Category Archives: Story Samples

New short story out: X and Y

Cover of Compelling Science Fiction Issue 5Hello,

I’m pleased to announce that I have a new short story out today, a high tech science fiction tale called “X and Y,” in Compelling Science Fiction Issue 5.

If you love hard science fiction (i.e. science fiction with a strong focus on technology), make sure to check out all their stories in Issue 5, as well as their back issues.

Cheers, Lynn

 

Short story “By The Numbers” is out at Crossed Genres Magazine

Welcome to July 2015! I hope it’s going well for everyone.

I loved reading (and rereading) science fiction stories by Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke as a kid, and wanted to someday write a science fiction story that would express my admiration for their stories.

So I wrote a longish science fiction story (the length is actually referred to as a “novelette”) called “By The Numbers.”

I’m too close to my own work, so I can’t say if I succeeded in showing my admiration for Clarke and Asimov. I hope so.

The story is out this month, and available to read in full online for free, in the July 2015 issue of Crossed Genres Magazine. I hope you will click on over and read about Dr. Melaine Sharps at New Mexico Tech and a rather unusual alien species.

Dr. Sharps (the main character) just happens to have autism, and I am extremely grateful to all the people on the spectrum I’ve known over the past ten years who helped me do a realistic story about how it feels to be autistic.

While you’re over at Crossed Genres, check out the other July stories too.

Til next time, Lynn

My pen name is changing from L. M. May to Lynn Kilmore

Parallels 2nd edition by Lynn Kilmore book coverBack in 2007,  I picked out a pen name for my short stories and novels that I was going to submit to editors. I chose “L. M. May.”

I picked “L. M. May” at a time in my life when I had a lousy understanding of the publishing industry, and absolutely no understanding at all of my personality as a writer … and then I got published in a magazine under that name, and I felt I was permanently stuck with it.

Turns out I was wrong.

I just finished up two online classes through Skillshare with Seth Godin, and taking those classes of his challenged my all assumptions of what was possible. Also, a friend pointed out to me Dean Koontz’s blog post about killing off his pen name Owen West. Another friend pointed out that Katy Hudson changed her stage name to Katy Perry.

I finally realized that it wasn’t too late to change my pen name. I just had to be willing to go through the difficulties of doing so.

So I’m going ahead and changing  it to “Lynn Kilmore.” The behind-the-scenes aspects of changing the name will take years and years of work. The public work has the highest priority, so that stuff will change as quickly as possible.

There will be publishing headaches involved with the move of my ebooks and print editions to the new pen name. Everything published under “L. M. May” is going to be reissued in second editions under “Lynn Kilmore” over the next eight months.

However, one short story, Writer’s Flight, is being taken off sale permanently, instead of being revised, because it is included in the e-book of Parallels.

Unfortunately, the name change does mean two challenges going forward:

1) Links are going to break as the second editions come out. There will be temporary confusion as e-books are transitioned to the new name.

2) There have been delays in the print editions of two books, and the sequel to Cubicles is going to run late due to the changes being made in my name. However, all three books should be out in print before 2014 ends, and I’ll post when pre-orders become possible.

But once the main part of the transition is over, there’ll be some really fun stuff happening. I learned a huge amount in Seth Godin’s classes, and there’s been a lot of writing I’ve been holding back from being published as my unhappiness with my pen name grew worse.

I honestly feel as if I’ve been let out of a cage. You have no idea how standoffish and stifling I’ve found it these past seven years to be called “L.M.” instead of a read first name like “Lynn.”

Cheers, Lynn

For Reference. All E-Books published under “L. M. May”…

2 Novels: Soul Cages; Cubicles, Blood, and Magic.

1 Collection: Tales from the Threshold.

3 Novelettes: The Enchantment of Coyotes; Green Grow the Rushes; Shade Town.

5 Short Stories: Parallels; Writer’s Flight (will not be reissued under new name); Just One Date; King of All He Surveyed; A Maze of Cubicles.

All but Writer’s Flight will be transitioned to the new pen name.

Two Sales on Read an Ebook Week

It’s Read an Ebook Week from March 2 to 8, and so two stories have been discounted at Smashwords in celebration. You can get the short story, A Maze of Cubicles, for free by using the sale code at checkout. Soul Cages is available at a 75% discount. I encourage you to wander over to their website to take a look at the ebooks available on sale from small presses and independent authors.

Later this week, for 3 days (March 6 to 8), Soul Cages will be discounted to 99 cents on Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. I’ll post real quick the links when that starts.

Have fun! L.M.

Soul Cages – Part One. Dreams in the Desert. 23.

The news for the week is that print editions of Tales from the Threshold and Cubicles, Blood, and Magic should come out before Spring 2014 (unless the snafu that delayed them continues). The editing of Book Two in the Dorelai Chronicles continues, and Lies, Magic, and Nightmares should be out this winter as well.

As a complete change of pace, there will be a swashbuckling YA fantasy series of mine published in 2014. It’s less emotionally intense than Soul Cages, with younger protagonists. It’s much lighter in tone than my previous published works (I needed a break after writing intense stuff for so long).

On to Soul Cages. This week we reach a milestone: the last chapter of Part One. This novel is PG-13 for language and situations, so please be advised.

Soul Cages

 Lynn Kilmore

Second edition copyright © 2014 by Lynn Kilmore

Copyright © 2011 by L. M. May

Published by Osuna Publishing

This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.

Part One. Dreams in the Desert

23

Friday morning came all too soon. Even the distraction of having to drop Dad off at work couldn’t help me keep from dwelling on the upcoming meeting with Andervender.

Henry and I discovered that Dad worked in a glass-and-concrete office building near I-25. “Nusystech is on the top three floors,” Dad told us. “After the October software release, I’ll be able to work less hours.”

Dad and Mom then fought for over ten minutes about what time Mom should pick him up. Mom wanted him to come home early since it was Friday. Dad felt it would look bad if he left while the programmers he oversaw were still working. In the end they compromised on six o’clock.

After Dad got out, I had to get into the front passenger seat. Next stop, First Beginnings.

Mom drove hunched over the wheel, fuming about Dad refusing to leave early.

Near the end of the drive, Henry sensed Mom’s upset. He pointed at a gathering of pigeons on a streetlight. “Pigeon party!”

Mom didn’t laugh.

“Pigeon party!” Henry said again.

“Hush, Henry,” Mom said.

We pulled into the cracked parking lot for First Beginnings. On a weekday the shopping center was even more depressing to look at. Except for First Beginnings in the center, most of the storefronts were empty. Only a locksmith and a tax service were in business on the far left side of the center.

Mom led the way, pulling open a glass door that let out a blast of chilled air. To me, Mom’s heels echoed too loudly in the empty sanctuary. As we approached Andervender’s office, I smelled his aftershave and heard his chair creak as he shifted in it.

Mom rapped on his office doorframe. She peered in to exchange joyous greetings with Andervender, as Henry and I lingered behind.

“You ought to get a secretary,” Mom said.

“Next year,” Andervender replied, “perhaps the church can hire one. With the way we’re growing, we’ll soon have the funds to do so. And I’m thinking we’ll be ready for a Wednesday night service. Maybe even a second service on Sundays.”

I realized, appalled, that Mom might apply for the secretary job.

Mom said to me, “I’ll take Henry. You come get us when you’re done.” Mom led Henry over to the Sunday School room, entered, and closed the door behind them—leaving me in the hall.

I took deep breaths and shoved my shaking hands into my pockets as I slowly walked into the dim bookshelf-lined office. Lighting came from two desk lamps on either side of Andervender’s desk.

Beneath the aftershave reek was the scent of decaying books.

“Ah, there you are, Marian.” Andervender sat in a high-backed leather chair behind a mahogany desk, hands clasped together, laptop and papers neatly pushed to the side. “Please shut the door behind you.”

I closed the door, and walked as slowly as I dared toward his desk, studying the room.

There were no windows. Three filing cabinets took up the wall next to the door. On the bookshelves were religious books—Bibles, theological tomes, references, and who knew what.

Andervender waved a hand at the two leather chairs before his desk. “Please, Marian, have a seat.”

I avoided looking at his face as I sat, instead watching his hands. How I wish I never had to listen to another sermon of yours. How I wish I never had to see you again.

My silence got to him, for he tapped a silver pen against his desk blotter as he waited for me to speak. When it became clear I wouldn’t, he said, “You and your family have had quite a week.”

“Yes.” I looked at the shelf behind his desk with its Bibles of various sizes and colors.

“You’ve hurt you parents quite badly.”

No way was I responding to Andervender’s guilt bait. I eyed his laptop. It looked new, probably purchased in the last year or so.

Andervender steepled his fingers together. “Your parents have sacrificed much to bring you and Henry out here.”

I studied the glass-enclosed shelf above the Bibles. It held ceramic vases.

“Your mother tells me you asked to go to the Methodists.”

“Yes. I want to go to the nearest Methodist Church instead.”

“Would you mind telling me why?”

“It was my Grannie’s church.”

He shook his head sadly at me. “So many have lost their way from the Gospel, lost the gifts the Church once held. You would be lost there to God and Christ.”

I took a deep breath, gathering my strength, and shook my head in return. “No I wouldn’t.”

“You are mistaken.” He pointed his pen at me. “Almost all have lost the power of the Spirit, the power to heal your brother, the power to see the visions of God, to speak as the prophets spoke.” His voice rose in indignation. “Your parents have brought your brother to me to be healed, and by the power of the Spirit through me he shall be. Are you so enamored of Henry’s dependency on you that you would stand in the way of him being cured?”

I gripped the armrests, feeling the leather grow slick under my sweating palms. “That’s what you think.”

His voice boomed like thunder. “That’s what ‘I’ think! That’s all you can say to me on such a grave matter as your brother’s cure?”

I trembled, but made myself stare into his eyes, not saying another word. No excuses, no pleadings.

Andervender flung his pen down. It rolled off to clatter on the floor. His mask of kindly concern was gone, replaced with rage. “Your selfishness knows no bounds. I am very disappointed, but in time, you will come around. The truth will out, as Scripture shows.” He gave me a knowing smile as he reached a hand inside the central desk drawer. “I had a long talk with Mrs. Hawthorn about your life in Alexandria. I sensed, by the guidance of the Spirit, that there was much you’d kept hidden.” He pulled out a silver ring, rolling it between his thumb and fingers as he showed it to me. “Do you know what this is?”

My throat went dry.

“Well?” He held the ring out in his palm. Watching me, weighing me. “You do, don’t you? I can see it in your face. It’s a purity ring. But if I asked you to wear it, as a symbol of your pureness of mind and body and soul, you’d refuse, wouldn’t you? You’d say it was because you don’t believe in wearing such a ring, but we both know it’s nothing like that.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “Trent Fenchel. Yes, I know his name. And his phone number. He remains angry about the way you dumped him.” Andervender dropped the ring onto the blotter. “You’re not a virgin.”

Humiliation and rage flooded within me. Any denial would sound weak to my own ears, let alone Andervender’s.

Andervender nodded. “I give you credit for not wasting my time with pathetic lies.” He scooped the ring back up and put it away. “Here are how things are going to be, Miss Marian. I shall not require you to wear a purity ring, for now, since you have much to atone and cleanse your soul for. You’ll go to Youth Group, stop the nonsense about leaving for another church, and not interfere as I heal your brother.”

“N-no.”

“I must have misheard you. What did you just say?”

No.”

Andervender pinched the bridge of his nose. “Very well then. You can leave.”

I rushed out, feeling like I’d nearly been struck by lightning. When I threw open the Sunday school door, Mom took one look at me and said, “Marian, what’s wrong?”

Andervender came to his door, smiling, and called out to my mom, “Mrs. Hawthorn, may I have a moment of your time, please?”

I watched with dread as Mom got up and went into Andervender’s office. Andervender gave me a stern look, and shut the door.

The deep rumble of Andervender’s voice was muffled by the door. But I knew he’d decided to punish me by telling Mom about Trent. Waiting here was more than I could bear.

I said to Henry, “C’mon, let’s wait outside.” Henry swept the blocks back into the box without my help, then jumped up to follow me down the hall.

As we made our way through the curtains, Henry said, “Do we have come here again?”

“Probably.” I shoved open a glass door with my shoulder, and stumbled into the sunlight to warm up my chilled skin.

No matter how I tried, I couldn’t think of a way to head off the coming fight with Mom.

Henry sat on the shopping center’s curb and pointed out the circling pigeons to me.

Finally Mom came out, eyes red. She said not a word to me or Henry as she drove us home.

************** End of Part One. 23. *****************

Links can change over time, so click here to go to the main page for Soul Cages to find the most up-to-date links for the print and e-book editions.

Have great week, L.M.