Night Lights: An Anthology of Short Fiction: First Contact, Conspiracy, and Space Opera

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Night Lights: An Anthology of Short Fiction: First Contact, Conspiracy, and Space Opera is now out in paperback and contains my short story “Suite for the Lady in Red.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Langley, Virginia, 24 February 2013

“Eliminate her, Mark.”

My ulcer began a slow burn as soon as Caulder gave me the assignment. I ignored the pain. He’d interpret any reaction as a sign of weakness.

Caulder jointed the CIA in 1985. A couple years later, I mustered in. I’d been active military in a clandestine DC outfit longer than he’d been CIA. Bottom-line—who had actual seniority. Back in 2008, we were candidates for the same promotion. He took credit for my breakthrough in a tough assignment and yanked the position from under my nose. I’d been treading water since, trying to survive until retirement. Our professional relationship remained strained. Our friendship ended…

Not only is my story great (and a real departure from my usual fiction), but the others are imaginative, exciting, and well-written.


The short stories in Night Lights are populated with aliens, high and low technology, spaceships—including one with divine aspirations and one helmed by an otter—humans and not-so-human artificial intelligences, Earth locales, and far-off new worlds.

There’s more too, and in each tale, the characters’ struggles will stretch your imagination and sense of reality, while posing profound questions about morality, society and justice, and raising uncertainties of the unknown and unchecked technological evolution.

With 21 original stories from talented, new authors about extraterrestrials, conspiracies, and space exploration, Night Lights is full of moments that will make you gasp, shudder, laugh, and wonder.