This collection contains fantasy and Science Fiction short stories that have all been published previously in venues like the Edge of Propinquity, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Byzarium, M-Brane SF, Realms, and many others.
Table of Contents:
Highway – Infinitas Newsletter
Bigger Fish – Fantastic Wonder Stories Anthology
Black Dragon – The Edge of Propinquity
Mass Extinction – Antipodean SF
Legal Aliens – Semaphore
Little Boy Lost – Midnight Echo
The Ten Days of Madness – Antipodean SF
From the Parrot’s Mouth – Beyond Centauri
Metal Dragon – Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Never on a Birthday – Byzarium
Out of Here – M-Brane SF
Raven’s Call – Realms
Taking back the Words – Ticonderoga Online
The Only One He Ever Feared – Fly in Amber
The Weed Eaters – The Fat Man At The End of the World Anthology
Straight through the Heart – ZineWest
To Look at the Sky – Semaphore SF
The Invisible Fleas of the Galaxy – M-Brane SF
Here are a few of the story beginnings:
Little Boy Lost
Originally published in Midnight Echo issue 4 June 2010
Some people say that when you die, they put you in the ground where worms come to eat you until there is nothing left but bones, and that’s what you are: dust and bones, never to come back to life. Other people say they’ve talked to the souls of the dead. Maria can do better than that: she feeds them carrots.
She sits on her knees in the grass, damp with dew, seeping into her jeans. The bag of carrots rests in her lap, the plastic crinkling whenever she moves.
It’s well after dark, and the back yard breathes mystery. The too-long grass casts tangled shadows and the forbidding metal fence hides just out of view. Even the concrete looks different: with deep cracks like hieroglyphs.
They come out of the shadows, one by one. First the nose, wriggling. Long ears, twitching, flashing pink when they catch the beam of light slanting out the living room window. Then they hop: two furry paws in the grass. Hop. Sit up on the back legs. Another cautious wriggle of the nose. Another hop.
Maria lifts her mobile phone. The screen lights up blue: a picture of a tropical beach. She presses send message from template. Scroll down the page.
It’s safe. You can come.
Select contact, a twelve-digit number. Press send. The icon bounces over the screen.
Never on a Birthday
Originally published in Byzarium November2008
They said in the corridors of the galaxy, if the galaxy had corridors, that no one could throw a birthday party as fine as Hermon Feyst.
Certainly no one did it as often. A thousand guests, magnificent food, outrageous ornaments, and the orchestra–such heavenly talent, especially that trumpet player who jumped on his chair in a magnifique solo at the end of ‘Happy Birthday’. One could of course argue that they got quite a lot of practice playing ‘Happy Birthday’. But then again, one could be accused of sour grapes. If you were the richest man in the universe, wouldn’t you want to celebrate your birthday every day?
On this day on Lokona, Hermon celebrated his birthday in Lokonian years, which wasn’t the same as Martian years and not at all the same as Earth years, but had he lived on Lokona, which he did not, it would have been his birthday, and that alone was worth coming here for a celebration.
The Invisible Fleas of the Galaxy
Originally published in MBrane SF
Jono Rasmussen became twice-dead on the night before the launch of the Giant Telescope. He had been working in the downtown office of Comtel Imaging and Telescopy when a mailbot ambled out of the lift to deliver a box of chocolate. Jono was very partial to chocolate. As soon as he picked it up, the box exploded in his face, and took out half the office as well.
The builder-bots fixed the office, while a medbot collected all the pieces of Jono, took them to the medbay where it put him back together again. That done, Jono applied for his second yellow stripe. Not just twice-dead, twice-murdered. Insignificant people died; important people were murdered. He’d be wearing the badge tomorrow, thanks insignificant Cygians; they hadn’t even made him late for his meeting with the president.