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Short stories by Geoff Hart

This section of the site contains the following SF/F stories (most recent first):

Stories published in 2016

Stories published in 2014

Stories published in 2013

Stories published in 2012

Stories published in 2011

Stories published in 2009

Stories published before 2009

Now available: A Higher Power and other stories, my first short story collection.

Stories published in 2016

Blunt Instruments (1.6K words, April 2016)

If superheroes existed, it wouldn't be long before the government weaponized them. They won't all want to go along with this, particularly when the government's motives are less than pure.

Stories published in 2014

Mover (2.2K words) and Ecdysis (0.9K words), both September 6/14

These are two parts of an eventual triptych about transformations and seeing the physical world in a way that subverts our conventional scientific understanding. Possibly with a bit of horror thrown in for good measure.

Stories published in 2013

To Serve and Protect (2.4K words, July 14/13)

The "white man's burden" will travel with us when we go visiting primitive civilizations elsewhere in the galaxy. The goals are sometimes noble, but the results? Not so much.

Brown's Descent (4K words, July 14/13)

Earning a living in space isn't as safe as Star Trek makes it look. Fortunately, the smart ones have a partner to watch their back.

The Evil Stepmother Business (3K words, July 14/13)

Evil stepmothers and other fairy-tale archetypes may have gotten a bad rap. After all, everything in nature serves a purpose...

Stories published in 2012

Onshoring—a zombie success story (4.1K words, Nov. 11/12)

Offshoring is a great way to reduce labor costs, but as developing nations begin to develop a higher standard of living, vigilant capitalists will need to seek new ways to keep costs low.

Terroir (1.2K words, Mar. 18/12)

Winemaking is as much art as it is science, and a mysterious art at that. But wine is just chemistry, and wine snobs notwithstanding, a good scientist should be able to solve the problem.

Expert System (4.2K words, Mar. 11/12)

Expert System is a story about the rapid pace of obsolescence of high technology, and what this may mean once we develop sentient or near-sentient machines. It's a particular concern to me since, once artificial intelligences start to displace us in the workplace, this will inevitably create tensions and the potential for tragedy on both a human scale and an AI scale. This is one musing on that potential.

Graduation exercise (7.5K words, Mar. 10/12)

Graduation Exercise introduces the character Alison Katherine Morgan, who will become the protagonist of a novel (The Black Ships) about first contact, gunboat diplomacy, and the pursuit of war by other means. In this installment, Morgan recounts the story of the final test she faced before graduating from the Naval Academy's Intelligence (Intel) section. As you'll see, it's not a warm and fuzzy kind of place, but those who survive are well equipped to "pursue war by other means".

Stories published in 2011

Blood on the Snow (49K words, Dec. 30/11)

Blood in the Snow is the first in what may become a series of tongue-in-cheek murder mysteries centered around a young Dwarf, Thomas “Rabbitfurs”. While traveling through the mountains, Thomas is caught by a winter storm and forced to seek refuge. By good fortune, he finds himself near a mountain keep, where he’s welcomed by a host who seems suspiciouly vampiric, but really—isn’t that a bit too much of a cliché? Thomas isn’t so sure. As the storm traps everyone within the keep, people begin dying. Can Thomas solve the crimes before he becomes the next victim?

The Computer Graveyard (2.9K words, Nov. 12/11)

Computers are our friends, right? Not if you pay too close attention to the upgrade cycle.

Stories published in 2009

Windhame (5.1K words, Feb. 10/09)

An experiment in narrative voice, set on a planet where human-powered flight is possible, at least for a time.

A Principle of Matter (2.7K words, Feb. 10/09)

A fairly classic Asimovean type of tale of chemical physics, with a particularly annoying protagonist and a touch of a fantastic sting at the end.

Time’s Arrow (4K words, Feb. 10/09)

A time-travel tale of tragic love, told in correct chronological order—well, sort of.

Edge Effect (14.4K words, Feb. 10/09)

A fairly classic Analog-style hard SFF story about alien life forms and the ecological consequences of not understanding alien ecosystems—or even basic ecological principles.

Cogito, Ergo Nihil (290 words, Feb. 10/09)

A short-short written for the Concept Boréale short story competition.

The Man from H.A.R.R.I.S.O.N. (13.6K words, Feb. 10/09)

A loving pastiche of Harry Harrison's beloved Stainless Steel Rat series.

At the Body Shop (3.6K words, Feb. 10/09)

Every generation finds some way to rebel against its parents, and one generation's rebels soon become the next generation's status quo.

Flatlander Pro Tem (5K words, Feb. 10/09)

A classic spacefarer-meets-new-planet story, but with a protagonist who is anything but the jut-jawed Nordic demigod of this story's tradition.

Graf (3.6K words, Feb. 10/09)

Art remains art, even when the media and the technology change. But can an old-style artist keep hold of his muse when younger, hipper artistes start transforming his art form with new technology?

Hunter's Moon (2.5K words, Feb. 10/09)

A full moon, a coldblooded killer, but a different kind of monster than the one you might be expecting.

The Distaff War (4.4K words, Feb. 10/09)

A revisionist (and feminist) take on the manly art of war, and how wars aren't always fought by conventional means.

A Higher Power (4.4K words, Feb. 10/09)

A "weird town" genre story, with (Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!) a stinker of a punchline. You were warned.

Where There’s Smoke… (8.3K words, Feb. 10/09)

An Analog-style science fiction tale, only with characters, about smokejumpers and that notion that science can't necessarily explain everything you see. <g>

The Phantom of the Niebelungen (5K words, Feb. 10/09)

A somewhat different kind of vampire tale, and not nearly as nice as the current crop of heartthrob bloodsuckers. (With apologies in advance to Wagner fans... <g>)

Stories published before 2009

Heirloom (1.2K words, Feb. 10/09)

A tale of memory, art, and the unsuspected things artists put into their work.

The Dead-end Gang (2.9K words, Feb. 10/09)

A sordid tale of crime by youthful bandits.

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