“Nuclear Family,” a dark post-apocalyptic SF flash story, is now live at Kasma SF.
I originally wrote it in early December. When a friend told me that a certain pro-paying market was holding a Christmas contest, I had no intention of participating. Holiday-themed stories really aren’t my thing. But then an idea wormed its way into my head. Being a contrarian, if I was going to write a Christmas story then it was going to be the darkest, saddest Christmas story you’ve ever read! None of that happy, cuddly stuff for the holidays. And so, “Nuclear Family” was born.
Unfortunately the hosts of the contest dropped the ball. Instead of the advertised three winning stories they only ever published one, and they never responded to most of the entrants. By late January I ended up withdrawing my submission. But it all worked out in the end, and this story found a wonderful home at Kasma SF — a semi-pro market that has been quietly publishing some amazing fiction over the last few years, and where I’ve been submitting stories for some time now.
At 500 words exactly, “Nuclear Family” is one of my shortest published stories — but it packs a lot of punch into the word count, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.