28 Aug

“Just Business” Appears in Crimes, Capers, and Rule-Breakers!


Yeah, I’m a little behind in my news-ing, so that’s where we’ll be the next day or two…

First up, let me say that I’m terribly excited to report that my short story “Just Business” is now available in the Crimes, Capers, and Rule-Breakers bundle! It’s a collection of 20 short stories with a great lineup of stories by a fabulous collection of writers.

buy-now2Like all BundleRabbit sets, you can get it direct from BR (where you can DL individual stories, and wherein we authors get a deeper cut), or you can get them from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or IBooks. Either way you go, $3.99 is a pretty good deal.

Here’s a little background bit on “Just Business” …

Mick is a loyal kinda guy. A few weeks after his longtime friend Frankie Morena takes over “the business,” he asks Mick to do him a favor. Then things get weird. Can Mick figure out what’s got “The Man” spooked? If he doesn’t, it might cost him more than a job.

This is a story that first appeared in Analog, and was pretty well received. It also appeared in my collection Picasso’s Cat & Other Stories, in which I wrote the following introduction:

On “Just Business”

I originally wrote a couple hundred words of “Just Business” as a trial draft of a story I had agreed to write with Mike Resnick. I decided I didn’t like it much, and shelved it at the time in favor of another story—”STAN” that appeared in an anthology titled Mob Magic.

Years later I was in a dry moment and searching for something I was interested in deeply enough that I could get up the energy to write it, when I came upon this opening again. I decided I couldn’t help but like Mick, and realized that I had screwed up the original opening. When I fixed that, the rest just kind of happened.

This means that “Just Business” is a gangster story that died and later came back to life. This is, I guess, only appropriate given its content.

16 Jun

“The Black Marker at the End of Time” Published!


Looking for a good set of stories to while you’re sitting on the beach? You can’t really go wrong with Beneath the Waves, a short story bundle you can get a BundleRabbit and a whole bunch of other places I’ll link to below. Even better, the whole thing is on sale at $0.99 for the next week (then it will jump to $2.99, so move quick…he says donning his evil marketing hat!).

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one. It’s got a bunch of my favorite writers in it, and it contains a completely original story “The Black Marker at the End of Time” I put together just for it. I love this story. It’s one that just kind of flowed as it flowed and when it was done I went “yes, that’s exactly it.” These things just don’t happen to me that often. Is it fantasy? Yes. Is it science fiction? Maybe. I don’t know. All I can say for sure is that I find it a wonderfully odd piece. I hope you’ll love it, too.

The bundle debuted in Amazon’s Top 100 short story collections, and was running at #33 last I checked.

01 Feb

Hero #8 Appears in Fiction River: Tavern Tales!

I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for a bit, so it’s great to be able to pop up and report that my story “Hero #8” is now available in Tavern Tales, the latest issue of Fiction River. This volume is edited by Kerri Hughes, who has quite an interesting taste in fiction. This means that if you pick up this anthology, you’re not going to be able to tell what’s coming next, but you’re pretty sure it’s going to go somewhere you didn’t quite expect.

Of course, if you scan down the table of contents (which I’ll list after the cover shot) you’ll find a few of my other favorite authors, including Lisa Silverthorne and (of course!) Brigid Collins…hmmm…where have I heard that name before?


Anyway, here’s the obligatory cover!

FR 21 Tavern Tales ebook cover

And here’s the Table of Contents!

“Quest for Beer” by Stefon Mears
“Closing the Big Bang” by Michèle Laframboise
“Hero #8” by Ron Collins
“Girls That Glitter” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“The Kids Keep Coming” by David H. Hendrickson
“One Last Round at Cozy’s Tavern” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Wider Horizons” by Diana Benedict
“Grounds for Dismissal” by Anthea Sharp
“The Next Dance” by Jamie Ferguson
“Schrodinger’s Bar” by Kim May
“The Gods Are Out Inn” by M. L. Buchman
“The First Ingredient” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“The Legend of Long-Bow and Short-Staff” by Brenda Carre
“Freedom Unbound” by Dory Crowe
“Killing Spree” by Brigid Collins
“The Hot Eagle Roadhouse” by Chuck Heintzelman
“Death at the Pines” by Annie Reed

18 Nov

Want a very skiffy Christmas?

Bundles are the rage, right? And Christmas seems like such a natural subject for a bundle, am I right again? I mean, what better way to celebrate finding a bunch of great stories than to have Santa bundle them all together, give you the opportunity to give to charity (does anybody remember charity?), and deliver them early to boot!

That’s a slick way of saying that my science fiction Christmas story “A Corner of the Mind” is now sitting quite comfortably in the Very Merry Christmas bundle–now available at Bundle Rabbit.

Get the Bundle here!

The bundle has been ably curated by Canadian author Rebecca Senese, who was kind enough to drop a little blurb about my other stuff up on her blog.


To give you a flavor of “A Corner of the Mind,” here’s the back cover blurb (with an inside hint that the first chunk does double duty as the first two sentences of the story itself.

How many times have you heard the saying: “If the walls had ears and could talk, what tales they would tell?” Well, they do, and I’m one. So let me tell you about the young boy who often does time here in one of my corners…

CORNER OF THE MIND is a Christmas mystery set in space. If that sounds like your slice of pie, come on in.


Well…go pick your bundle up, then unwrap it and see for yourself what a solid set of stories are in there! You don’t even have to wait until December 25th!

01 Nov

“Ten Things” is Published!

Here’s a quick note to say that “Ten Things” is up an available for free this month at Galaxy’s Edge.

It’s always great to be able to note that something I wrote has been published, and even more so given that GE is edited by Mike Resnick—a guy who was so helpful to me early in my writing days. It’s a thrill to be associated with anything Mike does. Then there’s the table of contents chock full of names that are mega-familiar to a whole lotta folks. Among the coolest things about this whole writing gigs is seeing my name in the mix with so many writing heroes.

“Ten Things” is a weird little thing. I kinda like it, of course. Hope you do to.

01 Oct

Love Powders & Wicked Witches


The Witches’ Brew bundle
is now available on

Whew, I say, pushing my head above water just in time to see the publication of my short story “Love Powders and Wicked Witches” in the Witches’ Brew bundle. It’s October, right? Totally makes sense. On the other hand, Holy goodness, but where has time gone?

Anyway, all I have to do to get excited about this bundle is to scan the list of authors included in it. This is a group of great stories by a whole lot of writers I really love. I mean, seriously, the seven writers in just the “base bundle” are Lisa Silverthorne, Leslie Clair Walker, Eric Edstrom, Bonnie Elizabeth, Thea Hutchinson, and…hmmm…who is this Brigid Collins? (very big, sheepish grin). And me, of course…I’m in there, too! These are people who catch my eye every time they put out something new. And that’s before you get to the “extra” content. Twenty stories for six bucks? Sign me the heck up.

As with most bundles, you get to pick your content and, to an extent, your price. You also get to decide if 10% of your hard earned cash goes to one of a pair of charities (in this case, World Vets or Doctors Without Borders). What a great set-up, right?

Buy the Bundle Right Here, Right NOW!

love-powders-and-wicked-witches-600x900My own story is a fun little piece that came out of literally nowhere. That how it is sometimes, you know? Take one witch, and one woman with a problem, mix generously and see what happens.

Let me also give a special call-out to Jamie Ferguson, who has done a spectacular job curating and managing the development of this bundle of short fiction. I would suggest “Herds cats with exceptional excellence” should be on her permanent resume.

26 Jun

How about a little Fantasy In The City, eh?

Yes, I’m playing catch-up again. It’s a never-ending battle, eh?


I’m pleased to note that a short story of mine is in a very cool bundle of “Fantasy in the City.” It’s a great collection of urban fantasy work that ranges from sweet and light-hearted to quite deep and moody. And the authors–wow. Inside you’ll find several of my favorites (and I mean exactly that). I can’t tell you how great it is to be with these folks.

My story is “Learning the Language.” Look for notes about it below the poster board that follows.

If you’ve looked at bundles before, you know the deal. Get 8 stories for $2.99, but pay at least $3.99 and unlock all the rest. You can download the stories in whatever format you want.

This is a limited time deal (only available until July 9th), so you’ll want to go Get It Here


“Learning the Language” holds an important place in my heart.

I wrote this story some years back, before I had sold anything at all, actually. I had to send something to a workshop at a science fiction convention, so this is what I wrote. I knew I liked it. I knew it was good in a dangerous kind of way. Dennis McKiernan and Tim Waggoner were running the workshop, and the very kind and enthusiastic confirmation was exactly what I needed at the time. I left that workshop thinking I might actually be able to do this. Hence I’ve dedicated this edition of the story to them.

It’s a strange tale. I remember Lisa (my wife and copy editor) said she read it with one hand over the manuscript to make sure she didn’t see how what was coming next. One of the very kind reviews my collection “Picasso’s Cat & Other Stories” received said “one of the great things about science fiction is latitude, and Collins explores a whole new dimension in the surreal story “Learning the Language.” So, yes, the piece was different. Different enough that it would its way over the desks of several editors before landing in the Land/Space anthology published by Candace Dorsey and Judy McCrosky–which I have to say was a perfect place for it.

So, yeah, I’m quite stoked to see it in this bundle.

I hope you like it.

28 Aug

Kobo cuts you deals for all my stuff!

Turning on the self-promotional voice …

It’s a happy Friday when Kobo decides to give 50% off for all my stuff! (Assuming, that is, you’re a reader in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, or South Africa, anyway). I hear you, my friends. I really do. You’re asking me, “Ron, how does one go about getting this fantastic discount?” And my answer is this: you fill up your sales cart by clicking on the links below, and then as you’re checking out you enter:

Promo Code: SALE50

You can use this code multiple times from now through August 31st, so if you’ve been waiting for just such an event, this seems like a great time to pick up a copy of work like:

Saga of the God-Touched Mage (Vol 1-8) The entire series!
Five Days in May (with John C. Bodin) if racy SF is your bag
Picasso’s Cat & Other Stories my early short SF
Five Magics short fantasy

And if you’re interested in deeper browsing you could check out pretty much everything I’ve got on Kobo. The discount offer applies to everything.

05 Aug

2113 Anthology Cover

I’m taking a break to catch up on some stuff this afternoon, and I’m quite pleased to show you the cover to 2113, an anthology of stories based on songs by Rush. You may remember that this volume will include a short story of mine titled “A Patch of Blue” (which is based on the ultra-cool song “Natural Science”).

I’m totally stoked about this one.

How stoked? Well … so stoked that if I had a time machine right now, I would hop in it and go back to a night in, say, 1980 when I would invariably be down in Charlie Stonefield’s basement with my brother, playing pool and using the cues to play air guitar along with Rush (among others). And when I got there, I would open my laptop and show me this cover and just watch myself go into fits when I learned that I would have a story in this thing. I’m grinning just imagining that now. I can see the guys high-fiving and cranking up the record player.

So, yeah. That stoked.

Here’s the cover, naked guy and all: