Ten Little Astronauts

By Damon L.Wakes

An Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery novella set on board an interstellar spacecraft

Friday, 4 August 2017

31 Stories for Flash Fiction Month 2017

Over the course of July I was participating in Flash Fiction Month: a challenge to produce 31 stories in 31 days. Every year for the past five years I've completed this challenge and collected the stories up into a book.

As you can tell from the hastily mocked-up cover artwork above, this year's book isn't ready yet. When it is, I'll be sending the first ever paperback copy in existence to one of the first 175 supporters of Ten Little Astronauts at random, so do tell your friends: I've only just finished writing the stories and there are already fewer than 20 places left!

But although the book isn't yet finished, the stories are, and if you're happy to read on your computer you can find them all online. I'll be linking to all of them below if you're interested.

A Story a Day for July 2017:

  1. Prophecy for Yourself An eldritch abomination rises from the deep to claim the world as its own. It does not go to plan.
  2. The One and Only Recurring caped crusader Captain Caulk attempts to bring the diabolical art thief Count Erfitter to justice, but is hampered by his inability to make use of his fairly messy superpowers in a room full of priceless objets d'art.
  3. Raiders of the Lost in Translation Indiana Jones fights with colleagues over exactly which museum it belongs in.
  4. The Legend of Cornwall John Folk hero Cornwall John overcomes a series of mighty foes, each more threatening than the last.
  5. The Purge: Sanity You know the Purge movies? Where all crime - including murder - is legal for just one night every year? This story is that, but if people remembered they could commit crimes other than murder.
  6. Fear and Loathing in Birmingham A Gonzo journalism piece on the visit to EGX that landed me the opportunity to write the story for Craft Keep VR. And also briefly shoot things with a minigun.
  7. Isn't it Bionic? Tony Snark, aka. Irony Man, flies around in his robot suit being a total jerk.
  8. Better the Devil You Know Identity-stealing supervillain General Public robs a bank in spectacular fashion and immediately gets his comeuppance.
  9. We All Saw It Coming Bananas.
  10. The Fox and the Grapevine I can't really summarise this one without spoiling it.
  11. All the Better to Eat You With Mad Max meets Little Red Riding Hood.
  12. The Worm of Whitewall A fairy tale about a vast serpent from the distant past awakening to find a very different world.
  13. Lord Harlington's Heir A short horror story following on from one I wrote just over two years ago for the same event.
  14. Hans and Greta A familiar fairy tale with an original twist.
  15. An Ernest Mistake A collaborative story featuring a Private Eye in an unusual setting.
  16. I'll Be Back Every problem with every time-travel story ever.
  17. The Shawshank Deception After the events of Day 2, Count Erfitter ends up in prison - but not for long!
  18. And I Would Write 500 More Even more bananas.
  19. Little Red and the Three Bunkers Mad Max meets The Three Little Pigs, but instead of the pigs it's Red Riding Hood again.
  20. White Rabbit A horror story set in the pitch-black of the Alterworld.
  21. Long in the Tooth An elderly Count Dracula pays a visit to Frankenstein's Monster, who is also getting on a bit.
  22. Ultraviolent Unicorn Deathmatch of Destiny This one is an interactive story revolving around unicorns with chainsaws for horns fighting to the death in front of an audience. Quite possibly the best thing to come out of this event for me! I've also put together a hyperlinked version which I consider superior in every way: it saves an awful lot of scrolling back and forth.
  23. The Chosen One A Harry Potter parody incorporating elements of Star Wars as well as two types of lizard.
  24. The Twin Chalices A fantasy story about an unusual test.
  25. The Mousetrap A boardgame-related police thriller crammed full of mouse puns.
  26. Beneath the Black Flag A lewd piratical comedy featuring a character from Girth Loinhammer's Most Exponential Adventure.
  27. I, Reefer A lighthearted sci-fi story in three parts.
  28. Demon in a Copper Case A post-apocalyptic horror about a deal with a peculiar figure from the distant past.
  29. Never Let Me Down A comedy set in the ancient Greek underworld and inspired by the works of David Bowie.
  30. Appropriate Tributes A lewd comedy about devil-worship, tennis rackets and seedless grapes.
  31. The Dragon and the Dying Stars A sci-fi fairy tale in which space knights struggle against a gargantuan dragon from beyond the universe.

You might notice that most of these are significantly different in tone to the extract of Ten Little Astronauts available here on Unbound: that's partly because I tend to write a range of genres, and partly because when I'm obliged to write a story a day like this it's easier to come up with something quirky and funny than it is something serious and dramatic.

If you've enjoyed any of these, please do let me know! You can comment on any post on my blog without needing an account or even having to provide your email (though you can't be notified of any replies if you don't). Do also pass any favourites onto your friends and/or share them around online. Every single one of these is under 1,000 words in length, and all of them include a link to Ten Little Astronauts at the end, so if you'd like to introduce anyone new to my work then that's a quick way of doing it.

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