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This page contains a selection of short stories (almost exclusively fantasy) by me, Samuel Marshall.

Contact information

If you have any comments about the stories, please contact me by email. On the (extremely unlikely) offchance that you work in publishing and would like me to submit a story to your (paying) magazine or anthology, please do get in touch using the same address. :) [Yes, I do know that isn't how it works.]

Legal note

Stories (and this website) copyright © 1995-1999 Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved. The stories may not be redistributed in any form (on paper, on another web site, or by other means) without my written permission, even if you don't make any money from it. They are provided here only for personal reading. (Sorry to labour this point, but I've had people grab my stories and put them up on other websites before...)

Using this page

The stories are listed below in chronological order of writing, with information about the story, my personal rating of it (which is a comparison with my general standard, not with other authors), and icons to view it:

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If you save a story to disk for later reading, take a copy of this stylesheet file too. (If you just save the .html file, the layout will become more difficult to read.)

At the end of the page there's a little more information about me.

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Living in Darkness
1995/10/30 : 11,000 words

My first attempt at getting back into writing fantasy, while I was an undergraduate student. It's a story about elves who live underground, scared to come out...

Rating: **
1998/03/04 : 4,000 words

After abandoning the novel I was working on, this is the first story I wrote. It's a fantasy love story of sorts. (Don't expect pink fluffiness. ;)

Rating: ***
A Life Like That
1998/03/15 : 7,000 words

A fantasy story about a child and the lure of adventure, with elements of a detective-novel plot too.

Rating: ***
1998/03/22 : 7,000 words

A young wizard comes back from the academy to meet a childhood friend, but things don't quite go as he hoped...

Rating: ****
Because It's There
1998/04/04 : 2,000 words

I thought I'd try my hand at writing science fiction, aiming towards the style of C.J.Cherryh (my favourite SF author). It didn't turn out too well, though.

Rating: **
I was Dragon
1998/05/07 : 3,000 words

A (rejected) magazine submission; the magazine wanted stories in which a dragon was the main character. I twisted it slightly...

Rating: ***
1998/05/31 : 2,000 words

A little something about elves, set in my own world. This was an experimental attempt to write a story as if it were a play, with all the on-camera action in a single place. I actually like this a lot, but I don't think it really worked that well, as most people find it dull.

Rating: ***
Fruit Stones
1998/06/03 : 9,000 words

A story set in TSR's Dragonlance world about the character Ulin Majere, who is featured in some novels by Jean Rabe. I wasn't satisfied with her characterisation so I tried to flesh it out a bit in this story about Ulin's younger life.

I also wrote down my thoughts about Ulin's character, but this contains some spoilers for the story, so read it afterwards.

Rating: ****
Heroes of Old
1998/10/30 : 7,000 words

Another story set in the Dragonlance world, discussing the worries of some fans that the changes to the setting had made it "no longer Dragonlance", and also considering hero-worship. It doesn't fit as well into the world as it should (one part in particular is completely implausible). This was originally intended as my submission for my own magazine "Gathering", but it worked out far too long, so I wrote another story for that.

Rating: ***+
1999/06/07 : 4,200 words

A rare attempt at something vaguely close to general fiction rather than fantasy. This story, set in an alternate early-90s England, was inspired by recent world events... but it's not really about those events...

Rating: ***+
About the author

I'm currently working as a software designer for the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. I also write shareware software and have several other writing projects on the Web, all accessible from the front page of

I haven't had any stories published. I did pick up a couple of rejection letters (with two of these stories) but have since decided to just keep on writing for a bit without submitting my work for publication - in a while I may decide my writing has improved to the point where I feel like submitting stories again.

I have a half-written novel, which is unlikely ever to be completed (a casualty of poor planning). It was written in small bursts during 1996 and 1997, which is why there aren't any short stories for that time period. (I describe it as a cyberpunk-influenced near-future fantasy novel, if you're interested. I do have a short story almost finished, set in the same future vision - perhaps I'll complete that and put it up here, email me if you want to encourage me on that.)

Gathering magazine

Recently I put together a free online fanzine of short stories set in the Dragonlance world, including one of my own stories, Marsh Cat (which I'd only rate at about 2.5, unfortunately) as well as five works from other authors. The magazine is called Gathering, and has its own website where you can download it.

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