No Cure for Shell Shock

Getting perilously close to completion now with the final print draft finished and the cover undergoing some minor changes. So here’s the synopsis for No Cure for Shell Shock…

No Cure for Shell Shock is intended as the antithesis to the war story. Each part of this collection was designed to search for those lost, silent moments which shape the human experience of conflict but which are left unmarked and uncommented on in the aftermath.

Anti-war by intent the focus throughout is on the human, attempting to find the self that endures beyond comprehension and judgement.


Beirut and Paris

It’s a couple of days after another mass murder in Paris. I wanted to write something about it, some prose or poetry to try and comprehend or frame the event with what I consider to be sanity, but then I realised I have nothing left to write. After Boko Haram undertook a slaughter in Nigeria I wrote something, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo I wrote something, after the Saudi bombing of Yemen and the numerous attacks in Afghanistan, I wrote something. This time though I’ve nothing new to add in abstracted attempts at communication. No new defence of humanity or appeal to our better natures. Because this feels more like a tired repeat than anything. And the same goes for the reaction to it. Continue reading Beirut and Paris


Pomona – National Theatre

imageSet in a semi-dystopian version of Manchester’s underbelly Pomona is about a sister’s search for her sister. In a way, more or less and just about. With Pomona the plot is treated less as an essential asset and more as a house of mirrors style premise for elements of surreal, Lovecraftian and philosophical ideas to spin out leaving the audience to follow their own gazes into a carefully constructed abyss. Which is nice.

I’m hardly an expert on theatre, in fact my first thought on going is usually to find the bar and the cheapest thing to drink while bitching vaguely about how much it’s costing me. For Pomona though, once I’d secured the cheapest (very expensive) drink and stopped thinking about ticket prices I genuinely found something worthwhile. Continue reading Pomona – National Theatre


No Cure for Shell Shock Update

Just a quick update to say that NCfSS, my upcoming collection of short stories and poetry, is well on it’s way to completion. Currently it’s being reviewed and edited with cover art being worked on too but, for the most part, the writing bit is done. Unfortunately I still can’t give a firm release date but early November is looking increasingly likely in both eBook and paperback formats.

I’m also planning to release a separate collection of short pieces around the same time which won’t be tied together by any particular theme. That’s an as yet untitled side project but it does mean that it’s going to be a busy end to the year, so hopefully lots to look forward to. If you want to be kept in the loop then I’ve included the sign up form for my newsletter below or you can follow me on Twitter @dylanorchard.

I’ll finish up with the brief outline of NCfSS that I put up a few months ago, as well as some links to excerpts which have already been released…

It’ll be a very different piece from either Crashed America or Laikanist Times. The style is far more ‘literary’, for what that label’s worth and given the subject matter it’ll be a far heavier read too. Which, hopefully, is no bad thing. A mix between micro-fiction, short stories and poetry it’s a collection rather than a single coherent story and in case you hadn’t guessed it’s about war. Not about the conflict itself but about the human result of it, the instances and effects that the individuals involved endure.

I’m not writing from experience here, nor am I aiming to present any ‘truth’ from the subject. Instead I’m trying to present potential ways to understand those experiences which lie so far beyond the normal realm of human life as to be incomprehensible. It’s an outsider’s attempt to make sense of what is so easily judged and so seldom understood about the frayed edges of human experience. I feel that personal ignorance is worth stating more than once. With everything human the only real representation is the original, everything else is an aspiring imitation polluted for better or worse by the creator. And hopefully with NCfSS my polluting touch leads to something worth understanding, or even better, just worth thinking about.

Preview pieces:

Immaculate Fracture
Forgotten Light

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