New Publication: In the Wake of the Storm

October 22, 2013

This October is flying by faster than any month has a right to.  I’ve been incredibly swamped with a variety of projects, but wanted to pop in and post a quick update.

New Publications:

“In the Wake of the Storm” is live today at

This is a modern fantasy story about the aftermath of super-storm Sandy in NYC.  The opening scene was inspired by my own experience helping my stepfather deal with the flood damage while trying to get around in the borough deprived of electricity and gasoline.  This is the actual photo I took inside of his house:

Water surge flooded most basements or even ground floors in Rockaway. The high-water line in this photo is at nearly six feet.

Water surge flooded most basements or even ground floors in Rockaway. The high-water line in this photo is at nearly six feet.

I loved playing with the voice and tone of this story, but the best part was that publishers at Buzzy were kind enough to schedule it to go live just before the one year anniversary of Sandy! I hope it will be well-received.

#SFWApro“A Man in an Angel Costume” is live at Horror d’oeuvres.

This one is behind a pay wall but may be well worth for horror fans, as they provide lots of content including a weekly flash story. I read a handful and enjoyed most of them, even though I am not typically a horror reader.

“A Man in an Angel Costume” is one of my oldest stories that haven’t sold previously. But I never gave up on it — I love the prose poetry opening that transitions into a more traditional narrative as the story develops. Some editors really hated this format while for others it came very close, but I never gave up and kept submitting it, until the story found a right home.

New Sales

If I had to choose one signature story to represent my writing, I would definitely go with “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma,” a humor fantasy piece about a magic pawn shop which was published at InterGalactic Medicine Show earlier this year. I’m extraordinarily pleased that IGMS also picked up its sequel, “High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity.” It will appear in an upcoming issue, though I don’t have the exact time frame yet.

There are also a handful of reprint sales (two instances of markets taking three reprint stories each!) One is a printed magazine and another a mobile platform. I will be able to talk more about both sometime in the near future, but I’m glad to find more ways to share my stories with readers.


I had a wonderful time at CapClave and hope to return next year. My next convention will be PhilCon in November and I will post my panel schedule once I have it.

Unidentified Funny Objects 2

The book launched on October 7 and the sales are solid. In fact, we’ve sold more copies of UFO2 so far than we did copies of UFO1 in its first month! So definitely moving in the right direction.


I’m woefully behind on this project, but the good news is that the stories have been copy-edited and should go out to book designers for e-book and physical layout later this week. It’ll be really tough to meet the November goal, but I still expect to have them out to all Kickstarter backers before Christmas.

Dark Expanse

This project is chugging along on schedule, and the anthology should release in the first quarter of 2014.

Unidentified Funny Objects 3

I am already laying some groundwork for the third volume of the series, such as inviting headliners, lining up a cover artist, etc. So far I have two stories in already from two Big Name authors. But I won’t tell you more until I’m ready to make an official announcement, because I am mean and I like to tease people.


And that’s all the updates I have for now. Back to the pixel mines for me!

Father’s Day Fiction

June 16, 2013


Happy father’s day to all the dads out there!

It occurs to me that I write a fair amount of fiction centered around a father-child relationship. Undoubtedly, being a father myself has much to do with that (that’s my son Josh in the photo above). I selected a few of my favorite father’s day stories which are posted online:

Nuclear Family at Kasma SF – Very short. Caution: this is not a festive story.

Things We Leave Behind – Daily SF – This story is dedicated to my own father and largely inspired by my experiences of emigrating from the former Soviet Union.

The Tinker Bell Problem – Buzzy – A humorous take on the subjects of faith and family.  Family ties aren’t exclusive to humans!

Enjoy, and please share links to your favorite father’s day stories in the comments!



Publication: The Tinker Bell Problem in Buzzy Magazine

May 17, 2013

My humor story “The Tinker Bell Problem” was published today at Buzzy Magazine. I really like this little story (written for the Codex Mega Weekend Warrior contest). It’s about a demon who summons up a human via a pentagram, to do his bidding.

Here’s a brief sample:

Herbert sat upright, which sent a minor nuclear apocalypse through his skull. He was totally naked, sitting on the ground inside of an elaborate pentagram.

A large five-pointed star was drawn on the floor in a gooey red substance which Herbert dearly hoped wasn’t blood. A wider circle was drawn around the star. A variety of symbols were sprinkled along the circumference of the circle. Herbert recognized a peace sign, a stop sign, a smiley face, and a Pepsi logo in the mix.

The story is free to read on Buzzy’s web site. Check it out.


The Birthday Post

November 19, 2012

I turned 37 today. Alert the media. Or don’t. But, editors, please hold those rejection slips until tomorrow, k?

Over the last couple of weeks, I got to attend PhilCon, which was an awesome convention. Although it was a bit smaller than I expected (probably around 1000 people) I had a great time, catching up with old friends  and meeting lots and lots of new ones. I got to participate in discussion panels with the likes of Gardner Dozois, Neil Clarke, and Gordon Linzner and (mostly) held my own!  I’m already contemplating more conventions to attend in 2013!

This photo was blatantly stolen from Michael Haynes’ blog, where he talked about his own PhilCon experience and posted several more photos. And since we roomed together and hung out together for most of the con, I’m in several of those.

Another bit of good news I received literally the day before PhilCon was that Buzzy Magazine accepted “The Tinker Bell Problem.”  It’s a story of a demon who summons a human via a pentagram, expecting the human to use its awesome powers in order to solve all of the demon’s problems! It’s also my second sale to Buzzy and I’m excited that this story will be appearing there sometime in 2013.

I also have an interview up today at the Fantasy Scroll blog by Iulian Ionescu where I talk some about the challenges of being a writer for whom English isn’t a native language, publishing an anthology, and South Park.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that Stupefying Stories issue 2.1, guest edited by David M. Blake, is hitting the virtual newsstands this week. David put a tremendous amount of work into collecting this issue and interweaving some ideas and concepts throughout multiple stories. It is also about twice as “thick” as a typical issue, and features some truly excellent authors, so you’d do well to check it out when it goes on sale!



Finally, I’m pleased to announce that Unidentified Funny Objects ARC (Advance Review Copy) is here and has been sent out to various reviewers as of yesterday. If you review books and would like a copy and the press release, please contact me. And if you don’t review books but would like a copy, you can help support UFO by pre-ordering one directly at


Publication: “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn” at Buzzy Magazine

April 19, 2012

Of all the stories I’ve had published so far, this is my favorite.

Conrad Brent is special. He is among the small group of people (one in thirty thousand) who can See the world for what it really is.  There are wizards, and monsters, and even a giant troll underneath the Verrazano Bridge — deadly threats that an average citizen knows nothing about. Threats that are kept in check by the Watch — an ancient society which protects regular people from being taken advantage of by those with magic.

Conrad Brent is the Watch’s representative in Brooklyn, NY. When a powerful magic-enhancing shard of Atlantean crystal shows up in the borough, it is up to Brent to keep it out of the wrong hands. By whatever means necessary.

OK, given a little time and a medium cup of French Vanilla coffee, I could probably write a better blurb. But you get the idea. “Shard” is  the kind of urban fantasy I love to read, and want to write.

Conrad Brent is a wise-cracking, irreverent, morally complicated character and I love telling his stories. I’ve already written a second Brent tale, titled “Requiem for a Druid,” where our protagonist butts heads with New York’s most prominent real estate mogul who has a penchant for firing people. That second story is currently looking for a home — sadly there aren’t a lot of pro markets interested in light urban fantasy short stories.

I’m also in the very early stages of planning out my first novel. It will be–you guessed it–a Conrad Brent story.

So please head over to Buzzy Magazine, a brand-new pro venue which was kind enough to accept this story, and read “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn.”