I’m very pleased to announce I have a new story out. This one’s another science fiction flash piece called Artificial Wife and you can read it for free on the Story Shack Magazine website. Unbelievably, this is my twentieth publication so I’m especially happy that it also has a cool illustration by Michael Ilkiw. As usual, I won’t spoil the plot but here’s the opening. Most of the time I can almost believe she’s real. She’s not, she’s a Mark IV Remote Surrogate – a “mote”. My real wife, Annabel, is back on Earth but the mote’s a perfect copy, identical in every way; despite the fact that my wife encouraged me to mix things up a bit and “enhance” a couple of key attributes. If you do read it (it’s not long so it’s not a big investment), drop me a comment either here or on Story Shack to let me know what you thought. [Out Now – Artificial Wife by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 17th July 2014]
I’m pleased to announce that my science fiction story, CAvE is now available in Nebula Rift Volume 2 Number 5. CAvE is a flash piece, about 980 words long. I won’t spoil the story by trying to tease the plot but here’s the opening couple of lines. My name is Daniel Jones and tomorrow I start my journey into the future. That is, unless my reprieve comes through which seems unlikely given that my court appointed defence lawyer is an imbecile fresh out of school and I’m guilty as hell. At some point it should be up on Amazon but you can already buy it direct from here. [Out Now – CAvE by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 10th July 2014]
I’m somewhat late (long story) but my drabble, Aftermath, is up at The Were-Traveler. A drabble, for those who haven’t come across them before, is a story that is exactly 100 words long – not 101, not 99…100. From Wikipedia: The concept is said to have originated in UK science fiction fandom in the 1980s; the 100-word format was established by the Birmingham University SF Society, taking a term from Monty Python‘s 1971 Big Red Book. In the book, “Drabble” was described as a word game where the first participant to write a novel was the winner. In order to make the game possible in the real world, it was agreed that 100 words would suffice. The Were-Traveler has a whole issue of drabbles, well worth a look. [The article Out Now – Aftermath by Philip Harris originally appeared on Solitary Mindset on May 3rd, 2013]
I was wandering around the Internet on Sunday, looking for inspiration, when I came across Chuck Wendig’s latest flash fiction challenge. The idea was to write an event from your life but add a fictional twist to it. I decided to take something involving one of our cats as a starting point and this story – Cag: An Almost True Story – is the end result. Jacob first realised his ghoul was missing when he went outside to give him his favourite meal – Roast Prime Rib with a Red Wine Jus and a side of Rosemary Encrusted Lamb’s Brain. It was early evening, the air was beginning to cool and normally Cag would already be hanging out by the patio door, waiting for Jacob to arrive, but tonight there was no sign of him. The garden was empty. Red wine jus splashed the front of Jacob’s jacket as he ran round the corner of the bungalow to the main gate. He was convinced someone must have opened it and let Cag out but the gate was still closed and the bolts were still drawn. There were a handful of new gouges in the wood where Cag had tried to … Read More
Just a quick note that my new story – Hidden – is now up at Every Day Fiction. It’s a little bit of a departure for me because there aren’t really any speculative fiction elements but it’s actually one of my favourite stories. I hope you enjoy it and I’d welcome any comments you have, either here or on the Every Day Fiction site. [Philip Harris]
This is a slightly modified version of my entry to yesterday’s Tuesday Tales flash fiction competition. Even with only 100 words to play with I can still find something to tweak every time I read it. The goal for Tuesday Tales is to write a story of 100 words or less given an image as a prompt. The story also has to include a ‘secret word’. This week’s secret word was “Conglomerate”. Marker “Madam President, the representative from the People’s Conglomerate of China is here.” The President sighed, the deadline had barely expired. “Already? Okay, I’ll be there in a moment.” She stood on the balcony, watching the fireworks light up the Space Needle and the city around it; listening to the awe of the crowd. She’d thought coming here would delay the inevitable a little longer but at least the debt would be cleared. Eventually, as the fireworks reached their crescendo, she turned and walked inside. The Chinese representative already had the paperwork, ready for her to sign over the country.
Break “You want to be a what when you grow up? A sassinak? I bet you don’t even know what that is.” “Yes, I do. They’re like pirates only they come from England.” I rolled my eyes and put my head in my hands. My little sister; a different stupid dream every day. As I stared at the floor, I noticed a colourful piece of paper lying beneath our bench. It was the cover from an old magazine, from before the war. It showed a picture of a woman in a pink uniform, a stewardess on an airline maybe. She was young, beautiful. I imagined her waiting for her plane to arrive to take her across the world to incredible places. The picture said one thing to me. Opportunity. “That’s what I want to be,” I said to my sister. She picked up the paper and stared at it without saying anything. “Ha,” said a bitter voice. It was Warder Clarke, her club twitching menacingly as she glared down at us through the battered metal cage of her faceguard. “You won’t be getting off this rock for a very long time. Now, grab those drills and get back to work.” … Read More
Aftermath “This is what happens?” said Nathan. The creature nodded. A thin trickle of frozen green pus dangled from the scratch Nathan had left in its cheek. “But I didn’t realize.” The creature shrugged. “Is there anything I can do?” The creature looked around the frozen wasteland and scratched its head. Grimacing with concentration, it poked around in its ear for a moment and then tugged a few wiry hairs free. Nathan watched the creature twist the hairs into a tiny braid. The creature opened its mouth and mimed swallowing the braid and then handed it to Nathan. Nathan shuddered. Story originally submitted to the Tuesday Tales 17 Flash Fiction competition. This is an example of a story where I took Anne McCaffrey’s advice so there’s a detailed back story behind those 100 words. Maybe one day I’ll extend it into a full length story.
Some unexpected writing yesterday, 100 words worth to be exact. I happened to catch a tweet directing me to a Tuesday Tales challenge on the Glitter Word blog. The challenge was to write a one hundred or less word piece of flash fiction inspired by the image below and including the word Twist. It happened to be lunch time and I was taking a break from my day job so I noodled around for ten or fifteen minutes and wrote a story called Aftermath. This was the first time I’ve taken part in this type of challenge and I really enjoyed it – it was a nice to be able to take a quick creative break in the middle of the day and the one hundred word limit forced me to keep the writing focused. The Tuesday Tales challenge takes place every week so I’ll be dropping back next week to see if Ethel the Muse has anything to say about next week’s photo. You can find my story, along with the other entries here.