Hyrmnal

Image taken from page 621 of 'History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with genealogical and biographical sketches'

I am excited to announce that my short story “Hyrmnal” will be published this week by Daily Science Fiction . The story will be posted on their excellent website and emailed out to the subscribers to their free newsletter.

Update 2 September: Published TODAY – click to read 

This is my second published story after “Inundated” in the Ecotones anthology back in December. Where Inundated was long, this one is short, around 1100 words, and is a weird little story….Let me tell you how it began.

One of the ways I motivated myself to write last year was taking part in the SFFworld  monthly short fiction writing challenges. Each month we are given a theme and have to incorporate it into a story of about a thousand words of science fiction or fantasy. At the end of the month participants and members of the website vote on their favourite.

The theme was “musical instruments” and I had no idea what to write. I have little musical talent, perhaps because I have poor hearing – I actually hear in mono, though my recent hearing aids do help a bit.. I did the usual student strumming on an electric guitar, years ago, but without ever becoming what you might call…  good. One day I  taught those same chords to my kid brother and he quickly turned out to have an inner Hendrix.

I promptly gave up in disgust.

I don’t really hear lyrics when I listen to songs. I don’t read music and I don’t really know much about it, beyond the joy of listening. I was utterly stumped. So I sat in front of the TV trying to think of some way to ‘fake’ a story about musical instruments.

The programme on TV was about snails. Gastropods. They’re fascinating  – both repulsive and beautiful. I was transfixed as these “belly-footed” grotesques oozed across the screen. The story wrote itself…

“Coryde walked onto the podium to play her snail…”


Daily Science Fiction has thousands of readers and I’m elated to be published there. Also terrified. One early reader of the story told me that it gave him nightmares. I blame his weak constitution.

Jonathan
43 year old wastrel and writer...

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