E-Robot Science Fiction presents short fiction by award-winning author, Carl Frederick. These tales are offered two at a time for the 'pulp era' price of ninety-nine cents.
--The Art of Creation--
This appeared first as a 'published finalist' story in the Volume XVIII (2002) Writers of the Future anthology. It won me a trip to California for a snazzy, week-long writer's workshop and an awards ceremony. That marked the point in time when I first started to believe I might actually be able to write a short story that people might not wrinkle their noses at.
It is a Pygmalion-like story where a genetic designer falls in love with one of his creations.
Before submitting the story to the Writers of the Future, I'd submitted it to Analog Magazine. It was rejected, but with a personal comment from the editor, Dr. Stan Schmidt—the first personal comment I'd ever gotten from Analog.
Stan Schmidt said it was a pretty good story, but it might have been a bit too similar to a much early story by Lester Del Rey. He went on to say in a gentle way, that Analog protagonists generally do not commit suicide.
I'd much later been taken aside by an Analog author who told me that getting a personal rejection from Dr. Schmidt meant that he expected to by stories from me in the future. And indeed, I've now sold over thirty five pieces to Analog.
--A Boy and his Bicycle--
A young boy learns about manipulation and loss from his intelligent bicycle. This story is actually an homage to Harlan Ellison's 'A Boy and his Dog'. I even hid Harlan's name in the story—but nobody noticed. For me though, the final few lines of the story call forward the final grainy image in François Truffaut's classic black and white film, 'The 400 Hundred Blows'.
In 2002, 'A Boy and his Bicycle' took a first place in the 'Writers of the Future' contest. I have, understandably therefore, a warm feeling about this story. It is actually a rather early story in my writing career. But I think I'm too close to the story to know how well it holds up against my later works.
This appeared first in the Volume XIX(2003) Writers of the Future anthology. It won me a second trip to California.
Carl Frederick is a theoretical physicist. After a post-doc at NASA and a stint at Cornell University, he left theoretical astrophysics and his first love, quantum relativity theory (a strange first love, perhaps) in favor of hi-tech industry.
He invented the first commercial digital modem, and Venture Capital moved him and his company to Boston. Soon though, tired of being a Lance-corporal of industry, he moved back home to be Chief Scientist of a small company doing AI software.
While keeping his hand in theoretical physics, he decided he'd like to write a more overt form of Science Fiction and so attended the Odyssey Writers Workshop. Subsequently, he took a first place in the Writers of the Future contest.
He is predominately a short story writer, having sold a couple of stories each to Asimov's and Baen's Universe, and over thirty-five to Analog. Details at his website, www.frithrik.com
He has two grown children and shares his house with a pet robot and a cat. For recreation, he fences epee, learns languages, and plays the bagpipes. He lives in rural, Ithaca, New York. And rural is good if you play the bagpipes.
He has since returned to his aforementioned first love.