My time portal novella, “Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” is eligible in the novella category of the 2017 Asimov’s Readers Awards. If you dug it and wanna cast a ballot, rad! If not, no skin off my back. Thx!
My alt-reality horses-and-highways serial sci-fi story is rounding the home stretch over at Motor1.com! You can now read the entire story in one go; enjoy this FREE READ for your Friday!
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses!'”—attributed to Henry Ford
Fist fights, affable drunks, and belligerent horses! Check it out: “The Faster Horse” (part four of four)
Here’s a tiny excerpt of the big excerpt:
Chico and the portal guy were waiting for me outside FDA Annex D. Chico was smoking a cigarette. If this was a screenplay, his entire character description would read “sinister Mexican.” The portal guy was just standing there, hands in pockets, staring up at the stars and whistling that “Yakkety Sax” song from Benny Hill. He abruptly cut off as I climbed out of my car.
“This is your New Guy?” he asked Chico. The portal guy was one of those cheap-blue-oxford-&-khaki-pants cubicle drones, but younger and skinnier than the stock character. He looked pretty damn rumpled—not just “it’s three a.m.” tired, although it was three a.m. It was more the “I’m tired of my whole stupid life” kind of tired. Chico blew twin streams of smoke out his nose, flicking away his cigarette butt without acknowledging the portal guy’s question.
“New guy?” I mugged like a vaudevillian, joining them at the glass door, “What happened to the old guy?”
“Gal,” the portal guy answered as he waved us in through the glass doors of FDA Annex D. “She got burned as a witch.” . . .
If you dig actors, gastropubs, meth dealers, heists, Early American Material Culture, academia, mobsters, or Mexican food then this is the novella for you!!! Read more: “Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” by David Erik Nelson
— David Helder (@dhelder) December 7, 2016
For those with a taste for “inside baseball”: The original working title of this novella was “Colonial Meth.” That is an awful title—but still an improvement over “Time-Portal Crystal Meth Missionaries,” which is what I scrawled at the top of the first index card. If you squint, you can see that the first legal-pad draft is already titled “Where There is Nothing, There is God”—a title I cribbed from William Butler Yeats by way of my old pal Fritz Swanson.
I’m not sure when I started the index cards for this story (these tend to get carried around in my pocket and taped to the bathroom mirror for a few months while I mull a story over) or the long-hand legal-pad draft, but I’ve got typed draft pages with creation dates as old as November 2013. My submissions log indicates I first sent this out in November 2014—so I guess it took a year to write/revise—and then basically another year-and-a-half to sell (the story was actually accepted in March of 2016), and several more months to revise to everyone’s satisfaction, proof, etc.
Installment number two of my latest alt-reality serial story for Motor1.com is now up and ready! Learn what crazy contraption could possibly replace the huge, angry highway horses we all know and love—and how they hell you’d make the damn thing move!
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses!'”
—attributed to Henry Ford
“The Faster Horse” (part two of four)
My latest Time Portal novella— “Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” —is in the current issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, on news stands now! (Most Barnes & Noble locations stock it, as do many indie bookshops).
Our blockbuster December 2016 novella, “Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” by David Erik Nelson, is a rollicking Time Portal tale. It’s filled with a cast of unsavory characters who operate as though Cotton Mather’s favorite TV show was Breaking Bad. In this vastly entertaining story, it’s hard to know whom to root for so just make sure your inertia dampening system is on and enjoy the ride!
The other two stories in the series— “The New Guys Always Work Overtime” and “There Was No Sound of Thunder” —can be purchased for Kindle (click those links), or you can get that first story in many DRM-free formats for free(!!!) when you sign up for my newsletter using this link:
Installment number one of my first serial story forMotor1.com is now up and awaiting your perusal!
If you’ve ever wondered “What if we all had to ride angry mutant horses to work instead of driving cars?”—well, then this is the story for you:
Our alternate reality tale begins with a familiar name, some sharks, and a train wreck.
“The Faster Horse” (part one of four)
For your seasonally appropriate reading:
- “The Slender Men” by David Erik Nelson (web exclusive!)
- “Brights” (or “In the Midst of Darkness, Light Persists”)—a brief tale of uncertain moral
- “Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Questions #3 thru #5” (I’m preeeeety sure this was my first paid fiction sale)
- “Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Question #7” (also available as audio; “Exit Exam Q #7” starts around the 20-minute mark)
- “Four Household Tales (As told by Poor Mojo’s Giant Squid)”
Been getting some interesting feedback on some of the new, totally unmarketable stuff I’ve been sharing with my e-mail list (basically monthly-ish emails; join here), so I thought I’d share another:
- “Do Me a Little Favor?” (an interactive fiction)