David Gullen self-assembled from a template provided by his parents while in South Africa. Three years later he was baptised by King Neptune as he sailed across the equator. Since then he has studied biology, worked as a van driver, washer-up, armourer, leatherworker, and IT geek; and become the father of three children. David’s novel, Shopocalypse, a near-future story of fast cars, consumerism and nuclear war, is available from Clarion Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including ARC and Albedo One, and also forthcoming in G.U.D. His first collection, Open Waters, has just been published by the EXAGGERATEDpress. David lives in Surrey, England, with the fantasy writer Gaie Sebold, and too many tree ferns. You can read his flash fiction every week on his website.
by David Gullen
All books are portals. Fact or fiction, they take you to places you know little or nothing about. When I was young I read adventures set in places far-away in time and geography – The Coral Island, Two Years Before the Mast, Dr. Dolittle. Each book was like a holiday, the same sort I had as a child, when I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to find. Some books were so good I went back again and again.
As I grew older I read SF and Fantasy and little else. Looking back I can see that was narrow-minded, but I got over it. It was a phase where I thought the world was terribly mundane, that I knew it all and it was all quite dull. What did adults know? My push-bike could take me to the woods and no further, the bottom of the garden wasn’t far enough away from the house. I wanted to escape, to grow up, to be master of my own destiny, even better – captain of my own ship! I escaped from what I though was the dull adult world into books. It never occurred to me that one thing some adults knew was how to write good books.