THE BOX AND OTHER ODD STORIES
is my latest collection. 13 stories and about 60,000 words. That'll keep you busy an afternoon or two. Here are the descriptions I posted at Amazon followed by a little commentary:
In Perfecta, the citizens have been genetically modified to help them become
their best selves, but that doesn't mean there can't be a little
Murder at DynaCorp has a lot of heart - it's just been taken out
of someone's chest without an incision.
A Million Little Problems infest
a young researcher and kill her in this nano-tech mystery.
The Way Mike
Saw It is simple enough. One of his fellow professors must be a
A Student of World History learns the hard way that good grades
must be earned.
What happens when The Dean turns into a million roaches
before calling the meeting to order?
In Well Worn, the twisted but true
story of Cinderella and her prince finally comes to light.
The Price of
being Billy's friend is quite high, and can only be paid in blood, but
Desert People is about a photographer on assignment in an arid
land and the people he winds up buying.
Taking Van Der Flieder's Star is
an old-fashioned tale of greed, meteorites, and catching the last
The Coupon of Death was scribbled onto the back of a restaurant
coaster by a half-drunk hitman. How could that go wrong?
In Death Notice,
an old man wonders why everyone thinks he's dead when all he's done is fall in
The Box - a young man explores the upside of live burial.
Now the commentary: the 1st three stories are a little on the sci-fi side of homicide detective. Some flashes of noir with a bit of a hard-boiled edge. The 2nd three stories are all college set - I've been a professor nearly twenty years. None of the things in the story ever happened to me.
"Well Worn" is a retelling of Cinderella. Probably closer to the gory Grimm tale than Disney's mutilation.
"The Price" was inspired by sitting in a parking lot once when armed guards came to pick up the day's reciepts from a large retailer. They just seemed so lazy and incautious...
"Taking Van der Flieder's Star" came to me in an instant as I listened to a fascinating lecture about Samuel de Champlain being stranded on an island with his crew for a winter as they slowly went mad and stared dying of scurvy.
"The Coupon of Death" is a Ray Cruz story. If you don't know Ray Cruz, you've somehow missed KILLING WAYS
and KILLING WAYS 2
the many times they've been offereed as free Kindle files. In any event, Ray kills and maims people for money. Usually. Sometimes the violence is a product of his very productively managed anger.
The last two stories are PRECINCT PUERTO RICO stories. If you don't know what those are, I would turn your attention to a collection of ten other stories in the series: THE PRECINCT PUERTO RICO FILES
. Kind of like Mayberry, but with some blood... "The Box" was an attempt at humor.