Short Fiction


This story appeared in Desolate Places, an anthology that was the beginning of my history with Hadley Rille Books. My writing group partner told me about this submission call, and being from Saskatchewan, my first impulse was to write about cold, snow and ice.

I’d had an idea kicking around in my head about an alien race called The Flense. I didn’t know who they were or what they looked like, or even what their story was, but I knew their name. When I started batting around ideas for this story, they came back to me and gave me a jumping off point.

Humanity has expanded to the stars, only to be driven from their habitable, Earth-like worlds by The Flense, reduced to ice planets, deserts, any kind of hostile environments. There is almost no space travel any more. People are born, live and die in communities where everyone, every corner is known.

Nor Winter’s Cold is a story of a man whose responsibility it is to maintain the transceiver that is his world’s only link to the survivors of The Flense on their distant planets.

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This story appeared in an anthology edited by a dear friend of mine, Mark Leslie. He told me about the call for submission of stories dealing with fear or trepidation on the cusp of a major technological advance.

The story came about when a friend told me he was experiencing a recurrence of his cancer. My reaction to the news was “No one deserves that” And like so much fiction, the story came from my asking a “what if” question. What if there was a situation where someone did deserve it?

So, I wrote a story about a controversial medical treatment that could potentially cure an incurable cancer, but at the cost of another human life. In this case, the life of a pedophile sentenced to death. I wanted to write of a moment in time when these two people’s lives intersected.

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