Release: Renewal – Queer Sci-Fi’s annual flash fiction anthology

For the last two years, I’ve written a 300-word long story for Queer Sci-Fi’s annual flash fiction anthology, and I did so this year too. Every year it’s a different topic, the first year I participated it was Discovery, the second it was Flight, and this year it’s Renewal. Today it’s release day! Renewal is an anthology including 110 speculative stories from different authors.

If you’re in to flash fiction, check it out!


QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads


Renewal Banner

Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer


Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

The Hobby Section (Miserable Tales)

The autumn cleaning continues! It’s quite interesting finding things I’d forgotten I’d written. As soon as I started reading The Hobby Section I remembered writing it one evening to my friend – the dashing Mr Fisher. I don’t really recall how it all came about but as so many other things I’ve written, it was a joke. I figured I might as well throw it in with the other stories in the Miserable Tales series so anyone who wants to can share in dear Walter’s dilemmas.


The Hobby Section

Walter inhaled the scent of old books and stale air. The days Subject five worked downstairs were his favourites. Libraries simply weren’t what they used to be—kids screaming, students lazing about, not to mention the computers littering the place. Libraries were made for books, but people had clearly forgotten that. The level below ground was all right, though. The archives to his right, a reading room to his left, and straight ahead was Subject five stacking and rearranging books on a bookshelf.

Subject five bent and reached for something on the bottom shelf showing off his pert arse. Walter groaned as his cock started to fatten. It was time to bring Subject five home.

He took a few steps farther into the hobby section, reaching down to rub himself through his tailored trousers with a trembling hand. Soon he would have Subject five struggling and whimpering underneath him.

Walter squeezed his eyes shut, forcing himself to remove his hand before he gave in to the urge of releasing himself from the shrinking cotton prison.

Subject five was making it harder than it should be. He was, of course, aware of Walter watching, the little tease. Why else would he fall to his knees and wiggle that fine arse in the air? His muttering and reaching for something behind the books on the bottom shelf was all for show. Walter knew Subject five was toying with him and yet he found himself panting like a mindless teenager.

There would be payback once they got home.

Subject five didn’t know it yet, but Walter had prepared a room for him. It was right next to Subject two’s. He had decorated Subject two’s room in bright colours, shelf after shelf of children’s books. It was perfect for him since he’d worked in the children’s section before Walter had the chance to fetch him. Subject five deserved something altogether different. The shelves in his room were filled with crafting books—the hobby section, that was where he’d first laid eyes on Subject five, that was where he belonged.

“Erm, excuse me.”

Walter whirled around and saw a young woman completely dressed in black with blood red hair and dramatic makeup. He scowled as she looked him up and down. How dare she interrupt?

Subject five got to his feet with a smile on his face. “Yes?”

“Did you know that old dude was watching your butt while stroking himself?”

Subject five gave him a horrified look, his eyes dropping to Walter’s tenting trousers before he took a hurried step away.

“Just thought I’d let you know.” The woman shrugged and reached for a book about knitting before turning to leave. “Check the surveillance tape; I’ve seen him here before.” She nodded towards a camera in the ceiling and slipped away. Walter started sweating, his erection dwindling at the sight of the camera. When had they installed cameras?

He needed to get out of there. A perfectly nice library ruined! Subject five would have to wait. He’d dreamt about collecting him from within the library, but he’d have to rethink his plan. Walter would simply have to wait for a day he could take him from the car park.

He hurried away, taking the stair two steps at a time until he reached ground level. There, he took a right turn as soon as he made it out the doors.

Subject six’s library didn’t have cameras.

Apart From You – A Horror Flash (Miserable Tales)

I was doing a bit of an early autumn cleaning on my laptop and found a flash. Apart From You was part of Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest (ended up in a fifth place) 2015. And since it’s such a happy little tale I thought I’d throw it in among the other happy tales in the Miserable Tales Series.

It’s only 300 words long so I won’t bother putting it up on any retailers, but if you want to you can read it here.


Apart From You

Don felt light, free. He hit the button on the radio and danced along with the pop tunes. In the middle of a pirouette, he opened the fridge door but stopped short as he saw a bowl of minced meat. Not even meatloaf could ruin this fine day; it might even make it better. Travis loved meatloaf.

He took out the bowl before glancing at the clock. Where had this day gone? He couldn’t remember doing anything. His heart sped up. Apart from getting up this morning, he couldn’t recall any part of the day.

Don tried to shrug it off, but the lightness in his chest was gone. He forced himself to breathe and went to get the dried bread crumbs out of the pantry.

The handle was sticky in his hand. He pressed it down, ignoring the way the hairs on his neck stood on edge. The light flicked on, and he steeled himself.

His shelves were discoloured. A dark brownish red liquid was everywhere. The pantry resembled a butcher’s shop. Cuts of meat were hanging from the ceiling. The rusty smell made him wrinkle his nose. Don’s eyes fell on Travis wedding ring. It shone brightly in the light of the lamp, still attached to a hand—Travis’ hand.

The sharp taste of bile took over Don’s mouth; he had to swallow it down. What was Travis’ hand doing there?

He took a step back, closed the pantry door, and raised his hand to rub his forehead. His fingers were stained, his nails dirty. Sweat coated his skin. How could he have missed how soggy his clothes were? A splatter of dark red was all over him.

Then he started laughing. What had he been thinking? Meatloaf? There was already a steak in the oven.