My science fiction short story, "Message to Mars," is in the current issue of Ray Gun Revival. http://www.raygunrevival.com It's approximately 4500 words in length.
It's in Ray Gun Revival Issue 46. For anyone interested, here is the direct link to the PDF file of the magazine:
Tease: "With Earth and Mars on the brink of war, one man gets a message through. "
This is space opera, centering around the Mars Revolution-era. Bill Salle, the hero, is a messenger hired to bring a message to Mars. The journey and the message affect him strongly, bringing his past roiling to the surface.
I enjoyed writing my 'bio' at the end of the story, where I claim to have been 'a war correspondent during the Lunar War for Independence.' My brother would call that Breaking The Third Wall. I call it sheer fun. :)
Overall, however, this was actually a very difficult story for me to write. The only times I worked on it with much success were when my life was harder to live than this story was to write or edit. Mostly after my cats had died. I lost two cats within about a year. It also took me about a year since starting this story to seeing it accepted. I couldn't cry. I just worked on this story, sobbing the words out.
To me, this story is about grief and guilt.
Why do guilt and grief so often seem to mix? I felt guilty about my animals dying, even though I don't think I had reason to feel that way. My main character, Bill Salle, he feels guilt and grief, too. I think perhaps he had better reason than I, but only the reader can determine that for himself or herself.
And the theme songs for this story, while I was writing it, at least, were two. "You'll Never Walk Alone," as sung by Elvis, especially the refrain "Walk on..." I picture Bill walking across the Mars soil when I hear that song. Closer to the beginning of the story, "The Sound of Silence" was the theme. It involves grief, too, and I pictured Bill in the rain when I heard it.
I don't know if I'll write more about Mr. Salle or not. I packed a lot into this story. In a way, his whole life.
Well, I wanted to share my thoughts about this story, even though very likely they only will interest me.
Turn my collar to the cold and damp...
~Alice M. Roelke~