Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan) now on Penumbra

Few things make me happier than knowing my work is appreciated.

By editors and publishers.

Readers, definitely. Other authors, oh yeah.

And editors and publishers? Yeah, you betcha.

Such is the case with Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan).

The Northern Clan stories started out quite differently. The first one, written in the early 1970s, dealt with someone becoming aware of their magical powers and realizing the responsibility their use entailed.

What is it based on? Well, first, myself and my experiences (I’ve often stated I write autobiography).

Do I think I have magical powers?

Of course I have magical powers. I write stories, don’t I? What can be more magical than that?

And specifically, the story is a metaphor of growing up, becoming aware of one’s needs, abilities, and responsibilities in the world. More than growing hair in funny places, the original Tale of the Northern Clan was written before the concept of a Northern Clan existed and simply dealt with dealing with new feelings, new wants and desires, and deciding whether they would rule your life or you’d rule them in your life.

What teenager hasn’t experienced that?

For that matter, what late sixties-year-old hasn’t experienced that?

That original story received praise from early readers (we didn’t have the concept of “first readers” in the early 1970s) and I was never satisfied with it. The first version of Sema came out in 1988, went through several revisions, and now appears in Penumbra (it’s also in my Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires anthology), and somewhere in the middle of Sema‘s revisions I realized it and several other stories-in-progress were all part of a single mythology and thus The Tales of the Northern Clan was born.

That original story is still in progress and should be done early Spring 2022.

Meanwhile, enjoy Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan).


“Rachel, Above the Clouds, While Flying” is in The Rabbit Hole Volume Four: Weird stories Special issue: Madness

Those wonderful and wise folks in charge of The Rabbit Hole anthologies honored my by including Rachel, Above the Clouds, While Flying in The Rabbit Hole Volume Four: Weird stories Special issue: Madness.

Read several authors’ work and enjoy.

Just read mine first.

And leave a glorious review.


15 Days of Harveys Day 10 – Me! Four Flash Pieces

Yes, I’m blessed! Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 8 has four flash sized pieces from me (but be warned, Harvey doesn’t like the term flash).

It’s a Man’s World

“Where are you going?”
Susan’s face softened but she looked away.
All the women in the neighborhood were dressed in what we use to all “Easter Sunday” clothes; light dresses, bright, Spring colors of sky blues and yellows and whites, some with flower prints with big roses or tulips or daffodils or morning glories or black-eyed susans and all with long, lush green vines wrapping around them. All of them wearing wide-brimmed sun hats, many with scarves tying their hats around their chins. A few wore sunglasses. All had nice big purses, lots of different colors but most of them white, white cloth gloves covering their hands and all of them in either tasteful heels or flats. Nobody wore stilettos or CFMs of any kind.

Lessons Learned

They stood, coffee cups in hand, staring out the kitchen window. The radio switched from the news to two DJs joking about the lead story: an extraordinary meteor shower that wouldn’t be seen locally due to heavy cloudcover.
He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the sink. “Turn that down, would you, Love?”
She put her hand on his back and leaned forward beside him. “You think that squirrel knows we’re watching him?”
“How do you think he gets up there? That’s twice in two days I’ve seen him at the top of the bird feeders. He can’t be getting past the baffles on the poles and there aren’t any branches near by.”


There is a planet on the scanners. It is large and round and red. The sun is yellow and warming, and the planet is in the sun’s life zone. The gravity is slightly stronger than Earth’s. The air is a bit richer, and there is abundant water under the surface.
The red coloring comes from two things. The surface of the planet is covered with red vegetation and their spores are everywhere. The ground is also red, although not with spores but with clay and slate like so faraway Connecticut.
The dog beside me raises his massive head and growls. I scratch behind his ears and his hind legs start thumping the cabin floor. I make him thump in time to songs I sing, switching legs as I go from chorus to lead and back.
“We’ll go down, see if this is the one.”

What We Saw at Bishop’s House

What’s become of Bishop’s house? This chamber is like the one I lay in moments ago but I know neither you nor your man. Outside the door, that’s not Bishop’s workshop.
I am William Bennett. Where is my wife, Chrysanthé? We are “The Dancers Extraordinairre.” There’s an advertisement in my breast pocket. See? “Dancers to the Crowns of Europe.”
Bishop’s told you of us? Where is he, then?

Each of the above is from Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 8 (the famous “No Dragons” issue). You can read the rest of each along with several other amazing stories between its captivating covers (and I hope you do!)

Have you been Harveyed?

The kind, wise, and wonderful folks at Sixth Element Publishing included four of my flash pieces in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 8 and I’m repaying that kindness by showcasing the opening from each author’s work for the next few weeks.


Next up, a taste of Kate Baucherel’s Firebird.


“Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue

Those wonderful, brave, and intelligent folks at Daikaijuzine published my short story, Power Unlimited, today. These are the wonderful, brave, kind, and intelligent folks who published another of my short stories, Cold War, last September.

Power Unlimited originally appeared in the April 1992 (and now defunct) ARAASP and my self-published anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires V1 2016.

Daikaijuzine’s editors and publisher have exquisite taste. Don’t you think?

The story behind the story Continue reading ““Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue”

The Boy in the Giant

The wonderful and talented Brittani Avery invited me to read some of my work and share it with Facebook’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Readers Lounge group.

My first offering, The Little Knitty Dragon (A Tale of the Woods), got a few nods (thank you!) and I continue here with The Boy in the Giant.

The Boy in the Giant is published in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 6 along with stories from talented writers such as Peter James Martin, Mark Hayes, Liz Tuckwell, C.K. Roebuck, and others.

Hope you enjoy.

Learn more about the Harvey Duckman series and get a copy of Volume 6.
We won’t mind.