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.
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