Steve Morris has done a wonderful job of putting together 30 short stories, roughly three to five pages in length, in his collection, In All Probability. The stories are about ordinary people, real people, you and me, and the choices they make which can have life-changing consequences. The endings aren’t what you would call unhappy, rather they are what most probably would happen, and of course life isn’t all happy endings so let’s say the endings are ‘real’.
Fate and destiny are big characters in this collection and I believe control also plays a big part. For example, people wanting to control sleep, events, depression and emotions. It is actually a good life lesson – we cannot control everything, sometimes it is already predestined and if we try too much to change what, in all probability, is around the corner for us we can meet consequences we don’t want to. We mustn’t become too complacent, thinking that we have it made, because in the end what we thought we had and what we thought was a sure thing, in all probability, might be taken away from us. Nothing is a sure thing. What will be will be. A life lesson indeed. Call it karma, or whatever name you choose to attach to it, sometimes we do need to be taught a lesson just to let us know we mightn’t be the ones in full control. We must also watch what we wish for. You may think you want change but you don’t know what’s on the other side of that change, good or bad, so perhaps we should be happy with what we have got instead of wishing we had more of something.
Throughout the stories we meet with spirits, ghosts, workaholics, loners, dreams, conspiracy theories, climate change, OCD, the marketing of cigarettes, supernatural events and futuristic environments. I must say the futuristic stories are a little scary – because they could end up being real. They certainly have a real feeling about them. In fact, I would think these would make good stand-alone novels and perhaps that is something Steve Morris could work on. A lot of the stories I wanted to know more, what happened later on, and this shows good writing in my view. Steve made the characters engaging and because they are ‘real’ people I could see myself or someone I knew in some of the characters.
Three of my favourite short stories in this collection: “The Lay-Off”, where a soccer player injures his knee and is told by the doctor he won’t run on it again. Soccer is this man’s life and years later he does find soccer again (or does soccer find him?). What will become of this? In all probability perhaps not what you would expect; then again, in all probability perhaps what you would expect.
“If I Could Bottle It” is a great story of a department store employee being creative with smells. He places smells around the store in strategic places to evoke memories in customers of good times gone past in the hopes of them buying more product. What will become of this? In all probability perhaps not what you would expect; then again, in all probability perhaps what you would expect.
“Swansong” has Darren as its main character. Darren is not well and is on lots of medication. He decides to up and leave, travelling to Ibiza where he ends up drinking quite a bit. Darren is befriended by a dog and they become inseparable. What will become of this? In all probability perhaps not what you would expect; then again, in all probability perhaps what you would expect.
I loved how I could read a story here and there when I had a moment to spare. That’s the beauty of short stories. Steve made the ‘real’ come alive through characters that were ‘real’. Some endings were quite abrupt, which left me wondering hm, what happens next? I can’t say I could guess any of the endings, some were quite a surprise. In all probability most will like this collection of short stories and I say if you can get your hands on it read it, enjoy it and think about it.
Thank you, Steve, for providing me with a copy of your work. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I love the cover! I wish you well in your future works and look forward to reading more from you. Thanks, Steve!
Introduction taken from the book:
This book deliberately contains no heroes. The world does not revolve around heroes. It revolves around real people who sometimes find themselves in seemingly unreal situations. When we sympathise with the characters within these stories and with the ways that fate deals with them, we sympathise with ourselves.
Some of the characters and events in these stories are based on real people and situations I have met along my way.
A few of these stories were first penned in my teenage years. Fate gave me an opportunity to type some of them up into this first book.
Allow me to present to you my first volume of short stories. Have a quick read while you can. Be quick, though. In all probability, Lady Luck will soon toss something life-changing out of the sky right into your lap just to see how you handle it. She usually does.
Biographical notes taken from the book:
Steve is a peripatetic teacher of maths and science. He travels around his region teaching seriously ill children who can’t get to school and values his job very highly.
Despite a background in mathematics and science, one major part of Steve’s life is his love of quality English literature. He collects and owns many classic first editions.
He will be ever grateful to his parents who taught him to read fluently at the age of four.
Short story writing began in his school days where he enjoyed winning the literature prize.
With a head readily spawning original (and sometimes randomly bizarre) short stories, Steve’s move out of the classroom has given him time to enjoyably type them up. Stories that had their origins in Steve’s teenage years began to find their way into anthologies and magazines. A lifelong ambition for him has always been to author a book traditionally into print. He often dreamed of seeing a full paperback of his own work on a bookshop shelf.
Steve graduated in maths from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1993, after representing them in soccer for four years. He then taught in schools in Surrey, Staffordshire and Cheshire.
With no family and few relatives, Steve places great value on his close friendships.
He also enjoys contributing to magazine articles, horticulture, DIY, his little sports car, art, bookbinding and photography. He also confesses to following his free-falling league 2 soccer team.
He lives in a rural location in South Cheshire accompanied by a guardian of a dog.
To read the blurb for In All Probability click here