Story Central

Alien Invasions
Short Stories

My short story Last Breath Day appears in the Alien Invasions Short Stories anthology, available NOW from Flame Tree Publishing or pre-order from Amazon.


Short Stories on this site:

Sylvester Down
Death vs Taxes
The Wind Wasn't Right
The War on Christmas
Divine Knowledge *
Fortunate Waze *

Shakespeare's Last Stand *
Uncertainty Persists *
Toto Was Wrong *
The Devouring *
Hail to the Chiefs *

* 100-word flash fiction


Recent Blog Posts:

Creator Intent versus Reader Ownership

Who owns the meaning of a story? There’s an anecdote about Kurt Vonnegut that may be apocryphal. It goes like this:

A university student contacted Vonnegut and told him that the professor teaching Vonnegut’s book had bizarre interpretations of it, and insisted that the class embrace his views to pass the course. Vonnegut sits in on a lecture then argues with the professor on the interpretation. The professor’s finally refutation is along the lines of, “What do you know? You’re just the writer.”

Arrogant, isn’t it? Why am I thinking about this? I just had a twitter conversation that would fall along those lines, with me arguably cast as the nutty professor. READ ON

No Consensus on the Best Science Fiction of 2014

What does it say that the four top awards for science fiction had zero consensus on what deserved to be honored last year? In America, the Hugo is awarded by the fans, and the Nebula by professional authors (technically the Hugo is worldwide, but American voters are the majority). The Arthur C. Clarke and BFSA (British Fantasy and Science Fiction) Awards don't align with the American choices at all, and don't match up with each other either. Also interesting is that the winners of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Nebula Award don't appear as a finalist on any of the other awards.

Hugo Awards 2015: Justice Served or Much Ado About Nothing?

So, the most hyped, bitterly fought and controversial Hugo Awards season has come and gone. The “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies” each of whom tried to ensure that only their candidates were nominated, won a total of zero awards (ONE actually, if you include their pick of Guardians of the Galaxy as best long form presentation).

Where the "Puppies" had managed to get the full slate of five potential candidates set as their choices, the voting members decide to give “No Award,” something that the rules allow. You will also see "No Award" in the middle of some listings. Voters rank their choices, and No Award is one of the rankable choices, allowing you to say, "Well if my choice(s) isn't going to win, then I want no award given."

Star Trek: Red Shirts Had It Better Than Blondes

Forget being a Red Shirt, being blonde on Star Trek could be fatal (to your acting career). After recently viewing Shatner's Chaos on The Bridge documentary and watching an old episode of Voyager, it hit me: blonde women didn’t usually last long on Star Trek. Grace Lee Whitney, Denise Crosby, and Jennifer Lien all didn’t make it through their respective series, all were blonde, and none had prominent acting careers afterwards. (Every rule has its exception, for this one, it’s Jeri Ryan. More on her later).

Fan Participation: Star Wars vs Star Trek

I hope that I don't have to tell you that I'm a Star Wars fan. I've been less demonstrative of my love of Trek, partially because that's how Trekkies/Trekkers roll (all logical and all that crap) and partially because JJ Abrams seems to have used the last two Star Trek outings to audition to direct Star Wars Episode VII. But I've lived inside the fan bases of both of these franchises and they are very different. I think one key difference comes down to how they are nurtured by their respective frachise owners, Paramount and Lucasfilm: the originality that Paramount nurtures versus the inclusion that Lucasfilms promotes.

Initially, there wasn’t much to tell them apart. Both had conventions, comic books, paperback new adventures, and not much more, then things changed...