Friday, October 19, 2012

"Procyon Descent": a Grim Future Tale of Hope

The idea that colonists from Earth will traverse the gulf between stars in generation ships to finally claim a new world is not new. But the backdrop is still rich with possibilities. Hardship will abound. "Procyon Descent" makes us wonder whether we today could fairly judge the actions of those that ultimately endure the traverse. Some find the story shocking, depressing or grim. I don't see it that way, but those things are there in a "Lord of the Flies" sort-of way. But I also see, at its core, sacrifice, determination and a ray of hope. Farther Stars Than These, edited by E.S. Wynn, agreed to publish the story story, and it has been well received. Of course, you can decide for yourself if the short tale is worth telling. It begins like this:
The day comes too soon. I work up the length of the crop terrace. My waist-high row is lined with scrawny beets sucking what they can from the muck of the nutrient stream. Across is a row of an old Earth grain called barley, followed by eight rows of sheet fungus and more rows of stuff we call food, lining the curved floor that turns up and out of sight behind the matching curved ceiling. It wraps around back to here, everything pressed to the floor by the spin of the ship that's been groaning under the strain for over 800 years. Or so it's told.
The lights wink.
"He's early," I complain.
Megan, two rows over, slows her gray-water flow to a trickle. "Just seems."
I gawk a moment, seeking her eye, just to confirm someone shares this feeling of being rushed. I see it's so. But it doesn't help.

You can see the rest of the story at Farther Stars Than These. For a list of all my stories online check here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Story: Silence of the Imbeciles

"Silence of the Imbeciles" appears now in Residential Aliens, edited by Lyn Perry. The story has been described as "very well written, understated and poignant." It follows the point of view of 14-year-old Frankie Turnbull, who is fascinated with making magic wands and is attempting to deal with the consequences of every person he knows being an imbecile.

His father’s voice boomed from the shed door. “What are you doing out here?”
Carving knife in hand, Frankie Turnbull flinched. The blade sliced into the flesh of his finger.
He dropped the knife and flapped his hand once. “Nothing! Okay?”
Like the blade, his response was too sharp. He knew better. But he spoke without thinking. He needed time to fix a very serious problem, and nobody was giving it to him.
Anthony Turnbull cleared his throat, telegraphing to Frankie the shallow depth of the ice upon which he’d just placed himself.
“Sorry,” he said, turning.
His father’s bulky frame filled the doorway, silhouetted by the late-afternoon sun. He crossed his arms.
Frankie’s hair tingled. “I’m almost done,” he pleaded. But it was pointless to argue with the man. He was stubborn, he could throw Frankie a country mile, and he was an imbecile.
Imbecility was the biggest problem. That was Frankie’s fault. It was the problem he wanted to fix...
(See the full story at ResAliens.)

Residential Aliens is an online magazine of spiritually infused speculative fiction presenting engaging stories that are truthful to the human experience while offering something of the eternal. The October/November issue includes two speculative stories (including Silence of the Imbeciles), followed by two science fiction pieces, and wraps up with a post-zombie-apocalypse novelette.

For a list and information about all of my stories click here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Battle Dress: Another Romance Flash

My flash fiction romance, Battle Dress, was published at Daily Love in July 2012. It's a moment of great tension, but that hopefully reveals something of where things will go--enough to call it a romance. You can be the judge. Here is how it starts:

At the break, Derek excused himself and fled the preliminary hearing to the windy marble sun deck at the end of the courthouse corridor. What a disaster. He needed the refuge of a peaceful view–patchy clouds, hazy mountains, a beautiful golf course bordered by a thick, green stand of maple and pine.

He inhaled.

It made no sense. He recalled their first meeting at Justin's. Carla impressed him. She was a natural beauty. No makeup. No pretenses. She had a confident, assertive exterior and a soft, warm center. They spoke into the night, confiding everything and anything--except work and his personal legal problems. It was the best he'd felt about a woman in a long time; maybe ever.

How could he have been so wrong? ...

The rest of the story is still up at Daily Love hereDaily Love, edited by E. S. Wynn, publishes new tales of romance and love of varying sizes and styles on a daily basis. It provides a platform for both new and established authors to reach readers based solely on the merit of each individual piece of writing and not on deadlines, reputation, age or any other factor.

New Story: Bingham's Deep Woods Fairies

My short fantasy story, Bingham’s Deep Woods Fairies, is now published at The Lorelei Signal. A young girl determined to find real fairies goes hunting on a very special day. 
I wasn’t lost. Well, not exactly. But the chilly wind meant it would be dark soon, so I stopped to get my bearings.All trees, no cabin.Maybe I got turned around when I climbed the white rocks. But it had to be close. I was totally, absolutely sure of it. But which direction? …
Artwork by Holly Eddy
The Lorelei Signal, edited by Carol Hightshoe, is a quarterly web-based magazine dedicated to featuring strong female characters in fantasy short stories. “Females in the story should have the same strength of character as their male counterparts and not be there as window dressing.” The title of the magazine was taken from the Animated Star Trek episode in which Lt. Uhura had to take command of the Enterprise after the men fell under a siren song.
The Lorelei Signal is free to read, but it pays its authors up front and asks for donations to cover the cost of the publication and pays 75% of all donations above the initial author payments to its artists and writers per issue. The remaining 25% covers goes toward operating expenses. If you enjoy a story or the entire issue, please consider donating. The Lorelei Signal asks (but does not require) that donations be at least $1.00. PayPal charges the magazine $0.30 for each transaction.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Excerpt and Link: "Exit Strategy"

"Exit Strategy" was my first story published this year. It's a flash SF story with amusing dark humor, published by 365 Tomorrows in February 2012. The quick tale begins as follows:

Grant pushed through the crowd, ignoring the direction indicator. He longed for elbow room and privacy, luxuries of a forgotten past. But rumor had it there were still places–distant, underpopulated islands. He only dreamed of reaching their shores … until today.
He shoved and nudged through the ebbing crush until he found Cali at 5th and Main–brown hair, golden eyes–now she would finally take him seriously.
“You again?”
“We need to talk.”
She rolled her eyes.
“Alone,” he whispered.
She laughed and gestured to the throngs around them.
Grant scanned the nearby faces. No one paid attention. It would have to do. “I have a way out of here!”
“Of where?”
“The crowd.”
“Oh, please …”

From the 365 Tomorrows web site:
365 tomorrows is a collaborative project designed to present readers with a new piece of short science and speculative ‘flash’ fiction each day. Launched August 1st 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year, we’ve been on the wire ever since.
In addition to reading the stories, you can engage in discussion about them and other future looking topics in the forums.

For a complete list of all my available published stories, click here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Excerpt from "Early Retirement"

"Early Retirement" was published by Static Movement in April 2012. It's a story about a big problem--really big.

I met Philip Dawson at Buster's Tavern--a dive asteroid bar in a Trojan orbit. We had nothing in common. He was huge, gregarious, and didn't know the world was about to end--nothing in common at all.
The place had a quarter-G spin--enough to serve open-glass drinks--and Philip moved with surprising grace, talking to everyone and anyone.
"The tougher the problem, the simpler the solution," he said to a local asteroid miner...

Static Movement is an ezine and imprint for print books. On staff at this time there are 12 editors and one illustrator. Static Movement has 25 published books, 27 anthologies taking submissions, and 5 years of ezine publication.

To see all my available publications, click here

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Excerpt from "Separation Anxiety" at

This is a short excerpt from my science-fiction short story, "Separation Anxiety," published last month by, edited by Scott T. Barnes. It is a tale of judicial concern in a very near quantum future.

...Judge Bell drew a breath. "It is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that you, Claude Ram Harper and Clarissa Marie Harper, hereby are and forever shall be irrevocably and permanently separated."
The Clerk touched the panel. The mass of coiled machinery that replaced most of the traditional ceiling, roared to life. Intricate mechanisms shifted. Coolant manifolds hissed. The Event Chamber thrummed and the Quantum Amplifier glowed. The machine bathed the Harpers in bright magenta.
The Harpers glared at each other, less than a half meter apart, as an incorporeal cone surrounded them.
Judge Bell leaned forward. He would see their true colors in a moment. But maybe this time he could remain impartial. If he did not pick, wouldn't that break his streak?
The pitch increased...

In its first four years, has published over 100 new and confirmed writers, poets, academics and artists (the ‘creators’) who share a love of speculative fiction. Going forward, NewMyths’ goal is to build bridges between the creators and the readers to forge the future of speculative fiction together. The full story can be found at

To see all of my available published stories, click here.