Archive for the ‘Short Fiction’ Category

Six words

October 25, 2006

The November issue of Wired magazine has a very cool feature called “Very Short Stories“: “Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”) and is said to have called it his best work.” and so they asked 33 different science fiction writers to take a try. My favorites:

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so. – Joss Whedon

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time – Alan Moore

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly. – Orson Scott Card

I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss…? – Neil Gaiman

Kirby had never eaten toes before. – Kevin Smith

And I decided to take a try myself during a mercilessly long meeting:

Prompted, robot parrot repeats Bishop’s password.

Jupiter bumps into moon, worlds collide.

Chalice found here. Metallic beast snarls.

It was fun. I may have to write some more.

My Father and the Monkeys

October 19, 2004

Brief aside: Blog posts have been infrequent as we approach the election. But rest assured the pace will pick up as the urgent political demands of an election season subside. If you’ve been following for some time you know about The Coffee Vignettes, a series of short fiction about coffee that I published on almost 4 years ago now. But you probably don’t know that I HATE MONKEYS. Now I am working on a new series of short fiction on monkeys, The Monkey Vignettes. Sadly, the draft manuscript is still sitting on my desk, not ready for prime time. But in the interests of responding to the resounding demands of my fans, I’ve decided to pre-release one of the Monkey Vignettes here on my blog. Stay tuned, post-election, for the full series:

My Father and the Monkeys

The screeching was driving all of us mad. But when my father had finally had enough, it caught us all by surprise. We were all, of course, awake – or at any rate not fast asleep – all twelve members of the house including the two maids, the driver, and the dog, each one turning over in their beds trying, in vain, to imagine the sort of silence where sleep might take place.

He leapt out of bed, cursing and screaming at the top of his lungs, a terrifying sight: a crazed, bearded man of immense, gorilla-like proportions, bulging muscles sprouting thick wiry hair. He fumbled his thick plastic glasses on, a gleam of insanity in his bleary sleepless eyes, continuing his litany of explosive angry vitriol, and –still clad in his tight white underwear and singlet undershirt, strode with purpose towards his study, footsteps slamming, reverberating through the entire house. Things were suddenly still – even the parrot was silence, but wide-eyed and awake, terrified of my father’s next move.

The ceiling fans swished away lazily, circulating the heavy air, the thick humid heat of the tropics tempered somewhat by the darkness of the night. The entire house was quietly tense – but the racket outside was as loud as ever, making my poor father more enraged with each second.

We heard him unlock the gun cabinet in his study, the sounds of his struggle making their way around the house’s high ceilings. I imagined my younger brother in the next room, his eyes wide with fear. I debated getting out of bed to comfort him, but immediately dismissed the idea: my deranged father was entirely unpredictable in highly volatile states like this.

I heard the screen door to the back yard open, and then slam close with an echoing snap. Now my father stood on the edge of the back yard, in his mighty white underwear – shirt and briefs – resplendent in the majesty of the sheer bulk of his physical girth, shotgun in one hand. Raising a fist to the banana trees he had planted towards the rear of the yard, he shouted at the gathered community of loud chattering monkeys: