David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia’

Hear my song!

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Image result for hear my song film

I loved that film! From a time before Superintendent Ted Hastings was running down bent coppers and anyone who doesn’t do things by the book. See the picture, Adrian Dunbar can smile. “I’ve been born in peace time. I haven’t been where you’ve been. I haven’t seen what you’ve seen.”

I digress, we’re talking about MY song. But not really.

Podcasts. If you prefer to read with your eyes closed, or with your hands free, or some such thing or combination, three of my stories are available for your ezy-listening pleasure. Just click on the links to be taken to the horror destination of your choice.

“If he looked out of the window now, into the night, he knew that there would be no street, no sky. Just a dim hallway, thin walls rattling with the wind tunnelling though it, rain dripping from a soggy ceiling. This is all that there is.” Good Boy

“His shame was exposed, the scar where a shell splinter had torn through his groin and ripped away his manhood. Albert no longer cared. He was counting the moments until he died.” Some corner of a Dorset field that is forever Arabia

“Transformation by force: a man enters the shop at noon. He walks through the door to the tinkle of the bell. Once inside, he reaches around and throws the bolt of the lock. He twists the sign from Open to Closed. He faces the woman in the store as she stands alone — the power of the words ‘in broad daylight’.” The gods of the gaps

Or perhaps you are an odd sort of bird, the type who actually wants to hear a song. Well, I suppose there is this:

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The thing was globular in the moonlight. Heavy breasted. Round haunches curving to a woman’s thighs that soon became dog’s legs. Or a jackal’s.

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm

And now you can see what that looks like! Very happy that my story in CHTHONIC has been graced with an illustration – you can see it in the Martian Migraine Press video, just click here. Don’t give her a kiss, you don’t know what she has been eating.

Read for free …

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2017 at 4:02 pm

… you know you want to!

Christmas is coming, as I can tell from the 4.30pm sunset. O Southern Hemisphere, I miss you and your heatwave Christmas! A hot roast lunch with a side of cold prawns. Hot Christmas pudding, followed by pavlova with chilled fruit and cream. Everyone knows Jesus wasn’t born in winter …

I digress. If you are so interested, the following of my tales are available for your (free) reading pleasure. In the words of my father, don’t say I never give you anything. Just click on the titles to be transported to a winter wonderland (possibly of hell and suffering, but a wonderland nonetheless). All this by way of prelude to a new story being published in the next few days.

My Life as a Lizard

Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia

This Neil Armstrong is not dead

The Big Reveal

 

 

 

 

Coming in December …

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Hanging out with HP Lovecraft and Ramsey Campbell, amongst others …

Long listed

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2015 at 3:42 am

My alter-ego Lloyd Connor is very pleased that his story, Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia, appears in the long list of recommended horror stories of 2014 from Ellen Datlow. I eagerly await her yearly anthology of horrible goodies, so it is a big massive thrill for me to make that long list. Thanks very much Ms Datlow!

(And you can read the story here for free in Three-Lobed Burning Eye)

Insert huge smiley face here!

Who do you think you are, George Orwell?

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2015 at 4:06 pm

(Having published five short stories (one of them twice!) its fairly important that I make an arse of myself by drawing a comparison between George Orwell and, well, moi.)

I purchased a copy of a slim George Orwell volume, ‘Why I write’, part of the Penguin Great Ideas series, last (European) summer when I was in Paris. To be honest, I was in Shakespeare and Company, and I wanted to buy something so they could stamp it – there was nothing in the book I didn’t already have in some other compilation.

In the title essay, Orwell gives his reasons for writing: sheer egoism; aesthetic enthusiasm; historical impulse; and political purpose. I can understand Orwell writing such an essay – after all, he was a brilliant writer who wrote great works, he was an insightful thinker, and his thoughts on writing were worth recording and sharing. For a long time, I liked to think that I shared such motives, but the fact is, the first, and maybe a version of the second, are the only ones we share. And that’s ok by me, because I’m not George Orwell and as much as 1984 is on my list of favourite novels, and my copies of his books of essays are well dogeared, I am never going to produce work like that. (Neither am I going to fight in a Spanish war or go undercover as a tramp, and that is all fine by me.) And of course, not being George Orwell, my motives are of no interest to the world. But dear reader, seeing there is just the two of us here, I figure there is no problem with me sharing a little in this private place where no one else treads – its not like this is going to be sold to tourists in Shakespeare and Company on an overheated day where beers call one’s name like frothy sirens from tourist traps along the Seine, is it?

I write for pure pleasure, and that is why I often don’t write, because it is not pleasurable. I write because if I write often enough, sometimes I can live in the moment, and its just me and words, and they are coming out right, and some weird shit is coming together on the page in a way that pleases my inner ear, and I am not worrying about work, or bills, or the calls and demands of my family (whom I love – honest). None of that is any guarantee that what is coming out is any good, but I am enjoying it, it is pleasing me, and that is cool, because the internal critic has wandered off somewhere to annoy someone else for the afternoon.

And the pleasure is the passing of time engaged in something I enjoy. There is no historical impulse – there is little history in a story about a man who used to be a lizard. There is no political purpose, or none I can discern in a man receiving a telephone call from his dead son. I have aesthetic enthusiasm, but it is personal, and it is about words sounding right (to me, most likely to no one else) in service of whatever strange idea I am playing around with.

I think the main thing I am trying to do is please a particular reader. He’s a 16 year old boy with a sense of humour and a hunger for the strange. The compliment he likes the most is, how did you think up something that weird? He has some vague hope that maybe he could make a living as a writer. He’s long gone now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing stories for a 16 year old audience, certainly not a 16 year old audience of today. The boy might not even like or understand the story if he read it. I just like to think he would give an approving nod to the impulse behind the story, if that makes sense.

So in a strict sense, the aim in writing is not publication. Though true, that is also a lie. Mere publication does not impress that boy – he has read plenty of shit in his years. But he has also read the Dangerous Visions books, with Harlan Ellison’s comments in one or other of his introductions that writing for the trunk is masturbation, and  he agrees, what is impressive is to write the thing you want to write, and then find someone willing to publish that. So, getting a nod to the impulse, and then another nod that, hey, you managed to place that piece, well done, that’s what I mean by impressing that boy.

So yes, sheer egoism, I understand that, compliments are good, editorial acceptance is great, and impressing that boy is fine. So where is all of this going?

Last year I published a story under a pseudonym with a good magazine. I had written it originally for a themed anthology, then let it lie dormant after rejection. I came back to it and worked over it a number of times. The style was different to most of my other stories, and I had a genuine aesthetic enthusiasm for it, trying a couple of different things: telling two different though related stories; one set in the past but moving forward, the other in the present but using a series of flashbacks; and having two main characters who would never meet. I am always happy to place a story, don’t get me wrong, but I was particularly happy that this story had been accepted, that someone read it and liked it, and others would have a chance to read it.

For personal reasons, there were a couple of tiny aspects of the story I thought it best not to have associated with me in another capacity at the time – no self censorship, I just didn’t need a particular complication. So I decided to use a pseudonym. As publication time approached, I wondered how that would feel (remember, I’ve only had four other stories published, so there is a novelty in seeing my name in the byline) given sheer egoism is a motivating factor.

I kind of liked it. Most of the genre writers I admired from the good old days used one or more pseudonyms. I got to make up my own name (which ended up being a tribute to both my parents and The Terminator). I have no cachet attached to my own name, so the magazine lost nothing. And I loved seeing the story in existence, out there in the world.

Which is all a very, very long winded way of saying that if you are interested, check out ‘Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia’ (just left click on the title) by that cool new writer, Lloyd Connor, in a recent edition of Three-Lobed Burning Eye magazine – it’s tops (and now I am doing an Anthony Burgess, except his review of his own work was slightly longer, and more critical, than ‘it’s tops’ – then again, I’m no more Anthony Burgess than I am George Orwell). You can even hear Mr Connor read the story in a very serious voice that sounds remarkably like my own attempt at gravitas. (Don’t tell him about the mispronunciations though, he must read more than he speaks.) Mr Connor is I understand very grateful to 3LBE and to its editor, Andrew S Fuller.

And of course, after all of that, ‘George Orwell’ is a pseudonym so, me and Eric Blair, we have that in common as well. (As well as what?)