6 June 2014
Upper Rubber Boot’s Soles Series comprised standalone ebook titles spanning the speculative fiction gamut, including science fiction, literary stories using SFnal tropes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, utopian and dystopian, fantasy, and horror.
Series Number 001*
TRACY CANFIELD, “Heist”: Bill Martin’s favorite online game turns out to be a haven for con artists – con artists who aren’t human.
“A neat variation on an SF classic. The character makes the game work.”—Lois Tilton, “Analog, June 2010,” Locus Online Reviews, 7 April 2010.
“This was an imaginative tale of intrigue with many twists and turns that I enjoyed.”—Sam Tomaino, “Analog Science Fiction and Fact – June 2010 – Vol. CXXX Nos.6,” SFRevu, 23 April 2010.
“Since it is as likely that our washing machines will take over the world as it is that our software will teach itself to exploit us, the inventive quality of ‘Heist’ is what makes this tale merry reading. Jigging through the computers’ artificial world of Realms of Daelemil and fantasizing alongside the main character about the nature of a society governed by ‘sensible’ source code is entertaining.”— KJ Hannah Greenberg, “Analog, June 2010,” Tangent Online, 29 April 2010.
Tracy Canfield is a computational linguist from Indianapolis. CNN called her a Klingon scholar for her voice work on the Jenolan Caves’ Klingon audio tour. Her science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in magazines around the world, including Analog, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Crowded, and AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. You can follow her on Twitter, @TracyCanfield, or check out her website at www.tracycanfield.com.
“Heist” originally ran in the June 2010 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.
Series Number 002*
INDRAPRAMIT DAS, “The Widow and the Xir”: Hunter, worker, widow and mother, Sanih struggles to overcome the sorrow left in the wake of her husband Namir’s death. Beyond the dunes, Namir’s reincarnation, a young xir, a desert ghost, finds itself drawn to a single human and her son, haunted by memories of a past life with them. When Sanih’s grief begins to call the ghost to her tribe’s travelling camp, Sanih must find a way to put his death behind her or endanger them all.
“A neat fantasy world and a strong story of love… Recommended.”—Lois Tilton, “Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early July,” Locus Online, 7 July 2011.
Indrapramit Das is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared in publications including Clarkesworld, Asimov’s and Apex Magazine, as well as the anthologies The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), Aliens: Recent Encounters (Prime Books) and Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (Rosarium Publishing). He is a grateful graduate of the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Award to attend the former. He completed his MFA at the University of British Columbia and is currently in Vancouver working as a freelance writer, artist, editor, critic, TV extra, game tester, tutor, would-be novelist, and aspirant to adulthood.
This story originally appeared in Apex Magazine in July 2011.
Series Number 003*
DAVID M. HARRIS, “Changing the World”: We’ve received a message: Hold on. We’re coming. The aliens are coming! Now what do we do? Dr. George Metesky faces this problem when he gets the message from space. And how can he know whether or not he has the right answer?
Until 2003, David M. Harris had never lived more than fifty miles
from New York City. Since then he has moved to Tennessee, married, acquired a daughter and a classic MG, and gotten serious about poetry. All these projects seem to be working out pretty well. His work has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain (and in the anthology First Water: Best of Pirene’s Fountain), Gargoyle, and other places. His first collection of poetry, The Review Mirror, was published by Unsolicited Press in September, 2013. He is the author, with Harry Harrison, of Bill, the Galactic Hero: the Final Incoherent Adventure.
“Changing the World” was published by Writer’s Block in 1998, and was an Honorable Mention in Best of the Rest: The Best Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy of 1998.
Series Number 004*
SHIRA LIPKIN, “The Selves We Leave Behind”: On the night side of Las Vegas, you can lose yourself… to a blessing or a curse. And when you lose everything, you get to decide what to pick back up and take with you.
Shira Lipkin has managed to convince Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Stone Telling, Clockwork Phoenix 4, and other otherwise-sensible magazines and anthologies to publish her work; two of her stories have been recognized as Million Writers Award Notable Stories, and she has won the Rhysling Award for best short poem. She lives in Boston and, in her spare time, fights crime with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Her cat is bigger than her dog.
“The Angel of Fremont Street” originally appeared in ChiZine in January 2009. “Fortune” originally appeared in Ravens in the Library, a benefit anthology for musician SJ Tucker, in February 2009.
Series Number 005*
MARI NESS, “Twittering the Stars”: Unlucky asteroid miners tweet from the stars.
“What could have been little more than a gimmicky format (the clue is in the name) is used to break a tale of unlucky asteroid miners into pithy, revealing chunks that comprise a grippingly personal narrative” —Sumit Paul-Choudhury, “Sci-fi: The near future looks brighter than ever,” New Scientist, 7 April 2010.
“A very clever piece of writing and one I’d recommend.” —Liz de Jager, “Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science-Fiction,” SFRevu, 15 April 2010.
“One of the most original stories I’ve read in years” —Paul Goat Allen, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: Optimistic Science Fiction (Finally!),” Barnes & Noble Book Club, 30 March 2010.
“The story immediately engulfs you in the drama and wins you over to the protagonist’s side. What’s deceptive about the piece is that it’s quite lengthy but because Ness uses Tweets, it doesn’t feel overbearing.” —Charles Tan, “Book/Magazine Review: Shine edited by Jetse de Vries,” Bibliophile Stalker, 22 March 2010.
“most original” —”REVIEW: Shine edited by Jetse De Vries,” Speculative Book Review, 4 May 2010.
“Twittering the Stars” originally appeared in Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science Fiction, published by Solaris Books in 2010. In addition to the Shine anthology, Mari Ness’ short fiction has also appeared in Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Tor.com, and Apex Magazine; her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Dreams and Nightmares.
Series Number 006*
KENNETH SCHNEYER, “The Tortoise Parliament”: At the Parliament of the Confederation of Inhabited Worlds, speed-of-light instructions from home arrive too late, and personal loyalties and jealousies dominate decades of negotiations and lawmaking. Will Tithonos sacrifice the needs of his planet for the sake of his mistress?
“A space opera that makes the slowness of light and the spaciousness of time central figures in a thought-provoking exploration of love and politics.” —Ken Liu, author of “The Paper Menagerie” (winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards) and “Good Hunting” (winner of the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction)
Nebula Award-nominated author Kenneth Schneyer thinks more about the legislative process than most people. A lawyer, law professor, and onetime appeals-court clerk, he comments extensively on lawmaking and legal interpretation in several published articles. His stories appear in Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix 3 & 4, Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, Podcastle, and hypothetical lawsuits created for students. A graduate of the Clarion class of 2009, he lives in the last state to ratify the U. S. Constitution, with three people who are smarter than he is and a litigious cat.
This story originally appeared in First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1, edited by Jessi Hoffman (Digital Science Fiction, 2011).
Series Number 007*
J. J. STEINFELD, “The Suicide Inspector”: In a harsh future society where meaning and purpose are turned upside down, a citizen who has struggled through fifty jobs becomes a Suicide Inspector, and finds meaning by writing reports on what the government calls self-terminants.
J. J. Steinfeld is a Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fourteen books, including the short story collections Disturbing Identities (Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Gaspereau Press), and A Glass Shard and Memory (Recliner Books), the novels Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (Pottersfield Press) and Word Burials (Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink), and the poetry collections An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press) and Misshapenness (Ekstasis Editions). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.
“The Suicide Inspector,” in a slightly different version, was first published in The Apostate’s Tattoo (Ragweed Press, 1983) by J. J. Steinfeld, and was reprinted in The Atlantic Anthology (Vol. 1/Prose, Edited by Fred Cogswell, Ragweed Press, 1984), in Forever Underground Magazine (Issue #1, 2005), and in Aoife’s Kiss (Vol. X, No. 2, September 2011).
Series Number 008*
TADE THOMPSON, “Bicycle Girl”: In a future Nigeria where cyborg surveillance animals, decommissioned space stations and RFID implants are commonplace, theoretical physics professor Aloy Ogene is in solitary confinement and stands accused of the murder of one thousand, one hundred and seventy-five people. Under interrogation he tells the story of a visit from a strange child, a girl with limited command of English who needs his help with a mysterious antique machine, whose request leads to life-or-death consequences.
Tade Thompson’s roots are in Western Nigeria and South London. His short stories have been published in small press, webzines and anthologies. Most recently, his story “Notes from Gethsemane” appeared in The Afro SF Anthology, and “Shadow” appeared in The Apex Book of World SF 2, and “120 Days of Sunlight” appeared in Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He lives and works in South England. His influence field includes books, music, theatre, comics, art, movies, and memoirs. He haunts coffee shops, jazz bars, bookshops, and libraries. He is an occasional visual artist.
This story originally appeared in Expanded Horizons (July 2013).
Series Number 009*
PHIL VOYD, “Johnny B”: Johnny B is mediocre at everything. Average. Ordinary. Straight Bs in everything. Except for one thing. Shinny, a pickup game of ice hockey played outdoors and the heart of Canadian hockey. Flying across the rinks every winter, no one can touch him. No one can even come close. Until one night, he plays against someone who is better than him. Unnaturally better. Now Johnny has to play like he’s never played before because the price for losing is a lot more than wounded pride.
Phil Voyd’s stories have appeared in various anthologies, magazines and podcasts, including Fear’s Accomplice, Not One Of Us and The Sonic Society. He has received a couple of Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror series and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. One of his stories was adapted into a radio play at the CBC and another was recently made into a short film.
This story was first published in On Spec in 2000 and reprinted in 2002 in the high-school textbook Foundations of English 12.
*Note: Series Numbers only reflect order of release, and are mainly used because some online bookstores require them. You can read these stories in any order you like.
Entry filed under: Fiction. Tags: Anatoly Belilovsky, David M. Harris, Indrapramit Das, J. J. Steinfeld, Lawrence Schimel, Nick Wood, Phil Voyd, soles series, Tade Thompson, Teresa P. Mira de Echeverria.