Dead Letters is alive!

It’s always a thrill to receive a box of books in the post. And it was especially satisfying to open this parcel, if only because it meant it hadn’t gone missing (which I was convinced was going to happen). The books are lovely; Titan have done a beautiful job. It seems like such a long […]

Advent Stories #22

CITY IN ASPIC It was a place that needed people in order for it to come alive. In winter, the streets whispered with uncollected litter and nervous pigeons. The air grew so thick with cold that it became hard to walk anywhere. When night came, the water that was slowly drowning the city turned the […]

Advent Stories #16

SLITTEN GORGE Ellis dreamt that night of the forest. He was treading through it in darkness, subtly aware of the conifers and the heather. His feet knew this territory well and he moved quickly, ignoring the sounds of the wildlife: the nightjar, the siskins, the snipes. He was trying to find something, or someone, but […]

Advent Stories #15

O CARITAS Monck realised he had been here too long when he glanced down at his hands to find the knuckles turned blue. The flyover fled off to the left and right of him. Everything else was just scenery. An acid blue sky was crocheted with vapour trails. There were half a dozen jets up […]

Advent Stories #14

63˚07’N, 52˚34’W Stars wheeling at his back, Captain Low comes on like bad weather, like something separated from Nature, a different kind of force, one driven by rum and pain and vengeance. Steel in his teeth. Blood on his hand. His own? He’s not sure. He doesn’t really care. No time to stop and think […]

Advent Stories #13

TIGHT WRAPPERS Mantle stopped a taxi on the Edgware Road and piled in. He was breathless and, as always, a little panicky that he’d dropped something, that he was missing some essential part. ‘Holland Park,’ he said, patting the pockets of his raincoat. The hand of another pedestrian, cheated by Mantle’s claiming of the cab, […]

Advent Stories #11

KNOWN Povey watched white paint unfurl in chains along riveted steel shanks bordering the tracks. The Network South-East from Lee had been late again this morning and there had been no unoccupied seats. He’d stood hunched against the door, slow fire moving through his back, looking out at a colourless skyline as veils of rain […]