Published Works

“Subject Stellar” Published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VI (Giveaway!)

I’m a bit late announcing this one, but I’m delighted to announce that my epistolary sci-fi story–“Subject Stellar”–has been published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VI.

It’s like someone took the night sky and wrapped her in it.  Constellations of pin-prick stars beam from her black-abyss skin.  She’s devoid of features–no lips, no mouth, no eyes.  I could see where her eyes should have been, with only space in its infinite emptiness stretched over empty sockets.

Get a look at this amazing cover art:


This delightful cover art was created by Goodloe Byron, who also had these inspiring words to say in the foreword:

The stories in this issue are fables.  They are lies and departures from the world.  But these lies are attempts by their authors to move the audience with an ancient literary arithmetic.

Volume VI is, as I’ve come to expect, full of excellent stories by excellent authors.  I am happy to be included in the pages of yet another volume of Spark. What’s even more exciting is that–for what I believe is the first time–I’m sharing the pages of a collection with my good friend Jeff Suwak.  I just know you’re going to love his tale in this collection, “The Familiar and his Alchemist.”


I have very much enjoyed working the Brian Lewis and the excellent staff of Spark: A Creative Anthology. I hope you’ll take the time to pick up a copy of this latest volume and maybe review it if you get the chance.  But I’d like to do more than hope.

I have two extra PRINT copies of Volume VI so I’m going to host a giveaway.  Unfortunately, I can only ship to US addresses; I apologize to my international friends for this limitation.  The contest will run from March 5th at midnight until March 12th at midnight.  You can enter by clicking this link here to go right to the giveaway on my Facebook author page.  Be sure to enter if you can and best of luck to you!


Thanks for reading,






4 thoughts on ““Subject Stellar” Published in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Volume VI (Giveaway!)

  1. It’s serendipitous that “Subject Stellar” is the story published in Volume 6 of Spark, as it was just a couple of weeks ago that I read your original version of the story (written for the Story-a-Day Challenge a couple of years ago). So this gave me a chance to compare the two versions of the story. The revised text is an improvement – you’ve strengthened your diction and corrected the typos. And I approve of your decision to change the author of the last letter from Brian Rockwell to Ysa Rurik – it’s a better letter and it demonstrates the evolution of the relationship between the two women. And it gives Ysa the chance to appear in the first person.

    I do, however, have a couple of reservations about the story. The first is the last two words of the story (in both versions): “Thankful Human.” I thought it sounded mawkish coming from bureaucrat Brian Rockwell and I think it sounds equally mawkish coming from Lieutenant Ysa Rurik. It’s not the sentiment that bothers me – the gratitude is certainly appropriate – but I think you could have worded it better.

    I also have reservations about your decision to excise the first couple of pages of the original version. It makes for a more concise story, but I think the excised material helps to set the context for the story and establish the characters and their relationship to each other. And it included a first-person entry by Ysa Rurik (though I can understand why you cut it – it’s a bit talky considering that she’s on a classified mission, and it seems a bit girlish for a serious military officer, even though she is talking to her father). And I do miss the line “I canine pot quaking.” Actually, the more I read through the deleted material, the more I understand your decision to cut some of it, though I would have preferred that you make it more concise rather than removing it altogether.

    All in all, despite these reservations, I think it’s a well-written story. It’s definitely one of your best epistolary stories – you’ve done an excellent job in allowing the story to unfold through the use of the letters and journals. I wish that you had found a way to allow Ysa more of a voice in the story; she’s too interesting a character to be on the sidelines. In fact, I would like to see you expand the story to a novelette, with all the characters – not only Ysa, but also Dr. Lee and perhaps even Robert Patina, the mine owner – adding their point of view to the narrative.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on the story, for whatever value they are.

    1. Fascinating dissection and comparison of the different versions of the story, Gary. As always, I appreciate your reading my work and offering your thoughts! 🙂 Ysa and her father actually connect to another story I’ve written–I’m not sure if you’ve read it. She’s not so much a part of it as her father is, but I do love their story and may play with them more in the future.

      1. It’s called “The Balance Between Us” — published in the Sidekicks! anthology a couple years ago. Like I said, Ysa’s not really a part of it, but her father is the main character. 🙂

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