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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

  • Memories

    Memories

    It was in here somewhere, it had to be. This is the box where I kept my most treasured possessions. I pulled out a half-finished dream, that wasn’t it. Next came an argument still fermenting, then a small silver box containing the lies you told me,…
    - 2 days ago, 17 Jan 18, 10:49am -
  • The Path

    The Path

    Daddy said we had to be brave and not look back, just keep walking. He promised everything would be OK once we got to the end of the path. I so wanted to turn round, run back and jump into his arms but I didn’t. We’ve been walking for years now a…
    - 4 days ago, 15 Jan 18, 10:33am -
  • Humans for Supper

    Humans for Supper

    The enormous mechanical arachnid watched on from the shadows. As he eyed the two large pods hanging from the ceiling, oily saliva dribbled from his fearsome jaws. Very soon the first cracks would appear in those silver shells and the tiny infant huma…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Jan 18, 6:00am -
  • Open The Box

    Open The Box

    He was wandering between the shelves, marvelling at all the junk when he heard the voice, “Excuse me, young man. I wonder if you could help me? I’m over here, top shelf, near the back, next to the skulls.” He looked on the top shelf and there,…
    - 11 days ago, 8 Jan 18, 12:08pm -
  • Twitter Crime Report

    Twitter Crime Report

    Need Help @needhelp Hell of a start to the day. He’s in a bad mood. Too much booze last night. Need to watch myself this morning.   #Helovesmereally Need Help @needhelp Things got nasty. My fault. Overcooked his bacon. Threw the plate at me. Then…
    - 11 days ago, 8 Jan 18, 11:41am -
  • It Wasn’t Me!

    It Wasn’t Me!

    I’ve always known about my other me. He’s been that small whisper in my ear encouraging me to do things that I either knew I shouldn’t or was too scared to do. My harsh upbringing at home together with a strict, almost barbaric, schooling, gave…
    - 11 days ago, 8 Jan 18, 9:27am -
  • We’ve Let Our Nightmares Out

    We’ve Let Our Nightmares Out

    Over the years the weather and passing travellers had picked away at the old inn. Windows had been smashed, doors ripped off their hinges, roof tiles missing, many of them laying smashed on the ground around me. The local vegetation had taken the opp…
    - 12 days ago, 7 Jan 18, 8:52am -
  • Surely Just a Coincidence?

    Surely Just a Coincidence?

    We found them in a large shed on the edge of the forest. A hat and a scarf for every child in our village, all left here and arranged in these tidy piles. It seems the children left their houses at the same time, late into the night. Nobody heard or…
    - 28 days ago, 22 Dec 17, 9:24am -
  • Loved Ones

    Loved Ones

    One of the terms often used to talk of the dead is ‘loved ones’. It made me think of this 100-word story. ********* We stood huddled in a small group and watched as the rain danced on the coffin lid. Despite the lousy weather, we’d all come to…
    - 31 days ago, 19 Dec 17, 9:01am -
  • Gran

    Gran

    Do we really know what happens to our old technology? Will your old mobile ever die? This 100-word story came to me as I thought of the technological gap between the young and the old. ************ Gran had been a miserable old lady and, if Jimmy was…
    - 32 days ago, 18 Dec 17, 10:51am -

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

  • Talking Shop

    Talking Shop

    Op-ed • “Dear Time Traveler,” by L. Joseph ShostyOn December 21, 2017, Bruce wrote an op-ed titled “It’s Amazon’s World, We Just Rent Space in It.” In it, a friend of Bruce’s asks (paraphrasing and perhaps embellishing a little), when…
    - 8 days ago, 11 Jan 18, 1:00pm -
  • Today on SHOWCASE

    Today on SHOWCASE

    Fiction • “Quality of Life,” by Alexandra RenwickGood afternoon, Mr. Jones. First let me thank you for coming peacefully when our field agents brought you in. I’m sure it was inconvenient to have been interrupted at dinner, and at such an ele…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Jan 18, 1:00pm -
  • Today on SHOWCASE

    Today on SHOWCASE

    New Fiction • “600 Years Ago, Today,” by Michael W. Lucht •By 2134, every memory chip had been networked. Otherwise CRUD, the Commission for the Removal of Unremarkable Data, could not have existed. As things stood, no backup copy was safe fr…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Jan 18, 10:41am -
  • Talking Shop

    Talking Shop

    Op-ed • “2018: Where We Stand,” by Bruce Bethke •We began with a Kindle.That sounds much better than, “We began with a series of expensive blunders, some of which continue to this day.”A decade ago, when we first incorporated Rampant Loon…
    - 14 days ago, 5 Jan 18, 2:22pm -
  • Media Relations
    Podcast • Storypunks Interview •I did an interview with Cindy Grigg at Storypunks.world a few weeks back. It’s now up on YouTube, iTunes, and wherever else it is that podcasts go to reach the world. Personally, I’m afraid to watch it—I have…
    - 14 days ago, 5 Jan 18, 1:00pm -
  • The Friday Challenge: Reminder

    The Friday Challenge: Reminder

    Just a gentle reminder here, that:A.) The 12/22/17 Friday Challenge, “2018: The Year in Review,” is still open for submissions, andB.) “Arfour’s Complaint” is still on the autopsy table.Meanwhile, we’re still expecting to release Stupefyi…
    - 20 days ago, 29 Dec 17, 7:22pm -
  • Talking Shop

    Talking Shop

     Op-ed • “The View from the Field,” by Eric Dontigney •I’m a writer. That is one of the loneliest sentences in the world, for a host of reasons. Tell someone you’re a doctor or an accountant, they get a decent picture of what you do. The…
    - 22 days ago, 28 Dec 17, 10:46am -
  • Did you get a new Kindle for Christmas?

    Did you get a new Kindle for Christmas?

    Are you looking for something to read on it?Then you’re in luck, because right now we are giving away the Kindle editions of these two ebooks absolutely free for the cost of a click.In a galaxy where psychics are hunted outlaws...Matt Connaught’s…
    - 25 days ago, 25 Dec 17, 10:50am -
  • The Seemingly Oligatory Christmas Column

    The Seemingly Oligatory Christmas Column

    Nonfiction • “Christmas Eve, 2017,” by Bruce Bethke •I had a column I used to recycle every Christmas Eve. It was a mopey, sentimental thing about my Dad and the 8mm movie camera he used to take to every family gathering when I was a kid. The…
    - 26 days ago, 24 Dec 17, 12:54pm -
  • The Friday Challenge • Judgment Day: The Appeal

    The Friday Challenge • Judgment Day: The Appeal

    After the decision in the 12/08 Friday Challenge was announced, one author filed an appeal. We promise not to make a practice of doing this, but in this one case, after discussion with the author, we have agreed to conduct a test. Herewith, a link to…
    - 26 days ago, 23 Dec 17, 3:26pm -

The Short Review

  • Review: Greetings, Hero

    Review: Greetings, Hero

    Greetings, Hero by Aiden O’Reilly Published by Honest Publishing, November 2014 Reviewed by Cath Barton “I ran my fingers across the rough chisel cuts, trying to achieve a closer contact. The … Continue reading →
    - 46 days ago, 4 Dec 17, 7:25am -
  • 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 →
    - 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 -
Recipe Test Nest
Recipe Test Nest
Recipe Test Nest
Recipe Test Nest
Shorts Fix

About PopMuse

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