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The Half-life of Chocolate

Happy Halloween! This year I decided to give my readers a gift while sneakily also advertising the children’s book I wrote under my new pseudonym. I’m sure no one will notice that the decorative border is actually a link to a line of entertaining chapter books. Nope. Uh-uh.

The Half-life of Chocolate, reprinted below, originally appeared with Fae Publishing in 2011. Since the period of exclusivity long ago expired, I present it to the internet in the spirit of awesome halloweenishness.

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The Half-life of Chocolate

by Nancy Fulda

“Who’s been eating my chocolate?”

Felipe Delgado stormed into the kitchen and waved a package of ChocoSquares over his head. Manuel glanced up from his comic book. Father lowered his spectacles. Grandma kept clattering in the cupboards, cradling an impressive stack of serving bowls in her left arm. “Felipe, we go through this every single weekend,” she said, bending over to reach the drawer beneath the oven. “If you don’t want people to eat your junk food, put it in your room.”

“I did. This morning there were nine squares left in this package, and now there are only seven. So which of you is eating it?”

Manuel flipped a brightly colored comics page. “Felipe, you’re the only person I know who’s geeky enough to count his ChocoSquares.”

“Hey, I pay good money for these!” Felipe pulled one of the embossed squares from the package. “This,” he said, caressing its beveled edges, “is quality chocolate. Nothing like that cheap, waxy stuff you guys are always gobbling.” He tossed the bag onto the table for emphasis. “And I am tired of the whole family eating ChocoSquares on my paycheck!”

Manuel snagged a tortilla chip from the serving bowl at the edge of the table. “Move out then. You’re old enough.”

Grandma slapped Manuel’s hand. “Those are for the fiesta tonight. They put few enough chips in these packages, you know.” The last few words came out in a grunt as grandma struggled to open a second bag of chips. Her bony fingers tugged at the plastic two, three, four times before it snapped open and sent a spray of chips across the counter.

“Cheating swine,” she muttered as Felipe helped her gather the chips into a ceramic dish. “There’s nothing but air in those packages. These product marketers, these food companies… they’re nothing but crooks and swindlers!”

Father chimed in with his usual counterpoint: “It’s a waste of packaging and a detriment to the environment, that’s what. If they’d stuff those bags the way they ought to be stuffed, the garbage bill in this household would go down by twenty percent.”

Felipe retrieved his ChocoSquares from the table. “Really, Dad, I think that’s stretching the numbers a bit.”

“Maybe,” Father said. He set his coffee mug down with an imperious thump. “But I’ll be hanged if I let that garbage company wrangle one more cent out of me. Just wait until you see what I’m unveiling at Manuel’s fiesta.”

Felipe snatched his ChocoSquares and sidled out of the kitchen before he got cornered listening to Father jabber about yet another Grand New Technological Marvel. Halfway up the stairs he rattled the package, glanced inside, and felt his face pull into a frown. The number of squares had gone from seven to six.

“Cheer up, Felipe,” Grandma’s voice echoed up from the kitchen. “I bought plenty of ChocoSquares for the fiesta tonight.”

* * *

Felipe decided that strategic reconnaissance was required.

He hovered near the kitchen until Grandma opened the first package of ChocoSquares. (The patented EasyTear Freshness Seal gave her arthritic fingers no trouble.)

“I’ll take those out for you,” he said, and snatched the bowl from the counter as soon as the last ChocoSquare clinked against its ceramic edge. He carried it to the patio and set it on the most visible of the brightly decorated picnic tables. Paper lanterns shaped like jack-o-lanterns hung from strings overhead; Grandma’s way of celebrating Halloween and Manuel’s birthday in a single stroke.

“Check this out, Felipe,” Father said. With a flourish, he tore the shrink-wrap from a stack of paper plates.

Felipe watched his Father spread the plates across the table. “Uh, what am I supposed to be looking at?”

“Bio-degradable, thermo-plastic plates!”

Felipe stared blankly.

“When exposed to anaerobic bacteria, it degrades into compact, harmless materials.”

“So your solution to your garbage bill is to bury your junk in the backyard?”

“Just wait,” Father said. Felipe shrugged and went to help Grandma light the paper lanterns.

True to his plan, Felipe watched the table with the ChocoSquares all evening. If one of his family members had a fetish for ChocoSquares, Felipe reasoned, the guilty party would not be able to stay away from that bowl. And he—or she—would also eat a statistically significant number of them: more than the other guests, certainly.

He watched the bowl from the corner of his eye while greeting a stream of brightly costumed relatives. He watched it as Manuel—perched like a king on the comfiest of the wicker chairs, complete with one leg dangling over the armrest—opened his birthday gifts. He watched it as Father pulled out what looked like a dry-yeast packet and explained that it contained genetically modified anaerobic bacteria keyed to the starch component of the disposable dishware.

Then the unthinkable happened. Manuel picked up the serving bowl and yelled, “Grandma! We need more ChocoSquares!”

Felipe sprinted across the lawn and snatched the bowl from Manuel’s fingers. “That can’t be right,” he said, loudly enough to swivel heads in his direction. But the bowl was indeed empty.

Felipe checked the notes he’d been keeping on the back of his hand. “A fresh package of ChocoSquares contains thirty-five chocolates. You’ve eaten five,” he said, pointing to Manuel, “Grandma’s eaten two, Father’s eaten four, and other guests have eaten—” he paused for a quick tally— “Seventeen. That’s a total of twenty-eight. There should be seven left.”

Felipe found himself the object of several incredulous stares.

“You. Are. Weird,” Manuel said, and headed towards a new table. Felipe stood in a pocket of silence, the empty bowl clutched in both hands. It didn’t add up. He’d watched the ChocoSquares the entire time. They couldn’t be gone. There was no way for anyone to have eaten them.

At the other end of the picnic table, Father sprinkled his anaerobic bacteria packet onto a pile of used plates and was rewarded with a chorus of jubilant squeals from the children clustered nearby.

“It disappeared!”

“It’s magic!”

“Move over, I can’t see.”

Father was clearly pleased to have attracted so much attention. “It’s not gone,” he said. “It’s just been broken down into its basic components, courtesy of these little babies here.” He waved the bacteria packet for emphasis. “Accelerated biodegradation. It’s the latest trend in waste management.”

The adults in the crowd seemed more difficult to impress than the children.

“Is that stuff legal?” Aunt Lisi asked.

Cousin Fernando brushed at his pants. “What keeps it from munching the table? Or us?”

“Relax. The bacteria won’t eat anything except the resins they’ve been gene-spliced for. They’re non-reproductive and they have limited movement capacity, so there’s no chance of them multiplying beyond control.”

Aunt Yselda sniffed so disdainfully that her spectacles jiggled. “It’s probably toxic,” she declared. “These product marketers are always rushing new science onto the public before it’s been properly tested. We’ll all have warts tomorrow from eating off those infernal plates.”

Father was getting annoyed. “The material’s derived from corn starch. Perfectly harmless, and so are the decomposed compounds. You could practically eat this stuff.”

He sprinkled more bacteria powder. Another plate vanished to an accompanying crescendo of ‘Ah’s.

You could practically eat this stuff…

A pit opened at the bottom of Felipe’s stomach. Five seconds later he was back in the kitchen, squinting at the empty ChocoSquares package on the counter.

“Are you still obsessing about your junk food?” Manuel asked as he crossed the kitchen on his way to the bathroom. “I swear, man, I’m not the one who’s eating it. Maybe it’s gremlins.”

Felipe ignored him and kept examining the package. Not to his surprise, but much to his dismay, he saw that the EasyTear Freshness Seal included a hidden sub-compartment that ruptured when the seal was broken. If the bag was held erect, the contents of the compartment would drop directly onto the chocolate inside it.

“I had no idea these things were so popular,” Grandma said as she trundled toward the patio with a fresh bowl of ChocoSquares. “I think I’ll run buy some more. They vanish like hot cakes.”

Felipe opened the last pack of ChocoSquares. Sure enough, a fine brown powder dropped from the hidden compartment and settled onto the chocolate. Biting his lip in anxiety, Felipe ripped the package all the way open and spread the ChocoSquares across a white table cloth. He crossed his arms on the table, rested his chin on his hands, and waited. Manuel gave him an odd look on the way back from the bathroom.

After ten minutes, one of the ChocoSquares vanished. It happened in the space of a second: the embossed chocolate steamed, bubbled, and faded away with a barely audible hiss. Felipe’s hand struck the table with a thump loud enough to rattle the shutters. “I knew it!”

He ran to the patio, snatched the garbage-eating bacteria packet out of his Father’s hand, and compared it to the ingredients listing of the ChocoSquares package. Sure enough, slipped in between the glucose and the emulgator was a corn starch derivative called ‘anaerobic product XII-A’.

Felipe stared at the packages held side-by-side in his hands, appalled by the conniving schemes of commercial manufacturers.

The mechanism was so simple it was almost beautiful. The waxy coating on the chocolate squares inhibited the bacteria for a randomized time period. When the bacteria finally broke through, accelerated biodegradation made the chocolate seem to evaporate into thin air. If the manufacturers had done their job well, the reaction would also only take place at temperatures that indicated the chocolate was not currently being held in someone’s hand.

“So much work,” Felipe muttered, “just to scam people out of a few squares of chocolate. Do they really think they can make money that way?”

Grandmother swept through the kitchen with her car keys in hand. “I’m off to buy more ChocoSquares, darling. Is there anything else you want me to pick up?”

Father’s voice floated in from the patio. “I need more socks! I can never find a matched pair in my drawer!”

Grandma huffed. “Really. I swear, I only ever put matched sets in the washing machine. I wonder how they always manage to vanish before they get to the drier.”

Felipe’s stomach lurched. “Let me see the package for your laundry detergent.”

THE END

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Selected Title

For millennia, an enigmatic alien race called the Zyxlar had ruled the
galaxy.

They seeded the cosmos with life, transplanting vast numbers from among
the species they had enslaved, like so many chess pieces. They
terraformed planets and extinguished stars, uplifted and destroyed
intelligent life. They patiently shaped the galaxy toward the purpose
known only to them.

And then, one day, they disappeared without a trace.

Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse is an anthology of science fiction stories set in this world. It contains 18 stories from 12 authors and totals approximately 80,000 words.
 

Purchase at: Amazon

Award-winning author Nancy Fulda presents six stories of love, heartbreak, humor and dignity. Within these pages, curses transmute into blessings, friends become enemies, possible futures collide with nonexistent pasts, and imaginary friends take on corporeal form. From invisible pets to magical islands, from a child with autism to a dying multimillionaire, these stories will touch your heart and leave your thoughts spinning long after the last page has been read.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

In Carbide Tipped Pens, over a dozen of today’s most creative imaginations explore these frontiers, carrying on the grand tradition of such legendary masters as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell, while bringing hard science fiction into the 21st century by extrapolating from the latest scientific developments and discoveries. Ranging from ancient China to the outer reaches of the solar system, this outstanding collection of original stories, written by an international roster of authors, finds wonder, terror, and gripping human drama in topics as diverse as space exploration, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change, alternate history, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, interplanetary war, and even the future of baseball. and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections and save the day. These stories include more than just epic landscapes and characters…but also epic battles.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

[Includes “The Cyborg and the Cemetery” by Nancy Fulda]

Inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered in the pages of MIT Technology Review, renowned writers Brian W. Aldiss, David Brin, and Greg Egan join the hottest emerging authors from around the world to envision the future of the Internet, biotechnology, computing, and more.

This collection features 12 all-new stories, an exclusive interview with science fiction legend Neal Stephenson, and a full-color gallery of artwork by Science Fiction Hall of Famer Richard Powers.

Purchase at: MIT Technology Review

[Includes “A Soaring Pillar of Brightness” by Nancy Fulda]

Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. Eighteen stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today. Mike Resnick spins a tale of aliens who find Earth future diverse and surprising as they plan an invasion. Grandmaster Robert Silverberg examines what happens when Jews tired of fighting for their homeland start over on a planet then must deal with a dybbuk (spirit) and aliens who wish to convert to Judaism. Autumn Rachel Dryden has colonists threatened by alien animals which burst out of shells on the ground like piranhas ready to feed on flesh. Jason Sanford has Amish colonists on New Amsterdam finding their settlement and way of life threatened by a comet and the English settlers who want to evacuate them. And a new story from Hugo and Nebula-winner Nancy Kress.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Fairwood Press

Norilana Books presents the first volume of an exciting new annual anthology series of science fiction featuring powerful and remarkable women. Explore the truth of what it means to be female, and discover the wisdom and the strength of a woman in a grand universe without limits. Far-ranging scientific speculation meets action and adventure, grand space opera, thrilling discovery, and intelligent protagonists…

[Includes “A New Kind of Sunrise” by Nancy Fulda]

“Warrior Wisewoman combines stories of women in struggles that range across political, biological, social, and even military lines in a future variably far away… Inventive, unusual, these are stories to ponder over time.”
–Elizabeth Moon, author of The Speed of Dark, Remnant Population, and The Deed of Paksenarrion

“If Le Guin’s people who walked away from Omelas told us their stories, they would write like this.”
–Susan Shwartz, author of Hostile Takeover, Second Chances and Grail of Hearts

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

This little book contains four stories that will change the way you think.

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A must-read for those seeking insight into autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and social-emotional agnosia.

Purchase at: Amazon | AnthologyBuilder

This collection includes eleven stories by award winning author Nancy Fulda, including Phobos Award winning story “The Man Who Murdered Himself” and “Backlash” from Tangent Online’s 2010 Recommended Reading List.

From computers that invent God to minds that travel through time, electronic ghosts to enigmatic extraterrestrials, these stories will jump-start your imagination and leave you awestruck at the boundless possibilities of our universe.

Fans of Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold and Timothy Zahn are likely to enjoy this book.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | itunes | AnthologyBuilder


Kittyhawk Gruff never wanted to compete with her sisters. It’s not her fault she’s good at everything from alien artifacts to hyperspace mechanics. She’d far rather be ordinary than deal with her family’s resentment. But when a trans-dimensional entity lures her sisters into an archaeological death trap, Kittyhawk knows she will have to stop pretending and live up to her own potential.

Originally published in Writing for Charity, 2012.

Purchase at: Smashwords | Audible

Norma Jean Goodwyn is 120 years old and the founder of a most unusual space station. She and her peers — healthy, vibrant, yet forced into early retirement — built the Gary Hudson Exospheric Laboratory as a haven for senior citizens who refused to grow idle in their old age.

Now, political opponents are angling to take control of Hudson Exospheric, and Norma Jean won’t have it. Over her dead body, or otherwise.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | smashwords | Audible

Eugene Gutierez lost his wife, his pride, and part of his sanity during an undercover anti-terrorist operation in South America. When Eugene finds a cryptic message in a restaurant fortune cookie, he thinks his daughter’s boyfriend is pulling a prank. The truth is far more complex, involves time travelers from Eugene’s future, and will offer Eugene a final chance to restore his broken family.

Originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, this novelette was listed in Tangent Online’s 2010 recommended reading list and received an Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | AnthologyBuilder | Kobo | itunes | Audible

Award-winning author Nancy Fulda presents six stories of love, heartbreak, humor and dignity. Within these pages, curses transmute into blessings, friends become enemies, possible futures collide with nonexistent pasts, and imaginary friends take on corporeal form. From invisible pets to magical islands, from a child with autism to a dying multimillionaire, these stories will touch your heart and leave your thoughts spinning long after the last page has been read.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

In a fictional future, a teenage girl faces a devastating choice: accept a medical procedure that will make her just like everyone else, or take the chance that she will never learn to cope with the condition which cripples her. Unable to speak, at least in ways most people can understand, Hannah struggles with the question of who she is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, “Movement” was marked Highly Recommended by Locus Reviews, was acclaimed as the “best story I have read so far this year” by Mundane-SF, was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and received the Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award for 2011. It is quite short, easily readable during a half-hour lunch break, and interweaves Hannah’s heartrending narrative with concepts drawn from neurology, entropy, social evolution and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Audible

Kyle suffers from neurofibromatosis, a crippling disease most famously associated with the Elephant Man. When a shady medical practitioner offers Kyle a chance to cast off his deformed appearance forever, he accepts without a second thought. But does Kyle truly understand what this new treatment will cost him?

This story has won a Phobos Award and the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award. It is also included in the collection Dead Men Don’t Cry: 11 Stories by Nancy Fulda.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | itunes

Award-winning author Nancy Fulda presents six stories of love, heartbreak, humor and dignity. Within these pages, curses transmute into blessings, friends become enemies, possible futures collide with nonexistent pasts, and imaginary friends take on corporeal form. From invisible pets to magical islands, from a child with autism to a dying multimillionaire, these stories will touch your heart and leave your thoughts spinning long after the last page has been read.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

In Carbide Tipped Pens, over a dozen of today’s most creative imaginations explore these frontiers, carrying on the grand tradition of such legendary masters as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell, while bringing hard science fiction into the 21st century by extrapolating from the latest scientific developments and discoveries. Ranging from ancient China to the outer reaches of the solar system, this outstanding collection of original stories, written by an international roster of authors, finds wonder, terror, and gripping human drama in topics as diverse as space exploration, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change, alternate history, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, interplanetary war, and even the future of baseball. and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible


Kittyhawk Gruff never wanted to compete with her sisters. It’s not her fault she’s good at everything from alien artifacts to hyperspace mechanics. She’d far rather be ordinary than deal with her family’s resentment. But when a trans-dimensional entity lures her sisters into an archaeological death trap, Kittyhawk knows she will have to stop pretending and live up to her own potential.

Originally published in Writing for Charity, 2012.

Purchase at: Smashwords | Audible

Award-winning author Nancy Fulda presents five stories of ghosts, witches, vanishing chocolate, and haunted pumpkins. Two of them are humorous. Two are thought-provoking. And one of them might just keep you up at night.

This collection includes three stories that have never before been released in ebook format.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Audible

Norma Jean Goodwyn is 120 years old and the founder of a most unusual space station. She and her peers — healthy, vibrant, yet forced into early retirement — built the Gary Hudson Exospheric Laboratory as a haven for senior citizens who refused to grow idle in their old age.

Now, political opponents are angling to take control of Hudson Exospheric, and Norma Jean won’t have it. Over her dead body, or otherwise.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | smashwords | Audible

Eugene Gutierez lost his wife, his pride, and part of his sanity during an undercover anti-terrorist operation in South America. When Eugene finds a cryptic message in a restaurant fortune cookie, he thinks his daughter’s boyfriend is pulling a prank. The truth is far more complex, involves time travelers from Eugene’s future, and will offer Eugene a final chance to restore his broken family.

Originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, this novelette was listed in Tangent Online’s 2010 recommended reading list and received an Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | AnthologyBuilder | Kobo | itunes | Audible

When her concerned parents investigate a treatment that could change her life forever, Hannah’s world is thrown into turmoil. Unable to speak — at least not in ways most people can understand — Hannah struggles to face the question of who she really is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, this brief story was marked Highly Recommended by Lois Tilton of Locus Reviews. Mundane-SF called it the “best story I have read so far this year”, and SFRevu called it “a truly fine story”. It is quite short, easily readable during a half-hour lunch break, and interweaves Hannah’s sincere narrative with concepts drawn from neurology, entropy, social evolution and chaos theory.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | itunes | Audible

For millennia, an enigmatic alien race called the Zyxlar had ruled the
galaxy.

They seeded the cosmos with life, transplanting vast numbers from among
the species they had enslaved, like so many chess pieces. They
terraformed planets and extinguished stars, uplifted and destroyed
intelligent life. They patiently shaped the galaxy toward the purpose
known only to them.

And then, one day, they disappeared without a trace.

Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse is an anthology of science fiction stories set in this world. It contains 18 stories from 12 authors and totals approximately 80,000 words.
 

Purchase at: Amazon

Award-winning author Nancy Fulda presents six stories of love, heartbreak, humor and dignity. Within these pages, curses transmute into blessings, friends become enemies, possible futures collide with nonexistent pasts, and imaginary friends take on corporeal form. From invisible pets to magical islands, from a child with autism to a dying multimillionaire, these stories will touch your heart and leave your thoughts spinning long after the last page has been read.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

In Carbide Tipped Pens, over a dozen of today’s most creative imaginations explore these frontiers, carrying on the grand tradition of such legendary masters as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell, while bringing hard science fiction into the 21st century by extrapolating from the latest scientific developments and discoveries. Ranging from ancient China to the outer reaches of the solar system, this outstanding collection of original stories, written by an international roster of authors, finds wonder, terror, and gripping human drama in topics as diverse as space exploration, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change, alternate history, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, interplanetary war, and even the future of baseball. and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections and save the day. These stories include more than just epic landscapes and characters…but also epic battles.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

In a fictional future, a teenage girl faces a devastating choice: accept a medical procedure that will make her just like everyone else, or take the chance that she will never learn to cope with the condition which cripples her. Unable to speak, at least in ways most people can understand, Hannah struggles with the question of who she is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, “Movement” was marked Highly Recommended by Locus Reviews, was acclaimed as the “best story I have read so far this year” by Mundane-SF, was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and received the Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award for 2011. It is quite short, easily readable during a half-hour lunch break, and interweaves Hannah’s heartrending narrative with concepts drawn from neurology, entropy, social evolution and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Audible

This sampler pack brings together three stories by Hugo and Nebula nominee Nancy Fulda.

From an isolated telepath who flees her destiny to a sentient computer struggling to behave ethically, this 80 page collection revisits questions initially posed by Asimov and Clarke, and casts the HAL 9000 story in an intriguing new light.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | itunes

This collection includes eleven stories by award winning author Nancy Fulda, including Phobos Award winning story “The Man Who Murdered Himself” and “Backlash” from Tangent Online’s 2010 Recommended Reading List.

From computers that invent God to minds that travel through time, electronic ghosts to enigmatic extraterrestrials, these stories will jump-start your imagination and leave you awestruck at the boundless possibilities of our universe.

Fans of Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold and Timothy Zahn are likely to enjoy this book.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | itunes | AnthologyBuilder

Kyle suffers from neurofibromatosis, a crippling disease most famously associated with the Elephant Man. When a shady medical practitioner offers Kyle a chance to cast off his deformed appearance forever, he accepts without a second thought. But does Kyle truly understand what this new treatment will cost him?

This story has won a Phobos Award and the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award. It is also included in the collection Dead Men Don’t Cry: 11 Stories by Nancy Fulda.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | itunes

When her concerned parents investigate a treatment that could change her life forever, Hannah’s world is thrown into turmoil. Unable to speak — at least not in ways most people can understand — Hannah struggles to face the question of who she really is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, this brief story was marked Highly Recommended by Lois Tilton of Locus Reviews. Mundane-SF called it the “best story I have read so far this year”, and SFRevu called it “a truly fine story”. It is quite short, easily readable during a half-hour lunch break, and interweaves Hannah’s sincere narrative with concepts drawn from neurology, entropy, social evolution and chaos theory.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo | itunes | Audible

In Carbide Tipped Pens, over a dozen of today’s most creative imaginations explore these frontiers, carrying on the grand tradition of such legendary masters as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell, while bringing hard science fiction into the 21st century by extrapolating from the latest scientific developments and discoveries. Ranging from ancient China to the outer reaches of the solar system, this outstanding collection of original stories, written by an international roster of authors, finds wonder, terror, and gripping human drama in topics as diverse as space exploration, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change, alternate history, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, interplanetary war, and even the future of baseball. and chaos theory.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

High fantasy and mighty conflicts go hand-in-hand. In great wars, armies rise to fight evil hordes and heroes struggle to push beyond their imperfections and save the day. These stories include more than just epic landscapes and characters…but also epic battles.

 

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

[Includes “The Cyborg and the Cemetery” by Nancy Fulda]

Inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered in the pages of MIT Technology Review, renowned writers Brian W. Aldiss, David Brin, and Greg Egan join the hottest emerging authors from around the world to envision the future of the Internet, biotechnology, computing, and more.

This collection features 12 all-new stories, an exclusive interview with science fiction legend Neal Stephenson, and a full-color gallery of artwork by Science Fiction Hall of Famer Richard Powers.

Purchase at: MIT Technology Review

[Includes “A Soaring Pillar of Brightness” by Nancy Fulda]

Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. Eighteen stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today. Mike Resnick spins a tale of aliens who find Earth future diverse and surprising as they plan an invasion. Grandmaster Robert Silverberg examines what happens when Jews tired of fighting for their homeland start over on a planet then must deal with a dybbuk (spirit) and aliens who wish to convert to Judaism. Autumn Rachel Dryden has colonists threatened by alien animals which burst out of shells on the ground like piranhas ready to feed on flesh. Jason Sanford has Amish colonists on New Amsterdam finding their settlement and way of life threatened by a comet and the English settlers who want to evacuate them. And a new story from Hugo and Nebula-winner Nancy Kress.

Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Fairwood Press

Norilana Books presents the first volume of an exciting new annual anthology series of science fiction featuring powerful and remarkable women. Explore the truth of what it means to be female, and discover the wisdom and the strength of a woman in a grand universe without limits. Far-ranging scientific speculation meets action and adventure, grand space opera, thrilling discovery, and intelligent protagonists…

[Includes “A New Kind of Sunrise” by Nancy Fulda]

“Warrior Wisewoman combines stories of women in struggles that range across political, biological, social, and even military lines in a future variably far away… Inventive, unusual, these are stories to ponder over time.”
–Elizabeth Moon, author of The Speed of Dark, Remnant Population, and The Deed of Paksenarrion

“If Le Guin’s people who walked away from Omelas told us their stories, they would write like this.”
–Susan Shwartz, author of Hostile Takeover, Second Chances and Grail of Hearts

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This little book contains four stories that will change the way you think.

From physician David Goldman’s exploration of neurological blind spots to essayist Sandra Tayler’s tale of a child adrift in her own mind… From Nancy Fulda’s vision of autism in the future to Marissa Lingen’s heartrending story of medical intervention gone wrong… This collection will challenge your preconceptions and leave you with a priceless gift: A glimpse of the world through minds that are utterly different than your own.

A must-read for those seeking insight into autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and social-emotional agnosia.

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This sampler pack brings together three stories by Hugo and Nebula nominee Nancy Fulda.

From an isolated telepath who flees her destiny to a sentient computer struggling to behave ethically, this 80 page collection revisits questions initially posed by Asimov and Clarke, and casts the HAL 9000 story in an intriguing new light.

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This collection includes eleven stories by award winning author Nancy Fulda, including Phobos Award winning story “The Man Who Murdered Himself” and “Backlash” from Tangent Online’s 2010 Recommended Reading List.

From computers that invent God to minds that travel through time, electronic ghosts to enigmatic extraterrestrials, these stories will jump-start your imagination and leave you awestruck at the boundless possibilities of our universe.

Fans of Orson Scott Card, Lois McMaster Bujold and Timothy Zahn are likely to enjoy this book.

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When her concerned parents investigate a treatment that could change her life forever, Hannah’s world is thrown into turmoil. Unable to speak — at least not in ways most people can understand — Hannah struggles to face the question of who she really is, and who she wishes to become.

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, this brief story was marked Highly Recommended by Lois Tilton of Locus Reviews. Mundane-SF called it the “best story I have read so far this year”, and SFRevu called it “a truly fine story”. It is quite short, easily readable during a half-hour lunch break, and interweaves Hannah’s sincere narrative with concepts drawn from neurology, entropy, social evolution and chaos theory.

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