Anti-propaganda for the UK general election 2017

Assorted Facebook posts I wrote aimed at combatting online conservative propaganda. Feel free to copy any of them anywhere you think they might be useful (no attribution required). If you have any corrections, or suggestions for additional ones, let me know.

 

General points

Don’t let the conservatives con you with advertising slogans. It is your future, and your children’s future, that you are gambling with. Use your vote wisely.

We don’t need to let the conservatives rob our granny’s house to pay for her care costs. We don’t need to let them steal the food from the mouths of infants. We don’t need to let them take from the poor and give to the rich. We don’t need to let them double the national debt every five years to pay for their austerity scam. We don’t need to let them bring back fox hunting. And we don’t need to let them cripple the economy by taking us out of Europe without a trade deal and into a war with Syria.

There is another way. We can invest in the future. We can kick-start the economy instead of crippling it even further. We can raise the living standards for everyone. We can reduce homelessness and child poverty along with the national debt. We can have a trade deal with Europe that benefits everyone, rich and poor alike. And we can look after the elderly and infirm, the sick, the disabled, the children who live in poverty.

All these things can be ours. Labour’s manifesto is fully costed, and has been verified by independent economic experts. The only people saying it isn’t viable are the conservatives and billionaire media moguls who dodge paying their fair share of tax. Ask yourself what they would have to gain by lying to you in this way.

If you earn less than £80,000 a year you will be better off under Labour. Even the conservative newspaper The Spectator has confirmed this. If you earn more than £80,000 a year and don’t want to contribute to society, you need to remember one key point – the conservatives are refusing to reveal how much they will raise taxes and national insurance by until after the election.

——

This is the first election where the poor and disabled have been given a clear choice between prosperity or torment. As for the rest of us, we just can’t afford to go on doubling the national debt every five years to pay for austerity programmes while the rich and greedy syphon off all their money into tax havens. it is time the elite started paying their fair share instead of sponging off the rest of us.

——

Some of the more observant here may have noticed that certain combinations of words are repeated over and over again. These are called trigger phrases, and are commonly used by advertisers to manipulate the minds of consumers. They work by being repeated so many times that they become ingrained in the listener’s mind, and eventually become accepted as the truth, even though under more considered examination they are anything but.

Here are a few examples you may be familiar with: Washing machines live longer with Calgol (they don’t). Guinness is good for you (it isn’t). The goodness that’s in Milky Bar (there isn’t any).

So now we have “Strong and stable leadership” to add to these. See if you can work out for yourself where the falsehoods in this statement lie. To make it fair, just base your reasoning on the last two years of Conservative government. Have those years been stable for the country? Has the leadership been strong? Is there anything to suggest it will be any different in the next few years, with the chaos that a hard brexit will bring?

——

You would think, with all the extra warning they had before the announcement, that the conservatives would have come up with a better election campaign strategy than just saying “pooh pooh you smell” to all the other party leaders. But I suppose increasing national insurance (aka the jobs creation tax), increasing VAT and crippling the economy, and re-classifying pensioners as scroungers who deserve to have their benefits cut, were never going to be vote winners.

 

Brexit

If May isn’t even strong and stable enough to debate the country’s future with Corbyn, or even take unscripted questions from the voting public, how is she going to stand up to someone like Merkel, who has already dismissed her as a fantasist? We need someone with a clear vision for the future to take over Brexit negotiations. Not someone who has flip-flopped so many times she doesn’t even know which way up she is. And we need a foreign secretary who isn’t a world-wide laughing stock.

——

If you ignore the propaganda and lies, this election boils down to one key point. Who do you trust to come up with a bill of human rights to replace the ones we will lose when we leave Europe?

On one side we have the Conservatives, a party condemned by the United Nations for the way it treats the disabled. A party whose idea of tackling homelessness is to erect spikes on every flat surface people might choose to sleep on, then fines them for being too poor to afford anywhere to live and confiscates their blankets so they will freeze to death. A party whose attitude toward mental health is to ask people with depression why they haven’t killed themself yet.

On the other side we have Labour, the party who gave us the NHS, minimum wage, bank holidays, social housing, and lots of other things we take for granted. All of which, it is worth pointing out, the Conservatives voted against.

 

The ecomomy

Conservatives can’t be trusted with the economy. All they have ever done is sell off our national assets at rock bottom prices so that they and their billionaire donors can line their own pockets. But don’t take my word for it, do your own research. Look up how many conservative MPs became private landlords after Thatcher caused a shortage in council homes. Look up how many conservative MPs made a huge profit from selling off the nation’s assets. And look up how many of the current batch of conservative MPs have a financial stake in companies that will profit from a fully privatised NHS. Then look at a list of their top donors, and see where they make their money.

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/03/13/the-conservatives-have-been-the-biggest-borrowers-over-the-last-70-years/

——

Labour’s plans won’t just be funded by a small increase in tax for the wealthy elite. They will be funded through savings to the benefit budget caused by increasing minimum wage, and the extra boost to tax from the resulting increase in consumer spending and corresponding company profits. Plus by saving money on nonsense projects like testing the disabled to see if their doctors are lying or not, cutting subsidies to opera houses and private schools, etc, and by investing in the education of our own citizens instead of importing skilled labour from elsewhere. It’s a long term economic plan, something the conservatives have never had.

——

How can the conservatives possibly justify increasing National Insurance (aka the jobs creation tax, which according to Cameron will lead to mass unemployment and cripple the economy)? With all the cuts to social security for the poor and disabled, and the rationing of NHS services and huge waiting lists for essential operations,  it should be reduced to reflect the lower level of safety net it provides.

 

Benefits / Social Security

Labour’s rise in minimum wage will drastically cut the social security budget, lifting people out of poverty, and freeing up that money for other things that every member of society will benefit from. It will also increase consumer spending, which will be good for businesses. Just like it did when Labour first introduced the minimum wage. Even the conservatives eventually agreed it was a good thing, despite all of them voting against it at the time. The conservative rise in tax and national insurance for low and middle earners will cripple the economy even more.

 

Tax and National Insurance

All you people who earn more than £80,000 and don’t want to contribute to society need to consider one key point — why are the conservatives keeping their tax and national insurance policy a secret until after the election? What are they hiding?

 

National Debt

Conservative voters —  I get that you are rich. You live in a nice home in a nice area. Either you have inherited wealth, or you have a nice job with a very high salary, and you want to keep every penny of what you have earned. You certainly don’t want to waste any of it on scrounging cripples who can easily support themselves by begging in the streets like they did in the good old days. Or the children of parents living in poverty because they weren’t as lucky as you. We could always bring back the workhouse to sort those people out. Get them doing odd jobs in return for what they get from food banks. I get all that, really, I do. But what I don’t get, is why you are happy for the conservatives to double the national debt every five years to pay for all this torment they are inflicting on people.  It is your own children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, who will need to pay that debt off.

Don’t you even care about them, either?

 

Health / Social Care

The real scandal of this conservative government isn’t that NHS staff need to use foodbanks, it is that ANYONE needs to use foodbanks in a country as wealthy as this one. We all pay national insurance so that the more vulnerable members of society can be looked after — the poor, the disabled, the elderly and infirm, etc. And yet we have record levels of homelessness and child poverty, a crisis in care, and rationing of NHS services. So if the conservatives are not spending our national insurance money on the people it was designed to help, what are they spending it on instead? Where has all that money gone?

——

The new policy on care for the elderly and infirm in their own homes shows how callous the conservatives are. The people affected don’t matter because they won’t be able to make it to the polling station on election day.

——

Why are the conservatives pretending they care about people with mental and physical disabilities when they have spent billions in tax payer money doing nothing but tormenting them and causing  them mental anguish for the last two years? If they have somehow developed a conscience because there is an election coming and they want to make up for what they have done, just give them back the £30 a week they stole from them to fund the cut to corporation tax, and leave them alone. Otherwise they should just admit to everyone that the money they spend will go to pen-pushers who will carry on asking people with depression why they haven’t killed themself yet.

——

The tory attitude to mental health is best summed up in the question “why haven’t you killed yoursellf yet” being asked at disability assessments. If they are still alive, they are obviously faking it and don’t need any help from the state. If they are dead, maybe they were telling the truth after all, but at least they won’t need any help from the state. It’s a bit like how if you drown you weren’t really a witch.

 

Self Employment

Something to consider if you are self employed. And remember — we all go through rough patches that we have no control over, it goes with the territory.

Under Conservative plans for the self employed, as published on the Universal Credit website, you will need to file your accounts on a monthly basis, so there’s no annual averaging of income if your work is seasonal or if you have months when you make less for whatever reason. There are no more allowances for capital expenditure, either. Only day to day running costs can be counted as a business expense.

You are also assumed to be making at least the equivelent of minimum wage, ie about £1200 a month, so even if you earn less than that in some months your top-up social security credit will be based on the full £1200. And in the months when you do well, you will obviously get lower credits or nothing at all because of that.

On top of that, the DWP can call you in for job centre interviews whenever they like, and you will be sanctioned if you don’t attend or if you can’t prove you are actively seeking more customers. They will also have the power to close down your business and force you to seek employment instead if they decide you are not running your business effectively. But you won’t be able to claim any jobseekers allowance because you were self employed and therefore gave up your “job” voluntarily.

——

Every business owner knows that the planned conservative increase in National Insurance will hit them a lot harder than any nominal rise in corporation tax. Corporation tax is paid on profits they make, whereas National Insurance is paid for every employee they have, regardless of how much or how little profit they make. It will cost profits, and it will cost jobs.

 

 

 

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This is England 2015 screenplay leaked

I recently came into posession of a leaked copy of the new This is England 2015 film screenplay. For copyright reasons I can only post the first page, but as you’ll probably agree it looks like it’s going to be very reminiscent of that period in skinhead history.

this-is-england

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Return of The Snatcher

Witch

Scar Gill risked a quick glance over his shoulder as he ran across the wasteland, desperate to reach the safety of Gold Thor’s perimeter and the warriors who protected it. He wished he hadn’t; the scabbed ones were gaining on him. So close he could almost taste their stench in the back of his throat. Pus flew from the weeping sores on their emaciated arms and legs as they gave chase, a whole flock of them stretched out as far as he could see.

Scar Gill had never seen so many of them this far north before. In the stories, handed down from generation to generation, the scabbed ones of Notty Ham were in league with The Snatcher and had plotted with her to bring down the Under Dwellers of Yarkshire during her war with the mighty warrior Scar Gill was named after. Legend told how even on her deathbed, The Snatcher vowed revenge on the people of Yarkshire from beyond the grave, and that her evil spirit lived on in the minds of others.

Had The Snatcher taken on a new form and driven the scabbed ones north to destroy Gold Thor? Was the mighty town of Barn Slay, birthplace of the Scar Gill of legend, next on her list of targets for extermination? Scar Gill had to get home so he could raise the warning, rouse the village’s warriors before it was too late. He ran on, the scabbed ones screeching in their pursuit.

Arms pumping, breath wheezing, the stitch in his side burning agony, Scar Gill looked to the horizon, where the first traces of Gold Thor’s fields were visible against the setting sun. An oasis in the barren landscape, spared from the great Gee Had, some say, by the spirit of the legendary Scar Gill himself, Yarkshire’s protector and The Great Num’s ambassador on earth.

Scar Gill cursed himself for roaming so far from the safety of Gold Thor’s boundaries. But it was every citizen of Yarkshire’s duty to kill the scabbed ones of Notty Ham on sight, in revenge for their traitorous ways during the great war between The Snatcher and the Scar Gill of legend. So when he saw one sneak into Gold Thor and make off with one of the newborn lambs under its arm, Scar Gill gave chase with his trusty axe. He knew it was too late to save the animal as he followed the clumps of bloody fleece ripped from its body while it was devoured, but he had to do what was right. He had to rid the world of the thing that had taken it and avenge his ancestors.

He just never expected to come face to face with a whole flock of them nesting among the rubble of the wasteland. He skidded to a halt and turned and fled, but it was too late. The scabbed army had already seen him. They screeched and moaned, blackened teeth gnashing and scabbed arms flailing pus as they gave chase.

Now Scar Gill ran, spurred on by the sight of home, the pain in his side dissipating with renewed hope. Almost there …

A gnarled hand clawed against his back. Its owner’s fetid breath rasped in his ear. Scar Gill cried out and spun with the axe. Its blade thudded into rancid flesh and something warm and wet splashed onto Scar Gill’s face and chest. The stench was unbelievable, the taste of it in his mouth even worse. He gagged and spat, and almost stumbled as he ran on.

A shout came from the village ahead. One of the watchers, it had to be. Thank The Great Num someone was still on duty. Help would be on its way soon, Scar Gill just had to survive until then. More shouts. Then the glint of axes in the fading sunlight. The outline of figures with spears running toward him.

“Over here!” Scar Gill yelled, waving the axe above his head.

The warriors shouted the ancient chant of The Great Num as they ran into battle against The Snatcher’s scabbed army, just like their ancestors had done in the times of yore.

“Coal not dole! Coal not dole! Coal not dole!”

“Coal not dole!” Scar Gill repeated, overcome with emotion. He didn’t know what those words meant, nobody did, but he knew they would strike fear into the hearts of the scabbed ones of Notty Ham and give power to the Yarkshire warriors when the two armies clashed.

A dozen warriors ran past him. Axes swung through scabbed flesh as they continued the chant. Spears were plunged into blackened, traitorous hearts and ripped free. Arms, legs and heads were hacked off and sent spinning through the air. The ground turned red with diseased blood. Scabbed bodies twitched where they lay.

“Coal not dole!”

Scar Gill joined in the fray, his axe eager to taste blood once more before it was all over. He raised it above his head and ran at a scabbed one, embedded it in the thing’s face. It squealed and flailed its arms as it fell to its knees. Scar Gill placed his foot on the thing’s chest and wrenched the axe free. He looked around for a fresh victim.

The scabbed army were retreating. They screeched and squealed as they ran back across the wasteland in the direction they had come from. Yarkshire warriors chased them and cut them down with their axes and spears as they fled. Scar Gill watched, his arms and face slick with the enemy’s gore. It was over too soon, he had hoped to claim a few more lives before the battle ended. One or two scabbed ones managed to get away, but most lay dead or dying among the rubble. The scabbed army were defeated once more.

Scar Gill swelled up with pride as he looked down at his bloody axe. He had proven himself worthy of the name bestowed upon him, and there would be a new tale for the village elder to tell the children in the morning. Perhaps one day, when Scar Gill became a man, he would lead a charge into Notty Ham and destroy the scabbed ones forever. Then he too would go down in legend, just like his namesake.

But for now, it was time to party. And to celebrate once more the death of the evil witch known as The Snatcher.

 

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Rockerhead – Peter Marshall

rockerhead

If you search for Hells Angels fiction on Amazon’s Kindle, once you discard the ones about angels and demons you’ll get page after page of romance titles featuring a hairy biker and his massive chopper next to some skinny bird who’s probably never had a hot throbbing motorcycle between her legs in her entire life. Presumably there’s a market for such books, but they don’t really appeal to me.

But tucked away on page three of the list you’ll find one called Rockerhead with a cover reminiscent of the old NEL books of the 1970s by Peter Cave and the like. The description mentions those books too, as does the writer’s introduction (which you will need to page-back to see, since it opens by default at chapter one).

The writer uses the name Peter Marshall, and goes to great lengths to point out it’s not his real name. Maybe he’s ashamed of the book, or doesn’t want to tarnish his current or future reputation by taking ownership of it, but he shouldn’t be. In a lot of ways it’s better than the original 1970s Hells Angels books he says he wrote it as a homage to. Most of those were pretty far-fetched, and barely more than a series of Asian or skinhead bashing set-pieces with minimal plot to tie them all together.

This one’s more of a revenge thriller with outlaw bikers in it. It has all the trappings you’d want from a Hells Angels book – bike chases, fisticuffs in the pub, petty crime, evading capture by the fuzz, even a bit of racist banter (though obviously toned down for today’s more sensitive readers).

Rockerhead is the nickname of the lead character, but everyone seems to call him Andy instead. He’s the leader of the pack, riding a BSA Thunderbolt with his Shangri Las style old lady Chrissy on the bitch-pad. Along with the rest of their gang they get up to assorted mischief during their annual run to seaside town Sidmouth, and soon get on the wrong side of Eastenders style cockney villain Jimmy Fitch.

The writer seems to know his stuff. There’s no motorcycle tyres screeching round bends, and no long, drawn out conversations between bike rider and passenger during a high speed chase like you find in a lot of books. So he’s either a biker himself or he’s at least done his homework. My only real quibble is with the naming of two of the supporting characters, Tosher and Tonner. The names are too similar, and you end up getting them mixed up with each other.

I’d recommend it if you grew up reading the old NEL books, like I did. And if you liked any of my books you should like this one too. It says it’s part of a series of “Retro Fiction” but it seems to be the only one available so far. Hopefully there will be others to come, but I’d guess that will depend on how well this one sells. It’s ebook only at the moment, and currently exclusive to the Amazon Kindle (though you could convert it to epub easily enough with Calibre if you needed to read it on something else).

It’d probably do better as a paperback, so if “Peter Marshall” reads this, get yourself over to Createspace and make one.

 

Get it here for 2 quid

 

 

 

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Preview: Biker Sluts versus Flying Saucers

biker-sluts-big

An outlaw biker story set during the aftermath of an alien invasion in 1970s England.

In 1973, 99% of Earth’s population are wiped out in an alien invasion.

Satan’s Bastards are among the 1% who survive. Holing up in a nature reserve at the arse end of nowhere, the men spend the next five years partying while their women scavenge for food and booze from the ruins of nearby towns and cities.

But when a supply run goes tits up, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change their lives forever.

It’s now 1978, and it’s time for the mamas and old ladies of Satan’s Bastards to fight back against the alien scum who wrecked their lives.

This is their story.

 

Paperback UK

ebook UK

Paperback USA

ebook USA

 

Sample

Mia always got nervous before a supply run. She’d be daft not to, given the risks involved, but she knew it had to be done. If it was left up to the men they’d eat nothing but swans and rabbits, and sit around smoking dope all day. That was no way for Satan’s Bastards to live. They should be out on the road, roaming the country like they used to. Not rotting away in some nature reserve at the arse end of nowhere. So while Mia felt the usual jitters of apprehension, she felt something else too. A tingle of excitement at the prospect of getting back in the saddle and riding away from there. Even if it was only for a few hours.

She picked up the sawn-off shotgun lying beside her sleeping bag and inserted a cartridge in each of the twin barrels. You can’t be too careful out there, Fat Brenda always drilled into her. That was true, but shotguns were only useful for scaring off packs of wild dogs or as a quick way of getting through locked doors. Against the Angels they were no use at all. Nothing was.

Mia stuffed the loaded shotgun into a backpack and looked around the jumble of possessions littering her tent to see if there was anything else she might need for the shopping trip. A six inch serrated knife with an ivory handle and a box of spare shotgun cartridges went into the breast pockets of her leather jacket. She picked up a torch, checked it still worked, and tossed it into the bag with the shotgun. After another quick look around, she slung the bag over one shoulder and stepped out of the tent into the gathering dusk.

Wicked Tina, Suzy and Margot were waiting for her. Mia looked beyond them to the lake at the far end of the campsite, expecting to see Fat Brenda among the group of men and women watching Bonehead try to light the fire for the night. They jeered as he threw match after match at the petrol-soaked damp branches piled up like a skeletal tepee by the side of the lake. He struck another match and threw it. It blew out before it landed on target.

“You need to get a bit closer,” Tanner said, “hold it next to the wood when you strike it, then it won’t go out before it takes hold.”

“Yeah right,” Bonehead said, “and lose me beard and eyebrows again. Nah, you’re all right, I’ll do it me own way.”

Bonehead struck a match and held it to the remaining matches in the box until they flared up, then tossed the flaming box at the base of the woodpile. The petrol ignited with a loud whump, and crackling flames shot up the vertical branches. Everyone cheered. Bonehead turned to Tanner and grinned smugly.

“Yeah, well done, Bonehead,” Tanner said. He shook his head, but he was smiling at the same time. “Good idea, waste a whole box of matches when one would have been enough.”

Bonehead shrugged. “Got the job done, didn’t it? Besides, it’s shopping day, innit? Just add more matches to the list of shit we need.”

Tanner leaned into the flames and lit a huge joint before sitting cross-legged near the fire to smoke it. Bonehead pressed play on his cassette player and a Hawkwind song he had recorded from John Peel’s radio show blared out.

“Where’s FB?” Mia asked, noticing Fat Brenda wasn’t part of the group by the fire.

Suzy pointed at the row of tents lining one side of the clearing. “I saw her going into her tent a while ago.”

Mia nodded. “Right. I’ll go tell her it’s time to go.”

“Rather you than me, honey,” Wicked Tina said, grinning.

“Why’s that?” Mia asked.

“You’ll see,” Suzy said.

Mia walked over to the tent Fat Brenda shared with Dirk. Like the other tents, the outside of the green canvas was daubed with white spray-painted slogans – Satan’s Bastards, Scum, ACAB, Born to Ride – as well as upside-down crosses. She opened up the flap and looked inside. Fat Brenda was on her hands and knees on the worn grass floor, leather trousers around her ankles, while Dirk thrust into her from behind. Rolls of fat rippled with every thrust, like a jelly being smacked with a jack-hammer.

“Christ, FB, you’ve had all day to do that. Hurry it up, yeah? We’re all waiting for you, it’s time to go.”

Dirk turned his head and grinned at Mia while he continued pounding into Fat Brenda. “Give us another few minutes or so, yeah? Then she’s all yours.” He slapped Fat Brenda on the arse. She cried out and called him a bastard.

Mia sighed and let the tent flap drop. Wicked Tina, Suzy and Margot burst out laughing. Mia shook her head as she walked back to join them.

“FB might be a while yet, let’s go and wait by the fire.”

They joined the other bikers by the side of the lake. A few more joints were doing the rounds, and Wicked Tina took a toke on one before she asked what everyone wanted them to look out for. Most wanted booze and smokes, predictably enough. Tanner wanted some new books, said he’d read all the ones they’d got him last time. Basher wanted chicken soup. Skinny Brenda caused a groan from the men and a torrent of insults when she asked for sanitary pads. Even some of the other women joined in with the taunts.

Bonehead held up his joint and offered it to Mia. She raised both hands and shook her head. “Nah, I want to keep a clear head for the ride. Save me some for later though, yeah?”

“I’ve got a big stash in me tent, we’ll share it when you get back,” Bonehead said, nodding vigorously. “Can you get me some more batteries while you’re out?”

Mia smiled. “Yeah, no worries man.” Bonehead was always the easiest to please. As long as he had juice for his cassette player and an endless supply of dope to smoke he was as happy as a pig making its first arrest.

“And don’t forget the pizza,” Basher said with a grin. Everyone laughed.

“Yeah, right,” Suzy said, shaking her head. “And I suppose you want ice cream for afters, do you?”

“Hell, yeah! And some donuts to dip into it!”

“I want bananas and custard,” Johnny called out.

“Don’t,” Wicked Tina said, shaking her head. “Those are one of the few things I still miss. Why the hell didn’t anyone ever think to invent tinned bananas?”

“Wouldn’t do you any good if they did,” Basher said, grinning. “They’d be too mushy to shove up your fanny.”

“Piss off, Basher. That was just part of my stage act, and you know it. Besides, the way I remember it, you were the one who ate it after I threw it into the audience.”

The cannabis-induced giggles came fast and loud. Mia doubted any of them would still be conscious by the time they got back later in the night.

“A rocket launcher would be awesome,” someone said.

“Yeah, and a movie projector with something to watch on it.”

“That dinosaur one with Raquel Welch in a fur bikini. Gets me hard every time.”

“I’ll have Raquel Welch, you can shag the dinosaurs.”

“You guys get what you get,” Fat Brenda said, walking toward the fire with Dirk. Her face was flushed, her cheeks rosy. “If you want anything special you can go out there and get it for yourself, you hear?”

“Hell no,” Dirk said. “That’s what you bitches is for. We got much more important shit to do right here.” He pulled out a bag of dried magic mushrooms and waved it in the air. Fat Brenda thumped him in the chest and he darted away from her, grinning.

Mia smiled. Nobody else would have dared do that to Dirk, and Dirk certainly wouldn’t have taken it from anyone but Fat Brenda. Being his old lady obviously came with some privileges, but Mia couldn’t help wondering if part of it was down to the sheer intimidating size of the woman. With her tree-trunk arms covered in tattoos, huge calloused fists and considerable bodyweight, she could’ve done some serious damage if she’d wanted to.

Dirk sat by the fire and opened the bag of mushrooms. He reached in for a handful and stuffed them into his mouth, then passed the bag on to Tanner in exchange for a toke on his joint. He took a long drag and held his breath, then closed his eyes and exhaled slowly with a sigh. He looked up at Fat Brenda.

“Take care, yeah?” he said, softly. “I’ll see you when you get back. And make sure you wear your helmet, just in case.”

Fat Brenda nodded, then turned away and strode off past the tents and through the bushes on the opposite side of the clearing. Margot bent down and kissed Deano passionately, then followed Fat Brenda. Mia raised a hand to Bonehead. Bonehead, and three other men sitting near him, waved back.

“You ready?” Suzy asked.

Mia nodded. Of course she was ready, she’d been ready all day. While everyone else slept off their hangovers from the previous night’s party, Mia had woken with the dawn chorus. She’d watered Tanner’s cannabis crop and gathered wood for the night’s fire in a daze, her mind filled with thoughts of the ride to come.

She followed Suzy and Wicked Tina through the bushes and onto a gravel path where the motorcycles were parked. Twenty-eight of them in total, one for each surviving member of Satan’s Bastards, all with leather saddle-bags draped over the rear seat.

Margot and Fat Brenda were sat on their bikes, revving the engines as she approached. Mia walked up to her Norton Commando and mounted it. She lifted a leather helmet and goggles from the front brake lever and put them on, then twisted the key in the ignition. The engine roared into life first time when she stamped down on the kick-start, adding to the noise of the other bikes around her.

Fat Brenda pulled forward first on her Triumph Bonneville, closely followed by Margot on her Kawasaki Avenger. Mia watched Suzy and Wicked Tina follow them down the dirt track, their rear wheels throwing up dust as they went. Mia pulled in the clutch and kicked her bike into gear. She switched on the headlight and rolled forward slowly, both feet scraping along the dirt as she went. She had once dropped her bike on the bend where the dirt track met the main road cutting through the nature reserve after her rear wheel slipped in some mud. That led to months of taunting about needing stabiliser wheels from the other bikers, and she was determined never to let that happen again.

The others had already sped off into the distance by the time Mia reached the end of the dirt track. She slipped the clutch and dabbed her way onto the tarmac road, then opened up the throttle and accelerated up to thirty. It was a straight road, lined both sides with the silhouettes of tall trees blocking out the stars, and Mia had ridden it so many times she felt she could do it blindfold. She twisted the throttle another inch and whooped in joy at the acceleration tugging at her wrists.

This was what Mia missed the most from the old days. The wind in her face, her long black hair whipping out behind her. The roar of the engine, its heady scent of oil and petrol in her nostrils. The thrill of the ride. It reminded her of those carefree days long ago, when Satan’s Bastards were the kings of the road. Riding wherever their bikes took them, doing whatever they wanted, not a care in the world. Travelling from town to town, terrorising the locals, then moving on before law enforcement caught up with them. Another day, another town. Another night, another wild party. But all that was gone now, and was never coming back. The Angels had seen to that.

The exit gate came up fast and Mia eased off on the throttle, letting the bike slow itself naturally as she drifted over to the right hand side of the road in preparation. She took the T-junction at twenty, and used the whole width of the main road to accelerate out of the sharp corner. This was another road Mia knew like the back of her hand. She knew every twist and turn, every burnt-out wreck and abandoned vehicle on it. So while the other women rode more cautiously in the cloying darkness, Mia kicked up through the gears and accelerated to sixty.

It didn’t take long to catch up with the other bikes. Suzy and Wicked Tina rode two abreast, either side of the dotted white line, trundling along together at a steady fifty, Margot close behind them. Fat Brenda took up the rear, and Mia eased off on the throttle as she rode alongside her. They cut through woodland, then crossed a river into open farmland. Overgrown fields, long since grown wild, flashed past on both sides, dimly illuminated by the light of the full moon. Wicked Tina and Suzy slowed on the approach to a wrecked Ford Cortina straddling the road, and manoeuvred into single file to navigate around it.

Mia looked up at the sky once she’d passed the car, checking in all directions now her view wasn’t obscured by hedgerows. She knew the Angels rarely ventured out at night, but it wasn’t unheard of so it always paid to be vigilant. Finding the sky clear, she twisted the throttle and edged ahead of Fat Brenda, then overtook Margot and looked for an opening between Suzy and Wicked Tina. They must have seen her coming because they parted, drifting over to the far left and right sides of the road to make room for her. She waved her thanks as she passed between them, then opened up the throttle wide. This was what Mia had been waiting for. An open road, and nothing to hold her back, nothing to slow her down. She accelerated up to seventy, a wide grin on her face as the rushing wind took her breath away.

The throaty roar of an accelerating motorcycle came from behind. Mia glanced in her wing mirror and saw Fat Brenda coming up fast. She eased off on the throttle to let the other woman pull alongside in case it was something important. Fat Brenda looked at Mia and shouted something, but the words were lost to the roaring wind.

What?” Mia shouted back, frowning.

Fat Brenda pulled ahead, waving as she sped away into the distance. Mia grinned and twisted the throttle another inch, determined not to let Fat Brenda take the lead. If she wanted a race, then she was going to get one, and Mia wasn’t going to make it easy for her. Norton versus Triumph, Mia versus Fat Brenda, with the winner getting gloating rights for the rest of the night.

Faster and faster they went down the empty, twisting road. Mia’s speedometer nudged eighty. Another twist of the throttle sent it to ninety. Fat Brenda went for the ton and opened up the gap between them. A sharp left-hander came up fast. Mia dabbed her rear brake and drifted over to the centre of the road to get an early view around it. Fat Brenda moved over to the left to take a racing line around the bend, and disappeared from view.

Tyres screeched.

Fat Brenda screamed.

Mia instinctively grabbed the front brake and stamped down hard on the rear. She came to a halt at the apex of the bend, just in time to see Fat Brenda fling herself off her bike and roll into the hedgerow with her head tucked under her arms. Fat Brenda’s motorcycle continued on two wheels, then toppled and spun end over end in a shower of sparks before it thudded into the underside of a tipped-over lorry with a loud metallic clang.

“FB!” Mia shouted.

Fat Brenda sat up and waved. She struggled to her feet and limped toward her wrecked bike, shaking her head and mumbling obscenities to herself. After a few paces she stopped and turned, then ran back toward Mia. Before she got far a deafening explosion knocked her off her feet and sent her sprawling in the centre of the road. A huge fireball blossomed out. Mia ducked down over her petrol tank and covered her face with her hands as the searing shockwave hit her. When she looked up again black clouds of billowing smoke filled her vision.

“FB!” she yelled, kicking down the Norton’s side-stand. She jumped off the bike just as the others pulled up alongside her. Suzy stared open-mouthed at the burning wreckage from astride her Honda 400. Margot jumped off her Kawasaki and ran with Mia, calling out Fat Brenda’s name.

“I’m over here,” Fat Brenda shouted.

They found her sitting in the road, hands on hips, staring forlornly into the flames. She looked up at Mia and frowned.

“My poor bike.”

Mia laughed, relief coursing through her to see Fat Brenda still in one piece. She held out a hand to help her up onto her feet. “You mad cow, you could’ve killed yourself then, and you’re more worried about your stupid bike?”

Fat Brenda shrugged. “I loved that bike.”

Mia smiled. “Yeah well, bikes are replaceable, you’re not. We’ll get you a new one as soon as we can. Same model, same colour, you won’t know the difference.”

“Or maybe one that’s a bit faster?”

Mia laughed and shook her head. “You think that’s wise, given what you’ve just done?”

“Nice firework display,” Wicked Tina said, grinning from the seat of her motorcycle when Mia, Fat Brenda and Margot walked out of the smoke together. “I reckoned you was done for, thought I might be in with a chance to take your place in old Dirk’s tent.”

“Hell no, you skinny bitch,” Fat Brenda said, grinning back. “Dirk likes a bit of meat on his woman, he don’t go for titless scrag-ends like you. Besides, it takes more than a little spill like that to put me down for the count.” She patted the scuffed leather covering her enormous stomach. “Extra padding comes in useful sometimes.”

“Yeah well,” Mia said, climbing on her bike. “Looks like we’ll need to find another route.” She wheeled the bike around. “And I suppose you want a lift?”

Then she saw Wicked Tina staring up at the sky. Two pulsating blue lights hovered just above the north horizon, growing larger by the second.

“Angels!” Mia yelled.

 

Paperback UK

ebook UK

Paperback USA

ebook USA

 

 

 

 

 

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Biker Sluts versus Flying Saucers cover

Due out some time in April, currently in beta. I always wanted to write something in homage to the two things I loved when I was a kid — 1970s British Hells Angels books and 1950s flying saucer movies.  This is the result.

An outlaw biker story set during the aftermath of an alien invasion in 1970s England.

1970: Aliens arrive on Earth. Seen as a force for good by world leaders and most of Earth’s population, they cure diseases, end all world hunger, and stabilise our environment.

1973: The great purge. 95% of the world’s population are wiped out overnight, leaving behind scattered pockets of survivors to eke out an existence scavenging for food in the ruins of towns and cities.

1978: The mamas and old ladies of Satan’s Bastards Motorcycle Club fight back.

This is their story.

biker-sluts-big

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Stabby Abby in … A Very Stabby Christmas

Christmas Eve in the Black Bull is fucking mental, yeah? It’s like every fucker in town has decided to go out for the night and chosen the scummiest backstreet pub they can find to get pissed up in. The place is absolutely fucking heaving, standing room only. Just as well me and Dave got here early and bagged ourselves some seats in the corner, otherwise we’d be squashed up among them. We’ve got our feet up on some chairs opposite our table so we can save them for when Shaz and Dave’s mates get here. We get a few funny looks from people standing nearby, but nobody says anything. They might be pissed up, but they’re not fucking daft, yeah?

Dave’s got his arms stretched out either side of him, resting on the back of the padded bench, tapping his fingers to the blaring Christmas music playing. It’s not a band I’ve ever heard before, but they seem okay. They’re a bit like the shouty skinhead bands Dave likes, except it’s a bird singing and she’s going on about snowmen and bollocks like that instead of kicking someone’s head in at a football match. I’ve heard some of the songs before, I think they were originally done by dead people from the olden days, yeah? A few people nearby are shouting along in that tuneless way drunks do, waving their pints around and spilling half the contents down their reindeer jumpers. Me, I’m not at that stage yet, I’ve only had three pints of Guinness the whole fucking night, so I just wiggle my feet on the chair in time to the music.

“Who’s this then?” I yell at Dave between songs.

“Vice Squad,” he yells back. “They’re an old punk band, my dad used to like them. It was him who got me into Oi when I were a kid.”

“Yeah? So did they just do Christmas songs then?”

“Nah, they did all sorts. I’ll download you a few mp3s, if you like them I’ll get you everything else they did.”

Dave’s like that, he can get anything you want for free off his computer. Films, music, games for your phone, whatever you want. Fuck knows how he does it, I’ve never really been that interested in computers. We had them at school, but I could never get the hang of them. I bet Dave was some sort of fucking whizz-kid with them.

“Fucking Shaz is taking her time getting here,” I yell, looking at the clock on my phone.

Dave shrugs and leans forward to pick up his lager. I put my phone away and shuffle myself upright on the bench, drop my feet to the floor. Some chancer standing nearby eyes up the vacant stool, so I glare at him to make sure he doesn’t get any ideas about pinching it. He looks away, suitably traumatised, and I nod to myself in satisfaction.

“I’m going for a piss,” I yell in Dave’s ear. “Make sure no cunt pinches my seat.”

Dave nods and raises a thumb, smiles at me in that lopsided way of his, then feels my arse as I climb over his legs. There’s a brick wall of drunken people between me and the bogs, and it takes fucking ages to shove my way through them, so I’m nearly pissing myself by the time I get there. Luckily there’s a spare cubicle so I dive into it and drop my knickers, then plonk my arse on the seat just in time. I kick the door closed with my foot and take out my phone, then turn on the camera and check my face. The bruises from my last fight are healing up quite well, so I should be good as new in a few more weeks. I switch off the camera and phone Shaz, ask her where the fuck she is. I can hear drunken singing in the background, so it’s obvious she’s not on her way here like she says she is. I tell her to fucking hurry up then, and put the phone away.

Back in the bar, this bloke in a Santa hat with a sprig of mistletoe sticking out of it stretches out his arms at me. “Bleuraaaaargh!” he says, or something like that, and lurches toward me for a Christmas kiss. I smile and duck under his arms, then skirt round him while he staggers forward into the space I just left. He spins round, looking confused. “Iss fuckern Crissmess, hen,” he says, pointing at the mistletoe. “Iss the fuckern law.” I give him two fingers and another smile, then fight my way back to Dave.

“About fucking time,” Dave says. “I thought you’d fucked off or something.”

“Nah,” I say, and bend down to give him a quick snog. He tastes of cheese and onion crisps, and it makes me feel a bit hungry. I break away and sit down, then drain the rest of my Guinness. “You getting the drinks in then, or what?”

“Fucking hell Abby, I got the last round in.”

“Yeah well, that makes you more experienced then doesn’t it? Besides, it’s what a fucking gentleman would do, isn’t it?”

He grins at me and raises his eyebrows. “What, you think I’m a gentleman then?”

“Meh!” I say with a shrug, and he shuffles away into the crowd.

I suppose he is really, despite his rough as fuck outward appearance. Not in the traditional sense, like some fucking toff in a suit and tie or whatever, but he’s definitely a gentle man. With me, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fighter just like me, not some sort of fucking flower-loving softy. But he has his gentle side too, yeah? And he’s not bothered if other blokes see it either. Most blokes I’ve been with act all macho when their mates are around, and treat me like some sort of fucking tart. Dave’s not like that, he’s different. I can’t really explain it properly, it’s just the way he is I guess.

I look up when I hear someone yelling my name. It’s Shaz, standing by the door with Steve and Josh either side of her, holding her up with her arms draped over their shoulders. They’re her boyfriends, yeah? Typical fucking Shaz, she has to go one better than me and have two of them. They’re also Dave’s mates, and they’re both skinheads, just like him. Fuck knows what they get up to together, whether they take turns to fuck her or just take an end each or whatever, but they seem happy enough with the arrangement.

Shaz looks well and truly pissed up the way she staggers toward me, all three of them lurching to one side and bumping into people, spilling their drinks. Someone spins round yelling at them, then goes all shy and quiet when the two skinheads glare at him. They seem to have that effect on people, I don’t know why. It’s the same with Dave, I think it might be the clothes they wear or something. It’s like people are afraid of them, yeah? But that’s just fucking daft, they’re just normal blokes. If you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you. Still, it seems to work to their advantage too, because people just clear a space for them when they see them coming. Like fucking what’s-his-name from The Bible, the geezer who split the sea in half so his mates could walk through it.

Steve and Josh lower Shaz onto the bench next to me, then sit down on the two stools we saved for them. Shaz slumps against me. “Merry fucking humbug Abby,” she says, breathing Pernod fumes in my face. “And a happy new whatsit, yeah?” She puts a hand over one eye and peers across the table at Josh. “Get the fucking drinks in, then. What you waiting for, a fucking message from the queen or something?”

Josh stands up and stretches out his braces. I notice he’s got a twig of mistletoe sticking out of his crotch. Classy. I bet the bloke at the toilets wishes he’d thought of that.

Steve clasps his hands behind his head and grins at me. “All right, Abby?” he says. “How’s the cage fighting going?”

“Yeah, not too bad,” I say. “It pays the fucking bills anyway.”

Which is true. Since I lost my job the fights have been my only means of income, yeah? Well except for the little bit extra I make with Shaz now and again, when the opportunity arises. But I haven’t told Dave about that yet. Not because I don’t think he would approve, he’d probably think it was funny as fuck. I just haven’t got round to telling him yet.

“Steve, you cunt,” Dave says when he gets back with a tray of drinks. He puts them down on the table one at a time, then slurps up the spillages from the tray. He’s got three pints of Guinness for me, and four pints of lager for himself. He swears at Steve when he grabs one, but doesn’t object when he takes a swig.

“What’s all these for?” I ask, picking up one of the pints of Guinness.

“Thought it’d save time going to the bar later.”

Good thinking. You see he’s not just gentle, my Dave, he’s fucking clever too. How lucky am I to have a bloke like that?

* * *

At chucking out time the streets are packed with people full of Christmas spirits, Christmas lager, Christmas whatever-gets-you-hammered. A gang of howling banshees stagger toward us in skimpy low-cut tops and mini-skirts, their high heels clattering on the vomit-soaked pavement. One points at Josh’s mistletoe and laughs, then gets down on her knees and slobbers over his crotch while he just stands there grinning down at her. I clench my fists and look at Shaz, sure she’ll want to steam in and batter the tart for messing with one of her boyfriends, and ready to help out if the others decide to join in. But Shaz is busy leaning over and puking into the gutter, and doesn’t notice the assault on Josh’s chastity. Steve is stood behind her, holding her hair out of the way so it doesn’t get splattered with spew. Which is kind of a sweet thing to do, yeah? The sort of thing Dave would do for me if I had long hair like Shaz.

The banshees shuffle on, laughing and screeching at each other. A police car drives by slowly, and they all pull up their tops and wobble their tits at it. I can see the coppers inside smirking through the windscreen as they approach us. Dave glares at them as the car passes, then hacks up and spits into the road after it. Shaz straightens up, a line of bile dribbling down her chin. She wipes it away with the back of her hand and smiles at me.

“I fucking needed that,” she says, while Steve gropes her tits from behind. She spins in his arms and grabs his arse, clamps her mouth onto his.

“Oi, what about me?” Josh asks.

Steve and Shaz break apart slightly to make room for him, and he buries his face in Shaz’s tits, squashed between them as Steve and Shaz go back to sucking each other’s mouths. I shake my head and sigh. Dave looks at me and shrugs, then moves toward me for a smooch of his own. I back up into a shop doorway, pulling Dave by his braces, so we won’t get jostled by passing drunks. It stinks of piss and vomit, as I expected, but at least it’s a bit more private. I’ve certainly been fingered in places a lot less romantic than this.

It’s not long before we get interrupted by people shouting insults out in the street – fucking cunt, you wanker, come on then you bastards, things like that. At first we ignore it, it’s not as if it’s something unusual. People slagging each other off is just one of the Christmas traditions, yeah? Like decorating trees with tinsel and giving people you don’t like crappy presents. But then the insults get a bit more personal and we realise who they are aimed at.

“You fucking baldy-headed cunts, call yourselves the fucking master race?”

Dave pulls his hand out of my knickers and spins round, steps out of the shop doorway with his fists clenched. “Fucking hell, another of the Nazi cunts,” someone yells. “Let’s fucking do the bastards.” I rearrange my clothing and join Dave out on the pavement.

There’s a bunch of middle-aged blokes waddling toward us in Santa hats, all beer guts and bravado. There’s seven of them, and they’re all driving fat fists into fat palms and grinning at each other like obese giant dwarfs who’ve just gang-banged Snow White. I catch Shaz’s eye and smile. She smiles back and cracks her knuckles, first one hand, then the other. Dave, Steve and Josh line up before us like guardians protecting their princesses from an onslaught of barbarians. The Santas stop in the middle of the road and start up with their taunts again.

“Come on then, let’s fucking have it,” one says, beckoning with his fingers.

“We’re going to fuck you up, real bad,” another says, “just like we did with Hitler.”

“Yeah,” a third says, nodding his head so vigorously the white bobble on the end of his Santa hat smacks him in the face.

Dave, Steve and Josh just stand there looking at them, fists clenched, waiting for them to make a move. Shaz sighs. “For fuck’s sake,” she says, “what is this, a fucking internet flame war or something? Just get on with it, you fat bastards, or fuck off out of it.”

“You fucking slag,” one of the Santas yells, and rushes forward.

Steve and Josh both run forward to meet him. Josh gets there first and his fist disappears into Santa’s blubbery stomach. Santa crumbles to his knees with an oof and Steve boots him in the face and sends him sprawling onto his back. The other Santas all roar and make a beeline for Josh, he being the shortest of the three skinheads they want to fuck up, and therefore the easiest-looking target. Dave wades in and kicks one up the arse, then spins round and smacks another in the mouth just as he’s raising a fist to him.

Two Santas have got Josh held between them while a third sneers into his face, yelling something about Germany losing two world wars and one world cup. Fuck knows what that’s got to do with anything, but Dave and Steve are both too busy with their own fights to see what’s happening with Josh. Time to get out the big guns, yeah?

I look for Shaz, but she’s already on her way. She snatches the Santa hats off the two fat blokes holding Josh, then grabs their hair and bangs their heads together. Josh kicks the other Santa in the bollocks mid-rant before he even realises what’s happening. He bends over, clutching himself, and gets a knee in the face. I rush in to help Shaz with the two fat bastards when they turn toward her with their fists raised. Their fists hang there in the air as they stare at her, as if they don’t know what to do with them.

Big fucking mistake, yeah?

I take one out with a quick jab of my fingers into his neck, followed by a punch to the chin that clacks his teeth together and sends blood spurting as he staggers backwards. Shaz knees hers in the bollocks, then drags him face down onto the tarmac by his hair. She kneels down on his back, then frisks his pockets and pulls out a wallet. He groans, so she punches him in the ear a few times until he shuts up, then stuffs his empty wallet into his mouth. She grins at me and waves a wad of cash, then gives me half and pockets the rest.

I look at Dave as I put the money away, inexplicably worried he might have seen what we just did. I’m not ashamed of it, it’s just what we do now and again to make a bit of extra cash, yeah? But like I said, I haven’t got round to telling him yet and I don’t want him to find out this way. I needn’t have worried though, Dave’s too busy sticking the boot into one of the Santas rolling around in the road to notice what we’re up to. I look around to see what the other Santas are doing, but they all seem to have legged it, so I wander over to Dave.

“You okay?” Dave asks when he sees me. He stops kicking the Santa and walks over to me, a concerned look on his face.

I shrug. “Yeah, why?”

“Sorry you had to see that.”

“Don’t be fucking daft. You were defending me and Shaz’s honour, that’s all. It’s made me horny as fuck.”

Dave grins. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. Now come on, before the fucking coppers get here. I don’t want to spend Christmas in a fucking cell.”

* * *

I lean over the edge of the multi-story car park wall and look down at the town centre below. There’s fights all over the place as festivities continue without us, police and ambulance sirens wailing as they rush to each fresh incident. Coppers bash heads open while paramedics stitch them back together again and send them on to their next battle. So this is Christmas, yeah? That most fucking magical time of the year. Peace and good will to all men, except for whoever gets in your fucking way.

I snuggle up to Dave’s chest, because it’s fucking freezing up here. He puts his arm around me and draws me close, I listen to his heart beating and wonder when he’s going to make his move. I hope he doesn’t expect me to strip off up here, I don’t think I’d be able to stop my teeth from chattering if he does. Shaz is already moaning away somewhere to my left, on her hands and knees with her arse in the air. You’d think Dave would have taken the hint by now, but he seems happy enough just watching the fights down below.

A church bell somewhere starts ringing, calling people in for midnight mass. I wonder if they have many fights in churches these days. If anyone even still goes to church. I haven’t been since I was about five years old, and even then I thought it was boring as fuck.

“Happy birthday Jesus, you fucking hippy bastard!” Dave shouts. His voice echoes off nearby tower blocks.

The fighting in the town centre seems to stop all at once, as if someone’s thrown a switch or something. Then there’s sporadic drunken outbursts of that fucking Slade song coming from all directions. So here it is, merry fucking Christmas, yeah? Dave shrugs his arm off my shoulder and walks away a few steps. I get this rage of jealousy when I think he might be ogling Shaz’s arse, or getting ideas about joining in with Steve and Josh. I don’t know why, it just comes over me sometimes. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the way it is, yeah? But he’s not even looking in their direction, he’s facing the other way, fiddling with his jeans. Probably going to have a piss or something, and he’s too shy to do it with me watching.

“You ready for your present yet?” he says, and spins round with his arms stretched out like Jesus on his stick. He’s got his cock out, pointing it at me. But that’s not what makes me smile. He’s got a bit of ribbon tied round the middle of it, in a neat bow. Fuck knows where that’s come from or where he learnt how to tie bows like that.

“Yeah,” I say, and walk over to meet him. I kneel down and unwrap my present, give it a bit of a squeeze. “But this had better not be the only thing you’ve got me for Christmas or you’re in some serious fucking shit.”

Happy fucking Christmas, yeah?

 ———

Abby and friends also feature in my book Bare Knuckle Bitch.

Originally published at http://www.punx.co.uk in 2013.

 

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Punk / Skinhead novels box set ebook

All four of my punk & skinhead books in one handy ebook volume. Also available individually in ebook or paperback.


 

Four full length novels, plus bonus content. 120,000 words of fast-paced pulp action in one handy volume. Come and have a read if you think you’re hard enough.

PUNK FACTION

1982, and Thatcher is busy warmongering in the Falklands. Meanwhile, in a small Yorkshire town, unemployed punks Colin, Brian and Stiggy are busy having a good time getting drunk, sniffing glue, and going to see punk bands play live. But a simple misunderstanding with one of the local skinheads soon escalates into an all-out war. And with tensions between the two factions running high, it’s not the best of times for top Oi band the Cockney Upstarts to play at nearby Shefferham. The Cockney Upstarts are much loved by both punks and skinheads alike, but is that enough to make them forget their differences for just one night?

SKINHEAD AWAY

A ska festival draws thousands of skinheads from across the country to the sleepy seaside town of Cleethorpes. Local residents and day-trippers look on in horror as the town is taken over by shaven-headed masses wearing boots and braces. But much to their surprise, the weekend unfolds peacefully. That is, until a group of drunken bikers think it would be a good laugh to smash up a few scooters, thinking they must belong to mods. Revenge is swift and vicious, but the bikers have friends too. Friends who are more than eager to settle the score.

BARE KNUCKLE BITCH

Best friends Abby and Shaz like nothing more than sticking the boot into some mug after a night out on the piss. That look of sheer terror on the bloke’s face when he first realises what’s coming his way. The way he begs for mercy right up until the moment he loses consciousness. It’s the best buzz ever. The money in their wallets is just a bonus, a means to an end. Men are just walking pricks with money there for the taking. Treat them as anything else and they’ll walk all over you.

PUNK ROCK NURSING HOME

Every year, on the anniversary of the death of hated 1980s prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the elderly residents of State Retirement Home SY-379 hold a festival of celebration. Balloons and bunting go up, raucous punk music is played, memories are relived by those who still have all their faculties, and a good time is had by all. With the thirtieth anniversary of Thatcher’s death coming up in just a few weeks, Colin Baxter decides to make this year’s Thatcher Day something to be remembered. He contacts octogenarian punk band Sick Bastard and books them to play live at the retirement home, promising to pay them in free beer. There’s just one problem: how to get the band, their equipment, and the beer, past the Gestapo retirement home manager who lives upstairs?

PLUS BONUS SHORT STORIES

The Snatcher (Remix)
Warrior in Woolworths
A Very Stabby Christmas

 

Only available on Amazon.

UK: Punk and Skinhead Novels Box Set

USA: Punk and Skinhead Novels Box Set

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Endorsement from a legend :)

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Needles & Pins – A Punk Novel by Tom Laimer-Read


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for another po-faced history of 1970s UK punk, this isn’t for you. It’s a humorous fictionalised version of that time, the central premise being that the main character, a nobody from Milton Keynes, is present at just about every major event in early punk history you could think of.

From John Lydon’s audition miming along to Alice Cooper, through the Grundy interview, all the way up to the events at the Winterland Ballroom, he is present at them all, as well as playing  an integral part in the history of The Damned, The Clash and Buzzcocks. I half expected him to be hiding under the bed when Nancy Spungen was killed, then end up sharing a cell with Sid, but that wasn’t to be.

It clocks in at about 160,000 words, and seems to be ebook only at the moment, but the chapters are short and punchy, so it would be ideal for reading on a mobile phone in short bursts. This was what I planned to do when I first picked it up, so I could read it alongside other things at the same time, but the writing sucked me in and I ended up reading it by itself from beginning to end.

There’s a lot of humour in this book – in fact it reads like a Ripping Yarns version of England’s Dreaming, and I couldn’t help reading it in an Eric Olthwaite voice despite most of it taking place in London. There’s lots of truly awful groan-out-loud puns, which the writer makes no apologies about, but the best jokes are the “hidden” ones for people who know their history.

I particularly liked when Chris Sievey told the main character he knew he would be famous one day, but didn’t want to get a big head when it happened. Another highlight was Mark Perry looking thoughtful while watching The Ramones play Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue. There are lots of these, and lots more almost certainly flew over my head. Half the fun will be finding them for yourself, so I won’t reveal any more.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste, no book ever is, but I really enjoyed it. One point though, the opening chapter doesn’t really do the book justice. So if you are the type of person who doesn’t trust reviews from random people on the internet (a good attitude to have), and prefer to read a sample so you can make up your own mind, skip ahead to the second chapter instead. That will give you a much better idea of what you are letting yourself in for.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/438673

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