Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Today’s assortment of freshly posted old stories is as follows:

From Twilight Zone Magazine‘s short-lived and extremely lurid little sibling, Night Cry, two stories. My prose, especially at that time, was a little too unsubtle for Twilight Zone, but for a time I found a happy home at Night Cry, which published a lot of stories that were too weird for other newsstand publications. It also ran Samuel R. Delany’s fascinating and insightful reviews of such horror films as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and is worth hunting down for that reason alone.

From Rudy Rucker’s eccentric Flurb, a couple I hadn’t posted here already:

From The Infinite Matrix, Eileen Gunn’s brief, brilliant foray into editing original fiction online:

From Subterranean‘s much-missed online magazine:

From Kim Newman and Paul McAuley’s tribute to the death of the rock single, In Dreams:

And finally, from There Won’t Be War, Harry Harrison’s and Bruce McAllister’s answer to the Baen military-themed anthologies with the opposite title.

(Incidentally, I also sold one of my very first stories to the very first issue of The Future at War, edited by Reginald Bretnor (circa 1978), but it was bounced from the anthology before it went to press. So I always held a grudge against that Baen series (though not against the honorable Reg Bretnor, who paid for the tale and said the decision to cut it was not his), a predecessor to Baen’s There will Be War, and was delighted to have a story in its spiritual nemesis. I fully intend to print that original story, “Rattleground,” here on my website once I get around to posting previously unpublished work.

N.B.: Out of respect to the editors of the online zines, where these stories are still available online I have supplied the links to their original appearance, while also reproducing the text here. In some cases I’ve made minor changes to the versions on this website, which should be considered the official versions, especially because I can continue to fix errors where I spot them. (I know “Wunderkindergarten,” for instance, had some transcription errors when it was posted online by the Weird Fiction Review, and I intend to track those down.)



Straight Outta Escher

This marks the first time The Middleman Stories have appeared together.

I am terrible at math, but that did not stop me from trying to write a story for Rudy Rucker’s collection of math-inspired stories, Mathenauts. Rudy in general inspired me to write weirder, crazier stuff, to take more risks, and to have more fun while doing it.

The first Middleman story, “Love Comes to the Middleman,” was an attempt to put ordinary characters into a world that might have been designed by M.C. Escher.

The second, “Middleman’s Rent,” had less Escher in it, but more ordinary problems…and not math problems, either.

The third, “The Farmer on the Wall,” went far deeper into the weirdness than the first two had.

They form a trilogy only in the sense that there are three of them. There could easily have been more, I suppose. But to do more might have required actual aptitude at math.


The Vulture Maiden

After finishing Neon Lotus, I volunteered for a time doing administrative work for the Bay Area Friends of Tibet, in which post I had access to a large number of government publications relating to the current bureaucratic administration of Tibet. These are some of the most depressing research materials imaginable, but in them I found the background for one more story set in Tibet: The Vulture Maiden.


Gasoline Lake

Gasoline Lake gets its own post. It’s a long one, and long out of print, which I realize now has been a foundational element of my underlying sadness, since it’s one of my personal favorites. I didn’t even mind doing all the tedious clean-up on this one. It was fun to revisit that parched little town and its weird inhabitants.

Uneasy Rests the Crowne of Diane Arbus

Three more stories posted today:

  • His Powder’d Wig, His Crown of Thornes, my one venture into pure alt-history, from Omni (1989). This was originally written for Greg Benford’s What Might Have Been, but its appearance in Omni beat it into print.
  • Uneasy Street, a horror story that I called, in one of the most offensive puns of my career, “A slice of life from San Francisco’s Tenderloin,” from F&SF (1989).
  • The Diane Arbus Suicide Portfolio, another of my photography-themed stories, also from Omni (1993).

Hey, finally, something from the ’90s!