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Two Chapbooks

The six-story chapbook ALIENATIONS was published by Pipers’ Ash, UK, August 1998. Sold out in Ireland but may still be available from the publisher (see links).

              

ALIENATIONS back cover blurb

“Within the pages of BROKEN HEROES you will find a diversity of tales to set your imaginative taste buds tingling” – a quote from Morgan Llewelyn’s introduction to this 76-page chapbook. Eight short stories – original artwork for each story by Paul Sheridan. Published in two small editions (August & October 1995) – the first in the Albedo One Productions Showcase Series. Also sold out.

                   

ARTICLE FROM SENSOR MAGAZINE (published towards the end of 1995):

It is more than two years since Albedo One first arrived on the small press scene. Its success is evidenced by the fact that issue eight is on the newstands, issue nine is ‘in the press’ and now, with the appearance of its first chapbook, Albedo One Publications breaks new ground.

Albedo’s debut single-author collection, BROKEN HEROES, consists of eight stories penned by David Murphy. Morgan Llewelyn kindly wrote an overall introduction for the book, and each story is superbly illustrated by the highly acclaimed award-winning Dublin artist Paul Sheridan.

The lead story, Lost Notes, won the inaugural Maurice Walsh Memorial Award in July 1995. The competition was very strong with 500 entries, and the winning story was chosen by none other than David Marcus, Ireland’s foremost literary critic and short story expert.

Many of the characters in the chapbook are flawed in some aspect of their personal development. They are broken in spirit, spent in ambition, or otherwise fractured. Unable to compete, to confront, to act decisively, they exist for a moment when some will make themselves whole. Others, however, are destined to remain incomplete, or make themselves worse, whichever the case may be. Hence the overall title and the story, Broken Heroes.

Given the end of the Cold War, some might regard the post-holocaust story, Shelter, as dated. But is the nuclear threat really a thing of the past? Let’s hope so – but before deciding that the planet is a safer place, just take a long hard look at what’s really happening in the post-Cold War world.

Uplands first appeared in FTL and has subsequently been published in Ireland, Britain and the USA. The story is about the need to have, and to maintain, a dream. Whether it ever comes true or not doesn’t matter so much, the bottom line is you have to have a dream – if you don’t you’re brain dead. Not a message that goes down well with the cynic, but it does strike a chord with a lot of people.

The Mirror Cracked is clearly science-fiction, yet it is also very much a human story of loss and despair. Flying Kites, on the other hand, is science fiction with a capital SF. It deals with the never-ending conflict between man and machine. There is only one human character here. In the end, when he realises what he has done, he takes the most honourable course of action open to him.

There are not many ‘message’ stories in BROKEN HEROES, though Undertow was written partly to show how a so-called miracle could occur – and how a religion might then spring up around the miracle-worker. The cove described in the story actually exists. The collection ends with the dark-edged tale, The Tip and Tell Man.

There you are then: eight stories, half of them new and unpublished – the other four are possibly the best examples of the writer’s previously published work.

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