Very short stories #40

I hope you’re having a great summer! The last couple of months have been pretty busy here with work projects. This does seem to be the new normal, but I’m not complaining. It’s been a very good year so far for academic publications, and we may not be finished just yet. Fiction writing-wise, I’m still chipping away at The Sapphire Solution, a sequel to The Diamond Device. The heat is pretty draining, so I’ve now got into the habit of sitting at my desk with Scrivener (my usual writing software) open, coffee within reach and my feet in a basin of cold water.

If you have any tips to share about keeping cool, please do!

Book reviews

Here’s my usual mixed bag of book reviews. I seem to have moved on from Golden Age detective mysteries through Golden Age SF, and now passing through somewhat more regular SF.

Friends for Robots by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor
Cutie and the Beast by E. J. Russell
Tyche’s Flight by Richard Parry
Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee
Twits in Love: A Steampunk Distraction by Tom Alan Robbins
Barbarians of the Beyond by Matthew Hughes

Very Short Stories

And now for a handful of very short stories that I first posted on Twitter at the start of the year. These are from daily Twitter prompts, which means that quite a few of my posts are rather throwaway. Still, it’s fun sifting through them some months later to see which ones would work well with added imagery.


“Data upload complete, sir,” says the spy’s wristband.
“Map,” he pants.
“Yes, sir.” Tracery glows before him.
A shot pings. He runs faster. “Plot… route.”
“Left, right… jump!”
In the air, he sees mud below. “Did you forget I have to breathe?”
“No, sir. Boss said to tidy up.”


“What’s the secret of your success, My Lord?”
“Simple. Blood, sweat and tears.” The despot smirked. “Of course, not my own.”


As the first clod thumped down, a wail arose.
“Don’t keen, Ma,” whispered the black-clad boy. “We’re well rid of him.”
Ma sniffled. “It’s not that. The safety deposit box he admitted to was empty.”
“Darn. Shoulda kept him alive until we checked it.”


Axe bashing, sword slashing, they trod an ungainly back-to-back duet.
The barbarian paused for breath. “Leave well alone, I said.”
“You’ve made your point—”
“Don’t touch that figurine, I told you.” He lunged.
“How was I to know it was cursed?”

That’s all for now. Take care of yourselves, and see you soon 🙂

2 thoughts on “Very short stories #40

  1. I am not sure you ever read them, but the Tom Swift Golden Age stories and the Lensman series were huge favorites of mine. E. E. “Doc” Smith was the author of the latter series. Regrettably, both series featured male heroic characters


    1. I’ve heard of them, though never read any. My youthful reading depended very much on what was available in the local library, which was where I discovered Michael Moorcock and Roger Zelazny.


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