Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

June 22, 2016

OUT NOW! A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology.

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A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed is an anthology of flash-fictions, published to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day (UK), and showcasing the very best talents to have written in this challenging miniature literary form. The stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed are in a variety of genres, styles and forms, ranging from horror to romance, from fantasy to dark reality, from urban terror to comedy. Many of the stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed will resonate with readers long after reading.

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

Contents

Foreword: The Editors

Before the Sun Comes Up: Tim Stevenson

Miss Scarlet in the Shed: Tracy Fells           

Cold Hands: Rhoda Greaves

Ambush: Richard Holt       

Outsider: Laura Huntley     

Theseus in Belleville: Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber

Bocca Baciata: Ruth McKee        

Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!: Sharon Telfer      

Gingerbread: Virginia Moffat

A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench: Charley Karchin

Bubblegum Barbie: Emily Devane      

Lifer: Adam Trodd       

Shirts – A Fable: R J Dent

Sam, 29: Martha Gleeson

Three Kids, Two Balloons: KM Elkes            

Who? What?: Ashley Chantler

Pub Quiz: Alison Wassell

Sushi and Kitty Cats: Kaitlyn Johnson

Desert Blossom: Annie Mitchell

Premiums: Ian Shine             

Misunderstanding: Vivien Jones        

Wakes Week: David Hartley      

Burning Faith: Frankie McMillan

Pigeon English: David Cook         

Kittiwakes: Catherine Edmunds

The Door Closes: Kevlin Henney

Clippers: Debbi Voisey      

I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King: Joy Myserscough

Special Delivery: Calum Kerr         

Grains: Joanna Campbell

Panda: Fat Roland          

Fish Supper: Laura Tickle         

The Vineyard: Catherine McNamara

What We Threw Into the Lake: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

The Pleasure Principle: Rob Walton         

Onion: Damhnait Monaghan

My Aunt Aggie: Paul McVeigh      

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: Jon Stubbington

A Collection: Diane Simmons

Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly: Jeanette Sheppard

Yellow: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

424 Likes: Jennifer Harvey

Manspreading: Marie Gethins 

Wake Up: Oli Morriss          

When Dreams are Large and Tusked: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ten Things that Happened After My Funeral: Santino Prinzi     

What the Therapist Said: Jude Higgins        

Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team: Beverly C. Lucey

Honesty’s Not the Best Policy: Brendan Way       

Orphans: Chris Stanley       

And the Red Flower: Nina Lindmark Lie

One Last Pickup: Sarah Hilary         

Sunday Morning: John Holland      

About Unemployment and Rats: Bernard O’Rourke

Captain Strix: Zoe Gilbert         

Latchkey: Fiona J. Mackintosh

Lips: Nik Perring         

Map Reading: Jane Roberts        

How to Make Lolo: Michelle Elvy       

Family Values: Jonathan Pinnock

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: Claire Fuller         

Hornet’s Nest: Sally Burnette      

The Taste of Sock and Rubber: Cathy Bryant       

In the Café: Sherri Turner       

On the Invisibility of the Deaf: Debbie Young

Flying Ant Day: Judy Darley          

Marzipan Bride and Groom: Sal Page

I Believe in You: Meg Pokrass        

When She Was Good: Safia Moore         

Injuries in Dust: Poppy O’Neill     

We Can Be Asteroids: FJ Morris             

Purple with a Purpose: Amanda Saint      

Little Ghosts: Jan Carson           

The Night Life of Wives: Angela Readman

The Jumper: Anne Patterson

A One-Word Yet…: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Storm: Gemma Govier

Jessie Learns How to Keep A Secret: Alison Wassell

Illumination: Judi Walsh           

When Words Aren’t Enough: Lucy Welch          

Christmas: James Watkins

Always One: Tracy Fells           

Notes: Elaine Marie McKay

Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install: Ed Broom

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is out now!

To purchase the paperback edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (paperback)

To purchase the e-book edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (e-book)

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Walter Tevis (1928-1984)

June 12, 2016

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Walter Tevis (February 28, 1928 – August 8, 1984) was an American novelist and short story writer.

He is the author of six novels and one short story collection. Three of his novels have been made into films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Walter Tevis taught English literature and creative writing at Ohio University from 1965 to 1978, where he was a university professor.

He spent his last years in New York as a full-time writer.

Walter Tevis died of lung cancer in 1984.

Works:

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The Hustler 1959 (novel)

The Hustler tells the story of a young pool hustler, Edward “Fast Eddie” Felson, who challenges the legendary Minnesota Fats. After losing to Fats, Eddie meets Bert Gordon, who teaches him about winning, or more particularly about losing. Tautly written, The Hustler is a treatise on how a loser is beaten by himself, not by his opponent; and how he can learn to win, if he can look deeply enough into himself.

The Hustler was adapted into a 1961 film, starring Paul Newman as Fast Eddie. The film was a critical and commercial success. It remains widely regarded as a classic.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth 1963 (novel) 

The Man Who Fell to Earth is about an extraterrestrial that lands on Earth seeking a way to ferry his people to Earth from his home planet, which is suffering from a severe drought.

The Man Who Fell to Earth was made into a 1976 film, starring David Bowie as the extraterrestrial, Thomas Jerome Newton. It was directed by Nicolas Roeg.

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Mockingbird 1980 (novel)

Mockingbird opens with the failed suicide attempt of Spofforth, the dean of New York University, who is an android who has lived for centuries, yet yearns to die. Spofforth then brings a teacher, Paul Bentley, to New York. Bentley has taught himself to read after a Rosetta Stone–like discovery of a film with words matching those in a children’s primer. Bentley says he could teach others to read, but Spofforth instead gives him a job of decoding the written titles in ancient silent films. At a zoo, Bentley meets Mary Lou and explains the concept of reading to her. They embark on a path toward literacy. Spofforth responds by sending Bentley to prison for the crime of reading, and takes Mary Lou as an unwilling housemate. The novel then follows Bentley’s journey of discovery after his escape from prison…

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Far from Home 1981 (short stories)

Far from Home is a collection of short stories, written between 1955 and 1984 by Walter Tevis. Tevis wrote more than two dozen short stories for a variety of magazines. “The Big Hustle”, his pool hall story was published in Collier’s on August 5, 1955, and was illustrated by Denver Gillen. Over the next twenty years, Tevis published short stories in The American Magazine, Bluebook, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Galaxy Science Fiction, Playboy, Redbook and The Saturday Evening Post. These stories were collected together and published as the short story collection Far From Home in 1981.

The Big Bounce (first published in Galaxy, February, 1958) is one of the stories from the collection:

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The Steps of the Sun 1983 (novel)

 

The Steps of the Sun is set in the year 2063. China’s world dominance is growing, and America is slipping into impotence. All new sources of energy have been depleted or declared unsafe, and a new Ice Age has begun. Ben Belson searches for a new energy resource.

 

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The Queen’s Gambit 1983 (novel)

The Queen’s Gambit traces chess prodigy Beth Harmon’s life from her childhood in an orphanage through her struggles with tranquilizer and alcohol addiction to her triumphant rise through the Grandmaster ranks.

Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable—until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as she hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting…

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The Color of Money 1984 (novel)

The Color of Money is a sequel to Tevis’ first novel, The Hustler (1959). The novel is set twenty years after The Hustler. Fast Eddie now runs a pool hall of his own. After seeing a lookalike of Minnesota Fats on the television, he decides to go in search of the real one, whom he finds in the Florida Keys. Eddie persuades Fats to go on a national tour. He meets Arabella, an English woman, who moves in with him. The finale is set at Lake Tahoe, where Eddie manages to beat a number of younger players.

The novel was adapted into a 1986 film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film differs greatly from the novel in terms of plot, and does not feature the Minnesota Fats character.

 

Information on Walter Tevis and his works is available at:

http://www.waltertevis.com/

 

Walter Tevis’ novels and short stories are available at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=walter+tevis

 

 

Walter Tevis (1928-1984)

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

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May I Please Have My Star Back? by R J Dent

January 20, 2015

An extract from an abandoned science fiction novel.

 
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by R J Dent

 

As I drove past the crashed spaceship, I started thinking about how we (as a race) very soon accept things as they have become – and even start to take certain strange things for granted.

Eleven years ago it had crashed there. Not one single person had actually seen it crash, but everyone for miles around had heard it. It had screamed out of the sky at three in the morning, on the one and only morning in the history of the world when absolutely everyone was asleep. There had been no solitary night prowlers, no 24-hour café or shop workers, no out-with-dog walkers, no tea-breaking shift workers, no shop-doorway sleeping tramps, no passing through long-distance lorry drivers, no anybody at all to witness its Icarus-like descent from the skies, or its mighty crash into and onto the decrepit Odeon cinema. The cinema had been showing the new print of The Day the Earth Stood Still that week, so obviously there were a few news people who had said it was all a publicity stunt that had gone badly wrong. Later, of course, that particular theory was seen to be the first example of the desperate answer-groping that seemed to grip everyone over the next year or so. Read more…

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May I Please Have My Star Back?

Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)

 

Harry by R J Dent

January 9, 2015

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It was exactly one week after her birthday that Muriel realized that Harry was a robot.

          Up until then, she’d just thought that he was as near as it was possible to get – for a man – to being a perfect human being.

          He did everything for her: listened to her, helped her, did jobs around the house without being prompted and took her on surprise holidays. On top of all that he was good-looking, had a great sense of humour, was a great fuck and did his job well. Muriel couldn’t help but be in love with him.

          Yet at odd times, there was something a little distant about him. When he didn’t know she was watching him, she saw a look of detachment cross his features, as though he’d suddenly switched off from her and her world. This hurt her a little, so one day she asked Harry about it. He apologized for giving her that impression, but all it was was that she’d simply observed him when he was tired and trying to unwind from a hard day at work.

          “Are you sure?” she’d asked, and he’d taken her into his arms and held her tightly.

          “Of course,” he’d responded, stoking her head gently, before taking her to bed and making love to her. Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘After reading Isaac Asimov’s wonderful I, Robot stories, I always wanted to write a robot story. Once I’d had the idea of a woman becoming unhappy because her lover was too attentive, too perfect, I had the main story idea. The other spark that really brought the story to life for me was the idea that the robot was in a permanent state of being improved, according to the partner’s wishes. Harry’s name came from the protagonist of Hubert Selby Jr’s, The Demon; Muriel’s name came from Steve Harley’s Muriel the Actor.’

 

Text: Harry (1635 words)

Copyright © R J Dent (2001 & 2016)

 

Image: Personal Robot 06 by Franz Steiner

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

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The Green Town Trilogy (Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night, and Farewell Summer) by Ray Bradbury

October 12, 2014

 

Ray Bradbury’s Green Town Trilogy is comprised of three books: Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night, and Farewell Summer. 

Dandelion Wine

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Dandelion Wine is a 1957 novel by Ray Bradbury, taking place in the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of Green Town, Illinois, based upon Bradbury’s childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois. The novel developed from the short story ‘Dandelion Wine’ which appeared in the June 1953 issue of Gourmet magazine.

The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and other ingredients, commonly citrus fruit. In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist’s grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the joys of summer into a single bottle.

The main character of the story is Douglas Spaulding, a twelve-year-old boy loosely patterned after Bradbury. Most of the book is focused on the routines of small-town America, and the simple joys of yesterday.

In the winter of 1955–56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown. Instead, he extracted seventeen stories and, with three other Green Town tales, published the 1957 book as Dandelion Wine.

Summer Morning, Summer Night

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The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes and fragments were published as two novels. One was under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night, in 2007.

In Summer Morning, Summer Night, Bradbury returns to this signature locale with a generous new collection of twenty-seven stories and vignettes, seventeen of which have never been published before. Together, they illuminate some of Green Town’s previously hidden corners, and reaffirm Bradbury’s position as the undisputed master of a unique fictional universe. The core of Summer Morning, Summer Night was Bradbury’s witnessing of the American small-town and life in the American heartland.

Farewell Summer

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In 2006, Bradbury published the original novel that remained after the extractions, and re-titled it Farewell Summer.

Farewell Summer is a novel by Ray Bradbury, published on October 17, 2006. It was his last novel released in his lifetime. It is a sequel to his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, and is set during an Indian summer in October 1929. The story concerns a mock war between the young and the old in Green Town, Illinois, and the sexual awakening of Doug Spaulding as he turns fourteen.

The first chapter, also titled Farewell Summer, appeared in The Stories of Ray Bradbury in 1980. Publishers Weekly called the novel a ‘poignant, wise but slight ‘extension’ of the indefatigable Bradbury’s semi-autobiographical Dandelion Wine’ and concluded, ‘Bradbury’s mature but fresh return to his beloved early writing conveys a depth of feeling.’ Kirkus Reviews found it ‘a thin work, heavily reliant on dialogue, but one that serves as an intriguing coda to one of Bradbury’s classics.’ Booklist said, ‘A touching meditation on memories, aging, and the endless cycle of birth and death, and a fitting capstone, perhaps, to a brilliant career.’

In the afterword to Farewell Summer, Bradbury contends that the novel was actually intended to follow what became the Dandelion Wine story arc as a complete book tentatively titled Summer Morning, Summer Night. ‘When I delivered it to my publishers they said, ‘My God, this is much too long. Why don’t we publish the first 90,000 words as a novel and keep the second part for some future year when it is ready to be published.’

Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night and Farewell Summer form The Green Town Trilogy, three novels inspired by Ray Bradbury’s childhood in Waukegan, Illinois.

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Ray Bradbury’s books are available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ray-Bradbury/e/B000AQ1HW4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

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Bookbuster – a great bookshop in Hastings

November 5, 2013

Bookbuster is a wonderful book shop in Hastings that is open 7 days a week.

 

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The proprietor of Bookbuster is Tim Barton, a St. Leonards-based cultural entrepreneur with many years experience in the book trade.

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Tim has opened his cheekily-named bookshop, Bookbuster, in premises formerly occupied by a gone-bust Blockbuster DVD rental store.

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Tim believes in bookshops and what bookshops offer customers: “I don’t think you can beat a physical bookstore, where you are free to browse,” he says.

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Bookbuster is generating a lot of interest among book-lovers. Tim says: “The fact that there has been so much interest so far is fantastic.”

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Although the shelves offer many new titles, the shop has an extensive and eclectic range of books that seem to appeal to all ages and interests.

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With new stock arriving daily, a calendar full of author signings, readings, poetry slams and other literary events, and an ambient soundtrack playing to ensure customers linger longer, Bookbuster is proving to be a valuable business that gives a great deal to the Hastings reading community.

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There is also a significant second-hand book section that – along with a selection with some well-chosen perennial titles – offers collectors the chance to obtain copies of rare editions and signed delights from Iain Sinclair, the late Iain Banks and Tom Sharpe, amongst others.

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BookBuster is an independent bookshop in Queen’s Road, Hastings. There is a huge range of stock. Bookbuster is full of literary treasures and, because of Tim Barton’s depth of knowledge regarding authors and books of every type and genre, the shop is something of a cultural oasis. It is very good news for Hastings and for book-lovers and bibliophiles.

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BookBuster is at 39 Queen’s Road, Hastings. Opening hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday; 11-5 Sundays.

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There are author readings, author signings, lectures, poetry readings and live music at BookBuster throughout the year.

 

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BookBuster

39 Queen’s Road

Hastings

TN34 1RL

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BookBuster facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/BlueGreenEarthBooks

 

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

In R J Dent’s Library – F. Paul Wilson’s LaNague Federation

October 24, 2013

 

A look in R J Dent’s library at The LeNague Federation – a series of SF novels and stories with a libertarian message – written by F. Paul Wilson.

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – F. Paul Wilson’s The LaNague Federation

 

Text © R J Dent (2013)

Film © R J Dent (2013)

 

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In R J Dent’s Library – Michael Moorcock’s (Jerry) Cornelius Chronicles

October 22, 2013

 

A look in R J Dent’s library at The Cornelius Chronicles – a series of novels and stories about an ambivalent time-travelling anti-hero named Jerry Cornelius – written by Michael Moorcock.

 

 

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – Michael Moorcock’s The (Jerry) Cornelius Chronicles

 

Text © R J Dent (2013)

Film © R J Dent (2013)

 

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In R J Dent’s Library – Michael Moorcock’s The Dancers at the End of Time

October 22, 2013

 

A look in R J Dent’s library at the Dancers at the End of Time series of novels and stories by Michael Moorcock.

 

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – Michael Moorcock’s The Dancers at the End of Time

 

Text © R J Dent (2013)

Film © R J Dent (2013)

 

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In R J Dent’s Library – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

October 21, 2013

A look in R J Dent’s library at Mary Shelley’s classic science fiction Gothic novel – Frankenstein.

 

 

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

 

Text © R J Dent (2013)

Film © R J Dent (2013)

 

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