Matt Dovey

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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

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, and the Golden Pen winner for Writers of the Future v32. He is very tall, very English, 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

Pick only the ripest, blackest berries, the ones that leave kisses like blood on your fingers, the ones that hide in the shadows of leaves, behind spiders' webs you will tangle and destroy in your fury and haste.

Homebrew Wine Recipes for Favourable Effects, from the Regrettable Life of Mrs Poulman

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Narrations

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.

The Blind Queen's Daughter by Scott Huggins
Far Fetched Fables #151

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Complaints that consent given under the influence of gin is not consent are patently ludicrous. Any man capable of signing his name to the papers clearly possesses sufficient of his faculties to understand his decision.

To the Editors of The Matriarch, re: Allegations of Pressganging