New short story: “Unto Dust”

I’ve got a new Central Corps short story up on my other site: “Unto Dust,” set 25 years before THE COLD BETWEEN.

It’s spec fic, but really, it’s a character piece about a man dealing with the loss of his wife, and trying to parent to two teenagers through his own grief.

Here’s the beginning. Links on the bottom to read the rest, and/or to download an ebook copy.

Unto Dust: a Central Corps short

The night after Tom Foster’s wife died, he lay in the bed they used to share and stared at the ceiling, the sporadic hum of late-night shuttle traffic brittle and unreal in his head.

He did not sleep.

The next morning, he listened to his children arguing for more than half an hour before it occurred to him he ought to get out of bed.

He stood, still in the clothes he’d put on the previous morning, the dark trousers and close-fitting jacket that passed for casual teaching attire. He’d had them on less than an hour when the Corps Admiralty comms office had informed him there had been an accident, and he’d known the rest before they said it aloud. He’d worn them taking a shuttle to his daughter’s school, and then his son’s, to tell them their mother was not coming home this time.

Meg had screamed and howled and beat at his chest, and he’d put his arms around her while she sobbed. Greg had blinked, and said “Are you sure?” as he stood, unmoving, across the room from his father.

It had been so much easier to tell Meg.

The rest of the story (link goes to

ebook versions (link downloads a zip file containing an ePub, a MOBI, and a PDF)

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