Stand Alone Short Stories

Old God Relocation Service:

This story started as something else entirely. The main character and set-up were background details of another (as yet unpublished) short story/novella. OGRS kept pushing its way to the front whenever I attempted to focus on the other one. It would not be denied. It's a lighter read than either of the two stories below.

The Flying Machine Blues:
This was written just before I started the "Hold Still the Sky" series. I was (and still am) particularly interested in reworking the Daedalus and Icarus myth. I have the sense that there is a great deal to unpack in this narrative. A number of ways that it can be redone. I did not have a set ending when I started writing. I just knew that I wanted to update it and see what came out. I set the story in modern times in Colorado Springs (the ghost of Nikola Tesla hovers in the background) and let the words come out.


I grew up being a huge fan of superhero comics. Read them all the time. Or at least when I could get my hands on them. This was back in the day before speciality comic-book stores and not many places carried current issues. There was one store a few towns over that I still think of as "the comic-book store" because it had far and away the best selection in the area. I eventually started subscribing so I wouldn't miss issues. Then, as it does, life went on, I grew up and I stopped reading and collecting comics. But I still had an affinity for all those characters. I even did my master's thesis on Green Lantern. It is titled, "How Green Is Your Power Ring?"

When I started writing full-time I naturally wanted to try my hand at a super-hero story. "Origins" is the end result.  It is includes some classic super-hero tropes but it is very much its own creature. I wanted to push the "reality" of a world filled with superheroes to its logical conclusion. Well, one possible logical conclusion. It gets a little bit dark and harsh at the end. I had to do that to stay true to the internal logic of the story. If I didn't the story would have fallen flat.

H is for Hologram is a story about a recent widower deciding what the next stage in his life will be. He is given the opportunity to leave this world - and the constant reminders of his dead wife - behind. What will he do?

The title is a nod to Ray Bradbury's short story collections "R is for Rocket" and "S is for Space." He had a talent for seamlessly combining the fantastic and the everyday. The setting of this story reminded me a bit of his works and I choose the title for that reason.

The idea that became The Soft Revolution started out as a riff on the Frankenstein story. It morphed and developed over time as I jotted down notes. I became drawn to the concept of "the holders" more and more. Just how would a non-human intelligence interact with humankind? The story also contains an element that I have been kicking around for a while and I am sure I will include in future works. That is: can one tell an interesting story in a utopian setting without upsetting that utopia in some way? I'm still looking for a way to do that.