On this page you’ll find a selection of my published short fiction that is available to read for free online. Several of my stories have also been podcast, so I made a Podcasts page especially for them. A lot of my fiction gets sold to print anthologies and journals so it won’t appear here, but this does include some of my best stories in professional ezines like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Daily Science Fiction among many others. Have a look at the Bibliography page for a full list of my published work to help you track down more if you’re interested. And my first collected volume of short fiction, Crow Shine, is out now. Click here to learn all about that.
Also, check out the Serial Fiction page, where you can read my serialised novella (or buy the ebook from there if you prefer), and check the Friday Flash category in the blog for a bunch of flash fiction pieces I’ve written over the years.
(Please note, as with all content on this site, all these items are (c) Copyright Alan Baxter. No reproduction is allowed without written permission from the author.)
UNDER A WING AND A PRAYER
A dark little flash fiction hallucination published by Evil Girlfriend Media (ed. Jennifer Brozek, March 2016) after originally garnering an Honourable Mention in the 2013 AHWA Flash Fiction Competition.
HARRY TO THE BLUE
Sometimes I do writing exercises when the plot of a book or story just isn’t moving along. Often, those things end up being new short stories in their own right. In this very flash fiction I decided to try to write a story that was nothing but dialogue and see if I could actually convey plot, setting, characterisation and so on without anything but spoken parts.
PATENTED CUT ANYTHING DESIGN
Commissioned by Cry Havoc Games, a zombie flash fiction to help promote the game, “Dead End Alley”, now posted on the Cry Havoc website.
UPON A DISTANT SHORE
This is a story about an astronaut who wishes for something that’ll carve his name in the history books. And he gets it. This link goes to the site where you can download Dimension6 magazine in any format ebook for free. My story is in issue #2.
This is a short yarn about small town Vaudevillian shows and the people who enjoy them. Or is it? Published in the online magazine, Daily Science Fiction, June 2014.
THE DARKNESS IN CLARA
When Michelle loses the love of her life to suicide, she struggles to understand what could have brought her partner to that dark place. As she starts to dig back into Clara’s past, Michelle discovers there were secrets of her tormented adolescence that Clara kept from her. Published in the online magazine, SQ Mag, issue 14.
ALL THE WEALTH IN THE WORLD
A short story about love, loss and anguish, and how all the money in the world may not be able to help with those things. Published in the online magazine, Lakeside Circus.
NOT THE WORST OF SINS
A wild western ghost story about a young man on a revenge quest accompanied by an unpleasant companion. Published in the online magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
A bittersweet story about magic, family and lives. Published in the online magazine, Daily Science Fiction.
SALVAGE IN THE VOID
A Peevy and LaVey story. The engineer afraid of deep space and his SimHound companion are adrift in an escape pod when they’re lucky enough to be found by a space pirate crew. But it could turn out to be an “out of the frying pan, into the fire” situation. Published in the online magazine, Kasma SF.
CROSSROADS & CAROUSELS
A young blues player meets a strange, enigmatic guitarist one hot summer night. The guitar-player makes him a frightening offer. This is a direct link to the story published in the online magazine, The Red Penny Papers.
THE GOODBYE MESSAGE
A troubled writer starts receiving messages he can’t understand. This is a link directly to the story published in the online magazine, Ticon4.
THE DARKEST SHADE OF GREY
A journalist carrying the weight of unwanted paranormal powers tries to find direction and catharsis by investigating the plight of a strange homeless man. This is a novelette, serialised in 4 parts in the online magazine, The Red Penny Papers, and now also available as an ebook via Amazon or Smashwords.
In a post-apocalyptic Australian outback, a man, a dog and a mysterious piece of alien technology are wandering the desert. Anyone else would destroy the tech and eat the dog, but Declan has a plan. This story was co-winner of the 2011 Wily Writers Short Story contest and is published and podcast by them. The link above leads directly to the site where you can read the story or download the podcast. I’d highly recommend the podcast as the voice actor, Philip Pickard, does a wonderful job.
THE SEVEN GARAGES OF KEVIN SIMPSON
A woman’s father leaves her a strange legacy after his death and, as she investigates, she uncovers disturbing possibilities about his past. Originally published as a podcast by Pseudopod, episode 242, subsequently reprinted in the Dark Pages 2 anthology from Gryphonwood Press.
A science fiction yarn that starts out with a guy’s day going really bad, really quick. And then it just gets worse. This is my nod to the Men In Black style of SF. The link will take you directly to Kasma SF, where the story is published.
A nasty little flash fiction piece about the potential dangers of online chat. The link above is a direct link to the story at Bosley Gravel’s Cavalcade of Terror.
JEFF NEWMAN’S HEADACHES
This is a flash fiction piece published at 52 Stitches. The link above is a direct link to the story on the 52 Stitches site.
A short story published in Volume 1, Issue 4 of The Oddville Press that the editor called “an existential delight”. A bit more light-hearted than my usual fare. This link goes directly to the PDF file of this issue of the zine. I was also invited to read this story for the Outlandish Voices podcast which you can find here.
PUSHED TOO FAR
This story was originally written with a five day deadline and the prompt: “Something written on a tombstone”. It was for a Horror Writers Duel over at the House Of Horror website. The limit was 1,500 words. I’m pleased to say that this story won the duel. Have at ye!
This is a reprint of one of my Friday Flash stories that was published over at Flashes In The Dark. The link is a direct link to the story on their site.
Another flash fiction piece, this one a little horror yarn about the way a couple cares for each other. This was first published in House Of Horror issue # 7, December 2009. However, that magazine is no more, so I’ve put the story here on my site instead.
A dark flash fiction tale, originally published in the October 2009 edition of Antipodean SF, #136.
A dark future flash fiction tale, originally published in the March 2009 edition of Antipodean SF, #130.
THE NIGHT BUS
A young man is haunted by guilt over the suicide of a strange boy that he used to bully. Then he gets on the last bus home… (Originally published by The Harrow: Original Works of Fantasy and Horror – www.theharrow.com Vol. 10, No. 12).
A short story featuring Isiah, the powerful immortal protagonist in my novels RealmShift and MageSign, doing the dirty work of the Balance once again. An abridged version of this story was published in the Infinitas newsletter many moons ago. The full version was then published and podcast by Wily Writers. Follow the link above to read either the text version or have someone read it to you as a podcast (it’s 24 minutes long).