Posts Tagged ‘Short Fiction’

War Games

Posted: August 18, 2015 in Lucas Nguyen, Short Fiction

“Your grandparents were so lucky,” the bigger boy said to me at play time.  “They didn’t have to live through the Depression like mine did.”  He fiddled with the toy train.

I thought of my grandparents’ stories of civil war, of street vendoring for pennies a day.  But my foreign-born shame followed my family’s bloodline to this nation, where I was born, so I kept quiet.

“I mean, I guess you Vietmanese had a war, too, but it wasn’t like the World War II.”  I thought about the absurdity of boasting “My War Can Beat Up Your War.”  I mentally counted another American who couldn’t pronounce Vietnamese.

“It was a pretty bad war,” I said.


TQP LOGO ready 


TODAY is Short Fiction Monday, I guess.  Please enjoy this short story.  Or don’t, you can do what you like in life, that’s none of my business.


The second part of our Short Fiction Friday Event, brought to you by TQP contributor Ryan Crutchfield. Part One can be found here, probably read that one first.

Today’s Short Fiction Friday even is brought to you by TQP contributor Ryan Crutchfield. It’s in two parts, enjoy them in order or out of order, at your discretion.  (But “in order” is best.)


They found the cemetery shortly after lunch, exactly where it was not supposed to be. It was slung low and wide across the southern shadowed side of the small hill that they stood upon, stretching out of sight down into the murky edges where the forest became the swamp. The headstones where scattered like dominoes after a knife fight and a number of them were broken or knocked over. The cemetery looked ancient.

Using the power of TECHNOLOGY!, I have made a new short story collection available, electronically, ON THE INTERNET.  All you need is PayPal, or access to PayPal, a willingness to read PDF files, and eighty-three cents!

That’s right, just EIGHTY-THREE CENTS!

Troubled by the fact that my many fans — the ones who purchased the first edition of The Translated Man — couldn’t read the extra short stories in the new edition without buying the whole thing again, I have done something kind of amazing.

I have made a collection of six short stories available to you, the internet.  Second Errata (the name of the collection) contains the three short stories from The Translated Man and Other Stories:  “The Hangman’s Daughter” (first published by Black Gate Magazine), “Beckett’s Job” (available also here at TQP) and “Cresy and the Sharpsie” (so far only available in the book).

As a bit of a bonus, I’ve also thrown in “We Are Shepherds,” “My Heinleins Crumble to Dust in My Hands,” and “The Locked Eye.”  All of these are available here on the site, but whatever, now you can get them all in one place, or easily share them with your friends.

HERE IS WHAT YOU MUST DO!  Send $0.83 USD via PayPal to

threatquality (at) gmail (dot) com

That’s it, you suckers.  Then enjoy some short stories.


The Curse

Posted: November 16, 2009 in Braak
Tags: ,

“You’ll have to excuse me,” she said, “but you don’t look very much like a witch doctor.”  Olivia Austen Mortimer (Livvy to her friends and the women that ran the $3,000 a month infant-to-preschool daycare, “Miss Livvy” to the maid) said this with a certain tentativeness, equally concerned with her guest’s feelings as she was with his credentials.


[Part Two of Two.  Part 1 is available here.]

What lies beyond doesn’t worry me.
Suppose you break this world to bits, another may arise.

Mahmoud Truely awoke as his shuttle approached Ceres.  He was in one of the short-term isleep chambers.  Even though the trip to the asteroid belt only took a week, they put people into isleep anyway.  The ship could go faster if the passengers’ vital functions had all been suspended.  When the isleep door opened, Mahmoud saw the man with the black-and-white beard, the yellow shirt, the weird sunglasses.  He was munching on a paper control panel across the hall.  The man turned to look at him, and Mahmoud panicked.  He didn’t want the man to see him.  He tried to hide his face, to duck down, as the man turned, but he couldn’t move his body.  He wanted to scream, but he couldn’t.


by Chris Braak.

Part One of Two

How will we know when the Singularity has ruined science fiction?  When I go back to my bookshelf and my old Heinleins crumble to dust in my hands.  Philip K. Dick rises from his grave to feast on improbable memories…

Mahmoud Truely awoke at 6:55.  There was a man in his room, tearing off strips of the paper walls and eating them.  The man had a black and white beard, and was balding.  He wore a bright yellow shirt.  He had those new sunglasses that are all white plastic with a thin strip of polarized plastic in the middle.  The man ate a hole in the wall, and then started pulling off pieces of the table, which Mahmoud could now see was made of papier-mache.  Mahmoud watched the man slowly eat his way across the tiny fifty-credit flat, and waited to wake up.  Minutes passed, and he did not.  The balding man with the beard eventually finished the table, then turned and looked at Mahmoud.


[New short fiction from Erin Snyder.  Erin is an unemployed writer currently living in New York City.  He maintains several websites and blogs, including The Middle Room, located here: ]

Of the four days Dale Brogan had scheduled in New York City, three were committed to meetings and negotiations over a proposed merger.  His company was entertaining these discussions to fuel media and investor interest.  Before he even left for the city, Dale’s CEO had pulled him aside to let him know there was no way in hell he’d see his company married off.  “Try to sound like we’re taking them seriously, though,” the old man had said, laughing.  “Talk them up, give them the works.  After all, we’ll look like shit if they don’t make a good offer.”


In history and geneology, there are innumerable highly-specialized and often under-appreciated fields of study.  The history of 16th century printer’s inks, for instance, is fully as rigorous as more popular fields (the history of mathematics, for instance, the history of the Medicis, the history of historians), and is yet generally considered to be a waste of precious, history-gathering resources.

The history of magic occupies a position much like this:  it is a difficult and often fascinating subject, and yet it’s fruits are considered to be full of empty calories.  What does it matter, really, how David Devant performed the Mascot Moth?  Who really cares whether or not Selbit was actually the first person to perform Sawing a Woman in Half?  And yet, no doubt in many respects because of the triviality of the results, historians in this field are some of the most enthusiastic and obsessive historians at work in the world.

There is one name that aggravates them to no end, one name that provokes exasperated sighs and groans of frustration, one name that is, without question, the most famous in the field:  Ozymandius McKaye.