Must Read Sci-Fi Novellas


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Better Breakfast

Last month I posted master writer John Steinbeck’s Breakfast.  It inspired me to write the following:

Oranges by Sue Hollister Barr

$6 a run. That was all I made as the lowest of the low: a foot messenger in NYC. Some days I only got one run, not enough to cover a meal as I waited all day in the messenger service’s waiting room. Especially if I had to take the subway to make the run’s deadline. Some days I waited all day and got no runs.

The walls of the company’s windowless waiting room were streaked with filth, intermittently lit by equally filthy fluorescent lights that rattled on and off as the subway rumbled below. Arriving before the mandatory 8 a.m. was essential for any hope of locating a less-broken chair. Our clothing was as drab as our surroundings. Our eyes were dead.

Money. If only I had more money I would be in heaven. But then the day came when I first smelled it.

Every day…at exactly 11 a.m. when, for whatever reasons, there were never any runs…an ancient man would slowly pull an orange from his pocket. He would turn it over in his worn hands, reverent as if it were a religious relic. Then he would slowly, ceremoniously, peel it, and that sweet scent of orange would fill the room. Every section he placed in his mouth was savored to the fullest.

25 cents an orange. That was all the grubby fruit stand out front charged me when I started buying oranges. And I was in heaven.


Best Breakfast

Below is Breakfast, a brief but magnificent short story by John Steinbeck, a master writer who should need no introduction: Breakfast by John Steinbeck This thing fills me with pleasure.  I don’t know why, I can see it in the smallest detail.  I find myself recalling it again and again,…
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Timely Time

Tale’s been told before.  But I stumbled onto the 2019 film version of Out of Time on Amazon Prime (note the rhyme), and I was delighted.  I think it deserves far better than’s 6.0 (out of 10) here.  Snazzoid production values?  No.  Bunch of science fiction tropes?  Yup.  But…
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Flash Fiction

Moody Mark

Their beard itched under their KN-95.  Do I even need this fucking thing anymore? Mark smiled suddenly, reflecting on the latest COVID vaccination and positivity stats as they turned a sharp corner and ran into a maskless person coughing. Then again… Could Cuomo, of all people, be trusted for accurate…
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General Rantings

Viral Victory

NOT Wanted Dead or Alive:  SARS-CoV-2.  Hell, we know so little about this beast that’s responsible for our currently resurging pandemic, that we don’t even know if it IS dead or alive.  Most biologists say a virus isn’t alive, so do they feel anything as they float in the air like…
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Flash Fiction

Rescuing Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, I got really bored.  So I stooped to calling my ex of a week ago. He said, “Nevermore.” I texted half a dozen friends. None responded.  It was, after all, Saturday night. I paced.  I fretted.  I recklessly left my place without as much as…
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