books by Jack McDaniel


Most of the stories on this site are free, and by that I mean read them, share them with friends etc for free. Almost all of them were written for my writer's group where there is a 750 word limit, so they are quick, easy reads, though they are all complete stories. Enjoy!

New Novel

Helen Small is journalist at the largest news organization in the Republic of Texas, and a survivor. Seven years after a plague—known as Pan21—has culled humanity in half, the Republic is falling into a totalitarian state.

Helen Small is journalist at the largest news organization in the Republic of Texas, and a survivor. Seven years after a plague—known as Pan21—has culled humanity in half, the Republic is falling into a totalitarian state. Survivors - the few who contracted the virus and survived, though they lost all pigmentation in their skin and hair and eyes - are being vilified by William Chaste, the new Administrator of the Republic. An army of Chaste’s zealots known as the Grey Alliance has taken on the “patriotic” call of protecting the Republic from survivors, who they believe—based upon false information from Chaste—are still spreading the plague. ... more »

Discarded Demons - Audible

Discarded Demons - Audible version - is featured on A Creative Mind Podcast. Go have a listen. It's only about eight minutes long.

Discarded Demons—Audible version—is featured on A Creative Mind Podcast. Go have a listen. It's only about eight minutes long but it's a good, fun story. ... more »


A simple mistake forces a walk among the dead. This is a writer's group story.

Everyone assumes being a soldier is the most dangerous occupation in the galaxy, bullets and bombs are part of the job description, after all. But she could argue persuasively that being a linguist and an ambassador was far worse. Plus, she had the scars to back up her arguments, not that the soldiers didn’t have those also. ... more »


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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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 »

Barrel Of Horror

Ever wonder what life is like inside the Barrel Of Monkeys? Neither did I, before. Now I have. Sorry. New story.

It all started when she had friends over. It started out normally, we were all arm in arm, kids laughing, us reds doing our best to beat the blues. You know. Then they started laughing, the kids did. I got tossed, landed on an edge and bounced into drawer, I think. She pushed stuff into the drawer when cleaning up and was pushed towards the back. There was a crack in the back of the drawer and eventually I fell out, stuck in the darkness under the chest of drawers. Just me, alone. ... more »

Promises To Keep

Hmm. I wrote a short zombie story. Flash fiction for/of the brain dead. Because, you know, zombies.

She lined up the shot with the sight, felt the weight of the cold barrel in her hand and the press of the stock against her shoulder, and squeezed a bit on the trigger. The memory stutters and halts at times like these. Sure, there are the jeans, his dumb-ass sneakers and most of the torn sweatshirt he was wearing, but beyond that it’s all guesswork and subliminal pattern recognition. But the mind weaves it all together, eventually, assembles the jigsaw puzzle that is the horror-show heading her direction, and parades the last few weeks of highlights in front of her. ... more »

Copyright © Jack McDaniel