An updated reading list


I’ve renamed and re-purposed my reading list, which is now visible at:

I will try to keep this up to date.  Any suggestions are considered.  I plan to keep a maximum of one book per author on my up-next section.

With books I recommend appearing at:



Zero by James Aston now available on Kindle

Zero, the third stand-alone story in my every-other-month series of new science fiction stories is now available on Kindle – see for details and Amazon links.


Derek took a long draft of bitter, took a deep breath as though holding his anger in check and then placed his glass back on the dirty wooden table. His eyes met those of his colleague, Ivan, who sat opposite leaning back in his chair.

“Ivan, why do you have to be so cynical?” Derek said. “It could work. There’s no reason it has to fail.”

Ivan felt Derek’s gaze upon him, but kept his own expression unchanged. Then Derek looked away – his gaze wandering around the pub. Dark wooden beams crossed the ceiling and were caught in the soft orange glow of candlelight. A flame licked in the fireplace, a stone creation sunk into the haphazard brick wall. Copper-coloured fire pans were stacked in a disordered heap to one side.

“Derek, my friend.” Ivan said, a hint of amusement in his voice. “That’s what I like about you. Ever the optimist.”

In the near future the world is desperate for energy. One research lab leads the way, but does catastrophe lurk around the corner?


Nominal Meat by James Aston now available on Kindle

Nominal Meat, the second in my every-other-month series of new science fiction stories is now available on Kindle – see for details and Amazon links.

Nominal Meat

The metallic sound varied in pitch as it blasted from the speaker grills set around the room.  Every few seconds a voice cut in and announced that ‘Alert status one’ was active.

Keaghan remained seated at the table where he had been eating, hand halfway between his plate and his mouth.  Drops of brown gravy dripped on to the table as he crooked his neck, trying to discern whether the sound was going to abate.  Two minutes of continuous noise convinced him that this was not an alarm test, and that he would have to react to it.

He dropped his fork and the skewered meat back on to his plate, a spattering of juices emanating from the impact point.  He scraped his chair back and slowly trudged towards the exit of the empty cafeteria.

In deep space, one man’s stay on a battleship equipped for war is about to take an unexpected turn.


Science fiction short story series starting soon

I am through a bout of editing and have a set of science fiction short stories, ranging from 5000 to 12000 words, that are now in my publication pipeline.  This includes, among other things, generating the cover art, distribution versions etc.  Hopefully the first of these will hit the digital airwaves within the next couple of months.

Stay tuned.


(and no, I couldn’t find a word starting with S to replace fiction 🙂 )