Iain McLaughlin

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Short stories

Some short stories I've written... some are shorter than others.

As well as a good number of novels, I've also written plenty of short stories set in the Doctor Who universe.

Graham Dilley Saves The World
written with Claire Bartlett
in Doctor Who - Short Trips: Past Tense

How can changing the result of an Ashes test match at Headingley in 1981 bring about social unrest and the end of civilisation as we know it in Britain? Blame Tegan, it's her fault. It's up to Peri and Erimem - neither of whom know or care the first thing about cricket - to put history back on track. The Doctor would love to help but he's hiding out in the commentary box with the Test Match Special team.

Doctor Who - Short Trips: Past Tense was published by Big Finish.
The Time Lord's Story
written with Claire Bartlett
in Doctor Who - Short Trips: Repercussions

The book is about the repercussions of the Doctor's actions. We thought it would be inbteresting to look at the repercussions of being the Doctor's friend. We couldn't do what we wanted to any of the known companions so we had to give him a stand-in here. The Doctor, Gallifrey, ancient cults, vampires... it's not destined to end well, is it?

Doctor Who - Short Trips: Repercussions was published by Big Finish.
Far Away In A Manger
written with Claire Bartlett
in Doctor Who - Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas

We wanted to do the most Christmassy of Christmas stories. Masses of snow, people enduring stoically, and a new-born baby bringing hope to a world. Yes, it's sentimental, but it's Christmas and what is Christmas without a bit of sentiment?

Doctor Who - Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas was published by Big Finish.
The Web of Terror
in Wildthyme In Purple

A small town in Arizona is overrun by worried soldiers. A journalist hits town looking for a story... a story the military are desperate to cover up. What's more terrifying? The giant insect killing local cattle, or the relentless advance of Iris Wildthyme's red bus as she closes in on a party in Vegas with the Rat Pack?

Echoes and Interludes

in Erimem - Into The Unknown

In Echoes, Erimem experiences futures, pasts and presents she can never know... why?

Interludes are small character moments which develop and expand the regulars in the Erimem series.

Life on Mars on Mars

Thebes Publishing website

A very silly, very short story commemorating the launch of an ESA Mars probe and the release of a new Erimem novel Prime Imperative...  and is a nod to a genuine music legend.


in Erimem: Prime Imperative

A character piece concerning Erimem's friends Ibrahim and Helena moving into their new home, and the repercussions that will have bother for them and for Erimem's adventures.

The Other Three Doctors

in A Target for Tommy

A sort-of retelling of the Doctor Who tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors but featuring three different Doctors... three very unlikely other Doctors... and some other familiar faces too...

A Bleak Midwinter and Interludes

in Erimem: All I Want for Christmas

Christmas is many things. It's about fun and being with loved ones. It's about presents and laughter... but it's got a darker side, for those who are alone, those who don't have a family to be with. I always have an emotional moment at Christmas as I remember the people no longer with us to celebrate but then I can remember those who are still here and there's a balance between the good and the bad. That's what this story is about.

Home for Christmas (a small section)

in The Xmas Files

Just to be absolutely clear, I didn't write any of the stories in The Xmas Files. I did, however, write a small portion of Home for Christmas. About a thousand words of it. I'm not telling you which thousand though you really should be able to work it out from the content alone. It was a nice thing to do, a lovely bit of fun. However, just to reiterate, the bulk of the book was written by the splendid Simon Forward. I'm only adding this here for completion's sake. You can pick up The Xmas Files free on the Candy Jar website. Buy yourself some books while you're there.

Auld Acquaintance

for the Thebes Publishing website

One of two short stories published on the Thebes Publishing website over Christmas and New Year 2017/2018. This one sees Ertimem and Andy being intercepted as they return to Erimem's home... and the future brings both of them some surprises. This is a story to set up some things that will be happening later in the series of books.

Cold Comfort

in Unbound: Adventures in Time and Space

Claire and I have a (not very) short story in this forthcoming book. More details closer to release.

Splinter of Eternity

in Not Announced Yet

There's a Doctor Who universe story coming up in... oh, I'm not telling. You'll just have to wait and find out. Oh, I am a tease...

I've also written a number of short stories which are not related to everybody's favourite Time Lord. 

The Unfortunate Guest

in The Further Associates of Sherlock Holmes

A hotel guest dies in mysterious circumstances. The doorman, an associate of Holmes, turns to the great detective to find why this innocent man died.

A Dirty Business

in Licence Expired: The Unauthorised James Bond

James Bond is sent to a Caribbean island to assassinate a local leader. 007 discovers that murder isn't the only dirty business at play on the island.

The Hopkins Brothers Affair

written with Claire Bartlett

in The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures Part 3

Holmes is asked to investigate the death of a businessman by his brother. 

Dennis the Menace
In WOW! 366

Some short stories are shorter than others - and this one was REALLY short. 366 words was the request, not a word more, not a word less. I was working on the Beano so I was asked to write a Dennis the Menace short story for this charity anthology. It was good fun and I'm in fairly exalted company there.

Danta Claus

in The Dandy Christmas issue 2003

Prose stories were a thing long consigned to the past for British comics by the Twenty-First Century. We thought it might be fun to have a text story in our longer Christmas issue. I was deputy editor at the time so I blagged the job for myself.

So, when Santa suffers a mishap, Dan and his pals head to the North Pole to help Santa out.

Norman's Horrible Homework

in the Dandy Annual 2004

A short story written with a definite nod to the wonderful Roald Dahl in its style. It's not in his league but it was a fun story to write... a young lad named Norman who hates homework so much that things turn MONSTROUS.