Author Archives: Alistair

Novel: The Flies Dropped Dead

The Flies Dropped Dead, a 32,000-word short novel of dark science fiction, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Flies Dropped Dead 300x200A mysterious death, a constellation of dead flies.

Can Jonathan Canny find redemption at the bottom of a multiplying black abyss of science gone wrong?

Jonathan Canny is a workaday morgue staffer who thinks he’s seen it all until he discovers dead flies scattered around the body of a gorgeous woman. Canny turns to Lila, his ex-girlfriend, to seek some answers, but what they uncover engulfs the entire morgue in a creeping webwork of darkness, culminating in one man’s desperate struggle for redemption– even if is far too late for his beloved Lila.

A novel of dark science fiction by Alistair Ainscott.

“The Flies Dropped Dead” Copyright © 2012 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.com

 

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Filed under E-Pub, Indie Published Stories, mystery, Novels, Short Novels & Novellas, Stories Available

Five Story Collection: Crimes against Literature

Five Crimes Against Literature, a ~23,500 word collection of short stories, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/134335

Five preposterous tales of far-ranging absurdity.

Professionally published writer Alistair Ainscott unleashes a vile compendium of five literary transgressions, a special room in hell for the serious-minded: “The Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki,” “Occupy Stinking America,” “Maiden Voyage of the Pink Plastic Ponies,” “Captain Disaster and the Twin Terrors of Unholy Matrimony,” and “Why Oranges Are Apples”, plus an excerpt from “The Flies Dropped Dead.”

From aliens with bizarre sensory perceptions, a boy-with-bad-breath meets supermodel-girl story of wayward romance, a superhero who drives a rusted-out International Harvester Scout and saves a solo Dad from the clutches of his own twin toddlers, or a play with a swarm of eccentric characters– an inept vampire, the Pissy Flippin’ Bastards, the Harbingers of Doom, Death, Destruction and Other Nasty Things– well, what ends up on the page ranges from preposterous hilarity to full-blown crimes against literature.

“Five Crimes against Literature” Copyright © 2012 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Philcold | Dreamstime.com

 

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Filed under E-Pub, Indie Published Stories, mystery, Short Stories, Short Story Collection, Stories Available, Workshops

Short Story: The Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki

The Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki, a 3000-word science fiction story, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki 200 x 300

Sharpen your beaks, prickle your barbs, color your ears. My Kiki, my brothers, we must guard our broods…

The Kiki dwell contentedly in their hive until the odd roundy beasts plummet to the surface.

Chantelle and James, marooned on an alien world of banded stone and gaping chasms, take refuge in the warrens of the roach-like denizens of the planet. They find a peaceful, if uneasy, co-existence.

Until the baby arrives.

And they call again for help.

And Chantelle must choose: her baby or her life…

A strange tale of science-fiction by Alistair Ainscott. 

“The Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Innovari | Dreamstime.com

The Writing of the Ferro-Erotic Roaches of Kiki

This is one of the short stories that I wrote at the short story workshop that I did with Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith. To be honest it was the best received of the four stories that I wrote for the workshop. It has a strange voice for the parts told from the alien’s otherworldly point-of-view, funny in an odd way, but it mostly seemed to work for the twenty other writers who attended. This is interspersed with scenes from Chantelle’s (the protagonist’s) point of view.

Kris liked like the story and encouraged me to mail it or e-pub it (which I have now done).

Dean Wesley Smith loved the title. He must have said “What a great title!” three or four times.

This also may be the only science fiction story ever written about the Kiki / Bouba effect. It’s a real psychophysical effect. Look it up.

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Filed under Dean Wesley Smith, E-Pub, Indie Published Stories, Kris 'n' Dean Short Story Workshop, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Short Stories, Stories Available

Short Story: The Maiden Voyage of the Pink Plastic Ponies

The Maiden Voyage of the Pink Plastic Ponies, a humorous 1430-word science fiction misadventure, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Maiden Voyage Ponies - 200 x 300Wrangling twin preschoolers is no mean feat.  Especially to Mars. Especially when bringing their favorite toy violates quarantine…

Drake Derringer thinks he knows how to handle his preschooler twin girls until he has to figure out how to tell the family that he’s been relocated… to Mars. But they ain’t even gettin’ into Low Earth Orbit if his beloved girls can’t bring their beloved pink plastic ponies along. 

A silly tale of science fiction… with toddlers.

 

“The Maiden Voyage of the Pink Plastic Ponies” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Therealdarla | Dreamstime.com

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Short Story (Script): Why Oranges Are Apples

Why Oranges Are Apples, a strange and hilarious 4960-word short story (script) for a collection of Pythonesque comedy sketches, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Why Oranges Are Apples 200 x 300

A farcical play in eight acts of doom, death, destruction, and other nasty things.

The Shadow Guy, an inept vampire. The Harbingers of Doom, Death, Destruction, and Other Nasty Things. The Happy Elves, the Pissy Flippin’ Bastards, an outlandish pachderm wannabe. A medley of deranged characters assault the stage in this Pythonesque collection of comedy sketches that took the college theater circuit by storm, available as 100% genuine electrons for the first time ever…

Avast! We are the Harbingers of DOOM, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, and Other Nasty Things! You will be consumed by the totality of our unpleasantness, you will be sucked into the maelstrom of our sin…

A Play in Several Farcial Acts of Retching Hilarity, as originally produced at New Voices 9 by the “masque” troupe of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and performed at numerous other colleges in the United States and Great Britain. 

“Why Oranges Are Apples” Copyright © 2012 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Snumr | Dreamstime.com

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Short Story: Assailing the Void (Flash Fiction)

Assailing the Void, a 930-word short-short (flash) science fiction story, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Assailing the Void - 200x300What lies beyond the labyrinthine confines of the city?

Georg Ventman knows only the dim, cramped world within the megacity of a dark future. He needs to stretch. He needs to break free. He needs to assail the void with a two-fisted gesture of exaltation.

A short science fiction story of escape from a dystopian future by Alistair Ainscott.

 

“Assailing the Void” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Kydriashka | Dreamstime.com

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Short Stories #35, 36, 37 Finished

I wrote an ultra-short on Sunday night (the title is longer than the piece itself!). I dreamed the story in a state of semi-consciousness as I woke up, and jotted it down on the iPad. It’s so short I almost didn’t bother mailing it, but there it was, a bit of finished clutter taking space in my mental closet, so out it went.

I also finished off a 3,500 word story that I started last week, and figured out the ending for another flash fiction piece– a raw punch-in-the-face sort of story– that had been fermenting and just needed a bit of attention to reach that magical point of completion.

So, a little over 4,000 new words, and three more stories in my 2011 Short Story Challenge done. So, I’ll hit my original goal of 40 stories pretty soon here, and I’ve decided to go full out for the stretch goal of 50 stories. I’ve hit a pretty good pace recently so 13 stories in 7.5 weeks actually is looking pretty doable at the moment as long as I don’t get knocked too far off the pace by holiday distractions.

I also have some words in the bank already. There are first drafts of three or four more stories lingering from previous weeks that I haven’t mailed yet because they need some light editing work. I am discovering rather quickly here that I really hate editing, even though I have tons of experience doing exactly that for many years in my non-fiction writing. In the realm of fiction new words are king and that has been the constant focus of my attention this year.

In other news I received word that one of my stories has moved on to the final batch of stories being considered by a pro-paying market for an upcoming issue. So, it may sell or it may still end up getting rejected. Either way, my job is just to write the next one.

The mail brought six rejections (one story twice) and I mailed out five pieces. So, my race score has dipped to 27 despite the new work, until I figure out where to turn around some of those rejected pieces.

One of the new stories I also haven’t mailed yet because I wrote it with a specific market in mind that I wanted to sent it to first, but the market is temporarily closed. I will probably hold that piece until the market re-opens– if I send it out somewhere else it may not come back in time for the submissions window.

Or I may try writing another story for that same market and see which one I like best. I did this for the Borderlands 6 Anthology, which I mailed a story to a while back. I wrote and finished one story with the anthology in mind, but another idea was nagging at me, so I wrote a second, totally different story as well. Then I just mailed the story that I liked best to the anthology. Will the editors like it too? Who knows, but I feel like a took a good shot at it and sent them the best story I could write now.

UPDATE: Got all the finished manuscripts out in the mail (except the ultra-short; note to self: 25 word stories are not that marketable). Race score breaks 30 for the first time!

 

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Rejections, Short Stories, Story Challenge 2011