Blaine’s Short Story Blurbs

Well, they aren’t quite blurbs, given that these stories are, you know, short, but now that we’ve got descriptions for our books and novellas available, it’s time to move onto these.

If you don’t know me, I’m Blaine Arcade, a speculative fiction writing hobbyist, and I write lots of out-there science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, and a little horror.  All of my stories are available here and free to read, so please check them out if you’re interested.  Happy reading!

Mary Annette’s Big and Beautiful Dog and Pony Show

Somewhere in the enchanting space between dinner theater and the wild west, performer Madrigal Mora finally gets his shot to use that ol’ dirt-kicking magic, but the owner has seen fit to cast him as the villain…

Feisty Faustus Ferret in “Machine Works”

Inky animated stars make the world smile with their films and theme parks, and none are better known than Feisty Faustus Ferret.  Everything is perfect for our plucky little weasel with the train whistle voice, until someone insists he needs a costar, and the ground under his hallowed studios and parks starts to rumble…

School Supplies

A young man heads back to college armed to the teeth, to protect himself of course, but he suspects his professor might not respect the laws of the land…

Justice Backers: Sellout Fortress

A brief followup to the novella series Justice Backers, showing how the crowdfunded superhero team and the villains they faced reshaped the world and inspired a new generation…

The End Times were Published in 1979

A young lonely man distracts himself from his woes by collecting, hoarding in the eyes of others, vintage science fiction and fantasy publications, but there’s something moving around in his stacks, taunting him, demanding he reveal where he has hidden one very specific story…

Phages of the Free Radical

In a distant dimension where inner and outer space are one and the same, cell-like beings must abandon their lung-like planet before it is struck by wandering debris.  One among them is not what they seem, entranced by the dancing fluids inside each of them, hungry to understand it…

Devilheart Diamond

The Krampus visited him once, as a boy, as a warning, so why would it return now, years later?  Why make an example of him at the most extravagant party he has ever attended, at the magnificent mansion of his long lost friend…

Pop Goes the Shepherd

There are few jobs easier than being a shepherd in a carbonated world.  Sometimes sheep effervesce away with a pop! and vanish.  And sometimes new ones appear.  Everything was going well until that strange old man showed up.  Now he can’t stop popping in and out himself, off to strange places and lives he should probably steer clear of…

The Tree’s Shadow

The tree of life is not a metaphor; it’s where Salticid the jumping spider lives!  Her branch, populated by all the other spiders, is minding its own business when giant chains appear and try to force the tree to grow in different directions.  The intrepid arachnid sets out to find the cause, and runs afoul of a bipedal king…

A Long Wait for Meatballs

Clarence Under helps police the high altitude areas between the shafts of commercial space elevators.  The one warning they always give is to never attempt light speed within the atmosphere.  If you do, time will distort, and Clarence is left cracking open your vehicle to see just what of you is left…

Bookworm

Grandma’s basement is full of jarred and preserved magical creatures!  That’s how her cooking was always so scrumptious.  When she passed away she probably should have put a warning label on one jar in particular, the one with the smart-looking little caterpillar that loves to eat words…

Head Chef at Cave Gouch

The ship’s crash left the cook stranded on an alien planet as the sole survivor.  A large creature decides to take him in rather than eat him, the industrious varclid known as Gouch.  He would like to use the man’s expertise, and there’s plenty of meat left around from the crash…

The Hollowcry

The twins came to town to deliver some plants, but they didn’t speak much.  Here speaking is an act of creation, giving birth to a quote, which wanders around repeating itself as it tries to resonate with people.  They’ll have a hard time keeping their mouths shut if that rumor about the monstrous Hollowcry is true, flying on the lift from human screams…

Pron

Mankind has gone digital and set the worst corners of the internet adrift to fend for themselves.  A lone woman descends on one of these cesspools, eyes censored by a black bar, armed with a deadly cursor.  There are other women trapped there, and they need her help…

Timeless

Dogwood the magician is less of an expert and more of a dumpster diver, but when someone new in town offers a big payday to find a magic relic that can sever emotional bonds, he takes the job.  How hard could it be to help him divorce his enchanting wife…

Panic in the Mumgrass

Modified animals with human minds roam the jungles and savannas, each kind generally keeping to their own, but the trailcutter of the mighty water buffalo-like brohoov must explore other options when he learns there’s a traitor in their midst, causing fatal stampedes at every turn…

Born-Again Birth Defect

A botched baptism left her with facial scarring, but god always took care of the faithful.  She believed that, even as her brother ran off and became a heretical terrorist.  When she accidentally commits blasphemy by modifying one of god’s helper machines she finds herself on the run in search of a place where she can simply be left to her own devices…

The Neofates

In the vast space before life, spirits try to build their own world from dredged up memories of past lives.  They’ve made progress, even able to recall animal forms, but any contact with the wandering ‘blooms’ dooms them to another life on Earth.  Things get even worse when a mad neofate arrives, promising all the carnal joys and sinful satisfaction of the human world…

Eyelids of an Aristocrat

Everett finds himself trapped underground, prisoner of a most peculiar family, missing their sanity as well as a few other pieces…

Rather Spartan

In this thriller/horror short story the Snake War Museum is just one of many, an opportunity for Claire to confront history.  It’s just her, the collection, and the audio guide… at least until the she hears her own name in the headphones…

The Field Guide to Fantasy Birding (for enthusiasts only)

In the world of bird watching competition can be intense, sometimes even deadly, sometimes even magical.  There are birds you can’t see unless you devote your life to seeing them, and a few are in this short story with an aesthetic best described as ‘birdwatchingpunk’.

Brawny Blue Blerkafeld

The beast Blerkafeld is one of the mightiest dragons, and even more conceited.  After pilfering magics of time and space he has built his own little pocket world, pulling people from all over the Middle Ages to be his loyal worshipers.  The only problem is, one of these groups is secretly a Renaissance fair…

Ad Space

Do you get annoyed by intrusive advertisements?  Imagine what it would be like if they intruded everywhere: your love life, your home, the pores of your skin, your internal organs…

And these stories below are some of my older more amateurish work that definitely needs a once, twice, or thrice over, so proceed at your own caution.

Singin’ in the Upper Paleolithic

Bumbling scientists accidentally send the mind of a singing and dancing sensation back in time, into the body of a caveman!  They have to journey back as well to stop the infectious tapping rhythm from altering the overall metronome of mankind…

Perfect Stride

Two brothers adjust to their daily life as grunts in a future conflict, marching across the waves of the sea in special boots…

Moana’s Mosaic

Voting in Moana’s time is a much more complex affair, every citizen building a template for their ideal leader.  When time comes they’ll be averaged together, and a new president engineered.  It’s her first time, and she wants to get it right…

The Medal Ghosts

You can survive your death, a little bit anyway, as long as you’ve had the treatment.  Then you can enjoy your life-like state as a drifting neural vapor that might do some thinking and probably doesn’t feel pain…

Breathing New Air

The law says you can only claim territory on new planets by physically exploring it with your own two feet.  It doesn’t say you can’t wear special equipment, train in oxygen chambers and store your own blood for later infusion, or compete with representatives of other countries in vicious races for dominance…

Paused Fire

The devices changed everything, allowing disasters to be frozen in progress, resulting in countless saved lives.  It takes dedicated people to work as rescue miners, tunneling into the paused time to extract the petrified people.  A bomb has gone off, and there might be something strange going on deep inside the solidified smoke and flame…

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