Tag Archives: Fiction

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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Mambo Martian-o

Bit of a revision of my release schedule as vaguely hinted at here but I’m nonetheless glad to say that very soon I’ll be releasing a new (long) short story. It’s a little something I’ve been sitting on for a while and the original plan was to drip feed it through on this site, but as there are bigger projects coming which’ll be sampled here I figured I’d try something new.

So this story, at the moment still untitled, will be released exclusively on Amazon for the low low price of 99p. A bit of an experiment really but as I’m sure you’ll all agree I’m worth at least 40% of the price of a manky cup of coffee from Starbucks – right? And in this brave new world of Indie Publishing you’ve got to try anything short of black market organ trading and prostitution to get by. Hell, even they’re on the list of options should times get particularly hard.

Currently I’m doing the last edit, sorting some cover art for the ebook and doing the assorted mundane bits and pieces that make the whole process that much less joyful. A sample chapter will be coming in due course and I’m not going to say much until then beyond ‘Sci-Fi’ and ‘Strange’, which should be enough for anyone really. What I have done though is run up a little playlist, as is my habit, that I feel frames the story nicely. Plus I get to have a drink and listen to some good music while I line up the tracks, which is never a bad thing.

If you’re interested in knowing more about project ‘Strange and Sci-Fi’ be sure to sign up to the newsletter, follow me on Twitter, carve my name on your chest and sacrifice your first born to me. No American Express though.

And as a bit of a side note – we landed a very small thing on a very far away thing the other day. Humanity, what a species. My endless respect to those behind the Philae lander project and hello to the strange and terrifying life forms we’ve undoubtedly awoken on that comet.


Laikanist Times

And there, on the hill, stood a shoddy figure. Oddly resplendent in the tattered remains of a dog costume they pointed nervously to the sky and let out an almighty roar. Their words echoed across the barren landscape and they were ‘LAIKANIST TIMES, THEY COME!’ And the world did tremble… – First book of Laika.

An acid test, unfortunately without the acid. An experiment with no fixed goal or purpose. A novella released just to see what would happen.

I’ve decided to unleash Laikanist Times, my new novella on Amazon. Crashed America is still on its way but as a precursor I wanted to test the online waters and see how things go. Somehow that’s easier to do with 35,000 words and talking animals than something full length.

To mark the occasion I’ve made it available for free until midnight this Sunday (16th of March) so grab it while you can because after that it’ll be back to the low low low price of £1.53. Which is a bit of an odd number but that’s VAT for you.

The biggest issue with releasing anything, from music to novels to art is getting the word out there. Very bad things can flourish because the people behind them are excellent at marketing and very good things can fail because they’re not so I’ll throw out a universal plea for you to share it, if you like it. Or even if you don’t. Every new reader is a blessing and sends me into raptures of joy – at some point I’ll probably even start talking in tongues if it gets around enough.

I’ll be spamming the hell out of the internet for the next few weeks to try and get the word out so expect to hear a lot more but for now here’s the link – have at it…


Laikanist Times is the story of one planet divided by a few million years and a fistful of species divides. While the Bald Chimps are seeing apparitions and finding God (or possibly Dog) the dogs are indulging in some quantum meddling and the humans? Well, they had their time.

Rex the Bulldog sets out to change the world, for better or worse, Gdunk the Chimp aims for the stars, Yessa aims to be left alone and Raeget and Kaisabosen aim for, well, something probably. All alongside a host of characters including the good, the bad and the ugly with Jinx and the Four-Leggers, the Laikanists, the Whippet Brotherhood and the Great Salmonists each doing their best to ignore what they need to and find what they want. And all the while Laika the Space Dog is doing something, or not, depending on your point of view.

Laikanist Times is a strange and surrealist parable on the wonders and woes of religion, science, belief and talking animals. As the first novella from Dylan Malik Orchard it’s less a declaration of intent and more a declaration of confusion. With the answers to none of your questions and a slew of doubts to introduce. Humour, farce, satire, sloths and Sci-Fi are mixed together in a heady literary brew*.

*’heady literary brew’ may or may not actually mean anything.


A Machine

The sign might have been meaningless, she thought. She’d spent two days wandering this time – her furiously focused marching leading her miles away from the machine before fear, or guilt or something had forced her to turn back. Now, as she made her way across the last few hundred metres of gravelly wasteland that separated her from home, or rather from the machine, she could almost feel herself shaking with relief. Continue reading A Machine