Staff at The Stranger Times, a newspaper based in Manchester dedicated to reporting the weird and wonderful from around the world, were left reeling today with the announcement that they don’t exist and are in fact merely characters in the book written by C.K. McDonnell.
McDonnell, who is also known as Caimh but is publishing the book using made-up initials that people can actually pronounce stated, ‘I’ve always been a massive fan of the paranormal and an avid reader of things like the Fortean Times, so creating a world where some of that weird news comes to life has been a dream come true.’
The horrified staff at the paper have pointed to the fact that they must exist as they have a website and — Oh God, even as I’m writing this I’ve just realised it’s all true. I’m just a figment of some Irish arsehat’s imagination. I thought I had free will, that my life actually meant something – turns out I’m just a plaything in some tubby funster’s imaginary world. This website is clearly just a cynical ploy to promote his bloody book. There’ll be a podcast next, just you watch …
McDonnell is also launching The Stranger Times podcast, which features short stories from the world of The Stranger Times written by him and narrated by top comedians from the UK’s comedy circuit.
When asked why a book needs a website and a podcast, McDonnell responded, ‘Well, it was 2020 and suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands, so it was either this, or bake bloody banana-bread. Luckily, some of the most talented people I know were also at the mother of all lose ends and so I asked them to narrate the stories. Let’s face it, if this shitshow continues for much longer, audiobook narration might be the only work going, seeing as the bloody ballet dancers have cornered the market in cyber.’
Christ, I knew it! Just what the world needs now, another bloody podcast. I’m imaginary, and I’ve not even used up my holiday allowance for this year. Seems pointless taking it now, I’ll just end up doing something “off-screen”.
The book, The Stranger Times, published by Transworld is available from all good bookstores and eBook retailers. Book two in the series, This Charming Man, will be published in February 2022 and the podcast is available now wherever you get your podcasts. You can also sign up to The Stranger Times monthly newsletter and receive a free short story collection e-book collection, In Other News. It won’t be real though – it’s all made up!
Find out more about The Stranger Times