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Stories from the Vets

Sitting in the vet up in Eastwood a few times recently, with the divine Jasmine, our tortoiseshell cat, I had a couple of ideas for SF stories, so out comes the spiral-bound little notepad while we’re waiting to go in for the latest check-up.


You know how it is: you’re waiting ages, so you read the notices about lost pets and local pet societies; you wince at the dogs barking and yapping and peeing down the far end, and are even more grateful it’s a cat you have. You exchange smiles and finger waves with someone’s toddler. You wonder what someone might possibly have in that covered-over box that keeps making little scratching sounds; and someone’s in tears, cuddling their soulmate of twenty years on its last half-hour on Earth. The door opens and it’s a former friend you had an acrimonious falling out with some time ago – and the only space left is the one next to you…

So it comes to you, “What if this was the All-Species Vet on the planet Easton, instead of the ex-mining town of Eastwood?” (Birthplace of DH Lawrence, after whom the Vet is named.)

And so arose two stories, both of which I really like. You can tell when there’s the extra something about a story when you think, “Yes… nice, that.” And have a little smile in satisfaction that it ended right.


“Coupla Yumans” was the first. From the title alone, you can probably imagine which of the above scenarios that might have originated from. It will almost certainly be included in Book 4 of the series, "The Fractus Project". It was short-listed for Zero 9-4, but was reluctantly put aside to obtain the right balance of story types, settings, moods...


The other story was “Zydd and the Ocella”, which is in New-Classic Book 2 - Orbital Spam. The spark for this came from the arrival of the former friend… and the tearful lady with a glaze-eyed spaniel… and the notice-board…



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