Short Stories Archive

Keith Hobson Meets Erin Smart – Keith’s View

The following short story was not cut from The Fundamentals, but it is missing. This is Keith’s and Erin’s first meeting told from Keith’s point of view. When editing the final version of The Fundamentals I found that I had a few chapters told from minor character viewpoints. That was important for me to understand the story; I had to get inside their heads, but it was not important to telling the story. The result was that below scene was altered to Erin’s viewpoint. This is an interesting look into story development. Reading it two years after it was written, I am surprised how well the scene survived my final edits.

The Living Fire, Orahi in space

Evacuate!

A fire consumed the ship. A fire that burned like fire on Earth. It billowed black and white smoke that stretched up, or at least away, from the ship. Tongues of orange and black flame whipped around as if caught in a strong wind, but when they stretched away from the ship they didn’t extinguish from lack of atmosphere, they bent in, clawed downward like hands to grab the Santa Maria’s hull. It looked as though the fire was eating the Santa Maria like a snake swallowing a kill.

Robert Lanigan didn’t have time for another emergency. As the Santa Maria’s Cost Engineer for the Economic Comptroller, his responsibility was to tag and track every component in the Santa Maria’s blockchain, and she had suffered enough damage. The First Expedition Crossing was supposed to be mankind’s greatest accomplishment, instead it had become one long disaster.

Mother’s Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Other cultures have harvest celebrations, but the tone of an American Thanksgiving is unique to history. I drafted this essay after the September 11 terrorist attack, while the Iraq war was still young, and the Afghanistan conflict had failed to capture or kill the 911 masterminds. I meant to publish it once, on my blog, then took it down when the theme felt tired.

I have edited this work for exposition, tone, and theme annually hoping I would capture the mood of our nation as we endure this extended weekend. I rejected my work every year till this. The result is that the angst I felt over the undoing of civility the 911 attack ushered in is gone. Missing is a paragraph lamenting the loss American, Afghanistan, and Iraqi mothers must feel at wars fought over theological ideals that lack humanity. Some angst of separation is still here, hints that modern connected society lacks connection. Cleared of those old notions, the result is short, simple, and heartwarming.

Book 1 The Fundamentals Universe

A Metamorphisis Story Unlike Any Other

The Fundamentals Book 1
Shuttle launch from the New Mexico launch tower.

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Conclusion

“EC Whores!” A yell from the darkness behind the stage. A man covered in black clothes and a ski mask ran on stage. A narrow beam of red shot from his hand. It cut up and across the man who won the lottery. The man’s mouth fell open, then the top of him, above his waist, slid on the slope that was the bottom of him to the floor. Blood sprayed over Kitty’s dress and Keith’s suit.
Ryan Jameson's The Terra Channel Logo

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Part 4

The captain took Viper by his central pole and pushed him out of the way. “I get enough geekery on my ship,” she said. “But I will give you a sit-down, exclusive of the other EC One reporters when the Santa Maria is underway.” “I am not with EC One, Captain. I am with The Terra Channel, and I doubt I will be on the Santa Maria.”

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Part 3

He had just started The Terra Channel and was wandering through a late-night crowd on Sixth Street when Kitty danced into him, grinding her hips into his. His attraction to her was immediate, and not from the hip grinding. She was as tall as he, and she knew him from the moment she touched him. She ordered sodas when she drug him to the bar and dispatched a dealer that approached her for some high times. He learned later that she noticed him weeks earlier and learned about him through an investigative technique called shadowing. On that hot Austin night, she couldn’t stand his cluelessness any longer. She was the girl that wanted him, which made her later betrayal that much harder to swallow.
Ryan Jameson's The Terra Channel Logo

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Part 2

Ryan trotted in the opposite direction, to one marked Cowboys. After a long piss, he leaned against the north wall of the building admiring the night sky. He looked to the northwest, trying to spot the glow of the Santa Maria. He didn’t know one star from another, or anything about the constellations, but he recognized the light of the massive ship. She was the brightest star in the sky, just like the promotional videos for New Mexico promised.
Special Correspondents Lottery Ticket

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Part 1

“I am old,” Keith said, as if he had heard Ryan’s thoughts. “I have done my part to save humanity from a dark age that could have descended upon us after the Arabian Impact. Now it is your turn,” Keith pointed to the screen. “Explorer Bridge ushers in a new age for humanity, it will not be an easy one. Folding space will let us travel to the most distant stars in the blink of an eye. Humanity will colonize worlds around those stars. An accomplishment that is meaningless if no one brings that story home or takes our story to those stars.”
The Fundamentals Book 1
Special Correspondents Lottery Ticket

Special Correspondent’s Lottery: Part 1

“I am old,” Keith said, as if he had heard Ryan’s thoughts. “I have done my part to save humanity from a dark age that could have descended upon us after the Arabian Impact. Now it is your turn,” Keith pointed to the screen. “Explorer Bridge ushers in a new age for humanity, it will not be an easy one. Folding space will let us travel to the most distant stars in the blink of an eye. Humanity will colonize worlds around those stars. An accomplishment that is meaningless if no one brings that story home or takes our story to those stars.”

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