Matt Dovey

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She Glitters in the Dark

Camila glanced over at the elevators, and her heart lurched when the shining doors opened. But it still wasn't Hailey. Perhaps she wouldn't come after all. Perhaps something had come up. Perhaps she'd put the phone down on Camila and immediately forgotten her, moving on as smoothly as she always had.

"Hey," said the barman, shouting over the music and putting a Coors down on the glossy-black bar. "This is on the house."

It was a cheap bottle, sure, but shit--free is free, yeah? "What for?" Camila shouted back.

Read the rest at Factor Four, Issue 1 →
(exclusive until 1st April 2019)

Science Fiction; 996 words; first published 28th March 2018 at Factor Four, Issue 1 →


The Lies I've Told to Keep You Safe

I'm sure they're not a threat. Their ships probably need to be that big to travel so far across the stars and the spaces between. They don't mean them to look so dangerous.

They must be friendly. You wouldn't be able to build such things if you couldn't work together as a society.

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Science Fiction; 350 words; first published 19th October 2017 at Daily Science Fiction →


The Ghosts of Europa Will Keep You Trapped in a Prison You Make for Yourself

--then scooted her chair over to the microscope. Amira only needed a glance at the holographic zoom floating over the scope. The viral cells were replicating rapidly, budding and splitting at a phenomenal rate.

"Hey, Mariana, look at this." Amira indicated the hologram, then was struck, at once, with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu: something beyond the familiarity of her lab and its clean white surfaces, or the flat icy plains of Europa beyond the carbonglass windows. And more than the déjà vu, there was a feeling of instantaneousness, that this moment had arisen out of nothing, that nothing was all that had been there before, that everything had just--appeared.

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Science Fiction; 2128 words; first published 26th May 2017 at Escape Pod →; podcasted 26th May 2017 at Escape Pod 577 →


Copywrong

Maybe I should kill her, thought Michael, and a thrill ran through him at the idea.

He looked up from his untouched cold toast as Cathy walked back in from the garden, the winter sun picking out the stray silver hairs that had escaped from her ponytail.

"Not hungry, love?" She put a box of fresh eggs on the side.

Michael smiled weakly and pushed his plate away. "Apparently not."

"Fretting about your writing again?"

And just like that, his decision was made.

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Science Fiction; 984 words; first published 12th April 2017 at Perihelion →


The Increasing Necessity for the Targeted Inculcation of the Overview Effect

Content Warning: contains Donald Trump

Mikhail Padalka's hands danced on the joysticks, a syncopated routine of minor adjustments to bring the Soyuz in to the ISS. He moved automatically: if he considered his actions consciously he'd break the rhythm, overcompensate, and--well, he couldn't contemplate the consequences.

"If this was an American capsule," drawled the man to his right, "that automatic procedure would never have failed. Poor workmanship!"

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Science Fiction; 945 words; first published 9th January 2017 at mattdovey.com →


There's a Starman Waiting in the Sky

The mushroom cloud blooms large and malevolent on the surface of the world, casting a long shadow westward to the tip of the island. The instrument of this destruction is inelegant and crude and unrefined, but it is only the first. Others, improved, will follow.

The Starmen watch from their silver machine high above.

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Science Fiction; 888 words; first published 27th December 2016 at mattdovey.com →


Quartet of the Far Blown Winds

Silence is the great divider. Perhaps that is why Melinda wields it so effectively against me.

In the silence of space, solar winds flash green, pink and yellow across the gas giant before me, the aurorae twisting like sea worms. Folded nebulae of colour and gravity stretch across the darkness behind it, unimaginable arms of light like grasping gods. Dust twinkles all around me as it vaporises in the antimatter field of our ships.

My own daughter. Alien to me now.

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Science Fiction; 980 words; first published 1st November 2016 at Flash Fiction Online →


This is the Sound of the End of the World

This is the sound of the end of the world: a billion voices raised in song, a harmony twisting and ululating around the colossal vibrating bass of the core immolators, twelve shining lances of light from the Yattari ships that pierce the now-dying planet of Korthia at equidistant points and pin it in space like a dissected animal on a metal tray.

Captain Jann Yo watches from her bridge. Doubt gnaws at her, and so she connects to the colonial beacons. She needs to hear the hate and violence of the insurrection. She needs to remember her reasons.

The beacons transmit everything. They fulfil their function blindly and faithfully, unable to question their purpose, only to follow it.

They make Captain Jann Yo uncomfortable. She wonders if she is only a beacon to the Empire.

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Science Fiction; 992 words; first published 1st March 2016 at Flash Fiction Online →


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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

But shit Hailey looked good in that dress: dark sequins and holo-vertices, the thin green lines sharp against the sheen of her black skin and juddering with the heavy beats that thumped the air.

She Glitters in the Dark

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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.

Horror on Habitat Seven by Zach Chapman
StarShipSofa #503

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The Moon travels endlessly above the world now, searching in vain and unable to see through the waters that tie the Lady down. And as he moves across the sky, so she yearns to be with him, the oceans swelling and shifting so they can be closer. That's how the tides begun and how they were named: yearning tide and weeping tide, lovers' tide and mourners' tide.
The Lady & the Moon