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]
2013 was a very successful year as far as published stories goes. All told, eight of my stories were unleashed on an unsuspecting world… JANUARY Piece Number 7 – Garbled Transmissions My name is Max Gambino and I know the real story behind Gustav Lang. Not the sensationalist crap that gets printed in the rags but the actual, honest to goodness, sweat, blood and tears story of Gustav Lang and the music he created; the story that’s been buried under the controversy and the arrests and the trial and the Lang Act. Most of what people know about him is a lie, created by publicists trying to bolster sales and lawyers trying to protect their clients. Lang deserves better than that. Music can be wondrous. Lang is proof of that. MARCH The Many Deaths of Albert G Elderberry – Fast-Forward Festival Albert G Elderberry barely noticed the first time he died. He was hit by the black SUV that had accelerated towards him as he crossed the street on his way to the store. He was 68 and the impact shattered bones and tore open internal organs, leaving him dead in the road before the SUV reached the corner of the street. Night Man … Read More
My new fantasy story , Origami Man, is up at Hogglepot. This one started with the image of a man made out of newspaper talking to a newspaper boy. Initially it was going to be fairly lighthearted but it didn’t really turn out that way in the end. Despite the fact that I’m not running at the moment (that starts back up tomorrow morning), this week has been surprisingly busy – mostly with work. I did manage to scrape together a couple of writing sessions to finish off a new story – CAvE – and add just under two thousand words to The Ghost Smuggler. I’m now reaching the point where I’m doing more and more actual writing rather than just reworking content from the earlier drafts. I’ll still be bringing some stuff over but from here on it’s mostly new content hanging on the bones of the early draft. That means I need to be a lot more disciplined about sitting down and writing. My goal is to get the first draft of the rewrite complete by the end of August so that I can be ready to pitch it at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in October. That’s the goal anyway. It’s a … Read More
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]
My time travel story, The Many Deaths of Albert G Elderberry is up at The Fast-Forward Festival. Enjoy!
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
I’m very pleased to announce that my latest story, Piece Number 7, is now up on Garbled Transmissions. Piece Number 7 is difficult to classify (at least for me). The best I can come up with is magical realism but I’m hopeless with labels. It’s a pretty old story, I completed it on February 19th, 2006, but because of its length (close to 14,000 words) it was really hard to find markets to submit it to. I’ve always had a soft spot for this particular story so a big thank you to James Payne at Garbled Transmissions for publishing it. I did my first writing of 2013 yesterday, my first writing in a couple of months actually. I started a new story, currently untitled, set on Mars. I got 686 words in before I decided I wasn’t happy with the direction it was going and stopped. This morning I lay in bed mulling over the plot and found a new direction that feels much better. Now I need to find some time this evening to continue writing and get some momentum going.
Not a lot happening on the writing front at the moment, I’ve been distracted by work and the new XCom game, but I did dust off my word processor to create an entry for Odyssey II – a crowdsourced story that’s being created on deviantART. It’s an interesting project – a nine “chapter” story created one chapter at a time with none other than Clive Barker providing the prologue to get things started. The constraints are pretty tight – there’s less than five days to get each chapter submitted and a 400-ish word limit – but it seemed like a fun way to get the creative juices flowing so I decided to give it a whirl. My first piece didn’t get picked so I decided that I’d cross-post it here. You’ll need to read the prologue to get the context – it’s on deviantART – but basically our hero, Paul, has ended up with a splash of vomit on his trousers after encountering someone having some sort of fit on the London Underground. Stains Twenty minutes in the shower, soaping and scrubbing and rinsing, and still Paul’s imagination wouldn’t let go of that damn vomit. He could feel it relentlessly seeping into … 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]
Just a quick note that my next story – Hidden – will be up on Every Day Fiction on September 16th, that’s Sunday.