My story “Eighteen Steps” is now published @TribeZine

My story "Eighteen Steps" is now published   @TribeZine

Hi all,

Just letting you all know that my short horror story “Eighteen Steps” is now published in Thief, a micro-publication by Tribe Media. An online version can be found at Please be warned that it contains some vulgarity. At the time I wrote it I was watching a bit of the Sopranos and I imagined my protagonist as that sort of tough guy with that kind of language. I myself rarely swear.

As a bit of other news, I have just completed my first week in my new job. I really like the people and the sense of the place. Only problem is that it takes me about 95 minutes to get there of a morning and I have to start at 7 am. This means that I am arising at 4:30 am – a definite shock to my system. By the time I get home I am so tired that I don’t feel capable of acting upon creative ideas. Doesn’t help that I am still cooking the family meals of a night. Hopefully, this latter will change. Rhiannon (my thirteen-year-old daughter) is starting to offer to cook, though I need to teach her some cooking skills.

All this said, my mind keeps trying to construct a story about a woman trapped in a shower. Maybe that’s my next short story? I don’t know where the idea came from, my I cannot shake it. I need to get the energy to write it. Maybe creativity will become merely a weekend activity.

Another thing. Due to everything stated above, I’ve only been reading WordPress blog posts on my phone. I’ve noticed that on about half the blogs I cannot seem to successfully click “like” or write comments using the Android Phone app. How strange. Anyone experience that?

Final thing – I wish to introduce you to two of my fellow bloggers who may interest you if you have not already stumbled upon their excellent blogs.

  • Richard Mitnick writes a superb blog called Science Springs. The avowed mission of the blog is “Dedicated to spreading the Good News of Basic and Applied Science at great research institutions worldwide. Good science is a collaborative process.” I believe that he fulfills this mission and I have been following him for ages.
  • David Lee Summers is a successful writer of speculative fiction, the Editorial Director of Hadrosaur Productions and an astronomer who operates telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory (is that just not the dream combination?). His site, including his web journal, can be found at Likewise, I have been following David for a long time, enjoying not only his own tales of writing but also his thoughts on past speculative fiction (in books and in film/television).

Because both of them are nice guys who have been known to visit my humble blog, I am hoping that I may be able to get away with asking them a question and getting an answer (pretty please). Richard, one of your recent blog posts was called “Hubble Shows Light Echo Expanding from Exploded Star”. In this you wrote the following: “The inset images at top reveal an expanding shell of light from the stellar explosion sweeping through interstellar space, called a “light echo.” The images were taken 10 months to nearly two years after the violent event (Nov. 6, 2014 to Oct. 12, 2016). The light is bouncing off a giant dust cloud that extends 300 to 1,600 light-years from the supernova and is being reflected toward Earth.” This story so sparked my imagination.

So Richard and David, in your opinions, what would it be like for inhabitants of planets that reside in dust clouds of this sort, especially if this sort of event took place? I guess I am wondering things like “Given the sizes of the clouds involved, are they actually perceived as dense from inside?” and “what size are the so-called dust particles” and so on.

I know that this is a bit of an ask for both of you, but I started wondering these questions and you guys are the best chance I have of getting answers in plain English. :)

Thanks everyone for reading.



PS: today’s header is an old image I created for a character in the ongoing novel that I am writing.






  1. Thanks for the shout out in your post, Greg. Much appreciated. Also congratulations on the publication of your story. That’s very creepy!

    As for the dust cloud, the articles don’t tell me much about the composition of the dust cloud in M82 that’s producing the light echoes. It seems fairly transparent since we see the star clearly in the Hubble images but don’t see a nebular cloud. There is such a thing as “interstellar cirrus” which is basically cold, diffuse interstellar dust and I wonder if that’s what we’re seeing in M82. This “cold dust” seems to be composed of things like molecular hydrogen along with with some other basic elements such as oxygen and silicon. I’m guessing it would be mostly transparent to creatures like us, although perhaps you could imagine the sky appearing hazier than we see in our relatively dust-free section of the Milky Way. You might even imagine seeing subtle halos around the stars from the dust, probably reddish. There’s a pretty good write-up about Interstellar Dust from CalTech at:


    1. Thanks, David. I read the link. I keep wondering what their definitions of the various densities are to our sensibilities. All this said, it’s just fascinating, isn’t it? When I see things like this I wonder how much we don’t see of our own situation due to the vastness of the scale of those things around us. Once again, thanks, David. And also, to any of my readers, please go over and check out David’s website – it is well worth it.:)


      1. So to put the densities in some perspective, the densest nebula that really shines when illuminated by starlight has a density of about 10,000 molecules/cubic centimeter. Compare that to Earth’s atmosphere which is about 27,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules/cubic centimeter at sea level.


  2. I think I can help with the dust cloud question. I have been caught in a few haboobs here in the desert. (wikipedia that for a good shot). From inside the house it looks like brown rain. Once I was driving and had to pull over, there was no visibility. You know what is a blackout – and a whiteout (snow) – well a haboob from the inside is a beigeout.


Comments are closed.