A few years back (Years! Holy smoke!) I wrote a little story called “Tin Can”. It’s the story of a Spacer, one of the solitary few with the temperament to drift through the endless void of space. It came out with a Golden Age feel, the writing inspiring a nostalgic vibe that worked well with the story itself.
I didn’t notice that at first, and wasn’t really that impressed with the story. It felt insubstantial to me. Other people liked it though, and eventually my pals at Piker Press opened my eyes to the virtues of the story. It’s not a deep story, but it’s a good story. Now I enjoy going back to read it when I find myself getting too heavy.
“Tin Can” introduced a character and a world that my imagination kept returning to, and inevitably other stories followed. As the stories developed, some themes grew while others withered, and what began to emerge is a world painted in tiny moments. Specific inconvenient laws of nature are ignored (faster-than-light travel), but not too many. The top-level theme is that it takes a special breed to wander the stars, and that special kind of person is, in fact, broken.
Though the quality is variable, some of them are pretty good, if I do say so myself. They are listed here in the order I wrote them, which is not strictly chronological. I like it this way because it’s the order the themes developed. I have three more in the works, but haven’t been able to get them right. I think I need to focus them down to a key moment and write the hell out of that. We’ll be meeting the Navigators soon.
All of the above had lovely illustrations, but, alas, some do not appear when the story is pulled from the archives.