I have a new story out today in Chappy Fiction’s Time Travel Tales

Time manipulation is a delicate, difficult practice. First you’ve got to will (be/have been) get/got/getting the right verb tense (or just give up and go with simple present). And then there’s the matter of simultaneous n-breaks—a tricky tactic to stretch and twist time back on itself, allowing for multiple iterations of the same person to exist in the same room at the same time for an academic conference. Not to mention hangovers.

What am I even talking about? My latest published story, “First and Only Sixteenth Annual One-Woman Symposium on Time Manipulation,” which is out today in Chappy Fiction’s Time Travel Tales anthology.

Will Dr. Mirai and her various iterations make revolutionary breakthroughs as they tinker with time, or will they break the universe and suffer the consequences? If you want to find out, you’ll have to snag the anthology: Time Travel Tales on Amazon, available in Kindle and paperback forms!

The anthology has a lot of other great stories on offer, as well, from the metafictional to the traditional, the academic to the adventurous.

Just take a gander at the names which grace the table of contents:

Brian Trent, Catherine Wells, Sean Williams, Stewart C Baker, Robert Silverberg, HL Fullerton, Auston Habershaw, Brenda Anderson, SL Huang, Tony Pi, Steve Simpson, K Kazul Wolf, Rasheedah Phillips, Martin L Shoemaker, Alter Reiss, David Steffen, John A Frochio, Alisa Alering, Desmond Warzel, and Rosemary Claire Smith.

“Love and Relativity” now available in Spanish at Axxón!

My story from Nature Physics, “Love and Relativity,” has been translated into Spanish by the fine folks at Axxón magazine.

You can read the translation, “Amor y Relatividad,” by author and translator Claudia De Bella, here: http://axxon.com.ar/rev/2016/10/amor-y-relatividad-stewart-c-baker/

Gracias, Claduai y Axxón!

New story, “Five Recipes You Can’t Live Without” now up at Spirit’s Tincture

My flash fiction story disguised as a series of magical cupcake recipes, “Five Recipes You Can’t Live Without” is now available to read in the inaugural issue of Spirit’s Tincture magazine.

To give you a taste (get it?) that will only serve to increase your appetite (get it?!), here is a sample-sized serving (okay, I’ll stop) made up of the opening lines:

One — Vanilla-Almond and Anise Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. With your dead sister’s image foremost in your mind, chant an awakening spell and light a stick of absinthe-infused sandalwood afire

The story was a runner-up in their flash fiction contest, and the issue also has stories by excellent writers like Laurence Brothers, Darcie Little Badger (whose story won the contest!), Spencer Ellsworth, José Iriarte, and more!

The issue’s free to read online (albeit in one of those funky page-flipping things), and you can also buy a print version if you’re into that sort of thing. Go and check it out!

Here’s the online version:

(PS: Peltandra Sagittifolia and snakeroot are kind of toxic, so do me a favour and don’t try to reproduce those recipes in your kitchen!)

Two SFnal reprints in QuickFic – “Masks” and “Little More than Shadows”

These two reprints are actually from late June, but I was visiting family at the time and wasn’t paying much attention to things.

So, under the “better late than never” category: I have two reprints in Digital Fiction Publishing’s “QuickFic” imprint which are free to read online on their website.

The first of these, “Little More than Shadows,” is a roughly 800-word 2nd-person slipstreamy story about dreams, monsters, regrets, and Hamlet references in the title. It starts like this:

On the worst days, just the knowledge that you’re dreaming is enough to set you shivering in the cot, neck stiff from the cables.

Eventually, one of your wardens will come, so you wait. They are little more than shadows, these days: features you can’t quite bring into focus; skin tone somewhere between ivory and midnight. You can’t remember any of the names you gave them when you first arrived.

The second story, “Masks,” is closer to 3000 words, and is space opera featuring a colony-ship, spies, sabotage, alien artefacts of unclear provenance, and more. Also a lesbian couple, hooray!

Min can tell by the way the man in the lizard mask drums the fingers of one hand on the surface of his desk that he is angry. She avoids the bright green glimmer of his eyes, wishing she were anywhere but here. Wishing she remembered who she was supposed to be.

“This is all you bring me?” the man asks, his voice raspy with distortion. In his other hand he holds the latest chip Min has stolen, heavy with data on Ship’s communications to the other surviving colony ships and its route away from Earth-long-gone.

Last Words of the Idea of English Superiorty, Spoken to Nationalist Parties Claiming Its Relevance on the Eve of the United Kingdom’s Dissolution into its Component Countries, Shires, Cities, and Townships (“Last Words” series)

Writing about brexit? Me?

Naaaaah.

Last Words of the Idea of English Superiorty, Spoken to Nationalist Parties Claiming Its Relevance on the Eve of the United Kingdom’s Dissolution into its Component Countries, Shires, Cities, and Townships

by Stewart C Baker

Are you lot still here?

(And this is my 100th post on this blog, apparently. Shiny.)

Last Words of Hate (“Last Words” series)

Given the mass shooting in Orlando, I almost don’t want to post one of these at all.

Here’s a compromise: the last words (and many other words) of hate itself:

Last Words of Hate

by Stewart C Baker

I was so afraid…

If you have some spare funds, please consider a donation to It Gets Better, Human Rights Campaign, or any other LGBTQ+ advocacy or support group you know of.

Dying Words of Alshral Dei, Wisest and Most Venerable Sage of the Twenty-Eight Inhabited Galaxies (“Last Words” series)

It has been so hot around here lately that my ears are starting to melt and drain out from my brain. (ETA: as proof of which, I set this to post ten days after the right day.)

No, wait, should that be the other way around?

Maybe it should. Maybe it shouldn’t. More importantly: what does it have to do with this week’s “Last Words” post?

Absolutely nothing. I just thought you should know.

Dying Words of Alshral Dei, Wisest and Most Venerable Sage of the Twenty-Eight Inhabited Galaxies, as Recorded and Distributed by Ansible to Three Hundred Billion Warring Races to Herald the Beginning of an Era of Universal Peace.

by Stewart C Baker

[unintelligible mumbling]

The Necromancer’s First Words Upon Resurrecting Her Wife and Their Two Children, Ten Years after the Plague (“Last Words”)

In contrast to some of my other “last words” posts, this one’s a bit dark, and has nary a bit of humour to offset said darkness.

So if you’ve any deceased loved ones that you miss deeply, maybe best skip this little story-let.

The Necromancer’s First Words Upon Resurrecting Her Wife and Their Two Children, Ten Years after the Plague

by Stewart C Baker

I’ve missed you so much.

What the Time Traveller Said When She Appeared on Her Own Doorstep (“Last Words” Series)

We’ve all been there. Sitting at home, minding our own business, when someone knocks at the door and turns out to be a future version of yourself who’s dead or dying.

Er, wait. What?!

What the Time Traveller Said When She Appeared on Her Own Doorstep Half-Drowned and Bleeding from Three Stab Wounds, Six Gunshot Wounds, with Her Clothing on Fire

by Stewart C Baker

“You must never go to—!”

Let this be a lesson to us all: When you’re time travelling back to the past to warn yourself of your impending doom, don’t bother with full sentences in case you die before you finish them.

Unwritten Fragment of Basho’s Second Death Poem (“Last Words” Series)

Not much in the way of commentary this week, since (1) I think the genesis of this one should be fairly obvious and (2) do you really want to see me talk about haiku for 500 words?

Unwritten Fragment of Basho’s Second Death Poem, Pulled Half-Finished from His Mind and Brought Forward in Time to the Twenty-Third Century at the Moment of His Last Breath

by Stewart C Baker

No more journeying
I rest—

I said no commentary, but I guess you really have to know what Basho’s last recorded poem was for this to make sense: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bash%C5%8D#Last_years

On a semi-related note, I’m pondering writing a short story (and/or a piece of interactive fiction!) about a sort of magicianly warrior group who uses spoken haiku sort of like spells to create literal changes in the fabric of reality.

It sounds weird, and probably would be, but it also makes an odd kind of sense. Haiku’s all about juxtaposition. And the idea of a haiku “cutting” to create worlds is sort-of almost canonical! As I explored in a previous story.

On an unrelated note, don’t forget to guess which title in Writers of the Future is mine! You could win a signed copy of this year’s anthology.