The Fish Merchant and Other Stories

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by Tobias S. Buckell
1 hour, 18 minutes
Unabridged Science Fiction and Horror Stories
2000-2002

A Green Thumb

Four science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories.

The Fish Merchant: (science fiction) Li Hao-Chang struggles to stay one step ahead of starvation or stabbing, selling fish on the brutal docks of Macau. He’s too busy to read the headlines in the newspapers that wrap his wares–rumors of non-random signals from deep space. When a gangster named Pepper is gunned down in front of Li’s stand, the fish seller finds a computer disk stolen from the Chinese government. Maybe, just maybe, the biggest news in history is enough to make Li’s dearest dream a reality: escape to safety in America. First published in Science Fiction Age, 2000. Read by Jonathon “Sullydog” Sullivan.

“The story is interesting for its non-western setting, and its realization that many people in the world would have no care for news about aliens…” — Locus

A Green Thumb: (fantasy/science fiction)

It’s a very different USA, where necessity has provoked a very profound change in technology. And yet many things are still the same. Being a teenager is always tough, and there are many choices ahead. One of which is “how and where do you grow your very first car?” First published in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, 2002. Read by Alex Wilson.

“Amusing and heart-warming at the same time, and read with feeling and emotion by Wilson.” –Locus

All Her Children Fought: (science fiction) When you fire something into space the cost of that launch is per pound. When you go to war with someone in space, you need to keep the cost down. So you use the smallest available pilot you can. A child. Originally published in Speculon, 2001. Read by Mary Robinette Kowal of the Willamette Radio Workshop.

Trinkets: (horror) New England, early 1800s: At the harbor near his jewelry shop, George Petros receives a package from the Haitian merchant ship Toussaint–a sinister link that follows him from a brief stay on the Caribbean island of dark magic. Originally published in The Book of All Flesh, 2001. A Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Honorable Mention. Read by the author.

Play Sample. Click here.


Tobias S. Buckell is a 'born Caribbean' speculative fiction writer. His sometimes island flavored work often turns up in various magazines and anthologies, and his debut novel Crystal Rain [new window] will be published by TOR in February 2006.

Crystal Rain

He is a Clarion graduate, Writers of The Future prize winner, and a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer Nominee.
Publishers Weekly has called his pieces 'somber' and 'affirming,' and Locus says some of his work is 'interesting for its non-western setting.' Website [new window]


Mary Robinette Kowal of the Willamette Radio Workshop is a professional puppeteer who moonlights as a writer. Since 1989, she has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her design work has garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. Meanwhile, Mrs. Kowal has written three novels and has published stories in The First Line. Her mini-epic Bound Man will be appearing in All-Star Stories: Presents Twenty Epics this winter. Kowal's Website, Willamette Workshop Site [New Window]
Jonathon "Sullydog" Sullivan is an emergency physician at Detroit Receiving Hospital, and does research on stroke and head trauma at Wayne State University. He's the former editor of NeverWorlds and has a couple of professional fiction sales. Neverworlds is a now-defunct professional ezine, which offered audio versions of some of their stories.


Alex Wilson is a writer and actor from northern Ohio and now based in Carrboro, North Carolina. His stories and comics have appeared/will appear in
Asimov's Science Fiction, The Rambler, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), Weird Tales, Futurismic, LCRW and elsewhere. Locus has called him a "promising new writer," and Publishers Weekly also has nice things to say. Website)

Alex has performed lead roles in the North American premiere of (Richard Taylor's musical)
Whistle Down the Wind and (Emmy-nominated director Jack Lucido's film) The Third Cord. He has recently appeared in the Deep Dish Theater productions of Hedda Gabler and Moon for the Misbegotten, and recorded narrations for Escape Pod and Night Shade Books. (Acting Resume/Reel) On early Telltale recordings, Alex is sometimes credited as "Alexander Wilson." He founded Telltale in 2004.


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