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This SMBC nearly illustrates a story of mine.


If you haven’t read Two Kilograms (my least-favorite title but most popular story), it’s available here, or as a podcast, or in Polish.

Sorry I don’t have much else in the way of news, unless you want to hear the gory details of rectangular and non-rectangular hyperbolas with temperature correct. And trust me, you don’t.

My life right now is clearly illustrated by my intent to leave early today to take full advantage of the long weekend. Instead, it’s 7:21 and I’m still at work, waiting on the last bit of computer code to finish running so I can look at my hyperbolas.

Sale to Fireside Magazine

I am delighted to announce that my totally true fantasy story, “The Kingfisher Manifesto,” has been sold to Fireside Magazine.

The editor commented on Twitter that, “…we’ve accepted 15 stories from our October submissions, out of 1,133. They’ll fill about 6 months at our current funding.”

This implies that sometime in the next six months you will all get to read it.

Edit: I completely forgot to link to Fireside so you could all go and subscribe.


Sasquan and outlining

I will be at Sasquan next week: hooray! While I’m not on programming (and a bit frustrated by that), Steven Gould generously offered to share his timeslot with a few Viable Paradisians, so I will be doing a reading:

4315 Saturday 12:30pm 30min
DBT Spokane Falls Suite A/B
Reading—Steven Gould

What do you think: post-apocalyptic cats, or a faery guide?

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get my head back into writing fiction (back into everything, really). I’m picking the novel I started a year and a half ago back up. I won’t have time to work on it heavily until October, but I’m trying to get the outline firmed up so that in October I can immerse myself in the actual words.

Here’s the high-level outline:
A fabulous book.
Almond cookies.
Court intrigue.
Black magic.
Chaos ensues.
Things burn down.
Librarian victory.

This is going to be SO MUCH FUN.


Fungi in Polish

Today’s nifty news: my story “Two Kilograms and Counting“, originally published by Every Day Fiction, is now available in translation at the Polish SFF magazine Szortal. The PDF edition even has artwork!


GENIUS LOCI anthology

The GENIUS LOCI anthology has only 20 hours left on its Kickstarter! We blew past the $22k stretch goal: deckle edges! foil stamping! a bookmark to keep your place in this GIANT anthology!

Reader, I got to see an early complete version this week, and wow. So many good things!

Not only are these my first deckle edges, here’s another GENIUS LOCI-related first: my first interview, at the Qwillery. So much fun!

Along the Sea

I’ve lived all my life along the sea, my parents before me, and theirs before them, as far back as anyone can remember. I’ve seen everything that could ever be seen along our stretch of shore. Storms and sun, dry sand and high water, good years and bad for filling our nets, if never so bad as elsewhere. Shipwrecks, certainly. When fishing was bad we’d lure ships onto the reef. That’s where the silk carpet you’re laying on came from. The sailors never lasted long, but their cargos kept us comfortable.

There have only ever been the four families living here, though sometimes a young man drawn to the sea marries in. Other fisherfolk have moved in, hoping to share our bounty, but they don’t last long. Their boats sink, their women ail, they see great worms along the shore and flee.

But you, you’ve come to build a lighthouse to keep ships safe. And you brought your wife. Young love is so sweet. Excuse me while I go check on her. It’s probably time for more broth. Expectant mothers are prone to dehydration. What’s that? I can’t make any words out through the gag, but I know what you’re asking, what they always ask.

You’re not the father.

The worms herd the fish into our nets. We find them women. Sometimes men, that’s almost as good, but there was only the one egg this time so we didn’t need you.

Oh, don’t fuss so much. We take very good care of them, right up until the eggs hatch.


My story “Two Kilograms and Counting” is the podcast this week at Every Day Fiction.

Please have a listen, and if you like it take a moment to review it, and tell your friends. If you don’t like it, please review it anyway, but you don’t have to tell your friends in that case.

Fungal fiction

I’m very pleased to tell you all that my story “Two Kilograms and Counting” has been published by Every Day Fiction.

If you enjoyed it, please take a look at my other short fiction and related nonfiction.



I have a little present for you, a new short story set in Maggie’s universe but featuring her friend Karen.

You can download it here in mobi format (Kindle), or epub (Nook, iPad, etc.).

If you enjoy this story, please consider checking out Maggie Reichert’s first adventure, Horn.

Merry Christmas, or whatever holidays you keep, and enjoy any cookies that come your way.



The crash was followed by the tinkling of broken glass on cement. Woody looked up from his midnight snack of pseudo-wine and formerly-cheese-like-substance and groaned. “Again? Really? That’s the third velociraptor this week.” Nobody was there to listen, he just liked to hear himself talk. Buzz wouldn’t be back from the future until next week sometime. Help with the velociraptors would have been nice, but Woody didn’t miss Buzz incessantly complaining about the food. It wasn’t Woody’s fault that shipping stuff through time made it taste funny. The special insulated capsules they used for people were far too expensive to use for food, except on special occasions: the birthday bar of chocolate, the New Year’s champagne and real cheese. Woody had tried shipping in a bar of chocolate by regular container. The smell of the orange slime had instantly convinced him to wait until his birthday in August.

Woody washed down the fluorescent green cheese with a last sip of perfectly clear wine. It still tasted like a merlot, but the alcohol had gone the way of the color. The cheddar? He actually liked the transported cheese better than the original, but only if he didn’t look at it. He was sure he’d seen it wiggle once, even if the boffins said that was impossible. Living things could only travel in the insulated capsules.

He put his empty plate and glass in the sink, then grabbed the spade that was standing by the door. Woody peered through the heavily-reinforced glass set into the heavily-reinforced door. Finishing his snack should have given the automatic systems enough time to take care of the velociraptor. Lately the defense systems had been leaving bits of the carcass behind, thus the spade. Buzz had utterly ruined a broom once; a spade worked a whole lot better, especially if you hosed everything down after.

He couldn’t see anything moving, and it was definitely time to clean the other side of the door. The glass was awfully foggy. Woody wished again that the garage had been as well-reinforced as the main living quarters. He was so tired of chasing critters out of it, or worse, shoveling them. Not that he wanted to chase velociraptors. They were only about fifteen kilos, but they were insanely fast, and those teeth were sharp. One of the first guys out had brought his dog. Woody had seen the video. The company had fought awful hard to keep it off YouTube, but if you knew what to look for you could find it. He thought it should be part of the official training, but the company disagreed.

Yep, there was the carcass, cut into several pieces and with that stupid tail sticking up. Woody unbolted the door and cracked it open. It had sounded like this one took out one of the windows, and something else could have come in. Not much that would fit through the window would follow a velociraptor, but so many things would come to the blood.

No sound, no movement. Looked like none of the little scavengers had snuck in yet, or any of the bigger ones either. Woody needed to get that broken window blocked off. What dimwit at the company though the garage needed windows, rather than reinforced steel? They were just about all covered anyway; maybe soon he’d be free of midnight velociraptors.

He traded the spade for a sheet of plywood. Getting the outside sealed out was more urgent than getting rid of the carcass. Woody got the window covered quickly, plenty of recent practice. He’d add some more screws in the morning, but that should do for now. It wasn’t going to stop anything determined, but should keep out the riff-raff. He’d have to request some steel sheet during the weekly conference call with the company, enough to cover all the windows.

Woody pitched the last spadeful of velociraptor out the door and sealed it. He’d hose down the floor and walls in the morning, along with the spade. He leaned it up against the wall by the slop sink, and only then noticed that his rosebush was missing. Not the pot, the improvised container and all its soil sat tucked behind the sink where it always had, out of the way so nobody would notice it, but near enough to the door that he could slide it outside for a sunbath when nobody was around. But all the greenery was missing, stems and all.

Woody bent slowly to retrieve a petal fragment from the floor. That bud never even had time to bloom. It would have been the first ever rose, the first flowering plant for that matter. He had smuggled a slip inside his pants, the thorns digging into his inner thigh for the whole interminable trip. Buzz knew, had gently touched the puncture wounds one evening before Woody switched off the light, but he’d never mentioned the plant itself. He did distract the company inspector once, though, drawing his attention to something on the other side of the garage when the inspector was looking too closely at everything.

The velociraptor must have eaten it. Right? Those sharp little teeth could chomp off a rose stem. Right? Surely nothing else came in tonight, nothing following the velociraptor, or leading it, nothing that would eat a rosebush, or drag it off outside, or introduce alien plants into a world they’d never evolved in?


Those were just stories, right?

It’s been a long time since I did a speed flash story. The game: I solicit ideas on twitter, then have an hour to write a short story that incorporates all of them. Sometimes it works remarkably well, sometimes (as today), it falls rather short. But it’s always fun.

Today’s prompts:

@evilrooster – a missing rose
@thc1972 – Woody and Buzz slash
@mishellbaker – a bump in the night
@marjorie73 – cheese, and a spade

I like the setting, but the story really needs to be longer than I had time for.