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The Stories

"Salvation Sellers' Last Customer" will live again. My first sale of a story as a reprint! And it will run in a perfect place for it: the Cyberpunk 2.0 issues of Stupefying Stories, to be published later this year, commemorating the 50th anniversary of cyberpunk. It originally ran in Nebula Rift, Volume 3, Issue 3 (April 2015). Hardboiled private eye Joshua Davidson wants the world's greatest conman, who uses artificial intelligence to impersonate a Biblical Prophet, off his back; Elijah wants to help Josh communicate with women he's loved.

 

Link to purchase the issue will be added upon publication.

"Midnight Meal at a Kobe Noodle Joint" was sold to Stupefying Stories for Issue 26--their all-horror issue. A straight-up horror story (not science fiction at all), working with a Japanese archetype, set in Japan. Release date is October 1, 2023.

 

          Link to purchase the anthology.

"Magic Notwithstanding, The Family Lawyer Does as Instructed" appears in the Summer 2023 volume of the  Dragon Gems anthology series, published by Water Dragon Publishing. Elizabeth has almost emerged from her father's shadow. His legal practice serviced the wealthy; hers will be exclusively civil rights once she attends to the one last legacy client from her Dad. The client died. The assets from his will must be distributed. One of the assets is the family genie. Comic fantasy story. I had fun with this one.

 

Link to purchase the anthology.

 

"Side Effects" appeared in the March/April 202issue of  Dark Matter Magazine (Issue 14). This is a hard science fiction story about side effects of medication, masquerading as a soft science fiction story about quantum mechanics and serving as a comment on the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

 

Link to purchase the issue from the publisher's website. Story is now a free link on their "Jukebox."

 

"Kaddish for Stalin" was published in the anthology Other Covenants: Alternate Histories of the Jewish People in December 2022. Set in a Jewish Autonomous Oblast where Stalin's premature death has made the always-proclaimed goal of a center for Yiddish culture and Jewish civilization a reality, in the near-future of climate change and China's emergence as the regional power, a Beijing-based entrepreneur returns home to confront his estranged, staunchly Stalinist father. 

 

Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

 

"Caliban's Cameras" was sold to Stupefying Stories in 2013, my third story ever sold, and was published in Issue 25, in September 2023. This story has a cyberpunk feel (as appropriate for a magazine published by Bruce Bethke, the author whose short story invented the word cyberpunk) with some William S. Burroughs thrown in. A comment on the educational dystopia that resulted from No Child Left Behind. Unfortunately, recent legislative actions have made it more relevant today, not less.

 

          Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com. Check out this cool interview of me they did in conjunction with the story.

"Clinical Progress of Witness Deprotection Client L.M. as Transcribed from Taped Recordings" was sold to Stupefying Stories and appeared on their website as part of their latest showcase in August 2023. I'd been reading a lot of George Saunders when I wrote this and decided to play with telling a story via control over the precise wording and style used in the prose, changing it as the story progresses (think "Escape from Spiderhead"). Hard science fiction with futuristic neurosciences/psychiatry. For my friends in Codex, this started as my Week Two entry for the 2021 Weekend Warrior competition. The prompt was "What's worth dying for? What's worth living for?"

 

          Link to story (free online).

"Mother Noodges Best" received an Honorable Mention in the Stupefying Stories Pete Wood Contest  for September 2022, with the theme of Haunting. I wrote a sci-fi humor microfiction piece for this. It was published on their website, and they do indeed pay their Honorable Mentions.

         Link to story (free online).

"Rising Up the Charts With a (Non-Silver) Bullet" appeared in the Queer Science Fiction anthology Rise, published in October 2023. It was awarded an Honorable Mention in the contest. Flash fiction story--my first with a transgender protagonist. My second werewolf story. Yes, this is paranormal romance, not the twisty, dark science fiction I most often do, thus establishing that I'm not too jaded and cynical to write a happily ever after, after all. 

          Link to purchase the anthology.

"Oysters and Other Slimy Creatures" appeared in the Queer Science Fiction anthology Clarity, published in October 2022. Flash fiction story set in Florida with an elementary school teacher as a protagonist. As he is beloved by his students, great at his job, gay, and Black, I consider this one to be a quiet "fuck-you" to Ron DeSantis. Marine ecology and the rich asshats trying to destroy it.

          Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

"To Share the Sky" captured an Honorable Mention in the annual Queer Science Fiction contest and appeared in their anthology Ink, published in August 2021. Flash fiction story about couple's therapy in the era of virtual reality.

           Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

 

"Two-Mother Embryogenesis Fails to Deliver" appeared in the Queer Science Fiction anthology Innovation, published in August 2020. Science-fiction-humor, flash-fiction story about reproductive technologies and what could go wrong.

           Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

 

"Crazy Horse's Prodigal Granddaughter" appeared in the January 2020 issue (#87) of Grantville Gazette. This is an alternate history piece where the point of historical divergence is that Crazy Horse isn't murdered, and the protagonist is one of his present-day descendants. The imperial power trying to take over the Lakota Democratic Republic is not the US, but China. To fight this economic imperialism, Ptaysanwee War Eagle, a Ph.D. chemist and biofuels entrepreneur, learns to value her father's traditional ways and the wisdom of her ancestors.

          Link to purchase this issue as an e-Book from Baen. Unfortunately, now a dead link. When Eric died, everything went out of print. You'll have to find this one at a used bookstore.

"Like Him with Friends Possess'd" appeared in the December 2019 issue of Flash Fiction Online. I got the idea for software that operates on social media that turns posts into iambic pentameter, and I couldn't stop laughing about it, so I wrote a story. This is my first story to make any "list"--it hit Tangent Online's 2019 Recommended Reading List. I'm super-proud of that. This one is free online.

         Link to story (free online).

"The Holo-Punk Sellout Opens a Can of Whoop-Ass" ran in volume 5 of the anthology series  Just a Minor Malfunction, edited by Michael S. Alter, published in November 2019. I have a lot of fun goofing around with 1990s slang in this satirical piece. The plutocratic geezer wants a holographic show for his company party based on the music of Rancid, a favorite band from his youth. Krishna knows he's compromised his art, but can he stomach working for this guy?

          Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

"Evidence from the Trial of a Dangerous Man" will run in the third issue of  The People's Preservatory (a title change, as the first two issues ran under the name The Cockroach Conservatory). I got paid (pro rates), but the issue hasn't come out yet. This is a second-person, flash fiction piece set in a totalitarian near-future. The Author has written his wife a story, and he wants to read it when he visits her in prison. Will the guard stand in his way? Can the power of storytelling challenge authority?

          Link will be added following publication.

"The Bimani Hilton" has been accepted into the anthology Clash of the Titles, edited by Gil Bavel. This was my first sale to a venue paying professional rates. Unfortunately, publication has been delayed a very long time. The corporation running the Andes region lures the Resistance Council to a meeting and initiates wiping Kamya's mind. She focuses on her comrade and lover José's last words, attempting to keep mind and memories intact and continue the fight. Will it be enough?

 

Here's a link to the Facebook page for the anthology. Here's a link to a video recording of the panel at MidAmericon II where Gil and I promoted the anthology. Watch for pre-sales info coming soon, I hope. Gil, are you reading this?

 

"I'm Proud of You, Mum" was published in Volume 1 of the anthology series Mind Candy, edited by Alvin Mullen, in February 2018: my second sale to a pro venue. When Nigel is working late, optimizing the design of a robot that can transcribe human thought into text typed on a keyboard, he receives a mysterious message. Is it really from the future? And can he patch things up with his former employer, a virology professor at Cambridge University, who recently fired him and walked away from their marriage?

 

Link to purchase the anthology on Amazon.com.

 

"Crossing the Boundaries of Virtual Jerusalem" was published in the anthology HOLY COW: SF Stories from the Center of the World, edited by D. Avraham, in July 2019. After buying my story, the editor tabbed me to help with some of the duties involved in getting this out the door, so my name appears on the cover as co-editor. Young people are disappearing from both the Palestinian and Jewish sectors of Virtual Jerusalem. One of them is Commissioner ibn Ali's son. To get to the bottom of this, he'll need to run a spy, and Yossi is the best, but can he pull off the required deception? And what is his motive?

          Link to purchase on Amazon.com.

 

"I, Robocall" ran in issue #210 of AntipodeanSF, published January 2, 2016. I also recorded an audio version for their radio show in New South Wales, Australia, and archiving on the website as a podcast. In a world in which jobs don't exist to employ most people, what is life like for an artificial intelligence tasked with cold calling potential customers for a company that sells burglar alarms? Flash fiction humor piece.

 

Link to story (free online).

 

"The Traitor's Last Words" was published in Digital-SF, Volume 2 (January, 2015). This one combines alternative history with hard SF. Contemporary genomics develops in Nazi Germany.

 

Link to purchase this issue of the magazine on Amazon.com.

 

"A Difficult Transition" was published in Nebula Rift, Volume 3, Issue 8 (September 2015). Sure, Americans accepted a robot as President, but what about a truly radical choice? Flash fiction humor piece. Unfortunately, fictionmagazines.com went out of business, leaving this story unavailable, so I've put it on my site as a freebie.

 

Link to story.

 

"The Fundamental Things Apply" was published by Melange Press in the anthology From Florida with Love: Sunsets and Happy Endings (June 2014). The story is a fusion of equal parts hard SF, spy story, humor, and geek romance. The Islamic Caliphate of North Africa (and note, I published this story three weeks before ISIS proclaimed its Caliphate--they were clearly infringing on my copyright) sends Ali Acharya, ultra-nerdy Indian agriculture engineer turned freelance spy and bioterrorist, to acquire mini-drone technology from American Homeland Corporation. Coming back alive was not required by his contract. Nor was falling in love. The anthology is a diverse collection of stories by our local writers group that all had to be set in Southwest Florida and contain a sunset, a beach and a pink flamingo. The stories mostly have some tie to romance; in mine, it's a subplot.

 

Link to purchase anthology. This went out of print in August 2023, but Amazon still has re-sales. 


"She Tasted Salt" was published by Melange Press in the anthology From Florida with Love: Sunrise and Stormy Skies (August 2016). A fusion of paranormal romance and psychological horror. The protagonist is a homeless young woman living on Fort Myers Beach, braving a hurricane, who encounters a dolphin that transforms into a man who might be the man of her dreams. Or nightmares. The anthology is Volume 2 for our local writers group. This time, we required that stories contain a sunrise and a hurricane, while maintaining the Southwest Florida setting.

 

Link to purchase anthology. This went out of print in August 2023, but Amazon still has re-sales. 

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