Lucky Newman is one of the main characters in The Horseman’s Dream. Once a Bootneck, now a PTSD-addled investigative journalist, he has a serious bone to pick with the Establishment. In this article from his his independent newspaper, he takes aim at Alice Grosvenor, a media magnate who now rules what was once the United Kingdom with a chemical cosh, powerful propaganda and a ruthless security force of foreign mercenaries.
So, lockdown continues. What a year we’ve had. I hope this post finds you all well, despite the ongoing madness. Rather than get too political or opinionated about it, I thought it might be better to make a little offering in the hope of cheering you up a bit. It’s with great pleasure, therefore, that I present to you the Halloween 24 hour Kindle flash sale. That’s right: I’ll be making all three of my Kindle books on Amazon free to all for one day only. The offer starts midnight Pacific Standard Time (LA), 4am Eastern Standard Time (New York) and 9am Greenwich Meridian Time (London) and runs for 24 hours only, so don’t miss out!
Perhaps you’d like a little escapism in this alternately cosy and gritty crime novel GREY NOISE, in which a disturbed Liverpool sound engineer falls in with the wrong crowd and is forced to hide out with them in a Welsh farmhouse when things go awry?
Or maybe you’re after something a little more esoteric? How about an existential, dystopian adventure that embraces both sci-fi and the occult? Find out just how bad things could get if we allow the MSM unchecked power and access to both cutting edge and ancient technologies to gain power in THE HORSEMAN’S DREAM.
Or why not go with my first book, A SMALLER HELL: a darkly comic satire on the corruption and perversion that goes hand in hand with authority, wealth and power, even within the confines of a traditional British department store at Christmas.
Or why not go the whole hog and download all three? You’re bound to find something in there to suit the mood, especially in times like these …
Whichever you choose, I hope you have a grand old time with the worlds and characters I’ve created. Not quite all out horror, but there’s something in each to provide a chill or two, whether that be the unsettling Jekyll and Hyde personality of Patrick in GREY NOISE, the ruthless cruelty of Alice Grosvenor in THE HORSEMAN’S DREAM or the well-concealed perversions of Dianne Doyle in A Smaller Hell. Have fun!
US readers: https://www.amazon.com/A-J-Reid/e/B001KMLL8C/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
UK readers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A-J-Reid/e/B001KMLL8C?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1604068153&sr=1-1
CA readers: https://www.amazon.ca/A-J-Reid/e/B001KMLL8C?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1604068153&sr=1-1
AUS readers: https://www.amazon.com.au/A-J-Reid/e/B001KMLL8C?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1604068153&sr=1-1
If you don’t fancy a whole novel or you are unable/unwilling to access the Halloween Kindle Flash Sale, why not check out some short stories or interactive fiction for FREE?
Circumstances have forced me into launching this novel before it strays from fiction into reality, which, as beta readers will know, has already happened to some extent (fascist government, technopropaganda, floods, corporatocracy, disease, quarantine, pharmaceutical/spiritual/psychological warfare etc.). Lately, we’re all being pushed further down the rabbit hole with Covid-19, Lockdown, QAnon, Epstein, Virtual Reality, Neuralink and 5G conspiracy theories, so I think it’s not such a bad time to put it out there.
So is it Sci-Fi, Dystopian, War, Adventure, Psychological Horror or what?
It’s all of those things. I always hoped that my big project might serve as a warning about where we’re headed politically, culturally and spiritually. The novel’s message aligns with the great William Blake’s line “A Horse misus’d upon the Road Calls to Heaven for Human blood” from his wonderful poem Auguries of Innocence.
Thank you to:
My parents, who have always supported my writing ambitions, albeit nervously, sometimes! My Art and English teachers from secondary school, Alan Blain and Gary Hopkins, not only for their guidance on critical analysis and craftsmanship, but also for their moral support. Reverend Ridley, my school chaplain who also gave me great inspiration for my writing. My first boxing coach, Brett Jones, who sadly passed away a few years ago. The epitome of a gentle giant, he was a great influence in terms of weighing power and fighting spirit with kindness and responsibility. All the truly investigative, independent journalists and whistleblowers sticking their necks out and fighting for truth. My wonderful beta readers, some of whom have blamed me for recurring nightmares and altered states of consciousness! Sorry about that.
Here are a few words from those beta readers:
“One of the best books I’ve read in ages.”
“I really love the pace of it and it just completely sucked me in. Barely noticed where we were and that last line was so poignant.”
“I found the characters relatable and easily sympathised with. They’re very human and well thought out, also enjoyed some of the world building being left to the imagination. You gave us just the right amount of info without making it too prose heavy.”
“McCole was excellent. I really liked the hints at his past but obviously being a very closed off individual, he never disclosed it himself: it was down to the interpretation of the reader.”
“The story very much became mine.”
“Weirdest book I’ve ever read. Not normal.”
“I’ve not slept for a week.”
Ok, so it’s not for everyone. But if you’re broad of mind and hardy of psychological constitution, please give it a go. If you enjoy symbolism and esotericism, I believe you’ll get an extra kick out of it.
2020 is off to a flying start with another writing competition win, this time for a 500 word story called “Hashtag Junket”. It takes place on an island to which an actor has been invited to promote their latest film. Or so they think.
Writing Magazine hope to publish the results in an upcoming Competition Special: I will update as I receive news.
Thanks to all the staff at Writing Magazine and my readers for their support.
Pleased to announce that “Chop Chop” has won 1st place in Writing Magazine‘s Single Character short story competition.
Writing Magazine described the story as “chilling” and will publish it in the March issue.
The idea came from a 5 a.m. walk in the snow, at which time the local butcher was the only other person awake. As I watched him work, I considered that routine and loneliness could make for an explosive reaction if left long enough in the dark. Could butchers grow to hate meat and how might that manifest in psychosis?
I’m happiest with my work when I’m still sorry/glad for the characters long after I’ve finished typing and this was certainly true for the butcher. His story is about the cages that people build for themselves and how our culture happily provides the materials.
Although it’s a bit dark, it has a positive message through catharsis … I hope. Huge thanks to all at Writing Magazine for my first writing competition win of the new decade.
Hope you all enjoy the story and Happy New Year!
Short Story/Poetry/Artwork/Music Links
Check out some of AJ’s other stories here. Poetry here. Doodles, preamp circuits and blues jams here.
"Memorial" is a utopian short story set in a world where death no longer exists. It charts a family's trip to the "memorial" site, where they can experience death through the consciousness of a famous poet of their choosing. #ComingSoon #RareExoticBreeds #ShortStoryCollection
Disgraceful move by Naftali Bennett to commence his term with violence and not negotiation. Thousands of people have been left devastated, living among rubble following the recent spate of violence on Gaza. The bombing must immediately cease.