Just Us, Spectacle.
The Paper Dragon, Daily Science Fiction. My sixth story there. Written for a Codex contest and inspired by Japan’s “balloon bombs.” It received perhaps the best response from readers of any of my stories, with 20 likes on Daily SF’s Facebook page and nice reviews from Marian Allen and Anneliese Lemmon (5 stars), plus I woke up that day to several kind tweets about the story.
The Changeling, Unnerving Magazine. I get to be first on the masthead! Everyone probably has a “baby can’t sleep” story. I hope this one sets itself apart from the others by just being more messed up. You’ll want to shave before you read it.
The First Time They Murder Billy, The Arcanist. This story was fun to write, which I did for a Codex contest. Tin Can Audio made a fantastic audio version. It’s also been anthologized in Timeshift, edited by Eric S. Fomley
A Feast for the Minotaur, The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume III. I wrote this story for a contest on Mythic Scribes. It did well in the voting, but I got dinged for the “something secret” prompt not being made prominent enough.
The Other Face of Medusa, The Martian Wave. This is my response to Arthur C. Clarke’s “A Meeting with Medusa.” A template for how I’ve written dialogue ever since.
18 Things Only A Martian Mom Will Understand (You Won’t Believe #13!), Daily Science Fiction
Mr. Pony, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Pubd for Halloween, this story was prompted by a creepy picture of kids in costume on a bunch that Sarah Pinsker gave me for the Codex Halloween contest. A daring story for me.
A Presentation to the Imperial Society of Mancers, Silent Screams: An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction. This is the most disturbing story I’ll ever write. It was inspired by a scene in a Preston and Childs book in which a Hottentot body is studied in the Museum of Natural History. It made me think (while watching my daughter play indoor soccer, oddly enough) about what would happen to the orcs after the fall of Sauron. Would they be driven to near extinction, the last few put in zoos, then museums for study in Minas Tirith? I took that idea, dropped it into my gempunk world, then wrote the story in the style of a paper delivered to the Royal Society. Fortunately, their archives are online so I could pick up the voice and diction. It gets called out in a review on Amazon and another on Goodreads.
The Sounding Cataract, Amazing Stories. A Gernsback Award winner. The challenge was to write a positive story. Never easy for me. And just what would a rover make of something truly awesome?
Franchisee. A secret story. Privately commissioned and likely never to be seen again, let alone published. Someday a scholar will discover it and realize it’s the key to my entire ouvre.
Fade To Red: Three Interviews About Sebold’s Mars Trilogy,” Lightspeed. They also created an audio version and did a spotlight interview with me. This story was written for a contest on Mythic Scribes; it lost. Charles Payseur at Quick Sips was very generous. Rocket Stack Ranking didn’t like it as much. Nonetheless, it got mentions in two best of 2016 books, made the Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List and got this wonderful review:
Stephen S. Power creates a fascinating story in his “Fade to Red: Three Interviews about Sebold’s Mars Trilogy.” The story is told in the form of three interviews with a filmmaker, spaced over 20+ years. The interviews deal with three films that the filmmaker has created based on a discovery on Mars. In it we see an evolution of technology, the filmmaking art, and cultural change prompted by mankind learning that other intelligent species exist in the universe. The double distancing technique, an interview of a film of the discovery, works well to allow a slow release of information and to change a simple “we are not alone” story into a pleasure to read. Power shows a strong command of language and register without losing sight of the purpose of the story. Recommended.
The Time Traveler, Zetetic. Time elapsed from sub to pub, including a couple edits? 9 hours, 43 minutes. I could get used to that. This is a pretty experimental story, so to answer your question: Yes, the paragraphs are supposed to stop mid-sentence.
The Catskill Dragon, Deep Magic. These were such pleasant people to work with. And I learned from the copyeditor the difference between dived and dove.
Everyone Goes into the Pumps Eventually, Stupefying Stories Showcase. The second of my gempunk stories. Vancian in its caperishness. I’d like to create a series of these stories, each leading to the next in that Robert Altman way. For instance, this one may be followed by one about what the three goons who come for Smuthagill do later.
Time Is a Lady’s Unerring Blade, Swords & Sorcery. A wicked tale, the first of my gempunk stories.
Candle, Card and Mirror, Every Day Fiction. EDF gave me great notes to make this, one of my first fantasy stories, worthy of them. It will also be anthologized in Fantasy for the Throne.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, AE. This story was originally about a couple with implanted servos whose vibrations created a tritone when they touched, an idea inspired by Act Two of the This American Life episode “Mapping.”
Mamita, Flash Fiction Online. I see this story happening about 35 years in the future, which may be too pessimistic given the current rate of sea level rise, but Miami is no doubt going under. It’s only a matter of time.
For Your Light Affliction, Daily Science Fiction. I hate WholeFoods.
Ejected, Cyclopean. The house is modeled on the the summer home my family rented on Wanaksink Lake’s South Shore Road in Rock Hill, NY when I was a kid. The family bears no resemblance to my own, although my brother did fall out of that tree, bouncing down branch to branch the same way.
No Less Constant, AE. Duff made some great edits to the end of the story, and once again the art AE paired with it is stellar. Duff didn’t like my original title, “The Fire and the Rose Are One,” a reference to an Eliot poem, so we came up with “No Less Constant” at the last moment. I’m thinking now maybe it should have been “We’ll Always Have Parises,” although that might be too flip.
Stripped to Zero, Nature Futures. My story behind the story feature here makes me out to be more paranoid than I really am. Then again I won’t use EZ Pass or the location features on my phones. I also hate the scanners at the airports, which makes the wonderful Jacey illustration even better. StarShipSofa podcasted it here. Included in UP AND COMING: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors.
Who Else Would Make a World Like This? Flapperhouse. The spoiler alert they added may be the best ever. The title comes from this line from A Dance with Dragons: “At night Tyrion would oft hear her praying. A waste of words. If there are gods to listen, they are monstrous gods who torment us for their sport. Who else would make a world like this, so full of bondage, blood, and pain?” The first story I ever read aloud to an audience not made up of my college housemates, and Editor Joe even bought me beer, making it a doubly good night.
The First Degree of Separation, AE Micro 6. The star is modeled on Taylor Swift.
Wire Paladin, AE. I’m hoping that with this story and Stripped to Zero I’ll get a writing gig with Black Mirror. Included in UP AND COMING: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors.
At a Siding, Saturday Night Reader. A new take on the Trolley Problem. The case mentioned is Hallett et al. v. New York Cent. & H.R.R. Co. (Court of Appeals of New York, May 10, 1901.), which you can read about here.
Automatic Sky, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. A third Coorlim title. It was a huge pain to work out the math of the folds. I love the illustration AE paired with the story. Reprinted by Evil Girlfriend Media. Included in UP AND COMING: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors.
The Mirror Cracks, Daily Science Fiction. Another story inspired by a Coorlim title.
The Revivalist, Sips Card. I love the Sips Card premise: a handsome business card with a QR code linking to the story that the publisher distributes in coffee shops. My story, one of their inaugural pieces, was viewed more than 225 times, which is impressive. The story was inspired by this piece on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, Dr. Poe and His Curious Breathing Machine. It was podcast by Gallery of Curiosities, as well as Radio Riel Steampunk. I’m thinking about how to develop it into a novella.