Category: fiction

The Vampire And The Caretaker

     [For today I have an agenda that strongly resembles chattel slavery, so have a short story. I wrote it just after seeing 30 Days of Night. It’s the story that gave birth to Evan Conklin, the co-protagonist of Antiquities. — FWP] ***      Gavin’s alarm clock buzzed with its usual peevish insistence. He cracked …

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So You Think Things Can’t Get Any Worse?

     Think again: The Glut      “Wake up! Wake up!”      “Huh?” Smith came slowly to consciousness. The clock on his nightstand told him it was 2:00 AM. He turned on the light and peered up at the intruder. “What’s the matter…hey, who are you?”      The figure at his bedside was plainly no one …

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Hard Times For Superherodom

     “What do you mean?” I hear you say. Well, you know how tough it can be when a trade gets overpopulated. Think of America’s legal profession. Today there are more than one million lawyers in these United States. More than a lawyer for every three hundred Americans. There simply isn’t enough legal work to …

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Under Way As We Speak…

     …is a brand new F&SF convention, specifically oriented toward writers and readers in the Right:      BasedCon survived a July deplatforming attempt. Currently underway in beautiful Norton Shores, Michigan, BasedCon has sold out and turned a profit in its debut outing. Celebrate this gathering for based authors and fans of science fiction and fantasy …

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A Comment On Commentary

     Back in the heyday of blogging, everyone and his halfwit Uncle Herman had a blog. There were, at peak, over 50 million such sites. Most, of course, were of no broad consequence: little was posted there, and most of that was worthless. However, they gave their “proprietors” a sense that they could be listened …

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The Last Of The Really Fluffy Towels

     I’m too sick of, with, and from current events to write about them. Sorry, Gentle Readers. Co-Conspirators Linda and the Colonel are doing enough of that, so please enjoy (?) their emissions while I flush the static out of my head.      My sovereign remedy for “world is too much with me” syndrome is …

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Assorted Fiction Notes And Observations

     In case I haven’t done so before, I’d like to issue a hearty recommendation of Philip S. Power’s Damsel series: Damsel: No More Damsel: Slaying Demons Damsel: Wilderness Hannah Damsel: Soda Supreme      You know what a raving beast I am about originality. Well, here’s a giant helping. Hannah de Peyser is an heiress …

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Free Fiction

     For today only, my latest novel In Vino:      …is a free download at Amazon.      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 …

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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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