“War Stars” Is Out There, In The World, Right Now

War Stars

War Stars

Perhaps you’ve seen me mentioning the ReWired Tales project on Twitter, G+, or Tumblr already — I hope you have! — and you’ve thought you’d get around to them. Here’s another reason to get around to them: the March tale, called “War Stars,” is now available!

Here’s what the story is about… sort of:

Not long from now, in a war-torn city, a journalist embedded with a military force confronts a contrast between the wars we idolize and the wars we fight. Stranded in a blasted metropolis, the journalist travels with her wounded unit on a dangerous mission to use next-generation weaponry and support robots to locate and eliminate a hidden rebel base. But in the fog of war, the story we want isn’t always the story we get.

Here’s what the story is about, in another way:

I sat down with the March issue of Wired magazine to seek out inspiration for the next ReWired tale and discovered the issue had a lot to say about Star Wars, in one section, and things to say about the art of war, in another section. Those combined to inspire “War Stars,” a story that’s about our future as much as it’s about inspiration and awareness. But, of course, I know more about Star Wars than I do about actual warfare, and maybe that’ll be obvious as you wade into this tale. I’ve intentionally (and maybe, in some places, accidentally) hidden quite a few little references and allusions into this story — some are obvious, some are meaningful, and some are different combinations of obvious and meaningful. This is a playful tale.

(The cover is drab, I know. I’ll talk about why that is in another post.)

Once you’ve read the new story, I’d love to hear what you think of it — and which allusions you found in the text. Sound off in the comments?

You can find the new story, “War Stars,” up at DriveThruFiction and at Amazon for about one dollar at each venue. That dollar gets you the story for the Kindle at Amazon and it gets you a ZIP file containing the story in a few ebook formats at DriveThru.

Want a quick peek at the story itself?

Read more »

We Are Dust is Now Available

We Are Dust

We Are Dust

My new story, “The Way-Back Machine,” appears in the new anthology from Magpie Games: We Are Dust. Based on Mark Diaz Truman’s story game, Our Last Best Hope, the stories in We Are Dustall confront dangers not just to humans but to humanity. My modest tale follows people on their journey back to the birth of planet Earth in an effort to save the globe:

Here’s how we ended up aboard Vanderwall’s way-back machine, hurtling into the past a million years at a time: all the good candidates were gone.

Check out this terrific author list: Matthew McFarland, Monica Valentinelli, J.R. Blackwell, Jason Corley, Eddy Webb, Joel Sparks, Crysa Leflar, Rob Wieland, Pete Woodworth, and Jess Hartley.

If you get a chance, please do share your reviews of the book wherever you like.

This book is also available for the Kindle at Amazon.

A Tale of the Far West

A new part of the big and fascinating Far West transmedia and world-building project is out there now: Tales of the Far West. It’s an anthology of stories by a slew of killer talent and, hey, also me. You can read an excerpt from Scott Lynch’s tale with the great title, “He Built The Wall To Knock It Down,” right here.

My story, “Errant Eagles,” is about gunfighters, lawmen, an airship, a train, and living with the consequences of the choices you make. It’s also about forgiveness and the Gun.

Here’s roughly how it opens:

Delicate things, airships. The things work only if everyone on board behaves themselves. Get someone on board who ain’t got no respect for fellow travelers or the delicacy of flight and the whole thing can fall in a hurry.

The Maiden’s Breath looked something like a riverboat on its back, slung from its gasbag on hand-woven cables, the sky-ship’s white planks and shining brass bright in the afternoon sun. Angled black smokestacks splayed out below like the legs of a newborn foal. Trails of coal smoke smeared the air behind it. In place of paddles, wide props, looking like lovely petals, pushed her through the sky.

She was no soaring ship. She cruised above the plains so low that some small-town temple towers might have scratched her paint. No pagodas loomed in sight on that wide prairie, though—she sailed over wild grasses and subtle hills, her passengers bound for Prosperity in the west. Her faint altitude was meant to give her passengers a close look at the open range below, at the bucolic charm of its windswept fields of grain and the roaming flocks of flightless thunderbirds.

That shallow flight also had Redhand wondering if he could survive a leap from the airship’s starboard railing. The sunlit prairie rushed by below. Passengers cried out in panic.

The ship was on fire pretty fierce by then and Redhand thought it might provide him the cover he needed to get free. Redhand hoped Hollowaigh would reel from his pistol-whipping in the parlor long enough for Redhand to vanish in the chaos of the accidental kerosene fire. Maybe Hallowaigh, who said he was aboard on a case, on behalf of the Twin Eagle detective agency, would stop to put out the fire started when he threw Redhand into a kerosene lamp. Maybe Hollowaigh, who thought so little of pulling his pistol in the crowded airborne parlor, would think twice about making a foolhardy leap that would surely break a leg or two.

Redhand’s dreadlocks whipped about his head in the smoke and wind as he thought on the leap himself—thought too long.

Get your hands on the book or the e-book via the Far West store or Amazon, if you like.

Special thanks, by the way, to Logan Bonner, for pointing me at The Builders and the Butchers, whose music I gorged on while writing this story.

Music: “The Night, Pt. 1,” The Builders and the Butchers