The wonderful Ma Bibliothèque have published a short story of mine entitled The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton.
This is the blurb: In the spirit of Philip K. Dick, The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton reworks the first page of Dick’s mind-bending novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritchinto ten alternative illusions, retaining, in each case, the fundamental syntactic code of the original text. ‘He’ becomes ‘she’, ‘she’ becomes ‘they’, ‘they’ becomes ‘robot’, ‘robot’ becomes ‘tiger’, ‘tiger’ becomes ‘it’. Such gentle mutations flip the picture yet also leave uncanny traces, generating weaves and trails similar to Eldritch itself.
There are so many great covers of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, making it difficult to choose a single one. A lot of them have a humanoid figure on them. The one pictured above is part humanoid, part outer space and part spaced-out, and therefore represents Dick’s book pretty well. The lead character in my re-write is eponymous Stockport J. Middleton, not Palmer Eldritch. Eldritch doesn’t make an actual appearance in my re-write but I’m sure he’s lurking in there somewhere.
My kids are called Middleton, their surnames. It’s a name we preferred to mine, Davies. A yarn then. Because they are called Middleton when abroad the border control think I'm not their dad; an oversight when registering their names. The security guards size me up and imply that I’m a kidnapper. They tell me I should have a letter from the mother of the children (I tell them that would be easy to fake, which doesn’t go down well at all). Stockport Middleton of course is of course inspired by that great name of our age Brooklyn Beckham. It also has the ring of the Grease actress Stockard Channing for good measure.
N.B. Neither of our children were conceived in Stockport nor are they named after the town. One may have been conceived in Bury St. Edmunds but that hasn’t got the same ring to it.
The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton is available here, priced at £5 - https://mabibliotheque.cargo.site/James-Davies-THE-TEN-SUPERSTRATA-OF-STOCKPORT-J-MIDDLETON-2020