shorter stories

These are my shorter, tighter, lighter stories (think one-off film). I'll be adding to them fairly regularly, so expect the list to grow. As a writer, I find these fun to create. They're freeing, simple and feather-light. They are the soufflé of stories. Currently, these shorts amount to over 100,000 words.

Dervish 458

Written in 2019 and just under 13,000 words (46 pages, approx), this is pure sci-fi with just a dash of horror (but no gore).

I wrote this: first, to get back into writing after being too busy being that other guy; and second, as a challenge to write a purely character-driven story with no dialogue.

There is no God

I know because He told me

Written in 2019 and just over 13,000 words (48 pages, approx), this is a speculative sci-fi, Fermi paradox stuff with a Creator angle.

This I wrote - in juxtaposition to Dervish - to explore the use of realistic dialogue. I also wanted to try a contrasting character and I was challenging myself to come up with a story to go with the title (which came to me first).

Ascent into Madness

Written in 2020 and 9,000 words (38 pages, approx), this is a speculative scf-fi about ascension and the idea that knowledge too can chain us.

I've been wanting to explore the idea of madness for a while and thus to attempt to write a character experiencing it. I set it in Venus because it's just such an interesting place. And what I learned during my research of the planet, I applied to Love is a Red Balloon.

An Original Thought

Written in 2021 and just over 13,000 words (54 pages, approx), this is a speculative story regarding social media, race, the power of an idea and the human condition.

I've been trying to get this story out of my head for some time. My first attempt ended up as After the Rise. The problem was that I didn't have an angle, a premise, to root the story in. But finally my brain figured it out: an interview. They say you shouldn't have favourites, but...

A Light Beyond the Stars

Written in 2021 and a little under 15,000 words (64 pages, approx), this is a science fiction story (with just a pinch of the speculative) and deals - from a unique viewpoint - with the environment (the love of the natural world), the intimacy, intensity, of a close relationship and the ease of cultural misunderstandings. It also tries to wrap its tiny mind around the all-bending issue of... time.

Like No God, I came up with the title before I had any idea as to the story, except that it was to involve a cause-effect time travel paradox, and be told from a non-human perspective. See a light, travel to its origin point to stop said light, and...

The Final Incidence

Written in 2021 and over 18,000 words (80 pages, approx), this is a philosophical science fiction story about simulation, reality, real and artificial, God the universe and everything. What will happen at the end of time and how will we know it, and it know us? Big hand, small map stuff.

I started this story thinking I was writing The Observer Effect, but I decided that whatever that is, this wasn't that. This is a story with a different focus. I like that the characters are new, and not derivative of previous stories. And I like that it's present tense but isn't engaging the reader directly. It's more as if the reader is merely viewing, which is key to the story.

The Man Who Lived at the End of the World

Written in 2023 and at 18,000 words (74 pages, approx), this is a simple science fiction story wrapped in a relationship between two adolescents battling to save their World.

I was on a long flight, and bored, so I challenged myself to come up with a story idea. And this is it. It's speculative, but mostly it's a science fiction story based around these two characters and what they mean to each other. So it's love and sacrifice. Oh, and all while trying to save the World.

The Observer Effect

Written in 2023 and at over 12,000 words (58 pages, approx), this is a philosophical science fiction story exploring the idea of what would happen if we all woke up one day to find that we were being (we thought) watched. How would that affect us, individually and societally? So, an observer effect story from the perspective of the observed. There's a little AI in there too, as it's hot right now.

It's in four bits: a child's diary in the days after, a woman's letter to her husband postulating how to define and understand it, interviews with some key people, and finally a conversation about the who and therefore the why. The last tying back into the first three.

The Humans Must Die

Written in 2023 and at over 19,000 words (94 pages, approx), this short story is one of those where the title came first, and then I had to wrap an idea around it. So, there's some race, some prejudice in there, but it is more about what immortality means, at a species level. What would such a concept – currently being actively pursued – do to us? Our evolution. Are we at the point where we would want to stop, because that's what immortality would do; we would stop dying and so evolving, growing, learning, trying to better ourselves as a species. Quite a scary thought.

A fun little story, told in a light way, but with a bigger idea lurking over the shoulder of the characters.

How do I get hold of one of these shorter stories?

If you like what you see here, please get in touch. I am more than happy to discuss any or all stories, and send samples out or whole scripts. My intention is for these stories to  be published, and I am working on how best to achieve that.

So, if you want to read a story, that's great, get in touch and I can  send you an ePub. If you want to partner up for publication, again, I would be excited to hear from you. Everything with a blurb is finished, edited, formatted, and good to go.

Mark J. Suddaby | writer