I am sure you already have questions… So, here, you’re welcome.


Each night whilst everyone else was praying for good health and fortune, Arwen prayed for change.

It arrived on a dank winter night.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Amazon ebook 92 self-published Dark Fantasy Horror April 20th, 2021

It takes a special skill to write short stories. It does. People generally tend to waffle on, try and justify their point (of view) with words, more words, in fear the audience won’t otherwise get their vision. Of course, if we were all wordsmiths and experts in conveying a vision in few short words, the concept of a novel wouldn’t exist… and, imagine how much we would be missing out on… the sprawling mastery of lyrical writing.

The short story however, comes with its own magic. It will surprise you, when written well, that you’re getting it. You’re actually really getting it and the author didn’t have to spend pages upon pages of setting the scene for you. So, yeah, writing concisely is a skill. You can visualize the world, you come to care for the characters, you’re on the edge of your seat, heart pumping, wondering what’s next. This is exactly what Torpor: Or, The Disquieted Vicissitudes of the Inchoate manages to do because Jack CJ Stark has a knack required for short story writing. You get the story from beginning to end without overly frilly descriptions and yet you come to know this whole world setup and be able to visualize so much. This is concise and effective writing.

A bit about the story, but just a bit because it’s a little gem that keeps on giving, aye. So. It seems that torpor has overtaken an entire village. The villagers have shut themselves off from the outside world by building high walls and there are very few who would question that choice. They just go day by day, with their own little system. Not much different to that of the outside world, but still, different. Luckily, there’s always one or few that would question this way of life. One or few that become restless, unhappy, willing to sacrifice their life if just to see what’s on the outside; or to just experience the outside again as they may have a vague recollection of how things could be different. Of course, those few are frowned upon.

Unbeknownst to us at the time, the seclusion dirtied our insides, made us strong in the arm and weak in the head.

But, as is becoming for a story any length, we expect something to happen to shake the status quo and hot damn, does Stark shake things up. I have read a few of Stark’s stories over the past few years and I kind of know his ‘signature’ – I can always expect wisdom behind the words, I can always expect some mysterious/mystical aspect that takes me by surprise, and I can always expect these stories to touch my soul, either to pinch a bit with sadness, or to nudge a bit with some cute joy. I have to say, Torpor was unlike anything I have read from Stark and the surprise was unexpected and welcome and whooooo…. what a wild ending!

Anyway, I know sometimes we all need a shorter, quicker read every now and again, and I can with confidence recommend any short story Jack CJ Stark has published, including this one. You won’t regret it.