HANDFUL OF STARS is a romance story of sorts which deals with some questions about reality, the human condition, and the endurance of love. I created this story whlie trying to resolve another similarly themed piece built around a starship crewman and his enduring love for his wife and the stars and the resolution of the conflict inherent in time dilation. This has many of the same elements, but with a different premise.
Knowledge of seven-fold space is not required to understand this piece.
Appeared in: Frequency, Fall 2003 Created: October 2000 Sold November 2000 Words 5,000
SEDUCTION was a collaboration with Stephen Burns, a long-time friend and fellow writer. We set ourselves a challenge to write a 1,000 word story that contained all the elements of a short story and was humorous. After that things just sort of took their own path to produce this strange fantasy. Somewhere in the passing of this story back and forth we lost the stupid politicians, assorted aliens, a mad scientist, and the recipe for perogees.
Appeared in: Thought the Glass Darkly, Lite Circle Press, 2003
Created October 2000, Sold June 2001, Words 1,000
COLD TROPHIES was written following a business trip to Kharkiv, Ukraine in late 2000 where our party was hosted by representatives of that former Soviet bastion of rocket science. During our stay I was given a personal tour of the space museum inside the Hartron complex and saw objects that once targeted Washington, New York, and others.
Appeared in: Artimis, Winter 2003 Created: May 2001 Sold: September 2002 Words 1,000
Photos by Bus Sparhawk
SAM BOONE: FRONT TO BACK
Front to Back is a collection of the Sam Boone series that appeared in Analog, but in the series’ chronological order, hence the name. Available on order from on-line booksellers or as individual e-book stories. Originally, the stories appeared in reverse order.
Created : October 2000 Sold: November 2000
SAM BOONE’S SUPER FANTASTIC, INTRAGALACTIC, ASS-KICKING, BODY-SLAMMIN’, FOOT STOMPING, RASSLIN’ EXTRAVAGANZA came from a discussion with Scott Edelman, who had just finished editing a couple of wrestling books and was most informative about the industry. From that beginning I crafted this adventure to further fill in the back story before Sam ventures into the wilds of galactic culture. This was pure fun to write.
Appeared in: ANALOG, May 2002, page 74
Created : February 2001 Sold: July 2001 Words: 7,500
Illustrated by: Kelly Freas (of course)
PUMPKIN was a small story I wrote to provide a little background on Rams prior to his appearance in PRIMROSE AND THORN. The character of Jake is one you’ve probably encountered earlier – the classic old salt who is so in love with sailing that it blinds him to other parts of his life. This was too weak for sale to a magazine but it fits perfectly in the Jupiter collection.
Appeared in DANCING WITH DRAGONS, Wildside Press and Baen’s Universe’s April 2009 Edition
Created August 1998 Sold N/A Words 15,700
MAGIC’S PRICE is another coming of age stories about a young man’s desire to become a magician and the price he pays for achieving that. There is a love interest (for Asaro fans), some rather nasty violence, a mystery or two, and a grand scheme behind it all. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.
This started with a simple image of a boy anxious to see the magician, who is to arrive at the local spring festival. From there I imagined a few characters, the locale, and let nature take its course. This was started in early 1999 and was finished in February 2000. It was one of three novellas and two short stories I tried to write in my spare time from Y2K work. This story was a Nebula Award Finalist in 2003.
Appeared in ANALOG March 2001 Created March 2000 Sold September 2000, Words 23,100,
Illustrated by George Krauter
RATE OF CHANGE began when I tried to imagine what it would be like as the final hours of the singularity approached. In it I make reference to Vernor Vinge, who originated the idea of the singularity in the PEACE WAR. It seemed to me that the rate of implementation would increase as well as the speed of development and, given the growth of the internet, would be facilitated by worldwide communications.
My experience as an independent contractor/consultant gave me the idea of the transient company, created for a specific task, and then going out of business. While I was writing this I spread my expertise among three companies.
Appeared in Frequency #2, January 2001 Created October 1993 Sold November 2000, Words 3,000
Cover from the Ackerman Collection
DANCING WITH DRAGONS is a collection of the Jupiter series that appeared in Analog and includes the Nebula nominated PRIMROSE AND THORN. In order to make this appear more novel-like I added some continuity details, carried some characters forward, and generally upgraded the facts based on more recent NASA data. This book is available on order from Wildside Press ISBN: 1-58715-431-5.
THE DEBT is a sequel to Olympus Mons. In this part of the JBI universe Haley and Taylor Blacker are prospecting on Io, a moon of Jupiter. Here Haley encounters Matt Legrand, autonomous robots, breathtaking scenery, and finds out the true nature of the Blackers. This idea took root when I read the Cassini probe data about Io and recalled that was where Haley and Taylor were heading. I put the two ideas together and began writing the story. The story had extensive research, including having the chemistry vetted by someone who actually knew something! I should mention that I owe a lot of the plotting to theories found in Tobias’s “20 Master Plots.” All in all, this was a fun piece to write.
Appeared in ANALOG, July 1998 Created March 1999 Sold September 1999, Words 12,000,
Illustrated by: Darryl Elliott
THE EMPEROR’S DARK MATTERS is a silly idea that stemmed from several unsold serious stories about dark matter and the story of the emperor’s new clothes. I’ve used this Probability Zero piece to introduce Roxanne Boldres, the character for a new humorous series.
Appeared in ANALOG, July/August 2000 Created May 1998 Sold June 1999, Words 800
EVOLUTION is a Probability Zero piece that speaks to how human beings so willingly surrender their free will to the machines that surround them.
Appeared in ANALOG, October 2000 Created August 1999, Sold January 2000, Words 500