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some stories

This is the big list containing almost everything.
Alternatively, you may choose to see only the...
      Novels: 7
      Short stories: 33
      Scripts: 5

They are listed with recent at the top, oldest at the bottom.


In the list below I show the size of each story as 3 numbers:
      kBytes : words : pages

A byte is a character or punctuation mark or space. A kbyte is about a thousand bytes. A Harry Potter sized book is about 500,000 bytes (500kb), not counting any pictures.

Words are a measure the industry uses. It will be meaningless to most people. A novel is generally considered to be more than 50,000 words.

Page count will be easiest for most people to understand, but please note that this is only an estimate, based on my own print settings. They will differ from yours, and will be more for paperback format, and even more for ereader.

Key: Some guide to the content is given with symbols.
Hover your mouse over a symbol to get a quick reminder of what the symbol represents (works in most modern web browsers).
short story short story
book book
script script
epub electronic book epub ebook
NaNoWriMo entry entry for NaNoWriMo
currently writing currently writing this one
unfinished... unfinished...
nice pleasant tale
thoughts thoughts in story form
comedy comedy
unhappy not a happy tale
eeek! extremely unpleasant
angry I'm annoyed at something
virtual realityvirtual reality
artificial intelligence artificial intelligence
science fiction science fiction
lesbian female-female attraction
sex sex
action action story

gone - a short story (15kB : 2520 words : 6 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts artificial intelligence science fiction
Here, I try something a bit different. If I've done it properly you won't notice. The basic story idea came to me when I was listening to Prelude to the Morphing of the Night After, by Darius Roberte (Epoch Collapse). It made me imagine an enormous alien building.

God's Purpose - a short story (15kB : 2451 words : 6 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts science fiction
I'm atheist. This is a humorous short story about what might happen if god visited me.

The Relic - a short story (17kB : 2835 words : 6 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts science fiction
A way to sneak some big philosophical concepts into a story... I basically destroy all religion.

The Gardener - a short story (8096kB : 1314 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story lesbian thoughts
Just a short piece about sexuality and tolerance.

feelings - a short story (8kB : 1333 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story lesbian thoughts
I'm surprised how few people understand and really embrace the ideas I present in this short piece. It is difficult for even enlightened people to remain free of prejudice. There is something fundamentally broken in human psychology.

What to do - a very short story (3kB : 598 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story artificial intelligence science fiction
This is a very short story that came to me unexpectedly while I was pondering what I should be doing next.

Heterophobia - a very short (5 minute) film script (12kB : 1,315 words : 7 pages) [comment]
script short story angry thoughts lesbian
This was a film script I sent in to a 2019 competition for Australian screenwriters. The scripts were required to be on the topic of 'difference' and be very short -- only about five minutes long. It didn't get used. I forgot all about it until recently. The original was required to be sent as PDF. I originally wrote it in LibreOffice using a special scriptwriting template by Anikó J. Bartos & Alan C. Baird from http://9timezones.com/scr2.htm. When I reformatted it for HTML I wrote a simple 7-line CSS to do the job.

Breathe - a novel (504kB : 88,301 words : 200 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book science fiction artificial intelligence nice lesbian thoughts

Most of our oxygen comes from single-celled plants in the sea. What if they stopped supplying it?

An uplifting post-apocalyptic tale.

Readers' comments:

I loved it. A brilliant job! Cracking pace filled with scientific detail. Exactly what I like!
— Emmanuel Flores

You researched this book very deeply, and it shows. The subject matter is great, and would potentially make an excellent sci-fi series for TV.
— Ed Forsyth

Make a World for Us - a short story (11kB : 1,850 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story artificial intelligence science fiction virtual reality lesbian
Virtual worlds and artificial intelligence are two complementary technologies that I'm convinced will have tremendous impact on our future. Decades ago I used to maintain some virtual worlds that people would visit and enjoy socialising in. I want to do that again, now that technology is improving. One day we will be able to physically participate to the degree depicted in this story, but that's probably a fair way off in the future... decades. If you think that's unlikely, remember that less than 5 decades ago nobody on the planet had personal computers. Computers occupied entire floors of buildings, consumed many kilowatts of power, and cost millions of dollars. Now even the poorest people carry supercomputers in their pockets. Big changes can happen incredibly swiftly.

Interview - a short story (23kB : 3,952 words : 7 pages) [comment]
short story artificial intelligence thoughts science fiction sad
Artificial intelligence will partner creatively with us, to our enormous benefit.

nations - a short story (17kB : 2885 words : 7 pages) [comment]
short story I'm annoyed thoughts
Refugees are not who you think they are.

Meeting Leonardo - a short story (13kB : 2140 words : 5 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts
Sharing is perhaps the greatest human value.
(By the way, I don't think time travel is possible. My description of time in the story was simply to make it sound feasible.)

Grave Words - a short story (5kB : 891 words : 3 pages) [comment]
short story artificial intelligence thoughts
A very short story about something I'm certain will really happen soon.

honesty - a short story (12kB : 1,946 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts
This is actually chapter 9 of my book Prescription. Like a number of chapters in that book, it is self-contained and can stand by itself. I often direct people to it as an example of the arguments for why religion should be taxed, so I decided to add it here to make it easier for people to access.

Recuperate - a short story (11kB : 1,785 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction artificial intelligence thoughts
An encounter in the wilderness between a civilised person and a less than civilised one.

Shirlocke - a short novel (152kB : 27514 words : 48 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book science fiction artificial intelligence comedy thoughts NaNoWriMo entry
A comedy-drama in which a sleuth, who considers herself a kind of modern day Sherlock Holmes, is assisted by her companion, a sentient robot.

Set only several years in the future, when things are hardly different from now, this is a mild comedy with elements of suspense and action.

It was originally intended to be longer, but it ran its course much more quickly than I expected.
This is only the first draft so will undoubtedly have lots of errors until I get a chance to revise it.

This is a revised cover. It's better than the previous one, but I'm still not sure I'll keep it. Let me know what you think via the comment link.

The Meaning of Life - a short story (24kB : 4,122 words : 8 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts NaNoWriMo entry
This one really is about the meaning of life. The greatest secret of all is revealed in this story. I'm not kidding.

Pet - a short story (17kB : 2,856 words : 6 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts NaNoWriMo entry
Pet is a young woman who was raised by a large, gentle, sloth-like creature after her family was slaughtered by vicious aliens called Hunters when she was little. Now the Hunters have returned.

This reads like a dramatic story, but is really an explanation of why non-violence must win against violence... eventually.

Sympathy for Pests - a short story (12kB : 1,919 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts NaNoWriMo entry
If you think the nuclear topics discussed sound like the detestable new fashion for promoting thorium reactors, you're right, I've been reading a lot about them recently.

Dragon - a short story (10kB : 1,681 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts artificial intelligence NaNoWriMo entry
I'm supposed to be writing another story, but can't seem to get it mapped out, so I wrote this shortie hoping it would free up my writing muscles.

Companions - a short novel (225 kB : 38,867 words : 74 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book NaNoWriMo entry artificial intelligence science fiction thoughts

Lucy loves her intelligent motorcycle; Sylvia and Oliver manage a factory together; Trixie and her dog, Happy, adore each other; Navid deeply admires the AI who comes to him for help; Fawn lived for her human.

This story is about (non-sexual) companionships between humans, androids, and dogs, and the disruptive effects of artificial intelligence upon society.

I know this is not the kind of story that most people like, but that's okay, I didn't write it for them, I wrote it for me and for people who are like me. I get a big kick out of ideas, and I think the whole standard plot structure that everybody uses is tired and worn (intro, build-up, climax, resolution). Reality doesn't have plotting rules. Neither does this story.

First draft begun NaNoWriMo 2013 and completed in Camp NaNoWriMo during April 2014. Yet to be properly revised and probably full of errors and bits that don't work. If you give me feedback via my comment link I'd be very grateful.

Skin Deep - a short story (14kB : 2,332 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction thoughts
I didn't put this online for a while as I had hopes of selling it to a magazine, but I'm so slack I doubt that is likely to ever happen.
I've tagged this as science fiction, but it is barely so. It is a philosophical piece which doesn't really start until it ends. I'm not happy with the last spoken line. The current one is like a placeholder. I know what I want, but haven't yet figured out how to make my character say it. One day I'll work it out and fix the last statement, completely altering the meaning of the story... again.

Quicksand Thieves - a short story (7kB : 1,140 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction nice
Everything changes, but nothing changes.

An old-style science fiction story that's just a kind of snapshot from the far future.
Hmmm... Looks like I got a little something written during November after all.

The Party - a short story (30kB : 2,424 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story science fiction   lesbian
This is a bit of an odd story. I've marked it as science fiction, but it is only barely so. It has a bit of a dreamlike quality, I know. It began life as a dream that I woke from and decided to write down. I wrote it as an entry in a short story competition. The competition imposed strict limits on the word-length for entries, so this forced the story to be considerably shorter than I would have liked. Maybe one day I'll extend it the way I'd have preferred. This should have been put up here back in April (2012) but I keep being distracted by other things.

flying - a novel (384 kB : 60,586 words : 113 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book thoughts science fiction artificial intelligence   NaNoWriMo entry
You know those wonderful flying dreams you sometimes have...

This story starts out sounding like fantasy, but it isn't. Believe me, it is hard SF. I'm also a little worried that the sweetness of the beginning might turn some readers away, or disappoint some others when it becomes less so later. Nevertheless, this is an optimistic, upbeat story -- no sex, or horror, or gratuitous violence.
Written during 2011, 2012, 2013.

Prescription - my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel (285kB : 50,400 words : 85 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book NaNoWriMo entry artificial intelligence thoughts science fiction   lesbian
When we make an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is smarter than us, what will it really be like?

A brilliant scientist heads a small team of programmers building an artificial intelligence. This story primarily considers how AIs could be misused for ill or used for good and how they might provide the solutions to many of our problems. It also illustrates concerns at how rights can be so easily denied those who deserve them.

I designed this to be quite a bit different from normal stories. It has a number of parts, and many of the chapters read more like short stories than part of a long piece, but that's how I wanted it to be. I wanted an overarching story made up of smaller ones. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't. I think the standard way of telling stories is becoming too formulaic. Intro, build-up, climax, resolution. It has become a predictable ritual.

I finished this, the first draft, in the month! Yay! Now the long, slow, neverending process of revision.

Selena City - (248kB : 43,725 words : 75 pages) [comment]
book NaNoWriMo entry epub electronic book artificial intelligence thoughts lesbian sex science fiction
Adele works in security and is in love with Brenda. Unfortunately, circumstances have separated them.

A leading AI expert has been abducted and Adele and her fellow security staff must track him down before something terrible happens to the City. This has accidentally brought Adele and Brenda back together again. Can their love resume? Should it? Things become further complicated when a friend of a friend arrives in the city as a refugee.

A romance/mystery set in the near future at a city under the surface of the Moon in an almost ideal society where sexuality is not an issue.

My 2007 NaNoWriMo novel. Please let me know what you think of it via the [comment] link. During November I was able to stop real life interfering with writing, but when the month ended I was suddenly buried under all the things I'd put off.

Finally finished almost a year later... well, except for the inevitable rewrites yet to come.

Closed Curve (8kB : 1,298 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story unhappy
I woke from a nap with the rapidly fading fragment of a dream which hinged on a strange idea. By the time I had the computer running and had begun frantically typing, the dream had mostly evaporated, but I'd managed to weave an odd tale around the bit that remained. I know it is nothing like the dream. The dream was pleasant. I can't blame the dream for this horrid story. But somehow it feels like it didn't really come from me either... it's like it invented itself.

Out at Night (1kB : 919 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story nice science fiction
This was originally written as an exercise for the writers group I was attending at the time. The main character is supposed to be my niece Sophie in the future.

Cuckoo (12kB : 1,948 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story unhappy science fiction lesbian
I wrote this fairly recently after a nightmare. The nightmare was quite different to this story and had an altogether darker, more disturbing plot. I might write that down some day too.

Once Bitten... (9kB : 1,466 words : 3 pages) [comment]
short story eeek!
This unpleasant little tale occurred to me out of the blue while I was over in New Zealand for Xmas 2005. I thought I had put it up here some time back, but realised today (more than a year later) that I'd forgotten. Remedied.

Insurance (291kB : 52,000 words : 95 pages) [comment]
book epub electronic book NaNoWriMo entry artificial intelligence lesbian thoughts nice sex virtual reality science fiction
The future is high-tech and low-energy, where androids (intelligent, human-like robots) are willing slaves, and most people, upon dying, are reborn into virtual reality inside computers as "veeps". Rachel is in love with her android Sally, even though it is socially frowned upon for a human to love an android. They become entangled in schemes for veeps and androids to gain human status.

In 2005 I completed my first NaNoWriMo. Yay! In some ways I'm really happy with this story even though it is not as well written as I'd have liked. It's about ideas and love and the near future. This story has as many cool concepts stuffed into it as I could at the time. It is mostly a happy and optimistic piece -- deliberately so. I need to rewrite some clumsy parts though. If you read it please bear in mind it was my first attempt at long form story writing, so it reads more like a collection of short stories. I'll rewrite it eventually.

Anty-sense (11kB : 1,665 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts nice lesbian science fiction
I started this story a while ago, but got stuck part way through. I knew how it had to end, and I knew the general theme of the story, but I was caught up on a proof which I felt was needed in the story. In the end I realised I didn't need it after all. It doesn't depend upon it, so I implied it. I'm still not entirely sure it was the right thing to do. One day I might fix that and give it the proof it wants.

Guardian Angel (12kB : 1,970 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story action virtual reality science fiction
This was just an exercise, but I'm quite happy the way this story turned out even though it is simple and is an action piece.

Lessons in Reversal (5kB : 773 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts nice science fiction
A very short piece.  It actually happened, though not quite the way I've depicted of course.  And I was about twice Rebecca's age.

The Controller (10kB : 1,674 words : 3 pages) [comment]
short story lesbian science fiction
This was a dream.  When I awoke I wrote it down as quickly as I could before it evaporated.  Even so, I lost the original thing that I'd done that I'd had to fix in the dream, so in writing this I avoided it by saying it was too embarrassing.  Other than that the story is pretty-much as the dream was.  I don't recall ever having a dream this complex before, nor one with such internal self-consistency.  I did add the thoughts on altered time streams though, because swapping streams appeared completely natural in the dream, and it was only in the retelling that I realised I was telling the story from two points of view (the me who is caught and the me who escapes), which I needed to reconcile.

A Loving Soul (30kB : 3,390 words : 13 pages) [comment]
script short story thoughts artificial intelligence science fiction
This is one of the scripts I submitted to twoTwisted.  It didn't get picked up.  Nevertheless I'm quite proud of it and like to think it would have been rejected because of the controversial stuff anyway.  This story basically wrote itself.  Halfway through it took a direction I didn't want and I was thinking, "No, don't do that," but was powerless to stop the characters.  At the end I was annoyed because the story wound up in a way that didn't suit me, so I went back and scrapped everything from about halfway through (a very painful thing to do).  After changing the bit where everything had started off in the wrong direction, I was still worried that it would be hard to force the story to go the way I wanted, but to my relief the characters took hold again and wrote it the way I'd originally intended, with a nice extra bit I hadn't planned on as well.  I felt like just an onlooker.

Love Honour and Obey (28kB : 3,546 words : 13 pages) [comment]
script short story thoughts artificial intelligence science fiction
Another of the scripts I submitted to twoTwisted that didn't get picked up.  I think it is the best of the ones I sent.  I don't feel like I should take much credit for it though because I feel like the characters in the story wrote it.  It was the weirdest feeling.  The story just appeared on my screen.  I had a fairly simple idea to start with, that robots and androids will never be a danger to humans, but was a bit stumped as to how to turn it into a story.  I even rang my Mum because I couldn't think of a way to do it.  But when I sat down to write, it just fell out onto the screen.  The strangest thing is it developed a whole lot of cool subtexts during the writing that I hadn't originally planned.

The Killer (27kB : 3,973 words : 11 pages) [comment]
script short story angry science fiction
Yet another script sent to twoTwisted.  I'm not sure whether I like this one or not.  I like the idea behind it though.  I originally didn't want to spell out the ending in the final line, but my family convinced me that it needed it.  Still not 100% certain.

Medusa (7kB : 1,289 words : 3 pages) [comment]
short story unhappy
I've always felt the Medusa legend got it horribly wrong.  I think this is more likely to be what actually happened.

This was originally written in 2003, then tightened up and generally improved with the kind help of ElaineB, FranW, and JRosestar in 2010.

Hell (11kB + 27kB image : 1,883 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story unhappy virtual reality science fiction
Hopefully this will eventually become a work of VR Fiction.  It was printed in the second Spaced Out  anthology.  Not a very good story, in my opinion, but serves to illustrate that even the wonderful VR future I dream of can be misused.

Grace (14kB : 2,146 words : 6 pages) [comment]
short story script nice virtual reality thoughts science fiction
I like the idea behind this story because it shows why all religion would be extremely insulting to any sane god if such a being existed.

I'd hoped this would become a work of VR fiction.  It is printed in the second Spaced Out  anthology.

Grace3 (28kB : 3700 words : 11 pages) is a better version with 3 simultaneous threads. [comment]

Grace, versión en Español - A wonderful friend has translated Grace into Spanish. Unfortunately, as an atheist living in a predominantly Christian country, she declines to be directly credited for her work because of prejudice from "good Christians". I've lost contact with her recently, but if you want someone to translate to Spanish, let me know I might still be able to find her.

Virtual Confinement (8kB : 1,159 words : 3 pages) [comment]
short story thoughts virtual reality science fiction   lesbian
An oldie, but rather proud of this.  Was also in the first Spaced Out  anthology.

Restaurant Nightmare (5kB : 819 words : 2 pages) [comment]
short story comedy
When I awoke I realised its humorous potential.  It is really just a fragment, as dreams tend to be.

Starry Dream (12kB : 1,975 words : 4 pages) [comment]
short story lesbian virtual reality science fiction
This was actually a dream which I wrote down when I awoke.  Originally written ages ago, reworked more recently.  Always felt it should be expanded upon...  maybe one day.

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