Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Wobblies

When I went to college, I didn't have a lot of money.  I was heavy on student loans.  I had a little bit of financial aid, but it didn't cover much, and I thought I could scrape by better if I went to off-campus housing instead of adding those fees to my pile.  I had an overnight job moving boxes around a warehouse, so I looked for an apartment nearby, figuring it would be easier to commute in for my classes a few times a week during the day than to try to make it to work on time every night on public transit.  Warehouses don't tend to be in the best part of town, but I wasn't too concerned.  I take pretty good care of myself.  Some weirdo tried something, I was pretty sure I could manage.  I was young and confident.

You know, a moron.

Friday, December 16, 2016


I found him in the backyard, shining a flashlight up into the night.  

“Hey, buddy,” I said, trying not to let him see my recent panic.  “Whatcha doin’?”

He clicked the light, on-off, on-off.  “Talking to the aliens.”

“The what now?”

“The aliens, Daddy.  I’m asking them to come down and help.”

“Ah,” I said.  “But what if they’re evil aliens who want to conquer Earth?”

“I’m telling them we’re nice.”

“Okay.  I think you’ve done enough tonight.  Come inside now.”  I couldn’t keep from glancing back up at the sky as we went.  The stars were twinkling, on-off, on-off.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Justice for All

She found God at last.  He was hiding in the cupboard, up on the top shelf behind the soy sauce.  "There you are," she purred.  "Come on."

He flinched away from her reaching hand, but she was quicker and caught him by the scruff.  His bulging eyes goggled at her.

"You made this world," she told Him.  She gestured widely.  "All of this."

He nodded.

"You've got a lot to answer for."  Her grip tightened, slowly, and He wriggled, but in the end, it was surprisingly easy.  "Now," she said, wiping her hands on her jeans, "to get to work."

Friday, October 2, 2015

Walking Boots

One day, you may discover walking boots on your porch.  Walking boots are weather-beaten.  They are just your size.  You may have vague memories of buying them, but this is a lie.

The walking boots never tire and never slip.  They always take you where you need to be.  There may be magic; there will be wonder.

But walking boots never go home.  The walking boots do not sip tea and only grudgingly tolerate campfires.  The walking boots emphatically do not sit in comfortable chairs.

Whether you put the walking boots on is up to you. 

Keep an eye out.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Theory of Relativism

“I have a solution,” said Pigh.  “The Valiri Gem requires the sacrifice of the most powerful love in the universe in order to destroy it for good, right?


“Okay.  First, renounce all principles, beliefs, and personal ideals.”


“Just do it.” 

“Uh, okay, sure.”

“Okay, now give me your shirt.  That one’s your favorite, right?”

“Pretty much.”

Pigh ripped it in two.


The Valiri Gem sparked, flared, and cracked in half.

“As I suspected,” said Pigh smugly.  “In the presence of a moral vacuum, the gravity of the situation acts equally on each burden, regardless of relative weight.” 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Welcome Back

The mask had cut most of the smell since they’d left the ship.  Jev’s eyes started watering the moment she removed it.  Tral kept his on, the wheezing of his recycler the only sound, other than the distant hum of the roving swarms.  They weren’t a threat yet, but they moved fast.  Jev was wary.

From atop the rise, the brown and arid earth spread down and away, dipping into soupy dells and occasional tangles of hard and thorny weeds.

“What is this place?” Tral wanted to know.

Jev blinked, feeling the sting.  “It’s home, Tral.  We’ve made it home.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"What We're Having" at Strange Horizons

My story "What We're Having" is up at Strange Horizons this week.

It's a quiet and (hopefully) charming little relationship story, centered on a time-traveling skillet.  Enjoy!