Free Story — A Place for Heroes


Anyone who knows me has heard me say that I nei­ther read nor write short fic­tion, except when I do.

What I mean by that phrase is that I *rarely* read or write short fic­tion, because long form is really where my heart is. I try to live by the mil­i­tary axiom “you fight like you train.” If I want to be a great nov­elist, then I need to be writing novels. That’s the advice I give to aspiring writers. It’s fine if you *want* to write short sto­ries, but viewing them as a means to suc­cess in long form is like prac­ticing archery because you want to be a better shot with a pistol.

But there are times when I have an idea that just doesn’t suit long form, and that’s the case with my SHADOW OPS nov­el­ette, WEAPONS IN THE EARTH, which will be pub­lished in the forth­coming John Joseph Adams’ OPERATION: ARCANA.

Thinking about this, I reviewed one of my first pro­fes­sional short sales, a story called A PLACE FOR HEROES, which I sold to Weird Tales back in ’05, before things at that mag­a­zine got … well … weird. George Scithers was editor then, and the sale turned into a long friend­ship which saw me helping him kill slush in the base­ment of his little book­worm haven at 123 Crooked Lane.

I reread the story recently, and decided that it’s not ter­ribly awful. So, I fig­ured I’d share it with you all here. It’s a semi-horror redemp­tion tale that gives my per­sonal spin on what Val­halla might actu­ally be like, and I think was a little pre­c­og­nizant on what my expe­ri­ence at war would be (I shipped out for my first tour a year later).

Anyway, I hope folks enjoy. It’s a very dif­ferent story from my modern mil­i­tary fic­tion, and I thought you might enjoy a peek into another aspect of my writing.

Thanks for reading.

  • Grey Walker

    When Einarr dis­cov­ered his new pur­pose, it made me cry.