The Official Unofficial John Steakley Site

Short Stories by John Steakley

Here they are. John's short stories. With John's kind and gracious permission, I have put .pdf versions of all 4 short stories here for your enjoyment. If you like them, please consider contributing to the site to help keep it running.

John had four short stories published, 2 before the publication of Armor and 2 after.

John's short stories were published in:

Friends of the Horseclans Vol I.-  The short story in this one is called The Swordsman Smada.  It's about two guys from our world who fantasize about being in the Horseclans world, and are somehow taken there.  They meet a swordsman named Trebor Smada (which is Robert Adams, the author of the Horseclans series, spelled inside out), and have some adventures.  The story is told from the point of view of Felix.  It's a fairly decent story, and includes a drunken bar scene reminiscent of the party at the beginning of Vampire$.

Friends of the Horseclans Vol II. - The short story in this one is called The Swordsman's Place, and is a sequel to the one from FOTH Vol I.  Felix is again taken to the Horseclans world, this time alone, to come to Smada's aid again.  He leads a group of warriors against a Necromancer and his undead minions.  Honestly, I didn't like this story too much.  A little too generic and derivative for my tastes.  Especially the ending.  However, the undead in this story do foreshadow the vampires in Vampire$ a little bit.  Not surprising, considering they were published fairly close together.

Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, March, 1981 - An excellent short story titled "The Bluenose Limit" is in this one.  How excellent?  Let me put it this way, the twenty or so pages of "The Bluenose Limit" are easily as powerful as any section of Armor, or of Vampire$.  The story takes place after an alien race called the Blues have managed to take over the Earth.  Apparently, there was virtually no opposition.  The people in power rolled over and let the Blues infiltrate every aspect of modern life, until they controlled everything.  Years later, a steel worker named John Crow fights in a brutal gladiator sport in an effort to somehow salvage humanity's fighting spirit.  There's a lot more to it, but believe me, this is a must have, especially if you like Steakley's work.

Amazing Science Fiction Magazine, September, 1982 - I've finally acquired this piece, completing my Steakley collection.  Steakley's short story "Flyer" appears here.  He tells me that it was actually his first attempt at writing science fiction, and that Amazing bought it mostly because of the success of "The Bluenose Limit."  Steakley doesn't appear to like this one very much.  That's a shame, because while I didn't enjoy it as much as Bluenose, it's still pretty good.

© 2004 Dave Alpern