Some of these pieces were (as documented here) written a long time ago and transcribed to the web with minimal editing; others are new, sometimes hacked straight into Movable Type in a drunken haze. Working out which are which is left as an exercise for the reader.
Infidelity QuartetFour linked stories about love, plus a long-delayed coda. This sequence is, by my standards anyway, unusually complete, if rather schematic.
Infidelity Quartet: 2
Infidelity Quartet: 3
Infidelity Quartet: 4
Infidelity Quartet: Coda
There are vague connections between the IQ stories and these other two, although those may not be immediately apparent:
Low LifeThere's a complicated, and at best semi-coherent, mythology of London I started developing nearly 20 years ago -- sometime in 1985, I think. Thankfully, none of that early material survives -- I'm sure it would be excruciating -- but I find myself coming back to its world quite often in the stories I make up for myself, and sometimes even write them down.
This story serves as a very tangential introduction to that mythology, and has a nice sadness that still appeals to me:
The following pieces are set against the same background, representing little moments from here and there in its overwrought central narrative:
The Inner Circle
Although the bulk of this storyline is unlikely ever to get written down -- and even less likely to actually fit together in a meaningful way if it were -- there will certainly be more snippets of it turning up as we go along.
Finally, despite not even being fiction, this next post serves as a sort of Low Life manifesto, revealing just a little bit about where it all comes from:
IncognitoAnother notion dredged up from the past, in this case to act as a sort of lesser-NaNoWriMo (PiCoWriMo?) project for November 2004. I have written one or two fragments of a sequence vaguely akin to this before, but those are long lost and everything has changed since then. There are some rather obvious links to other stuff listed here, especially A Kiss, but -- with luck -- the resulting patchwork should be able to get by in isolation from those. The individual chapters are all pretty short, being written in the interstices of my daily life over the month.
At some point in the future I may give this a redraft -- some chapters are really pretty shoddy and the whole is even more schematic than usual -- but in the meantime, this is how it came out on the first attempt. If nothing else, I'm pleased to have finished it.
[You can also download as PDF for more convenient consumption.]
23: The Wild Hunt
24: Mr X
Terra IncognitaSometimes a tired old man just can't let go. All sorts of threads bleed out of Incognito and into other things, and some of them may get picked up along the way. In a sense Terra Incognita encompasses most of the stories listed here. Perhaps a future reorganization will taxonomize things more satisfactorily, but in the meantime these are random patches extending the quilt above.
RandomnessWhat to say about these? Frustrated and bored by the banality engulfing my blog, I cried havoc and let slip the dogs of word, writing with no purpose except to write. The results of this ongoing experiment are, to date, inconclusive. Most of these pieces are short and fun, if sometimes a bit baffling. One or two have ideas above their station -- number 8, in particular, seems to want to be an actual story, of all things -- but on the whole they are (for the writer, at least, and hopefully the reader) just idle recreation.
Twentieth CenturyThe germ of this sequence is at least twenty years old; back then I had a very clear idea of what it was and where it was going. Not any more. Right now, not nearly enough exists to work out whether it has any momentum or interest. Only time will tell.
Cold Days in HellThe following fragments belong together, but it's really not worth explaining why, much less trying to work it out yourself, since they really are just disconnected scraps:
MiscellanyEverything else is just odds and ends. These vary quite a lot in length and quality, but you can find that out on your own: