So, what kind of stuff do I write? In the main, Technical, or Hard, Science Fiction, some softer SF, and some straight out Fantasy. In all my works, I try to imagine what would happen if but a single thing were different from the world of today. Once a story in a particular universe is published, they get their own blog, linked to herein. Here are the worlds I am working on.
Family of Grifters (Criminal SF)
No matter how advanced human civilization gets, some things remain the same. Most people live within the rules of civilization. Others cannot. The highest rank among those of the criminal class is that of grifter. It is the dream of every grifter to be part of a long-con crew. In mid 2100s, the best long-con crew is Swenson’s Squad. Family of Grifters tells some of their tales on and off Earth.
Family of Grifters (FoG) will not be a linear series. That is, you can read the tales in any order. I promise never to ‘cliffhanger’ you, so that you have to buy the next tale to find out how things work out. You see, even long-cons have to end at some point. The longer they go on, the more likely it is that our crews will be discovered. So, I promise you an ending to each tale. Warning: they will not always work out in our crew’s favor. Hmmm–how would I con myself out of jail on Mars? There has to be a way….
The Honorable Thing (Soft SF)
Aloysius Janus Knight is a junior at Yorktown Military Academy. Athletic, studious, and popular, he is working on earning an appointment to West Point. When he begins hearing voices in his head, he at first thinks he has schizophrenia; in reality, it is the onset of puberty-induced telepathy. Al struggles to control this talent, while trying to comply with YMA’s strict Honor Code. Is it cheating when you cannot control eavesdropping on the opposing quarterback, the mind of your teacher, or the secret thoughts of your girlfriend? Al is all alone with his problem; peers and school staff would immediately lodge an Honor violation, resulting in expulsion. He must find the Honorable Thing to do with his troublesome talent, without jeopardizing his goal to attend West Point.
Set in 2082, when commercial space travel must squeeze through the bureaucracy of the UN, this universe examines what happens to space travel when a kinetic weapon from a long-forgotten war, travelling at relativistic speed, smashes into the Moon, loosing a huge cloud of debris.
Demons On Vacation (Fantasy)
Dwain, one of the original Fallen Angels, is convinced by Ian, one of Hell’s Civil Service, to take a vacation to Earth and bring Ian along as a native guide. From Red Devil Airways tickets through lost luggage at Newark Airport, our demons are having a Hell of a start to their vacation.
But for a soul that died in the 1930s, Ian is ill equipped to guide a Fallen Angel through the traps of modern American life. When the New Madrid Earthquake hits, and civilization teeters on the brink, their trip to Las Vegas becomes a race to catch their return flight, while avoiding biker gangs, unrestrained cops, and greedy repair shops.
Cross Dante’s Inferno with National Lampoon’s Vacation, and you’ve got Demons on Vacation.
The Siren’s Consort (High Fantasy)
Remember the Sirens? Composite creatures of bird and female, with talons and such, irresistable voices, singing sailors to death on the rocks? Well, they’re really aliens shipwrecked on Earth. They’re stuck here, and they are trying to blend in. Their males died off, and it turns out that mating with humans allows them to reproduce parthenogenically. The matriarchy of Sirens is ruled by one imperative: blend into human society when they must, but keep to their island home otherwise. Every once in a while, though, a Siren is born without a conscience.
Kalaupapa (Somewhat Hard SF)
After David’s family is burned to death in a survivable accident, and the trucker who caused it gets off with a light sentence, David crafts a virus to kill the trucker. But biology is not an exact science. The virus mutates to a pandemic form, spreading death to millions around the globe. Passions race past the breaking point as enraged mobs destroy the very scientists and laboratories that could curb the plague dubbed Rikers Flu. What, indeed would happen to the world as we know it if tobacco, a legal product, produced immediate but unknowably random death to smoker and non-smoker alike?