Chalcedony, a distant and unfriendly planet,
orbits an old-fashioned chartreuse sun
in an unsociable spiral galaxy.
It’s a centimeter or two away from earth
on a standard map of the universe,
In a café on the planet’s surface,
it’s Monday morning, neither late nor early,
and Manique, of humanoid appearance,
is sipping a humanoid coffee.
When it rains on the water moon, I sip my aqua vitae and watch the droplets trickle down the acrylic. Sometimes I wonder what the wood ducks are up to, or whether I should feed the cat, or whether anything exists at all beyond the plastic.
If not, the tins of salmon in the pantry must be for me.
Issue 11 of Fantasy Scroll Magazine with my totally non-apocalyptic story The Water Moon is now freely available online. Just like water crackers, the moon isn’t made of water, plus it isn’t made of cheese either. But water crackers and cheese go very well with Pinot Grigio, which I may have been drinking when I wrote this piece and which might explain why it isn’t apocalyptic.
The Water Moon appeared in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. FSM started in 2014 with the aim of publishing thought-provoking fantasy and sci fi, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. In 2015 they published a paperback anthology of their 2014 stories featuring a number of big name authors, and they produce a podcast of one story each week as well as the bimonthly magazine.
‘The Water Moon’ is in part based on my experiences in South America, and I’d like to think the piece says a little about belief systems and the violent acts that can arise from them. Continue reading →
‘The Medusa’ appeared in the Canadian In Places Between 2013 collection of short stories from the finalists in the Robyn Herrington Memorial Speculative Fiction Contest. The story took first place in the competition. The contest is run by the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, who very generously help new writers by providing brief critiques of the submitted stories.
Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake, is part of the mythology of the Tupi-Guarani people of the Amazon, and it features in various legends. In one, female warriors dived into the deep lake and retrieved pieces of jade to carve into Muiraquitã amulets with supernatural powers that they gave to their lovers. While the women did the diving, the men drank fermented cassava juice and watched the football (probably). Continue reading →
The slightly eponymous ‘Inconstant Light’ appeared in the August 2013 issue of Plasma Frequency Magazine; it was published by Plasma Spyglass Press and was freely available online.
The magazine aimed to publish stories which resonate, but probably not at an actual plasma frequency, which would be many megahertz and would require ionized gas rather than paper. The story is set in an alternate world where things are a bit different, and there are some mythical aspects to do with the hard-to-pronounce and mysterious Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake.