Stories Online

The Strange Case of Mr. Hedford's House

posted Nov 27, 2009, 8:51 AM by Jonathan Sherwood   [ updated Nov 28, 2009, 7:00 AM ]

The idea struck Mr. Hedford one night while watching the evening news over a bowl of buttered rice. Eric Schettino, the actor and late-in-life wetlands activist, had died. He was seventy-two. The idea came over Mr. Hedford--Harold--so gently it wasn’t until the blaring commercial break that he resumed chewing. He looked up at the walls of his bedroom, at the leaning curtain rod, the crack in the ceiling--and things were never the same..."

Here is a fun little short-short (about 1,200 words) about a guy who realizes he can use his one talent to make a mark in the world. I wrote this at the same time I was writing Graying Sea, but the two stories couldn't be more different.

Read The Strange Case of Mr. Hedford's House online or in a printable version here.

Spider, Spider

posted Nov 27, 2009, 8:39 AM by Jonathan Sherwood   [ updated Nov 27, 2009, 9:05 AM ]

It was a bad rain. Like knitting needles stabbing you in place. Insect collector needles. Days since the streetlights slept. It came down dull and mad. Straight and muttering. It stabbed at me, so I ran. At the corner of Crost and Lake I slipped on the worn concrete and fell hard against the sidewalk, but I didn’t stop. I didn’t even slow down..."

An agoraphobe, a stripper, a double amputee, a street musician, and a laundromat owner are a group of misfit friends. Holding them all together is William, a kind, one-armed, photographer with great aspirations. But when a freak storm leads to weeks of dreary, incessant rain, the group's little island of solace begins to crack, and someone--or something--starts stalking William.

12,000 words, noir-ish speculative fiction. Read Spider, Spider online, or as a nicely formatted PDF.

Under the Graying Sea

posted Nov 26, 2009, 6:57 PM by Jonathan Sherwood   [ updated Nov 27, 2009, 8:20 PM ]


Tessa’s head snapped back into its cradle and her lips slid away from her teeth. The shock slapped the fog off the inside of her helmet and misted her face. Behind her, Loránd groaned as he pressed into his own seat. And behind him, past two hundred pounding meters of metal and deuterium, the largest protospike engine in history opened its mouth and screamed at the stars. Nothing went wrong. Not at first..."

"This is science fiction. Hard science fiction — the Real Stuff, not the so-called “hard SF” that’s nothing more than galactic adventures and thrilling space battles, in which a futuristic veneer overlays the fantastic core. Here, the wormhole is the only concession to unreality. Very rarely do we see this kind of fiction these days, and more rarely still do we see it done this well." - Internet Review of Science Fiction

12,000 words long, heavily physics-oriented science fiction, first published in Asimov's Science Fiction in February 2006.

Read Under the Graying Sea online or in a printable version here. You can also listen to it as an audiobook, read by Mur Lafferty, here.

Additional reviews can be found 

Caught Awry

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 27, 2009, 8:28 PM by Jonathan Sherwood ]

It’s not like I’m suicidal or nothing, I just felt crappy and sort of felt like getting hit a lot might kinda knock it out of me. So I paid each of ‘em thirty bucks to do it, and the thing is the one guy probably would have done it for free. I mean he was that sledge-head type and all. I don’t mean to stereotype him just ‘cause he was really big. And had that dumb goatee and breathed through his mouth..."

Another very short one (about 2,000 words). This one is a modern riff on a classic literary character, perhaps with his prime trait amplified a bit and a healthy dose of my own mindset during college mixed in. And yes, it is supposed to be one, single paragraph.

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