazon UK -- Female Edition
Amazon UK -- Male Edition

This collection contains approximately one third of my total fiction output over the past 25 years. The stories are presented in chronological order of their composition. The earliest dates from 1990 and the latest dates from this year 2015 and in fact is one of my most recently completed tales. As I plan to write 1000 stories in my working life, this collection will contain one quarter of my entire output ever!

I believe that this is a major literary event. Well, at the very least, it is a major personal event for myself and for the writer that I am and have been all my life...


My new book was published yesterday! I am extremely delighted with this one.

32 quirky tales of unusual fantasy, philosophical satire, ironic adventure and logical daftness... The official launch date is actually next month but my author's copies are already in my hands. I am working on preparing an official launch event soon. It will be a party of some kind.

Review copies have been sent out and have reached most of the reviewers. I have high hopes for this collection, but of course what I like isn't always what the reading public like. In fact it is frequently at odds.

No matter. I write the kinds of books I most enjoy reading and ultimately that's all that really matters.


I am absolutely delighted to announce the publication of my new book! ORPHEUS ON THE UNDERGROUND from Tartarus Press is a collection of weird phantasmagorical stories that has been wonderfully illustrated by the genius artist Chris Harrendence.

It exists right now and is available to be purchased from the publisher. And soon it will be available from other places... I am very pleased with this book. Tartarus Press have a superstition that authors shouldn't talk about their books until they are published, which is why I kept so quiet about this one.

It has been more than twelve years since I was last published by Tartarus Press. They always create a truly impressive product, books that are beautiful art objects, and it is a privilege as well as a pleasure to be published by such a fine publishing house.

Here is part of the blurb that Tartarus have created for this book:

"Orpheus on the Underground is the new Rhys Hughes collection from Tartarus Press, containing fifteen previously unpublished stories and ‘The Concise Picaresque Adventures of the Wanderlust Bridge’, which first appeared in Strange Tales II, 2008. Ranging from the ghostly, through horror to the entirely fantastic, Hughes’ marvellously inventive tales steer the reader through the bizarre labyrinths of his unique talent for the strange... In the twenty years since the publication of his first short story collection (Worming the Harpy, Tartarus Press, 1995) Rhys Hughes has become an éminence grise of the strange tale. He wears his reputation lightly, and it is the sheer fun and individuality of the stories in Orpheus on the Underground that make them so memorable."


I have just heard from Hippocampus Press in the USA that my new book of stories has gone to the printers. They were also good enough to show me the full cover of my collection. Here it is...

It amuses me that the title of this book Bone Idle in the Charnel House can be turned into the acronym BITCH. This was entirely unintentional.

I had to fill in a 'promotion form' for this book which included a brief summary of what it's about. I wrote, "A collection of weird stories that often develop in an unusual manner from an original premise. The stories are part of the grand tradition of the ‘weird story’ but they seek to be rather different from most stories of this type. My hope is that these stories simultaneously will be a part of the tradition of the weird story but also help to push the definition forward a little."


My latest book is the novel Captains Stupendous, which began life as a 'Corto Maltese' novella entitled 'The Coandă Effect', published by Ex Occidente in Romania a few years ago. I rewrote it so that the main character is now Scipio Faraway. Then I wrote two novellas as sequels featuring Scipio's brothers, Distanto in 'The Gargantuan Legion' and Neary in 'The Apedog Incident'. All three novellas together constitute the novel. Needless to say the plotting was quite tricky, but I think I managed to tie all the strands of all the plots together neatly at the end...

This photo shows me at the official book signing in the Forbidden Planet bookshop in London recently.

The Young Dictator is available from Amazon right now and will be available from many other places in the coming weeks... This novel is my most accessible book to date, so if you are new to my work and want to try something but don't know what to go for, I'll say try this one. It has been described as Roald Dahl meets Spike Milligan and Kurt Vonnegut and that's exactly the effect I was aiming for!

Many years ago I tried to write a children's story but I never completed it. Then back in 2010 the editor Mike Ashley asked me to write a YA (young Adults) story for an anthology he was compiling. I dusted off the story I had started long before and finished it for him. As it happened, his anthology was cancelled so I decided to make my story the first chapter of a novel. The result was The Young Dictator. It's not really a YA novel, though I do think it can be easily read by anyone from the age of 12 onward.

That first chapter was published as a stand-alone story in the Spring issue of the BFS (British Fantasy Society) journal last year and was received well by readers. I sent the finished novel to my agent but he didn't like it very much. He felt that the main character, Jenny, a young girl, was too vicious. But that's the point. The novel is a comedy about dictatorship and nice dictators aren't much fun in fiction, are they? My agent also didn't enjoy the fact that the novel often uses lateral logic rather than the logic of everyday events.

Luckily there was a publisher out there who was willing to embrace absurdity and humorous darkness. Pillar International Publishing was founded in Ireland in the 1930s by Victor Lloyd and named after Nelson's Pillar, a structure that stood in the middle of O'Connell Street in Dublin until it was blown up by the IRA in 1966 (it had already survived an earlier attack in 1955 in which nine students had tried to melt it with flamethrowers). The original press issued many murder mysteries of the Death Carries a Coffin and She Died of Death type...

Victor's grandson, Mark Lloyd, refounded the press last year and by happy chance I learned of its existence thanks to the writer Sara Crowe. I submitted the book and it was accepted, and now it is a physical object and an ebook. I am proud of all my books but this one has increased the width of my grin by an unprecedented magnitude. It can be purchased online from Amazon here. All hail The Young Dictator! All hail her Gran too!


My latest book is now available for general consumption. The Just Not So Stories features no less than 30 of my most absurdist-flavoured tales, including some of my personal favourites such as 'The Leveller of Neptune', 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People', 'Message to Rosita', 'My Crow Nation', 'The Blue Jewel Fruit' and 'The Sun Trap'.

The Just Not So Stories is published by The Exaggerated Press (a relatively new British small-press) and can be purchased here for the sum of £7.99, making it one of my cheapest ever books!

Now released as a trade paperback is my novel The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange. The limited edition has sold out! So the ordinary paperback is finally available. In the meantime here's a review of the novel.

People sometimes ask me which book of mine is the most suitable for a reader new to my work. The answer is Tallest Stories, which was published at the beginning of 2013. This book is almost a microcosm of everything I have written and will ever write! It's a particular favourite of mine.

Maybe I shouldn't have favourites among my own children but... well I am especially proud of this book! It is readily available from Amazon and elsewhere but can be ordered directly from the publisher by visiting this webpage.

Hope you enjoy!