These are my novellas. They tend to come when they come, usually, when I think I'm writing something else (in length). The Scarborough Shoal Sequence are independent stories and still in production. The Novelette is the outlier. Novellas are funny things, tilting more to the short form than the long. The antithesis of the Goldilocks presumption, perhaps.

Love is a Red Balloon

Written in 2020 and just over 20,000 words (74 pages, approx), this is a coming of age styled story, with gender and diversity themes (but which isn't targeted at young adults) and with a tale about love at its core, but not quite as it first seems.

This lovely little story came into being after I was challenged by a dear (younger) friend to write a story with love as the theme (Penny knew just how brain-bending that would be for me; clever, clever!). So I decided to take a peek at neurodiversity, and because Penny is younger and hot under the collar about many things, I worked the identity angle.

The War of the Three Systems

Book One of the Scarborough Shoal Sequence

Written in 2020 and 45,000 words (180 pages, approx), this is a speculative story about three brothers and the realities of fighting wars in space (but it isn't a war story or hard military sci-fi). It does has spaceships, though.

A few years ago I wrote a story telling the history of man, but I didn't like the writing style and binned it. This story is a salvage from that. It's about the hard realities of war once we take that uniquely human endeavour into space. I plan to retell that old story idea as a series of linked, but independent novellas. This - the first - tale is told through the eyes of three quite different brothers.

Shattered Light

Written in 2023 and over 28,000 words, (120 pages, approx), this is a pure science fiction story about the effect of the observed upon the observer, flipping the Observer Effect idea on its head. It is also, I hope, the first element of universe building in which other stories will be based.

I acknowledge some Banksian influences with this story, and make no apology for that. I wanted to write something with a ballerina assassin at its core and set the scene for other stories within this world. This is not a homage to Banks' Culture but it does absolutely borrow from that. Hence the dipping of a toe into societal forms, something Banks had a sensor receptor for.

The Difference Engine

Coming soon. Think parallel worlds (I've always wanted to do a parallel worlds thing).

The Highest Hill in the Sky

Book Two of the Scarborough Shoal Sequence

To follow.

God's holy trousers, how do I get me some o' these phantasmagorical novellas?

Good question, made-up person. I’m still trying to figure that out.

They say that with the advent of ebooks and Amazon/Kindle (other online bookstores exist) and all the interneting, that publishing a story has never been easier. They lie. It's now far more difficult because everyone's at it. Authors, channels, choices abound, and while the quantity has shot up, I'm not sure that quality followed with it. And once you self-publish well then you've given up your chance to be traditionally published (I know, I know, but you have, face it). And I see trad publishing as the true test of my worth as a writer. If my writing doesn't make a suit take a punt on me, well then, maybe I'm not the writer that I'd hoped I was.

So for the moment, if you want to read any of these stories in full, mail me and I'll be so ecstatic to hear from someanyone, I'll gleefully send you an epub to read on your reader.

Right now, this site is primarily focused on finding a traditional route to publication.
If you're a suit and like what you see, get in touch and I'll send any manuscript in any format/style you want. I'll make the tea, too, if you like.

mark j. SUDDABY | writer