Archives for posts with tag: short stories

We covered short stories during the Story Collection Storybundle back in May of this year, in particular, with Pat Murphy’s beautiful tribute to the power of short stories, published as the introduction to her collection, Women Up To No Good from Untreed Reads. I had a few things to say about short stories, as well.

This isn’t a tribute to short stories as a significant contribution to the culture. This is about why writing short stories is a significant aspect of a writer’s career.

I love reading short stories for a quick fiction fix and an economical way to get to know a writer. And I love writing short stories. Some are easy, a gift from the Muse. Others are difficult, requiring research and multiple revisions.

The benefits of writing short stories for me include:

–Encouraging the flow of ideas. People talk about writer’s block. This is a very real phenomenon, some would say a nightmare. This is another topic altogether, but one of the best ways to break through a block is to take a break from your novel and write some stories.

–A constant reminder to write bold and write tight, which is easy to lose sight of when you’re writing a novel. When you’re writing a novel, you may think you can kick back and let the run-on sentences flow. Don’t do it. Write a story and regain your discipline.

–The opportunity to work frequently with professional copyeditors. I have the deepest respect for copyeditors, with whom I worked every day when I wrote law books. Copyeditors often suggest ways to better express a sentence, catch continuity errors, and correct the finer points of grammar and punctuation, all of which are instructive.

–The promotion of a writer’s work and name recognition. If the best publicity for a writer is the writing itself, then publishing stories launches the writing and the writer’s name to 20,000 or 30,000 diehard fans who love to read fiction so much they subscribe to a magazine.

–The opportunity to appear in exciting themed anthologies. When an editor conceives of an anthology centering around a theme, this too encourages the flow of ideas for a writer, permits a writer to work with editors she may have been unacquainted with, and adds to her body of work.
I’ve been delighted and honored to contribute stories to anthologies like Full Spectrum 5, ed. Jennifer Hershey (Bantam), Universe 2, ed. Robert Silverberg (Bantam), Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion, ed. Janet Berliner (Carroll & Graf), and Fantastic Alice, New Stories from Wonderland, ed. Margaret Weis (Ace).

–Potential media options and sales. A high-concept story may sell to the movies. My Omni story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” was only 7,000 words but I earned more movie money from this project than I’d earned from all of my books put together.

Many screenwriters prefer to expand a short project than to expand a long project. City of Bones was a failure as a movie in part because the screenwriters tried to capture every moment of a 485-page terrific book in an hour and a half. It didn’t work. The new TV series is probably a better venue.

So there you have it, my friends, writers and readers. Short stories are important, in more ways the one!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia
, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

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If you love short stories the way I do, you will receive story nirvana as of May 11, 2016!

Check out these amazing, award-winning, five-star collections by multiple award-winning New York Times Bestselling and New York Times Notable Book authors:

Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner
Errantry: Strange Stories
by Elizabeth Hand
The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories
by Walter Jon Williams
6 Stories
by Kathe Koja
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
by Lisa Mason
What I Didn’t See: Stories
by Karen Joy Fowler
Wild Things
by Charles Coleman Finlay
Women Up to No
Good by Pat Murphy

The Story Collection Storybundle goes live May 11, 2016 through June 2, 2016 at Storybundle.com.

Stay tuned for the link!

While we’re on the subject of men versus women, meet Strange Ladies: 7 Stories.

As I mulled over my published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these strange ladies came from.

In The Oniomancer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), a Chinese-American punk bicycle messenger finds an artifact on the street. In Guardian (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), an African-American gallerist resorts to voodoo to confront a criminal. In Felicitas (Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion [Carroll and Graf]), an illegal Mexican immigrant faces life as a cat shapeshifter. In Stripper (Unique Magazine), an exotic dancer battles the Mob. In Triad (Universe 2 [Bantam]), Dana Anad lives half the time as a woman, half as a man, and falls in love with a very strange lady. In Destination (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), a driver takes three strangers from a ride board on a cross-country trip as the radio reports that a serial killer is on the loose. In Transformation and the Postmodern Identity Crisis (Fantastic Alice [Ace]), Alice considers life after Wonderland.

As you can see, my friends, this isn’t the kind of science fiction with space ship captains and aliens!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Five stars on Facebook and Amazon! “Great work, Lisa Mason!”

“Hilarious, provocative, profound.”

From Jeanne-Mary Allen, Author on Facebook and the BookBrothers Blog: “Kyle Wylde and I are thrilled to have found such a talented, dedicated, and brilliant collection of shorts in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories…Your style/craft is highly impressive.”

From the San Francisco Book Review: “Strange Ladies: 7 Stories offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor…This is a must-read collection.” http://anotheruniverse.com/strange-ladies-7-stories/

From the Book Brothers Review Blog: “Lisa Mason might just be the female Phillip K. Dick. Like Dick, Mason’s stories are far more than just sci-fi tales, they are brimming with insight into human consciousness and the social condition….Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is a sci-fi collection of excellent quality. If you like deeply crafted worlds with strange, yet relatable characters, then you won’t want to miss it.” http://www.thebookbrothers.com/2013/09/the-book-brothers-review-strange.html#more

5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com Great science fiction short stories! November 1, 2013

Fantastic book of short stories. All have some science fiction/fantasy elements. One is about a road trip with strangers, a bit more on the horror end of the spectrum, another is more humorous, based on Alice in Wonderland. One is a fascinating imagining of alien gender, and how it might differ from human. All have been published in various magazines and anthologies before, but were hard to find until this great collection. Recommended.”

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

As I mulled over my short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these strange ladies came from.

In The Oniomancer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), a Chinese-American punk bicycle messenger finds an artifact on the street. In Guardian (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), an African-American gallerist resorts to voodoo to confront a criminal. In Felicitas (Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion [Carroll and Graf]), an illegal Mexican immigrant faces life as a cat shapeshifter. In Stripper (Unique Magazine), an exotic dancer battles the Mob. In Triad (Universe 2 [Bantam]), Dana Anad lives half the time as a woman, half as a man, and falls in love with a very strange lady. In Destination (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), a driver takes three strangers from a ride board on a cross-country trip as the radio reports that a serial killer is on the loose. In Transformation and the Postmodern Identity Crisis (Fantastic Alice [Ace]), Alice considers life after Wonderland.

As you can see, my friends, this isn’t the kind of science fiction with space ship captains and aliens!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Five stars on Facebook and Amazon! “Great work, Lisa Mason!”

“Hilarious, provocative, profound.”

From Jeanne-Mary Allen, Author on Facebook and the BookBrothers Blog: “Kyle Wylde and I are thrilled to have found such a talented, dedicated, and brilliant collection of shorts in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories…Your style/craft is highly impressive.”

From the San Francisco Book Review: “Strange Ladies: 7 Stories offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor…This is a must-read collection.” http://anotheruniverse.com/strange-ladies-7-stories/

From the Book Brothers Review Blog: “Lisa Mason might just be the female Phillip K. Dick. Like Dick, Mason’s stories are far more than just sci-fi tales, they are brimming with insight into human consciousness and the social condition….Strange Ladies: 7 Storiesis a sci-fi collection of excellent quality. If you like deeply crafted worlds with strange, yet relatable characters, then you won’t want to miss it.” http://www.thebookbrothers.com/2013/09/the-book-brothers-review-strange.html#more

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

I had the honor of meeting Octavia Butler at the American Library Association convention in New York City fifteen years ago. She was one of the friendliest, funniest, most unpretentious, gracious authors I’ve ever met. At her panel, she got up and said (as nearly as I can recollect), “A lot of science fiction is concerned with the Other. As a six-foot-tall, African-American lesbian, I’ve always known how what it feels like to be the Other.” I remember reading her story, “Blood Child,” when it first appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. She stated that she was concerned with the notion of “the pregnant man.” “Blood Child” is one of the most shocking stories I’ve ever read in any genre.

The ALA folks that year were also some of the most author-friendly, gracious convention organizers I’ve dealt with. I actually had a good time.

So there you have it, my friends. During this weekend when Americans are concerned about racial issues, you may wish to check out the acclaimed, award-winning work of Octavia Butler. There isn’t a lot of it, and she died a few years ago in her early sixties.

New! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (all other readers including Kobo, Sony, and Apple). Short fantasy and science fiction by Lisa Mason published in magazines and anthologies worldwide.

From the author of Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, US Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords, The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add a bunch of stars, write a review on the site where you acquired it, blog it, Tweet it, post it, and share the word with your friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

My favorite time of year. I was born in the Spring, in May to be precise. But I love watching the leaves sprout on the trees, the flowers stir back to life, the ducks and geese swimming with their chicks on the lake.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, and screenplays, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. There you’ll find the ebook adaptation of my Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; also my New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended book The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay on Nook and Kindle, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss;” “Tomorrow’s Child,” the Story that Sold to the Movies, and my blog from January 30 through February 21, “The Story Behind the Story That Sold to the Movies” on Nook and Kindle; “The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria” first published in the acclaimed Bantam anthology, Full Spectrum 5, now on Nook and Kindle; and “U F uh-O, A Sci Fi Comedy,” a script that evolved into a novella, is free on Kindle until April 3, then it will go back on sale on Kindle and Nook. My brand-new, big new urban fantasy The Garden of Abracadabra is proximately done and the next book in the series is in research and development. The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation of my cyberpunks, Arachne and Cyberweb, is in development and more.

I’ve just updated the website with all the new links and beautiful book covers! Please stop by and visit!

All stories and books involve some research—the author’s personal experiences, essential background and working knowledge, understanding of people and situations are always present.

But I tend to most love stories that go beyond all that, stories in which you can really tell that he or he put some work into the tale. Research, in other words, enabling the author to present a story that reveals a world you, the reader, may be unfamiliar with. Extremely specialized personal experience tends to shade into this area of new worlds. Especially if the author’s life is one big research project!

That’s why a fantasy masterpiece like Marion Zimmer-Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon is such an enduring classic (though she wrote many, many other books). She knew that classic tome explicating the King Author legend, The Golden Bough, backwards and forwards. She studied the King Author legend for ten years while she wrote her book. I confess high fantasy about medieval people is not my fiction of choice and it took me a couple of tries before I could get into the book. But once I did, I very much appreciated the depth of detail informed by her research.

That’s why I gravitate toward science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction, the kind that is informed by research. Andrea Barrett’s collection, Ship Fever, is wonderful for that reason. Any story by the Nebula Award-winning Pat Murphy will reward you in the same way.

I’ve got a few stories of pure imagination, but many of my stories and all of my books involve research.

Tomorrow’s Child,” the Story that Sold to the Movies, and my blog from January 30 through February 21, “The Story Behind the Story That Sold to the Movies,” setting out the eventful evolution of my medical documentary to my story that caught the eye of Universal Studios, is on Nook and Kindle.

“The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria” first published in the acclaimed Bantam anthology, Full Spectrum 5, which also included stories by Michael Bishop, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and Neal Stephenson, is also now on Nook and Kindle. That story was inspired by the Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. 

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, and screenplays, including Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle, and Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay on Nook and Kindle, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site.