Zombie Planetfall Chapter 4: Prelude to Massacre

zombie planetfall

Chapter 4: Prelude to Massacre

Chapter 4 of my serial zombie novel “Zombie Planetfall” is up on Wattpad. Things are about to get nasty for our astronaut friends. Who are the People? What qualities differentiate them from the lowly cadavers? Some of your questions will be answered in this suspenseful installment. Give it a read and please don’t forget to vote!


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“Zombie Planetfall Chapter 3: The People”

zombie planetfall

Read the next chapter of my sci-fi zombie apocalypse serial novel, “Zombie Planetfall” Only on Wattpad!

The next installment of “Zombie Planetfall” is up on Wattpad. FREE to read! Things are starting to heat up for our astronaut friends. Literarily.


Please remember to give me an up vote (if you liked it, of course—don’t want no pity up votes…)

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“Humanesque: The Robot Skitz 1” totally FREE on Amazon 17–18 September!

robot short story

Facing an imminent deadline, two tech researchers resort to increasingly desperate means to prove that an automaton’s “nervous” fidgeting constitutes self-awareness.

One of my robot short stories, “Humanesque,” is available for FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow (Sept 17–18). It’s quick and easy to download to your Kindle device or app, OR you can simply read it in your browser through Amazon’s built-in reader. Super easy!

Please read and share!

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Robot Short Story: “The Cat’s Apprentice”

helper robot

My new story “Humanesque” is but one of the many robot short stories I’ve worked on over the years. Check out this except from my robot comedy “The Cat’s Apprentice.”

In support of my new robot fiction piece, “Humanesque,” available on Amazon for the bank-breaking price of .99 cents, I figure I’ll treat my readers to a section of a section of one of my other robot short stories called “The Cat’s Apprentice.” This one is more comedic than Humanesque, but it should satiate your robot needs until you can string together those 99 cents. Let me know what you think, and maybe I’ll put in the time to properly complete this piece…

Robot Fiction: “The Cat’s Apprentice”

The first day was the worst. The robot, which Abe had promptly named “Annoyance,” for reasons you’ll understand before you’re done reading this sentence, followed him around the house wherever he went and wouldn’t cut it out. Where Smokey the Cat only ever followed Abe around on those days when he was too hungry to properly sleep, Annoyance behaved exactly as if it were Abe’s shadow. They were connected as if by string or elastic band. If Abe increased his velocity while moving down the hallway to get to the bathroom, he’d hear a corresponding intensification in Annoyance’s tinny footfalls. If Abe stopped abruptly, so did Annoyance. The whole thing reminded Abe of those Bogart pictures where the Bogart thinks he’s being followed, but every time he stops and tries to listen there’s no sounds. Then he walks again and there’s more sounds.

It didn’t even end with the walking and the stopping. When Abe engaged in the various tentpole events of his typical daily routine, like running his fingers over the house’s bumpy old wallpaper and smelling them; like laying down on the hard wood floor for forty minutes to straighten out his back even though it was already straight; like crawling up the staircase like some kind of a spiderbeast simply to experience life as a spiderbeast; Annoyance could always be found within arm’s reach making him feel self conscious about what he was doing. He simply couldn’t get into a good groove, basically.

But things sort of came to a head when he finally sat down at his computer station to start ghostwriting the day’s first article, which, today, was titled “Physical Changes I Noticed While Lactating.” What happened was Annoyance would just stood there on the floor quietly looking up at him, those calm red eyes pivoting back and forth between Abe’s face and his fluttering fingers on the keyboard.

Two hours later, when Abe realized he still hadn’t gotten past the first paragraph, he spun around in his chair and in a petulant voice said, “This isn’t going to work, Annoyance. I can’t properly get into ‘woman’ mode with you standing there staring at me. It won’t sell. Nobody’s going to believe I’ve experienced these body changes.”

The robot responded in a chirpy, giggly voice reminiscent of a small Japanese child who was about to slice your Achilles Heel with a surgical scalpel. “In order to understand your needs, I must observe your behaviors at an optimal time horizon.”

“First of all, do you seriously need to talk like that? Can’t I download another voice? You sound like one of those fast-motion Japanese kids who crawls on walls.”

“Thank you for your input. Over the course of a few days, my voice will evolve naturally in response to stimuli quite like this. By the time the process is complete, my mode of communication will be aligned more closely with your individual needs.”

Abe hadn’t even been paying attention. He respected Annoyance so little, it was like the robot wasn’t even saying anything at all. “Second of all, I want you out of here!”

“To break visual contact at this stage would forfeit the acclimation process,” Annoyance said, “Prompting immediate retrieval of this unit by customer service. Do you wish me to proceed?”

Abe snorted and mashed his lips together, seriously considering aborting the whole thing right then and there. But after allowing himself a few seconds to think it through, he decided that deactivating Annoyance and returning him to the robot place would constitute a far greater distraction than merely dealing with a pesky houseguest. He rolled his eyes and said, “No, Annoyance. Don’t proceed. You can watch me, fine, but I don’t want to see you doing it. I need to feel like I’m alone in order to be comfortable. If you can do that for me, maybe we can get through this trial period without me eventually kicking you down the stairs. Get me?”

“Understood sir.” Annoyance retreated to the doorway and, after disappearing for a moment behind the doorframe, it peeped its rectangular head back into the room like a child watching his parents watch a movie where the characters were talking to their child about sex.

Abe scowled at what he could see of the robot for a few more seconds, but then decided that the new arrangement just might work. He spun back to his computer and almost instantly started writing from the perspective of a 35-year-old new mother. Having enjoyed a longer than average gestation period, the article came to life with startling clarity and confidence. It practically wrote itself!

Yet there was still one last interruption before Abe was done. The moderately successful Internet ghostwriter was just hitting his stride when Smokey limped into the room and loped across the room to Abe’s feet.

“Ah! My precious Smoker!” cried Abe, abandoning his article without a second thought. “Me loves it when you visits!” He lunged down and lifted the cat up and, moments later, had him in a affectionate, rockabye snuggle, which seemed to bring the elderly feline more pain than joy on account of his various age-related infirmities. Having not quite unhooked himself from the female point-of-view through which he was writing his latest article, Abe spent some time pretending to breastfeed the cat.

“Drink your fill,” Abe whispered lovingly into his squirming cat’s ears as he held the heat to his breast. “I’ll just create more.”

An entire half-hour of cat-loving ensued before Abe got bored trying to keep the cat from escaping, and so he finally let him escape. Despite his poor health, Smokey bolted from the room like a torpedo, zipped right through the doorway past Annoyance, who had observed and logged the entire encounter for future reference.

Don’t forget to buy and rate “Humanesque” through Amazon. You don’t even need a Kindle to read it—you can use Amazon’s built-in reader. If you do leave me a review there, let me know and I’ll give you a nice juicy backlink on my blog or something of that nature.

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Robot Short Story “Humanesque” Available on Amazon

robot short stories

New robot short story “Humanesque” available for download at Amazon.com! Click the image to visit the page.

My second Amazon short story was released on Amazon today. Who wants to be the first to read it and give me a rating on Amazon? http://amzn.com/B0157KRAR8

From Amazon:

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were looking at a timid human child dressed up as a robot for Halloween. Skitz is a machine like no other. His exterior plating, made of glossy plastic resin, looks typical enough, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Thanks to his system of polymer-fiber muscles and tendons, his movement has a humanesque grace never before seen in an automaton. Nearly any gesture attemptable by a human of similar size, from cartwheels all the way down to nervous fidgeting, Skitz can do just as well.

Especially the nervous fidgeting. He’s got that down.
Under the mentorship of an affectionate human mentor, Skitz learned to move and work as humans do, but it wasn’t long before eerily human mannerisms began to flavor his behaviors. A trembling of the hands. A sheepishness in his gait. A distinctive personality emerged: Skitz was a major wimp.

Though the technicians insist that Skitz’s “jitters” are simply an illusion resulting from his realtime defensive proactivity, a mere function of his governing algorithm, chief behaviorist Paula Kingsley is not so sure. There is something in Skitz’s apparent anxiousness that rings a little too close to home.

With only hours left before Skitz is taken out of her custody, Paula and her cynical associate Philip O’Bannon, must find a way to convince their superiors, and themselves, that Skitz has somehow developed a mind of his own.

But how do you prove such a thing, when your whole argument is based on the humanesque movements for which the robot was designed in the first place?

It’s harder than you think.


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“Zombie Planetfall” New Zombie Book Series!

zombie planetfall

Please read (and vote on) the first installment of my new Zombie book series “Zombie Planetfall!”

I’ve recently started an account with Wattpad, the “YouTube-for-writers.” It’s a platform for fiction writers to share new work, and have that work be voted-on for increased website prominence. I decided to hit the ground running with a new Zombie series that will be released in fun, easy-to-read installments every Sunday. Please check out my first installment and, if you like where things are going, give me a quick Upvote.

Synopsis: A group of astronauts is forced to abandon the International Space Station and return to a zombie-infested Earth, where each crew member must draw on his or her highly specialized skill-set to survive the radiated zombie horde.

Click here for the story: http://w.tt/1KUpA2e

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“The Crawling Hand (With a Gun)” Featured on Podcast!


What’s more frightening than a disembodied crawling hand? A crawling hand with a .45 caliber pistol

This had been a fun week for practicallyserious! A short horror flash fiction I wrote for this blog about two years ago, “The Crawling Hand (With a Gun),” just appeared on Kris Baker Dersch’s podcast “No Extra Words. ” Listen to it here, and when you’re there, check out some of her previous podcasts—great flash fiction!



Check out the original Crawling Hand post!

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LAST Day of Horror Book Giveaway! Act Now!



LAST Day of “Green Thumb” Free Giveaway! August 31!

Today is your last chance to pick up my short horror story published through Amazon Direct Publishing. Please show your support by downloading a copy (100% free!) and leaving some feedback on Amazon. Every little bit helps!

Click the link to get your copy: Free Book Giveaway!

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Special Offer: A Review for a Review!


My horror short story “Green Thumb” is FREE until Monday! Give me a review and let me know and I’ll immediately return the favor!

Hello everyone! Today is Day 2 of my free book giveaway, and I have an extra special offer to share with my fellow WordPress bloggers (or fellow free-book-giveawayers).

If anyone is willing to download my FREE (very) short story from Amazon, read it, and, most importantly, leave a review with Amazon, I will happily return the favor post haste!

Once you leave me a review on Amazon, let me know about it, and then I’ll go ahead and study up on your blog and give you a dedicated write-up on practicallyserious.com, including a backlink! OR, if you’re giving away a free eBook like me, I’ll be happy to get a copy and leave you a review on Amazon or wherever you’d like!

Not a bad deal, considering my free short horror story is a whopping 12 pages long and can be read in ten minutes!

Remember: you DON’T NEED A KINDLE to read this story! You can read it right on Amazon’s built-in reader. Easy as pie.

So click on my story’s cover or follow this link to Amazon and get yourself a back link/review today!

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Free Short Story on Amazon for LIMITED TIME: “Green Thumb”


“Green Thumb: A Short Horror Story” FREE on Amazon 8/29 through 8/31! Today through Monday!

I am giving away a short horror story “Green Thumb” at Amazon.com this weekend! Today through monday, August 31. Get it while it’s FREE, and, if you can, please leave a review. Amazon ranks its books based on public interest.

Click here to go to the Amazon page!

Some of you may remember a “flash” version of this story published on this very blog. That version was published in eHorror magazine. But I wasn’t going to rest on my laurels, and I revised and expanded the story. Please download it by clicking the link in this post, or at the top right-hand of the blog.

Here is the blurb:

They call the serial killer “Green Thumb,” owing to his quirky habit of leaving small potted plants at the sites of his abductions. Michael will soon learn what that name really means. Following an ill-advised mission to rescue his brother from the clutches of this madman, Michael only succeeds in adding himself to the killer’s strange menagerie. Now he has limited time to escape his tormentor’s bizarre garden torture chamber, where an insane collection of impossible plants suggests a terrifying new meaning behind the nickname “Green Thumb.”

Please help support this blog by getting a copy and leaving a quick (perhaps even wordless, if need be!) review.

Click here to get your copy!

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