Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Ontogenesis – New Story in Wyrd Daze

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

You can read my new short story, Ontogenesis, which begins with the line

I took Jesus to the river because I wanted to be rid of all that.

in the latest issue of Wyrd Daze. Available for free download right here.


Artwork by Emma-Jane Rosenberg



Sunday, February 14th, 2016

If you could smell my latest short story it would probably reek of mildew and frogspawn. It’s called Dāgônime. You can read it in the latest issue of Wyrd Daze.

Here’s the opening…


By Martin Hayes

A three week wait. It kind of took the shine off the illicit and risqué nature of it all. Illegal drug deals – in the films they always seemed so exciting. But not here. Not in London. Not in the rain and sleet with the thousand-ton grey slate sky hanging inches above your head. Bill stood there like a lemon and held the crumpled fifty in his damp fist and hoped to fuck that it would all be worth it.



Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Should really have mentioned it ages ago but issue 16 of PUSH magazine is out now. Features my short story Amelia, plus lots of other interesting and worthwhile stuff.

You can grab a copy from the PUSH shop here. And check out the blog while you’re at it.

All the previous issues have sold out, so this won’t be around for too long.


Status as of April 27 15

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Nothing happens for ages and then lots of little things happen all at once. It’s a feast or a famine round here.

Later this week you’ll be able to buy the latest issue of PUSH, a magazine edited by Joe England which continues to go from strength to strength, selling out its ever increasing print runs in record time. My story, Amelia, is in issue 16.

I’ll also have a story called Notes From Some Other War appearing in Wyrd Daze. No publication date yet. You could probably call it a very loose and vague HPL mythos story. Or maybe you couldn’t. I don’t know.

I sold another story to the world’s premier science journal Nature. (Every time I sell a story to the “world’s premier science journal” I cackle at the sheer audacious absurdity of such an event ever transpiring) It’s my fifth story for those guys. God bless ‘em. It’s called Like Buses and will probably appear in a month or two.

What else, I’ve been navigating rivers in a vain and arrogant quest for enlightenment and a story. The river in question had to be walked in three stages, from sea to source, and I’ve currently written the account of the first leg only, which came in at 6000 words. Not sure what I will, or can, do with this. It’s going to be an awkward size – too long for some venues, not long enough for others. Perhaps some journal might serialise it. Who knows. It will appear though, even if I have to just bung it up on the web.


STOP PRESS! We’re getting the band back together. Fresh from the yeti-sized triumph that was Abominable Glory, the creative team of Martin Hayes (writer), Chris Askham (artist), and Bram Meehan (letterer/designer) are back at it with an all new comic project. Not out until September and all ultra hush-hush for now, but keep your eyes peeled because this is going to be good. A bit weird too, as it means I’m now getting emails from one of the real greats of the comic industry, whose work is one of the reasons I wanted to get into this lark in the first place. All will be revealed.

What else? I’ve been reading a lot about W.B. Yeats and his relationship with Aleister Crowley (oh fuck, not Crowley again) for a little article I’m writing. And George Russell, too, who went by the name AE. I’m beginning to see George Russell for what he really was: Ireland’s truest genius and visionary.

photo 5

Work on another project had me reading both volumes of Austin Clarke’s autobiography and, indeed, a trip to the site upon which his house used to stand was called for, way out in Templeogue. The house is now demolished, wiped from the surface of the earth to widen a road and a bridge. Perhaps embarrassed at their own impudence, the authorities renamed the bridge in his honour, staged a grand ceremony and unveiling, but didn’t bother inviting any of his family members. Ireland, my Ireland.

Clarke had lived in England for many years with his wife and three children when, in 1937, he began to grow uneasy, fearful in his bones that another war was in the offing. He wired funds to his mother in Ireland with instructions to buy a house for him to return to. Several were looked at before Clarke decided on Bridge House in Templeogue.

Clarke’s mother, a god-fearing woman, had always been dismayed at her son’s lack of faith, at the fact that all his fiction had been banned in Ireland by the Censorship of Publications Board, and so, she took her son’s money and bought the house at Templeogue as he’d requested. But it was only when Clarke arrived back in Ireland, ready to move in, that he learned his mother had bought the house with his money but in her name, and arranged through an arcane legal mechanism known as usufruct that he would have only a life interest in it. Upon Clarke’s (and his wife’s) death, the house would pass, free of charge, lock, stock and barrel, into the hands of the Catholic Church. To the Propagation of the Faith, to be exact.

What a nice pious lady she must have been. To do that to her son.

Clarke’s poem, Usufruct, written at Bridge House, begins…

This house cannot be handed down.
Before the scriven ink is brown,
Clergy will sell the lease of it.

Do yourself a favour, go and read some of Austin Clarke’s work. It’s all well worth a look. Here, this’ll get you started.


New Story in Push 15

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

I wrote a story a long time ago that was hellish and nasty in both tone and plot. I’m all for both those things in fiction, but this just felt too nasty and so, I left it sitting in the abandoned folder on my hard drive and did nothing with it. It was called Green-eyed Monster.

Even after I heard that PUSH were doing an “ultra-violence” themed issue, I thought long and hard about whether to submit it or not. But I did. And now it’s out there.


New story coming soon

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Was happy to hear yesterday that my short story Shattered Glass in Shingle will be appearing in the next issue of PUSH. Issue 13 should be out in around 3 weeks, I believe. All details at the link.

Pick up an issue if you can. If it’s good enough for David Peace, it’s good enough for me (and you, you slags).

david peace

Pic taken from PUSH editor Joe England’s blog.

Couple of stories on the way

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

This August my short story Echoes will appear in DREAMS OF SHADOW AND SMOKE – Stories for J.S. Le Fanu, a tribute anthology from Swan River Press, edited by Jim Rockhill & Brian J. Showers. SRP’s publications are things of beauty, just incredibly well put together hardback books, and it’s an honour to be included in such a fantastic line-up.

All details here.

Great cover by Jason Zerillo.


Then in September my short science fiction story Me am Petri will be reprinted in the Futures 2 anthology, a collection of 100 stories that have appeared in the Futures section of Nature over the last few years. Published by Tor. Really great to be included.

They haven’t revealed the full cover yet but here’s a cropped version.


Howard Loves Polly

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

My latest story appears in this week’s issue of Nature. You can read it here, if you fancy it.



Nature again

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Another short story sale to NatureHoward Loves Polly will appear within a month or two, I should reckon.

First review of Get It Down

Monday, November 25th, 2013

David Longhorn has posted a nice review of my just-released short story collection Get It Down and Other Weird Stories on the Supernatural Tales blog.

This is, I think, a pretty impressive collection of stories, most of which pack a lot into very few words. Strong stuff, interesting stuff, and above all promising stuff from a writer with the ability to surprise.


Click here for book and ordering details.

New story in FLURB #13

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Rudy Rucker just released the latest issue of his webzine Flurb. Thirteen new weird stories, including one by me called A Bigger Piece of Nothing. You can read it here.

It didn’t used to be called that. It used to be called something much worse. And the original ending was, thinking back on it, awful. But Rudy set me on the right path and I rewrote the thing and now it’s much better. Thanks Rudy!


New story in Flurb #12

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I’ve got a story called Concerning Tavia in the latest issue of Rudy Rucker‘s mighty webzine FLURB.

It was rejected  by an editor once for being “too romantic.” Which was not something I ever expected anyone to say about a story of mine.

And if that hasn’t put you off then click here to read.

New story from Bruce Sterling too!


Immune System Response

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I recently submitted a short story to the science journal Nature. It would have been my fifth story to appear in the magazine (my fourth will be appearing in the Futures section of an upcoming issue). I knew the story was a little odd and that acceptance for publication was a long shot, and, indeed, it wasn’t to be. But I did enjoy and appreciate the response from editor Henry Gee.

Dear Martin – I loved ‘Immune System Response’ and agree with every word of it. Unfortunately it’s less a story than a cry of inchoate rage, so probably isn’t for Futures. I like cries of inchoate rage, though, and look forward to seeing it on your blog.

A more diligent and assiduous writer would no doubt rework the story, make it better, make the inchoate choate, and try to sell it to another magazine. But it’s been a long, grey, dreary summer and I honestly haven’t got the energy for any of that. So, here you go.

Immune System Response

By Martin Hayes

It began in London at 9.42am during an Agony Aunt segment on a mid-morning television call-in show. A worried mother had just phoned in to ask for advice about her sixteen-year-old daughter who wanted a breast enlargement operation for her next birthday – all the girl’s heroes from magazines and tv seemed to have had one. There was a stirring in the audience, subtle at first, murmurings, people shifting uneasily in their seats. Call it a rush of blood to the head, or just the unexpected realisation of how utterly deplorable and bereft of hope their culture, their society, had become – suddenly a large section of the audience stood up en masse and began to forcibly rip their seats from the floor. Muscles strained and eyeballs bulged as the plastic seats were torn from their steel brackets. The concrete steps crumbled as rawlbolts were ripped out. The audience then hurled the seats at the presenters and guests, killing one and injuring three. By 10.10am there were reports on the news channels calling it an outbreak of mass hysteria and/or a possible terrorist attack.

The next recorded incident took place at 10.33am at a race track in Wilthsire. Three presenters from a popular motoring show were racing their wackily inappropriate cars around the loop when a crowd of approximately 350 people broke down the chain link fence that surrounded the property and crowded onto the tarmac. The wacky presenters had no choice but to stop their cars. They were dragged from their vehicles, bound and gagged, tarred and feathered, gutted and garrotted, and left to rot like the dogs they were on the waste ground in the middle of the track. Before he was gagged, the biggest one cried and pleaded with the crowd that he wasn’t really like that, that it had all been just an act, he did actually recycle and he was worried about the environment, he just said that he wasn’t for money and the applause of idiots. The smallest one, a coward in his heart, had tried to bargain with the crowd – if they would only let him go, he would help them to kill and torture the other two. The medium sized one just looked resigned to his fate. He seemed grateful, if anything.

Just after midday a fifty-two year old man whose daughter was missing, a presumed victim of a serial rapist and killer, was door-stepped by a reporter from a low-end tabloid. She asked the grieving father how he felt and if there was any comment he would like to make and she looked utterly surprised when he punched her in the face. Neighbours, cheering, spilled from their doorways as she fell into the flowerbed that separated the driveway from the crazy paving path. Seven of them clambered over walls and hedges and they carried the reporter to the end of the street where they threw her into a skip. They bludgeoned her to death with stray pieces of building waste before burying her under a large mound of household detritus.

At 2.14pm in London, an ex-glamour model was proudly signing copies of a novel which she had not written. The bookstore’s large front window shattered as she was shot in the throat by a forty year old man with a hunting rifle from a rooftop across the street.

At just before 3pm the über-bland presenter of a popular televised singing contest was accosted by a group of pensioners who set about kicking and punching him. A helicopter news crew caught the altercation on camera as the enraged septuagenarians were heard to shout, “Who is this charmless man? Why is he always in our living room?”

At 3.34pm, just as a press conference began in the PR suite of a league-winning football team, a reporter slowly began rocking back and forth with his head in his hands. He took a deep breath and knelt down; unable to listen to anymore dull-witted, borderline-incomprehensible witterings, he untied his right shoe and leapt across the table where he began to batter the overpaid and undereducated player’s large potato-shaped head in. A feral look of instinctive fear flashed across the simian faces of the other players. They tried to work out what was happening but their brains could not hold onto the thought for long enough to fathom it out, so full were they of petty racism, misogyny and greed.

And so it went for eleven more days, all across the globe, and it did not stop until every awful one of them was gone – the uninformed but opinionated, the toadying, the racists and the dumbers down, the selfish, the self-entitled, the utterly untalented, the greedy and the mawkish and the proudly ignorant. If you feed people a diet of shit washed down with piss, they’ll develop a taste for it, they’ll want nothing more. If you nourish them with beauty and sincerity, with genuine emotion and truth, they’ll soon strive to emulate those qualities.

It was as if the species had suddenly realised that it would never advance, never progress, if this infection was not combated. And rather than let it fester, nature deemed it better to cut out the putrid meat and cauterize the wound. The entire species had undergone a planet-wide immune system response against a virulent and insidious contagion.

And on the morning of the thirteenth day, the world was a slightly better place.

The end

© Martin Hayes 2011


This is the bio, which would have followed the story . . .

Martin Hayes hates your stinking culture. Kirby is King. Ditko rules, OK? Bring back Bagpuss. And Children of the Stones. Ted Chippington spoke the truth. Ballard for Dead President. Machen for Mayor.

Forthcoming, sooner or later, hopefully before we’re all dead in our beds.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Someday, Somewhere – short story in an upcoming issue of Nature.

Staring Into The Eye Of A Blackbird, You Can See The Things He Likes And The Things He Doesn’t – six pager in a currently beyond top secret and therefore unnameable anthology comic.

Get It Down

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I’ve got a new story called Get It Down in issue six of Innsmouth Free Press. Glad to see this story finally creep into the daylight. The first editor I sent it to passed on it while stating that it was “frankly, mad.”

Which is fair enough really.

Click here to download the full issue as a PDF. Very nice cover by Jason Juta.


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