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Books on the Nightstand

  • BOTNS #390: Hello… Oops!

    BOTNS #390: Hello… Oops!

    Sadly, we have come to the true end of Books on the Nightstand. Happily, this final episode is filled with bloopers!     Information on our special Two Dozen Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read Sweepstakes is available here. Be sure to enter now…
    - 7 Jul 16, 12:58pm -
  • BOTNS #389: All Good Things… Part Two

    BOTNS #389: All Good Things… Part Two

    A preview of fiction titles we’re looking forward to in the next nine months. _______________________________________________ Don’t Forget! Although this is the final “regular” episode of Books on the Nightstand, there will be an episode 390…
    - 28 Jun 16, 9:00pm -
  • BOTNS #388: All Good Things… Part One

    BOTNS #388: All Good Things… Part One

    A preview of non-fiction titles coming in the next eight months.   Information on our special Two Dozen Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read Sweepstakes is available here. Be sure to enter now! If you’d like to join the mailing list for possible…
    - 21 Jun 16, 1:24pm -
  • BOTNS #387: Podcasts to Keep Your Nightstand Full

    BOTNS #387: Podcasts to Keep Your Nightstand Full

    We recommend tons of podcasts, then rave about Anatomy of a Solder by Harry Parker, and The Girls by Emma Cline.   The Summer reading packet came home from Ann’s daughters’ school. In addition to reading David Copperfield, the students must cho…
    - 14 Jun 16, 5:10pm -
  • BOTNS #386: The Final Interrogation

    BOTNS #386: The Final Interrogation

    We answer your burning questions, and then recommend The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.   Thank you to everyone who sent us messages, tweets, comments, etc. about the ending of Books on the Nightstand. Though you a…
    - 7 Jun 16, 7:00pm -
  • BOTNS #385: Our final Booktopia Petoskey author talks

    BOTNS #385: Our final Booktopia Petoskey author talks

    Author talks from Booktopia Petoskey, including W. Bruce Cameron, Janis Cooke Newman, and Luis Alberto Urrea.   This week we have an amazing lineup of author talks from our final Booktopia event. These talks were recorded in September 2015 at the fa…
    - 31 May 16, 5:48pm -
  • BOTNS #384: The End and the Beginning

    BOTNS #384: The End and the Beginning

    A big announcement. The start of BOTNS Book Bingo. We recommend Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld and Joe Sumner, and Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.    Listen to the podcast for a big announcement about Books on the Nightstand!   Audiobook of the…
    - 24 May 16, 1:00pm -
  • BOTNS #383: Women in books and bookstores

    BOTNS #383: Women in books and bookstores

    Sad author news, a roundup of book news featuring girls and women, and two books we can’t wait for you to read.   Booklovers, especially Michael,  are mourning the passing of two authors that have touched many with their work. Katherine Dunn, aut…
    - 18 May 16, 4:31pm -
  • BOTNS #382: No Women Allowed?

    BOTNS #382: No Women Allowed?

    Misconstruing the Man Book Club, and we recommend Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, and Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo.   Booktopia was this past weekend, and it was the first Booktopia not organized by us. Northshire Bookstore…
    - 10 May 16, 9:00pm -
  • BOTNS #381: One-sit wonders

    BOTNS #381: One-sit wonders

    So many books, in praise of novellas, and we recommend a new novella by Graham Swift and a novel that is the first in a new science-fiction trilogy. Audiobook of the week (03:12) Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, performed by Santino Fontana, is my…
    - 3 May 16, 8:05pm -

Sabotage

Short Stories

  • Who’s For A New Body?

    Who’s For A New Body?

    “Look, Tommy, I’ve told you before, when I’m with my friends I don’t want you hanging around. Haven’t you got any heads your age you can play with?” “But mum said you’re supposed to look after me. If you make me go away I’ll cry.”…
    - 22 days ago, 1 Nov 17, 10:41am -
  • Gran’s Coming To Live With Us

    Gran’s Coming To Live With Us

    “Well, mum, which one do you fancy? Remember it’s going on the mantelpiece at our house, not yours so go with one of the bigger ones if you want. Don’t worry about the colour. Just choose the one you like and we’ll redecorate our front room t…
    - 22 days ago, 1 Nov 17, 9:20am -
  • You On The List?

    You On The List?

    It’s just a list I hear you say. True, but it’s one you dare not ignore. It goes up on this wall nine o’clock every Friday morning. Some bright spark, seeing his name wasn’t on the list, has gone and chalked a smiley face underneath. Foolish.…
    - 32 days ago, 22 Oct 17, 11:44am -
  • Today’s Warm​ Weather Looks Set To Continue

    Today’s Warm​ Weather Looks Set To Continue

    “Dad, why are all the people out there dressed in shorts and tee-shirts? You made us put our wellies and kagools on. You said it was going to rain.” Dad, who was up front driving the bright yellow amphibious bus, didn’t answer. Marjory, his wif…
    - 32 days ago, 22 Oct 17, 11:16am -
  • Where Is Everyone?

    Where Is Everyone?

    The ferry had been fitted with the latest technology and the last human operator had retired almost five years ago. The onboard computer ensured the boat ran on time – day after day after day. Passengers got used to a computerised voice wishing the…
    - 50 days ago, 4 Oct 17, 9:02am -
  • Tell Me Again Alf

    Tell Me Again Alf

    The two large alien arachnids skulked in the shadows watching and waiting. Then the smaller of the two leaned across to the other and whispered, “Tell me again Alf, how’s this going to work?” “Dead simple Sam. When the human thing comes in he…
    - 64 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 11:31am -
  • They’ve Put Me In Charge of Marketing

    They’ve Put Me In Charge of Marketing

    “Sorry mum, can’t really chat right now, it’s manic here. The new job? Great. Honest mum, it’s good. I’ve got an amazing view of the city from my office and my boss is a dream. Doesn’t bother me, just lets me get on with the work. In fact…
    - 77 days ago, 7 Sep 17, 11:09am -
  • It Was Not An Unpleasant Hole

    It Was Not An Unpleasant Hole

    Marjorie’s friend Edith Clancy had asked if they’d look after the hole over Christmas. She was off visiting her eldest in Skegness and wouldn’t be back until the New Year. Marjorie had space in the spare bedroom now that their youngest, Suzie h…
    - 80 days ago, 4 Sep 17, 10:59am -
  • A Haunting Disaster

    A Haunting Disaster

    You’re my agent, damn it! It’s your job to get me assignments that best suit my many talents. Look at this place. Miles from anywhere. Walls covered in ivy. Glass missing from the windows and where the hell is the roof?  I don’t care what they…
    - 85 days ago, 30 Aug 17, 9:45am -
  • Cluttered Space

    Cluttered Space

    “It’s all looking a bit of a mess sir.” “I quite agree Peter. It looks ghastly. When I created the sun and the moon and the stars and…. What’s the name of that planet Peter?” “Earth sir. It was one of your speedier creations.” “Th…
    - 93 days ago, 22 Aug 17, 11:40am -

Short Story Writer

  • Untitled
    Thanks to Swanwick, I have been 'persuaded' by friends to start blogging again.As this old blog is cluttered with gloom and doom and tales of my past miseries, I am switching to another blog, so if you want to follow me, the address iswritingfictioni…
    - 16 Aug 14, 5:56am -
  • THE LAST POST
    This blog has run its course. The time has come to call it a day. Writing this blog has been enormously helpful to me. It’s kept me in touch with the world at times when I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Time and again, I’ve been struck by…
    - 10 Oct 13, 5:24am -
  • My mind is all over the place
    I’m finding it very hard to focus at the moment. I could name all kinds of reasons – a lingering head cold, Louis who  keeps demanding my attention,  but this goes deeper than that. I’m worried because a man has shown an interest in me. How c…
    - 9 Oct 13, 5:24am -
  • Ready for a new start
    I went to see my homeopath yesterday and really enjoyed it. That probably sounds weird, but the fact is she’s such an upbeat lovely person, just talking to her, I felt better. She seems to think that this cold (yes, I still have it) is a good sign…
    - 8 Oct 13, 5:39am -
  • The dog has teeth

    The dog has teeth

    The sun is shining. The workshop for next Saturday is planned, the handouts printed. I have no Writers Bureau work to do. Time to think about what to enter for Leeds Writers Circle short story competition. I haven’t been writing much new stuff late…
    - 5 Oct 13, 6:35am -
  • Blast this cold

    Blast this cold

    For more than a week, I’ve been fighting a bad cold. It’s so annoying how something so simple and trivial can cause so much annoyance. I guess it will clear up, eventually, but right now, the end is definitely not in sight. The weather’s misera…
    - 4 Oct 13, 4:28am -
  • It's a dog's life

    It's a dog's life

    Life is full of good and bad. It’s up to us which we focus on. Right now I have a really awful terrible miserable cold and I feel really low, physically but I know it will pass. I also have Louis here for his last visit. I love that dog and I’m…
    - 1 Oct 13, 5:02am -
  • All alone and feeling sorry for myself
    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that there’s very little worse than being on your own and having a bad cold. I feel like **** today. What I really really want is somebody to wait on me hand and foot, mop my fevered brow, make me lemon tea a…
    - 1 Oct 13, 4:57am -
  • PLOM
    Why does it feel so bad? All I’ve got is a cold! Still at least the sun is shining. I decided not to go to the BBQ. Not only do I feel bad, I look ghastly too, plus I’d feel terrible if I passed on my germs. Mind you that didn’t stop my ex as h…
    - 28 Sep 13, 11:08am -
  • Frustration rules
    Having made the decision to end the part time work I was doing, I’m now feeling increasingly frustrated.  I’ve had to give notice. I’m not the kind of person who just stops, that wouldn’t meet my ‘be fair to everyone’ syndrome. So now, I…
    - 25 Sep 13, 5:39am -

Stupefying Stories

  • newThe Friday Challenge: A Quick Update
    This time around, we’ve made a few changes. We considered putting all the stories out in one great big anonymized mass, as we did last time, but decided they’d be easier for readers to handle if we published one new story daily, and better for th…
    - 3 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 10:42pm -
  • new11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #1

    11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #1

    Fiction: “The Han ‘Nasty,” by Chris J. Naron Friday November 17, 2017“So, the thing is, Gandhi was much more interested in poop than in peace.”And with that, my afternoon World History Survey class ended. None of my students seemed convince…
    - 4 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 10:39pm -
  • new11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #2

    11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #2

    Fiction: “When the Pillows Have Eyes,” by J. Verostka I was still standing at the end of my first week, if a bit battered and worn. I had used everything in my stash of traditional medicinals—bottle, box and broadcast—to do it, but I had surv…
    - 4 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 10:39pm -
  • new11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #3

    11/3/17 Friday Challenge: Entry #3

    Fiction: “A Toothsome Tale,” by James Westbrooks “Ow!  Damn it!  Damn it!”  My wife dropped her fork and slapped her hand to her cheek.I held my own fork halfway to my mouth and stared at her. So did the people at the table beside our boot…
    - 4 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 10:38pm -
  • The Friday Challenge: 11/03/17
    With a few hours left before the poll closes-- (Memo to Self: make the deadline midnight Thursday for all future Friday Challenges)--it looks like "Flowers for Momma" has jumped out to a commanding lead in the 10/13 Friday Challenge. However, there i…
    - 2 days ago, 21 Nov 17, 10:31am -
  • Movie Review: Justice League

    Movie Review: Justice League

    Review by Sean CW Korsgaard Years from now, when we’re digging through the wreckage of the DC Extended Universe, the question about Justice League won’t be “Where did it all go wrong?”, but “What didn’t go wrong?” If months of toxic beh…
    - 2 days ago, 21 Nov 17, 10:30am -
  • Book Pre-Release Sale: THE RECOGNITION REJECTION

    Book Pre-Release Sale: THE RECOGNITION REJECTION

    Releasing December 1st: THE RECOGNITION REJECTIONby Henry VogelBook 2 in the award-nominated Recognition TrilogyThe official release date is December 1st, but if you pre-order the Kindle edition now you can get it for the special introductory price…
    - 2 days ago, 21 Nov 17, 9:00am -
  • The Friday Challenge: 11/17/2017

    The Friday Challenge: 11/17/2017

    We got a really nice response to the 11/03/17 Friday Challenge: so much so that we’ve decided to make an arbitrary change to the rules. (Is that in the Official Rules? “We reserve the right to make arbitrary changes to the rules at any time.” I…
    - 4 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 3:10pm -
  • Friday Challenge: Quick Update

    - 5 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 12:00pm -
  • Friday Challenge Deadline Reminder

    Friday Challenge Deadline Reminder

    Just a gentle reminder here that the deadline for the 11/3 Friday Challenge is in a bit over 48 hours. We've received five entries, as of the last time I checked. For the particulars of this particular challenge, see the foregoing link. For general r…
    - 8 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 11:28pm -

The Short Review

  • Review: Worlds from the Word’s End by Joanna Walsh

    Review: Worlds from the Word’s End by Joanna Walsh

    And Other Stories published 7 September 2017 Reviewed by Cath Barton “As for the rest of us, words still visited sometimes: spork, ostrich, windjammer… We wondered where they had come from, what … Continue reading →
    - 94 days ago, 21 Aug 17, 2:01pm -
  • Best European Fiction 2015: Review

    Best European Fiction 2015: Review

    Preface by Enrique Vila-Matas Dalkey Archive 2014 Reviewed by Aiden O’Reilly Let’s not quibble with the “Best” in the title. This is a fascinating glimpse into contemporary fiction across Europe. An anthology … Continue reading →
    - 15 Jun 16, 10:38am -
  • Used to Be by Elizabeth Baines. Review

    Used to Be by Elizabeth Baines. Review

    Used to Be by Elizabeth Baines Salt Publishing 2015 Reviewed by Cath Barton “I used to believe in plots, but they’re too insistent and simple; there’s no such thing as a single … Continue reading →
    - 2 May 16, 10:02am -
  • SHORT: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, & Other Short Prose Forms. Review

    SHORT: An International Anthology of Five Centuries of Short-Short Stories, Prose Poems, Brief Essays, & Other Short Prose Forms. Review

    Alan Ziegler, editor. Alan Ziegler is professor of Writing and Director of Pedagogy at Columbia University’s school of Arts. Author of Love at First Sight, The Swan Song of Vauderville, … Continue reading →
    - 27 Oct 15, 10:18am -
  • Review: The Trouble with Flying and other stories, edited by Richard Rossiter with Susan Midalia

    Review: The Trouble with Flying and other stories, edited by Richard Rossiter with Susan Midalia

    The Trouble with Flying and other stories Edited by Richard Rossiter with Susan Midalia Contributing authors: Claire Aman, Rosie Barter, Leanne Browning, Linda Brucesmith, Peter Curry, Lauren Foley, Kathy George, Paulette … Continue reading →
    - 22 Jul 15, 9:22am -
  • Selected Stories by Kjell Askildsen

    Selected Stories by Kjell Askildsen

    Selected Stories by Kell Askildsen Translated by Sean Kinsella Dalkey Archive, 2014 Reviewed by Aiden O’Reilly “The sun was nearing the mountains in the west; a haze lingered over the town, and … Continue reading →
    - 20 Feb 15, 7:34am -
  • Q&A with Daniela I. Norris

    Q&A with Daniela I. Norris

    Q&A with Daniela I. Norris author of Collecting Feathers, reviewed by Cath Barton About the author: Daniela I. Norris, a former diplomat turned political writer – and with 
age and wisdom – inspirational … Continue reading →
    - 5 Feb 15, 11:09am -
  • Collecting Feathers by Daniela I. Norris: Review

    Collecting Feathers by Daniela I. Norris: Review

    Collecting Feathers by Daniela I. Norris Soul Rock Books, 2014 Reviewed by Cath Barton “I had a job passed down from mother to daughter in my family for at least three generations. It … Continue reading →
    - 16 Dec 14, 8:57am -
  • The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim: review

    The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim: review

    The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim Translated by Jonathan Wright. Comma Press, 2013 Reviewed by Elaine Chiew “If there was a special search engine for dreams, like Google, all dreamers would find their … Continue reading →
    - 27 Nov 14, 9:10am -
  • Review: The Irreal Reader anthology

    Review: The Irreal Reader anthology

    The Irreal Reader Fiction and Essays from the Café Irreal Edited by G.S. Evans and Alice Whittenburg Numerous authors including Diploma de Honor Konex winner Ana María Shua (Argentina), Michal Ajvaz … Continue reading →
    - 15 Nov 14, 9:56am -
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About PopMuse

A curated aggregation of musings from across the land and of different subject matters for the scanoholics.