Archive for the writing Category

Taboo Special Issue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2016 by stanleyriiks

I’m delighted to announce that my story “The Tape” has been published in the Morpheus Tales Taboo Special issue, edited by the multi-talented Sheri White.

To give you some idea of the content of that very special issue, my story about a young Hitler and his mother was rejected. “The Tape” is a more subtle tale about a couple of teenage boys finding a VHS tape in one of their parent’s bedrooms. I bet you can imagine what’s on that secret tape… You perves! 😉

Nope, that’s not it. It’s something much more disturbing…

The free preview of the magazine is available here:

Try not to be too disappointed but there’s no preview of my story as it’s pretty short and it would give too much away. You’ll have to buy a copy to get your hands on my bit…


The ebook in various formats is available here:

The ebook is available on amazon for the kindle.

The printed digest size edition is available here:

The printed perfect-bound edition is available here:


Morpheus Tales Apocalypse Special Issue – Open to Submissions!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by stanleyriiks

Ok, so I didn’t manage to submit anything to the Ripped Genes: Biopunk Special Issue, which closed to submissions yesterday. I hear it’s going to be pretty damn good though. Fortunately there’s another Special Issue from the people at Morpheus Tales, now this one really floats my boat…

Morpheus Tales Apocalypse Special Issue – Open to Submissions!

It’s 2012 – the year our world is supposed to end. Supposedly, on December 21st, we will cease to exist. But how is it going to happen? Fire? Flood? Earthquakes? Or something manmade, such as an unstoppable virus or a nuclear explosion?

You tell us. Morpheus Tales is looking for short stories of how the human race is going to die out. Use your imagination – it can be as realistic (fire, for instance) or as far-fetched (maybe zombies?) as you’d like. Is it quick and painless or slow and excruciating? Make us a little nervous that maybe, just maybe, your scenario is imminent.

We know zombies are the in thing right now – but we don’t want to dig through tons of zombie stories. Try to come up with something unique, something that will stand out in the crowd. We want to be freaked out and blown away by the methods you choose to wipe out the Earth.

What we DON’T want – vampires, werewolves, aliens, fantasy, sword and sorcery, biopunk. Otherwise, regular Morpheus Tales guidelines apply – no simultaneous submissions, standard manuscript format, only high quality character- or plot-driven stories of no more than 3,000 words. 

Please put Apocalypse  Special Issue Submission in the subject of your email and send to:

The Apocalypse Special Issue will be available as an ebook and via print-on-demand services. Contributor copies will be in ebook format.

Deadline 31st of December!

Morpheus Tales Biopunk Special Issue – 31st July Deadline for Submissions

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2012 by stanleyriiks

Oh bugger me! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fu… well, when you’re busy. It also flies when you have a deadline approaching, it seems much more quickly than when there’s no deadline. I really wanted to submit to this Biopunk Special.

With just a week to go until the issue closes I’m not sure if I have enough time to get something written, edited and submitted. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been published (fiction-wise) by Morpheus Tales a couple of times, by different editors.

When the issue was first announced earlier this year I was flooded with ideas, now, a week before the deadline, and having written no fiction yet this year, I am bereft. No idea, no time, no story.

Three thousand words can seem like a daunting challenge, but with the right story and the imaginative flow going, it’s difficulty to contain it within that amount of words.  But staring at a blank screen, nothing is coming to me.

One week. That’s all I have left. Will I even manage to submit something? I know the issue is almost complete, I’ve even had a sneaky peak, but didn’t get a chance to read any of the stories. It’s being edited by proof-reader extraordinaire Samuel Diamond, who is one of those responsible for polishing the Morpheus Tales Supplement until it shines.

Ok, enough with this procrastination. I haven’t got time for it. One week. To write a story, edit and submit. I can do it. Or can I? Well, I should at least try. Otherwise I’ve already failed, haven’t I. Bring it on!

Guidelines can be found here:

13: Tales of Dark Fiction

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by stanleyriiks

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is without a doubt the most important book of the year. Not only does it feature my story “Desperate Measures”, a solid little post-apocalyptic tale, although I do say so myself, it also features my story alongside some of my heroes.

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a marvellous book, and I’ll tell you why…

It starts off with a Bigfoot story set during the American Civil War by Zombie/Bigfoot master Eric S. Brown. Bigfoot plus war equals great fun, the story packs a punch and a half.

The second story, entitled “Dirty Story”, is by Gary McMahon. Do I need say more? McMahon is a genius. His stories are brutally honest, heart-wrenching, and hurt like no one else’s. His stories are darker, more disturbing, more menacing than anyone’s except may be Stephen King on his best day, and deeply wounding to the reader. McMahon is my hero, and always will be for the masterpiece of horror fiction that Pretty Little Dead Things.

Alan Spencer has been a regular contributor to Morpheus Tales since the beginning and he always produces good solid fiction. With his story in 13 he has outdone himself. “If You Lay Here Quiet Next to Me” is a masterly tale, subtle and spooky, with an underlying menace that lingers long after you finish reading.

Next comes my story. I can’t say much, just read it for yourselves.

“The Tax Collector” by Tommy B. Smith reminds me of Jonah Hex and Joe R. Lansdale’s stories, which is high praise indeed. This ghostly western is tense and atmospheric. Tommy edited both the Dark Sorcery Special and the Urban Horror Special (in which he published my story “Shoot Out”) and like Alan has been published in Morpheus Tales magazine several times.

William R.D. Wood’s “Organ Grinder” is a fun tale of death and brutality. There’s a level of intelligent nastiness here which is creepy. You’ve gotta love it! I will never see to the circus/fun fair in the same light again.

I was massively impressed with Fred Venturini’s novel The Samaritan. It is an incredible story which tugs at the heart-strings, and makes you read on to find out what disturbing and twisted thing is going to happen next. His story “The Machine” returns to a classic theme of dangerous science. Clever ideas and a good amount of tension make this story difficult to put-down.

Matt Leyshon is working on a collection for Morpheus Tales. His stories are thick with atmosphere, and his writing is heavily stylised, his world drips with filth and decay. “To Hear a New World” wraps you up in the music, twists and spins you into insanity.

“Whatever It Takes” By Joseph D’Lacey is a story every writer can understand. The author of MEAT and The Garbage Man offers a unique and insightful perspective on the horrors of writing, and what writers are prepared to do to get where they want to be. Another tales that lingers.

I first became aware of Andrew Hook from his exceptional small-press imprint Elastic Press, which published some great collections, including the amazingly memorable Gareth L. Powell’s The Last Reef. Sadly Andrew closed down Elastic Press, fortunately it was to concentrate on his writing. “Wounder” is a very smooth and subtle addition to the book, a twisted urban fantasy that creeps under your skin.

“Mongrel Days” by the powerhouse that is Andy Remic is a twisted SF story. As you would expect, there is full-on (FULL-ON!!!) action and adventure, with a dark underlying menace just beneath the surface. Remic is a demented genius, seemingly at home writing thrillers, horror, SF or fantasy. It is for his fantasy trilogy the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, and particularly Kell The Legend, that I will always love him (in a manly non-sexual way!), for making me feel as excited as a four year old again.

Shaun Jeffrey’s novel The Kult is a cracking crime/thriller/horror novel. For his contribution to 13 he provides a nasty story of greed and revenge.

The final story that makes up 13 is Gary Fry’s “The Watchers at Work”. I first read Fry’s Spectral Press chapbook Abolisher of Roses, a subtle and engaging story. “The Watchers at Work” is the longest story in the book, but Fry knows how to make every word count. He builds the tension and atmosphere like a conductor with an orchestra. Expertly written, it makes you feel exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. A great story to end an impressive collection.

13 has been a labour of love for its editor, and the passion shines through. 13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a remarkable anthology, and I am ever so grateful to be a part of it alongside some great names and amazing stories.

 13: Tales of Dark Fiction

Available from and all good booksellers

 Available as an ebooks in many formats:

Morpheus Tales Christmas Horror Special Issue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2011 by stanleyriiks

The Morpheus Tales Christmas Horror Special Issue is out now!

Featuring some great Christmas themed fiction:

Merry Christmas By Wayne C. Rogers

Christmas Rising By James Gabriel

Santa’s Tenure By Alan Spencer

On Christmas Eve By Iain Paton

Shop ‘Til You Drop By A.D. Barker

Christmas Mourning By Greg Chapman

Last Of The True Believers By Mark Zirbel

Christmas Yet to Come By Jeff Suess

Ye Merry Gentlemen By John S. Barker

All of the Other Reindeer By Peter Rawlik

Happy Christmas By Stanley Riiks (That’s me!)

Mary’s Boy-Child By Wayne Simmons

Morpheus Tales Magazine is published quarterly in January, April, July and October. Because of the publishing schedule seasonal material is rarely used, but the first story in the collection inspired editor Adam Bradley (my brother from another mother) to publish this completely FREE magazine. Work started on the issue in December last year, opening to submissions shortly after until 1st of September.

The cover, by artist Gareth Partington (whose work has been featured on Morpheus Tales covers before), was originally a Christmas card.

I wrote four stories with the Christmas theme over the summer, finding it difficult to think of snow, fat men with beards, gingerbread biscuits, and presents, with the sun shining, the windows open and the heat wafting in along with the smells of barbecues. Christmas has always been a happy time in my family, despite the stresses and strains of the year, we come together to celebrate and spend time together until we get sick of each other (normally boxing day, 26th December!), so it was just as difficult to think of a nasty situation to pair up with Christmas. Horror comes in many forms, and the Christmas theme certain brought out a good range, including murder, zombies and lots more.

The magazine is completely free of charge to view, download and distribute. Send it to a fiend for Christmas!

You can read and view the Issuu version of the magazine or download it here:

You can download a pdf copy here:

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to all!

Zombies… Pressure/Opportunity…

Posted in Life..., Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by stanleyriiks

I was recently asked to contribute to an anthology of original dark fiction. Great, you may say, but then I found out who else was going to be in this book. The list was hideously. It sent cold shivers down my spine and made me feel a little nauseous. Two of my favourite writers were on that list, and the rest were pretty damn good too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing and when things are going well I feel like I belong up there with Stephen King and Clive Barker. But when things are not going so well, I fear anyone will read the dross I come out with.

Massive opportunity. Massive amount of pressure.

I waited for inspiration to strike, I waited and waited as the deadline loomed closer. Slowly but surely the deadline crept up on me and inspiration failed.

Having been a bit rusty in the fiction-writing department, I had thrown out a couple of stories for practice and to try to get a bit of a rhythm going. Managed to knock together a couple of zombie stories, one, at 60,000 words, the longest  I’d written in years.  Editing that down to the 10,000 maximum was too daunting a task, so I thought I’d adapt an old idea I’d had lurking around for a little while.

A futuristic warrior lands on a zombie infested-planet…

The basic concept needed sorting out into a plot with characters…

With the deadline ever closer I had no choice but to start writing, my brain had no more time to let ideas percolate. If things worked out marvellous, if they didn’t… Well, I didn’t want to think about that!

The story was written, twelve thousand words later, weeks worth of writing and I was done. But the story hadn’t turned out how I’d wanted it to. The editing job it needed would be enormous. I could certainly polish it up into something respectable, but editing isn’t exactly my idea of fun and it would take a lot of work.

With the deadline just around the corner I had a decision to make, and virtually no time to make it.

A personal post-apocalyptic tale I had written before I knew about the book had turned out pretty well, I was happy with it, as happy as us sensitive creative types can be that is.  I put it forward to the editor, on the deadline. He snapped my hand off, gave me a nod of affirmation and later emailed me confirmation that the story would be included.

Now I sit and wait, hunched up and trembling with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and fear…

Reviews – Morpheus Tales Supplement

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by stanleyriiks

I’ve been doing loads of reviews recently, only a small amount of which have been for the blog (don’t worry, more will be coming soon!). Most of the reviews were for the Morpheus Tales Supplement, where I’m the big chief and head honcho and have to do my bit to fill up all those pages.

My reviews of the following titles will all feature in the next issue, along with my interview with horror editing legend Stephen Jones and loads more:

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! Created By Stephen Jones







DEAD BEAT By Remy Porter

I’m also working on my yearly article,  A Year In Reviews and will be awarding my own personal awards to my favourite books of the year.

The Morpheus Tales Supplement is free to read, view and download from the Morpheus Tales website!

The new issue of the Supplement will be out in January, so I’ll be hard at work on that for the next few weeks!