I have always been a devoted reader of fiction: as a kid, I devoured any book I could get my hands on. It started with Encyclopedia Brown and the Something Queer series (the term simply meant “strange” back then), the Bunnicula books and The Indian in the Cupboard; it wasn’t long before I was reading Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Piers Anthony, and Michael Crichton.
My older brother was getting his degree in English Literature while I was in grade school, so he’d come home and talk about Joyce and Camus; as a result, I was reading Dubliners and The Stranger in middle school, trying desperately to understand them. (Incidentally, I enjoyed those two.) Having heard someone mention Hermann Hesse, I thought I’d try Steppenwolf. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what “bourgeoisie” meant; I was expecting the Wolfman, and got Das Kapital in novel form. Oh well, the deadening effects of capitalist society weren’t weighing heavy on my 12-year old mind.
But that didn’t dim my enthusiasm for fiction; even though I’ve been expanding my nonfiction library recently, there’s nothing quite like a good novel. Nor, in my opinion, is there anything quite like a good science-fiction short story, preferably mid-twentieth century. Bradbury again springs to mind; Frederik Pohl; Arthur C. Clarke; and Harlan Ellison (although only in small doses). And I can’t really dissociate the best science fiction from the playfulness of magic realism: Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are never far from my reach.
It should come as no small surprise, then, that I’ve dabbled in writing fiction from time to time. I still recall my first published story: I was probably 9 or 10, and I’d written a first-person narrative about the DC Comics hero, the Flash. (There was actually a short-lived series about that character in the early 90s that I remember really enjoying.) It was published in the newspaper of my grade school, which was a small Catholic school; you can imagine the sort of hard-hitting journalism and cutting edge, biting fiction we published. I still remember that they edited the story without consulting me, and I was incensed. I think that bodes poorly for me, if I’m to have any sort of publishing future.
Ok, you came here for fiction, not my life story. (There’s a joke to be made there; something about my life story being a work of creative fiction. Not a particularly good one, mind you.) So here are the links (with short descriptions) to some of my works of fiction.
The Treachery of Recollection: An aging astronaut recalls a strange secret from his one and only trip to the moon. The death of his only shipmate on that mission stirs up old questions, and makes him question his own recollection.
Justice Tigue and the Devil’s Big Black Cadillac: A result of my fascination with folk-tales. This one is styled after the American stories from the south. It tells the tale of a man name Justice Tigue, a lazy and dishonest man, who sets out to cheat the devil.