I have been wanting to post a Bookworm Spice post for awhile, but I haven’t come across anything new or inspiring to share. At some point, I’ll go back and share about some old favorites, too. But today, I picked up this author who is friend of a friend. I’ve been a fan of his FB page for awhile, but never had the chance to sit down and actually read any of the publications. Many of his short stories are available for free online, through various online magazines, mostly of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Given that I’m completely swamped by work this weekend and have been seeking out every possible escapist activity to procrastinate, I decided to check out one of his recently published stories. I found I enjoyed it so much, I went to find others. (Unlike another Spice, when I procrastinate, I do not find things I hate to do more than the task at hand. I find truly escapist fun things to do. Like catch up on half a season’s worth of Nikita episodes. There’s an idea for another post – my guilty pleasure TV addictions!)

Anyway – the stories are really smart, but not so much sci-fi/fantasy, which I tend to only like when there is a historical or cultural component. I know a lot of sci-fi does have these concepts, but sometimes I get too lost in the science of the fiction and have a hard time enjoying the actual storytelling. I did not get that from these stories. The writing itself is also really…lovely…I don’t know how else to say it without just saying “well-written”, which is too generic and trite of a phrase. My favorites so far have been Ad Block, The Visit, Tying Knots, and Simulacrum. In each, I’ve found a message or theme that resonates strongly with me. You know when you read something that puts an idea or concept into words and you realize this is something you totally understand and believe, but you just didn’t realize until you read it in someone else’s words? Because you yourself never had the ideas in fully formed words or concepts? These stories did that for me. Tying Knots inspired a welling up of indignation, Simulacrum led to a welling up of tears. Really amazing.

His website lists all of the links to the stories that are available online. I wonder if any of the other Spices will enjoy the stories, too. Maybe it’s just me. But he seems to be getting a lot published, so there does seem to be widespread appeal, too. He and his wife recently co-wrote a novel that’s in the editing process – I can’t wait to see how that turned out, too.