Distractions in Perihelion

fullcover034My short story “Distractions” is out now in Perihelion.

A wonderful cover by Hardy Fowler – “Taking a five minute break, a mecha pilot enjoys a quiet reverie in this secluded forest on the third planet from the sun.” Feels cool to have one of my stories hidden behind such a fabulous illustration.

This is a lighter one than my recent Asimov’s story – Robert’s boss Julianne Kette will stop at nothing to get her bounty, even if it means dragging him through hell to get it.

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Frustrated that I could only return to the cafe with bad news, I beat my way back along the dusty street. Kette would not be pleased.
Some screaming kids ran out from between buildings, a hoop robot chasing them. The thing had little pincers and zappers around its circumference. It fired barbs at them
Laughing, the kids ploughed through traffic, oblivious to the enormous trucks and skimmers speeding along. Sirens blared and the hoop robot stopped at the sidewalk’s edge.
I tascered the thin little machine and took it with me.

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My thanks again to editor Sam Bellotto Jr., for publishing another one of my quirky pieces.

Lightning Strikes in Perihelion

PerihelionMy hard sci-fi story “Lightning Strikes” has just appeared in the current issue of Perihelion.

David Bron’s on a mission to stop his son from getting killed for the sake of an electrical art piece. Bron’s got a bounty hunter on his tail and an out of whack ship. And the electric art is about to begin.

There are some other top stories in the issue too, and a great editorial from editor Sam Bellotto.

This is my third story in Perihelion, after “Stone 382” last year, and “Quisic Smith and the Russian Puzzle Doll” in January.

Two stories in Bounty Hunter

This has got to be one of my favourites. My story “A visit to the theatre” appears in the Static Movement anthology Bounty Hunter. The story is only a little over a couple of thousand words, but it’s a fun romp, I hope. It was inspired a little by the cover illustration (I love that picture), though it’s pretty dieselpunk. Lots of chasing and shooting, and I hope, an engaging satisfying story. Okay, opening paragraphs:

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Nikki heard Sam’s Sikorsky spiracopter put down on the apartment building roof and she had her leg strapped on and guns layed out on her bed before he even got down to her door.
She opened the Venetians. In the wan dawn light commuter traffic was backing up along Lexington. Horns blared and taxi drivers yelled. The new traffic signals on thirty-second hadn’t worked right for weeks.
“It’s open,” she yelled to Sam’s pounding.

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Nikki and Sam feel like characters I want to take out again, and their world is just slightly shifted from ours, so there’s lots of world-building which could be fun.

The anthology also has another story of mine, under the byline Michael Shone (I liked the theme, but I’m a bit shy about having multiple stories in a single anthology, so this was a solution), titled “Katie Stumbled”. This is a longer piece, still a bit action-oriented, but a very different tone (I hope) to the other story. It opens like this:

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Bill Sefheron landed the ornithopter in Clarkeson’s town square. He’d known about the Casselith here, but seeing it loom from the South Dakota horizon as he’d made his low approach had surprised him. He hadn’t realized how big this one was. The main mass of its black stone must have been six hundred feet high, the near face tapered to perhaps two hundred feet across at the top. This Casselith probably occupied close to four acres at its base, making it one of the bigger ones. Sefheron saw windows in some parts.

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Thanks again to Chris Bartholomew for her work on these anthologies.