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District of Wonders

Gary Dowell, Assitant Editor at District of Wonders contacted me about taking my story, Mrs Wilson and the Black Arts of Mrs Beelzebub From Number Six" , for inclusion in the soon to be formed Far Fetched fables. This is an audio project, and as such it's always interesting to see how an independant narrator will interpret my writing. When it goes live, I will, of course, post links here.

The story was first published by Robinson in the Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy.

added 5th May, 2014

Recent Reviews and Comments

Some reviews of Rustblind and Silverbright are now in. Of my story, Not All Trains Crash, reviewer Nick Jackson has this to say:

"Steven Pirie's 'Not All Trains Crash' is a more conventional train crash ghost story but exquisitely related through the eyes of its young protagonists, sisters in search of a truth which has been withheld. A very convincing cast of characters carries the narrative to a most touching finale which is also something of a requiem to the age of steam."

Whilst reviewer Sami Airola says this:

"Steven Pirie's Not All Trains Crash is a touching - and almost heartbreaking - story about ghosts. Ghosts are often associated with horror, but this story isn't horror. Not All Trains Crash is a story about ghosts that are trapped where their train crashed. The author writes beautifully about the ghosts and their situation."

Meanwhile, the inimitable Des Lewis, says this:

"“She feels the clunk of a million points changing lines.” A prose threnody on the half-life of ghosts, so utterly touching, so rail-track rhapsodic, with even education being meted out to those who still survive the tunnels of birth or death, factored into by Dickens’ ‘Signalman’ plus a theme and variations upon a collaboration of the words Rustblind and Silverbright. Here we know.

[Very proud that Steven Pirie's work once appeared in the ancient Nemonymous anthologies with “Mary’s Gift, The Stars and Frank’s Pisser”]."

My heartfelt thanks to all who reviewed and said such nice things!

added 9th November, 2013

Andromeda Spaceways 58 Has Landed

My story The Bedroom Ceiling is now published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Issue 58.

From the ASIM website:

ASIM 58 has been lovingly edited by founding ASIM member Edwina Harvey, and it’s crammed full of tentacular goodness (and of other varieties as well).

Thrill to the gorgeous cover art of Alan Englert, and marvel at the wonderful internal illustrations of Lewis Morley, the poetry of Leslie J Anderson, Brit Mandelo, and Alexandra Seidel, and the customary book reviews. Plus, of course, the fiction: Annabel Acton, Marie Alafaci, Nigel Brown, Renee Carter Hall, Liz Colter, T L Fordwalker, Jennifer Lott, Pete Mawhinney, Robert J McCarter, Ian McHugh, Simon Petrie, Steven Pirie, Robert Porteous and Felicity Pulman.

As per usual, there’s a nutritious dead-tree edition and a choice of environmentally friendly, electron-bothering electronic editions (pdf, mobi, and epub) to tickle your fancy and maximise your reading enjoyment.

added 28th August, 2013

Looking Landwards

Looking Landwards is to be published by NewCon Press on the 28th October, 2013 and will contain my story Mary on the Edge.

Below is the official promotional material:

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of
The Institution of Agricultural Engineers

Cover by Andy Bigwood

With the impending crises of climate change, scarcity of water, dwindling energy reserves and spiraling global populations, the effective management of our land and the food it produces has never been more relevant. Established in 1938 by a small group of far-seeing and enthusiasti cengineers and agriculturalists, the Institution of Agricultural Engineers provides a professional nexus for the scientists, technologists, engineers, and managers working in the many and varied forms of land-based industry. In 1988 the IAgrE marked its 50th anniversary with a publication that considered the changing face of farming and agricultural engineering over the previous half century. In 2013, to mark their 75th anniversary, they have chosen to commission a book that looks forward at what the future might hold. To help them achieve this, they approached NewCon Press. Looking Landwards represents NewCon Press' first ever open submissions anthology. We have been overwhelmed by the response, receiving submissions not only from within the UK but also from the USA, Australia, mainland Europe, Africa, and Asia; from professional writers and would-be writers, from scientists and engineers who are actively involved in dealing with the book's themes to people who have simply been inspired by them. Looking Landwards features the very best of these stories. Twenty-three works of science fiction and speculation that dare to look to the future and examine what lies ahead for farming, for agricultural engineering and for all of us.

1. Introduction by Andy Newbold and Chris Whetnall of the IAgrE
2. The Blossom Project - M Frost
3. Contraband - Terry Martin
4. When Shepherds Dream of Electric Sheep - Sam Fleming
5. Inversion Centre - Darren Goossens
6. Ode to an Earthworm - Gareth D Jones
7. A Touch of Frost - Renee Stern
8. The World Coyote Made - Jetse de Vries
9. Earthen - Alicia Cole
10. Soul Food - Kim Lakin-Smith
11. Charlie's Ant - Adrian Tchaikovsky
12. Cellular Level - J E Bryant
13. My Oasis Tower - Holly Ice
14. Throw Back - Gill Shutt
15. Mary on the Edge - Steven Pirie
16. Landward - Den Patrick
17. Long Indeed Do We Live… - Storm Constantine
18. Tractor Time - Kate Wilson
19. Veggie Moon - Neal Wooten
20. Wheat - Kevin Burke
21. Blight - Dev Agarwal
22. Black Shuck - Henry Gee
23. A Season - Rebecca J. Payne
24. The Last Star - Nigel Edwards
25. About the Authors

Released 28th October 2013, Looking Landwards will be published as: A5 paperback (ISBN 978-1-907069-59-8) Price: £11.99 (UK), $20.99 (USA) A numbered, limited edition hardback, each copy signed by all the contributing authors: (ISBN: 978-1-907069-58-1) Price: £29.99


added 25th August, 2013

Rustblind and Silverbright

Rustblind and Silverbright is now published by Eibonvale Press. My story, Not All Trains Crash, joins a host of train-related offerings from such notable writers as Rhys Hughes, Joel Lane, Andrew Hook, Aliya Whitely, and many more.

From the back cover:

"Trains occupy a special place in the human psyche. The twin threads of the rails forge ahead from place to place, the ultimate symbol of travel and connection and all the hopes, fantasies, fears, reasons, romance and excitement that come with that. The links between points, the bridges and tunnels, are always so much more profound than borders or walls. And yet you travel these links through a world that is isolated from normal life and unique to itself. The railways are so mundane and taken for granted, passing through the backs of your cities and towns, yet they are worlds that cannot be visited, cannot be known. Worlds that can only be glimpsed from blurred windows or from the far end of the platform. Hidden places. Private places. Places where the ordinary and the secret meet. This was the mood in which Rustblind and Silverbright came into being - a book of railway stories that aimed to look far beyond what you might expect from classic horror or sci-fi. Like any good journey, the scenery of this book is ever-changing. You will ride the rails of language and imagination through many and varied places - some almost unendurably disturbing, some bleak and miserable, some surreal and strange, some touching and moving, some absurd and comical, some exquisitely beautiful. This is a collection that ranges widely from the almost-familiar double-track line of slipstream fiction to the grungy metro of sci-fi and the dark and sparsely served branch line of pure horror, while the squawking locomotives of absurdism jostle with still stranger trains that ride to - other places."

Table of Contents:

Act 1
Tetsudo Fan – Andrew Hook
On The Level – Allen Ashley
The Wandering Scent – Aliya Whiteley
To the Anhalt Station – John Howard
Death Trains Of Durdensk – Daniella Geary
Vivian Guppy and the Brighton Belle – Nina Allan
The Last Train – Joel Lane
Writer’s Block – Stephen Fowler (prose poem)

Act 2
Northern Line Tube Announcement – Anon (Flash Fiction)
The Path of Garden Forks – Rhys Hughes
District to Upminster – Marion Pitman
Wi-Fi Enabled Bakerloo Sunset – RD Hodkinson
Stratford International – D McGroarty
The Cuts – Danny Rhodes
Sleepers – Christopher Harman

Act 3
Embankmen – Gavin Salisbury (Poem)
Sunday Relatives – Douglas Thompson
The Engineered Soul – Jet McDonald
The keeper – Andy Coulthard
Escape on a Train – Steve Rasnic Tem
Choice – Charles Wilkinson
Not All Trains Crash – Steven Pirie
The Turning Track - Mat Joiner and Rosanne Rabinowitz

Buy Rustblind and Silverbright at:
Barnes and Noble
Eibonvale Press

added 2nd August, 2013

added 2nd August, 2013

Rustblind and Silverbright
Upcoming anthology from Eibonvale Press

My story Not All Trains Crash will appear soon in Rustblind and Silverbright, a new 'railway' themed anthology from Eibonvale Press.

added 7th June, 2013

Sein und Werden
Winter 2012 - The Ironic Fantastic

My story The Women Who Point at Men's Hearts is now published in Sein und Werden The Ironic Fantastic.

Edited by guest editor Rhys Hughes, and published in two volumes, this is Sein's last print issue before moving to electronic formats only. The story is my second to appear in Sein und Werden, and is somewhat surreal and experimental in nature.

added 2nd June, 2013

Black Static
Issue 31

My story, War and Death According to the Common People of Hansom Street, is now published in the premier UK dark fiction magazine Black Static.

The story, carried in issue 31, marks my third appearance in Black Static, and is quite possibly one of the most subtle pieces of writing I've ever produced. I wanted to explore warfare on the smallest, most personal level, to suggest war itself is mostly made up of little individual wars that may take many forms-both internal and external.

I imagine opinion will be somewhat mixed--people will either 'get it' or not, will probably like it or loathe it. It will be interesting to see just what reaction, if any, it gets.

Buy the print version
of Black Static

Buy the electronic
version of Black Static

added 2nd June, 2013

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Issue 58

I submitted a story The Bedroom Ceiling to Australian magazine Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and received a super-quick acceptance back which will see me appear in issue fifty eight. This will be my third outing in ASIM, which suggests I'm doing something right as far as they're concerned.

added 2nd June, 2013

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