Category Archives: Short Stories

Short Story: “The Yardstick” (Swords and Sorcery Magazine)

Swords and Sorcery is an online magazine published by the inimitable Curtis Ellett, and this month I’m honored to have been chosen to have a story of mine published there.

(note: if The Yardstick is no longer in the current issue when you read this, click the Archive link and search for Will Weisser to find it).

A little more background for those who are interested: during the very little downtime I had at Worldcon last year, I felt like I needed to write something, having been inspired by the presence of so many great creative types. I free-associated a bunch of random titles in my notebook, most of which will likely never amount to anything, but one that did catch my eye was “The Yardstick.” I have no idea why I wrote down those words, but the idea of a measuring device implied story possibilities to me. What if this yardstick wasn’t regular, but magical? What could it measure? A person? What about them? Perhaps if they were brave enough, strong enough, worthy of some title or distinction?

Over the next couple of weeks I fleshed out the rest of the story without any planning, just making it up as I went, which is not my usual M.O., especially since I rarely write short stories anyway (I’m not nearly brave enough to try and write an entire novel that way). I think it turned out pretty well, and although not everything I start ends up so good, after 4 years I feel like I’m definitely making progress at writing fiction thing, as evidenced by this, the first time someone has paid me up front for my work.

So, please enjoy, check out the other stories on the S&S site, and blog, tweet and otherwise share the fruits of Mr. Ellet’s (and the author’s) labor. Now I’m going back to work on some ideas for my third novel…

Dead End Bridge Free on Smashwords

Self-promotion time:

Click the cover to download a delightful tale of addiction, co-dependency, genetically modified spiders, and internecine gang warfare in the high-rise slums of 22nd century Manhattan. And now in .epub and .pdf format as well! I added a sample chapter from EPIC FANTASY 0.9b to the end, so hopefully having more eyes on it will help with my renewed marketing efforts; more on that to come (check out the new cover on the EPIC FANTASY 0.9b page by the way; I think it’s pretty sweet).

Dead End Bridge

It’s that time again! I have a new story up on the Kindle store. Science fiction of course, but this time with a hint of noir. To quote my Amazon blurb:

Leonard was nothing but a grit fiend, whiling his days away in a high-rise slum on the wrong side of what used to be the George Washington Bridge. That all changed when Camille, a beautiful woman from his favorite dive bar, drew him into a plot to kill her boyfriend, a dangerous and abusive local gangster. Suddenly Leonard is sucked into a world of spine-tapping arachmods and ruthless gang warfare in 22nd-century Manhattan, muddling through a half-baked scheme that may save Camille’s life — or cost him his own.

If that sounds interesting, click the image above and give it a look. It’s free today and tomorrow (Friday, May 4th and Saturday May 5th, for those reading from the future). The standard offer applies: if you would like a free copy after the promotion ends, follow me on Twitter and send me a @message and I’ll get you a review copy.

Thanks to my Radial Works Media cohorts John Shutt and Pete Ingham for editing, as well as J. Daniel Batt for another excellent cover design.