Not Being First Fish – second edition with illustrations and six new stories

book cover not being first fishI don’t have to launch my books, they just slip their moorings at dead of night and sneak off. This one, ostensibly by the elusive P Spencer Beck, made its escape yesterday. Described by one reader, who may or may not be a friend and who may or may not have been referring to letting it get loose at all, as ‘sheer lunacy’, this is a work of non-fiction. Little diary snippets reliant on the single perspective and grossly biased memory of the one observer so most likely of dubious veracity.  Not exactly fake news, more hake news, i.e a bit fishy and likely to go off quite quickly if you think you recognise yourself. To check whether or not you might be able to sue, assuming you’re willing to own up to whatever you think you’re described as doing, it’s here. 

These are what pass for reviews to date. Sigh.

‘Laughing so much the receptionists came over to see what was going on’. Reader in a dental surgery waiting room. Doesn’t say if they’d already had gas and air.


‘I’d recommend it.’ Reader doesn’t say why, which is a bit of a worry.


‘Why haven’t all ladies of a certain age read this?’ Reader who seems to think it’s a manual of some sort.



Unlocked: five more audio tracks of poems & short stories

All from the Let me Tell You a Story anthology.

Here’s ‘Tantric Twister‘ by multi prize-winner Tracy Fells, who is also a very naughty girl! Lyn Jennings, who isn’t – here reading her poem ‘Heatwave’, and you know you need that as the nights draw in up here in the north!

There’s Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s gentle poem, ‘Mrs Moreno’,  about grief and comfort, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers’ insightful ‘Breastsummer‘, an awakening so many of us will recognise.

Finally, a bit of sci fi; a tale of first contact but not as we know it, Jim. This is ‘When Gliese Met Glasgow – and Muira made a mint’.

The print book is on sale at Amazon 


“Aliens on Your Sofa”

Today, we’re off to the Vet’s and it’s the turn of Ms Muppet and General Montgomery … Aiming for nonchalance, I set out the two carriers in a separate room.  These are minutely explored, inspected and then inhabited by every cat except my two targets so that guerrilla tactics have finally to be employed. Nabbing Ms Muppet, who is essentially a two-cat-cat-in-a-one-cat-pack, I go for the cooperative approach, pointing her at the entrance to the carrier and shoving gently from behind. So she does what cats uniquely do under those circumstances and morphs into a star shape, grabs the sides of the carrier and hangs there like a gigantic Garfield. I regroup.  Pulling backwards, I haul cat and carrier across the room, narrowly avoiding a backward somersault into the litter trays. Ms Muppet lets go to huff off into a corner and sits with her face up against the wall. I sneak up, apply an arm lock and propel her bum first into the box.  Door shut, cat contained, job done. Now for the General.

From ‘Aliens on Your Sofa’, a Not Being First Fish diary drama. Find on Amazon UK and US. 

Corroboration – Simon’s Cat, in Box CleverWe’ve all been there, haven’t we?

‘Baby Bird’: new SF short story

‘I keep thinking we should have left it to die, you know, rather than do what we did …’ on Read Short Fiction today. A tale of a personal road to hell paved with the best of intentions. What choices would you have made?


‘Arthur’s Stone’

Crow on a branch Galerie Janette Ostier, Paris

Image via Wikipedia

‘Arthur’s Stone’ is up today in October’s issue of Full of Crow.  I’d be chuffed to little mint balls if you would go and take a look.

Madness: new nano fiction post

In the bleakest corner of hell and damnation, Clarisse had finally found sanctuary. Knees pulled up around her ears, gown pulled down as far as possible towards her bare feet, she plucked and twitched with her fingers over the abdomen containing His Child. continued here