New Story: “Thirteen Cuts”

I haven’t done much writing since my wife was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, but she had her final round of chemotherapy last week. Knowing she’s going to be all right was the bit of relief I needed to do a bit of writing.

“Thirteen Cuts” didn’t start out as a Starbreaker story, but arose out of an internet argument on how to retain the death penalty while strongly discouraging its use. Rather than get involved in the argument myself, I did the sensible thing and went to bed because it was late.

Only instead of going to sleep as sensible adults typically do once in bed, I kept turning over the idea that a judge and jury that sentenced somebody to death should be required to carry out the sentence themselves, immediately, knowing they themselves might stand trial for murder of evidence comes to light that would have exonerated the accused.

Rather than sleep, I got up at two in the morning, had the first half of the story bashed out by the time my wife woke up, and had to explain to her why I was sitting in my study banging away at six in the morning. I finished the story over the weekend, and after a couple of independent editors told me there wasn’t anything they could do with the story, I had a choice:

  1. Try to sell it.
  2. Post it online.

I really don’t have the spoons to deal with all of the bullshit that comes with being a professional SF author, so here it is for you to enjoy.

Read “Thirteen Cuts” online…