My experiment in flash fiction in 2021

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I’m trying something new. Each week in 2021, I’ll be building a brand new sci-fi universe. I’ll post the stories here on Medium, so you can see them using your existing subscription.

However, by signing up on substack throughout 2021, you’ll receive a weekly standalone flash fiction story based on the sci-fi world of The Whale. Each story will be under 1500 words — perfect for a quick moment of escapism whenever suits you.

You’ll see this new sci-fi universe grow and evolve in a way unlike anything you’ve seen before. It will…


INTERMISSION BY PHIL

Before you start reading, I hope you’re enjoying Tales From The Whale. We’re into the third month of this story and I was hoping you’d share this with your friends — especially those that like a bit of sci-fi.

Share Tales From the Whale

And if you’ve got any feedback on the story so far, do drop me an email — phil@philhurstwriter.co.uk

Thanks, that’s it — back to the story.

All three of the 3Marax leapt onto Shannon’s trailer. Shannon Adger watched as they tasted some of the meat and discarded it, throwing it to the floor…


At orientation for new arrivals on The Whale, Arun has to step in to prevent a situation turning deadly.

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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Arun sat around a circular table made of the strange ivory dug straight from the creature he was stuck within. Smoother than any marble he’d known on Earth, the patterns in it fascinated him. It was as if the ivory was made from interlocking strands of hair, wrapped around each other hundreds of time until it was one, yet somehow allowed the observer to trace each strand.

In front of him was a large amount of fruit and vegetables, some of…


Josie has to deal with a tricky political problem caused by the Reedor blockade of human goods.

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Photo by Angelique EMONET on Unsplash

“Am I allowed to talk to the priest yet?” Josie asked.

It was the end of a terribly boring discussion about how people would be impacted by the Reedor refusal to trade. Josie was frustrated, as there was little she could do, but Sharma insisted on discussing the repercussions. He kept reminding her of her leadership position and how important it was that she show a controlled demeanour. Josie wanted to question the priest. She wanted to take action.

Sharma looked up from…


Tales From The Whale Part Seven

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Photo by Elmarie van Rooyen on Unsplash

She draped the skin over her shoulders, wearing the hide like a coat, another prize she might be able to fashion into armour. The rest of the dead monster was loaded onto her trailer, chopped into pieces for ease. This was a good haul. A good hunt.

Once everything was loaded up, she cleaned the blade of the axe and checked her arrows for damage. …


Tales From The Whale Six

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Photo by Guillaume Bleyer on Unsplash

You have been abducted by aliens.

His clothes had changed. It must have been the nurses, the doctors, the coastguard. Whoever pulled him from the sea. Whoever saved his life, they would have his coat, his phone, his keys. He wore a loose-fitting outfit made from a material he couldn’t place. It was a strange, luminous blue that changed texture as he moved.

He wanted his coat back.

He reached the end of the corridor and pushed open the double doors. On the other side was a staircase, and he ran down it two at…


The Human Prime has to convince Father Arun of the truth as he wakes up on The Whale

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Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

Josie always tried to be there when new arrivals woke up. There was a two-way mirror positioned in the centre of the door at head height. Once the guards signalled to her that an arrival was stirring, she was the first person to open the door. She wanted to be a friendly face for everyone. She remembered waking up, alone and in a dark chamber, and her first act as Prime was to vow it would never happen again.

Arun Mali —…


Chi doesn’t believe The Whale is really in space — so he tries to escape with deadly consequences

Find out more about Tales From The Whale at the end of this article.

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Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

Chi felt the sweat pouring down the sides of his face. Even back on Earth, he’d never worked this hard, even under the most strict supervisors, even on the hottest days of the harvest. Sweat collected across this forehead and ran down his nose. He hacked again, cutting another chunk out.

“You have to stop soon,” Tammerson said. Chi turned, if only to take a breath, and watched…


Tales From The Whale Three

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Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

What are Tales From The Whale?

I’m trying something new. Each week in 2021, I’ll be building a brand new sci-fi universe. Throughout 2021, if you sign up to my substack (or follow me on Medium), you’ll receive a weekly standalone flash fiction story based on the sci-fi world of The Whale. Each story will be under 1500 words — perfect for a quick moment of escapism whenever suits you.

The banging on the door stopped.

“Are you finished?” she asked.

“Yessir.” The voice belonged to Lakshmi Sharma, her assistant.

“So what do you want?”

“It’s the Reedor. …


Tales From The Whale Two

What are Tales From The Whale?

I’m trying something new. Each week in 2021, I’ll be building a brand new sci-fi universe. Throughout 2021, if you sign up to my substack (or follow me on Medium), you’ll receive a weekly standalone flash fiction story based on the sci-fi world of The Whale. Each story will be under 1500 words — perfect for a quick moment of escapism whenever suits you.

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Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Shannon Adger loved a good grub hunt. She would follow the darkest tunnel she could find, the tunnels that no one else risked, and find a chamber untouched by the intelligent…

Phil Hurst

Storyteller. Specifically sci-fi, history, crime. Occasional advice giver. Find out more: www.writewithphil.com

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