I seldom write short stories and have only ever published one. Last year, however, I was invited to contribute to the Defending the Future anthology series. Book number four in that series would focus on women in the military – a subject near and dear to my heart, and so I jumped at the chance.
I am delighted to announce that my short story “Live Fire” will appear in the volume entitled No Man’s Land, which is being released this month (May 2011) by Dark Quest Books.
The blurb from the editors says,
There hasn’t been a conflict in known history where there weren’t women somewhere on the front lines, caring for the men, or fighting beside them. No Man’s Land sends up a battle cry, giving voice to the women warriors following that fine military tradition throughout all time. Strong female characters written by talented authors, with all the action and high-tech toys readers have come to expect of the military science fiction genre.
David Weber of Honor Harrington fame (a best-selling series which features one of the most striking female naval officers in all of science fiction-dom) has written the intro to the book, and says of the work,
“This collection has a lot going for it…[T]here’s not a single piece here that isn’t well worth reading. I modestly – but confidently – predict that I will be very far from the only man who’s very, very glad he’s read this collection.”
(As to his emphasis on being a man reading this collection, he has some interesting things to say about women, gender equality, and military science fiction in this recent interview at MilSciFi.com.)
I realize in this post that I’m not saying much about Live Fire itself. That’s because I want to post about the story and some behind-the-scenes aspects of it separately (I expect that will be the next thing I put up on this blog). I also don’t want to offer any spoilers for the tale, which has something of a suspense element to it. All I can say right now is that the fortunes of a ship will depend on the actions of one young weapons officer. Live Fire is set in the Sa’adani Empire, which is the backdrop of my science fiction novels, and gives you a look inside the imperial navy that binds this vast empire together. It also gives you a closer look at the Sa’adani culture than my novels to date have (they take place in a recently annexed area of the Empire, and don’t display much of the old-school Sa’adani cultural attitudes which are evident in this tale.)
You can pre-order the book right now directly from the publisher. Later it will be available at amazon and other bookstores, and it will also be in ebook formats including Kindle. (I’ll update links for those versions when I have that info.) If you’re in the area, there will be a launch party for this book at Balticon, too (although I, unfortunately, will not be in attendance).
Please share this news and let your friends know this work is out, too. This is the first publication from me in many years (huzzah!), and I hope is a good harbinger for more to come.
For more on this story, see Behind the Scenes on “Live Fire.”
For author interview with me, see this Defending the Future author interview. It’s the first interview I’ve done on the web!
1. The only other short story of mine that has seen print is the short-short story Ridgerunner, another Sa’adani Empire tale, which appeared in a low-circulation sf magazine called Profusion (if I remember the title correctly; I believe they’ve since gone out of business) in summer of 1995. I may be making Ridgerunner available soon as a dramatic monologue file you can stream or download as you like. It was written with dramatic performance in mind and lends itself well to that kind of presentation. It’s my favorite “gotcha” story that I’ve ever written. (If you want to be notified when it is online, please leave a note in the comments or email me at teramis at deborahchristian dot com and I’ll add you to the list). Or, you can subscribe to my mailing list (see top right sidebar) and receive a personal update about that and much more.