Short Stories

Sun Splashed Fields and Far Blue Mountains
Love, sacrifice, and stem cell organ printing. (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April, 2018)

Earth and Flame
What is the nature of an artist’s Muse? Kaolin knows from the instant she is created that she was made to give life to Gaius’ art. (Enigma Front: Burnt, August, 2016)

The Gift
The Green Man–or Woman–cares for our natural world. What is her response to our urban environments? Finalist for the 2014 Aurora Awards. (The Urban Green Man, Summer, 2013)

Rent in Space
It would be impossible to come home from work one evening and find a black hole in your living room, right? But how about a rent in the space-time fabric? Can you imagine the money making schemes? (Analog, September, 2012)

Immunity to Strange Tales
Susan’s first collection of Short Fiction (Five Rivers, August, 2012) included nine reprints and three new stories:

The Way Back: When Rebram returns from his studies a master teacher, he finds that higher learning is not appreciated. And, he comes to question whether too much magic is as evil as he was brought up to believe.
Killing the Cat: Civil war. Experimental drugs. An addict spy.
Strange Tale Of–: A demonic transport in nineteenth century London leads a map maker onto a quest in darkest Africa.

Digging Deeper
In a future where water is scarce and life as we know it has broken down in the wake of resource wars, Dyan must dig deeper within herself to find the courage to face her fear, if her family is to survive. (Blood and Water, August, 2012)

Paradox pitfalls are not exclusive to travel through time. Any knowledge of the future can be paralyzing. (OnSpec, Summer, 2012)

To Go Home to Leal
Kaul — a boy on the brink of manhood — is torn in two when his alternately loving and abusive father is turned into a crippled beggar. Can a wizard who deals with demons help Kaul bring his father home to the healing country of Leal? (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 5, 2012)

The Most Invasive Species
It takes the arrival of Tumbling River’s new doctor — and her concern for the well-being of the colony’s children, no matter which species — to show Amanda the significance of her personal impact on the planet. (Analog, April, 2012)

Turning It Off
When Carter and Sam(antha) learn how to turn off their Safeties, not only does the world become a trickier place, they learn new things about each other… Finalist for the 2012 Aurora Awards. (Analog, December, 2011)

Terraforming a distant planet is complicated, not simplified, when the existing ecosystem is sufficiently alien that no biochemical interaction can occur between the two–and when the Earth colonists discover that they have brought insufficient complexity for their attempt at terraformation to become self-sustaining. Faced with the demise of the colony, Tian and Jerry must find a way for the two ecosystems to interact. Then, they meet Lucy… Along with Robert Walton’s “Vienna Station,” “Lucy” is co-winner of The Galaxy Project, judged by Robert Silverberg, David Drake and Barry Malzberg.(, 2011)

Civilization has overtaken the land masses of Earth. Every metal has been mined, every fuel burned, every resource used. The exploding human race must cannibalize its own structures in order to make one last, desperate attempt to survive. Notable Online Story finalist in 2010 for the Storysouth Million Writers’ Award. (AE SF Review, December, 2010)

Director’s Cut
Film producer Lasha feels imprisoned in her world of reality, make believe, hallucination and the occult. Only a mysterious director seems to have the key to set her free. But her freedom is Jim’s hell. (Tesseracts Fourteen, November, 2010)

Right Chemistry
Two oxygen atoms attend a cocktail party with explosive results. (OnSpec, Summer, 2010)

Grandpa’s Kitchen
In Legacy Magazine’s “Places of the Heart” column, Susan remembers a hidden mountain valley her children call “Grandpa’s Kitchen.” Her father, renowned mountaineer, Don Forest, was first and foremost a family man, and loved nothing better than to pass on his love of the mountains to his children and grandchildren. Now that her father has passed away, it is Susan’s ongoing legacy to share the ways of the mountains with her children. (Legacy Magazine, Winter, 2009)

“Back” follows two time machine inventors who become famous when they send small objects back in time; but the real breakthrough will come when they can send a sentient being to the past–and retrieve him to the present. Finalist for the 2009 Aurora Awards. (Analog, June 2008)

Tomorrow and Tomorrow
After the apocalypse, a mother and her family find themselves self-sufficient in terms of their energy and food needs, yet facing their ultimate demise. They struggle with, and face, their own cultural prejudices to create hope for the future. (Tesseracts Eleven, November, 2007)

Paid in Full
Gnat farming is difficult enough, what with isolation, drought and storms–let alone the predation of deadly “Whites”–but when the roof of Willy’s barn is sheared by high winds Freddy is called upon to pay his debt. (Asimov’s, October/November, 2007)

Moons in systems off the beaten track are never first on anyone’s list to receive supplies. But when the mining colony on 403 Station is hit by a lethal disease, Trine has to make hard decisions about who will receive the medicine, and who must try to recover on their own. When her daughter becomes ill, her choices become harder. Finalist for the 2005 Robin Herrington Short Story Contest. (Asimov’s, December, 2006)

Angel of Death
Joe’s mutation is a set of extended shoulder blades that, when fitted with honed razors, give him the cock-boxing nickname “Angel of Death.” But mutant cock-boxers can’t challenge “cleans” — until Joe’s untouched track record becomes an embarrassment to the world champion. In the resulting championship match viewed — and gambled on — worldwide, more rides on the outcome of the fight than just money. (Tesseracts Ten, November, 2006)

Playing Games
In a disturbing world not unlike “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Zekielina will do anything to escape her mother’s endless renovations and cuddly bunny games. Flight to the Easter Bunny’s warren and the Tooth Fairy’s castle only result the loss of the tip of her middle finger. But when Zekielina searches for Santa’s elves, she soon discovers she is no longer “Playing Games.” (OnSpec, Winter, 2005)


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