I have always been fascinated by the short story format. Some of my favorite reading as a kid was pulp SF magazines and the annual collections of the best short stories. I also loved mysteries, especially Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The author must establish the setting, introduce the characters, tell the story, and reach a satisfying conclusion, all in a few hundred words. I have tried my hand at the form, in widely varied genres and styles. The stories are available in three collections. Some of the stories are available to read online.
Desert Moon – paperback, 224 pages, $12.00
Fourteen very unusual and diverse stories. From the desert to the South Pacific, from the creation of life to a space-traveling future, from an intimate conversation with a dead wife to the “loopy” nature of time, these stories will inspire thought and wonder and remain in your head long after you put the book down. Includes:
Desert Moon - A solo backpacker gets his final lesson in ecology
Marama - A maritime mystery in the 19th century South Pacific
The Bloody Pumps - What is it like to be on a ship that loses its fight?
Flotsam - The crew of a space freighter finds a strange bit of flotsam
The Viking - A tall stranger comes to stay among a rural people
The Great Sauerkraut Escape - Ever wake up and not know where you are?
Heart to Heart - A couple tries to work out their differences
The Investigator - An SEC investigator questions a man who knows too much
A Talk in the Dark - A simple conversation between a man and his wife
The Find - An archeologist turns up evidence of the first editor
Letter Found on a Park Bench - What would you do if you found this curious note?
Licensing Board - A scientific experiment tests the bounds of ethical behavior
The Link - A parcel of “worthless” desert land is passed down through a family
Two Men in a Tub - Old friends close a circle with events in their past.
Ten Stories Straight Up – paperback, 292 pages, $14.00
Ten short stories on very different subjects, including
E Pluribus Unum - A multi-generational starship finally approaches its destination at Tau Ceti. The people have adapted well to their shipboard environment on the long voyage – perhaps too well.
The Case of the Red Herring - The Sherlock Holmes case Conan Doyle forgot to write – the mysterious case of the politician, the lighthouse, and the trained cormorant.
The House – A man brings his family back to see the house he grew up in, and finds much changed – but not all.
The Luck of the Irish – Three Irishmen, escaped convicts from Port Jackson, capture a schooner and try to slip past a Royal Navy frigate.
The Classic – a young actress of the verge of stardom meets a man who seems to know too much about her future career.
The Old One – the last mammoth fins release from loneliness.
The Dreamer – a man wanders through a strange and beautiful dream, but awakening brings an unexpected surprise.
Eternal Flame – a middle-aged man attends a college choral concert and discovers one of the singers is the perfect image of his lost love, still eighteen years old.
Coyote – A Navajo medicine man confronts his apprentice who was strayed.
Eight East – A young hippie, busted for drugs, spends a week in a mental ward and finds himself both teacher and student.
Tight Shorts – paperback, 128 pages, $7.50
Nine very diverse, tightly-constructed short stories to stimulate and intrigue the intelligent reader, including:
The Swing - A girl, a swing, and a lot of time provide an overview of a life
Colby - An explorer pushes the limits of what can be learned of life and death - and the space between
The Visitor - A look at travel in the coming age of energy shortages
A Connecticut Yankee in King Neptune’s Court - How did a Union dog tag come to be found in a Confederate submarine?
Sibyl - What of us will survive after we are gone? Only our houses - and their thoughts?
The McKinley Cut - What might have happened when President McKinley came to Marin County to ride the “Crookedest Railroad in the World.”
An Occurrence in the Indian Ocean - Some old seamen never die - but they should have.
Tango Uniform - Life and death in a WWII destroyer
Siren of the South - The little-known story of the female Confederate blockade runner