Tag Archives: science fiction

Days to Remember

Idle Ink has published my dark sci-fi story Days to Remember.”

The year: 2030. Zach Martine is a prisoner in the Alzheimer’s pod at a maximum security unit. A former soldier, his crime was to tell the world what he’d witnessed on the battlefield. He followed his conscience and now pays the price.

Hated by the other prisoners, he spends his days dodging deadly attacks. Nights find him unable to sleep, haunted by a relentless guilt for his past actions. Martine knows he deserves punishment, but not for the reason he’s in jail. Day after day, the injustice tears at him.

But he finds a way out, a way that allows him to escape while remaining true to his conscience.

The inspiration for this story hit me when I read about prisoners volunteering for medical experiments. One of the prisoners told the reporter he’d agreed to the program because he felt it was a way to atone for the harm he’d done.

I could not get the prisoner’s statement out of my mind. This story grew out of that unforgettable confession.

Slush Pile Update

I’ve been fairly productive lately. I have four manuscripts looking for love in various slush piles on the internet, and two have found a home. Yay!

I’ve signed a contract with Murderous Ink Press, a new mystery publisher in the UK (and who knows more about murder mystery fiction that the Brits?). They’re going to publish my short story “The Tell-Tale Armadillo” in an anthology entitled The I’s Have It. My story is the latest exploit of chief medical examiner Treka Dunn, whose first adventure appeared in Mystery Weekly Magazine last month. A house has blown up, victims want answers, and Treka discovers it wasn’t an accident.

Also, my dark sci-fi story “Days to Remember” will appear in the next issue of Idle Ink, a spunky online magazine specializing in “genre fiction that’s too weird to be published anywhere else.” Sounds like a perfect home for my story.

Looking forward!

Earth Day, 2021

First Collection

“The most central and irrational faith among people is the faith in technology and economical growth. Its priests believe until their death that material prosperity bring enjoyment and happiness – even though all the proofs in history have shown that material prosperity doesn’t bring anything else than despair. These priests believe in technology still when they choke in their gas masks.”

Pentti Linkola, Can Life Prevail?

I view technology the way George Washington viewed government — like fire, a dangerous servant and fearful master.  Used with wisdom, it can produce good things. Misused, it — or should I say we — can botch up a perfectly good planet.  Hunting Ground, one of my published stories I’m most proud of, took a humorous but serious look at what happens when we imagine we can endlessly exploit nature without consequences.

A little food for thought before Earth Day.

The Underground Library society

Beowulf

English professor and writer Charles French founded The Underground Library Society, inspired by Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In Bradbury’s dystopian novel, books have been banned and the subject population submits to a crushing conformity. A handful of rebels “become” books by memorizing them in the hope that one day, books and free thought will again thrive.

Members of The Underground Library Society will have the opportunity to publish a guest post on French’s blog and reveal what book they’d “become” and why. In my post, I make a case for memorizing and preserving Beowulf. Why that particular work? Check it out!

New reviews

Here’s a roundup of reviews of my latest works. First, here’s award-winning reviewer Kevin Tipple on the June, 2020 issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine:

The story that inspired the cover, “The Calculus of Karma” by M. C. Tuggle, leads off the Mystery Weekly Magazine: June 2020 issue. Deputy Marshal Malcom Lamb has to deal with a body in an alleyway of the asteroid’s main camp. The miner is dead because of the crack in his visor that allowed the vacuum of space to enter his helmet. Whether it was an accident or murder by way of another turf war between groups of miners is up to Deputy Lamb to figure out. He better do it fast as trying to keep the peace on the asteroid near Jupiter is not easy.

Next, S.D. McKinley, the author of How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal, reviews my flash fiction story A Good Couple.

Author Sherrey Meyer posted a 5-star overview of Hexagon at Goodreads.

And author Didi Oviatt posted her reaction to the premiere issue of Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine on her author’s blog:

In this 1st edition there are five quick science fiction reads by authors Mike Tuggle, Evan Marcroft, John Grey, Michael M. Jones, and Nicholas C. Smith. I’ve read work by Mike Tuggle before and really enjoyed his style, so I knew going in that this edition had potential.

Many, many thanks for the kind thoughts and gracious reviews.

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

The hard-working folks at The Internet Speculative Fiction Database have updated my bibliography to include my recent publications.

This is a fantastic resource for readers and writers of speculative fiction. It provides links to directories of authors and publishers, as well as a comprehensive magazine database. You’ll also find links to a gold mine of bibliographic research for all types of speculative fiction, including sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Each day, the home page features a listing of international authors born and deceased on that date. Great fodder for blog posts or Tweets!

Quote of the day

“When I was a kid, I read Robert A. Heinlein, I read H.P. Lovecraft, I read Robert E. Howard, and then later Tolkien. Some of these would be classified as fantasy, some as horror and some as science fiction. To me, they were all stories, they were imaginative stories that took me to other worlds, other times, or other planets or dimensions or what have you, and I enjoyed the hell out of them. I didn’t see these as totally different things. I still don’t. I think these distinctions are largely false ones.”

George R. R. Martin

WHY DO SO MANY PHYSICISTS WRITE CRIME NOVELS?

Mystery Weekly

Over at CrimeReads, Lee Randall has this to say about two interrelated realms many think have little in common:

“All complex narratives are networks,” writes Jane Alison in Meander, Spiral, Explode. “Any literary narrative of depth asks your brain to pull threads across the whole . . . your experience moving through them is never purely linear, but volumetric or spatial as your thoughts bounce across passages.”

That sounds like physics to me. This branch of science encompasses everything from mechanics, heat, light, radiation, sound, astronomy, atomic structure, electricity and magnetism. It demands elasticity of thought and an ability to think in metaphors. Physicists strive to describe the universe and understand the relationships between all its components.

That’s what novelists do, too!

(And short story writers!) There’s nothing like the feeling of linking together seemingly disparate elements into a unified whole. When it works, you feel it — and if you don’t feel it, neither will the reader. If plot arises from character, then the other elements of a story, including the objective, theme, scenes, twists, etc, should work in harmony to create a single, emotionally satisfying effect on the reader.

Nothing prepares you for such a challenge like reading widely and deeply. The resulting cross-pollination of ideas not only helps you see the interrelatedness of things, but keeps your sense of wonder alive. And that motivates you to create more stories.

My story “The Calculus of Karma” is a combination science fiction and mystery tale. A big chunk of the fun in writing it was creating a puzzle for the protagonist to solve. And what a puzzle — our rookie detective has a dead space miner on his hands, but no murder weapon, no suspects, and he has to solve the case before the death sparks an escalation between warring factions of miners. Inspiration finally arrives from Sir Isaac Newton and Al Capone.

That’s the challenge of science fiction — you have to create believable plot and character arcs, craft an entertaining story, produce flowing, sparkling prose, and — get the science right.

5-Star Review of Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine

Hexagon

Didi Oviatt, the author of Justice For Belle, reviews the premiere issue of Hexagon Speculative Fiction Magazine:

In this 1st edition there are five quick science fiction reads by authors Mike Tuggle, Evan Marcroft, John Grey, Michael M. Jones, and Nicholas C. Smith. I’ve read work by Mike Tuggle before and really enjoyed his style, so I knew going in that this edition had potential. I wasn’t disappointed either.. Actually quite the opposite! These contributors really brought their A-game. Gore, action, aliens… it has it all!

Read the rest at Didi Oviatt.