The Room

16 02 2010

My short horror story “The Room” is up now on Tales of the Moonlit Path.

Just thought you might like to know. You know: if you’re interested…

Popping in…

27 11 2009

To point out that David Tallerman lists Crunch amongst his favourites from the recent issue of Ballista.

You can read David’s story, Feeler, and my story, Crunch, in the current and final issue of Ballista.


10 11 2009

I’m pleased to point out that Ballista issue 7 is now available to pre-order and contains my short story Crunch.

This is Ballista’s final issue and, while I am naturally biased, it would be nice to send them off in style so please buy one. Hell, buy lots.

You can order them here:


Story Acceptance

2 10 2009

I am delighted to shamelessly plug myself by letting you know that my story “The Room” will appear in the Valentine’s Day issue of Tales Of the Moonlit Path. This story was written some time ago and given a final tweak at last year’s Arvon course and I am thrilled it’s found a home.

While I’m at it: a quick reminder that my story “Crunch” will be appearing this year in the Autumn (and final) issue of Ballista.

Friday Flash Fiction: Trust

24 07 2009

This post has now moved to: The precis follows:

A bit of fun this week, qualifying for my new criteria for Friday Flash on the grounds it’s damn near impossible to sell this type of story due to the over-used nature of the sub-genre. Candy floss fiction. Black, naturally.

By Neil Beynon

As long as he lived he could never forget the smell of the street that night, the stench of piss wrapping itself around the diesel of the passing cars as they zipped past. He gripped the knife in his hand tight, his gut twisting like a caged cat and glanced around for a more substantial weapon. In the mouth of the alley Ceridwen stood unmoving. She blocked the path to the street.

“Why do you raise your knife?”

…Continue reading here:

Friday Flash Fiction: Tongue

20 02 2009

This post has now moved. You can read tongue here:

By Neil Beynon

“What is it?” you ask.

I say nothing.

You look up from your knees where you’ve dropped down to check why I have not moved. Your hair falls across your face, you push it back behind your ear with two fingers whose ghosts I feel on my neck and the brief glimpse of the sun through your window points out freckles I never noticed before. The room is musty still with the scent of the night before and I wish you’d opened the window while I was gone. You seem made of glass as the growing quiet between us knocks you on your arse.

…You can read all of tongue here:

Friday Flash Fiction: A short story about nothing

30 01 2009

This post has moved. You can read the full post here:

A  short story about nothing
By Neil Beynon


It begins on a street.


I do not know why.


Indeed I have no idea where this is going except that the street is wet from the rain and cold from the wind and in front of me someone lies bleeding. The whole thing has an air of not being real until their hand grabs my ankle then I can feel their stickiness seeping through my sock. There is someone bleeding at my feet, dying perhaps and all I am doing is standing here. My brain slips into gear…

You can read the full post here:


Friday Flash Fiction: Duckling

9 01 2009

This story has moved. It can now be read here:

By Neil Beynon


Spare a drink for a lady? Ah you got me there, I’m no lady. So about that drink…

Yeah, I know lots of stories, if that’s all you want. I’m ever so thirsty…

Ah well. A story…let me sit down a moment while I think.

Hmmm. There was a man, a moocher, who lived in the woods near the village where I used to live. No one knew his name or where he came from or who his parents were or how he came to be there. He was neither young or old or fat or thin but he never lived in a house the whole time I knew him. He slept in the ditches and fields but mainly in Lesnes Woods. On a good day he just smelt of earth, on a bad day he just smelt…stank actually.

Old Bill claimed he was the son of mad Jinney of Camden but my Nana never said anything about Jinney having any children to speak of. And she knew more than most having been a girl in Camden when Jinney went proper mad and they did her in. The children would call him names like Mandrake, Shivering Jenny and Moocher and worse besides. The adults were worse and talked of having him sent to the workhouse but then Jonas would speak up.

This story has moved. It can now be read here:

News: Crunch Sold

5 01 2009

I am delighted to report that my short story Crunch has sold to Ballista (Flapjack Press) and is scheduled for their September 09 issue. You can subscribe here for the UK and here for International.

Crunch is a dark SF story I wrote last year and set in a world where no one is quite sure what’s going on. It marks the first in a series of conscious efforts to “open a vein” into the story and is one of my most heavily revised pieces to date. I believe it’s a significant improvement on my previously published stories and I hope you like it.

Thanks to those who took a look at it in progress – you know who you are.

Top Ten Books 2008

29 12 2008

This is the time of year where I go a bit list crazy. This time up it’s the return of the infamous Books What I Read in…, last year we stopped at five but this year I’ve done ten as my reading levels have been a little higher and I just couldn’t cut the list down. Interesting to note I upped my SF and fantasy reading, going to need to balance that out a bit more next year.

Anyway, here goes:

10. From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell – There is a problem with influential writers. Often, if you come to them sometime after they’ve made their initial impact, you find a weird sense of deja vu permeating your reading of their work. You know you haven’t read the work before but their impact on other writers and indeed other media has become so widespread that you feel as if you have. I’m too young to have caught Watchmen when it was originally released and, although I enjoyed it, that feeling kept bugging me throughout. Not so From Hell, beautifully written and drawn, deliciously dark and meticulously researched – it was an absolute delight to read. Moore at his story-telling best. Skip the film. No really: skip the film.

9. Spin By Robert Charles Wilson – I raved about this book at the time I read it. The review predates and can be found here. Wilson’s a talented SF writer that manages to successfully blend huge SF ideas with good characterisation and Spin is a damned fine example. A good introduction to SF in my opinion.

8. Signals to Noise By Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean – OK, by now you’ve figured out that the deal here is these are the best books I read in 2008 rather than those released in 2008. Neil gets two entries by virtue of my only reading Signals to Noise for the first time this year and him releasing a damned fine book (more on that later) but in point of fact it’s Dave McKean that pushed this into my list for 2008. Gaiman’s prose is typically very good but McKean’s art is…something else…it’s just a beautiful book and I often take it down off the shelf just to flick through the art. If you’re wondering what the fuss is about when it comes to Gaiman & McKean: a) where have you been and b) read this book.

7. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Reviewed on, you can read this here. My opinion on this one hasn’t changed, I wish it had been written when I was a child and I can’t wait for my niece to be old enough for me to read it to her, complete with voices.

6. My life as a Fake by Peter Carey – Actually a fairly recent entry that I haven’t had time to review yet, although I will. I am fond of Peter Carey’s work and will periodically dust off my copy of The True History of The Ned Kelly Gang just for the joy of how it’s put together. My Life as a Fake is a typically well-constructed novel full of rich layers and skillful prose that I read on one sickly Sunday, binging on Carey’s riff on Frankenstein.

5. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – OK, I admit it: I hadn’t read this. There I said it. If you’re a hardcore SF fan then you’ll have read this and you won’t need me to tell you it rocks. Better than 1984 for the simple reason that it has somehow managed not to age as much as Orwell’s classic. Bradbury’s prose is typically liquid and his characters beautifully crafted. If you’re a fan of literature (let alone SF) you need to read this.

4. After Dark by Haruki Murakami – I’ve been meaning to check out Murakami for ages, this year I finally did. After Dark is a stunning tale told over a single night and focusing, at its core, on two sisters and their shifting relationship. Dark and evocative, this novel will leave you feeling like you’ve been up all night drinking too much coffee and you just hallucinated the story, in a good way. Read it. Read it now.

3. Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson – Review on, you can read it here. This book has hard SF, myth, pop culture, character driven story and some damned fine writing all wrapped up in one package. I loved it and have resorted to pushing it at anyone I think will read it.

2. The Scar by China Mieville – I read a ton of China’s stuff this year and if this list went to thirteen then all of his stuff I’ve read to date would be on it. Sadly, thirteen is unlucky. The Scar is my favourite China novel because I think, out of the stuff I’ve read, it’s his most well-rounded work. I love King Rat but it does have a few bumps that, to paraphrase a friend, mark it as a first novel and you can tell China seems to be feeling his way through the story, searching for his style. Perdito Street Station is great and wonderful but it does bloat in places. In contrast The Scar is tight, confident and told in the kind of beautiful prose style that only China can deliver. I want to read it again just writing this.

1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier & Klay by Michael Chabon – Chabon was claimed by the literary set by virtue of publishing mainstream first but I think most genre fans have spotted that is heart really belongs to us. I can’t say enough good things about this novel: the characters enthrall, the blending of history and fiction masterly don, that lyrical prose style, the dash of myth…I’m basically gushing. The guy has a pulitzer; he doesn’t need some tired taff to know he’s good. Still my favourite accidental spot, even if he did look terrified at being recognised.


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