Stories and fiction

A large proportion of TBD is taken up with fiction. Although this won't be reprinted in full on this website, excerpts will be available as tasters.

In this section, you can also find hints and guidance on writing fiction from the TBD team.


Tips and guidance on writing
An article by Joanna McKenzie with tips and guidance on how to write a good short story.

Submissions to TBD

See our submissions guidelines page for information on submitting stories and other fiction to TBD.


Here you can find an archive of stories that have appeared in TBD. The stories are not reproduced in full, but only excerpts are available. If these little snippets intrigue you enough to find the originals, TBD offers a back issue service.

Issue 75

A Story from Io
A group story written by the Glasgow University science fiction and fantasy society
Inn of the Blessed Tree
Daemon hunting inside a tavern

Issue 73

A portrait of a near-future Scotland
Breeding Pea Monsters
One man attempts to resurrect a dead species
A couple win a holiday to an exotic planet

Issue 72

One man's encounter with the Fey
Mankind reaches for the stars
Slack Capital
Acts of magical terrorism denied

Issue 71

A Job Just Like Any Other
A bounty hunter tries to avoid becoming the hunted
The Display
A cautionary tale of a research project that goes horribly wrong
Where Heroes Fear to Tread
Villainy unbounded

Issue 70

A Thief undertakes a very special mission
A Dull Morning
Just another Saturday morning
The Island of Doctor Morose
Industrial espionage to try and gain a valuable prize

Issue 69

The Cat of Dreams
A phantom cat comes to the aid of imagination
A man falls apart in the snow
Dance of Fate
A group of soldiers take a wrong turning

Issue 68

A queen is exiled to a tower by the sea
Empty City
Secret agents and secret societies
Ever the Optimist
Of murder and haunting

Issue 67

Famous Last Stands
The consequences of medical advance
By What Shall I be Redeemed?
The darker side to superpowers
Ahead of the Storm
A desperate group try to outrace a storm

Issue 66

By the Riverside
A lost dog leads to a spooky chain of events
Memory Lane
What happens if false memories make you want to kill?
Black Painted Hammer
Taking law enforcement to a new level

Issue 65

Dreaming of Incentives pt 2
The theft and return of dreams
The Flute and the Glen
A horror lurks in the glens of 18th century Scotland
The end of the world as we know it

Issue 64

Dreaming of Incentives pt 1
The theft of dreams
Harvest of Sorrows
Earth's plantlife takes its revenge
Running Heartless
A warrior hunts

Issue 63

Running Eyeless
Totems and familiars
I Don't Dream of Anyone Except Myself
Facing up to your mirror image
Brown Eyed Girl
Some people really love their pets

Issue 62

Come Out and Play
A boy faces up to bullies
Reaction Coupling
Human-robot relations to go the next level
The Bright Place
The poor and disposessed are drawn out of the darkness by a dancer

Issue 61

Volley Panicminuses
A group of amnesiac soldiers fights a war against an unknown enemy
Sharpening the Knife
A child follows in her mother's footsteps searching for her godess
A poem

Issue 60

Ghost Whispers
A little boy discovers a long-hidden secret in an attic
For I Have Seen the Heavens
A story of paranoia
Ripples in Time and Space
The final part of our serial

Issue 59

My Little Girl
A father tries to find a present for his daughter's birthday.
Your Call is Important to Us
A call centre tale
Ripples in Time and Space
Part four of our serial

Issue 58

A Game of You
A vampire's tale
Investigator Extraordinary: Part Two
Gentleman investigator Simon Holst investigates a chilling murder
Ripples in Time and Space
Part three of our serial

Issue 57

The Blueblade Warriors
Why bluegrass is dangerous stuff
Beyond the Storm
The tale of a child living in a flooded world
Investigator Extraordinary: Part One
Gentleman investigator Simon Holst investigates a chilling murder
Ripples in Time and Space
Part two of our serial

Issue 56

Dark Red
A psychic visitation
What Came First?
A tale of genetic manipulation. And chickens.
Ripples in Time and Space
Part one of our serial
Data Entry of 1874
A poem

Issue 55

A Good Deal Better
A mother’s grief
Eye of the Dragon
A zen assassin
Land Piracy is a Crime
A pirate tells a tall tale
A poem

Issue 54

Everybody says it’s just like rock n’ roll
What happens when the grid starts going down
Dr. Donovan’s Eternity: Part 5
The fifth and final part of our current serial

Issue 53

Magic’s End
How magic died in the world
Diabolist’s Catch
Fishing for demons
Dr. Donovan’s Eternity: Part 4
The fourth part of our current serial

Issue 52

Black Hole Son
How not to invade a planet
Ah! Dionysys: Part, the Fourth
The Mount-Lord finally meets his end
Dr. Donovan’s Eternity: Part 3
The third part of our current serial

Issue 51

Christmas Yet to Come
Mr. Scrooge sees the future
In a Country with No Uncles
How the Warriors must defend their country
Ah! Dionysys: Part, the Third
A tale of slumbering puzzles, parties and causing pain to narrators
Dr. Donovan’s Eternity: Part 2
The second part of our current serial

Issue 50

The Piper and the Princess
A forest piper and a princess fall in love
All These Worlds are Yours
A warning to future colonists
Ah! Dionysys: Part, the Second
A tale of protagonists, narrators and self-reflexivity
Dr. Donovan’s Eternity: Part 1
The first part of our current serial

Issue 49

Too Many Demons: Part 2
A thief with some interesting accomplices launches a daring raid
Tharg Escapes
The great barbarian hero Tharg escapes from his prison and sets about reclaiming his kingdom
Ah! Dionysius
Fighting evil over nine days
Betray: Part 5
The final part of our fantasy serial

Issue 48

Too Many Demons: Part 1
A thief with some interesting accomplices launches a daring raid
I, Zombie
A glimse into the dreadful world of the corporate zombie
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but it isn’t natural, is it?
A young man tries to come to terms with himself
Betray: Part 4
Part three of our fantasy serial

Issue 47

A devestating new weapon is to be tested in space, where it can’t hurt anyone. Can it?
The War of the Runes of Doom
A brief history of an epic tale of a fantasy world of a... (you get the idea)
Betray: Part 3
Part three of our fantasy serial

Issue 46

Beyond these Mean Streets we Know: Part 2
The conclusion to last issue’s tale of a private eye who goes to extraordinary lengths to find a lost child
A tense story that questions reality and the validity of our senses
Betray: Part 2
Part two of our fantasy serial

Issue 45

Beyond these mean streets we know: Part 1
A fantasy-tinged detective story in which a mother enlists the hero to find her lost daughter
A book at bedtime
An interesting tale about the power of literature (literally!)
Betray: Part 1
Our new serial concerns a young Magus caught in a war

Issue 44

Of the Blackest Night
A near-future story of a disasterous first contact situation with an extra-terrestrial object.
The Four Points Inn
The owner of a tavern at a crossroads talks about the strange travellers that come to her inn.
A poem of love and loss