Short Fiction

The Algorithm and other stories by Gareth Jones

Despite the present challenges to the film industry, the business of story-telling goes on.  Sometimes the page is mightier than the screen. And brevity more eloquent than length.

We live in an age of impatience and demand. People have no time, or think they have none.  These short stories explore this state of mind, on the one hand accommodating, on the other hand challenging it. Five hundred words.  A two-minute read.  But rather longer to digest.

If they have a common theme, it lies in the damage being done to our fragile lives by the multiple changes thrown up over recent months and the radical shifts one might foresee in the coming years.

They represent a personal response to a rapidly evolving world fraught with misinformation, political opportunism, false pleasures and crumbling traditions, slices of an uncomfortable near future which is not so far from the logic of our own.

One striking facet of our times is the absence of foresight.  Intuition appears to have been lost as a human asset.  Instead, decisions are made by trial and error.  ‘We’ll try this.  If it doesn’t work, we’ll do something else.’ While this might appear to be pure incompetence, it disguises deeper trends.

We have lost confidence in our own mental processes.  The recourse to abstract authority, such as ‘science’, replaces personal responsibility.  Gradually this abnegation instills fear and becomes a means of control.  Chaotic, but no less repressive.  First unleash your chaos; then step in to suppress it.  The route to power of every demagogue.

Click on the titles below to read the individual stories:

The Algorithm



The Confessional

I Can’t Speak Now

The First Servant




The Roaring Twenties

Tank Trap



Island Nation



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