Fiction

Story Where About

Let the Good Times Roll

Tomorrow’s Crimes
Boundary Shock Quarterly #26 Apr 2024

Excerpt here.

Humanity’s future is at stake! The little grey men (extraterrestrials) who have been here all along have decided it’s time to make themselves known and save the humans.

But wait–have they broken galactic laws? That could mean the end of the uplift plan that will save us all.

And why are the grey men wearing Birkenstocks?

A Voyage to Pir Mahauw

Gulliver’s Other Travels
Boundary Shock Quarterly #25 Feb 2024

Excerpt here.

Captain Sally Rider finds herself on the wrong end of a mutiny, kicked off her fluxship to crash-land on a forgotten planet. Her usual optimism is a touch strained. Hoping against hope for a long-shot rescue, Sally finds to her delight that there is indeed civilization on the planet. She will soon discover the secrets they harbor and the cost of her rescue.

Do You See What I See?

Science Fiction Holidays
Blaze Ward Presents #24
Dec 2023

Get your copy here.

When extraterrestrials land on Christmas Day, a cop named Melisandre is the first to greet them. As she strides up to the largest one, she’s pissed, because they’ve just put her kids in danger. She doesn’t care about their POV.

But they care about hers. Because it’s about to change.

Button Button

Blaze Ward Presents: Every Tomorrow Worse?

Oct 2023

Get your copy here.

Every Tomorrow Worse? Blaze Ward PresentsIn a future where AI makes everything possible, what’s in the crack between what AI offer and what it is to be human? How big is that crack?

Button sized, perhaps.

Bidden Fruit

Cutter’s Final Cut, Issue 5: Crones

Aug 2023

Get your copy here.

Cutter’s Final Cut, Issue 5: Crones Arjorie Renkel doesn’t like shopping. She also doesn’t like people, teenagers, or the powerful entity with whom she has made an important magical deal. But needs must.

An obnoxious teenager tries to get in front of her at the checkout lane. He’s about to learn why you don’t mess with people who haven’t lived this long by accident.

The Third Way

Tramp Freighter Captains
Boundary Shock Quarterly #23

Jul 2023

Get your copy here.

Boundary Shock Quarterly #23: Tramp Freighter CaptainsTransporting a passenger and luggage is a simple job for the crew of the fluxship Big Top.

They just have to get the ship through a collapsing fluxhole, make sure their temperamental passenger stays calm, and keep an eye on the mysterious, beeping luggage.

The Price of Art

Avast! The Pirate Issue
Boundary Shock Quarterly #21

Jan 2023

Get your copy here.

BSQ 21: Avast! (The Pirate Issue)

The crew of Big Top has been hired to transport an art collection to the famous Jezier museum.

But when a pirate ship comes alongside, the question of what is art becomes far more urgent.

The Unturned Stone

A novel about magic and forest
From Kotted Road Press

Aug 2022

Get your copy here.

The Unturned Stone, by Sonia Orin LyrisAs a witch in the small town of Marigold, USA, Susanne “Sanne” Pascral keeps a low profile. She tutors computer nerds, teaches wild-crafting, and does her level best to stay out of trouble.

But when her sister sends her a box containing demon eggs about to hatch, Sanne is going to have a hard time keeping anything hidden. Especially the demons.

Treasure Twice Over

Witches, Cutter’s Final Cut: Issue Four, from Knotted Road Press

Oct 2022

Get your copy here.
Witches: Cutters Final Cut: Issue Four

Susanne “Sanne” Pascral has volunteered to sort donated books for the Marigold library. While she does, she uses her second sight–her witch’s eye–to search for rare, precious magical books that can be hidden inside ordinary books.

In the library above, a child screams.

Tea and Cookies

After the Fall
A Blaze Ward Presents Special Edition

Oct 2022

Get your copy here.

After the Fall, A BWP Special Edition

For sister and brother Jessie and Collin, survival is all about staying under the radar of whatever force–AI, aliens, shadow governments–destroyed their home, town, family, country. The entire planet, maybe.

They eat a lot squirrel. But it’s humor that keeps them going.

Better Selves:
a Collection of SF&F Stories

June 2022

Get your copy here.
Better Selves: A Collection of SF&F Stories, by Sonia Orin Lyris

What happens when we fail ourselves? When we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see?

In these five tales are explorations of self–who are we when we’re not at our best and how we can–at least sometimes–find our way back to our better selves.

Not Go Quietly

Small Gods
Blaze Ward Presents: Issue #6

May 2022

Get your copy here.
Small Gods: Blaze Ward Presents: Issue 6

“Mama, the monster has come for me at last. You say they are gods, that it is good to go with the gods, but I am not so sure.

“So fast. How can anything move so fast?”

Big Top

Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will Travel,

January 2022

Space Opera Digest 2022: Have Ship, Will TravelFlux is unpredictable. Ships can end up far, far from where they meant to go.

Meet the crew of the fluxship Big Top, and find out where they’re off to. 

When Strangers Meet

Dispatches from Anarres: Portland Writers Pay Tribute to the Vision of Ursula K. Le Guin, edited by Susan DeFreitas

Alien-Human first contact.

When strangers meet, all benefit.

Or so they say.

First published in New Legends, ed. Greg Bear.

Courage:
Zenectia’s Library

“Crime And…”, Blaze Ward Presents: Issue #5.

Get your copy here.

Every day Joah comes to the huge stone structure that blots out the sky, that is Zenectia’s Library. No one in living memory has seen the mage Zenectia, and no one can cross the magical boundary.

Then, one day, Joah does.

If You Ready

Anthology: Cloak and Dagger, Blaze Ward Presents: Issue #4

Get your copy here.
Cloak and Dagger: Blaze Ward Presents: Issue 4

Dirk’s great-grandmother’s nearly a hundred years old. She’s got scars all over her hands.

Someday Dirk will find out why.

Landfall: Book Three, The Stranger Trilogy

Sequel to Unmoored and The Seer

Get your copy here.

In the third and final book of The Stranger Trilogy, Amarta unwraps secrets within secrets, coming to understand the cost of getting what she wants.

Innel gains a chance at redemption, but can he pay the price?

The Seer and The Lord Commander’s paths come together again, but they are changed. They meet as strangers.

Shelter from the Storm

Anthology Leather Tomes and Spiderwebs, edited by Blaze Ward and Leah Cutter.

Get your copy here.

Susan Langley is not entirely sane. Nor is she quite crazy enough to be stripped of her grandmother’s fortune.

Differently-sane, perhaps.

Maelstrom: Book Two,The Stranger Trilogy

Sequel to Unmoored and The Seer.

Get your copy here..
In this sequel to Unmoored, the hunted becomes the hunter. Amarta travels the world, seeking the truth about herself and learning to wield power in ways that she did not foresee, at a cost that she could not imagine.

Though they walk separate paths, Amarta and Innel’s questions are one and the same: Who am I now?

The Angels’ Share

Re-released July 2020

First published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Dec 1996.

Get your copy here.
If you’re rich enough, you can pay someone else to rehab for you, while you vacation in their young, healthy, beautiful body at Paradise, an exclusive resort that only a few can afford.

This is Phantom’s last time at the resort—his real body can’t take any more chemo. Unless he can pull some more strings.

“The unsparing integrity of Angel’s Share does not give an inch. Remarkable.” —Barry N. Malzberg

Touchstone

First published by Baen Books, 2016.

Get your copy here..
Prequel to The Seer.

Two children, the brothers Innel and Pohut, are thrust into palace life and royal intrigue.

All they need to do to survive is find the right bell. The silver bell. Quickly.

Unmoored: Book One,The Stranger Trilogy

The sequel to The Seer. 

Get your copy here..

Book Cover: The Stranger: Unmoored, by Sonia Orin LyrisUnmoored—the first book of The Stranger Trilogy—begins new adventures for Amarta, The Seer.

Come explore this rich world, follow the court intrigue, and learn the truth about power.

 

Happy Birthday

In anthology Imps and Minions,  edited David F. Shultz. Aug 2019. Available in paperback and kindle here. The best thing about birthdays is the surprise presents.  Right?

Maybe not this time.

The Seer

Available in ebook, paperback, and audio.

From Baen Books, 2106. 

 

Book Cover: The Seer, by Sonia Orin Lyris

Everyone wants answers. No one wants the truth.

In a remote mountain village, a young girl named Amarta sells prophecies to keep her family from starving. A dangerous game, this, when her predictions gain Amarta and her family too much notoriety than is good for them.

In a tapestry of loyalty, intrigue, magic, and gold, Amarta becomes the key to everyone’s ambitions. To survive, she must do more than predict the future. She must create it.

Done

LORE vol. 2, no. 5; published April 2014. Out of print, but occasionally available here, on Amazon.

lore_v2_no5_thumbA rich man wants his wife gone, and hires someone to do the wretched deed.

These things are rarely simple, and this one gets strange, fast.

Jay and Me – A Story in Three Short Acts

The Jay Wake Book: A Celebration of Jay Lake, Edited by Sandra Tayler, July 2013
jay wake climbs to the stars

This collection of pictures, remembrances, and fiction was created for JayWake, Jay’s pre-mortem celebration. The hardcopy version of the book is the best, with full-color pictures, but there are also PDFs you can have for free. Low Res (7MB) and High Res (72MB)

Biggest Fan! Ever!

Flush Fiction: 88 Short-Short Stories You Can Read in a Single Sitting from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, 2012

 

UJBRFF

A letter from a fan to the greatest scientist of the age, about his dog, time travel, and saving the world.

Descent

Anthology Dark Descents from Hazardous Press, Dec 2012.

Out of print, and not available anywhere, so if you have a copy, don’t lose it. Sadly, Hazardous Press is no more.

Dark_Descents

This three-story collection begins with my dark and bloody urban fantasy novella about love, power, and the apocalypse. Also in the collection are reprints of “The Green” and “Motherhood”. 

(Alas–no longer in print. If enough people want it reprinted, it could happen. Contact the author.)

Romance, with Mice

Dadaoism AnthologyChomu Press, 2012. Still in print.

Web
From the submission guidelines: “…an anthology that will be the literary and psychic equivalent of a tour around the edges of a dying galaxy in a spectacularly malfunctioning space vehicle.” I found this call irresistible and wrote Romance, with Mice. It would have been unpublishable almost anywhere else, so I was really pleased when they said yes. Pick up the anthology here or here.

Mirror Test

Tomorrow Project: Seattle
Intel Corp, 2011.

Get your copy here, free.

tomorrow_project_seattle_s
In 2011, Intel put out the call for science fiction describing the future of some of their key R&D technologies for this anthology. I combined virtual reality, machine learning, and facial recognition to explore what happens when software can tell intimate things about what meatware (that’s us) are thinking. (There used to be podcast interview with me about the story here, but it seems to have vanished. Let me know if you find it.)

The Rejection Saga

Journal of Universal Rejection, 2011
JOUR_smallMeta-fiction, meaning fiction within layers. Yes, like an onion. This work led me to an editorial position. It’s all wrapped up in a nice little package here.

Payback

Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, June 1997

 

Out of print.

Payback has to do with an ancient theme, the granting of wishes, which so often goes not at all as we expect.

And Peace Shall Sleep

HarperPrism, 1996

No longer in print, but available from various places including the obvious.

Exploring the classic fantasy themes of heroism, non-traditional families, and explosives.PEACE SHALL SLEEP

Stands on its own — you don’t need to be a Magic the Gathering player to enjoy the story.

MTG Wiki plot summary here

Multiply and Conquer

  An essay dressed up as fiction, and connected to the story, “A Hand in the Mirror”.

Chef’s Surprise

Anthology Distant Planes, Wizards of the Coast, 1995

As far as I know the anthology is out of print. Let me know if you find out otherwise.

“Chef’s Surprise” is the origin story of The Underground Cookbook and its author, Asmor(…), first referred to in the flavor text of the card Granite Gargoyle.

There are some interesting posts about this book, among them these two: The Throat Wolf card and what I did with it in The Cookbook and this description of Asmor(…), which is a summary of my story.

And Vincent? I named the Lord of the Pit Vincent as a tribute to Mr. Price, of course.

Scroll to the end of this page to see some of my favorite fan artwork for this story.

When Strangers Meet

First publication New Legends anthology, edited by Greg Bear, 1995

new_legends_greg_bear_s
“When Strangers Meet” flowed out of my imagination in one piece, at one sitting. I wasn’t sure just what it was until a first reader told me not to change a word, and editor Greg Bear wanted it for this prestigious anthology with hardly a single edit. One of my Clarion West teachers, Howard Waldorp, told me that if a writer is lucky, she gets one good story that writes itself. This one.

The Going Price

Wizards of the Coast, anthology Tapestries The seed story for And Peace Shall Sleep. It’s about exploding dragon eggs and obnoxious heroes. And seduction, of course.

The Jesus Construct

Pulphouse, issue #18, 1995 Religion, consciousness, and virtual reality in university politics.

A Hand in the Mirror

Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Aug, 1993. Cover story. Also Cyberdreams anthology.

ASM_aug_93_HitM

An early look into collaborative virtual reality and academia. I have brought the story current and extended it into a novel-length work with the working title MirrorMind, as yet unpublished.

The Green

Expanse Number 3, May 1994.

Also, Dark Descents, from Hazardous Press, 2013.

Both are out of print, alas. You can sometimes find them used.

What’s worse than growing up in a big-city apartment with roaches? 

There is a Season

Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Dec 1993 When a beloved relative is bed-bound in the hospital, when he doesn’t have a lot of choices, what does he want?

It Might be Sunlight

In print and available here.

Original publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Nov 1993
sunlight

Eleven light-years from Earth, in a place beyond time, Kelly struggles with an alien captor for her freedom. Or at least the truth.

Hardcopy only because I want you to hold it in your hands.

Motherhood

Pulphouse, issue #16, Sep 1993. Reprinted in the collection “Dark Descents” from Hazardous Press, 2013. It’s about motherhood.

Also, sanity. Go figure.

The Animal Game

Anthology Infinite Loop: Stories About the Future by the People Creating It : Software Development’s Own Anthology of Science Fiction, Ed Larry Constantine, pub. Miller Freeman, 1993
IL
I wondered if I could write a story with six characters and no dialogue, about virtual reality gaming.

Yes, it turned out, I could. And it turned out to be humor. FTW!

Carnival

 

Willamette Writers Kay Snow First Place Winner, 1993. Available here on Smashwords

 

In “Carnival,” I  touch on the theme of how fleeting are transcendent experiences. It’s all so obvious, so clear, so easy, when you’re there. Then it’s gone.

This story won the Kay Snow award in 1993.

Eyes of the Beholder

Midnight Zoo (Vol. 2, No. 1), Jan 1992

 

 

I workshopped this gruesome tale at a SF&F convention in 1991. One of the pros took me aside afterwards and said: “rewrite it without pulling your punches, and I’ll publish it.” I thought the story was already over the line. She assured me it wasn’t.

So I rewrote it, took it to the limit, and she published it. My first sale. Available to my patrons. Subscribe here.

Blades

 

 

First place winner, Kay Snow Writing Contest  1992, Willamette Writers.

Available on Smashwords.

 

bladesMy first professionally published story.

It’s a bit edged, and leaves in the mouth a taste somewhat like iron.

In the Kitchen with Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar ("Asmor" for short)
In the Kitchen with Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar (“Asmor” for short), from CHEF’S SURPRISE. Artist Samuel Barnhart