About Me

Bradley Stoke

Bradley Stoke

This post is to announce the appearance of a new About Me page on my website. And for those who can’t be bothered to click on the link, the text of this page is below:

Almost every website in the world has a kind of About Me page and I can’t think of a good reason why my website should be any different. However, if you think this page will give an exposé of the real person behind the pseudonym, you’ll be disappointed. I won’t reveal even such personal details as my gender, age or nationality, although I don’t believe any of these things are much of a mystery to a perceptive reader.

The illustration above is of the real Bradley Stoke: an English suburban town distinguished, if at all, by being so very boring and unremarkable. But, of course, that might not remain so forever. Even the dullest places, from Hillsborough to Columbine, can become famous for all the wrong reasons. I chose the name simply because it sounds a bit like a real name and because not many people, even in the UK, have ever heard of the place.

I don’t know when I started writing fiction. It was probably as a child while at school, but nothing has survived nor deserved to. The earliest stories I wrote that can be found on my website are Omega and Alif. These were optimistically written for paper-based publication, but as there were no takers, they’re now available for free (like almost everything I’ve written).

When I wrote these stories the internet was nothing like what it is today and I didn’t write them with online viewing in mind, any more than with the Sex Fantasies I wrote at about the same time. These were written entirely for my own gratification and with no hope or expectation that they’d ever be read by anyone else. I was wrong, of course. These are now my most popular and most read fiction, despite being sometimes of questionable merit and not always on the right side of being decent and honourable.

I sort of mostly forgot about the fiction I’d written for several years until I became aware that the internet had evolved to the point that there were websites where I could post my fiction and where they might be read. Not too surprisingly, perhaps, most of those places were of a decidedly adult nature (even if much of the fiction was, and still is, remarkably juvenile).

So, at about the turn of the century, I began posting my fiction on various now mostly defunct websites of which now only Literotica remains. In fact, this website is one for which I have particular affection because Laurel, the website’s owner, took quite a shine to Innocence Lost and gave me a lot of encouragement at the time. It was also thanks to Laurel and Literotica that I chose to write short stories, which at first were exclusively written for the site. This was because I’d come to recognise that the bias on the internet, especially with regards to sex fiction, is towards the shorter form. Although I think much of the best stuff I’ve written include some of my short stories (such as The Price of Prejudice, Peace Returns and The Silent Tutsi), it’s still not the form in which I feel most comfortable writing.

However, in my early days of enthusiasm about the internet, I became active in a number of different ways. I contributed to several newsgroups, including alt.fiction.original and alt,sex.stories.d  (both now mere shadows of what they used to be); I started posting on Storiesonline and other story websites; and, most significant of all, I created my own website on asstr.org.

The pinnacle of this early period was when I began contributing stories to the now defunct Ruthie’s Club, a website that charged its readers and paid its writers (a very modest amount) for the stories it printed. From my perspective, what was best about contributing to the site was that my stories were properly edited and even illustrated. The zenith of the period in which I wrote fiction for the website was when my fiction was celebrated on 19 January 2004 by a Bradley Stoke Festival where several of my short stories were presented. It was also at Ruthie’s Club that I published my novella Degrees of Intimacy, which marks, if you like, the start of my mature style of writing.

However, my enthusiasm for writing fiction declined as the years went by. I stopped contributing to Ruthie’s Club (or anywhere else for that matter) and didn’t even notice when the site ceased to exist, which was long after the death of the eponymous Ruthie who edited so many of my stories.

I started writing fiction again in about 2011, which was when I wrote The Anomaly Trilogy, Glade and Ivory  and No Future, all of which are pretty long and are also, almost undoubtedly, the best fiction I’d yet written. These were published over a period of about three years, with the last chapter being submitted in 2014.

This was also the time that I started publishing my fiction in e-book format most notably on Smashwords, but also on Lulu.com and Amazon.  In my new burst of enthusiasm, I even started my own WordPress blog, as I’d got tired of posting on news boards where my views and opinions were swamped by trivia and spam or on Storiesonline’s blog, where most other blog posts are of mind-boggling self-regard.

Since publishing these three novels, I’ve posted a number of short stories that are no less varied than any I’ve ever written before and I’m currently posting chapters of my latest novel, Crystal Passion, which is the account of a British all-woman band touring America in the 1990s.

My most recent story publication was on 9th March 2016 and is Crystal Passion Chapter Five .

My most recent blog entry was on 24th February 2016 and is a good place to find out even more about me.



How should a Principled Conservative vote in America?

David Koch

David Koch

Generally I have nothing but contempt, fear and loathing for those who characterise themselves as conservative and even more so for the American variety whose vote generally goes to the Republican Party.

In fact, as the picture of David Koch above shows, in reality most of American politics on the right is dominated by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers whose malevolent influence on the world it is difficult to overstate. However, for those who are interested in finding out more there is a review of a book about them, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, reviewed in the New York Review of Books and Rolling Stone. Essentially, it is no coincidence that the agenda and ideology of the American right is so in tune with its billionaire paymasters.

However, the Koch agenda, supported by Murdoch and Fox News, has been sabotaged on the right by Donald Trump who by making a virtue of not taking money from the usual paymasters is able to (kind of) articulate the frustrations, rage and anger of those in America who believe (often mistakenly) that conservative politics speaks for them. As has now been said many times by many commentators, those who support Trump don’t have much sympathy or support for libertarian capitalism, have a fairly unsophisticated understanding of Biblical fundamentalism and, in truth, are more cannon fodder than soldiers in the American Right’s march towards total dominance. They support low taxes but not when their jobs and livelihood are affected. They hate big government, but quite like state largesse when it helps them. And most of all they know only too well who they hate, which, as Donald Trump, has made clear are mostly foreigners, immigrants and big business (when it tramples over them and their local community).

But let’s imagine for a moment that there is such a thing as a principled conservative in America. Let’s imagine that this is a person who has right-wing convictions as a result of agonised reflection, having seriously considered all the arguments for and against. This is a person whose views coincide with the current trends of American reactionary ideology, based on Heidegger’s and Ayn Rand’s notions of libertarianism, coloured with enough religious fundamentalism to not be a total nutjob, in support of the interests of big business but in a kind of responsible thoughtful way (not at all influenced by the propaganda of the Koch brothers), and a rational and indeed reasonable supporter of the Tea Party and yet not at all racist, xenophobic or mentally deficient.

How will this principled conservative, much feted by the conservative American media, choose to vote in the coming elections?

At the moment the choice is between the last remaining ‘establishment’ candidate, Marco Rubio, who is getting the lion’s share of the Koch funds and the two depraved and unprincipled populists, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Of Cruz and Trump, it is actually Cruz who is the most loathsome, and apparently just as much in person as he is ideologically. Even conservatives hate him. And Donald Trump is right to attack Ted Cruz for his underhand and deceitful campaigning. It’s just that Trump is the only one bold enough to say so.

So, this conservative looks like he can only vote for Marco Rubio unless he truly believes that an impenetrable wall paid for (willingly) by the Mexican government will solve their immigration issue and that depriving Americans of what little state sponsored health care will somehow benefit them (and not the Insurance companies). But Marco Rubio’s a real shit too: only looking moderate in comparison with the others. Not so long ago, his platform would have been considered ridiculously reactionary, but in an America inured to extremism by Fox News, the Bush presidency and the Koch’s billions (not to mention the complicity of America’s fawning media) the man seems the best chance there is for that rational, reasonably, deliberating conservative.

Though, of course, in truth, there’s only been one candidate in the US elections who isn’t a conservative and that person is Bernie Sanders.

Although I’d like to say otherwise, it looks less and less likely that Americans will, for the first time since FDR, be faced with a genuine choice in the coming presidential election.

So, I’d have thought that this principled conservative should vote, given the opportunity, for the least extreme conservative candidate in the American elections for the person who will most represent their interests and still actively promote the big businesses that finance her campaign.

And that conservative candidate can only be Hillary Clinton.


Gravitational Waves

Gravitational Waves

Gravitational Waves

I get the sense that the recent discovery of a means of measuring Gravitational Waves hasn’t attracted the same interest as the discovery of the Higg’s Boson or the discovery of Homo naledi or the excitement of landing on a comet, but it’s pretty impressive stuff.

And the least reason for this isn’t the tool by which it was done, which was to measure the difference between the time it took for laser beams to bounce along two perpendicular 4 km metal bars. The sensitivity of the detectors are absolutely mind-boggling but they have to be given the relatively small distortion in space a far away black hole event will have at this distance (and time difference). I imagine it was far more intense closer to the black holes that were detected: perhaps enough to be observable without special equipment.

Why is the discovery important?

Well, one reason is more mundane but still important, that we now have a means by which we can detect gravitational perturbations that may be much closer to home. For instance, one could imagine it being used to analyse the internal workings of the inside of our planet or for detecting deep-sea submarines (yet further making a total waste of money anything spent on such vanity projects as Trident).

In scientific terms, we should now be able to detect events from the start of the universe until the moment at which the first visible light was generated by the nuclear fusion inside a star. We already know that much of the early universe was very different. Stars were larger. Galaxies more amorphous. And a complete absence of all but the lightest elements. Now we shall discover what was going on before there were stars, before atoms like Hydrogen and Helium assembled and when the universe was much smaller and much hotter.

We also now have a tool to study black holes and other astronomical entities that leave no visible trace of their existence.

All in all, it’s pretty exciting.


Crystal Passion

Pub Gig - John PF

Pub Gig – John PF

The above picture by John PF heralds the publication of the first chapter of my new novel Crystal Passion. It’s a fourteen chapter novel about a British band of musicians who in the 1990s go on tour in America.

There are several notable things about Crystal Passion. One is that the band has rather a lot of members and that all of them, including Crystal Passion herself, are women. Another is that, in this story, Crystal Passion is now posthumously very famous and well-respected whereas at the time of the tour they were virtually unknown, even in the UK.

The novel is partly about how fame and fortune can elude musicians at the peak of their productive life, as it has for Nick Drake, Rodriguez and Robert Johnson, but also about the mythologising of artists’ lives and reputations. The novel is also about the 1990s and that period of time just before the internet, mobile phones and the music industry took its modern shape. And, of course, it is about the differences between Britain and America, which is at least as pronounced now as it was in the 1990s.

It also gives me an opportunity to write a novel full of musical references where I can throw in my more personal experiences and opinions. It is some kind of companion piece to my short stories CreamfieldsExcess and How HIgh the Moon, though I deliberately avoid making the Crystal Passion’s music Dance, Rock or Jazz.

The novel is notable for being written in the first person which is very unusual for me. With the exception of Omega and I Remember Erewhon, I’ve mostly written in the third person. My view is that there has to be a good reason to write a story from the first person perspective, because it is deliberately very limiting and it also opens up fiction to the trope of the unreliable narrator which can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes not. In the case of Crystal Passion the narrator is Pebbles, the band’s keyboard player, and the reason for writing in the first person is that it gives an opportunity to couch the story exclusively from her point of view and allow her prejudices slant the narrative in one direction rather than another.

I’ve posted the first chapter of the novel to my website and also to Literotica and Stories OnLine. Although I think it’s a pretty good novel (I would say that), I don’t expect it’ll be a firm favourite on either site. That was far more likely to happen to the Anomaly Trilogy and  my various Sex Fantasies, but I live in the hope that some of the regular readers might enjoy Crystal Passion.

Freedom of Trade

Ben Frost

Ben Frost


Just over two months since my last short story, I’m posting a new one called Freedom of Trade and already in less than an hour it’s earned nearly two dozen mostly negative votes on Stories Online. But let’s be honest if I was expecting to get positive votes from a website whose readers are predominantly American redneck men who vocally support the more rabidly libertarian tendencies of the Republican Party (but not so much the Bible Belt tendency), I’d never post to the website and would most certainly not post Freedom of Trade.

However, it could be said that the exact target of this story is well chosen in this case as the story is a fairly brutal attack on exactly the most libertarian aspects of the American Dream. It basically posits the notion of what a world that is only a couple of steps away from the real world would be like if the libertarians did indeed have their way and capitalism was truly as free as the Rand Pauls, Ayn Rands, Alan Greenspans, Donald Trumps and the like seem to say they’d like it to be. Although they perhaps might support the open and free sale of guns and pornography, they might draw the line at hard drugs and indentured sex workers (which is just an obfuscation for sex slaves).

In a sense, this story could be seen as a companion piece to Thoroughly Modern Emancipation in the sense that it is a kind of satire on America’s worst traits and its woeful history with regards to the institution of slavery, but there are many differences and they definitely don’t belong to the same universe (to use a Stories Online concept).

Whereas Thoroughly Modern Emancipation is a kind of alternate history story where the slave trade never gets reformed, Freedom of Trade isn’t set in any specific place or time, and it isn’t really set in America. It could just as well be set in any English-speaking country in a kind of parallel present.

So, what’s the purpose of the story besides a way of annoying Stories Online readers in what they believe is a hermetically sealed environment where they can voice their peculiar opinions without fear of contradiction?

Well, inevitably there is the serious side which is to imagine just how untrammelled capitalism might work. The sex slave angle is more just a conceit to build a kind of story around something which is both rather horrible in practice (if you pause to think about it) and also titillating to those who in countless websites (and not just sex story sites) believe that this kind of thing is good fun rather than something nightmarish and squalid (as can be seen in the movie, Room).

And I wonder how much the negative votes the story’s attracted already is simply because this vision of libertarianism is disturbing to exactly those people who most avidly advocate it.

President Donald Trump and Vice-President Sarah Palin

Apocalypse in New York

Apocalypse in New York

Let’s imagine that every nightmare you’ve ever had has come true and the United States of America votes for President Donald J Trump and Vice-President Sarah Palin.

Just how would this play out in reality?

In truth, Donald Trump is probably no worse than the other Republican hopefuls. Ted Cruz is, if anything, a worse candidate and the others are either downright scary or ridiculous to an extent that only the most stupid are unable to recognise. But he and, of course, Sarah Palin are way worse than David Cameron who has turned out to be the worst thing that has happened to the UK since Margaret Thatcher. In fact, while Cameron presents himself as some kind of Blue Liberal, his government makes Thatcher’s term in government seem remarkably moderate in comparison.

What would a Trump government do?

The hopes of all those who are not natural sympathisers of the Republican Party as we currently understand it (which probably includes the majority of Republican senators and presidents from before the 1980s) is that reality and pragmatism would determine the direction of policy rather than the nut-job ideas that masquerade as policies at the moment. Instead of being racist, sexist, anti-environmental, xenophobic, intolerant and hypocritical, a Trump presidency (like Nixon’s and Eisenhower’s) would temper all the nonsense that appeals to its base support (stupid white southerners) with the recognition that the world’s environment really is going to shit, that nuclear war isn’t worth the posturing, extremists don’t respect American rhetoric and the interests of the top 62 billionaires (whose wealth equals the wealth of the world’s bottom 50% ) doesn’t equate to the interests of humanity and the planet we live on.

However, people thought that in 1932 when Germany’s government changed, foolishly thought this was true of the Soviet Union, hoped might be true of Mao’s China and sometimes wish could be true of North Korea. But I fear that Trump may have more in common with the Salafist extremists whose malevolent influence now dominates Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Just as ISIS and the chess-hating Islamic clerics have taken advantage of the common desire for a simplistic interpretation of Islam, Trump and Palin have taken advantage of the stupidity of that sizeable minority of the first world’s most unequal society and the one that is also most obese, most likely to be shot and most likely to be burdened with phenomenal debt to pay for the medical care that is free in most of the rest of the world’s wealthy nations.

So, it is just about possible that America will be so disenchanted by Hillary Clinton (or that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is genuinely unelectable) and we see America ruled by the two most ridiculous and dangerous leaders ever known, able to pursue their appalling policies with the support of the already insane Republican politicians in the Senate and Congress.

And then, either the world doesn’t survive the first or (God forbid!) second term, or America squanders all the international good will it’s earned since having elected Obama as president and further sinks in international standing as it further fucks up its environment, arms itself to the teeth at the detriment to its already strained public sector, and sees its faith in the power of capital rewarded by its flight to tax havens and more politically stable nations.

There are those who might welcome this as the necessary pre-condition for world revolution, but the last time these conditions were in place (as a result of the First World War), the outcome was very unpleasant indeed.

I would much rather the risk wasn’t taken and even though Hillary Clinton is no Obama, no Mandela and no Kennedy, she may be preferable to any of the current Republican candidates.

But then, that honour could also be extended to a bucket of cold shit.

The Austerity Floods

Winter weather Dec 27th 2015.

Winter weather Dec 27th 2015. Members of a Mountain Rescue team paddle along Huntington Road in York, after the River Foss and Ouse burst their banks.

There are several responses possible with regards to the floods in Britain, the peculiar weather in the United States (tornados, snow and unseasonably warm, but not in the same place), warm winter in Switzerland, forest fires in Australia and floods elsewhere throughout the world. The most obvious is that “We told you so”, but unfortunately a smug response isn’t really a satisfactory reply to the misery of millions and the tragedy of thousands, especially given that in many cases the overstretched emergency services have only saved as many lives and property as they have thanks to genuine heroism and great self-sacrifice.

In truth, as far as the Western World is concerned the issue isn’t that the authorities are ignorant of the worsening affects of climate change, but that they wilfully ignore it (sometimes also accepting cheques to do so from the Koch brothers and other wealthy sponsors) and in many cases in the pursuit of a narrow political agenda has actively made things worse.

With regards to the latter, I would urge anyone from the UK to read this article by George Monbiot in the Guardian that spells out the ties between austerity for those unlikely to ever vote Tory and the subsidies for the Tory paymasters, and how this has contributed to the chaos caused by the floods:


Obviously, my own opinions are fairly close to those of George Monbiot, but even for those who might protest at the implication that the interests of the wealthy are necessarily to the detriment of the remaining 99% and the planet we all share, it does seem fairly indisputable that this blind creed of “taxes bad and public spending worse” does conflict with what is required to prevent the damage caused by the climate change that in itself is a product of the doctrine of greed to which almost all Western (and most non-Western) powers follow so blindly.

What use is austerity when its end result is mass poverty, environmental degradation that will spare no one and the ever-growing risk of civil unrest?