Tag Archives: science fiction

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.

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.

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.