:: Fiction archive ( 2000-2005, click for articles pre-2006)

The Dinner Party Wars published 22/11/2014

“The gunfire began just as Janis Sawyer was serving the main course, a platter of glazed duck with cavalo nero that she was loathe to drop. Shot studded the wall of the lounge. Her guests took cover beneath the cherrywood dining table. Janis dithered. She had plucked, jointed and baked the wild ducks herself, and the urge to protect dinner momentarily overrode her instinct for self-preservation. Dodging a fusillade from what sounded like flint muskets, she hopscotched across broken glass and splintered studwork to lay the platter upon the occasional table.”

Fiction by Matthew De Abaitua, art by Carrie Crow.

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Anthology One: Boxes published 19/11/2014

“1. A newly-wed couple goes up in a hot-air balloon, and as it lands two different people get out, with no knowledge of how they got there.

2. A family of four returns from a ten-day holiday in southern Spain: their home is no longer there, the ground is levelled, the neighbours have not noticed anything change.”

Martin MacInnes, with art by Carrie Crow.

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Alight at the next published 17/11/2014

“I forgot. I simply forgot the way that love becomes a whimsy and the full-throttle of throats, the buzz of flightless eyelashes against pillowcases: the pigeons growing full-fat against the frost, the letter ‘p’ in the word ‘receipt’ ticking at the clocked teeth, the watched rim of a clock when I wake up to find the time, from being a cameo in my own dreams occasionally looking straight to camera and spoiling the shot, waking to dumb punk dawns, me, a hopeless sometimes-son-type whose act is hardly there delivering UNHEIMLICH MANOUEVRES like this finger on the centre of this man’s forehead.”

New fiction by Eley Williams, with art by Carrie Crow.

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Lingo published 10/11/2014

“What disturbed John was being disregarded by everyone. Everyone regards John as incompetent. Everyone regards us as incompetent. The police were ordered to stop drinking after midnight. John didn’t find the book. John was frightened by the new methods. John read the book and so did Bill. Bill was persuaded by John to leave. Bill was a farmer and so was John. John compelled. The shooting of the hunters. I expected it.”

New Fiction by Richard Barnett, with art by Tahnee Lonsdale.

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Dear A. published 27/10/2014

“We found ourselves in a large room packed full with white metal lockers and beds, a child on each bed, not in neat rows but, rather, as if everything in the room were on castors and as if the room were on a ship and the ship were in distress, and everything all over the place; only once I found that I also was a child, sitting on a bed with a white metal locker beside it, dangling my legs above the linoleum…”

New fiction by Inga Machel, translated by Donal McLaughlin.

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Go Wild in the Country published 22/10/2014

“Nadine is by my hot head, a curious monkey girl flicking ticks from my hair and rubbing my head. But her hand is cool porcelain; a shop dummy girl in a Victorian dress shop and I start laughing, the Victorian asylum, her Victorian doll-like face, a Victorian clockwork monkey beating a drum, Keith Moon gurning on snare, the pale moon a cymbal, the lay lines that travel beneath me and through the grounds and out onto the Downs, a secret swirling snake . . . wild, go wild in the country. She joins in: ‘where snakes in the grass are absolutely free.’”

New fiction by Alan McCormick.

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Caretaking published 14/10/2014

“A pretty famous German murderer, I forget his name, said that everybody carried their death inside of their chest, like a seed that was waiting to sprout. It’s a pretty thought, and I’d love to be able to kill somebody in a way that uses that someday – I don’t know, maybe bury a landscape architect in a garden that he’s planning. Although that’s a little obscure. You need to pretty much telegraph the thing for critics to figure it out these days… ”

New fiction by Liam Kruger, with art by Tahnee Lonsdale.

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B. Willow published 29/09/2014

“I might employ this shiv to stab through, but B. Willow’s innards are leathern—its innards. I lie back. Are there innards beneath this pitch? It’s a sap-sheet set at ten watts, somehow, so I’m writing in it. ”

New fiction by Joseph Spece, with art by Tahnee Lonsdale.

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The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing published 22/09/2014

“Hector starts the car, adjusts the rearview mirror so that he can see Hector, pulls forward along the curb. The sun is very low now. The earth is disappearing. This is conveyed,” Laing tells me, “by some weird red line that suddenly appears horizontally across the screen. That line, that wavering line, somehow suggests the disappearance of the earth. The very earth itself as well as the conditions that made earth possible along with any thought of humanity. This is something that both Aimee and I felt, as it seemed to drain the space we were in of meaning and while it’s true that my library office was never the same after that red line appeared it may have had more to do with what was going on secretly and magnetically between Aimee and myself than with the line, which after all was just something projected on the wall.”

An exclusive extract from Nicholas Rombes‘s forthcoming debut novel, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing.

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Heads or Tails published 12/09/2014

I realized he wanted to make a dancing bear out of me, strap a backpack to my back and drive me ahead of him all around the world. Oh, you’ll soon see how much people like it, cried my father, and spun on his leg like a top, his left arm fluttering like the weather vane on the roof, which I only know from his stories. On a good day, he accompanied his dancing with singing. He had a voice beautiful and strong, and I listened with my tongue hanging out in joy and savoured every word from his lips, like a slice of marzipan.

New Fiction by Felicitas Hoppe, translated by Katy Derbyshire.

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