New Publication: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Monsters” in Daily Science Fiction

December 22, 2014


My humor flash story “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Monsters” is live on the Daily Science Fiction website. Check it out! And if you prefer to hear it in audio, it will appear on the Far-Fetched Fables podcast sometime next year.

If you enjoy this story and the way it makes fun of movie tropes, you will probably also like “Worldbuilding” and the way that story satirizes science fiction tropes.





New publication: Letting Go in Daily Science Fiction

November 6, 2014

Various things have been keeping me extra-busy this week, but here’s a quick post so I can link to another one of my stories that was published this week — a flash piece “Letting Go” in Daily Science Fiction.

There are also a couple of nice new reviews for UFO3, including a Publisher’s Weekly review. I linked them on the UFO Publishing Facebook page.



Reprint: Putting It All Together at Freeze Frame Fiction

July 2, 2014

My flash story “Putting it All Together” which originally appeared at Nine Magazine and was subsequently podcast at Toasted Cake, is now available on the web for free as text for the first time, as part of the inaugural issue of Freeze Frame Fiction.  Read the story, and check out this new publication!



New Publication: A One-Sided Argument in Nature’s Futures

June 25, 2014


This week’s issue of the journal of Nature includes my SF flash story “A One-Sided Argument,” featuring crash-landed aliens, tragedy, and PTSD.

You can read the story online, free of charge: click here.



New Publication: “Notes on the Game in Progress, Played Almost to a Draw”

June 14, 2014

My latest flash story is out at Daily Science Fiction this week, and it is free to read online.

This one is dedicated to the memory of Roger Zelazny. Those of you familiar with his “Game of Blood and Dust” will undoubtedly note some similarities, though the tone and the resolution of the story is sufficiently different from his story.

And if you haven’t read “The Keepsake Box,” which also premiered at DSF, early this year, it is now live in the “Pandora’s Box” volume of Timeless Tales.

Both are very short stories, perfect to read when you have a spare 5 minutes. Enjoy!



New Publication: Bedtime Story on Christmas Eve, 1,000,000 AD in Spark IV

January 17, 2014


My humorous flash “Bedtime Story on Christmas Eve, 1,000,000 AD” appears in the current volume of Spark: A Creative Anthology.

In addition to my humble story and the great cover art, this volume is packed to the gills with amazing speculative fiction, including stories from my friends and fellow Codexians  like Brad Torgersen, Alex Kane, Annie Bellet, Erica Satifka, Alexis Hunter, Anna Yeatts, and Michael Hodges. And, to put the icing on the cake, the foreword is by Kevin J. Anderson.

A large percentage of my stories are published in online zines and can be read for free. In this case, you’ll have to actually buy the book. But you can get a nice discount — 35% off, until January 31, if you use a coupon code SHVARTSMAN-FRIENDS.

So there. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Seriously though, editor Brian Lewis has produced a really nice-looking book, and you would do well to support Spark by picking up a copy if you can spare a few bucks.

In other news, I’m thrilled to have made my third sale to Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge magazine. After a tough-but-necessary rewrite, Mike accepted “Fate and Other Variables” — a story of a hacker and a kabbalist teaming up to alter what’s written in the metaphysical Book of Fate. What can possibly go wrong?

I’m very excited to share this story with the world, but there is no release date yet. Should be sometime this year, but likely after another story of mine (“Doubt”) sees the light of day at GE.


Publication: One Thousand and First in 16 Single Sentence Stories

June 26, 2013


A collection of single sentence stories edited by M. Bennardo and designed/illustrated by K. Sekelsky is now available, and includes my story “One Thousand and First.” You can buy the cool little booklet for only five bucks. Better yet, you can have the PDF version for free! Buy or download it here.



Publication: True Love at Daily Science Fiction

June 14, 2013


True Love” is now live at the Daily Science Fiction web site. This is a very short, sweet science fiction story that seems to have been well received by the readers so far. I hope you enjoy it as well!



A Little Story That Should

August 29, 2012


A few months ago, Kasma SF published my flash fiction story “Nuclear Family.” At 500 words it is one of the shortest stories I’ve written, but I am very proud of how much punch it packs for its length. Several of my fellow writers whose talent I admire had incredibly nice things to say about “Nuclear Family” when it was first published and I was thrilled to share it with the world.

Recently Kasma posted their web traffic numbers and I found out that it was one of the least-read stories on their site.

It’s not that the readers didn’t like it. They didn’t click on it. This story was likely read by less people than some obscure 1000-page congress bill. I was upset. Still am. The greatest reward in writing fiction is to have people read and experience it.  So I figured the best thing I can do about it is to give the story a little boost. Next time you’re in a mood for a very short (and absolutely not humorous) flash story, would you please check Nuclear Family out? And, if you like it, perhaps point it out to some other readers? You will not only be mending my fragile ego, but also discovering Kasma, which has been publishing consistently excellent stories.

Click here to read “Nuclear Family”.

I’m Still a Writer

August 10, 2012


It has been a busy couple of months. In addition to my already hectic schedule balancing work and family obligations I foolishly decided to go and create an anthology. If you read my blog, you’ll notice that that all the recent posts have been about that. Which is no surprise because I spend, on average, 6 hours a day working on UFO.

However,  I’m still a writer first and an editor/publisher second (even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.) I’ve been producing some new stories — not nearly as many as I would have with more free time, but my output hadn’t dropped off completely. I’ve also been making sales. Sales that, in the past, I would have rushed to breathlessly announce on the blog. But lately I’ve been so slammed that I couldn’t even take the time out for a proper victory lap. So let me catch up by turning this post into a marathon of braggage.

The following stories have been accepted for publication in the last month:
The Tell-Tale EarNature Magazine’s Futures Feature

This is a humorous take on Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous tale, adjusted for the twenty first century. The story is told entirely through e-mails. It will be my second story to appear on the pages of Nature this year.

SpidersongThe Drabblecast

This story originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction and can be read here. The Drabblecast will produce a podcast of it.

Hell is Other PeopleFantastic Frontiers, issue 2

This is a tongue-in-cheek story about “Mood Ring” houses that shapeshift according to the inhabitants’ mood. Nothing could possibly go wrong, eh?

The Last IncantationKazka Press

This story features a really cool system of magic which, more than one beta reader suggested, should probably be used in a longer story or even a novel at some point. But this story works really well for me at flash length, and you’ll be able to decide for yourself as it will be published on September 1, as part of Kazka’s “The Last Hurrah” prompt.


I should also mention that three of these four tales were originally written for the Shock Totem flash fiction bi-monthly contest. I love participating in this contest alongside the likes of Ken Liu, Damien Grintalis and many other excellent writers.  I never do particularly well in the contest (they like horror over there, and I don’t tend to write dark) but I don’t care — I’m happy to let the contest help me come up with many of my better flash stories.

So there. Victory lap accomplished. And now back to working on the anthology.