Thursday, November 21, 2019

New Short Stories 11 - first look - unboxing

The eagle, or anyway the secretary bird, has landed. The book will be available on general release within the next week or two. (Ed.)

Monday, November 18, 2019

You cannot trust Boris Johnson with the NHS

Don't vote Conservative in any constituency. Vote for the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Conservative, which you can discover by entering your postcode at You can talk about policies and plans but the overwhelming priority is to ensure that Boris Johnson is not given five years to sell this country out to the Putin/Trump axis of neo-fascism.

Labour has a sensible moderate proposal that will actually settle the Brexit issue in a steady, sane way with voters given the choice between a workable Brexit deal that comes with a customs union and close market alignment or remaining in the EU. Those are the only two sensible options for this country and the Labour plan is the only way to resolve the Brexit impasse for once and for all, by next Summer.

All Johnson and the Tory B-team offer is another year of threatening "No Deal" and quite possibly ending up with that disastrous and stupid outcome, which they probably secretly want. Unless you're a hedge fund gambler, or offshore tax fiddler like Rees-Mogg, Redwood and the rest of the Tory B-team, your only sensible vote is for the candidate in your constituency most likely to block a Tory.

You cannot trust Boris Johnson. 
On December 12th, give him the Order of the Boot!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Coming Soon: New Short Stories 11 - preview

The 15 best international short stories, as submitted to the Willesden Herald in 2019. Editor: Stephen Moran. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Front cover for New Short Stories 11.
Photo and design by Stratos Fountoulis.
Contemporary fiction from Britain, Ireland, America and Nigeria, from huge cities to very small towns and on several journeys. We're at work, at school, in homes, gardens, cities, in the countryside and on the road. There are crises, violence, tragedy, vengeance, reflection and recon-ciliation. Here are vividly evoked times and places, characters of every kind, and insights into their circumstances and relationships.

Editor: Stephen Moran. Fiction by JL Bogenschneider, Ursula Brunetti, Carol Dines, Derek Dirckx, Sarah Evans, Jeff Ewing, David Frankel, Ray French, N. Jane Kalu, Marylee MacDonald, Jaki McCarrick, Gerard McKeown, Jay Merill, Diana Powell, John Saul. With an introduction by Gina Challen.

Here are fifteen stories transporting us, like the dreams of fifteen nights. In one we remember a beloved teacher, a hated one and our friends. In another we are on a bus somewhere in Britain, on the way to losing our virginity. On another night we wake from a heartbreaking haunting in the changing seasons of Lagos, Nigeria. Or we're in Northern Ireland practicing with a friend's shotgun, and wondering if we can trust him. Then again we're in the Irish borderlands in a tale of neglect and revenge. We travel through remote parts of the US, a fugitive from the past, and hook up with a loner in his last days. Or we're in a surreal family circus, with a remarkable cast of characters, living out a poignant adventure. A nun travels on leave through small town America in search of family history and closure. We agonise over a doctor's ethical dilemma and a professor's marital crisis, drenched in a rainstorm. We're in Newport in Wales, trying to stay off the booze and achieve a reunion. We take something that's not really ours and turn over in our minds what would have happened if we hadn't. We spy on a swimmer as she swims naked in the sea every day till it all goes wrong. In a nightmare, there's a river, a forestry work camp, two labourers living on-site, and a dead body. We meditate and scroll through thoughts on the people, situations and how we interact with those around us, friends and neighbours. (SM)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Saturday evening

View from the railway bridge (Chiltern Line, Sudbury Hill Harrow)