Short Is Sweet

In the end it is the mystery that lasts and not the explanation. Sacheverell Sitwell, For Want of the Golden City A few months ago a friend recommended I read a short story by the English writer Robert Aickman. ‘The Real Road to the Church’ is in the collection Cold Hand in Mine (1975), and my friend wanted to discuss the story with me. And so I abandoned the novel I’d been reading, and have been enthusiastically devouring Aickman’s “strange stories” since then. Last week I was asked why I’m drawn to writing short fiction. I talked about the form … Continue reading Short Is Sweet

Careering on the radio

A careers officer gets more than they bargained for when meeting schoolboy Mike for the last appointment of the day. Thanks to Tim McQueen for reading my short story ‘Careering’ on last week’s edition of Vision Australia Radio’s Cover to Cover. If you missed the original broadcast, you can listen to the podcast of the program here. ‘Careering’ is from Broken Rules and Other Stories (Transit Lounge, September 2020). Happy listening. Continue reading Careering on the radio

Broken Rules, news

A couple of pieces of good news today. Broken Rules and Other Stories is now available from the Transit Lounge website, here, and from Readings, here. The official release date is 1 September, so this is an early opportunity to get hold of a copy of the book. It’s nice to know it’s finally out there after COVID-19 forced a reschedule from May. And an online launch has been set up with Readings for Monday 14 September at 6:30PM. Their online events usually last around 30 to 40 minutes, and are conducted on Zoom. Short and sweet, very relaxed, and … Continue reading Broken Rules, news

Front of the House

Look at him working. The way he smiles at every customer. He’s impeccable. But when he goes to his room at the back, at the side of the kitchen, the smile is gone. He sips clear liquor from a teacup, mutters under his breath, and watches everything through the round glass in the top of the door. When he sees a new customer, he’s out to greet them, bounding over, showing them to a table. Then, as he bows slightly, backing away, he gestures to a waiter to bring menus, water. He returns to his room, sits down, stares through … Continue reading Front of the House