The glass case over the pastry display was shattered, a masked goon moaning on the floor in front of it. Half the tables in the small cafe were overturned, broken plates and smashed sandwiches scattered across the tile. The rest of the customers had fled, and a terrified barista peeked out from behind the counter.
Oh, and the salad bar was still on fire.
Surveying the destruction, Dave would have sighed if he wasn’t still catching his breath. He glanced at Val, who was checking her reflection in a handheld mirror, another masked goon lying at her feet.
Space cops! Ray-gun fights! Space fashion! Alien divas!
I love all these things, which is why they ended up in a short story I wrote recently called Starstruck. It’s a retro sci-fi adventure that ticks off a couple boxes from my 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes list and is inspired by old science fiction and pulp comics.
That’s probably why it’s such a good fit for Broadswords and Blasters, a “pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” Their latest issue, number 12, came out yesterday, and you can read over a dozen awesome pulp stories in it. I’m super excited that Starstruck is included in their number.
Space Cadet Duke Rayburn just wants to go one day without getting criticized by his impossible-to-please superior. But when he’s assigned to protect a galactic celebrity who’s being stalked and threatened, he’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep her safe–and worry about the consequences if he survives.
We all have our monsters. Sometimes, we feel ashamed by them, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from asking for help fighting them.
That’s the concept behind The Monster with Many Eyes, which is also a story about two girls beating the crap out of a monster. It appears in the Winter 2019 issue of the speculative fiction magazine The Colored Lens, and you can read it now by clicking this link or the image below.
I’m going to be a witch this Halloween. I’ve got the hat and the black dress, and I just need to figure out my makeup.
Witches have always been one my favorite paranormal beings. Maybe it’s the spells and potions or the feminist undertones. It could also be a side-effect of growing up reading Harry Potter. Or maybe it’s just the aesthetic.
Addison found the box one Sunday afternoon when her mom asked her to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom. It was a dusty old cardboard thing, and inside, she found a few notebooks with her late grandma’s name on the front and a beautiful silver necklace with a jeweled rose pendant.
“Look what I found,” she said, bringing the box to her mom.
Her mom turned from her computer, and her eyes widened. “I remember that. I kept it just in case…”
“In case what?”
Addison pestered (She was good at pestering) until her mom heaved a sigh and sat her down for a Serious Talk.
Dave set their suitcases on the dresser and stretched, still stiff from the flight. He surveyed the cozy bedroom, taking a moment to appreciate the view of the mountains out the window.
“This is nice,” he said to Val.
“I need to have it redecorated,” she called back from the bathroom, where she was touching up her make-up before their dinner reservation. “Everything’s horribly out of date—which I guess I should’ve expected. I haven’t used this place in years.”
Dave was just happy to visit one of her properties on a vacation and not as a safehouse to hide in while someone was trying to kill them. He pulled off his watch, wanting to wear a nicer one for dinner, and opened the top draw of the nightstand to put it in.
Ever wonder how the wise old mentor character puts up with the whiny, annoying hero he’s training? Then have I got the tale for you.
My short story, A Magical Education, follows a group of aging mentors drinking mead and venting about the next generation of heroes they’re trying to educate. It’s a humorous fantasy short, and you can find it in Issue 81 of Swords and Sorcery Magazinehere or by clicking the image below.
Check out the magazine’s archives while you’re there. It’s full of entertaining and adventurous sword and sorcery fiction. Enjoy!