Fiction and Other Works

My fiction and other creative work includes microfiction, music reviews, graphic art, short stories and novels. More to be added soon…


The Macedonia Deception (task accomplished 11/27/2018

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Third Emperor: Written way back in 2000, this is a literary jewel. It was my favorite book then, and it is my favorite one now. High time, therefore, to share it with readers.

In just 40,000 words, the book tells the surreal story of a future that has become the past, of a lost intellectual heritage, of a near-miraculous miniature book, of a labyrinth in which a furtive scholar plots to trap the dim-witted, bombastic emperor… and seize power for himself.

The novella’s mercurial narrator, self-admittedly not omnipotent and treating text as a physical object to be reordered at will, plots a course leading in circles. The book is ruled firmly by the near fanaticism of grammar, and flashes critical questions about language and time. And hey, there’s even a princess.

Short stories: This is a very slow process because, even though many of the stories have been written, publishing them is almost impossible in the modern world, for several reasons. For one, tastes have changed so wildly since everyone in charge of the relevant magazines became so precious and so offended by everything. Indeed, language itself has been taken hostage by prevailing cultural and political ideologies. This is not ideal for writers who, after all, are obliged to use language.

Secondly, since short stories are the least commercially valued of pretty much all writing at the moment (except perhaps for poetry), it might take some time to see them, but eventually you will.

Third, there is the (not unsensible) thesis that preference is often awarded to writers who are chronically dull enough to be famous, and to children who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to gain an education in the creative writing field… if they’ll be paying off the loans for the rest of their lives, hey, at least they’ll have had that one story published for it to be worthwhile. And so goes the academic mafia.

Anyhow, most of my stories are concerned with human relationships in the contemporary world, such as The Work We Do and its exploration of self-delusion as both magnificent and malign. It is my great hope that in due course I can make some or all of these stories available to the reader.

Book 1 will contain a range of ‘regular’ stories, whereas Book 2 has a more memoir characteristic. All of these stories have in some way been affected by my travels and strange experiences in the great abroad. There’s one about the dot-com crash, another about Irish expats in the aftermath of an unexpected plot, and an even more cheerful tale still of illicit medical research involving migrants and octopuses in the Greek isles. And so many more, of the strangest styles and types (take, for example. “Some Notes on the Inflection of Lobster,” which was published by The Pedestal Magazine; I uploaded in its original format from 2000 here).

Other Books: It has gotten away from me somewhat, having had precious little free time, but I do still hope to write The Treasure Hunt. This literary thriller, based in the contemporary world of realpolitik, is set in 2013- the year before the world started to go to hell rapidly.

It is about the series of connected (chance?) events that unfold after one retired spy, with much to be angry about, decides to run a small experiment, without caring about the results, simply to validate a certain type of mathematics. Naturally, things go wrong, or at least don’t end well for a number of people.

In the book, there will be plenty of action but there will also be enough other stuff so that in the end it will not resemble something that can be classified in terms of genre because it is my job to kill genres. Though for maximal enjoyment, readers should be up on their rare-earth elements, cryptography shop-talk, current events in security and espionage, not to mention ancient Stoic dictums.

On Modalities: this will probably take decades, and benefit from that experience. The book as envisioned has a strict numerical sequencing structure that repeat through its three major parts. This semblance of order provided by a mathematical ratio will hopefully balance the content, which cannot fit into a typical narrative form.

It is not yet clear how it will look, though from test sections it could eventually become one gigantic poem, or a compendium, a theological treatise, an entire system. Time will tell…