Science Fiction

I sigh, you sigh, we all sigh for sci-fi…

Long ago in a galaxy not so far away, I thought I’d grow up to become an astronaut, an astronomer, or a writer of science fiction or epic fantasy, like Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, or J.R.R. Tolkien. Although my books so far have been mostly about animals and nature, I still dabble with short (and long) stories of speculative fiction. Two of those tales are available on Kindle for the low, low price of just a couple quatloos.

One is a time travel short story for children. The other is a fractured fairytale for grownups.

The Valhalla Wager

Some people have all the luck. Grant Gunderson, a recently divorced high school math teacher, isn’t one of them—until a surprising choice transforms an ordinary workweek into a fantastical journey to the planets. When Grant buys a lottery ticket on a whim, he knows the odds and fully expects to lose his money, but what happens next turns his world upside down—and a few other worlds, too. Grant’s luck takes a turn after he encounters a Norse trickster, a disgraced ballplayer, and a grumpy Zeus in the most unlikely of places. That’s when his troubles really begin.

“The Valhalla Wager” is a 12,000-word fantasy about hope, myths, baseball curses, and astronomy. Inspired by fractured fairy tales and myths like XO Orpheus, this quirky novelette reimagines the “bet” from the Book of Job, but with different deities—and higher stakes.

The Time Machine Next Door

When Nathan moves from the city to a small town, he thinks his only problem will be making new friends, but it doesn’t take long to get into big trouble when there’s a time machine involved.

Something strange is happening in the neighbor’s garage. Flickering lights and loud buzzing noises pique the curiosity of Nathan and his science-club pals. This 3,300-word middle grade science fiction short story about the thrills and perils of time travel originally appeared in the anthology Live Free or Sci-Fi. A quick read for when you wish you had more time.