My Short Story “The Apprentice” Accepted into the 2023 Anthology “Summer of Speculation”


Promotional art for the “Summer of Speculation” anthology series.

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

I just found out that my cyberpunk short story “The Apprentice” has been accepted into the 2023 edition of the Cloaked Press anthology Summer of Speculation. The theme for this year’s anthology is “Sidekicks”. I already had my cyberpunk universe built for another story and decided to create the teacher Chandler and his reluctant apprentice Pin.

In a world run a conglomerate of criminal syndicates, corporations, and the government, protection and justice are only for the wealthy and the connected. Out of that system rose a group of vigilantes dedicated to protecting the most helpless inhabitants of the vast megalopolis.

I have the publisher’s permission to make this announcement, but there’s no cover art, pre-sales link, or anything else ready yet. But to whet your appetite, I’m offering a snippet of my overall story:

They must have pulled the Practitioner out of the tram car when it stopped at the station. No one had bothered to stop them. The auto-systems must have picked up the disturbance but even on the upper Piggie levels, Coppers weren’t too fast to respond.

Chandler had given her a tracker imp ages ago so she could find him if she needed him, if he didn’t answer her ping.

Pin dumped her still moving bike hitting two of the Bruisers, the momentum throwing them against a wall. The mass and momentum of the bike crushed them. Blood, organs, and bits of bone splattered onto the pavement.

At a run, she capped the third Bruiser in the head, but was afraid she’d hit Chandler if she tried for the other two. They were clinging to the older man, he was disheveled, displaying cuts and bruises but not seriously hurt, not yet.

One Bruiser held a knife to Chandler’s throat although he didn’t need to. They were both strong enough to snap his neck in an instant.

“Get rid of the guns, babycakes. Slide them over and maybe we won’t treat you too rough.

The tram platform was suddenly empty and the train had already left. In the far distance, the sing song of Copper sirens sounded, but they’d be too late. For people like her and Chandler, they might not show up at all.

Summer of Speculation 2023 featuring my short story “The Apprentice” is coming soon. Stay tuned.


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