David Ralph Lewis

Poet and Author




Dispatches from the Uncanny Valley

31 May 2017 Category: art

Uncanny valley

  • Kodomoroid communication android by Osaka University and ATR Laboratories, Japan, c. 2014. Photo by Melissa Wiseman

As I stood before the seated figure, my stomach turned. Every part of my brain was screaming that the face before me was alien. It looked so lifelike. So much like a human. Then it moved and everything felt wrong. I moved on from the robot to the next exhibit, trying to shake the odd feeling those semi-lifelike eyes had given me.

This robot was featured in a fascinating Science Museum exhibition that...


White Noise

25 May 2017 Category: publications


My poem White Noise is featured over on I am not a silent poet. Check it out here.



A Debate: Flash Fiction

25 May 2017 Category: stories

KATIE NEWSINGTON: Welcome back. A new study suggests the moon has a more abundant mineral content than previously realised. Interesting stuff. Joining us to discuss some important questions is the author of the study, Professor Ian Boffin.


KATIE: And on the other side we have the president of Moon Lies dot-com, Shannon Onangononon.


KATIE: Good to have you both here. Professor, if I can start with you first, could you explain what exactly you found in this study?


Oak Tree Manor: Flash Fiction

17 May 2017 Category: stories

Another story from a prompt at Terrible Minds. This week was a mash-up of genres. I got ‘Haunted House’ and ‘Body Horror’. Enjoy!

William shifted uneasily in the bed. It was no use. He couldn’t sleep. Every time he was just about to drop off, he was woken by a creaking in the great house. It seemed to be coming from all around him, loud and all-pervasive. The sound filled his ears and jolted him from the edge of much-needed sleep.

Clearly, it wasn’t going to happen. He sat up in bed, then fumbled for the matches...


Everything is a story

10 May 2017 Category: politics

One of the things reading a lot of fiction teaches you is that everything we rely on in the real world is made up. We are narrative beings and we rely on the power of stories to guide our everyday lives. Very little of our experiences and the systems we live in are based on cold facts. Most of the stories we tell ourselves do no have neat structures, with a beginning, a middle and an end, but are beliefs we hold that change how we view the world.


At the End of NaPoWriMo

03 May 2017 Category: poetry

I wrote a bit about the process halfway through, but I’ve finally finished NaPoWriMo, where you write a poem every single day in April. I had foolishly thought the process would be relatively straightforward, but I was drastically wrong about that. Writing so many lines over so many days was a real challenge. It was difficult to keep motivated and continue writing.

Halfway through the process, I forgot exactly what poetry is. Nothing seemed to make sense:

Jerusalem, Ambition and the Power of Ideas

26 Apr 2017 Category: book review

It’s taken me three and a half months, but I finally finished Alan Moore’s magnum opus Jerusalem.  Made of a number of interlinked short stories set in Northampton, it tells the history of the town as well as the nature of life, death and time itself. It is ridiculously broad in its scope while remaining funny and down to earth, with a serious message about the abuse of the working class. The entire second book occurs whilst a child is choking on a sweet. Each chapter, especially in the last book, uses its own style. There’s an epic poem, a...


NaPoWriMo Halfway through

19 Apr 2017 Category: poetry

For the month of April, I have tried to write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month.) It’s been surprisingly difficult to find a different theme or story each day. Nevertheless, I feel the process has pushed me forward as a writer by sending me into unknown areas. It’s giving me much needed rigour and discipline. I consider myself to be an amateur, with less experience in poetry than in short stories or plays. I only started writing poetry again last year, and even then it was fairly occasional. Forcing myself to write a poem a day has...


Tourmaline: Flash Fiction

05 Apr 2017 Category: stories

Flash fiction created in response to Chuck Wendig’s prompts. Enjoy!

Sunflower grabbed at the smooth black pendant hanging around her neck. It was still there. The electric stone. Thank you, she said to herself, thank you.

Where was she? There were bright lights above her. The sense of movement. She was on her back, lying down. How did she get here? She lurched upward. The world swum around her, blurring like an out of focus camera. Someone was shouting. Someone else was speaking calmly to her, quietly. She couldn’t understand the words. They were English, but they might have been...


My accidental novel: Thoughts on first drafts

29 Mar 2017 Category: writing

I accidentally wrote a novel. Well, it certainly started that way. I started working on a short story in December, setting out a really basic outline and running with it. After about ten thousand words, I realised I had barely scratched the surface. Clearly, this short story was something more expansive. The story demanded a larger setting. So I continued on until finally, last weekend, I typed THE END. What was a short story has now turned into something approaching short novel length. I had very little idea what I was doing and even less of an idea on how I...


Jabberwocky Remixed

23 Mar 2017 Category: poetry

Inspired by Poetry as Fuck and Imaginary Advice, I spent a morning remixing* Jabberwocky* by Lewis Carrol. Because…? I’m not really sure why. Anyway, here are the results. In this first one, I replaced words with common names. Weirdly, it still makes a sort of sense:


`Twas Bradley, and the Susan Todd’s
Did Gary and Genevieve in the Wade:
All Maureen were the Bernie-Gregs,
And the Mae Rolfs out-Gabe.

“Beware the Jerry-Walt, my son!
The Jakes that bite, the Calum that catch!
Beware the John-John bird, and shun
The Francesca Barnaby-Sam!”



Distraction by Design: Observations on Television

22 Mar 2017 Category: television

Over three years ago, I stopped watching TV. I didn’t have one in the house I was in, so I just stopped. At first, it was strange to not constantly have noise and visual distraction. But soon, I didn’t miss it. I preferred the silence and space to think, giving myself time to immerse myself in reading and writing. Television felt mind-numbing in comparison. I did not miss switching my brain off. In the same way as I occasionally need to disconnect from the internet to improve my attention, I never got another television because I found myself more...


The New Religion of Brexit

15 Mar 2017 Category: politics

Finally, after 9 months of legal battles and back and forth in parliament, it looks like Article 50 is about to be triggered and the UK can start its negotiations with the EU. No going back from that point. It seems since the vote months ago that hard Brexit is now a religion, an unstoppable dogma that cannot be argued with. The UK is willing to sacrifice almost everything for the promised hard Brexit. Turn this island into a tax haven? Sure, why not. Public Services? Tories were getting rid of them anyway. Even the United Kingdom itself...


Good Boy: Flash Fiction

08 Mar 2017 Category: stories

[Prompt from here]http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/03/03/flash-fiction-challenge-right-vs-wrong/

I am at a stage in my life where the internet is my only source of life advice. After the divorce, then the breakdown, I have very few friends left. No one in fact. My therapist was no use to me, a newly trained child with no time to do anything but read from a textbook. I feel like an alien, able to observe humans at a distance but never able to connect with them. So I find myself endlessly typing questions into Google. How do I improve my life? How do I make friends? How do I...


'Hope in the Dark' is more relevant than ever

01 Mar 2017 Category: book review

If you are a woolly liberal like me, someone who believes in compassion for all and the importance of civil liberties, then these are dark times. The prevalent mood, both in the UK and the USA appears to be an inward turning nationalism, a conservative rhetoric that is looking backwards to some imagined age rather than forward to the future. There’s an emphasis on military spending and reducing the state. The hard-won luxuries we enjoy, such as the NHS, are continually being eroded, while at the same time the super rich refuse to pay any more tax. The gap between...