Paul Blake, the author of A Young Man’s Game, brings you twenty-seven short stories in this extraordinary collection of thriller, historical fiction, and sci-fi tales.
A small taste of some of the stories you’ll devour…
Hazy Shade of Winter – Stephen Kemp of MI6 is recuperating in Lake District when he hears of twenty nuclear bombs detonating in cities across the UK.
At Night – A grown-up story about the monsters under the bed finding their child has been taken. Meet Spider, Blade, Rot, and Murk the Night Terror.
(Nothing But) Flowers – ‘I see the body on the ground and it takes me a moment to realise it is mine. I look around for my head.’ A story about death and what happens next.
Out of Space – Major Pitman wakes up to a damaged spacecraft and a dead co-pilot…
The Rezal Principle – Stoddy Rezal is a custodian aboard the space freighter HXN8435, day-dreaming about improving his situation in life until he accidentally presses the button for the airlock.
Set Fire to the Rain -Ichabod Kilton is the lamplighter in Blowing Rock. The town with unending rain. He must light the lamps before they come.
The Evil That Men Do – A painting appears overnight in the National Portrait Gallery. How did it get there and is it what it appears to be?
Mob Justice – An assassin lies in wait for the Judge in the Al Capone trial in 1930s Chicago.
The Battle at Kilburn High Road Station – A battle on top of a moving train and a commuter looking for a date. It makes for an explosive ending.
Thoughts and Prayers – This story follows the first responders to an active shooter situation in a school. It takes them far beyond their fears.
Settle down, put your feet up, with a glass of your favourite drink beside you (alcoholic or otherwise), and leap into this collection of exciting and suspenseful stories.
What readers have said about some of the stories in this collection
“Reads like a movie script forcing vivid imagery into your head.” Hazy Shade of Winter
“This was intense. Intense is good, intense is great. Highly descriptive.” At Night
“The imagery and descriptions were all fantastic, with particular kudos to the post-death opening scene.” (Nothing But) Flowers
“I thought this was a very visual piece throughout, and I got a good sense of claustrophobia. That feeling definitely added to the sense of panic and suffocation as the story unfolded.” Out of Space
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I write at least one short story a month. I normally place them on my website for free. After I had built up twenty I decided to publish them in book format. I took each story and reread them with a view to making changes to improve them. Some stories only needed a few changes, others were extended to make them a better, more satisfying read. I also included a couple of brand new stories, including a prequel to my novel A Young Man's Game.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
When writing I come up with the story first, plot and setting. The character comes second. I make the character fit the story rather than the story fitting the character, for example, a story about a mysterious painting appearing in the National Portrait Gallery was told from the director of the gallery's perspective.
Set Fire to the Rain
Ichabod Kilton crossed the street. The muddy ground was rutted by the passing of the steam-powered cars earlier in the day. The unending rain had helpfully filled them, so Ichabod didn’t know if he was going to be stepping in a shallow puddle or if his boots were going to be submerged again. He wore leather trousers to keep as much of the water out as he could, but he could feel the mud oozing through the gap between trouser and boot and working its way down to his toes. His vision was hampered by the heavy helmet he wore, sides hanging down to guide the rain to his shoulders rather than to his neck. His peripheral vision was limited to the rectangle of openness in front of him. To see to either side, he had to turn his whole body. Ichabod likened himself to a racehorse during a race, the blinkers focusing his purpose. His purpose this evening, as with every evening, was to light the gaslamps around town before the night crept in to steal away the townsfolk’s souls.
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