Pan Am 617 Heavy, pt. 3

Part Three is out now.


The last red of the sunset echoed across the sky as Keyshaa pointed ahead. They’d been following the running lights from the glider, and beyond, Dominic could see brighter lights lower down, glinting on the surface.

“A ship?” Dominic said. He was cold. He guessed that they were already below three thousand feet. That didn’t give them much glide room before they splashed into the dark ocean.

“Maybe the atoll.”


Pan Am 617 Heavy – novella serialisation at Bewildering Stories

My dieselpunk novella Pan Am 617 Heavy is being serialised on the Bewildering stories site. You can read Chapter One, Part One now, with future episodes coming weekly.


Dominic knew Keyshaa wanted Miterall dead. She wanted the money back, and the patent documents and plans, but first she would be putting a gun to Miterall head to make him squirm.

Dominic prised the carry-on bag from her hand as the cab pulled up at the SFO terminal.

“How long has he been gone?” she asked.

“Less than a day.”

“It will go very badly.”


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:


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.


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:


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.


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

Jet-Propelled dieselpunk story in Oil

My action-thriller dieselpunk piece “Deadstick” is the lead story in the Oil anthology from Static Movement, available now at Amazon. Would you risk your career and a pricey prototype aircraft for a slim chance to rescue someone? Here are the opening paragraphs:

Hank pushed Sally-Jean over the crest and slammed on the afterburners. He’d logged more hours strapped into her snug cockpit than in the rest of the test planes put together. The snub-nosed Lockheed felt like she was a part of him. Some of the guys at Ridgecrest were starting to make lewd comments, asking when the wedding was.
He didn’t mind. What they didn’t know was the sheer bliss of pointing her heavy ass at the ground and shunting her into the stratosphere at six-gees, then bending her around, butterfly-like, into a parabolic arc, cutting the engine and letting her float fifty thousand feet down before re-igniting and pulling up, all sense of butterfly gone, screaming along fifty feet above the desert floor. He didn’t need the amphetamines they sometimes offered around, Sally-Jean kept him alert and hopped-up all he needed. She always came back with an empty tank.


My thanks to editor Marty Zeigler for taking the story – and for working with me on finding a great title.

Dieselpunk – print anthology – call for submissions

I’m editing an anthology of Dieselpunk for Static Movement. See the Dieselpunk thread on the Static Movement boards for full submission guidelines. Steampunk’s bastard cousin, Dieselpunk looks for speculative fiction filled with rugged, chunky engines but no sign of electronics. What would the would be like if we still had those huge 1950s aircraft, locos and cars, but no computers?

This is a non-paying anthology – for the love only.

Writing on … love to be busy

Well, with the excitement of the publication of the first part of my novel still hovering, I found loads of energy over the weekend to write.

I got busy with my dieselpunk serial. I completed the tidied up the ending of the first draft last night. I will work on a couple of other stories over the next few days, then tear into revisions on the dieselpunk piece. Somehow in the midst of that I managed a rough cover for my Lame Goat Press chapbook – more on that later this week.

I’m having another quick retreat in a couple of weeks – heading away for three nights in a cabin: just me and the laptop. I’ve got a bunch of outlines and beginning drafts for flash stories I’ll be working on.

And I’m prepping for another Pecha Kucha night – doing some creepy slides to go with Zombie-Eyed Girl which I’ll be reading aloud.

And then, of course, there is tutoring prep – reading and re-familiarising myself with the lectures and readings. Must make some time to create some new music too. Love to be busy.