Left over life to kill

Years ago I saw this photo online. It’s some kind of super-yacht, but it looked so dystopian to me. Like something a billionaire would sail on when the rest of the world has erupted into war and sunken under melting icewater.

he’d be totally fine in his yacht, enjoying the fine life while everyone else suffered. Then my imagination wandered… maybe it wasn’t just a billionaire relaxing. Maybe he was sailing the world, hunting out and killing the few remaining people.

I finally got round to writing a story about this. Of course it became more nuanced. There’s a killing machine in this story, a cyborg. Made from a real human. What would happen when the war finished? Would the killing machine still wander the world seeking out to perform its duty? What happened if the programming that kept it as a cold, ruthless monster, started to fail. What if it began to remember what it was before.

Who it was before.

Read Left Over Life to Kill in Nature Futures

The Whisper Place – audio story

A very short story of mine, The Whisper Place, has been narrated by The Centropic Oracle, aims to publish and showcase the artistic works of science fiction/fantasy short story writers and voice over actors in an audio-only format.

The story is narrated by Kenneth Tynan. The Centropic Oracle is run by editor Charly Thompson and producer Larissa Thompson.

The story is a dark, macabre tale that I wrote in the middle of summer on a beach in France where I was last year. I visualised it being set in the Musokas in Canada, or some similar foresty/east-coasty kind of place. It’s about a small town that’s uncovered a secret thing, deep underground. Something unknown. Something that whispers.

It’s inspired by Stephen King stories as well as a tale I read a few years ago in Mad Scientist Journal, Within the Pulse of Darkness by Luke Leery.

Take a listen to The Whisper Place – I’d love to hear what you think.

Battle Borne Dreams Never Die – new story in Broadswords & Blasters issue 10

I have a new story out – Battle Borne Dreams Never Die is in issue 10 of Broadswords and Blasters.

What’s the story about? I’l leave it to this kind reviewer on Amazon who described the tale as follows:

BATTLE BORNE DREAMS NEVER DIE by Paul Alex Gray. An unconventional romance set in a post-apocalyptic America, with enormous Mechas and Kaiju squabbling over the spoils of civilization. Gray is a skilled storyteller who does a great job of showing us all of the game pieces early and of setting rules that the story abides by. The action beats serve a compelling relationship story which is never thrust into the background, and the ending packs a legitimate emotional punch.

Reading that review made me feel 😍 – I am pretty sure this is the first impartial, independent review of any story I’ve ever written, at least that I know of. It’s great that someone totally independent thought so strongly of the story, and it’s super motivating for me to write more.

My work critiqued in Writing Speculative Fiction

One of my short stories, ‘The last monster you shall slay’ is critiqued and analysed in the new book from Eugen Bacon, ‘Writing Speculative Fiction:Creative and Critical Approaches

This is a big honour for me, and I’m thrilled that my work is used in Eugen’s analysis about characterization.

The story was published in issue 70 of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine. It’s the tale of an ageing monster hunter, who reflects on the life he’s led and what he’s amounted to. The story begins when he’s a child, the scion of an infamous monster hunter named Bunyip Bill. The story follows our character through his life, which he is never truly in control of, and which leads him to a place of unhappiness and emptiness.

It’s a story of destiny and regret, that first came to me late one summer evening.

I was listening to music and Johnny Cash’s cover of NINs ‘Hurt’ started playing. I remember the music video – so vivid and powerful, of a frail and mournful Cash mixed with footage from his life and career.

As I listened, night creatures called out in the darkness – yips and howls, caws and scuttles. A vision came to me of Johnny Cash not as a musician, but as a monster hunter. What happens to the monster hunters when they get old? When their lives reach the final pages?

I’m enjoying Eugen’s book which looks at various elements of storytelling as it relates to speculative fiction. Go grab a copy of her book and enjoy!

New website

I’ve set up a new website to be a showcase for my writing. I’m also starting work on my novel, after several false starts and years of thinking about it. I hope I can get it done – it’s daunting and scary (a novel seems magnitudes harder than short fiction) but I’m going to give it a go.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton