First Writing Competition Success!

Hi all,

Well the last couple of months have been going quite well for me and my writing. This weekend I had the nice news that I had my first competition success coming first in the GKBC International Short Story Competition! The theme was crime, and you can read my winning story “Weapons of Mass Destruction” here.

GKBC logo

It was judged by Sunday Times best-selling author Tim Weaver, and he had this to say about my story.

“The clear winner. Brutal, funny, inventive, this cross between Grange Hill and The Hunger Games is wonderfully evoked. Its rules are clear, its characters fleshed out, there’s pace, tension and a suitably jet-black twist.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better quote, so thanks Tim!

The thing that really made me feel like a proper writer though was doing my first ever author interview! That was an odd, (do people really want to know about me?!!) but immensely cool thing to be able to do.

In addition, I self-published my first novel “In That Other Dimension” a couple of months ago (which of course you all know about, as I originally wrote it on my blog) and I’ve been getting some rather nice feedback! Keep an eye out for offers on the ebook of “In That Other Dimension”, they will be coming soon (once I work out what’s going on!)

So it’s been a great couple of months, fingers crossed for continuing success.

Whilst I’m in such a good mood, I’m off to continue work on my new novel. Hope everyone else is feeling equally inspired!


Review of the Olympic Games, 4024

Hey all.

I just wanted to share with you my experience of the Olympic Games just passed. What a fabulous event it was, bringing together all the people of the world to take part in a friendly yet unparalleled level of competition.

As I’m sure you know, the modern day Olympics happens every four years and is in a different city every time. This year I was so excited as for the first time ever, it was in my home city of Wolverhampton, England! The vibe and atmosphere around the city was unbelievable, and everything seemed to run smoothly in all the new arenas built for the event.

Of course, I had the whole five weeks off such that I could soak up the atmosphere and watch as many events as possible.

I didn’t actually go to any though, I couldn’t be bothered. It would have taken me a whole five minutes to fly my hoverboard to the Olympic Stadium. That’s a lot of effort. I watched it all in my bedroom in virtual reality on the Interactivenet. The atmosphere was far better here anyway. Sat under my little body scanner like everyone else, it meant that there were around 3 million people I could talk to, and they were all clapping and screaming through the surround sound in my room. It was electrifying.

There are two parts to the Olympics, the first of which is the main event and gets the most coverage. This is where all the fastest and strongest competitors compete for their gold medals. Cyborgs and androids from all around the world are put through rigorous routines and tested to the highest degree. Only those which pass the most stringent tests and have the highest specifications can enter.

The second part of the event has just finished. Personally, this is the part I enjoy the most even if it doesn’t get the same amount of attention. The Homolympics, the Olympics for Homo Sapiens, is the part of the Olympics where normal people like you and me compete. It’s such a rarity to see sports played. Yes, we play them virtually through the Interactivenet all the time, but actually outside? In the polluted air? I have to say though, it’s amazing to see these athletes in their prime, some of them are so fit they even weigh in at under 20 stone!

Below are reviews of some of my favourite events and moments of the 4024 Wolverhampton Olympic Games.

The Ultimate Marathon

This gruelling event is a race consisting of 43 regular marathons run in a row. The original marathon is now one of the shortest events at the Olympics and the best androids finish it in around 15 seconds. The ultimate marathon is the longest distance event in the Olympics, and I can’t exactly remember the story, but it is something about a man in a dress running 43 marathons in a row to help children in Africa back in the 2000’s. Something like that. Anyway, this guy was a real hero and this race commemorates that achievement.

The Ultimate Marathon began and ended in Wolverhampton and went all around the UK to Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The two most fancied competitors were Rob Cod of Great Britain, and Artur Dieter of Germany. Unbelievably though, a unfancied young American called Dale Heck led the field from start to finish, breaking the world record by almost a minute and a half, and it could have been more! He was already celebrating as he ran up Darlington St to cross the finish line next to Beatties. However, after a thorough investigation amidst furious protestations from his coaches, Dale Heck was disqualified. Drugs tests had found that he was using what is known as the “invigorating lube”, WDK40, to enhance his performance. Disqualification meant a victory for the aforementioned Brit!

Extreme Gymnastics

Despite having its critics who say that this is not a proper Homolympic event, even though it has been a part of the Games for about 50 years now, I always enjoy watching the Extreme Gymnastics, especially the Bungee Routine.

Launching herself off a 200m high tower, Xie Xhu Xie performed a spectacular triple somersault, double twist with tuck on the way down, with a quadruple backwards somersault on the way up. This scored her the first ever perfect 10 in Homolympics history, which she followed up with performances in Hoverboard Vaulting and Artistic Planking on the way to the Women’s Individual Extreme Gymnastics gold medal.

Artistic Planking

Speed Vacuuming – Coarse Dust Division

Probably the robotic sport with the longest tradition, the Speed Vacuuming final was the closest fought event of recent times. The defending champion Ben Derr was losing by 2.01 seconds at the halfway stage of two tonnes, yet caught up and finally won by a hundredth of a second! This was Ben Derr’s 105th Olympic medal, and made him the most successful Olympian of all time. Well known for a quirky curl on the top of his head, this fashion has spiralled out of control with robots all over the world getting them fitted, or even in some cases performing auto-surgery of various success rates in desperation to emulate their hero.

Men’s Four Man Team Lazer Quest Final

There was real drama in the Men’s Team Lazer Quest Gold Medal Match once again. It seems that the fallout from the semi-final in Moscow 4020, when the Uzbeki team captain pulled the gun lead out of the Brazilian star-shooters backpack so that his gun didn’t work, was still as fresh as an open wound for the Brazilians. The ensuing Uzbeki victory was never forgiven and this years final was a bad tempered repeat of this semi-final. It began with the confiscation of Ronaldinho-Carlos’s gun, as it was found to contain a real lazer which could have had someone’s head off, and ended with a ten man brawl on the stairs in the northern corner of the venue. Eventually, the match was reduced to a one on one “lazer’s at dawn” fast draw contest, which was won by the aptly named Brazilian, Clint.

Of course, the Uzbeki’s still wouldn’t let this lie and argued ferociously that Clint’s cybernetic arm was more accurate than a human one, so he should be competing in the Olympics and not the Homolympics. Ironically, he lost that arm in the semi-final four years ago. The appeals were thrown out and the gold medal awarded to crowd favourites Brazil.

Closing Ceremony

Wolverhampton’s closing ceremony has been widely criticised around the world, but personally it is probably my favourite ever (and I have hundreds of them recorded on my computer).

It was very simple. There was a picture of Wolverhampton’s greatest ever sportsman on the giant screen (a man called Steve Bull, apparently one of the greats of the old gentleman’s sport of football. Still revered even though the sport hasn’t been played for hundreds of years.) A voice recording was played over it which said:

“Alroight. Thanks for coming ter the Olympic Games, I’m shoe-er yow agree it was bostin’. Unfortunately we ran out of money, spent it all on the fireworks in the Opening Ceremony, so I guess yow might as well goo ‘om. The number 9 buzz will get you to Africa and the number 10 to America. Goodbye, ay it.”

There was then a single firework launched into the sky, which pretty much fizzled out with impeccable comedy timing as the Olympic organisers snuck out undetected.

I loved it. Best closing ceremony in history.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my review of the 4024 Olympic Games in Wolverhampton, and that you have taken away from it as many fond memories as I have. Feel free to share them with me, I love to reminisce.

Fish out,

The Stag Do

Hey all!

Today I was supposed be proofreading my novel, but after seeing a friend’s blog 330words I decided to try and write a short story for it. Anyway, once I’d doubled the word limit and realised I hadn’t got a photo for it, I decided I’d have to do that another day. Nonetheless, here’s the short story I came up with. It might possibly remind you of a certain film?!

I won’t apologise for my sense of humour, but I will for my language! I don’t like to swear unless it’s needed! 

Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it – let me know what you think!


The Stag Do

Bradley the badger woke up with a stinking hangover.

Wiping the remnants of crack-cocaine from his whiskers, he looked around the apartment. It was dark, but he could see enough to know that it was pretty much destroyed.

“Oh shit” he said, sitting up straight in a panic. “What the fuck happened? Are they scratch-marks on the wall?”

Chris the cat stretched out next to him, yawning loudly. “Yeah, sorry. I couldn’t help it. You’re alive then?!” he purred. “What an epic night.”

Davy the dalmatian barked in his sleep and woke himself up. He poked his nose out of the pile of empty pizza boxes he had slept under.

“My god… I feel terrible. I’m never drinking again. I think I’m gonna throw up.”

“Hair of the dog’s what you need” said Chris.

“Fuck off” snapped Davy. He was not in the mood. “And shut your eyes you twat of a cat. I’m trying to sleep and it’s like I’m on the fucking main road, what with you purring and staring.”

“Ooh!” squealed Harry the hedgehog, who had just uncurled from his slumber. Bradley had dropped a pint on him the night before and his spikes were all matted together. He looked like he’d been run over.

“You’re not still cat-fighting are you? You’ve been at it tooth and claw ever since that bird came back with Chris instead of you last night.”

“Eh? What bird?” asked Chris, panicking. He had a feline and a whole litter of kittens at home.

“You don’t remember?!” laughed Harry. “Precious – the parrot from the strip club. Have a look on the internet. Davy was tweeting about her all night, but she thought you were a pretty boy so she came back with you instead! He was so jealous.”

“Oh shit. The stripper? She came here?.. We didn’t?…Surely not?”

“Haha” giggled Bradley, “she was singing a fine tune all night!”

“And you looked like the cat who’d got the cream!” laughed Freddie the fox.

Chris put his whiskers in his paws, before desperately licking himself clean. He felt so dirty.

“Don’t cry over spilt milk” said Harry, trying to comfort him.

“Where is she now? She’s not still here is she?” asked Chris.

Wayne the weasel jumped up and turned the lights on.

“You’d best ask Davy about that” he said, pointing accusingly at a pile of feathers on the carpet.

“Davy got the late night munchies. He was hungry like the wolf!” guffawed Wayne.

Davy ran to the bathroom and was sick as a parrot.

The hungover friends all laughed.

“Guys” said Davy, walking back into the room, suddenly very sober and serious. “Who shut Leonard in the bathroom?”

“What?” said the friends, all fearful at once. “Leonard? Did he come out?!”

Davy nodded sombrely as Leonard the lion strutted into the room. His mane looked dishevelled after sleeping in a bathtub and he was understandably quite angry.

“Where’s Steve?” he growled. “I’m starving!!”

“Steve?” asked Davy. “Which Steve?”

“Some Best Man you are” piped up Michael, quiet as a mouse until now. “Steve. You know. The Stag? The one you organised this whole thing for?”

Leonard took one look at Michael and fled.

Five minutes later, the front door opened. In walked a bedraggled Steve with a box-full of bacon butties.

“Oh, you’re awake then” he said, shaking the water off vigorously. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”

The friends took one look at each other and howled in laughter. 

“That was the best night in history!”

Copyright © Matty Millard 2012