'The port smelled like nowhere else in Arkanar. It smelled of saltwater, rotten pond scum, spices, tar, smoke, and old salted meat; the taverns reeked of cooking, fried fish, and stale beer. The humid air was thick with swearing in many languages. Thousands of strange-looking people thronged on the piers, in the narrow alleys between … Continue reading The Port
'This parched evening seasons the night with remembrances of rain. Very few suspect the existence of this city. It is as if not only the media but the laws of perspective themselves have redesigned knowledge and perception to pass it by. Rumour says there is practically no power here. Neither television cameras no on-the-spot broadcasts … Continue reading Electric Nation!
My story 'Frankie' features in issue 285 of Interzone, out this week. 'Coming over with the night train and what else is there to say? Moonlight and gin is the recipe. None of us have the time. Starlings and eagles happen. Dream is the key. The line of traffic in the rural road, the faded … Continue reading Interzone 285
'They were worldsick, as meaning yawed. Anything was anything, now. Their minds were sudden merchants: metaphor, like money, equalised the incommensurable. They could be mythologers now: they'd never had monsters, but now the world was all chimeras, each metaphor a splicing. They city's a heart, I said, and in that a heart and a city … Continue reading The City's A Heart
'The birch grove was more or less in the centre of the town of Cadast. Eight paths led away from it, winding narrowly off among trees. There was a whiff of woodsmoke in the air; where the branches were thin at the south edge of the grove you could see smoke rise from a house-chimney, … Continue reading Birch Grove
After Frankie died, his shack in the woods became a sort of shrine. People travelled from all over the country to visit this place in the mountains to the south of our country, where he’d seen out the last of his days. Students and children camped outside on the grass, sleeping under light blankets, eating … Continue reading Frankie
‘A hundred feet above the roof of the mesa, they hung like the twisted pillows of a sleepless giant. Columns of turbulent air moved within the clouds, boiling upwards to the anvil heads like liquid in a cauldron. These were not the placid, fair-weather cumulus of Coral D, but storm-nimbus, unstable masses of overheated air … Continue reading Overheated Air