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

Blue, Unpleasant Land published 08/05/2015


“It’s as if the map of England has been dyed, as if someone put something in the water, or put a new pair of jeans in to wash with the rest of the laundry. It’ll never come out, you think, as you hang it all out to dry in your garden, blue. You look at your hands, stained blue, rub your face with your wrist, blue. Only the sky remains grey. (What’s grey again? Oh, yes: other. God, it seems, remains independent.)”

#GE2015fiction by Jonathan Gibbs

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Rosette Manufacture: A Catalogue and Spotters’ Guide published


“‘Scythe’ always sounds rather negative and aggressive. Sweeping the nation, the garden. Using only high quality woven-edged polyester ribbon, we can paint rosettes in a garden made for lovers and dead-heading, or paint them in other gardens while singing in a Looking-glass, some yellow flamingo-canaries bent into croquet mallets in the background. ”

#GE2015 fiction by Eley Williams.

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“When disappointment starts to suffocate, the facility advises foisting. Grab disappointment (by the apron if possible). If foisting not working, call 999 (have your medical insurance details to hand). ”

New #GE2015 fiction, by Rachel Genn.

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Claire published


“It had been a double shift. Sixteen hours in pumps, mopping vomit, suturing wounds. She’d wrestled a broken WKD bottle off a drunk.

She caught the 5.09am out of the city. They passed the suburbs where the lawns were clipped and porches had pillars. Through the estates. She got home after six and looked in on him.”

New #GE2105 fiction by Benjamin Myers.

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Odds & Evens published 05/05/2015


“7 was the Switzerland of the single-digit set. Under his influence, 4 was shielded and hidden in the number 14. 7 and 4 had a very special relationship; a deep love. It was almost like espionage, somehow. 4 really grew under 7’s tutelage. He was also one of the only other numbers that could really get through to 8 without rancor or a fight. The odd numbers had stronger personalities. The evens were too divisible.”

New fiction by Candy Sue Ellison, with art by Dawn Woolley.

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Words Escape Me published 13/04/2015


There were lines across the pages but they were imperceptible because of how dark it had become and once a word was written it was quite irretrievable, as if abducted. I went on, sinking words into the pages, perhaps wondering what or who was taking them in. And then, for the first time that day, just as it was ending, I knew where I was — I was beneath the ground.

An excerpt from Claire-Louise Bennet‘s Pond.

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The Game For Real by Richard Weiner – An Excerpt published 03/04/2015

The Game for Real

The following day, strolling on the ramparts, on top of which people lived—the only wise people in this petty-bourgeois town—who didn’t even fake curiosity, he was suddenly handed—it had just gotten dark—a key: “Qui veut faire l ’ange, fait la bête.” – Not words, not a thought. Qui veut faire l’ange, fait la bête. – Like a thing he grasps in his hand, a thing forged with care, with distinct, even somewhat exaggerated contours, a thing that has weight, and that unlocks. A key.

An excerpt from Richard Weiner‘s The Game for Real, translated by Benjamin Paloff.

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Jeremy Clarkson v. JG Ballard’s Crash published 02/04/2015


The walls of his apartment near to the film studios were covered with photographs of Clare Balding, who was neither Irish or Mexican, nor did she have any known resentment of motor vehicles. In his vision of a car crash with the presenter, Clarkson was obsessed by the impact of their two cars meeting head-on in complex collisions endlessly repeated in slow-motion. (Sometimes even imagining her mounted upon a horse as she rode perpendicular to his accelerating Maserati, but mostly they were both seated in cars). He was measured as he verbally catalogued the resulting damage and explicitly detailed wounds. Noticing his heavy, denim-clad groin I was momentarily quieted by the distinct profile of his aroused manhood. In an effort to make the beast subside, I mentioned the Vauxhall Vectra.

Jeremy Clarkson and J. G. Ballard collide in Graham Bendel‘s cheeky mash-up.

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Jim Froydon’s Lines published 31/03/2015

“About a foot, a foot and a half. Egg-shaped. A round base and it tapers up towards the top. It’s smooth. Yesterday it was smoother. It’s hard. Metal. A hard plastic. When we first brought it home it seemed a lot softer. It’s gotten harder. There are ridges now, around the base.

How does she.


Breastfeed. How does she breastfeed?

I don’t know. Ask her.”

New fiction by Thomas McMullan, with art by Anastasia Kashian.

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Sphinx by Anne Garréta – An Excerpt published 30/03/2015


Remembering saddens me still, even years later. How many exactly, I don’t know anymore. Ten or maybe thirteen. And why do I always live only in memory? Soul heavy from too much knowing, body tired from feeling pensive and powerless at the same time, so riven by this obsessive ennui that nothing, or almost nothing, can distract it anymore. Back then, if I recall correctly, I used to describe the world as a theater where processions of corpses danced in a macabre ball of drives and desires. My contempt and ennui did not, however, keep me from observing how this dance dissolved into an amorous waltz.

Excerpt from Sphinx by Anne Garréta, translated by Emma Ramadan.

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