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the official website for the writings of
ralph robert moore

www.ralphrobertmoore.com


The full text of Father Figure is now available in new trade paperback and Kindle editions, with a 2015 Author's Preface, and an appendix which includes 6,000 words in deleted scenes.

Father Figure is also available at all other Amazon sites worldwide, and additional online venues. 175,000 words, plus 6,000 words of deleted scenes.

South of Anchorage, accessible only from a mud-rutted road off Seward Highway, lies the town of Lodgepole. After midnight, among the blueberry bushes of White Birch Park, a man climbs on top of a woman and begins making love to her. As her orgasm rises he puts his hands around her throat, shutting off her air. She struggles, not to stop him, but to stop herself from trying instinctively to pull his hands off her throat. As the top joints of his thumb meet at the front of her throat she comes, her cry of orgasm ricocheting around inside her forever.

Daryl Putnam, handsome, bookish, wakes up from a nightmare and decides to do something he hasn't done in years. Take a walk outside at night. Down in the park, at the lime green shores of Little Muncho Lake, he comes across the body of the strangled woman.

The next morning, at the coffee shop of the hospital where he works, Daryl meets Sally, a pretty, dark-haired girl. He's intelligent, she's outgoing. What they have in common is both are living lonely lives. Until today.

Also in the hospital coffee shop, shaking half a can of black pepper onto his tomato soup, is Sam Rudolph, a fiftyish man with eyes like an angry dog's, who has spent over twenty years quietly manipulating events in Daryl and Sally's lives to have this seemingly chance encounter among the three of them occur.

And who is actually a lot older than fifty.

"It is easy to see why Father Figure has become an underground classic over the years. It is a dark, extremely disturbing but completely gripping suspense thriller with a strongly erotic subtext...Moore is an extremely talented writer with a gift for pushing the reader's emotional buttons...certainly liable to become a cult classic, and deservedly so."

From an editorial review

Amazon US Trade Paperback and Kindle

Amazon UK Trade Paperback and Kindle



When someone you love dies, are they gone forever?

Meet the Ghosters, and the desperate people who hire them.

In our modern world, only Ghosters know what comes after death. What stays behind. And what dwells between.

Ghosters are a small, loosely-connected group of individuals who travel the highways of America curing people of their hauntings. For as much money as they can negotiate from each client. They are legitimate. But they are not nice.

Amazon US Trade Paperback and Kindle

Amazon UK Trade Paperback and Kindle


If you're here, it's probably night. You can see a window from where you sit, and the window is dark. Who really knows what's outside?

I write. If you read, we've just made a connection.

SENTENCE is the forest you fall asleep into.

I created SENTENCE back in 1998 as a way of letting readers know a little bit more about me. Here you'll find about a dozen of my stories, the complete text of my novel Father Figure, essays of mine, videos I've made, photographs I've shot, a decade and a half of my on-line diary entries, some of my favorite recipes, and much, much more. I don't fear plagiarism. Ideas can be stolen-- a simile, a description, a plot, a joke-- but that will happen regardless of the medium in which your luggage is left alone on the airport floor. The truth is, fear of plagiarism is fear of readership. To be plagiarized is never fatal. What is more important is to be read. Because if it's in a box, and no one but you knows about the storms raging through the paragraphs, the footsteps plodding soggily down the sentences, water dripping off the rims of words, that's the biggest shame of all. A fizzle. Because the real achievement of writing is not the writing. The real achievement of writing is someone else reading the writing.

SENTENCE started as an island. Over the years, its accumulated bulk, added to each month, became a continent.

Art is an invitation to go inside someone else's mind. To see our world as they see it. SENTENCE is my mind.

I've been published in America, Canada, England, Ireland, India and Australia in a wide variety of genre and literary magazines and anthologies. My fiction has been called "graphically morbid". My writings are not for everyone. Are they for you? Find out.

I'm glad you came. I just lit a cigarette. I just poured Merlot. I hope you enjoy your exploration.

And to see what I'm up to right now, and what currently interests me, visit my page.



Webmaster Ralph Robert Moore at robmary@swbell.net. Entire contents Copyright © 1997-2016 by Ralph Robert Moore, All Rights Reserved.

Established January 1, 1998.

To buy my books, please go to BUY MY BOOKS

To see where I've been published, please go to BIBLIOGRAPHY

For samples of my writing style, please go to WORDS WALKING NUDE

For a complete chronology of site updates, please see HISTORY

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"All was chaos, that is, earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and out of that bulk a mass formed-- just as cheese is made out of milk-- and worms appeared in it, and these were the angels."

-- Domenico Scandella, 1599 (Two years before being burned at the stake).



my many murders
may 1, 2016


The other day I was in our high-ceilinged garage, stuffing flattened cardboard boxes into our green recycle bin, about as tall as a woman, when a question occurred to me: Is there any author whose fiction does not include a single death? Where all his or her characters, over the course of a writing career, survive the final sentence?

I started going through different authors in my head, and each time, at some point, usually right away, other times only after a minute or two, my fingers, rooting through the bowl, would unearth a black jellybean.

Which makes sense. If you're going to write, why would you not, at some point, or repeatedly, write about death?

Like a lot of you, my own writings are dark. So of course there's a lot of death in their pages. But then I started wondering: Just how much death?

So what I've done is gone through my stories, and for each story determined if anyone dies, and if they do, how they die.

I am not including my published novels (there'd just be too many pages to comb for deaths, plus you have some ambiguity: In my novel As Dead As Me, for example, do billions upon billions of people die, or just one?) And I am not including stories that have not yet been published, or stories that have been sold but not yet published.

Also, for each story I am not including people alluded to in the story who are already dead when the story starts. The character must be alive at the start of the story, and dead by its end.

There are also a number of stories where it seems likely a character dies soon after the end of the story, but since they don't die during the story itself, that is not counted as a death.

Finally, although a number of animals die in my fictions, none of those small deaths are recorded here. This list obviously includes major spoilers for all of my published short fiction. To try to make it a little less spoilerish, I have eliminated the characters' names.

Here we go.

WHEN YOU SURFACED
No one dies.

SEX ON SHEETS
No one dies.

BIG INCHES
A character is examined into non-existence.

DESPAIR AT MCDONALD'S
No one dies.

WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS
No one dies/death implied.

THE BEAR
No one dies.

VISIBILITY
A young woman drowns.

FISH
No one dies/death implied.

THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE
One character, forced to swallow live bullets, dies when shot in the abdomen and the live rounds explode out of him.
One character is killed by a bullet to the forehead during this event.
One character is shot to death while lying in a street.

THE WOMAN IN THE WALLS
No one dies.

THE MACHINE OF A RELIGIOUS MAN
A character commits suicide by drowning.

AFTER HERE
No one dies.

LAS VEGAS
No one dies.

PUSHING DOWN THE TOMBSTONES
A character commits suicide.

THE HOLE AND THE SPIKE
A character bleeds to death.

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES IN THE WOODS
A character drowns.
A character starves to death.

THE BURDEN OF WORDS
No one dies.

FLEEING, ON A BICYCLE WITH YOUR FATHER, FROM THE LIVING DEAD
Several characters die in a car crash.
A character is impaled through the chest by a speaker post at a drive-in theater.
There is ambiguity as to whether a character is still alive, or is now dead.

THE RAPE
A character is murdered.
A character is murdered.

TRUTH BE TOLD
No one dies.

RED BOAT
A character drowns but is brought back to life.

DAMP
A character is killed by something living in an earthquake crevice.
Another character dies the same way.

MY FIRST KISS
Two characters are presented as being dead, but it turns out they aren't. No one actually dies.

STEAKS IN THE CITY
No one dies.

STRANGERS WEAR MASKS OF YOUR FACE
A character is accidently stabbed through the forehead with a knife.

LIKE AN ANIMAL IN A HOLE
A character bleeds to death when he can't stop urinating blood.
A character dies from blood loss while going to the bathroom.

ROCKETSHIP APARTMENT
A character commits suicide by starvation.

GRAPPLING WITH URINE
No one dies.

IN THE TUNNELS OF THE AGOGS
No one dies.

NOBODY I KNEW
A character eventually dies from internal bleeding following an assault.
A character is fatally struck by a car while running across a street.

RAIN TURNS TO SNOW
A character dies while trying to protect another character.

AFOOT
No one dies.

THE MAN WHO COULD JUMP OFF ROOFS
A character is murdered, his heart pulled out of his chest.

HINKY
A character dies from unknown causes.

SUDDENLY THE SUN APPEARED
No one dies.

THE WET MONTHS
No one dies, although some of the characters attending a party are already dead from various causes.

THE BAD BOY
A character is deliberately hit with a car travelling at a fast speed.

DOGS WANT TO EAT YOU
A character is killed by six-legged dogs.
Another character is killed by six-legged dogs.

THEY HIDE IN TOMATOES
A character dies after a long illness.

ELEPHANTS ON THE MOON
No one dies.

OUR ISLAND
No one dies.

ABOUT TO BE KISSED
A character dies climbing down into a hole.
A number of volunteer firemen are burned alive.
Several police officers die falling into a hole.
A character dies falling into a hole.

DADDY'S GLAD HANDS
No one dies.

THE ONE WHO ALWAYS GETS TO SIT IN A CHAIR
A character is eaten by a large shark on a village street.

SHE HAS MAIDS
A character suffocates to death on insects.

THE YELLOW FRUIT
No one dies.

ALL YOUR FACES DROWN IN MY SYRINGE
Several babies are murdered.
A character dies not realizing the action he takes will cause his death.

KEBAB BOB
A character dies from injuries suffered during amateur corrective surgery, or doesn't die; but then in a second version of his story still dies from the same injuries.

THE SPACE BETWEEN (co-written with Ray Cluley)
A character is poisoned by insecticide.

THE MIDDLE LEG
No one dies.

WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU THEY'LL LOOK NORMAL
No one dies/four deaths implied.

GHOSTS PLAY IN BOYS' PAJAMAS
No one dies/a character's death by stabbing is implied.

SOME SORT OF EDEN (co-written with Allen Ashley)
No one dies.

DROWN TOWN
A large number of people drown.
A character is murdered underwater.
A character dies of a heart attack.

BANG, BANG, THUD
No one dies.

MEN WEARING MAKEUP
No one dies/a character's death is implied.

THE 18
A character dies from a stroke.
A character dies from a heart attack.

LEARNING NOT TO SMILE
No one dies

YOU DRY YOUR TEARS IF THEY DON'T WORK
A character's death by a bullet to the face is implied.

DIRT LAND
A character dies in a car accident.
A character dies from unspecified causes.
A character is beaten to death on a moon-lit country road.

Not included:

Deaths in the novels:

Father Figure

Kid

As Dead As Me

Ghosters

Deaths in sold but not yet published stories:

Trying to Get Back to Nonchalant

Lam

Nearness

55 Miles From Tucson

Hoodelay

The Dead Leave Small Bones

Deaths in novels and stories not yet published.

So all in all, looking at this list, finally compiled, I realize that a lot of my characters who do die either drown, commit suicide, or are in automobile accidents. And realize even more so, with some surprise, that I haven't really murdered as many people as I had always assumed I had. So much less blood on my hands! Fingertips definitely dripping, but maybe my palms are still clean? More or less?

A new Lately is published the first of each month. To print this Lately, please go here. To read previous Latelys, please go here.