Short Stories

While these short stories are online (either as standalone or part of an anthology),  I’ll also offer a number of them free to anyone who would like to read them.  Please use the form on the Free Stories Page to request a copy. 

The Viscount and the Witch (Traditional Fantasy) Riyria Chronicles #1.5
Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one of their earliest adventures.

The Jester (Traditional Fantasy) The Riyria Chronicles #2.5
Shawn Speakman was able to win his battle against cancer, but like many fantasy authors he had no medical insurance. While he could escape his responsibilities by declaring medical bankruptcy he’s a man of honor and s committed to paying his bills. Shawn also has a lot of friends, some of whom are the biggest names in the industry. We’ve all donated stories to this anthology and 100% of the proceeds will be used to pay Shawn’s Bills.  My contribution is The Jester , a fun, fast-paced Royce and Hadrian adventure from the Riyria Chronicles.

The Thieves (Traditional Fantasy) The Riyria Revelations #0.5
THEY ATTACKED TWO RIDERS. THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE EASY. THEY WERE WRONG. A band of thieves set upon two lonely riders in the middle of the night. They had a larger party. They had the element of surprise. There was no reason to be concerned, but they didn’t realize who they were dealing with. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. NOTE: This was originally published as the first chapter of Theft of Swords (Book #1 and Book #2 of The Riyria Revelations), so for those who have that book…you already have this story.

Professional Integrity (Traditional Fantasy) The Riyria Chronicles #2.6
This is a Royce and Hadrian story to be released in the upcoming Blackguards Anthology. As usual, Royce and Hadrian find themselves over their heads when a young heiress comes to them for help with a story that just doesn’t add up.  Royce knows something isn’t right, but he could have never guessed what was really going on with the young heiress asking to be kidnapped.

Greener Grass (Science Fiction)
He wanted to escape his problems. He wanted to see the future. He never considered what the future Wanted.
Confronted with suffering a painful death from cancer, Dan Sturges forgoes treatments to try an idea of his own. With nothing to lose but a few months of pain, Dan builds a time machine in his garage and pins his hopes on a future where his cancer might be cured. How could he have known that what happens after he presses the button is more shocking than the eighteen car batteries he connected himself to?

Burning Alexandria (Science Fiction)
This short story is found in The End – Visions of Apocalypse and was written to help highlight new authors from the sffworld forum. This story was written the day I learned of Ray Bradbury’s death and is me paying homage to him in the context of this anthology whose mission was to focus on stories involving the end of the world. When solar flares makes electricity a memory of the past a horder’s stash of paperbacks might just might be the greatest library left in existence after the conversion to digital. But when threatened with death from exposure will he sacrifice literature to survive?

Traditions (Traditional Fantasy)
This story was written for Triumph Over Tragedy: an anthology for the victims of Hurricane Sandy this project was the brainchild of author R.T. Kaelin and as it implies 100% of the profits are going to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.  My entry is based in the world of Elan (the setting for my Riyria Revelations series) but it features a new never-before-seen character. The idea came from Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, The Lottery where the livelihood of a town is dependent on the sacrifice of one of their own. When Annie is selected, she takes matters into her own hands and dares to challenge the town’s traditions in order to move to a new future, that while it may be fraught with potential danger, it also possess the possibility of new opportunities.

Autumn Mists (Modern Fantasy)
Fantasy faction is a great online community where fantasy readers and writers can interact. They also offer reviews, interviews, and any manner of news related to Fantasy Literature. In the past they have relied on donations to pay for their hosting services, but the creators of the site decided instead to produce an anthology they could sell to support the site. My contribution to the anthology is: Autumn Mists : It tells the story of an embittered man who at the end of his days has a chance to recapture the magic of his youth, if only he can remember, and believe.

Be Careful What You Wish For (Modern Fantasy)
This story was written for an anthology compiled by the incomparable John Joseph Adams. He came up with a fascinating idea which is to have a number of writers create short stories in the format of Kickstarters. Each author comes up with a fantastical project and then tells their tales through the project description, FAQ, and backer comments. For my story I decided to explore the idea that the long repeated tale of the Monkey’s Paw really wasn’t just a piece of fiction. That it was actually possible to create these wish-granting tailsmans. As you might imagine, from the original tale, things don’t go as planned. This one was particularly fun because I Tuckerized one of the backers (interviewed and worked into the story a real-life person).

God Games (Modern Fantasy)
This short story is written for the upcoming Unfettered II Anthology. When a character in the game becomes sentient and starts asking about the big questions about life, death, and the existence of God, it’s programmer has to determine the moral implications of deleting the rogue character. After all it can’t continue living in the game “off script.” Or can he?

Untitled (Modern Fantasy
A new short story written for an upcoming Anthology told form the antagonist’s point of view. In this story, a man travelling home on the metro after a hard day’s work is given a gift…the power limited only by his imagination. But is this really a gift or a curse, especially when someone with the opposing power starts to stalk him.


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