Very short stories #47

This past week, I’ve had a leisurely holiday at home. It’s an attempt to pre-charge the batteries before a particularly busy summer at work (which reminds me I’d better dust off my other website).

The Diamond Device didn’t make it to the finals of the Self-Published Science Fiction contest, but I’m really pleased it got as far as the semifinals. If you want to check out the 7 finalists (out of a starting group of nearly 300), have a look here. It’s encouraging to see such a mixture of SF subgenres and styles. If you’ve read any of the books, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

My other bit of book-related news is that The Sapphire Solution is now available in a range of ebook stores, rather than in the Kindle store alone. Here are the various places you can now buy it. I’d be mightily obliged if you tell any friends who might be interested.

Book reviews

Recent reading has been a mix of essays, cosy mystery, horror (mild—I’m a wimp), science fiction and fantasy. I don’t usually talk about specific books, but I must recommend Mary Soon Lee’s The Sign of the Dragon for a closer look. It’s an epic fantasy told in free verse. I’m not a great reader of “epic” or poetry, but this one worked really well.

Esprit de Corpse by Ef Deal
Not Enough Midnights by Michael Merriam
True Names by Vernor Vinge
The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee
Tano by Rachel Neumeier
Trouble in Nuala by Harriet Steel
Operation North Pole (S-Squad, Book 16) by William Meikle. Yes, I’ve read all the books in the series, though I haven’t posted reviews for all of them
The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher
Pratchett’s Women: Unauthorised Essays on Female Characters of the Discworld by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Very short stories

Although I’m not back into a routine of posting daily stories on social media, I’ve started attempting haiku as well as more regular microfiction.

Prompt words often short,
Syllables flow differently,
You can try it, too.


Viking warrior with an axe threatening a "monster"

“Mercy!” he bawled. “If you kill me, what will my old mother do?”
The warrior raised his axe. “That’s not my problem, Grendel. Now face your fate like a man… er, monster.”


Parachutist without a parachute

Wind blows in my ears,
Parachute fails to deploy
New-found urgency


Finally off-duty, he slumped at the kitchen table. “Gah, my aching feet.”
“Tough day?” She ladled stew into his bowl, smiling as he dug in.
“Phantom Thief struck again last night. Chief made us comb the whole quarter. Again! But with no evidence, it could be anyone.”
She laughed. “It could even be me.”
“Course not.” He yawned. “I’d notice.”


Woman caught mid-fall

Uneven axis,
Whoops! Gyroscopic failure,
Meet the floor again

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