Archive for September, 2012

Litro LogoMy short story ‘Jellyfish’ has been picked up for publication in Litro Magazine’s October special ghost-themed issue. For those of you who don’t know, Litro describes itself as a “little short stories magazine”, but it has a “big worldview” and a pretty decent monthly circulation of over 100,000 readers, and they’ve also published some very famous names over the years (including Irvine Welsh and Benjamin Zephaniah).

My story’s not your typical ghost story. There’s not a rainy, windswept night in northern England in sight. (The lead character is a social worker on holiday in the Gambia). But there are plenty suspicious things that go bump in the night and a few things which should send a chill running up and down your spine.
Litro CoverAbout Litro
(Courtesy of the Litro website) Litro is a little short stories magazine with a big worldview. We are pocket-sized so you can bring us anywhere—on the underground, alongside your morning coffee at your local cafe—to be enjoyed between your daily routines.

Since 2006, we have been publishing monthly themed issues of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and though based in London, we aim to celebrate new, emerging and established writers from all over the world. Previous contributors include Irvine Welsh, Yiyun Li, Glyn Maxwell, Benjamin Zephaniah and Andrew Crumey.

Litro is published by Ocean Media and has a monthly circulation of 100,000. Pick up your free copy, have it delivered to your door, or read us online—we’ve revamped our website to bring you regular features and blogs on literature and culture.

On your marks, get set, go…

I have three (paperback) review copies of my new novel, Sharkways, available on a first come, first served basis, on the understanding that should you receive a copy of the book you write a review on Amazon and/ or on your blog site. Should you be interested in receiving a copy of the book, please contact me on andrewkirby92 (at), and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can to let you know whether you’ve been successful.

This offer will remain open until Monday 23 September.

Sharkways CoverAbout Sharkways

Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 148 pages
Publisher: Damnation Books LLC (31 Aug 2012)
Language: English

Bill Minto is a world-weary property developer. His marriage is on the rocks. His health is failing. His cut-cornered projects constantly threaten to come back and haunt him. So when a mysterious caller offers him the job of a lifetime – all he must do is excavate the hidden tunnels under a country house—he jumps at the chance. But it soon becomes clear Bill is not alone in the tunnels. A past he’d long believed hidden lurches after him in the darkness, smelling blood. And guilt.

That’s right, I’ve got a Twofer for you for September’s Book of the Month. Two great new books, both alike in dignity, both from straight outta leftfield and both come highly recommended. I’ve reviewed both for the New York Journal of Books, and before writing this I really couldn’t decide which one was the best. And I even thought about letting them settle it Harry Hill style – FIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHT – but then decided to plat my ass firmly on the fence and vote for both of them. So here you go. Get your reading gear around these two gladiatorial contenders.

The Dog Stars CoverThe Dog Stars by Peter Heller

“. . . a heavenly book, a stellar achievement by a debut novelist . . . gleams with vitality, . . . sparkles with wit.”

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller is a heavenly book, a stellar achievement by a debut novelist that manages to combine sparkling prose with truly memorable, shining, characters. It contains constellations of grand images and ideas, gleams with vitality, and sparkles with wit. And for a story of this ilk, it is also—a rarity—radiant with hope.

Read the full review here.

Bree coverBreed by Chase Novak

“. . . daring . . . a story of the Promethean folly of human beings. . . . visceral . . . grueling . . .”

Chase Novak’s newly born Breed is not cute.

Nobody will ever coo over it or pinch its little rosy cheeks. Nor will it ever win any bouncing baby competitions. Indeed, one can imagine this novel conceived in a “workshop of filthy creation” (as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein).

Like Frankenstein, this is a dark work of fiction that overcomes—no, transcends—genre boundaries and embraces the category of literary fiction despite being . . . ugly, or at least dealing with ugly subjects. Breed might just turn out to be Chase Novak’s prodigal son.

Read the full review here.

And read more of my reviews on The New York Journal of Books website here.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I bring you news of two new entries into the AJ Kirby canon this week. Kapow. Blam. Crash. I’ve had a brace of pieces accepted for anthologization via two publishers of some repute and I shall impart this information to thee thusly, as per the below, chaps and chapesses.

Freedom Forge CoverFirst Multiple Choice, which has been accepted into the Freedom Forge Press (say this with a Mel Gibson bellow please) Freeeeedom themed anthology, which is due for publication in early 2013 (God 2013 sounds scary). Here is the premise for the anthology: “We are looking for inspirational non-fiction accounts of people who have had to earn their freedom, defend it, or have lost it and had to regain it. For example, individuals who have left a home country to escape political or economic restrictions and find a better life by starting over have a story to tell.  Have you or someone you know ever stood up to the government on an issue of fundamental freedoms?”

Multiple Choice is a story about a crucial examination question, the answer to which defines the rest of your life.

You can check out the Freedom Forge website here.

FB CoverAnd second to be accepted is The Waiting Room Test, a sci-fi story inspired by Alan Turing’s famous ‘Turing Test’, which you can read all about here. This year is the centenary of Turing’s birth, and the story pays homage to this oft misunderstood genius. And you can find out more about him here.  The Waiting Room Test is published in the new Fiction Brigade anthology – see the website here. And if that’s too complicated, here are some easier instructions: go to and click on the covers to see options for any and all of the formats you’d like. For detailed step-by-step instructions on checkout and downloading, please see Hope that helps!

Finally, Fiction Brigade will soon be available on Amazon, so watch this space for more info, dudes.

Peoples Republic of YorkshireThe party is finally over. The Olympics and Paralympics have finally come to an end, leaving us all hungry as Pacman for something to replace that buzz. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have the national anthem recorded so you can play it every morning just to get you out of your pit. Or you might have written a sad account of life without the Olympics, and what’s happening to our all-singing, all-dancing heroes now. And the UK regions which produced them.

In this month’s Home Defence UK, I’ve focussed on the People’s Republic of Yorkshire, and how we’re all Jacked-Off with the whole thing now. So get your Yorkshire puddings on and have a peek here.

And for your reading pleasure, here’s the rest of HDUK…

“I’ve been trying to nosh myself off for years and I just can’t do it.” –   Danny Dyer

Good day to you all. Here at HDUK HQ we’re proud to announce the cure for the Team GB-break up, grey sky, massive debt blues. Yes, it’s nothing less than a new update from the interweb’s leading Paranoia and Lifestyle ‘community’; Home Defence!

This time out, Mitt Romney follows his recent European jaunt with the promise of excitement, in return for votes:

Botham Squab returns to give his verdict on Matthew McConaughey’s new Soho Eaterie. That’s your Hot Lunch:

Our News Round Up covers Michael Gove’s latest groundbreaking ideas, Danny Boyle’s new project, Internet Pranksters, and that warm post-Olympics glow we’re all lovin’:

While in Soccer News, the demise of Rangers has unforeseen consequences for Scottish Football:

The Reverend Harry Figgis watches aghast, as the Cabinet Reshuffle leaves Iain Duncan Smith with the same job:

While our Classic Albums series delves into Southern Gothic with a masterpiece from Ass Ponys:

Over in Yorkshire, AJ Kirby sees a county of successful Olympians plot their next, shocking move:

And our Special Report comes from the shopfloor of Poundland, as another British success story plans to expand:

That’s it for now. Until next time, this is Al Likilla, assuring you that every minute was worth it, no matter what the fallout.”

NY JournalKirby’s writing sharp as a pin : The New York Journal of Books says:

“Kirby’s writing could not be more riveting. The tension escalates over the course of the read while the characters become more vivid. An island descends into darkness, animals go wild and the Limm islanders struggle to survive. Kirby provides wonderful backdrop, context and description which illuminates the action.

This book has action, lots of it that kept me on the edge of my seat. The creature killers are a treat. A blockbuster survival story. And refreshing that it doesn’t include blood sucking vampires. Have had it with them by now.

Highly recommended.” New York Journal of Books

Petit Fours

What with all the palaver surrounding RJ Ellory’s recent statements regarding reviews and sock-puppetry, my guest blog, posted today on the excellent Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blogspot, couldn’t be more current and zeitgeisty. It’s a piece called In a Review Stew, and it’s about all things literary review-wise, from my perspective both as an author and professional reviewer. You can check out the guest blog by following THIS LINK. And you can get your hands on a copy of Paint this town Red from here.