Very short stories #32

Work on my sequel to The Diamond Device is still going rather slowly. (I’ll refer to it as DD2 for convenience). I’m at that stage I term plot spaghetti, where the various story strands flop around and don’t seem to be at all connected to each other. No matter how much I plot or outline in advance, when it comes to actually drafting, the story doesn’t fit together. Still, I have an idea where things are going: just not how they’ll get there. Some new characters will appear, including a young woman called Iggy. Here’s what I imagine she looks like.

I’ve also entered The Diamond Device into the first ever Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC). There are just over 300 entries, divided up among 10 teams of judges. I don’t know if a full list of entries has been posted yet, but there’s a GoodReads list here and a (public) Facebook group here. If you enjoy science fiction and want to find new independent authors, why not check them out?

ETA: Here’s the link to the contest site and an in-progress list of entries.

Book reviews

A bit of a mixed bag for my reading since my last post. This is what I get for reading on 3 separate devices which don’t sync with each other!

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
The Harry Harrison Megapack: 12 Classics of Science Fiction, including ROBOT JUSTICE, DEATHWORLD, and DEATHWORLD II by Harry Harrison (surprise!) although not compiled by him
The Last Mage Guardian by Sabrina Chase
Mary Bennet and the Beast of Rosings Park by Joyce Harmon

Very short stories

These ones were first posted on Twitter in February.


Kakia hissed, “What’s this?”
“I did what you asked, dear,” mumbled Zorb. He smiled apologetically at their wide-eyed guests and their salad-laden plates.
His wife’s fangs dripped with rage. “Which part of ‘Have the new neighbours for lunch’ didn’t you comprehend?”


Wee Joe ran in, out of breath. “Sorry I’m late, miss.”
“What’s your excuse this time?”
“An alien stopped me to ask for directions.”
The teacher glared. “You think I’ll believe that?”
About to insist, Joe saw a figure behind her, green finger to its lips. “No, miss.”


The detective slammed down the phone and stood. “Always interrupted!”
“Shall I come too?” asked the rookie.
“Finish your breakfast first.” He waved at the devilled kidneys. “But don’t touch mine.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, sir.”


Scrape, scrape in the tunnel. The prisoner attacked the soil with his spoon.
His fingers broke through into fresh air. He blinked up at the bright sunshine.
At last! He grinned.
Hang on. He only dug at night.
“Having fun?” came a voice behind the spotlight.


“Come on, slowpokes!” The elderly mage broke into a run.
The rogue watched him plunge down the rock-strewn hillside. “He seems a bit reckless.”
“Not really,” said the warrior. “After all, he can fly.”


The advisor frowned at the heaving throng. “Sire, I wonder if you might curtail your speech?”
The king waved his sword. “And yea, did we beat back the uncouth barbarian tribes…”
“Or at least—” The advisor dodged an arrow. “Save it for after the battle?”

3 thoughts on “Very short stories #32

    1. Thanks, Philip! I rather fear I’m going to inflict an undercooked partial not-even-first draft on you shortly. My determination to complete a full draft before seeking feedback never seems to last 😳

      Liked by 1 person

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