Short story – The Small Print

The short story “The Small Print” was shortlisted for SFX magazine’s The Writing Dead competition. There’s no print version, but you can read it exclusively below. I tag this one as “John Grisham with zombie subcontractors”, but feel free to disagree.


I started working at the Where Value Corporation on the same day that my first wife died. I didn’t think anything of it at the time: we hadn’t spoken directly to each other for nearly two years, and even our lawyers were sick of the sight of us.

With hindsight, I should have paid more attention to the fact that my lawyer was sick of the sight of me. I pointed out that a potent cocktail of emotional distress and legal ennui may have influenced my decision to sign on with the corporation.

“I can show you a copy of your contract,” my boss offered, “although obviously I’m under no obligation.”

“Perhaps you could read it out to me,” I suggested, “although obviously you’re under no obligation.”

As he read it out to me, my mind wandered.

*

My first day on the job, the day my wife died, the day my lawyer screwed me in the most lawyerly way you can imagine – well, that day was not so bad. Where Value is a great company to work for (up to a point, but we’ll get to that point a bit later): the work is rewarding, the perks are amazing, the buffet is satisfying. I was rewarded, I was amazed, I was sated.

“Glad to have you working with us,” my boss told me repeatedly, in that first week, and he meant it.

“Glad to be working with you all, Glenn,” I told him, and it was true. I thrived at Where Value: recruited into the Hypothetical Matter department, researching potential applications of dark fluid, promoted to the Chaplygin Modelling unit. I started dating my co-worker Crystal Haight, who was considerably more attractive and intelligent than my dead wife, and played non-Euclidean Ultimate Frisbee for the department in the company league.

(more…)

New track – Da Silva

Imagine that you’re trapped on a cruise ship floating in the middle of the ocean at night. You’re the only person on board, and there’s a light in the distance. This is polyrhythmic paranoia.

New track – Welcome to Fretstable

Alice Coltrane gets completely twisted in this track, with unrecognisable guest vocals from Marija Draskic. This is my hymn to the information age.

New track – The Soul Machine at Work

I was digging in my hard drives when I found the stems for this track – all the samples lined up with nowhere to go. Half a day later, and I got the Soul Machine to work….