‘Cold Blue Sky’ Out Now in Apex Magazine

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Apex Magazine, May 2018

Fantastic stuff! The latest issue of Apex Magazine has just arrived, featuring a slew of speculative fiction by Cherie Priest, Matthew Sanborn Smith, and more–including my own short story, “Cold Blue Sky.”

You can find it in the May, 2018 issue of Apex, available in both print and digital formats. Please consider picking up a copy and supporting indie sci-fi and pro markets.

Apex also did a podcast version of my story, ably read by Alyson Grauer, which you can listen to or download to your favorite podcast listening device. They did a fantastic job producing this, with some subtle sound effects and music that help signal scene breaks and ambient noise–nothing I ever envisioned when writing.

The story itself could be described as alternate universe cyberpunk pastiche, related from the point-of-view of a human-style android unwittingly drawn the activities of an underground group. One thing it tries to convey is a point-of-view character that unlike a lot of AI, isn’t one that’s smarter than us, but is ‘below legal thresholds for sentience’–which some legislators attempted to define.

The online group Critique.org (a.k.a. Critters) provided feedback on early versions of this story. Check them out if you’re looking for a stable, well-run spec fiction critique group.

Update: Be sure to read the four-star review of the story by RocketStackRank, a blog dedicated to reading and rating short science fiction as well as independent and diverse voices in sff.

Ride the Star Wind Out Now

Ride the Star Wind, an anthology of Lovecraft-themed space opera, is now available from Broken Eye Books in paperback and hardback format. I received my hardback copy recently and it’s gorgeous, from the lush cover to the rich array of professional illustrations inside. It was particularly exciting to see the illustration for my story.

My story in the anthology is called “The Eater of Stars” and it’s about 6,000 words of space opera set in the same Astral Diadem setting as my other stories. The attempt here was to create a contrast between an imaginable humanoid high-tech/magitek civilization and the further unknown: a species of alien beings significantly more advanced than the humanoid civilization. Along those lines, it uses a device from The Shadow Out of Time, among others.

Continue reading “Ride the Star Wind Out Now”

Beetle-Cleaned Skulls Live on Escape Pod

Exciting day today as Escape Pod has published my science fiction short story, “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” on their site, both as a text version and a 30-minute audio version read by professional voice talent Trendane Sparks.

This is a great milestone,  my first SFWA-qualifying sale and the first one to go live. It’s also the second time I’ve heard my own work in audio form read by others. It’s exciting to hear a skilled narrator reading your own work, while at the same time your own clumsy phrasing and poor word choices is cringe-inducing.

The story itself is set in the Astral Diadem, the same broad setting used by most of the other work on this page. The Rapport that feature prominently in this one are mentioned tangentially in “Faster Than Death”, (previously published in the Shattered Space anthology). The same setting also appears in “The Eater of Stars” forthcoming in Ride the Star Wind, as well as 7-8 other shorts currently making the rounds.

Beyond that, I won’t say too much about “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” itself. You’ll have to go and read or listen to the story yourself.

Faster Than Death in Shattered Space

Sounds like a long title for a short story, but it’s two names in one: “Faster Than Death” is a short story I wrote that’s out now in the Shattered Space anthology from Tacitus Publishing. This anthology of science fiction and horror is available through Amazon. It’s also included in the Kindle Unlimited program, meaning you can read it for free if you’re a KU subscriber.

The following blurb accompanies the collection:

Continue reading “Faster Than Death in Shattered Space”

Quanta Rabbit

I’m pleased to announce my flash fiction piece Quanta Rabbit was a finalist in Scientific American’s quantum shorts competition, recently concluded.

The story is accessible here, and other finalists can be viewed here. Congratulations to Liam Hogan, who’s “Ana” took home the $1500 prize.

While it’s disappointing not to win, I was pleased to have been a finalist and look forward to next year’s competition.

The stories were required to feature a genuine aspect of quantum physics in some way, and mine uses superposition at extreme temperatures to suggest its resolution.

The entire story is ~950 words.