duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)


Cover for 'Queue'



"Depositing money in the bank was always the worst problem."

What should a young servant do when his employer may fire him at any moment, his employer's beautiful daughter is absorbed with her high school textbook ("How to be Firm with Servants"), and he's blocked from carrying out a simple task by a snooty cyborg?

This flash fiction blends science fiction with 1960s domestic comedy. It is a side story in Waterman, a historical fantasy series and retrofuture series inspired by the Chesapeake Bay oyster wars, boarding school rivalries in the 1910s, and 1960s visions of things to come.

This is a reissue of an older story.


Excerpt

Depositing money in the bank was always the worst problem. He'd be first in line at three a.m., to give himself enough time for the bank opening at nine a.m., but he always seemed to pick the day when two dozen misters just happened to saunter in, walk right past him to the bank clerks, and spend the next six hours chatting at length with the clerks about their problems. At three p.m., the bank would close, and he'd still be waiting in line. The bank manager would throw him out then, and he'd be left with bruises from the manager's metal claws.

"You should use our computer connection to the bank," Honey suggested, looking up from where she was studying her high-school textbook – vividly illustrated with holophotos – that was entitled How to be Firm with Servants.

She could be delightfully naive at times. "I'm not allowed to use the computer, miss. It's not permitted to servants, by landstead law."

"Well, talk to Daddy, then," she said, tossing back her long hair impatiently. "He'll come up with a solution. He always does."

He didn't talk to his mister – he never talked to the mister about such matters, because he lived in fear that, if he made any complaints, the mister would tire of him – but Honey must have spoken to him, because the next day, right at nine a.m., Mr. Tilbury showed up at the bank and stood behind Foster in the line. . . .
 

Available as a FREE multiformat e-book (epub, html, mobi/Kindle, pdf, doc): Queue.


duskpeterson: (tree)
Cover for 'Hunger'


"By now, the hunger pangs had subsided, leaving him feeling as though he were floating effortlessly through the cycle of death, transformation, and rebirth. He wondered whether this was what it would be like, when he reached the end of his fast."

Some hungers can only be satisfied by reaching out. As a prisoner struggles to find the right path, a foul-mouthed guard and an uncommon torturer will open a door . . . but stepping through a doorway with blackness beyond requires courage.

This short story can be read on its own or as a side story in The Eternal Dungeon, a historical fantasy series set in a land where the psychologists wield whips.

A 2012 holiday gift story for Dusk Peterson's readers.


Excerpt

He had no reason to speak, and every reason not to. He was in the Eternal Dungeon. He was amidst torturers and cruel guards – members of the elite, whose mission was to oppress commoners. Who knew what they might make of any single word he spoke?

But the hunger in him was greater than he had thought.
 

Available as online fiction and as an e-book (HTML, PDF, Kindle, ePub), with an online sample: Hunger.


duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
So I counted up how many e-books I'd have to publish to get my entire backlist into e-book format, and it added up to - oh, let's call it a round 100.

Um.

The only way I'm going to be able to do this is to give myself a challenge. So I hereby challenge myself to prepare one series each month for publication, until I get my entire backlist published. That's seven series, if I count "Sweet Suffering" and "Main Street Leather" as one series each, which I intend to do. So seven series in seven months, including the unpublished stories that have been sitting on my hard drive, whining for attention. On busy months, I'll publish the shorter series.

I'll start the e-book publishing in April. I've put a progress meter on my sticky post - the first time I've ever displayed one of those.

Seven series. Seven months. As of April, the clock is ticking.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
I've started a Page 99 challenge for authors (hopefully with reader feedback) at my Powerfic community blog at LiveJournal.
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
Gakked from Jane Carnall, who gakked it from Lexin, who gakked it from Erastes, who gakked it from Alex Beecroft, who gakked it from Vashtan and Asknosecrets, who, thank goodness, appear to have Friends-locked those particular posts, or I'd be chasing that chain forever.

Ask any character I've written for advice, and they will provide it, advice columnist style. Your problems or fictional characters' problems both welcome. Management is not responsible for the results of following said advice.

I have to confess that, my characters being true to their settings, they won't be addressing their answers to you directly. But I'll be glad to put together bit of flash fiction that incorporates your question in some manner.

(Do warn for any spoilers in your responses, please; not everyone here has read all my stories. In fact, I'm mightily impressed when I encounter anyone who has.)

By the way, if you're going, "Gakked? Meme? Wha?", here is what I'm talking about, and here is what happens when academics get too darn serious about fluff. "Evidence that confirms their belief (e.g. another person mentioning a meme) weighs much more heavily than evidence that disconfirms it (many people NOT mentioning that meme)." But of course.

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