John Steiner earned his Associate of Biology at Salt Lake Community College, where he is currently working as a tutor in math and chemistry. He exercises an avid interest in history, science, philosophy, mythology, martial arts as well as military tactics and technology.
Theme I: The Other is a Mirror into Ourselves
The storyteller is an honest liar, for they admit fully to their fiction. However, a tale can be false, yet tell us the truth. For while the adventure speaks of “The Other,” it reflects back upon us what we know to be within ourselves.
Oh, the age of innocence. A time in childhood where you could clap your hands and say, “I believe in fairies.” Then one such creature is found, only it’s not a fairy and definitely not from this world. Six year old Jesse and her mother quickly learn that things which appear small, harmless and cute potentially bring with them more than one world’s worth of trouble into the house. The binding ties of any civilization of any planet are that they fiercely protect their young and seek their safe return at all costs.
Red Rover, Red Rover
People of the Earth had only their own eyes through which to see themselves. That all changes when the technological eyes of an alien probe comes to our planet in study of the local inhabitants around the world. What future lays ahead of Homo sapiens depends on streams of sensor data and number crunching of the undetectable and seemingly innocent Red Rover.
Four Days in Backwater
The Great Coyote chase to build the first faster than light vessel over, America’s U.S.S. Roadrunner is the third place design out of four nations. Yet
it is first in FTL speed. It is also the first FTLV to discover traces of civilizations in other solar systems. The crew of U.S.S. Roadrunner are in awe
of the aliens they meet, and take precautions the best human minds advise. However, the aliens see under privileged wayward yokels needing to be humored and humbled. Here Homo sapiens discovers all their theories of first contact fall flat on bad premises and do nothing but give the employees of Planet Copan’s truck stop a good laugh.
With new technology comes many uses. Some constructive or even lifesaving. Others for great harm and to satiate personal ambitions. Many often end up what hobbyists tinker with in the garage. Others still become the expression of
mischief. In Todd’s day hacking long since departed the digital world and entered into the very physical realm of biology. DNA became the new code to write and manipulate. Small Time racing of “mini-mounts” drew talent from all corners to be applied to a myriad of species. All bred to small stature, yet still strong enough to carry a rider heavier than they. Todd also dabbled in “Jacking” with a G of genetic code to wage a harmless war of ridicule against the corporate world. He fit the bill of real bioterrorists all too easy, even if it was clear to the authorities he didn't do it.
Theme II: In Dreams, Thus Speaks the Universe
When the universe so commands, the story writes the author. Such tales come to us as we sleep, waking us with the urge to reveal what was shown us when our closed eyes rapidly darted from side-to-side.
We think of autism as a rare affliction brought onto few among us. In Mr. Ency’s world nearly everyone, including Ency himself, exhibit the condition. A distant colony finds itself inextricably sinking into the proverbial sands of their desolate desert planet. Being an habitual encyclopedist cursed with such keen attention to absolutely everything around him Mr. Ency can’t help but record all of it. But it’s what lives in the wild dunes between cities that will test him and everyone else aboard one of the great hover ships cruising over burning sands.
Melange anthology of eight stories: "Spellbound at Midnight" by Isabelle Kane and Audrey Tremaine, "Room 1309.5" by John M. Mecom, "Mansion of Nightmares" by Walt Trizna, "Uncle Vernon" by Jenny Twist, "Half Seen, Half Hidden" by John Steiner, "Ghost Taxi" by Joanna Foreman, "Telltale Signs" by Tori L Ridgewood, "The Origin of Fear" by Tara Fox Hall