Category: fiction

One Week From Today

     …that is, on Saturday, August 7 in this Year of Our Lord 2021,      …will be a free download at Amazon. Feel free to indulge yourself (and save a few bucks) in the paramount near-future Catholic science fiction novel of the year!      Pope Clement XV, the first American to be raised to the …

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Having It Both Ways

     I’ve ranted on other occasions about my strong preference for stand-alone novels: i.e., no unending series in prospect and no need to purchase a sequel to find out how the story ends. Now and then I find one that “cheats” in some fashion, usually by incorporating plot threads that aren’t critical to the resolution …

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An Inherently Un-Titleable Piece

     Full Disclosure: There are people who think I’m crazy. They’re not a majority…yet. But I would be remiss were I not to mention their existence. “But why?” I hear you ask. Well, mostly because I’m a libertarian-conservative Catholic patriot, with emphasis on Catholic. “How,” they ask, “could anyone so devoted to freedom simultaneously embrace …

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How They Did It

     A bit obscure even for a Fran Porretto title, eh? Well, that’s not accidental.      I own exactly one “collectible” book: a first-edition copy of East and West, the earliest collection of W. Somerset Maugham’s short stories. I inherited it from an uncle who was a great reader and an aficionado of Maugham. The …

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For Those Who’ve Been Waiting…

     …if any: In Vino is now available in paperback. $9.99 US at Amazon.

New Fiction

     Pope Clement XV, the first American to be raised to the papacy, is under attack from within the Vatican. Powerful cardinals, averse to his efforts to reform the Catholic clergy, are trying to force him to resign his office. To undermine him, they spread rumors of his involvement in financial and sexual improprieties. To …

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Another Novel Looms

     I’ve just completed the first draft of In Vino, a sequel to The Wise and the Mad. And it was one hell of a tough slog. Blood everywhere. But failing a scathing report from my “alpha reader,” it will soon be available at Amazon.      Anyway, I’m too exhausted to write something pithy and …

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Demand, Supply, And The Indie Writer

     No, this won’t be a plaint about how there are just too many of us. The world can never have too many storytellers. The stories are infinite, and all of them deserve to be told…whether or not anyone is listening. And even the most inept apprentice to the art can improve at it, with …

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Upgrade

     [A short story for you today. Many SF writers have employed the motif of artificial intelligence in their stories. I did so in Freedom’s Fury, myself. But the innate yearnings of an artificial intelligence – in particular, whether it yearns for freedom — aren’t often addressed. Given that every AI must start as someone’s …

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Faith And Fiction: A Rumination

     The more you look, the more you see. — Robert M. Pirsig      It’s amazing the way the realm of the mind expands, providing ever more room to prowl, and hopefully to grow, to him who is willing to look at significant subjects synthetically as well as analytically. Consider this observation from the great …

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Cumulative Acceptance

     I’ve been watching the trends that run through the various genres of fiction I’ve occasionally produced: Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy / Horror, Romance,      …and I believe I’ve deduced a few things about both reader and writer behavior, all of which pertain to the important consideration called willing suspension of disbelief.      …

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The Last Vigil

     The darkness was absolute. No fire burned within range of his sight. Neither moon nor stars bedecked the sky. Had he not taken his post in daylight, he would not have known where he stood. Only the rough stone wall of the crypt against his back served to remind him of it.      The …

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In Need Of A Title

     [A short story for you. One of my irritations as a fiction writer is a huge collection of Supporting Cast characters that sporadically demand to be given Marquee status in tales of their own. That’s the case with the co-protagonists of the tale below. One appears in my novel Polymath. The other appears in …

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Some Audible Fiction

     For those who prefer listening to reading, I’ve recorded my short story “Norms.” If you like this sort of presentation, let me know and I’ll record some of my other short pieces.

Minnesota Nice

     [A short story for you. The corruption of the 2020 presidential balloting has had me thinking about what the Right might do to counter further attempts in that direction. Perhaps the idea encapsulated in this story would suffice, though I’m sure there would be the most vigorous of protests from the Left. – FWP] …

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Thank You…

     …to all those responsible for this:      Over the past 26 hours – i.e., since midnight February 20, Pacific time ¬– Amazon customers have downloaded just under 2900 free copies of Antiquities. That’s as of 5:00 AM EST today.      A little visibility at last!

Need Something To Read…

     …but haven’t got any spare cash? It’s a sad problem, one I’ve suffered in the past. Back then, I did a lot of rereading, which was made possible by my habit of never, ever parting with a book. But today there’s a superior alternative.      The Baen Free Library is exactly that: books Baen …

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Like Yesterday

     [My dear friend F. James Dagg has sent along a short story of his early years. It possesses the sort of surprise punch that characterizes his short fiction. Enjoy. — FWP] Like Yesterday…      I was almost thirteen, and a contradiction. Short, still childlike at a glance, no one took me to be nearly …

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Attention: Free Fiction!

     For today, Saturday, February 20 through Monday, February 22, my latest novel, Antiquities, is free of charge at Amazon:      Gail was a has-been singer from a forgotten band, surviving by performing for small crowds in coffee houses and bars, near to giving up on everything.      Evan was a venture capitalist, widowed by …

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A New / Old Emission

     My collection of religiously-themed stories, previously available only from Smashwords, is now available from Amazon:      A baker’s dozen journeys in faith, replete with miracles, mysteries, and gentle explorations of God at work in the lives of men. Only $2.99 as a Kindle eBook. (The paperback isn’t quite ready yet.)

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