Stephen L. Burns
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A new Fantasy Novel available in Kindle E-book!
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So, who the hell is Stephen L. Burns?
If you ended up here, chances are you stubbed your toes on my writing, and wondered what
sort of maladjusted person was behind it.
Now you're wondering if it was worth the trip--or click.
It might, as long a you keep your expectation
reasonably low. Okay, really low.
Some writers are charmers, with shining public faces, honed patter, and exciting lives.
I am more of a wallflower or maybe a dust-bunny. I lock myself away for part of every year
and write whatever comes into my head.
This is, I am afraid about as exciting as watching bread grow mold. Outside of that I
avoid parties, travel, excess human interaction, and as many things as possible that
require dress clothing.
In my defense, some people do like my writing. Maybe you did, too. I hope so.
Maybe one of my many short stories put your brain in a knot, or maybe you were one of
those few wonderful people who bought one of my 2 novels from way back when.
I won't let you see me naked, not unless I know you have at least a C note to stuff in my thong.
But I can give you a brief, blurry glimpse inside my head and world.
The cover at left
is from that first novel, Flesh and Silver, winner of the 2000
Crompton Crook/Stephen Tall Award. Click on it for a better look
It's the story of a very special sort of surgeon in the far future; a man with a
bad past and no future. Then in the darkest of places he finds the people--and
one particular person- who will give him a reason to live once more.
Long out of print, it may still be found at some bookstores and maybe on eBay.
At left is the cover of my second novel, which came out August, 2000.
of it is 'Call from a Distant Shore'. Click on the cover for a better look.
This book is a lot funnier and faster-moving than my first --and yet just as moving.
It's the story of several very different people who all find themselves experiencing something
very strange: a voice in their heads asking them for help.
An alien voice, wanting them to help rescue it from one of the moons of Mars.
Of course at first they can't believe it . . .
CALL is out of print, but may still be found at an online bookstore or two.
It got good reviews, and was a finalist for the 2001 Philip K. Dick Award for best original
paperback novel. It sank like a rock.
Usually one or two of my stories run in Analog Magazine every year.
The most recent are 'Hearing Impairment' in the December '12 issue, and 'Follow-up', which
ran in the April '12 issue.
Hearing Impairment was my 42nd story published in ANALOG.
This record means that I'm a member of the MAFIA, or Making Appearances Frequently
In Analog. We mean no harm, and only a few of the members are armed.
No story collection. You have to almost be in a position to ruinously blackmail
a publisher to get a collection published these days. At the end of this page is a
link to a listing of all my published works
Some of my short fiction from years back is available for low cost download
from Fictionwise. Check it out! More of my older stories should become
available there over time.
BORING PERSONAL TRIVIA
Well, I'm 59, just shy of 5'8", and because I'm camera-shy (and reluctant
to frighten small children), the picture at left is of crow tracks in the snow
across our pond. Gaze on this image and think deep, philosophical thoughts
about the impermanence of life, fame, and the printed word for an underpaid scrivener.
I've been happily married to herbalist and perfumer Sue-Ryn for 23 years now.
No kids, just our dog Chloe, and a cat who can be seen on the Catnip Mice page
of this web site [the preceding link included for all the cat lovers out there,
and a shameless plug for my wife's business, Hill Woman].
As is typical for Analog writers, I
have a buzzcut on top and a foot and a half
of ponytail in the back, a little soul patch under my lower lip, an earring --no, wait, I guess I look more
like someone who should be writing for an alternative music magazine.
Those rare times I stay in a hotel the staff almost is invariably convinced I'm with the band.
Every winter I lock myself in, and between late December and mid-March try to write
at least six full hours a day, seven days a week. Brain damage? You bet!
SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?
I'm trying to beat a couple more unsold novels into shape
for publication via Kindle Direct.
After that is done I'll try to write some short fiction. Trying to stave off despair.
JUST THE FAQs
Where do I get my ideas?
All sorts of weird places. Words. Phrases. Jokes. Snatches of music. Jokes. Nature programs.
Odd bits picked up in reading. The Notions Department of my local Five & Dime.
Do I spend a lot of time drawing up outlines and that sort of crap?
Never. More often than not when I sit down and begin a story I haven't got the
faintest idea of what I'm going to write. All I may have is a character, or the shape
of an idea, or a mood. Story notes for me consist of a half dozen words scrawled
on a post-it note I'll probably lose anyway. I just sit there and wing it, although
once I have a firm grasp on my characters--or they have a firm grasp on me--
it tends to come together.
Did you take any Creative Writing courses? Not a one. Does it show?
Why aren't you seen at many conventions? Because I'm poor, cheap, insanely busy
most of the time, and fairly antisocial.
Is Stephen L Burns your real name? Yes. I almost started out writing under a
pseudonym, and still quite often wish I had. The one I planned to use was Eliza Little.
I still may have to start using one. If you see a novel by Eliza Little, grab it!
What are your political leanings? I consider myself a Miss Manners Anarchist.
Do you have a personal philosophy? I consider myself a Pessimistic Humanistic Misanthrope.
A religion? Thank God, no.
What do you currently aspire to? Becoming the Lyle Lovett of Literature.
Think that will happen? If I had a pony . . .
I said this would be a little corner. But there are options.
Email and large unmarked bills may be sent to
But be warned, I am glacially slow at answering email.
Hope to see you there,
If you would like to see a fairly complete listing of my published work, visit In Print
If you would like to visit my wife's business site (which I built and
and check out the fine selection of oils, herbal goods, incense, and other delights,
then use this link to the Hill Woman Home Page
Updated January 1, 2013