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Story Published–”Beatitude” in Residential Aliens

A couple of years ago, while reviewing Leaps of Faith, an anthology of short Christian spec-fic edited by Robert and Karina Fabian, I discovered a short story by the Fabians titled, oddly enough, “Leap of Faith,” concerning a community of Catholic nuns providing search and rescue services to spacefarers in the Asteroid Belt: The Sisters of Our Lady of the Rescue.

Nuns in space? Okay, they had my attention. What really struck me, though, was the Fabians’ portrayal of the Sisters. These were dynamic, courageous young women doing a complex, dangerous, selfless job a long, long way from home–and their faith in God permeated their work.

I only had one problem. There weren’t enough stories! So, with Robert and Karina’s gracious permission, I wrote a couple of my own. The first, “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” was published in Residential Aliens online magazine in 2009, and told the story of Sister Claudia, who survives a terrifying mishap that forces her to reevaluate her calling–and shows her that God has a plan for her life beyond anything she could imagine.

Now, another Sister, Monica, re-lives a tragedy from her past that threatens to destroy her, as the Rescue Sisters return to Residential Aliens in “Beatitude.”

 “How many rescues have you done?”

She shrugged. “I stopped counting after a hundred. The miners and cargo pilots are living on the ragged edge of safety out here, and things go wrong. A lot. They need us, and it helps them, knowing we’re always nearby, watching over them.”

“Mmm-hm, you Rescue Sisters are practically legends back home. Still, doesn’t it seem a little prideful to think you’re the only ones capable of doing this job?”

“It’s not pride if it’s true. Nobody knows this space and the people we serve like we do. To think you can just waltz in here and take over is…naive.”

“Every member of our team is a SAR expert with experience under fire. We can do anything you can do. Maybe better.”

That tore it. “How can you do better? Because you’re men? Because you’re corporate soldiers? Because you practice the right religion?”

Ty stood up. “I told you, it’s nothing personal. I like you, Sister Monica, and I respect what you and the other Rescue Sisters have done, but I’m going to give everything I’ve got to help my team win this contract…and I’m very, very good at what I do.”

He paused, staring down into his tray, knuckles white against the dull grey aluminum.

“And another thing. Nobody came out of the war clean, but I’m proud of the work I did for Auradyne. I’m going to use that experience to save all the people I can.”

He turned on his heel and took his tray to the recycler.

Every eye in the cafeteria was on Monica, but she was oblivious to the gasps and stares. A single word was caroming around inside her skull.

Auradyne.

Dear God, no. He’s one of them.

Read the whole thing at Residential Aliens

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Writing

 

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Second Time Around

One nice thing about writing short stories is that it’s not just a one-shot deal. A good story can often find a second life (or even multiple lives) as a reprint, offered in a different market and/or format. Some purveyers of literary entertainment actually prefer reprints, as they provide a pool of proven stories that have successfully run an editorial gauntlet elsewhere. So it is that one of my stories previously published online is coming back again, in print.

“Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” my story of a space-rescue mishap that sparks a crisis of faith for a member of a unique religious community, is featured in the inaugural issue of ResAliens. Editor Lyn Perry has created a cool, glossy-covered bimonthly mag with the feel of the old SF pulp digests, and fills it with some of his favorite stories from the past year’s offerings in Residential Aliens online magazine. I’m proud that mine is one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2010 in Writing

 

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Notes From All Over

Lots of cool stuff happening writing-wise this month, involving me either directly or indirectly. I mentioned most of these things in passing among my December posts, but I thought it might be a good idea to gather the trail of bread crumbs into a single biscuit, so to speak.

1. Residential Aliens print issue #1 (also available as a downloadable e-book), featuring my short story, “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” is on sale now!

2. Every Day Fiction is publishing my flash story, “Half,” on January 13.

3. My flash story, “Little Piece of Cloth,” will appear in the Best of Every Day Fiction 2009 print anthology, which will launch on January 30. I’ll be attending the launch event at the Cedar Cottage Coffee House in Vancouver, B.C. with Every Day Fiction staff and authors. Signings, readings, roundtable discussions, and more!

4. Liberty Hall Writer’s Forum just finished reengineering its website. Check it out!

5. One of my associates at Liberty Hall, Campbell Award runner-up Aliette de Bodard, launches the first volume of her Aztec supernatural mystery trilogy, Servant of the Underworld, on January 7. It’s going to rock. You can read the first chapter here.

6. My novel, The Muse, published by Splashdown Books, is available through a variety of sources including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. People are reading it and enjoying it. Be one of them!

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Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Writing

 

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Weekend Update

Very busy these past few days with driving to and from Colorado and other associated activities, so here’s a quick update:

1a: Had a nice trip to Colorado Springs. Darling Daughter (DD) got her USAF Academy tour. I figured she’d come out of it either scared out of her wits or excited about the possibility of going there for college. Excitement won. I hadn’t been there myself in about ten years, and it was encouraging to see a lot of modest improvements in the facilities and the preservation of a lot of the things I love about the place. I’ll post some pictures from our trip on Facebook soon, and will link here when I do.

1b: Had a great visit with fellow writers Paulette Harris, John Patterson, and Kristine Pratt. Talked about my experience writing The Muse and a variety of other writing-related topics. Drank coffee! Ate scones! Sold a few books!

1c: Reconnected with an Air Force buddy who’s teaching at the Academy, and his family. DD had fun riding 4-wheelers in the snow with his daughter.

1d: Took DD to Garden of the Gods, an awe-inspiring area of uplifted sedimentary rock spires nestled at the foot of the Rockies near Colorado Springs. She was suitably impressed.

2. Another interview online, this one on the Lost Genre Guild blog.

3. Got a short story idea on the road to Colorado and finished drafting it today. Still needs a bit of tweaking, but I’m feeling pretty good about it. A superhero story–never written one before.

4. E-mail from Lyn Perry at Residential Aliens–he wants to put one of my stories, “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” into the first Res Aliens print anthology. Very happy about this–Lyn is quietly doing some great work creating a home for spec fic with a spiritual element. If that sort of writing floats your boat, keep an eye on his ‘zine.

5. Got a quick comment to my Armistice Day post with an outstanding link to diary entries from a WWI soldier. Check it out!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Family, General, Writing

 

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Another Story Online! “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” at Residential Aliens

Wow, two stories published in the same week–that’s a first for me. This story, “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” is a tale of faith and adventure set in the Rescue Sisters Universe created by Robert and Karina Fabian in their anthologies, Infinite Space, Infinite God, and Leaps of Faith. My story was inspired by their work and inhabits their universe with their permission.

Sister Claudia is a young member of a future order of Catholic nuns who provide search and rescue services to space workers and travelers throughout our solar system’s asteroid belt. A mishap during a seemingly routine rescue mission plunges Claudia into a crisis of faith, Has she failed in her mission and lost her calling, or does God have other plans?

“I’ve wanted to be a Rescue Sister since I was a little girl. I don’t know any other life, and I love it. It’s my true vocation.”

“You’ve served the Order with distinction for three full years. You’ve helped save many lives. Now you must consider whether God might have a different vocation prepared for you, but you certainly don’t have to leave the Sisterhood.”

“But I won’t be a Rescue Sister,” Claudia murmured. “I’ll be the person who used to be a Rescue Sister, until she made a stupid mistake, and God punished her for her arrogance.”

Mother Superior rose from her chair and laid her hands gently on Claudia’s shoulders. “You must seek God’s guidance, Claudia. Let me pray with you.”

Claudia shrugged off the touch. “I don’t know if I can pray anymore, or if God will listen if I do. I’m sorry, Mother, I just can’t. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Check it out at Residential Aliens online magazine. My other story published this week, “One Smile at a Time,” continues at MindFlights.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2009 in Writing

 

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Story Sale! “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen” to Residential Aliens

Some good news in the ol’ e-mail bag yesterday–my short story, “Of All Things, Seen and Unseen,” will be appearing soon in Residential Aliens online magazine. It’s a space adventure story, centering on a crisis of faith for a young member of a unique religious community, and set in a universe originally envisioned by Robert and Karina Fabian in stories including “Leap of Faith” and “These Three.”

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2009 in Writing

 

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