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Byron Loker

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Charlie’s good food

I drove a ski-boat down to Alexandria, Minnesota for something called “winterization”, listening all the way to the country music stations popping up from town to town: Tim McGraw singing how he’ll always be, and another man singing them pantyhose ain’t stayin’ on for long if the DJ puts Bon Jovi on.


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Launching a short film crowd-funding project!

Dear friends,

Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated. To cut to the chase: I am crowd-funding the production of my first short film as director, working title ‘Irregardless’. It was written by American screenwriter John Porter (writer of the feature ‘Lost Mother‘), in whom I have found a kindred spirit and hope to collaborate with on many a film project in the future.

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Death in Venice part II

Dalebrook tidal pool in Kalk Bay

HEAVY WATER: The hardest thing I have ever done in my life happened during that winter, and it was to get out of bed just a handful of times and walk down the Main Road to the Dalebrook tidal pool, dive into the ice-cold water and swim a few lengths and then sit for a time with Hans and talk to him about the fight for my life.

Click here for Death in Venice part I

For Hans Soltau: 05 05 1945 — 09 09 2015.

“You are fighting for your life,” Hans reminded me, “And my job is to corrupt your thinking. Let me tell me you something that might surprise you—do what is evil. You don’t have to do what you think you have to do, or what you think other people want you to do. Do what is evil.”


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Fish out of water


Eastern Cape surfers don’t know how good they’ve got it… one of the most memorable sessions of my life—banging, six foot, chunky runners down the point, eight guys out—at the crown jewel spot in Slummies, Nahoon Reef.

One of the perks of my new so-called career as a project manager based in Hell, aka Johannesburg, is that I am still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. (Some of the other perks being the colourful assortment of ulcers, cancers and nervous conditions I am accumulating in the soft tissues of my body.) (more…)

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Eddie would go

GHANA GO: Finding surfing deep in Africa is a hit and miss afair. PHOTO: John Callahan/Surfexplore

GHANA GO THERE: Finding surfing deep in Africa is a hit and miss affair. Image by: John Callahan/Surfexplore

Featured by —’surfing’s definitive online community’.

Now that my friend Kev has quit the cocaine and the film industry and the women of loose morals, he works for another of our best friends, Los the Boss, in Johannesburg, project managing the building of things like fast food chicken restaurants and stores in malls for flat screen TVs and mobile phone consortia. (I too work for Los the Boss now but that’s a different story).

There is absolutely no surf in Johannesburg but quite often Kev has to head up north into other African countries where those above types of companies are making more money because South Africa is going down the toilet. Recently Kev went to Ghana where there is surf and when he came back I was there to meet him at the airport. ‘So, I’ve got a story for you,’ he says when we are in the car. (more…)

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Pride of place


I just wonder if the nearest Coricraft will have a semi-big wave gun rack with a space or two for a bottle of Kentucky Straight

I just wonder if the nearest Coricraft will have a semi-big wave gun rack with a space or two for a bottle of Kentucky Straight

I recently relocated from Kalk Bay to Johannesburg, in chase of the dollar instead of the dawnie surf for a season or two. Sometimes that happens to people, (they love to write letters to Zigzag surf magazine about their sorry plight). The mighty dollars ain’t exactly rolling through the door, yet, but I have managed to move into a so-called townhouse in the suburbs, where I find myself in need of something known as furniture (if one spends most of one’s life chasing dawn surfs, one tends to land up not owning much of it). (more…)

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The box

Maya Fowler puts her touches to the Book Lounge's Chain Gang Challenge short story 'The Box' on International Short Story Day

Here’s a little “po-mo” story Diane Awerbuck, Greg Lazarus, S.A. Partridge, Sarah Lotz, Maya Fowler and I wrote for International Short Story Day and Short Story Day Africa. Diane began and the ending’s mine.

The next morning, when the alarm went off, he wanted to keep the box closed. The airholes were big enough, surely. He lifted his head from the musty pillow and squinted at it. The flaps were still in place. They should be: blue gaffer tape ran like claw marks over the cardboard.

It had been hard enough to get the damn thing into the house without Consuela seeing. It was just a matter of time before her voice burred and whined through the tiny house, twitching the curtains and setting the low, slow burn going in his bones. Now, if he could get her into a box, that would be progress.

Vorn sighed and sat up. He shivered and rubbed his thin chest; the old green tattoo pricked up into goosebumps. Jissis, it was cold in here! He’d had to leave the window open: it was a toss-up between letting the smell out and keeping the thing in. Was the bed wet? What had happened while he was sleeping? Vorn twisted to look behind him and saw that his entire body had been imprinted in sweat on the mattress, like the cut-out left by a cartoon character running through the wall. He’d had to use the sheet to staunch the blood. He hadn’t had the sweats in a while. (more…)

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New Swell now in Kindle Edition

I’m very pleased to announce that my story collection, New Swell, is now available in Kindle Edition from for US$8.00 and for £4.31.

When Amazon released its annual results at the end of January, founder Jeff Bezos highlighted what he called “a big milestone”: Q4 marked the first time that Amazon’s Kindle eBooks outsold paperback books. According to the company’s earning’s release, “Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books.”

Amazon’s Kindle Reader software is available for free for Windows PC, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Google Android, it’s therefore possible to download and read Kindle books on any of these devices, without actually buying a Kindle reading device. With the R/$ exchange rate being what it is, the average Kindle title @ $10 makes buying Kindle eBooks a ‘no-brainer’ for South African readers, as far as I’m concerned. I bought Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom for around R80 (the paperback runs to R200), and read it on my laptop with no complaints at all about the reading experience. What’s more, you can request a free sample of any book before you buy. Sample New Swell now if you’re still not convinced!

‘If there’s a new swell in South African short stories, Byron Loker’s on the wave.’ – Mike Nicol.

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The reef

There is no doubt on Earth about J-Bay, the wave. But with J-Bay, the place, I have always had a rather ambivalent relationship. It may have something to do with the architecture: those “luxury boutique hotels” that blight the point while brick monstrosities hulk seaward, the coast buffered only by soulless strip malls replicating someplace like Indiana or Bloubergstrand. It definitely has nothing to do with the people.

A few years back, I decided to head up during the Billabong Pro. I wanted to meet Kelly Slater and give him a copy of my then newly published book before it sank without a trace – as most newly published books do in South Africa.

Read the full story on, “the planet’s largest network of thinking surfers”.

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