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The website of author Steven Pirie



For you, Short Story, the war is over...

It’s nice to report that top UK dark fiction Magazine Black Static has accepted a short story of mine for publication. This will mark my third appearance in Black Static, although as yet I don’t know what issue will carry the story.

The story, War and Death According to the Common People of Hansom Street, is 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.

What resulted was a story with no real protagonist, no real plot and instead consists of a number of linked, real-time vignettes set over a very short period of time. It’s filled with ordinary people, none of whom want to be heroes but rather just want to live out their lives. I also added an ethereal character (loosely based on Death itself) whose appearances are often fleeting and deliberately vague, and whose induced confusion is an extended metaphor for how I imagine living in grave situations during warfare must feel to such ordinary people.

I’ll be interested to read any comments on this when published. I imagine opinion will be somewhat polarised—people will either ‘get it’ or not, will probably like it or loathe it. Because of this I feared I might struggle to place this story, and so I’m doubly pleased that Black Static saw its worth and decided to take a chance on it.



added 19th September, 2012





I picked up a couple of Honourable Mentions in Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror Anthology. Whilst there were 608 HMs in all, and it could be argued that they are 'close but no cigar' entities in that the stories mentioned didn't make it into the actual anthology, my inclusion never-the-less made me smile.

Ellen Datlow

I suppose we cling to any nod that we're heading in the right direction. And there is, of course, the thought that Datlow is amongst the top editors in her field.

First mention was for my story This is Mary's Moon, published in Black Static issue 22.

The second was for 'Ruth Across the Sea', published as a flash fiction winner in issue three of Shock Totem.



added 21st April, 2012



Fresh on the heels of Donald's Kindle debut, I can report that my second novel, Burying Brian, is also now available at Amazon for the Kindle.



Links to Amazon are below, and again my thanks for looking in should you choose to do so:

amazon.co.uk
amazon.com


added 28th March, 2012



My first novel, Digging up Donald, is now available at Amazon for the Kindle.


Basically, it's a sprawling plot of a comedy that tells of a small town, semi-rural England family and their fellow town's folk, and how they might battle the demons of Armageddon. In it I wanted to explore just how far I could place the ordinary alongside the extraordinary, and if I say so myself the tone of the tale is unique. It forced me to find that elusive entity, my own authorial voice.

"It was biscuits at ten paces."

I really love that opening line. How can anyone battle with biscuits? Only where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.

The novel was first published in hardback in 2004. It then saw release as a paperback in 2007. The sequel (though in truth it's more of a second book in the same universe), Burying Brian, will also be on Kindle soon. Along the way a number of people whose opinion I respect have said some wonderful things about Digging up Donald.

Such as::

"...not simply one of the most
enjoyable books I've read this year,
but one of the most enjoyable
books I've read for many years."

Steve Redwood,
author of "Fisher of Devils"
and "Who Needs Cleopatra?"

"This reviewer found himself dreading
finishing the book - it truly is that
entertaining a read."
Kevin Etheridge, The Horror Express

"Pirie's book is a shot in the arm of a
jaded genre and if there's any justice he
will be welcomed with open chequebooks
by the devotees of comic fantasy."
Peter Tennant, The 3rd Alternative review

...the best book I have ever read in my entire life...
Garry Charles, Amazon.co.uk review

Links to Amazon are below, and thanks for looking in should you choose to do so:

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com


added 14th March, 2012



A reprint of my story To Pull a Child from a Woman has now been published online for free at Darker Magazine.


The story first appeared in Sein und Werden in 2007, and again in the Sam's Dot anthology Sideshow 2 in 2010.


added 13th January, 2012



Black Static's Peter Tennant and Andy Cox have kindly allowed me to reproduce in full Peter's review of Burying Brian from Issue 22 of Black Static.

Read the review




Black Static

Peter Tennant


added 18th December, 2011



I'm happy to report Burying Brian is now available in a variety of e-formats priced at $6.00 from Smashwords.


Also available is my critically acclaimed first novel, Digging up Donald, along with a free-to-download chapbook, Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats, which I think is a reasonable sample of what you can expect from Donald and Brian.

Thank you so much if you should choose to stop by.


added 5th November, 2011



I have a rather stunning review of Burying Brian in issue four of Shock Totem.


Reviewer Robert Duperre says:

"The Prose Pirie uses is clever, never dull,
and brings about a sense of poignancy
that does what the best literature is
supposed to do-make you think."

and…

"Burying Brian is the best book
I've read in a long time…"

I've known Rob online for some time now. Indeed, I'm a fan of his own no-nonsense style of writing in his blossoming trilogy The Rift.
And it's not the first time Rob has offered help to me in building my writing career. Back in 2004, when I'd just had Digging up Donald published, Rob and his now wife Jessica Torrant helped place Donald in an arts festival they were involved with. It's a feature of the writing community that there are nice people like Rob and Jessica around who are selfless in their willingness to help out.

Thank you so much, Rob, for the review and your continued support.


added 23rd October, 2011



My short story This is Mary's Moon is now published in issue 22 of Black Static.



This is Mary's Moon is the 'sister story' (in that it grew from the same seed before going its own way) to my tale "The Spring Heel", published in Haunted Legends anthology and itself gathering favourable reviews.

The artwork, by Dave Senecal, and pictured below, is also rather stunning.



Also included is Pete Tennant's fabulous review of Burying Brian, in which Pete says such nice things as:

"…the gentle humour that informs this work, the self-mocking way the characters have about them and the beguiling prose with which Pirie captures their actions and attitudes."

and...

"…you marvel at Pirie's ingenuity and his ability to continually find some phrasing that will put a smile on the most curmudgeonly of faces…"



And as if that's not enough of me, there's also an interview in which I discuss amongst other things the battle of the sexes. If you want to know who won, and the fight was dirty I can say, then you need to buy Black Static 22.

It's available at TTA Press




added 29th April, 2011



The first review of Burying Brian has surfaced on the Internet at The Future Fire. My thanks to reviewer Carey Gates who says:

"All in all, Burying Brian is a
charming and entertaining read."

Read the full review:




added 19th January, 2011



Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats

The Internet's full of shameless self promotion. So, here's some more

I've compiled a chapbook of four short, humorous stories and made it available for free download at Smashwords.com. It's a taster, of course, in the hope that you'll enjoy my writing and look in on Digging up Donald and Burying Brian.

It's called Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats, and this is the cover:



It can be downloaded for free here:




added 16th February, 2011



Haunted Legends wins the 4th Anual Black Quill Awards.

Congratulations to editors Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas, and to all the other authors concerned. It's nice to see the anthology doing so well.

added 6th February, 2011



My story Ruth Across the Sea is now available in issue three of Shock Totem.


Amazon.com


added 15th January, 2011



My story This is Mary's Moon is to be published in issue twenty-one of Black Static due for release in February 2011.

I wrote this story at the same time as The Spring Heel, published in Haunted Legends below. In some ways it shares a similar theme, and indeed I wrote Mary's Moon because I wanted to explore that theme in a wider sense than the Haunted Legends submission guidelines allowed.

So, to have both stories taken by two fine publications is gratifying indeed.


added 26th December, 2010



My story Ruth Across the Sea is to be published in issue three of Shock Totem due for release in January 2011.


added 22nd December, 2010



Burying Brian is here!

My new novel, Burying Brian, is now published by Immanion Press. And I'm happy as, well, happy can be!



It's been a long time coming--the first novel, Digging up Donald, was published way back in2004, and the gap is a reflection of how much more difficult it felt to produce the 'right' follow up to Donald.

Donald received some wonderful criticism. There were many glowing reviews, and in all the time the book 'drew interest' I saw only one negative-ish report bemoaning it wasn't that particular reader's cup of tea (and even that review held more good comments than bad!).

Because of Donald's reception, I've felt more pressure to 'produce' with Burying Brian. Of course, whether I've done so successfully is now at the whim of the reading public. And I'll maintain to my dying day that humour is by far the most difficult sub genre in which to write.

Brian has taken six years to write. Oh, I took lots of breaks in that time-more than I should have, probably-so it's not six 'solid' years in the making. In my excuse I'll say that if I wasn't writing I was certainly thinking about the project (if, like with Donald before it, I claimed thought time as well as physical writing time then I doubt I'd ever be able to suggest how many hours the project has taken).

But I'm happy with it. I like to think there's enough clever humour in there compared to Donald, and the style of writing is very concurrent. Like Donald, Brian is a gentle comedy, written almost as if in simpler times. But hopefully it still has enough edge to be relevant today.

I need to thank Storm Constantine and all at Immanion Press for being patient with me. I hope for their sakes if not my own that the novel is a success.

Brian also has his own Blog here: Burying Brian

There you may ask him questions, poke him cruelly in the ribs, or stroke his ego until his spine goes soggy.


added 14th December, 2010



Peter Tennant and all the nice elves over at TTA Press are running the now annual Advent Calendar, in which during December a story a day is recommended for viewing (and encouraged for discussion in the TTA Forum).

I'm happy to say my story Sixty Seconds of Christmas in a Victorian London Alleyway has been selected for 'day 13'.

The link to the Advent Calendar is here:



Of course, rather strangely it links back to on this very website, all of which could become dangerously recursive should you allow it.


added 13th December, 2010



My story To Pull a Child From a Woman is now available in the anthology Side Show 2: Tales of the Big Top and the Bizarre published by Sam's Dot Publishing.


The story, which I think is one of the best I've written, tells the tale of the lowly Hobo and his fear of the Clown Master, Whiteface. But it's also about love, and loss, and longing, and how ultimately simple Hobo yearns for nothing more than the basic things in life most of us take for granted--that of a mother's love.


added 5th December, 2010



My story The Spring Heel is now available in the antholgy Haunted Legends published by Tor Books and is already gathering very good reviews.

Click the picture to see an enlarged image.



Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas,
the anthology includes:

Knickerbocker Holiday Richard Bowes
That Girl Kaaron Warren
Akbar Kit Reed
The Spring Heel Steven Pirie
As Red as Red Caitlín R. Kiernan
Tin Cans Ekaterina Sedia
Shoebox Train Wreck John Mantooth
15 Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku & the Jotai Catherynne M. Valente
La Llorona Carolyn Turgeon
Face Like a Monkey Carrie Laben
Down Atsion Road Jeffrey Ford
Return to Mariabronn Gary A. Braunbeck
Following Double-Face Woman Erzebet YellowBoy
Oaks Park M.K. Hobson
For Those in Peril on the Sea Stephen Dedman
The Foxes Lily Hoang
The Redfield Girls Laird Barron
Between Heaven and Hull Pat Cadigan
Chucky Comes to Liverpool Ramsey Campbell
The Folding Man Joe R. Lansdale

Haunted Legends at TOR Books
Haunted Legends at Amazon.com


added 20th October, 2010



I had hoped Burying Brian would be out by now. The original plan was for a launch at Fantasycon in September. But, a delay in the production of the cover artwork has done for that notion, and it would seem I'll need to be patient for a little while longer. Everything else is in place and ready to go, so hopefully the delay won't be too long.

Lucas Swann is providing the cover this time. Musician and artist, I've not met Lucas, but it would seem he is an energetic, extroverted character, and I'm intrigued to see what he will come up with.

Lucas Swann

added 1st October, 2010



Issue 13 of Murky Depths magazine is now available including my story The Goodship Hyperdrive.


"The Goodship Hyperdrive" is a humorous tale of love and lust and deeply esoteric physics. This issue also features an exclusive comic from the master of mirth himself Robert Rankin.

added 25th July, 2010



The latest indication is that, Burying Brian, will be available by Fantasycon in September, 2010.

The cover art is to be provided by Lucas Swann.


added 31st May, 2010



My new novel, Burying Brian, is to be published in 2010 by Immanion Press.

This also means a stay of execution for my first novel, Digging up Donald, which was due to be taken 'out of print'. With Brian's emergence it's been decided that Donald will remain available as a print edition for the time being.

The thinking is that should a reader of Brian enjoy that book, he or she might think to pick up a copy of Donald too.

I'm happy old Donald is hanging in there; I've a soft spot for the lad.

Digging up Donald has now been made available as an e-book, and can be downloaded in a variety of formats sure to be compatible with any e-book readers.

The price to download is a meagre five US dollars, and it may be bought at smashwords.com.


To celebrate, Donald now has his own Blog.

Donald's Blog

Why not pop over and say hello, make a comment, ask a question, or even hurl abuse?


added 26th November, 2009



My short story, The Goodship Hyperdrive, is to be published in 2010 by Murky Depths magazine.


added 15th November, 2009



My short story, Ruth's Dying Breath in the Night, is now published in issue 8 of Necrotic Tissue magazine.



added 23rd September, 2009



British Fantasy Society
FantasyCon 2009
18th - 20th September
Britannia Hotel, Nottingham

Gabriel Strange has made a film of the short story that eventually grew into my novel Digging up Donald.

I'm happy to say it will be screened as part of the British Fantasy Society FantasyCon this year in Nottingham.

The film is entitled Mr Abershaw's Happening Day and will be shown as part of the ShortFilm Showcase.

Hopefully, when Gabriel has finished using it, I can persuade him to let me post it to YouTube.


added 23rd August, 2009



My flash fiction story, When Norman Dreamed, is now published in From the Mouth anthology from Sonar4.



added 6th July, 2009



Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas have now released the table of contents details for the upcoming Haunted Legends anthology to be published by Tor in 2010.

It seems I've joined a rather tasty list of authors involved in the project.

My story, The Spring Heel, is based (surprisingly :-) on the Spring Heeled Jack legend - the long-legged, rather spindley character who was reportedly seen regularly on dark nights leaping about the streets of Liverpool (amongst other places).

Table of Contents:

Knickerbocker Holiday Richard Bowes

That Girl Kaaron Warren

Akbar Kit Reed

The Spring Heel Steven Pirie

As Red as Red Caitlín R. Kiernan

Tin Cans Ekaterina Sedia

Shoebox Train Wreck John Mantooth

15 Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku & the Jotai Catherynne M. Valente

La Llorona Carolyn Turgeon

Face Like a Monkey Carrie Laben

Down Atsion Road Jeffrey Ford

Return to Mariabronn Gary A. Braunbeck

Following Double-Face Woman Erzebet YellowBoy

Oaks Park M.K. Hobson

For Those in Peril on the Sea Stephen Dedman

The Foxes Lily Hoang

The Redfield Girls Laird Barron

Between Heaven and Hull Pat Cadigan

Chucky Comes to Liverpool Ramsey Campbell

The Folding Man Joe R. Lansdale


added 13th June, 2009



My short story, To Pull a Child From a Woman, is to be published in the anthology Side Show 2: Tales of the Big Top and the Bizarre available February 2010 from Sam's Dot Publishing


added 29th April, 2009



My short story, Ruth's Dying Breath in the Night, is to be published in Necrotic Tissue October edition.


added 21st February, 2009



Parlez vous Francais?

My short story, The Love Ship Guide to Seduction in Zero Gravity , is now published in French in Galaxies magazine.




added 3rd January, 2009



My short story, The Book of Ruth, is now published in Black Static magazine.




added 13th December, 2008



My 500 word flash story, When Norman Dreamed, has been accepted by Sonar 4 Horror and Science Fiction Anthology with a projected June 2009 publication date.

Sonar 4


added 21st November, 2008



My short story, Leonard Rom is now published in Premonitions magazine.




added 1st November, 2008



My short story, The Spring Heel, has been accepted by the Haunted Legends antholgy.

Edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas, the anthology is to be published in mass market paperback by Tor Books in the summer of 2010.


added 3rd September, 2008



My short story, The Book of Ruth, has been accepted by TTA Press's Black Static


added 5th July, 2008



My short story, The Love Ship Guide to Seduction in Zero Gravity , is now published in issue three of Murky Depths



"Steven Pirie writes an amusing tale of a middle-aged crisis and a high-tech, very expensive weekend away. The interaction between the characters develops almost unnoticed until you're suddenly aware of both points of view. Very cleverly written."

Gareth D Jones, Whispers of Wickedness review


added 15th March, 2008



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