The Pan of Hamgee, a starving outlaw, bumps into Big Merv; the meanest, scariest gangster in the city and without thinking what he is doing, steals his wallet. When Big Merv realises what has happened The Pan's future looks short. Unless he can persuade Big Merv to let him go he will be going for a short swim in concrete boots or recycled into one of the bridges of the Outer Ring Road, currently being constructed round the city.
U certificate. 4,000 words.
Written in British English.
This comedic sci fi quick read is a short story prequel to the K'Barthan Series.
It is a short story in the sense that it is not long rather than that the plot fits with any particular preconceived 'short story' format. Or to put it another way there is no twist in this tale. It takes place in a contemporary setting, in a parallel universe - as does the whole series.
There is also an excerpt from Few Are Chosen, the first book in the K'Barthan series, over and above the word count quoted here (which is for the actual story only).
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
Q – So, tell us about the K'Barthan Series. What made you write it? What makes it special?
A – If you want the honest answer I wrote it for me. As a reader, I love British satire and humor (or humour). I love wit; funny epic fantasy series like the Discworld novels and comedic sci fi like Douglas Adams. I like sff and speculative fiction but the best science fiction and fantasy stories, for me, are funny, I like adventure and action and a gripping tale that zips along quickly. And of course, I like genre fiction mashups; Douglas Adams meets StarTrek and James Bond - with a smidgeon of Dr Who and a dash of romance (but no squelchy bits). Think Father Ted meets Red Dwarf or then again ... maybe don't. I wanted a fast paced story, a gripping tale but at the same time a funny one. Comedy in the tradition of all the great humorous British authors, something light and witty and clever. I wanted protagonists people could love and empathise with, mavericks, misfit characters, real people ... except they're not all people obviously, some of them are other alien (ish) species. The K'Barthan series about misfit heroes and heroines winning the day, it's about good versus evil even when the good guys are on different sides. It's science fiction fantasy action - it's planet based, so it's a bit of a blend. It's pure portal fantasy, except it's comedy sci fi too. You'll find all sorts of quirky characters and interesting alien species: from 6ft Swamp Things with antennae to cute furry creatures like the Blurpons, with their fluffy ears, big button eyes and penchant for extreme violence.
Q – Do our readers have to read the K'Barthan Series in order?
A – Yes otherwise the character development – and some of the technology – will make less sense. That said, the series of K'Barthan Shorts I'm currently writing to go with it can be read any time. Well ... I say shorts, the fourth is a novel - sorry, back to the K'Barthan Series, the books go in this order:
- Unlucky Dip, K'Barthan Series: Prequel (This book)
- Few Are Chosen, K'Barthan Series: Part 1
- The Wrong Stuff, K'Barthan Series: Part 2
- One Man: No Plan, K'Barthan Series: Part 3
- Looking For Trouble, K'Barthan Series: Part 4