Saturday, 17 November 2012

There be pirates, there be...

Ooh-Arrrgh, me 'earties, I've been pirated. I've found a Spanish website that's offering Burying Brian download as a free PDF file.

And I don't know whether to laugh that someone actually thinks my writing worth stealing, or to cry that someone is illegally giving away a book that took five years of my life to create.

The website is completely in Spanish, and as far as I can see there's not even a method to contact them and complain (I'm sure I could whip up a half-decent bemoan at them using Google Translate).

Take that! There are penguins in Spain, aren't there?

On the legitimate publishing front, my story, The Women Who Point at Men's Hearts, has been taken for the winter edition of Sein und Werden. This was originally written for one of the Shock Totem flash competitions as The Man Who Pointed at the Sun, and didn't poll a single vote (oh how genius so often goes unnoticed, eh? :-)

Also, The Perils of War and Death According to the Common People of Hansom Street is now published in Black Static issue 31, which I understand is imminently available to the unwashed masses.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A jolly trip...

I'm just back from six days in Poland. I love Poland at this time of year—it's cold, but it's a dry cold, a different cold from that of soggy Britain, which grips the lungs and tubes unmercifully.

We sat outside drinking cold beer under heated parasols, draped in thoughtfully provided blankets for the legs. It could easily have been summer except the skies were winter-dark and star filled. The chat was good, and being 'close season' there weren't too many tourists to bustle with, which made for a nice, relaxing break. Just the job, really.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Web is a little smaller, today...

I've lost my website. Those terrible terrors at British Telecom have pulled the plug. The web hosting came free with my original contract. I think the word free probably worried BT--they're a huge corporate conglomerate, so such a word is likely to stick in their craw, poor lambs. And clearly they'd decided enough is enough and if I want web space I shall jolly well have to pay for it like everyone else.

Hmff, the indignity of it all.

And now I'm not sure what to do. I mean, do I really need a website? It wasn't exactly buzzing with eager visitors anyway. Is a blog enough to post the odd promotional stuff? Can one turn a blog like this into a virtual website (technically, I mean)?  Or should I look to proper web hosting elsewhere?

I shall have to have a think.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


I have this odd cold. It's all on my throat, with just the occasional sneeze and nasal drippage. I hold the cold virus as ultimate proof there is no God. Or, if there is a God, he has a very strange sense of humour.

And I blame my lack of tonsils. I am of an age from when tonsils were whipped out on a whim—the boy has a limp; out with his tonsils. And now we know tonsils are a vital part of one's immune system. I'd sue someone, if I could do anything but croak out half-words.

I have tickets for the football match; and I have to go, because I have tickets and I'm a boy, don't I? I shall have to "wrap up well". It's one of my mum's old sayings, and one I will quite possibly heed today.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

For you, short story, the war is over

It’s nice to report that top UK dark fiction Magazine Black Static has accepted a short story of mine for publication. This will mark my third appearance in Black Static, although as yet I don’t know what issue will carry the story.

The story, War and Death According to the Common People of Hansom Street, is one of the most subtle pieces of writing I’ve ever produced. I wanted to explore warfare on the smallest, most personal level, to suggest war itself is mostly made up of little individual wars that may take many forms—both internal and external.

What resulted was a story with no real protagonist, no real plot and instead consists of a number of linked, real-time vignettes set over a very short period of time. It’s filled with ordinary people, none of whom want to be heroes but rather just want to live out their lives. I also added an ethereal character (loosely based on Death itself) whose appearances are often fleeting and deliberately vague, and whose induced confusion is an extended metaphor for how I imagine living in grave situations during warfare must feel to such ordinary people.

I’ll be interested to read any comments on this when published. I imagine opinion will be somewhat polarised—people will either ‘get it’ or not, will probably like it or loathe it. Because of this I feared I might struggle to place this story, and so I’m doubly pleased that Black Static saw its worth and decided to take a chance on it.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

It's my birthday

I'm 51 today but still feel 16 in the head. Am I normal? :-)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mentioned Honourably

I picked up a couple of Honourable Mentions in Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror. Whilst there were 608 HMs in all, and it could be argued that they are 'close but no cigar' entities in that the stories mentioned didn't make it into the actual anthology, my inclusion never-the-less made me smile.

Ellen datlow

I suppose we cling to any nod that we're heading in the right direction. And there is, of course, the thought that Datlow is amongst the top editors in her field.

First mention was for my story This is Mary's Moon, published in Black Static issue 22.

The second was for 'Ruth Across the Sea', published as a flash fiction winner in issue three of Shock Totem.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Brian Does, urm, Kindle, too

Fresh on the heels of Digging up Donald's Kindle appearance, I can now report that Burying Brian is also now available for the Kindle.

The links are here:

Should you be kind enough to take a look.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Donald Does Kindle

After much tinkering and tutting, formatting and fist-waving, my first novel, Digging up Donald, is now available for the Kindle at Amazon.

Basically, it's a sprawling plot of a comedy that tells of a small town, semi-rural England family and their fellow town's folk, and how they might battle the demons of Armageddon. In it I wanted to explore just how far I could place the ordinary alongside the extraordinary, and if I say so myself the tone of the tale is unique. It forced me to find that elusive entity, my own authorial voice.

"It was biscuits at ten paces."

I really love that opening line. How can anyone battle with biscuits? Only where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.

The novel was first published in hardback in 2004. It then saw release as a paperback in 2007. The sequel (though in truth it's more of a second book in the same universe), Burying Brian, will also be on Kindle soon. Along the way a number of people whose opinion I respect have said some wonderful things about Digging up Donald.

Such as:

"...not simply one of the most
enjoyable books I've read this year,
but one of the most enjoyable
books I've read for many years."
Steve Redwood,
author of "Fisher of Devils"
and "Who Needs Cleopatra?"

"This reviewer found himself
dreading finishing the book - it truly
is that entertaining a read."
Kevin Etheridge,
The Horror Express

"Pirie's book is a shot in the arm of a
jaded genre and if there's any justice he
will be welcomed with open chequebooks by
the devotees of comic fantasy."
Peter Tennant, The 3rd Alternative

...the best book I have ever read in my
entire life...
Garry Charles, review

Links to Amazon are below, and thanks for looking in should you choose to do so:

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Recent Reads

"What have you read recently, Steve?"

Well, (who said that?) me and my new Kindle have been busy, since you ask.

First off I read Cate Gardner's "Theatre of Curious Acts", which in true Gardneresque style is a strange tale of madness and intrigue based around the trenches of World War I. The plot swirls and chokes like mustard gas, and the thin line between the real and the surreal is, as is so often Gardner's hallmark, decidedly blurred.

Theatre of Curious Acts

Definitely one to pick up, and at a mere £1.97 for a download, Gardner's practically giving it away.

Mark Gunnells' "The Quarry" is a 'High School Horror/Suspense' work that tells the tale of the close-campus lake that now hides the old, abandoned quarry, and the evil that lurks therein. When this evil is disturbed, we have what is essential a very visual piece of writing which I think it would make a good film. Chock full of love interests, there's a depth to this story beyond that of the lake itself.

The Quarry

I also read and reviewed for The Future Fire the novel "Panoptica" by Patrick Hudson. The full review is here (scroll down to Panoptica):

The Future Fire

But in a nutshell this is a near-future tale of a dystopian society of invasive surveillance coupled with an insatiable appetite for the 'reality show'. What follows is not only a delicious parody on today's 'X-Factor' culture but also carries real depth as to the fears for privacy and reality such a society would surely trample upon.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

To Pull a Child from a Woman

I have a story published online right now. "To Pull a Child from a Woman" is the featured story at Darker.

The story is a reprint, having been published first in 2007 by the UK magazine Sein und Werden, and again in 2010 in Sam's Dot's anthology Sideshow 2.

I like this story—I think it has a lot of depth to it. It tells of the lowly clown Hobo and his yearning for a mother's love. The fact that it's now seen three publications suggests to me editors like it, too.

The link to the story is here: Darker should you wish to take a look.