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Simon Haynes - Short Stories

Language warning: most of these stories contain swearing (in the best possible taste.) If you're downloading them for younger readers, please preview them first.

I've also published two Hal Spacejock short stories, with more to come.

Enjoy!





Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Also available in French

Loss Leader

Synopsis: After delays and last-minute setbacks, the first colony ship leaves planet Earth for a distant star. Join the crew as they discover all is not as it seems...

(Also available in French)

  'This is it, ladies and gentlemen, your last sight of the Glory before it leaves. This is a historical moment without parallel, a moment which opens the book on the Human conquest of space!' The commentator paused for breath as the rectangular grey slab vanished in a glare of white light. 'And there she goes, departing on a journey of a hundred years! Don't forget, folks, you can book your place right now. Just press the Order button on your remote. Please note, those under eighteen years will need permission from...'
  'Turn it off,' called Erin.
  The viewscreen cleared.
  'What the hell was that?' Roth looked around the control room. 'We haven't gone anywhere.'
  'They prepared that earlier. Our launch window clashed with a major sports event, so they mocked something up.'

"... pure science fiction and, just between ourselves, an entirely evil tale, suggesting a far more likely approach to Earth colonizing the universe than I have seen in a long time." Australian Spec Fic in Focus

"... a tale of space colonization as executed with corporate corruption (the kind you probably, sadly know firsthand), written with a dawning, chilling, believable cynicism."

Loss Leader originally published in Andromeda Spaceways #3


The Desolator

Synopsis: Join Hurm, Runt and Father Mephistophiles as they struggle to save the hamlet of Yendour from a marauding dragon.

  Runt picked up the blade, his eyes bright with tears. 'Glimmer! Oh, Glimmer! Long and tedious will be the songs composed in thy honour!' He raised the broken pieces and closed his eyes. 'I shall not rest until —'
  'Yadda yadda yadda,' said the cleric. 'You only just bought it from that squinty little sh-t down Terrace road.'
  'It's still a magic sword.'
  'No, it
was a magic sword. Now it's a magic artifact.'
  'What's the difference?'
  'Try killing an orc with an artifact.'


Trivia: Trudi Canavan drew the artwork which accompanied the original of this story in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

The Desolator originally published in Andromeda Spaceways #6




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

A Piece of the Action

Synopsis: Flat broke and stranded in a South American country, Ralph Gardiner is nursing a beer and contemplating the wreckage of his life. No money, no prospects, and worst of all ... the beer is warm. When a local businessman approaches him with a curious job offer, Ralph decides he has very little to lose ...

  Morgan turned to face me. 'Tell anyone about this room and I'll have you killed.'
  I stared at him. His bantering good humour was gone, and his pale grey eyes were cold. I held his gaze for a moment, then nodded.


An 8000 word SF/Thriller

An original, previously unpublished story




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Off Course

Synopsis: When you're on for a birdie, watch for aliens in the rough.

The men craned their necks to stare at the leaden sky, and their mouths fell open as a silver shape the size of a small house dropped through the clouds and landed neatly on the green, snapping the flag in two and pressing Tom's ball into the smooth turf. A rectangular crack appeared, and a section of the ship's hull folded out. The end thudded down, biting into the turf alongside the closely-cropped green.

A 1500 word SF/comedy/golf story

An original, previously unpublished story




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Billy's Book

Synopsis: Billy Crump is the local stable boy. Fed up with mucking out horses, he sneaks into the wizard's lab, concocts a potion using all the rare and expensive ingredients, and somehow ends up with a talking book. His first thought? Sell the book ... and say goodbye to horse muck forever!

"Who's there? What's talkin'?"
The book fluttered. "Who do you think, you two-legged disaster zone?"
"A talkin' book?" Emotions ran over Billy's face like drops of food dye in a goldfish bowl. Surprise was followed by bafflement, bafflement by comprehension and comprehension by cunning. "I could sell you," he said under his breath. "I could sell you an' then I wouldn't have to muck out no more stables."
"Sell me?" squeaked the book. "You don't even own me!"


A 5000 word fantasy/comedy story

An original, previously unpublished story




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Catch of the Day

Synopsis: Ken Green hooks a whopper, then discovers he's caught more than he bargained for.

The ship fired its reverse thrusters as it eased into orbit above planet Earth. The computer deployed a range of sensors and analysed the radio spectrum, and when the results came through the automated systems revived half a dozen of the crew.
With their extremities thawing and their sluggish synapses barely firing, the crew listened as the computer relayed the bad news in a smug, digital voice. And as the assembled beings picked crusted fluid from their ears and noses, it dawned on them that a bunch of primitive simians had evolved unexpectedly, stealing this planet for themselves.


A 4000 word SF/comedy/fishing story

An original, previously unpublished story




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Updown

Synopsis: Social services have come to take 10-year old Daniel away from his home and family, but his best friend Danny has other ideas ...

You don't know me, I'm Daniel and me an' mom live in a updown south of Titan City. You've seen vids of carnival rides. There's one what's a big pole with a flying saucer thing going up and down, up and down and spinning round and round. Well our house is like that, only there's just two of us in it and it doesn't spin else we'd get sick. Mom says Saturn pulls us up the pole and makes electric, but Danny says that's shit. Danny uses words like shit when there's no grown-ups around. He says the updowns work off big electric motors, but I asked him why they all go up at the same time and he looks at me strange like I'm the nutter.

A 1600 word Science Fiction story

An original, previously unpublished story




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Thonn Day

Synopsis: Magick is banned in Thonn's world, outlawed after greedy and power-hungry wizards almost destroyed the entire planet. So imagine his surprise when he spies Eddie de Elder performing Magick spells!

Towards the top of the hill, Thonn passed a wall marking the end of the olive trees. Here the land was untouched - a tangle of bushes, summer grasses and a number of plants with long spiky leaves; leaves which the Wise Elders used for medicinal purposes at village gatherings. Actually, they were leaves which the Wise Elders used pretty well all the time, and the so-called Elders were no longer Wise but Wide-Eyed and Vacant. Thonn had sidled into a downwind position once, and if the smoke was half as strong when inhaled, it was little wonder the Elders sat there gazing into space with rapt expressions on their faces.

A 2500 word Fantasy/Comedy story

An original, previously unpublished story


Sleight of Hand

After a cosy meal, our protagonist retires to his host's workshop for an after-dinner drink ... and becomes the unwitting subject of an experiment.



Trivia: Sleight of Hand won the 2001 Aurealis Award for Horror.

Language warning If you're downloading this story for younger readers, please preview it first.

Sleight of Hand originally published in Potato Monkey #1




Kindle (Also UK, FR, DE, IT, ES)

Yard Fail

When Ralph Swindon tinkers in his workshop, the whole world holds its breath ...

I was rinsing my hair when Jenny hammered on the door, yelling something about an accident at Ralph's place. Despite the hot water I felt a sudden chill.
"Is he okay?" I yelled.
No reply.
I killed the taps, shoved the clingy curtain aside and stumbled from the shower. Half blinded, I slipped and groped around the bathroom until I found the towel. I wiped the soap from my face, wrapped the towel round my waist and ran for the hall. I know the kind of things Ralph messes with in that workshop of his, and an 'accident' could have levelled the street.


A 2700-word short story.

Trivia: Features the characters from Sleight of Hand.

An original, never-before-published short story.