Short stories

For HTML and printable versions (PDF) of a number of these stories, see my Fiction Liberation Front site.


In addition to the individual stories below, I've also published the following collections (*asterisk indicates stories not previously published):

Heroes and Villains (Subterranean Press, October 2017)

The Black Sun • The Next* • Doglandia* • Doctor Helios

Collected Stories (Subterranean Press, December 2009)

Perfidia • Stuff of Dreams • The War at Home • Straws • Nine Hard Questions about the Nature of the Universe • White City • Primes • The Long Ride Out • Sitcom • The Death of Che Guevara* • His Girlfriend’s Dog • Deep Without Pity • The Circle • Twilight Time • Jeff Beck • Wild for You • Till Human Voices Wake Us • Flagstaff • Tommy and the Talking Dog • Oz • Love in Vain • Steam Engine Time • Kings of the Afternoon • Sticks • The Tale of Mark the Bunny • The Killing Season • Scales • Snowbirds • Match • Relay • Castles Made of Sand • Prodigal Son • Mozart in Mirrorshades (with Bruce Sterling) • Kidding Around • Mystery Train • Secrets • Golfing Vietnam • Stompin’ at the Savoy • Gold • Dirty Work • Lizard Men of Los Angeles

Missing Persons (ReQuest Audiobooks, May 2006)

Audiobook only: Lizard Men of Los Angeles • Prodigal Son • Perfidia

Love In Vain (Subterranean Press, October 2001)

Contents: Love In Vain • His Girlfriend's Dog • White City • Language • Mystery Train • The War At Home • Kidding Around • Steam Engine Time • Scales • Wild For You • Sticks • Match • Oz • Gold • Secrets • Jeff Beck • The Best Part Of Making Up • Dirty Work • Flagstaff • The Tale Of Mark The Bunny • Castles Made of Sand

Private Eye Action As You Like It (with Joe R. Lansdale) (Crossroads Press, July 1998)

Contents: Introduction to the Slater Stories* (Lansdale) • The Full Count (Lansdale) • Long Gone, Forever" (Lansdale) • One Blonde, Well Dead (Lansdale) • The Short Unhappy Career of Lew Shiner, Tough Guy Writer* • Deep Without Pity • The Killing Season* • Prodigal Son* • Can You Run With It?* (Shiner's Introduction to the Talbot Stories) • Black as the Night (with Lansdale) • Man Drowning (with Lansdale) • Afterword to the Talbot Stories* (Lansdale)

The Edges of Things (WSFA Press, June 1991)

Contents: Introduction by Mark L. Van Name • Relay* • The Apparition* • Twilight Time • Fractal Geometry* • Stompin' at the Savoy • Brujo • Odd Man Out • Rake Off • The Gene Drain • The Kiss* • Blood Relations • Till Human Voices Wake Us • Tinker's Damn

Nine Hard Questions About the Nature of the Universe (Pulphouse, January 1990)

Contents: Introduction, Snowbirds • Soldier, Sailor* • Kings of the Afternoon • Tommy and the Talking Dog • Omphalos* • Promises • Dancers • Plague • Nine Hard Questions About the Nature of the Universe

At the end of the eighties I edited an anthology called When The Music's Over. The one requirement for the stories was that the characters had to resolve the central conflict without resorting to violence. Despite heroic efforts I didn't get as much gender balance or international flavor as I wanted, but I did love every story in the book. Bantam published it just in time for the Gulf War, when the US had the least sympathy for pacifism since World War II.

Web debuts

"Duck," January 2010

"Straws," "Fear Itself," "Golfing Vietnam," June 2007

THE NEXT (original screenplay), June 2007

"You Never Know," November 2004

"The Tale of Mark the Bunny," September 1999

Published stories

"The Tree Climber," OUR GENERATION #1, Summer 1968

"Tinker's Damn," GALILEO #5, Oct 1977

"Black as the Night" (with Joe R. Lansdale), MIKE SHAYNE, Sept 1979

"Deep Without Pity," MIKE SHAYNE, June 1980

"Rake-Off," SKULLDUGGERY, May 1980

"Stuff of Dreams," F&SF, April 1981

"Blood Relations," TWILIGHT ZONE, May 1981

  • NIGHT CRY #1, 1984

"Kings of the Afternoon," SHAYOL #4, Winter 1980 [sic]

  • MONDO JAMES DEAN, Peabody, St. Martins, 1996

"Tommy and the Talking Dog," TWILIGHT ZONE, July 1982

"Brujo," F&SF, Aug 1982

"Lifelike," MIKE SHAYNE, Aug 1982

"The Circle," TWILIGHT ZONE, Nov 1982

  • 13 HORRORS OF HALLOWEEN, Waugh et al., Avon, 1983
  • OCTOBER DREAMS, Chizmar/Morrish, Roc, 2002

"Snowbirds," ANALOG, Nov 1982

"Promises," F&SF, Dec 1982

"Things That Go Quack in the Night" (w/Edith Shiner), ASIMOV'S, Jan 1983

  • TALES FROM ASIMOV'S, Williams/Manson, HBJ, 1986
  • VISIONS OF FANTASY, Asimov/Greenberg, Doubleday, 1989

"Plague," ASIMOV'S, April 1983

"Mystery Train," OUI, May 1983

  • IMAGININGS, Rudnicki, Frog, 2004

"Nine Hard Questions About the Nature of the Universe," F&SF, Dec 1983

"Man Drowning" (with Joe R. Lansdale), PULPSMITH, Autumn 1983

"Deserted Cities of the Heart," OMNI, Feb 1984

"Twilight Time," ASIMOV'S, April 1984

  • YEAR'S BEST SF #2, Dozois, Bluejay, 1985
  • TIME TRAVELERS, Dozois, Ace, 1989
  • SHORT STORY PAPERBACK #30, Pulphouse, 1991

"Till Human Voices Wake Us," F&SF, May 1984

  • MERMAIDS!, Dann and Dozois, Ace, 1986
  • MIRRORSHADES, Sterling, Arbor, 1986 (Ace 1988)

"The War at Home," ASIMOV'S, May 1985

  • YEAR'S BEST SF #3, Dozois, Bluejay, 1986
  • IN THE FIELD OF FIRE, Dann/Dann, 1987 (mm 1987)
  • NORTON BOOK OF SF, Le Guin, Norton, 1993
  • THE VIETNAM WAR, Franklin, Bedford, 1996

"Mozart in Mirrorshades" (with Bruce Sterling), OMNI, Sept 1985

  • MIRRORSHADES, Sterling, Arbor, 1986 (Ace 1988)
  • 7TH OMNI BOOK OF SF, Datlow, Zebra, 1989
  • BEST ALTERNATE HISTORY STORIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY, Turtledove/Greenberg, Del Rey, 2001

"Stompin' at the Savoy," SHAYOL #7, Winter 1985

  • THREE FISTED TALES OF BOB, Smith, Simon & Schuster, 1990

"Jeff Beck," ASIMOV'S, Jan 1986

  • YEAR'S BEST SF #4, Dozois, St. Martin's, 1987
  • BEST IN ROCK FICTION, Sawyers & DeCurtis, Hal Leonard, 2005

"Cabracan," ASIMOV'S, Oct 1986

  • FUTURE ON ICE, Card, Tor, 1999

"The Long, Dark Night Of Fortunato," WILD CARDS, Martin, Bantam, Jan 1987

"Third Generation," WILD CARDS, Martin, Bantam, Jan 1987

"Dancers," NIGHT CRY, Summer 1987

"Pennies From Hell," ACES HIGH, Martin, Bantam, April 1987

"Americans," THE FICTION MAGAZINE (UK), May 1987

"Six Flags Over Jesus" (w/Edith Shiner), ASIMOV'S, Nov 1987

Fortunato segment, JOKERS WILD, Martin, Bantam, Nov 1987

"Rebels," OMNI, Nov 1987

"Odd Man Out," TRAJECTORIES, Feb 1988

"Zero Hour," ACES ABROAD, Martin, Bantam, June 1988

"Oz," FULL SPECTRUM, Aronica/McCarthy, Bantam, Sept 1988

"Love in Vain," JACK THE RIPPER, Dozois/Casper, Tor, Sept 1988

  • YEAR'S BEST FANTASY #2, Datlow, St. Martin's, 1989
  • YEAR'S BEST SF #6, Dozois, St. Martin's, 1989
  • CRUCIFIED DREAMS, Lansdale, Tachyon, 2011

"Electric Lady," HIGH TIMES, Nov 1988

"Stoked," REAL, Spring/Fall 1988

  • STORMING THE REALITY STUDIO, McCaffery, Duke, 1991

"His Girlfriend's Dog," NEW PATHWAYS, May 1989

"Steam Engine Time," BEST OF THE WEST 2, Lansdale, Doubleday, May 1989

"Gold," RAZORED SADDLES, Lansdale/LoBrutto, Dark Harvest, Aug 1989 (Avon pb, 1990)

"The Gene Drain," SEMIOTEXT[E] 14: SF, Wilson/Rucker/Wilson, 1989

"How I Won the War on Drugs" (w/Bruce Sterling), HOT TALK, March 1990

"Scales," ALIEN SEX, Datlow, Dutton, April 1990 (ROC pb March 1992)

"White City," ASIMOV'S, June 1990

  • YEAR'S BEST SF #8, Dozois, St. Martin's, 1991

"Language," NEW PATHWAYS, July 1990

"Kidding Around," JOURNAL WIRED #2, Spring 1990

"Match," REAL, Fall 1990

"Wild For You," ASIMOV'S, Dec 1990

  • FIRES OF THE PAST, Jordan, St. Martin's, Mar 1991

"Horses," ONE-EYED JACKS, Martin, Bantam, Feb 1991

"Riders," JOKERTOWN SHUFFLE, Martin, Bantam, Sept 1991

"Dirty Work," DARK AT HEART, Lansdale, Dark Harvest, March 1992

"Sticks," IN DREAMS, McAuley/Newman, Gollancz, Spring 1992

  • IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL, Eidus/Kastan, Godine, Nov 1998

"Lizard King," LA WEEKLY, June 25, 1993

"Voodoo Child," ASIMOV'S, July 1993

"Secrets," ASIMOV'S, Nov 1993

"The Shoemaker's Tale," THE KING IS DEAD, Sammon, Delacorte, Sept 1994

"Sitcom," ASIMOV'S, Jan 1995

"Castles Made of Sand," GARGOYLE, Spring, 1997

"Like the Gentle Rain," F&SF, Oct/Nov 1997

"Flagstaff," RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER, Dec 27, 1998

"Lizard Men of Los Angeles," F&SF, July 1999

"Primes," F&SF, Oct/Nov 2000

"Perfidia," BLACK CLOCK #2, Fall 2004

  • SUBTERRANEAN #3, Spring 2006

"Renewal," SOUTHWEST REVIEW, Vol. 93, #1, 2008

"Wonderland," BLACK CLOCK #8, Fall 2007

"Ceremony," Subterranean website, Winter 2008

"The Death of Che Guevara," COLLECTED STORIES, December 2009

  • SUBTERRANEAN, Fall 2009

"A Box of Thunder," STRANGE HORIZONS, September 19, 2011

"Canto MCML," F&SF, Jan/Feb 2012

"Merry Christmas from the Kensingtons," Subterranean website, December 2012

"Application," F&SF, Nov/Dec 2012

  • YEAR'S BEST SF (Hartwell), December 2013

"Doctor Helios," SUBTERRANEAN, Fall 2013

"The Black Sun," SUBTERRANEAN, Summer 2014

"The Gate of the Fallen Angel," SOUTHWEST REVIEW, Vol. 102, #2, 2017

"The Next," HEROES AND VILLAINS, October 2017

"Doglandia," HEROES AND VILLAINS, October 2017


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