⭐ = a personal favorite

Short stories

May It Please His Majesty (February 2017)

What do you get for the king who has everything?

Galaxies (September 2014)

One of the few written works I’ve managed to land in a paying publication.

The Mind of Moloch (May 2014)

Anton Chekhov wrote: “Once a man is possessed by an idea, there is no doing anything with him.” It’s true of machines, too.

Wine (May 2012)

Can robots be Christian? Can robots be saved?

(I’m agnostic myself, in case you were wondering. Which you probably weren’t.)

Marva (August 2011) ⭐

I wrote this one as an entry to a writing contest hosted by literary agent Courtney Miller-Callihan — and I won!

Everything but Rachel (July 2011)

Really, really weird.

Scissors With Running (July 2011) ⭐

This still makes me giggle.

Alvennore: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 (first draft written in 2011, later revised)

Although I put a lot of work into this (fairly long) short story, I was never quite happy with it. Still, it’s about as close as I’ve ever come to a genuine horror story, albeit sci fi horror. And I do like the ending.

The Contest in the Mines (February 2008) ⭐

Short and fairly old, but I like the way it turned out.

Field Guide to Fantasy Creatures (circa 2005?)

Not exactly sure when I wrote this, but it’s definitely an early work. It isn’t a story, but it isn’t quite what the title promises, either. I got a kick out of writing this, and I still think it’s pretty funny today. One of the better lines: Vampires can be killed by a well-placed wooden stake to the heart; incidentally, so can pretty much everyone else.

This one is also notable for mocking Donald Trump more than a decade before it became a national pastime.

Forty-minute stories

A series of stories I did for my blog, all written — as the name suggests — in roughly forty minutes.

Snow (December 2013)

Includes the words “Snowmageddon” and “Flakezilla.”

The Attack (August 2013) ⭐

A little sci fi vignette.

Two-Sentence Terrors (August 2013)

Not a story per se, but five mini horror stories of two sentences each.

Reboot (November 2012)

Philosophy + sci fi.

The Mars Rover Diary (September 2012)

“I’ve been here a month and the humans have yet to suspect my sentience.”

The Afflicted (June 2012) ⭐

Unfortunately, there’s no cure.

You’re Angry (February 2012)

A story entirely in dialogue.

The Fires of the Storm (January 2012)

Occasionally, I get literary. Try not to hold it against me.

Mark VII (January 2012)

The first of the forty-minute stories.

Novels & novellas

The Crane Girl (work in progress)

This is my magnum opus at the moment. It’s a big fantasy story spanning earth, heaven, hell, and the apocalypse (not tied to any particular religion). The story revolves around a single family — a mother, a 16-year-old son, and a 10-year-old daughter. The parts on earth are set in 1950s Kansas. I’m really excited about this one.

The Desirable Man Who Entered a Relationship with the Heroine Despite Occasional Setbacks Described Herein (February 2016) ⭐

My friend Ben Trube challenged me (mostly as a joke) to write a romance novel. This is the result. It’s not quite a novel (25,000 words is novella territory) and it’s not quite a romance (it’s more like an unhinged semi-surreal good-natured parody of the genre). But I was very pleased with how this turned out. Despite how crazy and random the text may seem, it actually took a lot of work to get right.

I even mocked up front and back covers. I’m not going to post any part of it online yet, because I haven’t decided how or where I might want the full story published.

The Counterfeit Emperor (2011)

A sci fi novel, set in the far future. Pretty long at 111,000 words. It was good in some ways, but ultimately the main character just wasn’t likable enough, and the story overall lacked energy. But as with all my novels, I learned a lot writing it.

The Encircling Wall (circa 2007)

Known for most of its life as Second Sun, but changed at the end because that title doesn’t actually make any sense. This was the first true full-length novel I ever wrote, 108,000 words, a fantasy/sci-fi story with a large cast of characters and a bunch of plot threads that hopped around a lot. Fairly low quality by my standards today, but it has a lot of cool ideas, and it was definitely the most sophisticated thing I’d ever completed at the time.

Pandora’s Gift (2006) – read excerpt

My friend Pat Benasutti and I have a lot of inside jokes. Here’s one: the offspring of a mammoth and a fox would be known as “Mammox.” I won’t even try to explain why that’s funny to us, or why I wrote an 18,000-word novella featuring that and pretty much every other inside joke I could think of. I’ll just say that the phrase “elephantine ennui” appears in the first two pages, and I’m not sorry.

Transfer of Power (circa 2003)

This is a fantasy book, the first “novel” I ever wrote, back in high school. Novel is in quotes because, at 47,000 words, it’s more in novella territory. Also, I just did the first draft and never really revised.

Also, it’s really, really awful (as high school novels sometimes are).

Still — I had started lots of novels before this, and I’d always given up. This was the first really long fiction piece I ever completed. This was the story that proved to me that I could do it, that I could at least cross the finish line. For that reason, at least, I’ll always be proud of Transfer of Power.