My latest novel, There Was No Sound of Thunder: A Time Portal Novel, is available for pre-purchase now. For less than the price of a very cheap cup of coffee you can have that ebook in hand the very moment it drops next week.
What if your great new job had dire consequences for space-time integrity?
Fresh out of college and unsure what’s next, Taylor has lucked into a cushy job in human resources. Most companies keep costs down by outsourcing and off-shoring. Taylor’s bosses are different. They’re committed to staying “100% MADE IN AMERICA”—by bringing in cheap labor using a time portal. But their latest batch of “New Guys” aren’t like the others…
“The movie pitch to the Sci-Fi Channel would be Breaking Bad meets Connie Willis’s The Doomsday Book. If this all sounds a bit grim it is anything but. Like Breaking Bad this has a strong streak of black humour running through it and is very entertaining.♥♥♥+”—SF Magazines
“The big pleasure of this story is watching all the pieces come together. Rating: ★★★★★ Fun story with a sophisticated plot.”—Rocket Stack Rank
“An intriguing take on minimum wage employment and how it can be made to pay.”—John Fairhurst
… but just a reminder to my American readers: We already live in this reality. This country isn’t just full of guns; it’s full of ammunition. If you have access to even a single bullet, you are $10 and a trip to the hardware store from making a wonderfully lethal weapon: unserialized, untraceable, highly concealable, nearly foolproof. You won’t be doing any civil massacres with a hardware-store slam gun, but you can mostly definitely kill the guy standing in front of you with little effort.
The reason no one will shoot you today is because no one feels like shooting you today.
… My time portal novel is now on Amazon (print and ebook). It’s a giddy little thrill at a reasonable price.
I’ve read a million time travel stories… and even read a million variations on time travel stories that try to be “different,” but I don’t think I’ve ever read any that are different in quite this way. While it settles uncomfortably next to very serious and even tragic things, the story’s humor is quite pronounced. … And it does an excellent job of creating an air of danger, and thus interest, due to the well-realized sense of actual traveling in (and perhaps getting lost in) time, as well as the criminal aspect and what they’re doing to the people in the past and how those people might react. It’s also a good vehicle to address issues all the way from existential bad faith to religion possibly being the amphetamine of the masses.
[UPDATE 2019-11-25: I just saw Paul Di Filippo’s review of this antho for Locus, and so added a snippet of that below, because it’s insanely kind and flattering and I wanna crow about it.]
It feels a little odd to be a “new voice” in anything with so little hair atop my head and so much grey in my beard—but I’ll take it!The publisher has been kind enough to include a section of my story “In the Sharing Place” to whet your appetite (here’s a link to all five previews stories).Enjoy!
“Reminiscent of the weirdness of Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet, “In the Sharing Place” by David Erik Nelson chronicles in vivid surreal fashion a post-invasion, post-collapse world where psychological counseling takes on dire new facets.…this is a killer collection, full of top-notch stories beautifully written and invested with much care, compassion and thought …Deploying the toolkit and concerns bequeathed by their literary ancestors, they are extending the reach of the genre not by plowing under everything that was built before and salting the earth, but by erecting new superstructures on old foundations—or perhaps new eco-communes in the shadow of dinosaur cities. It’s the way the field has always moved forward, and this volume gives plenty of hope that the future of future fiction is in good hands.”—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Magazine
“While readers may be familiar with many of the names and individual works here, having them together in one volume creates a stunning set of sf shorts. Highly recommended for all collections.“—Library Journal
“There are also stories that present unique dystopias such as the mist-haunted New York in Jason Sanford’s ‘Toppers’ or the mysterious outside world in David Erik Nelson’s ‘In the Sharing Place.’”—Booklist
“After some kind of alien invasion/apocalypse, children try to come to terms with the loss of their families ‘In The Sharing Place’, a thoughtful and ultimately a chilling story by David Erik Nelson. Much of the narrative takes place in the therapy sessions that happen in the Sharing Place and only slowly are details of the apocalypse revealed. It’s a very effective tale.” SF Crowsnest
Just a quick note: I’ll be at Penguicon 2018 all this weekend (May 4–6 in Southfield, MI). Here’s a schedule of all the stuff I will do (mostly lit oriented; in gray) and might do (mostly games and movies; in non-gray colors).
If you’re gonna be there and you wanna high-five or something, just hit me over email or Twitter and we’ll work it out.
I tweeted about this a bit earlier this week, when Google alerted me to the existence of this cryptic (to me) web page, which appears to be a ballot for a “Japanese Nebula Award” with one of my stories in the running for “Best Translated Short Story.”
As it turns out, this is an actual thing, and sort of a big deal. (It’s called the “Seiun Award” in English—and evidently has nothing to do with the SFWA Nebula Award; the Seiun Award is named for Japan’s first SF magazine.)
A quick glance at that Wikipedia entry shows that, if my story should win, I will be the least famous cat to ever get one of these awards—and by a very significant margin. Which is to say, I’m not going to win. Still, it’s fun to be nominated. (Also, how the hell is it that I don’t have a Wikipedia page? This is at least the third page that mentions me and deadlinks my name. The ISFDB, on the other hand, is hitting this out of the park. Well done!)
Anyway, if you’re wondering what all the shouting is about, you can read the story—my first Time Portal tale, “The New Guys Always Work Overtime,” winner of a 2013 Asimov’s Award(!!!)—for just 99 cents.
Price drop on my novelette “The Traveling Salesman Solution.” A time portal story, and also a grim moral koan. If I’ve ever written a story I think everyone in America should read, it’s this one. For a limited time this lil fella—my first sale to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and only true hard-SF tale—is just 99-cents!
I know a goodly portion of you have already read one or more of these stories; all are woeful shy on Amazon/Goodread reviews. If you wanted to swing by and leave your thoughts, it’d be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for helping nudge the wheel!
There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House (coming soon?!)
…when I go to sum up the story in a Big Picture way, I end up saying the same thing that I said about that election:
I totally hear where folks—angry, aggrieved, not-gonna-take-it-anymore folks—are coming from, because I totally agree with them: They are getting screwed. We just totally disagree on who is screwing them, or what is a sensible way to address that.
This story is about that, in a fundamental way.
I also tell an anecdote about seeing a homeless guy get ejected from a Coney in the mid-1990s, and make mention of Michigan trespassing laws, the sovereign citizen movement, my neighbors from Chennai, and Dave-o’s patented “magpie and junk drawer” speculative-fiction drafting strategy.
The Nov/Dec issue of F&SF is still on newsstands—but only for a few more days. Nab your copy soon!