Science Fiction and Essays
Jack McDaniel


Science Fiction. This is another writer's group story - with a somewhat less evolved civilization of humanoids, dragons, plague and strange aliens. Maybe not in that order.

Like a murder of crows that darkened the sky and moved in perfect synchronicity, death, for that’s what it surely was, circled and twisted, climbed and dived on currents and waves of heat, searching. Its mass and volume was so great that it darkened the barren landscape. Its shadow scraped the land in the amber sunlight of Nuus, the fifth planet in the unnamed red giant system. ... more »

A Robot Walks Into A Bar

Ever hear the one about a robot who walks into a bar? Another writers group story.

The dirty, knicked-up metal-man walked into the saloon and took a seat next to Ol’ Sam, the local drunk, part-time sheriff cum bullshit artist cum purveyor of more conspiracies than anyone west of the Mississippi. The metal-man clanged a pitted and dusty hand down on the bar top. “Man!” he said. “What a fucking day I’ve had.” His voice had only a hint of metallic about it. His shoulders slumped as he settled onto the barstool, servos whizzed and from some interior space came a ping. A machine sigh, if ever there was one. ... more »

Poet Of The Moon

The assignment was to write an alternate history, a what if scenario.

He took a sip of water, slow and deliberate. The crowd remained quiet and still, entranced by what the greatest of legends - the demigod - was sharing with them. ... more »

Everyone's A Hero

What if you found yourself trapped on a planet with nothing but superheroes and villains. This is another writer's group story.

I need a hero. Not your average comic book, angst-ridden dude pushed outside the system with an axe to grind wearing a cape kind of guy. God, not that, no fucking capes. Please. And no mealy-mouthed, limp-wristed bookworms bitten by something infectious and metamorphosing into something that might be nefarious. I don’t want those sort of heroes. Nor do I want a scantily clad harlot with tats, big tits, no waist and a bent perspective. No, I need an average, every day hero who has the guts to do simple things. That’s what I need. ... more »

Discarded Demons

Another science fiction story from the Consortium Universe. Agent Rha Erinsies of Special Branch hunts down a fugitive. This was also part of my writer's group work.

Discarded Demons - The Consortium Universe

Demons hide in the oddest of places. Folklore and legend has them under beds, just around corners, under ground or in the basement. The Bakkle of Solorn is said to hide in the low hanging clouds on a rainy day. Ha! If only that were true. ... more »

It's Only Monday

What would resistance to an alien invasion look like to a group of surfer stoners?

It's Only Monday

I have a new story published on Futura Magazine. The question that popped into my head one day was: what would resistance to an alien invasion look like to a group of surfer stoners?

You can check it out here ... more »

All Things Eventually

What if you could skip through spacetime, avoiding death. This is another writers' group story. And it's a love story, sort of.

Skipping Through Spacetime

The Eater Of Time is coming. He is a bastard with a wide-gaping maw that doesn’t miss a thing. He comes for all things eventually. A very few of us are more sensitive to him than others. We have cracked his code, done the math and found him wanting, easily checked. ... more »


A new short story from the Pan21 / Oligoi universe. This is another writer's group story.

Revolution Begins

Softly, with an eye on the quad, Bird said, "We don’t have to live the lives they tell us to. We don’t have to be slaves, cogs in their machine. The barrio is like the wild west. We can write our own rules. We don’t have to live by theirs. You can cover a lot of ground, Kraut, just taking small steps. ... more »

Sapient Rift

New fiction in the Consortium universe

I would like to claim that I died in pursuit of something greater than myself, in service to family or community, but that isn't the case. Not really. I thought as an upstanding member of the church I was doing just that. I thought my hours of volunteer work bolstering the faith of others were hours well spent every week. Like many, I came to realize this wasn’t so much too late, past the time when salvation was possible. ... more »

The Artist's Friend

A new science fiction story from the Pan21 / Oligoi universe

The Artist's Friend

It was the most beautiful place to create. It possessed a quiet solitude that allowed ideas to coalesce in unexpected ways. Life fermented here and discovered new planes of being. It wasn’t work when he set up his canvas in this room. ... more »