Category Archives: published

Beetle-Cleaned Skulls Live on Escape Pod

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“Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” on Escape Pod, as read by Trendane Sparks

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 an exciting 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.

Ride the Star Wind on Kickstarter

Last week, my story “The Eater of Stars” was accepted by the anthology Ride the Star Wind. This is exciting as it should qualify as my second SFWA sale, along with the story coming soon to Escape Pod.

Ride the Star Wind: Where Space Opera Meets Cosmic Horror is a Cthulhu-themed space opera anthology from Broken Eye Books. Here’s a description from the anthology call:

Send us into space, away from earth, and bring the weird! Give us adventure and wonder, spaceships and monsters, tentacles and insanity, determined struggle and starborne terror…

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for weird horror…

For mixing elements of space opera and cosmic weird horror, the short story “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette is a great touchstone…

You can read the full call here.

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Ride the Star Wind from Broken Eye Press

The anthology also has a (successful) Kickstarter project to fund interior artwork to go with the vivid, full color cover. The project just minutes ago made its first stretch goal where it will physical 3×5 illustrations to all backers.

A second stretch goal will be a free audiobook of the entire anthology,  so by no means is it too late to become a backer and get your hardcover edition. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter.

My story uses the same setting as most of my other stories. Cosmic entities have been part of the backstory of that universe since the start, although Lovecraftean themes aren’t the primary driver behind the world-building.

Let’s not give the plot away, but the story has a couple abrupt, ninety-degree turns and perspective shifts that fit its themes of self and other, the unknown and the unknowable. As a tease, here’s the invented epigraph from the beginning of the story:

“Who’s afraid of science? The word means only knowledge. Science is the light of the mind. It is magic you should dread, that boundless infinite beyond all understanding and the instruments of our reason. Fear not the unknown but the unknowable.”

The Book That Never Sleeps

Faster Than Death in Shattered Space

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Shattered Space by Tacitus Publishing

Sounds like a long, cool title but it’s actually two names in one: “Faster Than Death” is a short story I wrote that’s out now in the Shattered Space anthology. Available from Tacitus Publishing, this anthology collects short stories featuring science fiction and horror and 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:

The concept of traveling through space and visiting outlandish planets has always fascinated humankind. But what if these journeys to the outer reaches are not so pleasant? What horrors, whether alien or imagined, would we find? Once there, what new challenges will we face as technology progresses beyond socially acceptable behaviors and what we perceive as ‘human nature’? Shattered Space showcases a collection of short stories written by gifted authors that touch on some of the possible answers.

My story is set in the Astral Diadem setting used for most of my stories and oddly enough, it ties into the story “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” that will be broadcast on Escape Pod in a couple of months, albeit in a loose and tangential way. One doesn’t need to read one story to follow the other, or vice versa.

The illustration accompanying this post is part of the anthology, which includes a black and white line drawing with each story created by the multi-talented editor, James S. Austin. In this case, we’re seeing Raku’s eyes covered with a black glass, one of the key visual elements in the story.

Other stories in the collection are written by C.R. Galarza, David F. Gray, Colin Hinckley, Gregory L. Norris, Daniel Rosen, Josh Shiben, T.S. Kummelman, Brett Parker, and the editor, James S. Austin. A great bunch of stories they are too, and a huge thanks to Tacitus Publishing for including my piece and giving it a home.

‘Popcorn Bargain’ Now Live

I’m excited to announce that my flash fiction ‘Popcorn Bargain’ mentioned in the last post is now live as an audio story on 600 Second Saga and can be enjoyed in iTunes and other fine podcasting venues, as well. A complete list of links is here:

The story is ably ready by Mariah Avix of  600 Second Saga. It’s a short listen so please enjoy, share, and subscribe on iTunes.

Popcorn Bargain on 600 Second Saga

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Jenna had just curled up with a bag of hot popcorn when the nightmare appeared…

I’m pleased to announce that a flash fiction story of mine has been selected to be read by Mariah Avix of 600 Second Saga and will go live this Friday. So be sure to check out the list of links below to listen to the story as soon as it goes live, this Friday, October 21st, at 4 PM PST / 7 PM EST.

The story is called ‘Popcorn Bargain’ and is a short, (hopefully) amusing piece with a theme quite fitting for Halloween. At less than a thousand words, it’s quite short too and as the title of the podcast suggests, listening takes less than ten minutes. I’ve heard a preview of Mariah’s reading too, and it’s great. So please give a listen when it launches!

Or just go to 600 Second Saga
How to listen to podcasts

The Squirming, Scarlet Madness, Part 2

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The Society of Misfit Stories Presents…

I’m pleased to announce that my novelette, “The Squirming, Scarlet Madness” has now been published by The Society of Misfit Stories and is available on Amazon for purchase or through Kindle Unlimited.

Seventeen-year-old Glorianor Charlock doesn’t deny that she killed her father. But as her story unfolds before the court, the question becomes whether she is simply insane or was some terrifying, unknown force at work?

What is The Society of Misfit Stories? These are stories often trapped in the forsaken shadowlands of the publishing industry: too long for traditional magazines and journals, but too short for print. The Society of Misfit Stories provides a loving home for longer short fiction. Each entry in the series is a stand-alone tale from talented new and established voices in a wide range of genres. Join us each week as we reveal a new story in the collection.

An upcoming scheduled of stories for the Society is available here.

Needless to say, I’m excited to have this story up and out in the world and am looking forward to sending more out there to join it. The main character in this story is projected as a supporting character in at least one future novel. More information about this story is available in a previous post.