Category Archives: Short Fiction

“Decrypted” in the May/June 2017 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact

My new story “Decrypted”, set in a near future in which all classical public key cryptography has been hacked, appears in the May/June 2017 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. It was perfect to have received my contributor copies just in time for the Ad Astra science fiction convention in Toronto last month, where I was a science and author guest-of-honor. I am grateful to Trevor Quachri for my third appearance in Analog, and my heartfelt thanks to David Brin without whom “Decrypted” would not have been written.

Ad Astra Analog

Image Credit: Clinton Research

Sampler of Stories from Science Fiction by Scientists

DSC04665 - SF by Scientists

Just arrived copies of Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories edited by Michael Brotherton and published by Springer. The collection features fourteen stories by scientists, engineers and other writers with a technical background and includes work by Ken Wharton, Jennifer Rohn, Andrew Fraknoi, Edward M. Lerner, Tedd Roberts, Jed Brody, Marissa Lingen, J. Craig Wheeler, Stephanie Osborn, Jon Richards, Carl Frederick, Les Johnson, J.M. Sidorova and yours truly. For a sampler of the stories, have a look at “Down and Out” by Ken Wharton or an excerpt of my story “Fixer Upper”.

A Pair of New Stories

I am thrilled to announce two new story sales. “Decrypted”, set in a near future in which all classical public key cryptography has been hacked, will be published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact. “Fixer Upper”, about a Chinese expedition to rescue the International Space Station, has been selected by Mike Brotherton for his upcoming anthology Science Fiction by Scientists (Springer). I am grateful to Trevor Quachri for my third appearance in Analog, and to Mike Brotherton for…well, a number of things (Launch Pad!) but in this case for generously expanding the definition of “scientist” to include a lowly engineer. My gratitude also to Ken Miura, whose thorough and insightful critique of “Fixer Upper” improved the story by at least an order of magnitude, and my heartfelt thanks to David Brin without whom “Decrypted” would not have been written.

“Crimson Sky” to Appear in the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

I am grateful to Corie Weaver and her delightfully named Dreaming Robot Press for selecting my Prix Aurora Award winning story “Crimson Sky” for inclusion in their 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. I had written “Crimson Sky” with young readers in mind and I am thrilled that Corie is helping me bring the story to a YA audience. The story was first published in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

YEAG 2017

“Most Valuable Player” in April 2016 issue of Analog SF

My new short story “Most Valuable Player”, about a washed-up baseball star who unexpectedly finds redemption in mathematics, is now out in the April 2016 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. “MVP” is a companion piece to Ben Bova’s “Old Timer’s Game”, which appeared in our hard SF anthology Carbide Tipped Pens (Tor). This is my second publication in Analog, preceded by the Prix Aurora Award winning story “Crimson Sky” in the July/August 2014 issue. My deepest thanks and gratitude go to Analog‘s wonderful editor Trevor Quachri.

Analog April 2016

A Pennant of My Own

With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the American League East division championship, I will shamelessly jump on the bandwagon by announcing the sale of my story “Most Valuable Player”, about a washed up baseball star who unexpectedly finds redemption in mathematics, to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. “MVP” is a companion piece to Ben Bova’s “Old Timer’s Game”, which appeared in our anthology Carbide Tipped Pens (Tor). This is my second sale to Analog, preceded by the Mars themed “Crimson Sky” in the July/August 2014 issue, which is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction English. Thank you Trevor Quachri…and go Jays go!

“Crimson Sky” Nominated for Aurora Award

My short story “Crimson Sky”, which appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog, is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction – English.  The Aurora is the Canadian national award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy.  Thank you to everyone who nominated, and congratulations also to Derwin Mak, Suzanne Church, Tony Pi, Peter Watts, Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder, Edward Willett, Charlene Challenger, Helen Marshall, Hayden Trenholm, Yvonne and Lloyd Penney, Sandra Kasturi, Derek Künsken, Farrell McGovern, Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, Alana Otis Wood, Paul Roberts, Steve Fahnestalk and all of the other finalists.  Voting begins June 1st and closes October 17th, and the voters package will be available at that time to members of CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association).  Membership is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, and you can sign up to participate in the Aurora  Awards.

Analog Science Fiction & Fact

“Túshūguăn” and Author Spotlight in Ricepaper

My new short story “Túshūguăn”, set in a post-apocalyptic Vancouver, appears in Ricepaper magazine’s special Speculative Fiction edition (Issue 19.3, Fall 2014) which was guest co-edited by Derwin Mak and JF Garrard.  This special issue also features stories by John Matsui, Tony Pi, JF Garrard and Melissa Yuan-Innes, with cover art by K-Koji.Ricepaper CoverEach issue of Ricepaper also has a department called “Author Spotlight”, which asks some random questions to the issue’s contributing authors.  Here are my answers:

My favourite horror movie is Shaun of the Dead, because humor always goes well with horror. As a writer, I greatly admire the cohesiveness, depth and intelligence of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s script. There is not a single scene that is wasted nor a single line of dialogue that does not have meaning in that film.

I first became interested in science fiction, fantasy, or horror when I saw the Star Trek original series episode “Devil in the Dark” when I was about eight years old. It scared the hell out of me, but something made me keep turning back to the TV to watch more. I try to avoid wearing red shirts.

My pet peeve in science fiction, fantasy, or horror is when they are all lumped together, for example, on bookstore shelves. Come on people, they are completely different genres!

My favorite spaceship captain is former NASA astronaut John Young. He piloted the first Gemini mission in 1965 (on which he smuggled aboard a corned beef sandwich), commanded Gemini 10 in 1966 and orbited the Moon on Apollo 10 in 1969 before going on to command three more historic space missions: Apollo 16 in 1972, the first Space Shuttle flight in 1981, and the first Spacelab mission in 1983. Young had the longest career of any NASA astronaut (over 40 years) and is the only astronaut to have piloted or commanded four different types of spacecraft.

The book I’m reading now is The Chinese in America by Iris Chang. Thread of the Silkworm, her definitive biography of Chinese rocket scientist Tsien Hsue-Shen, was a crucial source of research for my alternate history story “The Son of Heaven” in the anthology The Dragon and the Stars. Chang’s tragic death by suicide only a year after the publication of The Chinese in America, at the age of 36, robbed us of an important and eloquent voice.

If I had to chose another place to live, it would be not a place, but a time. Some years before his death, the English engineer and mathematician Charles Babbage reportedly told a friend that he would gladly give up whatever time he had left, if only he could be allowed to live for three days, five centuries in the future.