When you think about, tacos are a perfect metaphor for good science fiction short stories. Small, nutritious, juicy morsels of flavor – decades of authentic art packed into bite-sized deliciousness. Hi, I’m Jackson Allen and my Golden Age scifi shorts are ‘brain tacos.’ Your time and energy are valuable, and you need stories that explode in your brain with delectable, scrumptious adventure. Improvising on Golden Age scifi is to great writers what jazz standards are to great musicians. These stories are my variations on those old ‘comfort food’ concepts. Welcome to my treasure box of classic stories told in new ways. Enough talk, it’s story time – browse below and pick one out for yourself. Scroll to the bottom to find out how the short stories are part of my evil plan …
Free – Neapolitan – A new collection of free scifi shorts for Golden-Age Scifi fans – flavors to please every science fiction palate:
When his phone comes to life and confesses his love, Rob has a choice to make. Can he embrace this relationship, or will he incur the wrath of a computer that knows everything about his life?
Table for One
In the post-apocalyptic world full of hungry, desperate people, Charles knows that some people will do anything for a hot meal. Jimmy G thinks he’s the new guest of honor, but he’s about to learn there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
“You can literally predict my death.”
“That’s right.” Get it for free from your favorite bookstore
|Necktie Party Just as their small Southern town began to experience a re-birth on a new way of industry related to neurocybernetic technology, a terrorist attack destroys their city and someone is going to pay. Now, two old men must talk a mob of angry, frightened people out of murder at a broken down motel in post-collapse America. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|Call of the Void “I picked up his trail at the edge of a crater. Over my shoulder, three moons dangled in the reddish-purple sky. Faint starlight outlined the junky little craft I use for rescue trips. My spacecraft has no frills, no creature comforts: just two seats and basic life support. With luck, that’s all I’ll need to save this kid’s life. The control surfaces on this spacesuit sucked. I could feel worn plastic and clunky attenuators when I put it on. The third-class air filtration smelled like farts and dirty sweat socks. If I had time, I’d trade with the locals to buy better gear, but I don’t. We’re on the clock. The kid’s been here for weeks. If I don’t get him out in the next few hours, he’s not coming back at all.” Ryan is a kid with a past. In order to find his future, he has to help someone else find theirs. What will he find out there on an uncharted moon: ruin, remorse, or … redemption? He better find out fast, because time is running out. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore / Get It For Free
|The Conquered Three space explorers arrive on a new planet to find the hungry, desperate faces of a conquered civilization. These people are human, intelligent and aware of space travel. Why are they dressed in rags? Why isn’t anyone allowed to own a tool, or medicine? What happened to their cities and culture? The chilling answer comes from the six-meter alien with smoke-colored armor and polished fangs, and he does not come in peace. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|The Rocket In the last few hours before life on earth ends, a young dad has a chance meeting with his estranged father. Will this be a moment of reconciliation, or recrimination? How can you communicate with someone who refuses to listen? Mike Crane takes one last shot to save his father’s life before he boards THE ROCKET. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|Foreverest Winning a $600 Million lottery is a dream come true, right? In a world of nanotechnology, lethal consequences, and ruthless operatives, one soon-to-be widowed winner is about to get a lesson in the art of removing problems by low friends in high places.
|The Battle of Victoria Crater Martin grows up on the harsh, haunting landscape of Mars dodging bullets, freezing temperatures and hired guns. How can a raw, hard-bitten group of colonists hope to survive against a menacing Earthbound corporation? What will happen if they give up and go home? Readers say: “This short tale brings us to the gritty reality of the fight for a terraformed Mars.” Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|Paparazzi Therapist Ever heard Hollywood say “if one pop star falls, another takes its place?” Well in the future they can do it for real, and it means the next version of Justin Bieber and BTS better play nice.
|Planet Ugh The aliens have arrived, and Earth makes first contact. Do they think we’re ready to meet the rest of the universe? Our representative makes his case, but the conversation isn’t going well … Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|Body Issues Bonus Wallpaper – Ava is your typical high-school Freshman. She’s got friends, family, and oh yes, access to the hottest body modification science on the planet. DNA strand engineering, nanoreceptor reflex boosters and cloned bone cells. How are you supposed to ‘just be yourself’ when a clinic can make you into a supermodel overnight? Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|The Superhero Shrink Dr. Christopher has a very difficult, unique job. He’s a psychiatrist who works with superheroes. Some legendary warriors come with baggage and his job is to help ‘keep ’em flying.’ Half-serious, half-dark comedy, ‘The Superhero Shrink’ is “‘The Avengers’ Meets ‘Ordinary People,’” an honest look at the people behind the masks. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
|Superhero Shrink: Climate Change Dr. Christopher is back with a new set of patients and a new set of problems. How will the superhero wars affect our global climate? No one is quite sure, but everyone knows that Dr. Christopher is caught in the middle. Get a copy from your favorite bookstore
Now that I’ve told you what I’m doing, let me tell you why. After I re-started my life, my promise to myself is to chase what matters. For me, that’s telling good scifi stories. My evil plan is to use the sales from these ‘brain taco’ shorts to qualify to join the SFWA (The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). Inkican is how I write stories that help me believe in myself. My stories help others believe in themselves, too. All of this is based on me selling what I write. To get there, I need access to the support of the larger author organizations like SFWA. Membership requires that I sell one story by a SFWA-approved publisher, or pass ~$1000 in sales from self-published work. I’m simultaneously writing new short stories, and self-publishing those that didn’t sell, but I think people will enjoy. So I’m asking for your support: Would you consider buying one or more of my $0.99 short stories below? Your support opens so many doors for me, and helps me open doors for others. Success brings me closer to the triangle of ‘Author Success’: Sustainability, Generosity, and Hospitality. I have a quick break-down right here of what that looks like. So that’s why I want to tell you a story, science fiction short stories are how I’m rebuilding my life. Thanks very much in advance … “Help – I Want to Support You But I Don’t Have $0.99!” No worries – can you signal boost the page? Post this page on Twitter, Reddit, Goodreads, Facebook! Anything you can to support the cause is greatly appreciated by Bandit the Authorcats, one of the rescue kitties that I take care of: Thanks again for reading. ~J