Iridescence and other stories
Presenting a collection of ten of my short stories!
With an outstanding cover illustration by Maurizio Manzieri
And an introduction by Ross Whitlock
An alien who can paint on the surface of a soap bubble.
A corporate raider who faxes himself to his takeovers.
A woman who can see the future, and a man with fear so great it turns back time.
These are a few of the beings who inhabit Dean Whitlock’s stories. From back roads to teeming cities to the President’s secret PR bunker – from the serious to the absurd – each of the ten stories in this collection is unique, a tale born of a real-world experience, reshaped by Whitlock’s questing imagination and his antic cast of characters. Nine of the stories have appeared before, in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Aboriginal SF. The tenth tale – here seeing its first wide distribution – is an absurdist satire guaranteed to entertain many, irritate some, and enrage a few. One thing you can be sure of, every one of Whitlock’s stories will stir your emotions. Like them or hate them, you won’t be bored. –The Back Cover Blurb
“He cares for his characters, even the bad guys. He doesn’t want to punish them or make them dance for your amusement; he wants them to cut their strings and figure things out on their own. His protagonists are often flawed or angry or unhappy in some way, and they almost always find the key that unlocks their shackles. It doesn’t always lead to a happy ending, but it does always lead to a more peaceable realization of the self. My flowery words are a watery substitute for the stories themselves, trust me. Cynicism and nihilism are unwelcome visitors to Dad’s worlds. He confuses them with mystery, leads them into a literary trap, then rewrites them into dawning enlightenment.” –From the Introduction by Ross Whitlock
With few exceptions my stories are actually novelettes, well above the 7500-word cut-off that defines a “short story.” The characters and situations that grab me hard enough to get written down need more room to develop; it’s just how my brain works. So ten of them make up a decently long stretch of reading, with ten crises, ten climaxes, ten punch lines. Some are funny and some are not; all of them, I hope, will grab you. My goal always is to make you laugh or make you cry or make you angry, and occasionally all three when I can pull it off. Don’t be afraid to tell me if I succeeded or failed. It’ll make the next ones better.
- Iridescence (the cover story)
- On the Death of Daniel (the center image in the bubble)
- Roadkill (at upper left, complete with fox)
- Containment (the first story I ever sold)
- Winter Solstice (set in my home town, on my favorite lake)
- Three Gifts (set on my favorite beach – on an alternate Earth)
- The Fax Man (it came to me during a long business meeting)
- The Woman, The Pilot, The Raven (at upper right: love and death in the White Mountains)
- The Man Who Loved Kites (one of my favorites, available in a chap book, too)
- Starkers (sometimes laughter is the only thing that helps)
There are more, and I plan to bring out a second collection when I feel there are enough to be worth your while.
In the meantime, please consider reviewing this collection on your favorite ebook store, Facebook, and elsewhere, so other avid readers will be more likely to find it. Thanks!