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.
The Last Bottle
All of the above had lovely illustrations, but, alas, some do not appear when the story is pulled from the archives.
What a *wonderful* series of stories. There is a real, great book hiding here. Makes me feel like I did reading “Fantasy & Science Fiction” back when ink was ink and paper was paper, and Isaac Asimov wrote a column every month. Put me on the mailing list that hears when you’ve added a new chapter.
Just read all 6 segments. Very engaging reading. Would love to read more. Thanks for writing that!
Jerry, I’ll try to find the illustrations.
Great stuff, enjoyed very much.
Took some digging, but I believe “Race to the Rock” and “Between the Stars” (found on Piker Press) need links too.
From the sound of it, that leaves one lurking somewhere…
“Between the Stars” definitely belongs on this list. I will fix. “Race to the Rock” is more comfortable in the company of “Repair Man,” which is one of my favorites. At this moment, I don’t recall the publication status of that one.
Found “Repair Man” by searching from outside either this or piker sites – thanks, and I see your point. Of course both could fit somewhere in the ‘caniverse line, if you were to add a couple more nuggets and make a book of shorts – hint hint!