[Update: 25th April, 2019]
So it turns out I was pretty slack at keeping this page updated, so I’ve gone to the dark side and am posting stories on Curious Fiction. Click here to find me, er, there, and enjoy…

I write psychological thrillers with tinges of science fiction. Sometimes I just write science fiction. Other times, it’s straight out horror. It all depends on the story being told.

On this page, I’m going to be posting excerpts from my stories, or maybe even complete stories. There will be EPUB and MOBI formats available for free download, too. Stay tuned while I get cracking on this…

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Clip Notes (originally published in Blade Red Dark Pages volume 1; May 2010) – PDF version

Dark Pages 1 (and let’s hope there are more) is a treat – a collection of dark fiction ranging outside the horror genre (including science fiction) and including authors from outside Down Under. Marty Young’s neat little “Clip Notes” has the classic Twilight Zone feel to it and is but one example of what makes this anthology a deeply satisfying read.

[Rocky Wood, 2010 Australian Shadows Judge’s Report]

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Black Peter (originally published in Festive Fear; December 2009) – PDF version

  • Honorable Mention in The Best Horror of the Year Volume 2
  • Shortlisted for Best Short Story – Ditmar Awards 2010

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The Wildflowers (originally published in Fantastic Wonder Stories; April 2007) – PDF version

  • Honorable Mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, 21st edition
  • Honourable Mention in the Australian Shadows Award 2007
  • Reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy Horror 2008

“Marty Young hit outback sacrifice in The Wildflowers and really managed to conjure up the heat and dust for me as his tale took off in an unexpected direction.”

[ScaryMinds, 2009]

“A tremendously frightening … tale that draws as much terror from the Australian bush setting as from the supernatural content, and sometimes I wonder if Australian writers are doing our tourist industry any favours whatsoever…”

[Chuck McKenzie, HorrorScope]

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[The following is from ‘Desert Blood,’ published in Dead Red Heart (Ticonderoga Publications, 2011)]

Marty Young’s ‘Desert Blood’ sees a man who has lost his girlfriend to a vampire in the desert become obsessed with finding her again to the point that he becomes a monster, the desolate mood of the character coming over well.

[Black Static]

Marty Young contributes “Desert Blood,” an insightful, vivid tale featuring a vampire-like creature and a man undergoing an unforeseen transformation from his original human condition.

[The SF Site]

Time passed, and sand spread. Dunes rose and migrated with the wind. Trees died and new ones grew. Memories rose and set like the sun, random reflections of a world he no longer knew.

But he didn’t give up.

He walked the desert, following the winding path of Cooper Creek north-east from Innamincka, the small desert settlement near the Strezlecki Desert, to Cullyamurra Waterhole in the eastern corner of South Australia, where he caught yellowbelly and sometimes catfish in the desert lake, soaking in the cool water when no one else was around. He dove down as far as he could but never reached the bottom, and at night he sat amongst the trees, waiting for the bunyip to rise from the waters and come seek his company.

Alone, he made his slow way to the Nappapethera Waterhole in the south-western part of Queensland, forty-three kilometres from Innamincka, before eventually returning to the township itself, where the horror had begun.

He lived off the land, off grubs and fish, birds and lizards, sometimes snakes. He picked berries when he found them, and stole from campsites when he needed. His hair grew, his bead grew. His clothes fell away and his naked hide blistered, eventually turning a brown-red like the rest of him. Like the land all about, drawn from blood.

He travelled south from Innamincka to the Minkie Waterhole, a smaller lake than the Cullyamurra, only to double back once more. He slept amongst the trees, sometimes high in their branches to watch those who camped below, staying there for days at a time before moving on.

One night, as he perched amongst branches, he felt the other.

That swollen presence crowded in upon him and the great expanse of the desert grew claustrophobic under its weight. With his heart thudding and his knuckles going white where he held the tree, he searched the darkness. The last flames of the campfire below made the shadows and trees dance with twitchy movements, but already the sensation of being watched was fading like his memories. Then it was gone.

Silently, Toby let out his breath and felt the crushing weight of rejection. He closed his eyes and swallowed his scream.

Sometimes, deep in the night as he waited upon the stars, he tried to remember how happy he’d been, him and Sharon, but those memories were gone now. Taken by the desert like it had taken his tears. This desert he had once loved.

Time passed, but still he walked. Through days and weeks, and the cycles of the moon, he followed the river, seeking the desert legend.

“I’ll find you,” he whispered to the trees he shared the night with, to the corellas who took flight come dawn and settled back again upon dusk.

There were aborigines out here, and tourists too, seismic survey crews and geologists. The barren desert was filled with life, and though he tried his best to remain hidden, he became legend himself, the sick white man of the trees who had come to the desert to die, so the campfire whispers went. Stories grew about him, tales of this ghost forever seeking what it had lost to the outback. Flittering amongst the red gums, coolibah, and mulgas, vanishing when spotted, only to appear somewhere else along the Cooper. Still looking, still searching. Innamincka’s ghost.

Sometimes, when the night was still, his voice could be heard calling from the dark; “Yara ma, Yara ma, which way have you gone?”