Tertius Terrae



Imagine a future where mankind takes to the stars before finding any means of faster-than-light travel. What would that feasibly look like? “Tertius Terrae” explores one take on that, set again in the Blueprint universe, where the needs to cater the human body over decades and decades of travel are avoided by transcription of the mind from man to machine. What would it like to be “alive”? What would it mean to “die”?  “Tertius Terrae” is available for purchase in the May edition of Mobius Boulevard, available on Amazon.

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December 16th, 2023

2023 has been a blur of a year. I have been on shift work for nearly half of it, devoting half of each shift day to work, to the splitting of atoms, to the grasping adherence of exacting standards. I have pushed people to hold to discipline and to hardship because terrible technologies do not forgive the erring ways of humanity. I have spent very little time writing and very little time looking at this site, and despite my time away, nothing has changed. Each and every time I looked at this undisturbed digital pond, it had no ripples. I have written to the ether, to the silence. This work reaches no audience. 

Language is a meaningless amalgamation of symbols and throaty undulations when it fails to reach a receiver capable of understanding what those symbols and sounds do mean. Without another person to hear and see, the sayings and writings of any person are without meaning.

I write in spite of myself, and I hold this website solely as an inventory of those stories I have written. It holds meaning so long as I alone live, but not one day longer.

I write to myself and to silence. Simply the way it has always been.

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“Semuul and Clycestra”

Here’s a little story I enjoyed writing, a fable by the name of “Semuul and Clycestra”. The idea came to me as I was falling asleep, when I had the image of a giant bird snatching a person who was plummeting in the sky. I crawled out of bed to write a paraphrased version of it, and here is the final cut: Semuul and Clycestra

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“Planet H-13”

Very pleased to announce that my short story, “Planet H-13” is published in this October’s issue of Five on the Fifth and is available at the following link: “Planet H-13”

This story is a piece of a larger idea I’ve been working on, which I hope to get other parts/pieces published to let the short stories and flash fictions interweave to set the stage for the big picture. We’ll see. Please take the time to read and enjoy.

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Not sure what’s going on with the website, been working on it, but I haven’t been able to update the Flash Fiction menu for two new additions. I’ll fix it when I can, but in the meantime, two new flash fictions published. 

One, “A Bacterium’s Life” on 365tomorrows.com (linky link here). I wondered what the perspective would be of bacteria gone sentient. Never mind that it’s impossible. 

Next, “Just Fine” is now in the archives of AntipodeanSF, available courtesy of the Australian government

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There really isn’t any reasoning with mythical, flying, irrational beings

I’ll be honest – I have zero memory of what inspired/prompted/fed into the idea for the newest short story posted here. I don’t. I can say it was influenced by an episode of Ash vs the Evil Dead, a blurred mental mosaic of middle-aged detective stereotypes from the 80’s, and probably having a hard time falling asleep. From some seed of sleeplessness came this fiasco, or, shall I say, fandango? So what’s it about? Flying, irrational beings and two to three parts murder. I had fun writing it, so I hope you have fun reading it. If you don’t – hey, at least it was free. 

“There Is No Reasoning With Fairies”, link to the right, or link to it right here

[Fun fact: Titles always come last with me. Stumped with this one, eventually I landed on “Killer Fairies From Inner Space” and thought, man, that’s a slick, slick title. Took a few weeks before I realized why it sounded sorta familiar. And so, not to impose on the classic Killer Clowns From Outer Space, I changed it, because I can’t afford to screw stuff like that up.]

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“On Time and Intent”

I had a train of thought develop on the way home from work, another variation on the “world-ending collision” theme. I tried addressing how our perception of time skews the way we see events taking shape in the universe in an unpublished flash fic, “The Secret is Perception”. I think there is more tweaking to do to it to really draw out what I was trying to communicate. In any case, I exorcised the theme temporarily while considering the possibility that maybe what seems like a random, chartable cosmic phenomenon is some much more patient intelligence’s idea. “On Time and Intent” is now available at 365tomorrows.com. Enjoy.

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Inconsistency, and a new flash fiction… sort of

Depending on who’s publishing, a “flash fiction” can be any story that’s less than 600 words, or less than 1,000, or less than 1,200 words. I’ll say this. Tonight, May 26th, I’ll be inconsistent. Every flash fiction I’ve done to date has been shared on this site via a post. For stories >1,000 words, I’ve made separate pages with an associated post to just say, here it is. 

Scrolling down, I don’t like having flash fictions embedded as full-fledged posts. There’s a side menu to ease navigation, and if you want to read something random in the feed, great, and I don’t think you should have to hurdle nearly-thousand-word pieces just to satisfy your curiosity.

Not that I’m convinced there’s a lot of people curious out there to be honest. If this site is nothing more than a silent mausoleum of my imagination, then at least when I’ve forgotten it all, I’ll be able to return here.

In any case, Schrift’s Tunnel of Love is now up. Just shy of 1,000 words, I feel it’s a Twilight Zone-style piece. Hope you enjoy, wherever you are.

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That the Stars Do Shine

Not a whole lot to say with regards to this story. I had an image in my head, probably very much inspired by the cover art to Muse’s Absolution album. I thought of spirits flying away. At the same time, I was listening to an audiobook, which one exactly I don’t remember right now. It could have been Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality or the Great Courses lecture Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time by Sean Carroll. Side note, I find it much easier to pay attention to what I’m reading if I narrate it in my head using Sean Carroll’s tenor and articulation. Very handy. Also, he’s written some very extremely interesting things, but I’m getting off track. The point is, I was considering how the Earth is in a constant orbit around the sun, which is constantly orbiting the Milky Way, which is in its own motion. Now, if something, anything, leaving Earth were to have nothing attaching it to the planet and no means to self-propel, it would be left behind. What if we were continuously leaving something behind? What if the reason no scientist, no energy detector of any sort can find the spirits of the departed that people are wont to believe? What if the reason is simply that gravity has no effect on the deceased? 

The thought came with its own peculiar terror, but that’s not what I dwelled on. I tried to exorcise it through type, and thus we have “That the Stars Do Shine“.

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