These stories contain some mature themes.
What is there to say? I'm Bret Allen and I'm a writer!
I have a blog site at www.bretallen.info where I keep my creative writing, copy writing and musings. I'm a journalism graduate and enjoy writing articles and copy as a freelancer, especially when humour can be used, but my forte is creative writing.
My favourite genres are fantasy, scifi and supernatural. There's something fascinating about the comparisons drawn between real life and the fantastic; in a contrary fashion, they can be more profound than those drawn by real-life stories.
Most of all, I try to put a new spin on those genres, which in many cases have become stiff, old shambling corpses. Stitch on a smart new head, put a little truth in the heart, run a 500 megawatt current of strangeness through them and suddenly... they live again!
I've lived most of my life in Shropshire and Staffordshire. I have a few great friends, a myriad of mates, a large and wonderful family, a fur baby and a long suffering partner.
I draw most of my inspiration from Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Tad Williams, Kim Newman, Terry Pratchett, daydreams, nightmares and the magic of the everyday.
Strange Matters is a collection of tales of fantasy, myth and magic.
Some are funny, some are dark, some are both. Some are set in our world, with the skin peeled back to reveal the magical mechanisms beneath. Some are set in fantasy worlds, where instead it’s the reflections of reality which are hidden.
All contain matters best described as ‘strange’, because to me, strange matters.
This book includes twenty pieces of poetry and fiction (some with mature themes), including:
Kate’s night is interrupted by meeting a mute, half-naked Ethiopian boy, which would be fine if he wasn’t being hunted through the streets of London by hyenas.
When a group of bikers get lost in a forest, they find that they are not alone.
Ekaterina wants to be taken seriously by the men of her village, so she sets out to hunt the greatest prey of all… the legendary Firebird.
A nameless criminal explores his capacity for magic- and empathy- when he’s forced to make unusual acquaintances to escape justice.
It Wants To Eat Me
The diary entries of a teenage girl who finds an unusual and unwelcome intruder in her dreams.
Two strange figures watch the violence of the London riots unfold and do what they can to help, as only forgotten gods can.
Having just died, Andy’s not pleased to find himself in the ancient Egyptian afterlife, where the goddess Bastet wants a word with him.
Strange Matters is a journey through many facets of fantasy, all united by a fresh, modern eye for incisive storytelling and magical realism.
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday’s schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought —and the prize is the very soul of America.