Dark Comedy Fiction
Books: Novels and Short Stories
Welcome to my World
Adrian Baldwin is a Mancunian currently living and working in Wales. Back in the '90s, he wrote for various TV shows/personalities: Hale & Pace, Clive Anderson, Brian Conley, Paul McKenna, Smith & Jones, Rory Bremner. Wooo, get him!
After that he wrote three screenplays, one of which received generous financial backing from the Film Agency for Wales. Then along came the global recession to firmly kick the UK Film industry in the nuts. What a bummer!
Not to be outdone, he turned to novel writing – which had always been his real dream – and, in particular, a genre he feels is often overlooked; a genre he has always been a fan of: Dark Comedy (Horror's weird cousin).
As a young lad, Adrian grew up watching Monty Python and reading the novels of Kurt Vonnegut. Little wonder then - perhaps it was inevitable - that all his stories (dark comedies for grown-ups) would turn out to be "weird and disturbing but funny at the same time" - much like the strange and surreal humour he so enjoyed as a boy.
Adrian's first novel, BARNACLE BRAT won Underground Books Reviews' INDIE NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2016 (Readers' Choice) and STANLEY McCLOUD MUST DIE!, his second novel, scooped First Runner Up for the exact same award in INDIE NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2018
Besides Python and Kurt Vonnegut, Adrian cites his other major influences as Stephen King, Galton & Simpson, David Bowie, Bruce Robinson, Christopher Moore, David Mitchell, Robert Rankin, Colin Bateman, Irvine Welsh, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name just a few.
are available on Amazon in Print and eBook
can be ordered directly from the author. (Use the Contact section below or email email@example.com directly.)
And if you've never read any of the author's work and you're perhaps still wondering what this so-called Dark Comedy is all about . . . here's how he describes it:
'If Horror were say, a house . . . Dark Comedy would be the weirdo who lives next door.'
"No lack of weird things in this book. 400 pages you can’t put down. And when you HAVE to put it down, for pesky things like sleep or work, it calls out to you."
- Becki's Bloody Book Blog
"Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good dark comedy. This is one of those books that will make you laugh out loud in places that may seem inappropriate."
- Amy's Bookshelf Reviews
"Superb book, from its beautifully written prologue the author takes us straight into the the story so completely you feel you are watching and listening to the characters rather than reading a novel."
- Shane, on Amazon
BARNACLE BRAT Blurb . . .
Losing your grip on reality is a real bummer. Just ask Leon Blank. Not that he’d know. Seems those losing their marbles are always the last to find out.
Until recently, Leon would have argued that having a tendency to become easily side-tracked on a regular basis wasn’t that weird.
And what’s so unusual about hearing a voice inside your head? Doesn’t everyone? Isn’t that just thinking? But his recent visions are not so freely dismissed; especially the angry-looking clown who’s started following him around with a baseball bat.
Time to act, Leon decides: perhaps keeping a log would shed light on the mystery. Then again, could ‘seeing-things’ just be sexual frustration? It’s been a while! If only he had a girlfriend to take his mind off stuff . . .
Prepare to enter the normally hidden world of delusions, paranoia, and . . . ahem . . . 'unusual interests': Voyeurism; Feederism; Shoes -- that kind of thing.
STANLEY McCLOUD Blurb . . .
Death can be a real downer.
Just ask Stanley McCloud. The ancient and inveterate gambler has just found out he hasn't long to live.
Refusing to believe his prognosis, though, Stan puts a massive bet on that he will reach his next birthday. Surely, his run of bad luck can't last!
Unfortunately for Stan the independent bookie he uses grows nervous as the big day approaches and decides to bump him off with one of her many fun, but ever-so-slightly fatal, high-odds proposition bets - aka Maggy's Specials.
Will Stanley McCloud make it, ruining Maggy McCulloch in the process; or will the heartless bookie have her evil way, 'accidentally' kill him, and save her business? Perhaps Stan's womanising, alcoholic old pal Dougie can be of some help? Yeah, right! Good luck with that.
Oh, and there's a whole secondary storyline about The Head Honcho, a serial killer who leaves his victims' torsos in one place, and their heads in another. Yikes!
THE SNOWMAN Blurb . . .
In The Snowman and the Scarecrow - the closest the author will ever come to writing a 'family' story - young Joe's grandfather collapses as they're building their traditional Christmas snowman.
(Always a festive downer when that happens.)
With Wilf in hospital, and as a way of coping, the boy searches for the now inexplicably missing 'Mr Wonky'; it's a small town, how far could he have gone?
Before long, Joe runs into an out-of-town drifter who promises to help ... but does the old vagrant have ulterior motives?
( a stand-alone short)
'A Master of the Weird and Wonderful.'
– Dean M. Drinkel.
'An amazingly brilliant story. Who would have thought that Clown Erotica Dark Comedy was so riveting a read.'
- Fizzy Red Maggs
( a stand-alone short)
'He is the undeniable King of Dark Comedy.'
- Trevor Kennedy.
'Baldwin makes the everyday and ordinary, extraordinary. A dark comedy genius.'
- Emerson Bisley
(a stand-alone short)
'Baldwin effortlessly stitches together emotional awkwardness, biting satire and comedic violence in tales that are uniquely bizarre. A true talent in off-kilter literature.'
- Dave Jeffery
'A distressing tale of kidnap, clownish trickery and carnal depravity.'
PIED! is a dark comedy short inspired by Stephen King's best-selling novels: MISERY and IT - but mostly MISERY.
When upcoming indie crime author Rex Stevens is kidnapped after a book-signing event and forced to create an erotic romance novel by brother-sister couple and pair of cockadoodie coulrophiles, you just know this story will not end well. (“Seriously, you want me to write about clown sex?”)
'A disturbing story of immorality, obsession and
an amusement arcade claw-grab machine.'
EGOR'S EMPORIUM is a dark comedy short inspired by Roberto Segate's cover image.
When coin-op machine junkie Zak spots a rare, limited-edition toy figure (that ‘speaks to him’ from inside his local amusement arcade’s new claw-grab machine) he becomes obsessed with winning her - even if it means putting his job, finances, and relationship with increasingly impatient girlfriend Steph in jeopardy.
'A cautionary tale of Hookers, Truckers and Unsuspecting Suckers.'
BLOWN is a dark comedy short inspired by Truck Stops, Trailers, and 'Lot Lizards'.
Daisy would rather survive on minimum wage (plus tips) at her waitressing job in the local diner - after all, it’s only until ‘the others’ arrive - but she will service truckers if she has to; when she’s short of cash and needs to eat. Normally she’s okay just bumping along, waiting out her time and drinking beer in her trailer - but when her TV dies and she can no longer watch her beloved soap operas, she decides it’s time to join the other ‘lot lizards’ and earn some extra dollars. Watch out, though, guys . . . Daisy is not your typical call-girl.
It’s ‘Aliens’ vs Victorians vs Zombies!
Victorian Londoners have been dumping raw sewage and toxic chemicals into the River Thames for decades but with the population now exceeding 2.5 million that’s a massive pile of feculence. What’s the problem, it will just wash out to sea eventually, won’t it?
Well, out there somewhere, in a deep oceanic trench, technically-advanced Subterraneans have grown increasingly incensed with this rising human pollution and now they’ve resolved to overthrow the land-dwellers and systematically wipe their kind from the face of the poisoned planet.
Someone should have warned them that humans have a tendency to fight back, even when they are out-gunned, deliberately infected and in danger of being ‘overthrown’.
First in a planned series of episodic novelettes and novellas
My story 'One Small Step for (a) Man
- One Giant Lie for Mankind?'
appears in Volume 4
of Gruesome Grotesques
Welcome to the 4th volume in the Gruesome Grotesques international anthology series and our tribute to the science fiction that has helped mould our lives thus far. Inspiring stories and wild tales that have assisted in shaping some sort of scope to our understanding of the known (and unknown) cosmos. Flights of fancy, extraordinary musings and a no limits attitude to our strangest of dreams.
My story 'The Amazing Xandra Lee
vs Ned Swann'
appears in Volume 5
of Gruesome Grotesques
'Amazing collecting of stories.'
- Milan 1979, on Amazon
'An amazing anthology of stories to make you shudder. The work that went into this book is worthy of wonder. '
- C, on Amazon.
My story 'Freakshow - a Show for Freaks'
appears in Volume 6
of Gruesome Grotesques
ROLL UP, ROLL up, ladles and jellyfish! Please take your seats, sit back and relaxand prepare your weary souls for the most demented, the most extravagant, the most batshit bizarre, foully obscene spectacle known to mortal man – welcome, my fiends, to the Carnival of Freaks!
Imagine if you will several leading and many upcoming names in the genre coming togetherin a single book to pay tribute to the old classic anthology series, those that helped seal our love of strange, thought-inspiring fantasy.Take a journey into the unknown with us as we present umpteen tales of the unexpected, stretching the outer limits of humanity’s collective imagination through black mirrors and beyond, into that most twilight of zones.There’ll be countless twists and turns, of course, as you join us on a trip into a dimension as vast as the universe and as ancient as time itself; a middling ground between night and day, proven fact and fiction, the answers always lying somewhere in between.Welcome, my friends, to The Outer Zone . . .
'Dean and his publisher, Trevor Kennedy, have assembled a marvelous team of imaginers and storytellers to offer up these latest visions of Dante’s nine circles of Hell and of the human sins that lead us there. I doff my cap admiringly to Peter Mark May, to Barbie Wilde, to Allison Weir, to Katie Black, to Dean and Trevor themselves, to Tim Dry, and to Adrian Baldwin, and will now step out of their way and let them take your hand and lead you, eagerly or reluctantly, back once more into the Inferno.'
- Peter Atkins. on Amazon
A Grand Guignol for the modern age, we cackle in the face of all that is deemed good and decent as we subvert your expectations with a collection of twisted tales, vexing verse and abhorrent artwork, the result of a diabolical deal made with Old Nick himself, inked in the blood of innocents (naturally!) by a conglomerative of crazed creatives, some very well-known (infamous even!), established names, alongside their up and coming bright young familiars.
(stories inspired by Dante's Inferno)
LIMBO: 'Club Limbo' by Peter Mark May
LUST: 'Liaison' by Barbie Wilde
GLUTTONY: 'The Creature That Gorges'
by Allison Weir
GREED: 'The God Particle Part II'
by Dean M. Drinkel
WRATH: 'Pitch and Toss' by Katie Black
HERESY: 'The God Particle Part I'
by Dean M. Drinkel
VIOLENCE: 'It Begets' by Trevor Kennedy
FRAUD: 'The Circle Game' by Tim Dry
TREACHERY: 'Down, Down, Deeper and Down' by Adrian Baldwin
Indie writer Colin Hackett has written three Horror novellas so far - they're just not that good. Despite having self-published more books than he has reviews for, Colin is sure that one day he'll reach the top; after all, no-one had heard of Stephen King until he became famous!
Lack of fame is the least of Colin’s problems though; besides being extremely short-sighted, considerably overweight, an incurable hoarder and an unsociable loner, he also has an unstable personality, a terrible dark secret, and deep-rooted anger issues.
The neighbours next-door call him Creepy or Stinky and treat his garden as if they own the place. Scum, that’s what they are! Filthy trash! As soon as Colin makes his fortune, he’s moving far away from this horrible estate, that’s for certain. But first he’d sure like to put that little hellcat Leanne in her place. Deep down he knows the precocious little she-devil only flirts with him to mock him, she clearly hates his guts.
And the sad truth is that most of Colin's physical contact is usually paid for. That said, however, much of his lustful gratification ends up ‘free’ – after all, what good is cash to someone who will never get the chance to spend it?
THE PREDICTABLE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS
A sketch I wrote for Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones back in the '90s.
Yes, it hisses a bit; get over it!
As well as being a highly-regarded author of several novels and short stories,
Adrian Baldwin is a much sought after talent in the world of book cover design
with his covers appearing on bookshelves everywhere.
Check out the various titles released by the likes of TK PULP, DEMAIN PUBLISHING and PHANTASMAGORIA to name just a few publishers who use Adrian as their designer of choice.
Not a lover of 'modern' covers as a rule - "so many look the same these days" -
Adrian draws his inspiration from pulp novels of the 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s.
If you're an author seeking a cover that doesn't look like everybody else's,
why not drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to next page for a rolling gallery showcasing some of Adrian's
cover designs for a whole range of titles.
But if you'd like to read one I gave to Underground Book Reviews back in 2015 you can ...
Or, if straightforward text with none of those pesky images is your thing, scroll down to the Downloads section; you'll find a PDF transcript of the interview right there.
Image © Roberto Segate / Design by Adrian Baldwin
if you would like to get in touch about my books, or Dark Comedy in general, please use this form or email email@example.com
Our friendly team of operators is standing by, ready to respond to your messages.
(And by team of operators, I mean me, of course.)