The Firebird: and Other Extracts from Strange Matters

Bret Allen
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This book features three complete stories and one poem from Strange Matters, a collection of short fantasy stories by Bret Allen.

About the Firebird:
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. On the way she encounters three strangers who give her the gifts she needs- for a price.
This short novella, inspired by Slavic folklore, is a symbolic fable about the importance of choosing wisely and keeping sight of the things that truly matter.

About British Gods:
Two strange figures watch the violence of the London riots unfold and do what they can to help, as only forgotten gods can.
A humble nod to my favourite author, Neil Gaiman. This short story is based on British folklore in the modern-day style of American Gods.

About Thornback:
A poem about the humble hedgehog, seen through my eyes.

About Saturday’s Child:
Henri discovers that his afterlife is going to be even more dangerous than his first life, when he meets a predatory and beautiful stranger.
This very short story is set in the world of ‘Sleepwalkers’, a setting of my own creation. In this case, I give a glimpse of the plight of a newly deceased spirit.

Feel free to read these stories before checking out the full collection- Strange Matters- 20 stories and poems of fantasy, myth and magic!

These stories contain some mature themes.

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Bret Allen
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Published on
Sep 18, 2013
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Pages
56
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ISBN
9781310003585
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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: 

Wordsmith

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.

Torc

When a group of bikers get lost in a forest, they find that they are not alone.

The Firebird

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. 

Arcturus

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. 

British Gods

Two strange figures watch the violence of the London riots unfold and do what they can to help, as only forgotten gods can. 

Nine

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.

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