Thursday, August 10, 2017

Replay Value

"Replay Value" -- a story about MMORPGs as crime scenes -- is out now at Aurora Wolf (Volume 8, Issue 8).


He paused the recording, and the leeches attached to the game’s server ceased throbbing, fell off.

Every movement and action, no matter how minute, of the past year of each player of the game, he held in a file on his computer, and he watched as that full year’s worth of data replicated itself to redundancy and scattered across his memory sticks, self-encrypting with each step.

Fingers stilled above the keyword, waiting for a shiver of excitement to pass, then he set to work, extracting actions into re-runnable modules, chatter into parsable output, morphing teamwork and group-think and player socialization into snippets which could be reused, rewound and replayed.

He had a gigantic pile of playtime data; now, he’d make it come alive.


(Continue reading.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wintering Ground

My post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story "Wintering Ground" is out at Aphelion Webzine, in the August issue.


I watched my father sleep. My sore eyes were on the verge of popping out, like too much air had gotten behind the eyeballs, the lids sliding down every so often before I could catch myself and shake my head, forcing both body and mind to remain awake.

I knew his turn was up. I was supposed to stir him, get a wink of rest on the cold ground myself while he kept watch, but I couldn't bring myself to drag him out from sleep and into this colorless world.

His belly quivered as he breathed.

Later, the horizon began to lighten from black to dusty gray, and he woke up.

Years of living under dead heavens had taught him to recognize daylight, poking its soiled fingers into his eyes, even in sleep. He sat up. Stared at me. “I overslept.” Smacking his lips, brushing dirt off his beard. “Why didn't you wake me up?”

My shoulders slumped as I watched smears of white appear on the horizon, a sun seething behind clouds. Another dawn, another day.


(Continue reading.)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Garden

"Garden" -- a musical and narrative collaboration between dark ambient musician Nanohex and myself -- is out now at Kalpamantra Records.

This is an instrumental album with a story, or a science-fantasy piece with a soundtrack; either way sound and story are meant to be experienced simultaneously, so the narrative was divided up into ten sections, and should be read (by clicking on the lyrics button) while listening to the corresponding album track.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lake Oreyd

"Lake Oreyd" is out at Metaphorosis Magazine, in the March issue, which has a beautiful cover inspired by my story.


The lake’s still surface was a golden quilt. The churches which amassed along the shore over the centuries now had their fossilized features balanced between day and night. A most sacred moment. The eyestalks, V-shaped like the chalice from which the Savior had drunk her poison, framed the setting sun, the tails like the scepters with which she’d been prodded to trial facing the rising moon.
One intake of breath, the sun dipped down, pulling the moon up, and the alignment was broken.

The podvodnya sank; my ears popped as we descended, and looking out the thick, round window it seemed as if the lake’s waters darkened in hue with each blink of the eye. When we neared the bottom some hours later, all was pitch black. The vessel’s searchlight turned on to sweep below us.

Corroded broken pipes lay in the sediment, barnacled and covered with algae. Our podvodnya crawled the lake’s bottom, much like benthic creatures of the past must have when they sought the source of God, tentacles sifting through silt, clawing at mud, chasing away eels which sparkled in the dark.

We could see only within that circle of pale light: our window to His underwater Kingdom.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reprint: Boxes, Basements

"Boxes, Basements" has been reprinted in Eunoia Review, and can be read online for free.

The story originally appeared in L'Éphémère Review.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Boxes, Basements

"Boxes, Basements" is part of the new Issue of L'Éphémère Review, entitled Epoch.

The entire issue can be downloaded for free here.


When I opened my eyes my feet were the feet of a baby: I wore red baby shoes with thin blue stripes and white soles.

I looked at my hand. Cracked skin, veins branching out on the back of it, the hand of a grown man. Odd to see it without the black needle between forefinger and thumb, useless.

I got up (I'd been sitting cross-legged in the middle of the street, who knows how long) and walked toward the sidewalk as cars skidded, honking, drivers gaping at me from side-windows with their hands as if screwing in light bulbs before their faces.

I am perfectly fine, I thought, just transported. The record player. From the box in the basement.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Curve

"The Curve," a story about innovation, discovery, and sorting algorithms, is out now in Issue #37 at NewMyths.com.

The despondent professor watched her students file out of the classroom. When the last one disappeared into the hallway crowd, she turned to the scrawled equations on the blackboard, arms crossed.

Big O notation, algorithmic complexity. As far as ultimate lessons go, she thought, she could’ve done much worse. Her eyes followed the mathematical expressions downward to their beautiful conclusions. She sighed, wiped the board clean.

Marinne sat down, stooped over her desk, when a gentle knock came on the door frame.