Tor.com has published one of my short stories. As they have noted, this story—called “Firstborn”—was the first sf story I ever published. Though “published” is kind of a loose term here, as the story originally appeared in The Leading Edge, a BYU publication with a very limited print run. (This was after I’d graduated. The magazine asked me if I’d donate a story to one of their anniversary issues, and so I sent them this one, which I’d actually just finished writing.)
I’ve long been looking for a place where the story could reach a larger audience (when I was at BYU, The Leading Edge—despite having some very high quality fiction in it—had a distribution of under a hundred copies.) So I sent the story over to Tor.com, asking if they’d consider it even though it had appeared before in a small publication. Patrick enjoyed the story, and said he might be interested in it if we put it through some editorial work. Moshe, my editor, gave it a very strong edit (something it really, really needed.) A few months later, here it is! With an illustration by Donato, no less. I’m flattered.
I’m very pleased with how the story turned out. You who visit the blog frequently may have heard me say that I don’t think much of my short story writing skills. I think I’m best suited to long-form fantasy epics, but when I do turn my attention to short stories, they almost always come out as classic-style space operas. This story, and the one that appeared in Asimov’s earlier, are both good examples of this. (They also happen to be the only two good short stories I’ve written to date.)
I did an audio reading of “Firstborn” for Tor.com as well. Look for it in the “Listen” link in the upper-left corner of the page. There’s also a “Buy Download Version” link where you can get the book for Kindle, Nook, or iBooks.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story. It’s completely free to read, courtesy of Tor. I don’t even think you have to register for the newsletter. (Though you may want to do so, as you’ll get emails with other short story links in them.) Just as an aside, I think that the staff over at Tor.com have really pulled out the stops to create an excellent website filled with serious goodies. They’re still releasing free ebooks regularly, as well as high-quality short stories. Give them a little pat on the back by signing up for the newsletter and maybe posting a comment or two on stories/posts you like. I think they’d appreciate knowing that they are on the right track.