I’ve been trawling The Way Back Machine internet archive and found more of my old stories. I’ll post them here and in the other usual repositories: Booksie and ABCTales, where my work is being read quite a lot and I’m receiving positive comments and the occasional critique from peers. I’ve collected them here so that they’re all in one place and so that I can blow my own trumpet:
On Comfort Banket:
“I’m glad that this ended as a message of reassurance as the story truly is a parent’s nightmare. Very well constructed, you create ebbs and flows of tension.”
“I just read Comfort Blanket…Sad and creepy and uplifting all at the
same time. Neat trick!”
“Steve, that is a truly creepy tale! Really enjoyed it, although I suspect that it will stick with me for some time. Keep up the good work. Glad that you like it here, because this is a great group of people.”
“Hi Steve Just read “Comfort Blanket” – very sad and disquieting, but somehow hopeful. Well done.”
“My kids are my soft spot.
“Very nicely done. Brought a few tears to my eyes.
“Excellent, haunting, melancholy story, Steve…you ended it perfectly, too!”
“The story works for me, Steve. Neat, descriptive, poignant – the sort of thing Trevor Denyer of Roadworks might well be interested in should you care to submit it to him. Check out the website at http://www.roadworksweb.free-online.co.uk if you’re not already familiar with this UK print magazine.”
PJL (Paul Lockey)
“About Comfort Blanket, I’d like you to consider sending it to my buddy & fiction editor of Deviant Minds, James Newman ( email@example.com ). Please send it as a word or rtf. file, and let him know I asked you to send it. James makes all final decisions on fiction subs, but I really think Comfort Blanket is Deviant Minds material. I wish I had written it. DAMN good work!!!”
On Bus Stop:
“This has such a comforting tone to it, death as nothing frightening but going home. I wouldn’t say it was horror, perhaps the tag fantasy fits better.”
“quietly affecting, i thought the long sentences worked well and fitted in and complimented the tone apart from maybe ‘Had she not been there, he would have walked straight past the bus stop, as the sign to indicate its existence was mostly obscured by overgrown foliage.’ lovely moments, moments of dialogue and images, mist draped over the hill, clean white bus, thoughtful meta/magi-realism”
“The story was amazing, atmospheric (due to the weather) and had amazing
impact. I liked the way you introduced the main character quickly causing
the story to become more personal at the very beginning. I also liked the
addition of Tayna and the way she said that it was hard for her to leave.
We just thought that she was leaving town until we knew what the story was
really about. My favourite part of the story was when the two characters we
offered a lift. You spoke of immense heat which made us think of the devil
(was that intended?) I also thought you used a good amount of description
and the language was relatively unemotional evoking emotion in the reader.
You told us the story in a matter of fact way which caused impact at the
“Totally unexpected, bud. I think I may have sustained a black-eye from that one! Excellent.”
On Old Wives’ Tale:
“Great read and well written. Look forward to reading more of your work.”
On A Message:
“love it. Unsure about the culmination/denouement. I do think that the care and skill on show up to the end (apart from the clumsy repetition of ‘in front of him’ right at the start) deserved a stronger finish. Very good though. Tangible facts and palpable detail are what make unbelievable stories believable. I believed in this story. Another good one Steve.”
“The sciency bit sounds very plausable, consummerism in space I bet it’s out there.”
On Bucket and Ball:
“These short pieces are really very good. This one in particular is very affecting. Super interesting and a great twist. Congratulations.”
“^ ditto this was intriguing throughout held my attention and an affecting ending. it seems a good skill to be able to drizzle/release bits of information over such a short span, possible scammers, pictures of them holding beach balls etc. the letters at the end was a good way of wrapping the story up and relating so emotively. very well crafted”
“This is quite lovely. It taps into the cold and cryptic aspects of cyberspace while at the same time being very warm and human. Great stuff.”
“Intriguing, I think I need more explanation”
On The Kangaroo Court Ship:
“Shades of Khmer Rouge. I like the way you involve the reader, we’re on JP’s side and want him te find some resolution.”
On The Paradox of Shadows:
“Very spooky! Lovely Blair Witch feel to this.”
“I love the writing and the abstraction of the content. I am still confused, are this shadows and beings (etc..) a metaphor for the evil we all face in life? Does it somehow tend to be personified in paranormal events when people go to Roydon? If so, they try to run from it, which is something they always had and did not know it, splitting the very congruence of their spirit, thus killing them?
Dude I think i could learn from you.”
On The Paradox of Reflection:
“Love that you took us on a lucid dream, great sense of paranoia.”
“Spooky for sure… Great work… And the reference to those creatures as that… Well great job really creepy stuff”
“Hey,nice short story.But I suggest you make a novel of horror story.”
“Fantastic subject to use, something which is familiar and also alien to us all. Beautifully creepy subtext and the paragraph about mirror’s being genuinely creepy.
“Very satisfying short story.”
All of my old writing can be found on my archived Electric Nightmares site.