S2.15 State of the Union

State of the Union by Michael Haynes

Originally published in Space and Time magazine in 2016

Michael Haynes lives in Central Ohio where he helps keep IT systems running for a large corporation during the day and puts his characters through the wringer by night. An ardent short story reader and writer, Michael has had stories appear in periodicals such as Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Daily Science Fiction and his work has also appeared in anthologies such as Deep Cuts, Not Our Kind: Tales of Not Belonging, and Kwik Krimes. He is the chair of the Cinevent classic film convention and enjoys photography, geocaching, and travel. His website is http://michaelhaynes.info/ and he can be found on Twitter as @mohio73.

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The Year of Story

There are a lot of New Year’s Resolutions and 52 weeks of and 365 days of things. I generally like to try to aim to build on and do things without imposing too much structure because then I become a overly, inappropriately devoted to the structure instead of the things. So I like the Year of idea. (Thank you Cortex!)


Year of…

I’ve been thinking about what my year is. I didn’t have a great plan or strategy. A few ideas sort of floated around and I kept working on the things I knew I wanted to work more on.

I feel like all of those things I’m thinking about are now sort of focused on the thing that it has all coalesed behind, so I don’t know that I can be even objectivish about it.

So what is it?

The Year of Story

It sort of all came together. I’m not entirely sure how. A moment of clarity, or confusion, depending on how you see it. This year is the year of story. In writing, in podcasting, in work. I’m not entirely sure what this means for me as I keep going.

I’ve been reading a lot about storytelling, both the art of stories for fiction and for stories of a kind at work. I’m going to be doing more work with other kinds of stories at the office. The trainings I’ve been a part of this year have talked a lot about story. And I may or may not have pushed them that way…

Much of what I’ve been thinking about is the power of stories and the way they are told.

I don’t know that I’ve come up with anything that changes anything, but it will help to coalese some of these things in my own head.




S2.14 Siren of the Void

Siren of the Void by M L Moos

M L Moos writes YA fantasy and is currently working on a magical trilogy featuring three young heroines and an undersea treasure hunt adventure. To learn more, go to her Facebook page.

She lives in Washington with her husband, two boys and one country cat with a cougar alter ego. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either baking, volunteering at her church or watching Jane Austen movies to make up for the overabundance of testosterone. On the rare occasion she makes it out into public, though, she’s always sure to be glamorous in her mom hair and yoga pants.

You can find her on Facebook @mlmoos or at her blog or on twitter @mlmoosauthor.

Music is provided by MADS.

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S2.13 Letting Go

Letting Go by Alex Shvartsman

Letting Go originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 90 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a two-time finalist for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction (2015 and 2017). He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. His collection, Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories and his steampunk humor novella H. G. Wells, Secret Agent were both published in 2015. His website is www.alexshvartsman.com

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Writing Prompt: Pick a Cool Tool

Sometimes the unexpected thing comes along at your life at just the right time. That’s sort of how I think of the Cool Tools site. I have it in my RSS reader and so I’ll be going through looking at the news and such and suddenly cool tool. A lot of them are things you’d expect.

Does your life need a one string banjo in a can? Bulk pregnancy tests? Clothes washer in a bag? A yo-yo fishing reel? A useles box? An eyeball shield?

Maybe not right now. But what would it take for someone to desperately desperately need something on that list? Go and take a look browse through the Cool Tools and write about a situation that would desperately call for one of the things on the list. Not any tool like that. But that one. With those features.

S2.12 Augmented Past Real

Augmented Past Real by Liam Burke

Liam Burke is a horror/sci-fi independent author.  He is a father of one, and a husband of another.  He currently works in the IT industry, studies Bujinkan Budo-Taijitsu, and enjoys several types of LARP.  He has several novellas, which are collections of short stories.

His most recent release is Tom’s Adventure, a faerie tale with illustrations about concepts, and how we shape them.He will be releasing a longer fairy tale with illustrations in the next coming weeks.

Moments Before

Moments During

Moments After

Tom’s Adventure

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Writing Prompt: What will they say in a few thousand years?

Future humans will look back at this time. What will they say? Will they say we were an advanced civilization? I have been wondering quite a bit if they will say that this was the start of a civil war, or a war of some kind. All of the people who sit by the side (including me) will be looked at as entirely oblivious to the world around them.

I don’t know what else to do or how else to interact with the world in the way that would be of value. I don’t know what 12,000 years will say, I would imagine that it will mix all times with other times. It will look at this as rementants of the civil war (in the US) because that will have been just a blink of an eye ago.