Novels, novelettes, short stories and a play
Stephen Livesey Ashworth, Oxford, UK
All to be shelved as SFF genre fiction
The Gods of Ultima Landra (novel, IN PROGRESS, 2020-2021)
He came to this world to free his people from a false god. But is there a real god hiding behind the façade?
The Camp and the Station (short story, NEW in 2020)
If Almighty God protects us from suffering and from untimely death when we call upon him for help, what possible reason might we have to disobey his holy commands? (3,500 words)
Once a Queen… (novelette, NEW in 2020)
I recently found Neil Gaiman’s story “The Problem of Susan” on the internet, and was so disgusted with it (it is obvious that Susan would never have made a professor) that I needed to write my own version of the story to get rid of the bad taste.
My narrator meets an old woman called Siggy in the afterlife – or is it only in a dream? – and learns about her story. But will she end up in Heaven or Hell? (11,000 words)
The Twenty-Ninth Day (novelette, 2020)
An alternate reality is governed by a God who generously gives everybody four weeks advance notice of their day of death. But what happens when a young man with his whole life seemingly in front of him refuses to accept that he must die? (26,700 words)
The Long Sunset (short story, 2019)
Tired of waiting for a winter that’s always coming but never seems to arrive in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones epic, I wrote this story of an incident on the planet Marunis as a trial sketch of a world in which winter’s approach really is inexorable. Blinkered by their medieval lifestyle, Gor and Zantha confront their need to understand scientific astronomy before darkness falls. Submitted for the Aurora writing prize in May 2019, without any luck. (2,000 words)
Moon Village 2069 (short story, 2016)
While waiting for the spacecraft carrying the visiting European President to land at Moon Village at the lunar South Pole in 2069, a commentator recounts the history of events leading to the foundation of the settlement originally proposed in 2015 by ESA Director General Jan Wörner.
Published in print in: Eugen Reichl, Space 2017: Das aktuelle Raumfahrtjahr mit Chronik 2016 (VFR e.V., München), p.10-31. English/German parallel text.
Luna 2069 (short story, 2016)
My first shot at writing a story for Eugen Reichl’s Space 2017 was very different from the story which he accepted. This is a much darker tale of conflict, death, and machine intelligence running dangerously out of control. At the same time it recounts a little of the future history of Jan Wörner’s Moon Village concept. (6,300 words)
The Marchioness (novelette, 2015)
An aristocratic lady with a secret mission embarks on an Earth-Moon cycler station. But the red planet beckons, and there is an unpleasant surprise waiting for her. Written after reading Andy Weir’s novel The Martian. (12,100 words)
Published in print in: Terence J. Henley (ed.), Visionary II: A science fiction anthology in the spirit of the British Interplanetary Society (British Interplanetary Society, 2018), p.147-180.
Halfway There! (novelette, 2014)
As the Herald ov Intesteler Frendship reaches the halfway point on its epic 30-year voyage, a pair of teenage boys embark on an irresponsible prank. (21,350 words)
Published in print in: Terence J. Henley (ed.), Visionary: A science fiction anthology in the spirit of the British Interplanetary Society (British Interplanetary Society, 2014), p.169-233.
For yers y dabeld on and of widh dhe problem ov sorting aut dhe käotic Inglish speling sistem. A practical solüshon wos faund araund dhe midel ov dhe 21st sentürie by dhe ferst Marshan setelers, hüs desendants bilt dhe Herald ov Intesteler Frendship. Eniwun interested can naw see haw dheir sistem wurks.
Thunderer (play, 2013)
Inspired by listening to Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus. When tribal king and queen Thunderer and Moonlake capture Walker, a warrior from a rival tribe, they are faced with the difficult question of whether to set aside old enmities and join together for the sake of peace and progress. But the Waterfall Star is on the move and growing brighter every night, and time is pressing. With plenty of on-stage action and special effects, this full-length play – or dramatic hypothesis – in two acts was completed for the King’s Cross New Writing Award in April 2013, without any luck.
The Moonstormers (novel, 2012)
What would really have happened if Nazi Germany had tried to add the Moon to its list of conquests? Freddy Axley is a pilot for a lunar tourism company who finds the long-forgotten evidence. But his clients intend to use their discovery as a propaganda weapon in the wave of right-wing extremism sweeping Europe. Set on the Moon and on Earth at various times between 1941 and 2033.
Published in a range of electronic formats at: Smashwords.com for the princely sum of $5.00.
Other work in progress:
The Fall of Lyonia (novel, in final revision stage, 2020-2021)
A teenage boy, his sister and their two cousins are destined to save a fairytale land from evil by becoming its kings and queens. But the messenger sent to take them there disobeys his instructions, some of the children get left behind and a real princess who is totally unsuitable gets taken instead, with disastrous results.