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sci-fi/fantasy

The KillWare Chronicles   [published]

Killware is the story of the online community, where human intelligence is more than it's cracked up to be, PESD (post-virtual epistemic stress disorder) causes reality-disconnectedness and headaches, and the Bill of Rights takes on the brave-new-virtual-world of cyberspace.
For a long moment, before commercial industry, governments and multi-national/trans-national powers and principalities ruled e-world or vied for its territories, a new frontier lay before the connected common folk, the online little people, the techno-nobodies.
This is their story.

The Wastes, the sequel to KillWare...

    Boys called themselves the wastes, los desechos. The girls, the toxics. Dredged up old discs of Metallica, MachineDeath, La Familia Necrophilia, 1910 Fruitgum Company, obscure Industrial Matrixpunk and Bubblegum Rock & Roll. Lived in holes tunneled into landfills, abandoned dumps, lowlevel toxyards. They skillfully rigged scavenged electrical cable to nearby transformers. Hotwired their dens with ripoff city power so they could run their precious CD's. Gang colors were black and yellow, color of police tape used to cordon off a crime scene, color of radwaste warning signs; tag was a circle with three upside-down triangles in it, sign of the devil, radiation danger. They were outcasts. Cave dwellers. Abortions that wouldn't die. The next generation.

visit the killware chronicles website


Creature Chronicles   [unpublished]

"Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." ---G.K.Chesterton

What if we sapiens (we humans) were only now beginning to attain a scientific capability we once enjoyed--and abused--countless millennia ago? What if, instead of reaching for some pinnacle of technological mastery, devolution was the paradigm, and we were merely blundering down a road once traveled?

BOOK ONE: Creatures of the Heart

Sometime tomorrow, or maybe the day after.

On their honeymoon in the south of England, Tony and Genny sit down to a quiet supper at the Three Swans Inn. The next moment they are fighting for their lives against mad giants riding strangely aloof horned beasts. Subsequently believing themselves to be rescuing unicorns from giants, our young adventurers race across the Kentish countryside to discover an old farm in a meadow owned by a mysterious recluse named Harold Barkis. Harold is part of an ancient and secret worldwide brotherhood, "Sanctuary Keepers," who for thousands of years have tracked the legends of unicorns and giants.

Taking up cape and broadsword, Harold leads Genny and Tony on a journey into the Earth winding down a labyrinth of passageways to a ghostly, prehistoric underworld filled with vast technological wonders, mutant rodents, and a mysterious black tower that points to the stars.

BOOK TWO: Children of Nephila

Six years later.

Tony, Genny and Harold are back on the farm. Genny and Tony now have a daughter, Megan Rebecca. While watching "Bambi Meets Godzilla" on TV, Megan is confronted by one of the sane giants, Girte Brechtele, who has emerged from her subterranean borderlands to warn her human friends of a new danger from below. Meanwhile, out on the mid-Atlantic island of Flores in the Azores, a covert US-British military operation unearths evidence of an ancient and bizarre civilization. At the same time, outside El Ferrol, northern Spain, a huge beast stalks through Senora Angelo's vineyard nestled in the quiet Galician hills.

Barely escaping the clutches of military agents, Genny, Tony, Megan, Harold, and Brechtele flee back into the earth. There they come upon the realm of the Nephilim, even older and more terrifying than the strange world of Book One. They soon discover that huge monsters of prehistoric world wars are being revived after two hundred thousand years of cold storage. As Brechtele's group approaches this antediluvian realm, a military expedition from Flores Island is heading in the same direction. Relentlessly pursued by cyborg survivors of the ancient wars, these two groups finally meet and end up struggling together for their lives, if not for the fate of the Earth (as always). Near the climax, there appears that eldritch Assyro-Babylonian proto-being, primeval chaos and the abyss incarnate, the incomparable Tiamat.

BOOK THREE: Space Leviathan

"May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes."
--- (Job 3:8+9)

    Like an astral serpent, the creature circled the outer planets, lazily pacing itself after a timeless passage through happy empty space. Slipping in gentle silence between the dark shadows of long cosmic sweeps, it snagged the solar winds and rode them on ancient gravity currents toward the system's central star. Delighted light! Cosmic sustenance! The beast fed lustily on that inkling energy whose rays reached ever out even to the far frigid gateway of this simple star and its twelve companion spheres.
    The creature fed and hummed and thrilled in the growing particle warmth. It frolicked and danced, swimming on to that bright starfire like a comet awakening after long icy sleep-but with purpose, and with an identity it sensed, thrilled at, rested in as the nuclear center of a luminous self-knowing, and with a name given it from most ancient time.
    Leviathan.

    Gliding unhurriedly, playing among planet rings and asteroid clouds, following the wispy scent of gravity angels, drawing, caressing, circling in eddies of dim sidereal force, calling, singing celestial music, Leviathan answered the song of the twelve spheres, breathed in the cosmic rhythms while the growing solar currents blew outward and drew inward the space creature to the young central star's fusioning furnace.
    An energizing banquet: Leviathan breathed deep the small star's sweet radiation bouquet.
    Leviathan, the spaceflyer, intergalactic whale, celestial dragon whose tail sculpted the dark in swirls of rainbow night-it glided ever closer to the source of its happy immortality, a beast without equal in all the cosmos, gargantua from dark matter's ocean shores.


visit The Creature Chronicles website - for news and publication updates.
Read the The Creature Chronicles short story "Eternal Life" (PDF doc).



 
historical fiction

Plagueman   [published]

    The Black Death followed them like a flock of hungry gulls. Their ship was history's hearse, albatross and pelicans its mourners. Days passed as centuries. Dead bodies were cast into the vessel's blood-red wake. Him, too, but for the girl. Always, there was the girl, the beautiful, merciful god. The kind god who pointed to the suffering god, all the while an inexplicable happiness sparkling like dawn in her child's eyes.

Plagueman, in three hundred pages, an epoch of history and death and love and death. In three hundred pages, a grand celebration of suffering and passion and the Chianti Classico hope and prosciutto-pasta life of medieval Italy during the years of the Black Death. Plagueman is the story of awakening desire in the devout heart of a beautiful young girl, Theresa of Siena, who befriends a disillusioned soldier, Kierkive of Sarai. Plagueman is about the conflict between the mystical and the barbarian in all of us.

visit the plagueman website


Amurru   [unpublished]

"Our temptations are so fierce, because our vision is so limited."
--- Amy Carmichael, Gold Cord, London, 1952.

"Oh yes, I understand, you are so young, so desperate. Born after the holocaust, you have inherited the burden but not the mystery. And you were told: Go ahead, do something with it. Only it is too enormous, too heavy, it eludes and transcends you."
--- Elie Wiesel. The Oath. Marion Wiesel,
trans. New York, 1973, p. 54.

The story of AMURRU takes place in a dirty little border town called Yericho, and is told from the perspective of a Palestinian prostitute named Ra-hab, proprietor of "Beth Ra-hamet Rechobv-chomah Hayan-va-chabva," the house on the wall with the wine stains. AMURRU tells of the death of one great civilization, Amurru, and the birth of another, Israel. It is about the first instance in recorded history of the Rule of Law. It is about national loyalty and disillusionment, family honor and betrayal and the first days of a long chain of events still playing out in the Middle East today. Two historical events, though separated by thirty-three hundred years, stand linked by impossible hope and the darkest of circumstances: the beginning of the Nation Israel (1300 B.C.E.) and the beginning of the State of Israel (in 1948). Each moment was miraculous, each was washed in the blood of millions.

This is not the Bible story you heard as a child, two brave spies, an innkeeper who told a lie, and "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho." It is not even the story of one army's victory and another's defeat. AMURRU is the tale of that breathless moment at the juncture of one of history's strangest turning points, when a vast Confederation of escaped Egyptian slaves, twelve tribes, came together under the Rule of Law given them by what they understood to be the One God, the King of the Universe.

    You've heard of the "Great Man" theory of history. Let me tell you another one. The "little persons" theory of history. The "little nobodies" theory of history. That's life. Really!
    It's 1300 B.C.E.
    Kingdoms come and go like sandstorms in the desert--dark, deadly, and usually unannounced: Sumeria, Old Babylonia, the city-state of Ashur, all sorts of them; Sakkarah, the Hittites, Assyrians, Egypt, Old Akkadia, Gutia, Middle Babylonia, Amurru, Neo-Sumeria at Ur, New Akkadia, the Kassites, the Soviets, the CIA, the State of Israel--but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
    It's 1300 B.C.E.
    Nothing human seems to survive very long, anymore. Nothing human seems important, anymore. Like withering grass. Like smoke in wind. What had happened to the great races, the great peoples from the dawn of time?


visit amurru website (amurru1300.com)



for my fans

OK. now it's time for giving something back to my fans, something FREE, as in get your free download here! That was always my favorite part of the Net, in the early days, freebies, freeware, free ebooks and short stories.

The Chairs

Download the short story The Chairs (PDF) by right-clicking the chair below; then sit back in your favorite chair with your free copy of The Chairs ...and enjoy!
The Chairs
WARNING! This story is realistic psychological horror. It may be free, but there will be a price to pay-in your dreams!

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Chairs was my first short story, written in the mid-1980s. A long time ago, now. It was written in an age called the Cold War era, when the world teetered upon the 11th-hour brink of nuclear extinction, where the constant threat of a global atomic war between the super powers, the Soviet Union and the U.S. and its allies, loomed over us all, as it had since the mid-1950s. Thirty duck-and-cover years.

We of the bomb-baby generation, many of us lived our whole lives under the MAD umbrella (Mutually Assured Destruction) in fear of imminent nuclear holocaust and annihilation. This is our story.

The Chairs was to appear in Eldritch Tales, purchased by Crispin Burnham on 9 February 1992 (see contract here). Sadly--for this story and for the world of Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi--the publisher ceased operation before The Chairs ever came to press. Details of Eldritch Tales publishing history (1978-1995 - RIP) can be found at Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index: 1890-2001, A Checklist of Magazine Titles and Issues, Indexed by Stephen T. Miller & William G. Contento, indexed here.

Due to the story's specific historical context, and world events transpiring in 1991-92, I never resubmitted The Chairs elsewhere for publication.

Among the many submissions and subsequent rejections for The Chairs, for any of my stories actually, the most gracious and delightful rejection came on 1 April 1990 from Andrei Codrescu at the Exquisite Corpse (Baton Rouge, LA). Read the rejection letter by clicking here.


P.S. Not long after finishing the first draft of this story, my nuclear nightmares ceased. I haven't stopped writing since.