Matt Dovey

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The Grave by the Handpost

by Thomas Hardy

I never pass through Chalk-Newton without turning to regard the neighbouring upland, at a point where a lane crosses the lone straight highway dividing this from the next parish; a sight which does not fail to recall the event that once happened there; and, though it may seem superfluous, at this date, to disinter more memories of village history, the whispers of that spot may claim to be preserved.

Horror, 35 minutes; PseudoPod #627, 21st December 2018


Loyalty Test

by Andrew Gudgel

When the intercom on his desk buzzed, Marc's head snapped up, instantly awake. He'd been dozing in his chair. His finger stabbed the button that told the boss he was on his way. He stood up and straightened his rumpled gray suit before glancing at his watch. One seventeen AM. It figures. The boss tried to cut him as much slack as he could, but humans just couldn't keep the same pace as the Vrith, who came from the sunny side of a tidally locked planet and didn't sleep at all.

Science Fiction, 24 minutes; Escape Pod #649, 11th October 2018


To the Moon

by Ken Liu

Summer nights in Beijing were brutal: hot, muggy, the air thick as the puddles left on the road after a shower, covered in iridescent patches of gasoline. We felt like dumplings being steamed, slowly, inside the room we were renting.

Fantasy, 34 minutes; PodCastle #537, 28th August 2018


Looking After Shaun

by Chris Barnham

The doorbell rings.

"Hello? Anybody home?"

A woman's voice. Well-spoken, which worries me; in this area, anyone with an education is some kind of official.

I'm lying on the sofa and my mind's fluttering back and forth, settling on memories from before Shaun got ill.

Horror, 46 minutes; Tales to Terrify #336, 6th July 2018


The Language of Flowers

by Ian Creasey

Every morning I harvested the most luscious blooms from the gardens for display in the showroom. Today the quince blazed with bright orange blossom, so I cut a few twigs. As I carried them inside, I sniffed the flowers to check the engineered pheromones. A wave of longing overtook me: a sudden urge to do something mischievous and subversive.

Science Fiction, 46 minutes; StarShipSofa #542, 20th June 2018


Ormonde and Chase

by Ian Creasey

As we waited for customers, I stared out of the showroom window into the garden full of celebrities sprouting from the soil. This early in spring, most of the plants hadn't yet reached resemblance: the flower-buds were tiny blank faces, gradually developing features. Only the cyclamen Harriet's self-portrait was in full bloom.

Science Fiction, 53 minutes; StarShipSofa #533, 18th April 2018


Getting Shot in the Face Still Stings

by Michelle Ann King

Dom doesn't lose his temper as easily as his brother, so normally he's the one who deals with it when shit goes pear-shaped. But shit has been going pear-shaped a lot lately, and by the time Dom gets to the warehouse, Marc is already in full swing. Literally--he's gone after poor Jimmy with a nine iron.

Horror, 55 minutes; Tales to Terrify #309, 29th December 2017


Psychopomps

by Judith Field

Mark's next door neighbour and business partner Pat kept telling him that power flowed through his veins. He took a breath and closed his eyes, trying to will the power back out again and into the ash wand in his outstretched hand. He pointed it at Pat's door. A narrow beam of blue light squeezed out of the end and hit the lock. Nothing happened. Sighing, he folded the wand and put it in his pocket. He took out his key and let himself into her house.

Fantasy, 33 minutes; Far Fetched Fables #181, 24th October 2017


Ms. Figgle-DeBitt's Home for Wayward A.I.s

by Kurt Pankau

I watch with hope as Ms. Figgle-DeBitt samples a slice of caramelized banana upside-down cake. She takes a nibble and seems pleased. She sweeps cybernetic fingers through the shock of gray hair that sits on the human half of her face, a gesture I've learned is contemplative. She takes a larger bite, chews, and grimaces. She spits it out into a trash can.

Science Fiction, 36 minutes; Escape Pod #597, 12th October 2017


Horror on Habitat Seven

by Zach Chapman

I met Molly in a real dive outside Zeta 5, called Braker. The kinda joint that sold untaxed synthetics. Clientele smoked but Braker never bothered to filter their atmosphere. When you could breathe, it smelled like grease and heated metal. It was on a moon, always in shadow. Red bioluminescent bulbs years past their expiration, provided the ambient lighting. I was just there to refuel my Boxer. In retrospect, she probably followed me there.

Science Fiction, 45 minutes; StarShipSofa #503, 20th September 2017


All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain

by J. J. Roth

What is a Reborn?

A Reborn is an artist-enhanced baby doll that looks and feels lifelike. Artists create Reborns as one-of-a-kind collectibles, often from ordinary play dolls transformed into art suitable for hands-off display--or hands-on cuddling.

While reasonably durable, Reborns are not children's toys. Rough play may damage them.

Fantasy, 30 minutes; PodCastle #480, 25th July 2017


Still Waters

by Cara Fox

The two siblings exchanged a look of grim comprehension over the breakfast table when the butler laid the broadsheet in front of them. The Morning Post's headline was painfully familiar to them now. In stark black and white, the proclamation that yet another child had gone missing on the shores of Lake Conmere drove away any hint of an appetite the two of them might have had.

Horror, 46 minutes; Tales to Terrify #283, 30th June 2017


Children of the Tide

by Dan Rabarts

The crack in the window let in the ghosts. They came with the night breeze, whistling their mourning songs and carrying with them the stink of rotten water that lay across the paddocks, down past the crooked fence that bent and bowed where the earth had sunk away to let the sea creep closer. Where the salt ate the grass brown, then grey, before the water swallowed it up.

Horror, 45 minutes; Tales to Terrify #272, 14th April 2017


A Moral Little Tale

by Lord Dunsany

There was once an earnest Puritan who held it wrong to dance. And for his principles he labored hard, his was a zealous life. And there loved him all of those who hated the dance; and those that loved the dance respected him too; they said "He is a pure, good man and acts according to his lights."

Fantasy, 40 minutes; PodCastle #463, 2nd April 2017


The Blind Queen's Daughter

by Scott Huggins

The heavy mauls swung inward, the only thunder in the soft morning rain. The priests watched, trembling. The small man from Arabia stared hungrily at the widening hole.

The bricks sealing the cell shivered, and Amren watched his father's jaw tremble under the blow. Tremble as it never had in two desperate battles. Not even when the men of his auxilia fell about him in desperate retreat had Amren seen Sir Bedwyr's face show fear. Until now. And the Roman Legate looked on, sneering.

Fantasy, 36 minutes; Far Fetched Fables #151, 28th March 2017


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About

Matt Dovey is a professional writer of short science fiction & fantasy. He is very tall, very British, and probably drinking a cup of tea right now. His surname rhymes with “Dopey”, but any other similarities to the dwarf are purely coincidental. More →

Latest Story

"Yeah, yeah," agrees Deema, another barista. "And even if I had the brainspace to worry, I haven't got the roomspace in my apartment for a shrine. I make my obeisance when I visit my parents at the weekend, but my apartment's so cramped the shower's in the kitchen. Where am I meant to find the space for the Eighteen Forms of Frozen Madness?"

Why Aren't Millennials Continuing Traditional Worship of the Elder Dark?

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Narrations

The crack in the window let in the ghosts. They came with the night breeze, whistling their mourning songs and carrying with them the stink of rotten water that lay across the paddocks, down past the crooked fence that bent and bowed where the earth had sunk away to let the sea creep closer. Where the salt ate the grass brown, then grey, before the water swallowed it up.

Children of the Tide by Dan Rabarts
Tales to Terrify #272

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