Short Sci-Fi/Comedy Story “Quinlag and Vernon” Published in New Anthology

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is joiningforces_kindlecover.jpg
Cover art by Mat Yan

My science fiction/comedy short story Quinlag and Vernon is now out! It’s part of the wonderful new anthology Joining Forces, released by Jayhenge Publishing just a couple of days ago. The collection was edited by the equally wonderful Jessica Augustsson and can be purchased here.

About the story: Vernon is a single father busy raising two young children on his cargo spaceship while also doing his job. The last thing he needs is to be attacked by a vicious alien craft. That sippy cup refill will have to wait, kids – Daddy’s in the middle of a space battle.

I think it’s fair to say parents will find a lot in this story that’s all too familiar. (With the possible exception of the space-dogfight.) For more information about the book and the story, click here.

DRABBLE HARVEST 3: Don't Pull That Cord
Also out now: Drabble Harvest 3

Also available is the recent issue of Drabble Harvest from Hiraeth. As always, it’s edited by the terrific Terrie Leigh Relf, and this issue contains a drabble by me, called The Power of On or Off. You can buy this issue direct from the publisher here.

Excitingly, there are a handful more stories pending release from various publishers, and I’ll be sure to post all about them as they come out.

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

Mike

“Here to Help” Accepted for The Martian Wave in 2022

Largest Arthropod (Page 1) - Line.17QQ.com

More good news! The excellent Tyree Campbell at Hiraeth Press has accepted my short science fiction story Here to Help for the March 2022 issue of their magazine, The Martian Wave. You can expect giant alien crabs, asteroids, and first contact protocols that are completely beyond reproach. Our friends at the Planetary Assistance League (a Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization loosely affiliated with the Communality of Humankind) assure us that they have the best interests of our alien friends at heart. After all, isn’t their slogan “We’re here to help”?

I’m also happy to say that I have another drabble coming out in the next issue of Hiraeth’s Drabble Harvest. (A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words.) The Power of On or Off will be included in issue 3 of Drabble Harvest in a couple of months’ time.

Those aren’t the only stories in the “Sold” pile. Many of these pending stories are due out much later this year but I’m hoping one or two will see publication sooner. I’ll be sure to update this blog as I hear more!

Thanks for reading.

Peace,

Mike

New Drabble “Quid Pro Quo” Printed in Drabble Harvest 2

Cover art by Laura Givens

Happy 2021 everyone.

January saw the publication of a very short story of mine; so short, in fact, it was exactly 100 words in length. That’s right, Terrie Leigh Relf was kind enough to accept a drabble from me for her collection, Drabble Harvest 2: Diplomatic Immunity. If you haven’t heard of drables before, they’re stories of precisely 100 words, plus a title of no more than 15 words. My entry here is Quid Pro Quo, which approaches the idea of diplomatic immunity from an alien perspective.

Other contributors include: Debbie Feo, J. J. Steinfeld, Marge Simon, Robert Bellam, Marcia A. Borell, Matthew Wilson, Art Gomez, Francis W. Alexander, Melissa Mead, D. L. R. Frase, Priya Sridhar, Lauren McBride, and John C. Mannone.

This collection can be purchased direct from the publisher, Hiraeth, here or from Amazon here. I hope you’ll consider trying this anthology – drabbles are fun and perfect for passing the time when isolating at home. Contained within its pages are contributions from many talented creators.

I hope you’re all staying safe and well. Keep reading!

Mike

“Conversations with People You Haven’t Met Yet” Out in New Doctor Who Charity Book

Just in time for Christmas, Matthew Rimmer has released his second Doctor Who charity anthology, Twice Upon a Time Scope. This one includes my Christmassy seventh Doctor and Ace short story, Conversations with People You Haven’t Met Yet.

The book also includes stories, art, and articles from many familiar names, such as Nicola Bryant (Peri), Sophie Aldred (Ace, who also features in my story), Neve McIntosh (Vastra), and writers Jonathan Morris, Paul Magrs, Trevor Baxendale, and Eddie Robson, amid many others. There’s quite the contributors’ list here!

What’s it all about? I’ll quote from the editor’s own website to answer that question:

Twice Upon A Time Scope is a charity anthology e-book and makes for perfect reading throughout the festive season into the New Year and beyond!

Doctor Who fans from around the world have joined forces to raise funds for Scope, the disability equality charity. This unofficial and unauthorised anthology of 36 short stories, interspersed with poetry and artwork, sees the Doctor and their friends celebrating Christmas throughout time and space. Along the way, cast and crew share their memories of working on Doctor Who and send greetings for the festive season.

Compiled amid the COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic in 2020, all 78 contributors have given their work freely in order to support Scope at a time when its income has fallen dramatically owing to the necessity of having to close charity shops and cancel fundraising events during lockdowns and periods of enhanced restrictions.

100% of the proceeds raised by this e-book will forwarded to Scope.

You can buy a copy of the pdf-format ebook here. I hope you’ll consider doing so, as the book looks great and the charity needs your support.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Mike

“Every Hat Is a Crown” Published in Latest Issue of UK Magazine Mythaxis

Cover of Mythaxis Issue 24

Just in time for your winter holiday break, Every Hat Is a Crown is now available for you to read in Issue 24 (Winter 2020) of the excellent online UK magazine Mythaxis. You can read the story here for free at the Mythaxis website. The editor is Andrew Leon Hudson.

Walleg Ravenscoop, a sixteen-year-old serf in a rural, medieval society, only wants one thing: to kiss the lovely Gwen. Sadly, certain things are going to get in his way, such as his foul-tempered bull raptor, William; the visiting king, Amaranthis; Gwen’s mother – a powerful witch; and memory-sucking monsters. These ages are dark indeed, with humans living side-by-side with dinosaurs and magic.

This light-hearted story takes place within the Age of Asmodeus series of standalone stories, and you can read more about it here.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!

Mike

Mike Morgan’s 2020 Publications & Awards Eligibility List

After an immense amount of research, lasting at least twenty seconds, I have discovered that writers often post Awards Eligibility lists. Turns out they help people nominating stories for awards decide what to consider. In hindsight, this makes sense. No, don’t check if I’ve posted them before. It hasn’t taken me several years to figure this out. Honest.

So, without further ado (or any additional pomposity), here is the list of what I had published in 2020. I have 9 original science fiction and fantasy short stories and 2 reprints published during 2020 that are eligible for consideration.

For anyone nominating awards, I’d like to highlight three of these short stories: Leaving Sedna – printed in the March 2020 issue of The Martian Wave, Fifteen Minutes – printed this autumn in Unidentified Funny Objects 8, and Once You Start – reprinted in the summer of 2020 in NewCon Press’s Best of British Science Fiction 2019. I am more than happy to email a copy of any or all of these if you’re reading for nominations – just let me know.

For the completists, here is the full list. Each story has a link leading to more information about where it was (or will be) printed.

Original Short Fiction

Reprints

Thanks for reading.

Mike

Two More Stories Now on Sale: Alien Wyrms Seek Immortality & a Pest Control Call Gets Wildly Out of Hand

The last few weeks have been a blur of stories coming out. It all feels a bit surreal. The last few days alone have seen two more hit the shelves. What with the US elections, working, supervising the kids’ virtual schooling, and trying to write new stories, my blog post is now a couple of days late – which means that the first of the books I was going to mention is now sold out!

Yup, Upon a Once Time, an anthology of fairy tale mash-ups from The Air and Nothingness Press, featuring my tale The Waters at the End of the Worlds, is all gone. Don’t worry, the publisher has already ordered a second print run, allowing a wider audience to enjoy the stories contained therein.

My own entry concerns alien wyrms intent on discovering immortality, combining two fairy tales with science fiction, with a few jokes along the way. For more information about this story and the book, follow this link. I hope you’ll consider buying the anthology – it really is very good. You can pre-order a copy from the second printing of this wonderful collection from the publisher here.


Also out now is Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion from Corrugated Sky Press, which includes my story Pest Control. Arkwright’s Pest Control Service is about to have a really bad day – they’ve been called out to an infestation of a type they’ve never seen before. Generally, the creatures they are asked to exterminate aren’t armed…

You can read more about this story here.

To entice you a little more, here’s the back-page blurb of the book:

Stories of the fae are wild and varied. From mischief-makers to baby takers, their supernatural abilities enthrall us.

But what if they were real, waiting and calculating a time to take back the world that was once theirs? Would they do it peacefully, or take over violently? Would humans even notice?

Dive into this anthology and explore the myriad possibilities of what a fae insurgence just might be like.

The book can be purchased from Amazon here.


I think things are going to slow down for the next few weeks, with only a story coming out in December’s Mythaxis and a novella being prepped for publication. On the charity fundraising front, a second Time Scope collection of Doctor Who stories is being put together for Christmas as well, and I am hopeful I will have an entry in that. As of right now, that may well be it.

But, if anything else happens, I’ll be sure to post about it. As always, thank you for reading (and reviewing) my stories. I do appreciate it.

Peace, and stay safe.

Mike

“Every Hat Is a Crown” To Be Printed in December’s Mythaxis Magazine

Visit Mythaxis’s website here

I am happy to say that another of my short fantasy stories in my Age of Asmodeus series will see the light of day in Mythaxis Magazine in December. Every Hat Is a Crown, like all the stories in the series, is standalone and requires no prior knowledge of its setting or characters.

In this story, sixteen-year-old Walleg and his pet raptor, William, find themselves in hot water with the king. In fact, if the king doesn’t get what he wants, not all the king’s dinosaurs, warlocks, and feudal lords will be able to put Walleg back together again. All this because Walleg wanted to kiss the daughter of a witch.

I’ll be certain to post when the December issue of Mythaxis comes out. Until then, there are a few other things to keep us occupied.

Out Soon

Next week (well, Halloween, technically) sees the release of two more of my stories. The Waters at the End of the Worlds is included in Air and Nothingness Press’s collection Upon a Once Time. This anthology of fairy tale mash-ups will go on general sale on their website in just a couple of days. They only have a small number of copies left from the first print run but they’re printing more! More details to come when the book is available for general purchase.

Corrugated Skies are also releasing a collection on Halloween. This one is about fairies rather than fairy tales, though. Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion will include my story Pest Control. This story is, you guessed it, also part of Age of Asmodeus. Never fear, it too is standalone. I’ll also be putting out full details of the book when it goes on sale.

Released Recently

The good folks at UFO Publishing wanted me to let you know about all the places where you can buy their lovely (and very funny) anthology, Unidentified Funny Objects 8. This book includes my story, Fifteen Minutes. I hope you’ll check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

UFO Publishing – eBook
UFO Publishing – Paperback
Amazon (eBook and Paperback)
Kobo (eBook)
Apple (eBook)

You can read a review of this great collection here.

I think that’s all for right now. There are some other things coming up in the next few months, but it’s better that I announce them closer to their release dates (I am very excited about them, though).

In the meantime, I hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy. If you’re in the US, remember to drop those votes off in person now!

Peace,

Mike

Two Stories Out This Week: A Helpful AI Causes Mischief in Japan & Humanity Has Fifteen Minutes to Stop an Alien Invasion!

October is off to a great start with two of my short stories available in new publications. Online magazine Penumbric features a reprint of my story of a very naughty AI in Japan, Something to Watch Over Us, and the latest (and eighth) entry in the world renowned anthology book series Unidentified Funny Objects includes my tale Fifteen Minutes.

Fifteen Minutes is set in the bustling metropolis of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the epicentre of a terrifying alien invasion that could threaten all life in, er, Telford, and maybe a bit of Much Wenlock. Possibly Herefordshire? Oh, those English towns, they’re always getting invaded.

For Colin Hamble, life suddenly got very complicated. He not only has to stop this invasion he has to do it in the next fifteen minutes!

Unidentified Funny Objects 8 can be purchased here via Amazon. I would; it’s a terrific anthology full of great stories.

Click image to learn more

The eighth volume of the popular series Unidentified Funny Objects features my story Fifteen Minutes

As if it wasn’t enough for me to be part of such an amazing book, my science fiction story of AIs, Japan, bad karaoke, climate change, and octopus balls, Something to Watch Over Us, has been reprinted in the latest issue of online ‘zine Penumbric, now available.

Click here to access the Penumbric website where you can view the magazine.

For additional information about Something to Watch Over Us, including where it was first printed, check out its dedicated story page.

There’s more stuff on the horizon, but I think I’ve bored you all enough for the moment. Hope you’re all staying safe, and – if you live in the USA – remember to vote!

Peace,

Mike

“Where the Monsters Are” Novella To Be Released by Hiraeth Publishing

Image: PA (via The Mirror)

It’s not easy selling novellas. That’s why I’m always nervous when I start writing a story and find along the way the word count is creeping up and up… and up. The normal solution is to cut as much as possible out of that early draft, and then to cut some more. Sometimes, though, the story needs to be a certain length. (Sometimes, if you cut everything fun and exciting out of a story purely so you can get it under 5,000 words what’s left isn’t worth reading, but that’s a rant for another day.)

Where the Monsters Are was such a tale; long but lean, with no darlings in sight to bump off, it refused to shrink in length, no matter how much I trimmed. By the end, I was left with a single depressing thought: “Damn, it’s a novella. No one will ever buy it. No one will ever get to read it.”

In despair, I submitted it anyway. And the wonderful Tyree Campbell at Hiraeth Publishing snapped it up. Just shows what I know, right?

So, what did Hiraeth purchase, exactly? Well, our tale of the sixteenth year of the Age of Asmodeus begins on the side of Loch Ness, with the fabled Nessie emerging from the frigid waters… What occurs after that features witches, a banshee, an internet-meme-made-flesh, a fairy, vampires in Edinburgh, more magic than you can shake a wand at, and a gunfight under the center of London. And more, because in a world where magic runs rampant, there’s chaos around every corner.

For Tensor, the leader of a death squad tasked with eliminating his fellow ‘monsters,’ life is going to be turned upside down. He’s going to find out precisely what’s going on, whether he likes it or not.

Where the Monsters Are will be published later this year.

Out This Week

LampLight Magazine Vol 9 Issue 1 features my science fiction story The Weight of Infinity

Previously announced as an acceptance here, my science fiction short story of immortality, aliens, and full body printing – The Weight of Infinity – is now out in the September issue of LampLight Magazine. You can buy it here on Amazon.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and, if you live in the US, remember to vote.

Peace,

Mike