Books, Stories and Articles by Tom Jolly


The Witch and the Two Headed Boy, and Other Strange Stories - A collection of nine previously published short stories plus a new story, "An Ocean Passage". First released 1/15/18 for Kindle and as a Paperback (81 digital pages, or 118 in paper).

An Unusual Practice - A fantasy novel. Dr. Matthew Hamilton just wanted a nice, quiet practice at a small clinic. He never bargained for a reputation as the go-to doctor for supernatural creatures. But his very first patient leads him into a world of werewolves, ghosts, sprites, glass people, imps, and witches. In order for Dr. Hamilton's unique clinic to succeed, however, he must triumph over malevolent forces who don't want the supernatural world to have their own "Doctor of the Unusual."

Damn the Asteroids, Full Speed Ahead! and other stories - A collection of 13 previously published short SF stories, including "Learning the Ropes," and "The Camel's Tail."

Paper Man - Short story (65 pages) reprinted as a book. See description under short stories below.

Touched: A Ghost Story - Jeremy discovers that he's dead; a ghost. Afterlife has a lot of odd rules, like the inability to touch, but there are benefits too, like existing forever and being able to fly off to other planets. He starts thinking afterlife isn't so bad, until other ghosts start trying to kill him. Again.

The Infinite Cliff accepted 12/13/20 by Smash Bear Publishing in the UK. A novel. A young boy's gravity turns sideways. His father is missing. Both the government and criminal cartels want him. Maybe the sky is the best place to escape?

A Game of Broken Minds released 5/7/21 by Distant Shore Publishing in the UK. What if everyone on Earth had an extra sub-brain in their head, and those sub-brains talked to each other, all part of a superbrain? What if it could talk to you, and no one else? A Novelette.


Surface, to 3/4/2011. Rereleased in paper collection called Not Just Rockets and Robots

The Last Necromancer published by Daily Science on Nov 11 2011. Rereleased in paper collection called Rocket Dragons Ignite. There are good times to be brought back from the dead, and not-so good.

Pulse - published in Something Wicked #16 (South African online zine) about 11/2011. Released in paper format as Something Wicked Vol. 1. Reprinted in the book "The Witch and the Two Headed Boy." A bit of techno-horror and how humans learn to deal with it.

Dead Party to Strange Musings for their Romantic Ruckus anthology, around 7/2013. Released in paperback. Humorous zombie horror. Now that zombies have been grudgingly accepted into society, zombie parties are all the rage. Just don't go there wearing a tee-shirt that says "Brains and Good Looks" on it.

Paper Man, Originally published by Fox and Raven about March 2014, now available at Amazon. New cover on 10/1/20, and paper version made available for the first time. A sarcastic robot deals with a brand-new AI created by a paper game during a time when robots are fighting to be recognized for their own sentience.

On Disposing of a Corpse, Published by Daily Science Fiction on 2/26/2014. A tongue-in-cheek look at the meat-processing business. Not horror, though the title suggests otherwise.

Gifted (aka You Make My Heart Melt) published on on Feb 20th, 2015. This is some pretty graphic horror, so be forewarned.

Cradle - Published by Daily Science Fiction on 11/27/15. Man meets alien...and gets an unusual ultimatum.

The Witch and the Two-Headed Boy - Originally published June 2016 by Penny Shorts. This story is now available as part of a collection titled "The Witch and the Two-Headed Boy." See below. The story; a boy with a spare head seeks the help of a witch to become two people, then ends up fighting in the Civil War. What could possibly go wrong?

Catching Zeus, to Analog Science Fiction and Fact, printed 12/20/16 in their Jan/Feb 2017 issue. The search for high-temperature superconductors the wild, untamed country of northern Quebec.

The Mathematician - Available in the September/October 2017 issue of Analog SF. Would you swap immortality for a breakthrough in science? Assuming you were made of beetles, of course.

The First Shot Fired. Published 3/21/17 in the Enter the Apocalypse anthology published by TANSTAAFL Press. As you might guess, this is a collection of end-of-the-world short stories. So many creative ways to perish!

Wasted Space Published by Perihelion SF on 11/12/16. Free to read! A story of asteroid miners, waste disposal gone bad, and corporate takeovers.

Shell Game Published by Perihelion SF on 3/12/17. Free to read! Another story about asteroid miners, a prequel to "Wasted Space", also published by Perihelion. There's an oddball hollow asteroid in the belt, and Rene Cutler means to claim it for her own - but will the Ceres Group let her keep it?

Fermi's Slime - Accepted by Analog SF on 2/15/17. PUblished in the November/December 2017 issue. Why haven't aliens contacted us yet? An odd solution to the question that involves, not surprisingly, aliens.

Chasing Fireflies. Available in issue 40 of New Myths on Sept 12, 2017, online. If fireflies were going extinct, what would you do to save them? Probably not this.

Easy - Available at Asymmetry. A man with an "Easy" button decides to abuse the hell out of its power, and reaps what he sows. Darkly humorous SF. Released July 24th, 2017.

The Camel's Tail - in Analog SF. Publication date March/April 2018. In the near future, in a Solar system crowded with small runabouts powered by compact fusion rockets, an alien probe appears, spewing antimatter propellant and acting very strangely. A small Somali research vessel finds itself dumped into the race to claim and salvage the alien tech, but watch out! The alien tech bites back. In this issue, they also interviewed me (by Richard A. Lovett).

Ashes to Ashes - Available at Buckshot Magazine, publication date 7/19/17. Flash fiction; a curious example of burial-in-space.

Touched - Part one published June 15, 2018 in Part two released 9/14/18 in issue 44. Much longer version released as a book in 12/2020 (see book section). A fresh ghost tries to figure out the science of being dead, and how to survive in this strange and unexpected afterlife without the sense of touch.

Driving Force - Published June 1st, 2018 in Compelling Science Fiction, issue 11. A story about love, and cars that are a little too smart.

Learning the Ropes - PUblished by Analog SF, in the Nov/Dec 2018 issue. Reprinted in the Feb 2021 Czech SF mag, XB-1. The folks colonizing Mars have a sneaky plan to terraform it, but there are forces in play that find it lucrative to keep the status quo. Is it possible to terraform a planet without your enemies knowing about it? Not exactly...

The Unanswered Riddle - Accepted by Spring Song Press for their "Fell Beasts and Fair" anthology for March, 2018. Dr Matt Hamilton cures a Sphinx, and pulls a fast one on its unscrupulous owner. Available here.

Damn the Asteroids, Full Speed Ahead! - at Daily Science Fiction. Published online 2/19/18. A humorous look at the "dense asteroid field" cliche. Also performed in a Planet Raconteur podcast, Episode 6, on 5/17/20.

Elevated, in the "As Told by Things" anthology from Atthis Arts. A humorous look at life from the perspective of an elevator. And a touching love story, of sorts. One of my favorites. Released June 5th, 2018.

The Broken Gargoyle - Available on Oct. 1, 2018 from Spring Song Press in their Shards anthology. Dr. Matt Hamilton finds himself with a medical mystery when a shattered gargolye comes to him for help.

Ring Wave - There is still room in the world for a "giant asteroid destroys the Earth" story, as long as there's a big enough twist in it. Aleja Martinez tries to survive the aftermath in a steel ball in space, but has to deal with pirates, too. This is the cover story for the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Ring Wave has also been accepted into "The Year's Top Hard Science Fiction Stories 4", edited by Allan Kaster, released 6-19-20.

Shooting Stars - Analog SF, released in the July/August 2019 issue. It's a mystery when someone gets shot through the chest with a giant beam weapon, and Detective Jones only has fifteen minutes to solve the crime before one of the greatest heists of the century is completed.

The Rogue of Averath - Accepted 11/10/18 for the anthology "Tales of Magic and Destiny," released July 20th, 2019, by Inklings Press. Reprinted 11/14/20 in Best Indie Speculative Fiction, Vol 3. If you're stealing the Baron's treasure, you kind of expect a monster to be in your way. But this?

A Ghost for Stormcove - Accepted 2/5/19 for the anthology "Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove," released on May 7, 2019. Every hotel needs a ghost, but it's wise to be picky when you have a selection available.

Space Rise - Available at Daily Science Fiction. Release date 5-13-19. It's still a mystery whether antimatter attracts or repels normal matter. If it repels matter, you could do some pretty interesting stuff with it, like make a space elevator. Yeah, "interesting".

Fire Watch - Available 10-1-19 from Mythic magazine, in Issue 11. Why do the damned peacocks keep trying to eat the newts, and why hire a bunch of yahoos with shotguns to keep that from happening? This is why.

Determined - Released 4-25-2020 for the Eclectically Scientific anthology from Inklings Publishing. If you had a job where the asshole boss kept sending you back in time to do the same thing over and over in order to save money on training, what would you do?

Sticks and Stones - Published in the July-August 2020 issue of Analog SF. The survey ship, the Beagle-4 (from a prior story, Fermi's Slime) is sent to a very strange planet, potentially a new home for the crew of the wandering survey ship. But how will they save it from others interested in taking the planet for their own? Their solution is as odd as the planet.

Robots, Belt Repair, and the Singularity - Accepted 7/28/19 for Amazing Stories. Released in Summer 2020 issue. When smart robots finally evolve, it's going to happen quickly. Hopefully they'll stop along the way to fix a few things. Then again, that may not be a good thing.

The Diplomats - Accepted 8/17/19 for Daily Science Fiction. Released 12/9/19. First encounters are a rare and dangerous thing, and it takes a special sort of person to deal with it.

A Million Years - A love poem. PUblished in the May/June 2021 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. What does love mean after a million years?

The Worm's Eye has been accepted 10-3-19 by Stupefying Stories #23. So your friend learns a spell that lets him be a voyeur in a very disturbing way. Do you have the guts to go after the guy that taught it to him? Release date 3/5/21.

The Cereal Bowl of Indestructibility has been published 11/8/19 by Sirius Science Fiction, even though the story isn't very serious at all. How do you deal with an alien artifact if you aren't

De Leon's Fountain - accepted 10/29/19 by Inklings Press for publication in their Tales from the Pirate's Cove anthology, publication date 8/11/2020. What if the Fountain of Youth wasn't quite what you expected?

Dark Wings has been released 3/27/20 in the Unreal anthology, published by The Great Void. If everyone in the world could suddenly fly, how would people deal with that? Maybe not well.

A Breath of Air - Available in the May-June 2020 issue of Analog SF. Also accepted by Czech magazine XB-1 as a reprint in 2021. Banner and his small crew consisting of his son and two strangers work together trying to set up a small farm on Mars, along with thousands of others struggling to build a survivable environment. So why is someone trying to murder them?

A Different Sort of Death - Available at MYTHIC in issue 13 (release date 6-4-20). If you had to die after drinking toxic water, this probably isn't what you had in mind.

A Sacrifice For Aphrodite - Released 4/29/20 in the May issue of Horror Magazine, from Breaking Rules Publishing. The things people do for a perfect complexion!

My Personal Space - Accepted 3/13/20 for Terraforming Earth for Aliens. If Earth was divided up equally for all humans, what would happen?

The Burning Lands, accepted by Analog Science Fiction and Fact on 4/29/20, for the March-April 2021 issue. It's California in the near future. Something is starting brush fires faster than the fire-suppression drones can deal with it, and Detective Jones needs to figure out how and why, before more people die.

Siliconisis, Published by Analog Science Fiction and Fact in the July/August 2021 issue. If someone figured out how to create silicon-based life on Earth, just how bad would it be for humans? Or for Morgan Anderson, the guy who created it?

The Dryad's Muse - accepted by MYTHIC on 5-24-2020 for publication in issue 14 (release date 11/1/20). Dr. Matthew Hamilton (from "An Unusual Practice") deals with some new supernatural afflictions. Reprinted in Best of MYTHIC, Vol. 1, on 4-23-21.

The Last Miner - has been accepted by Dark Matter Magazine #2 on 6-6-2020, published 3/1/21. An asteroid mining AI tries its best to keep working, against all odds.

Head in the Sky, Heart on the Earth - has been accepted by Queer Sci Fi on 6-6-2020 for their Innovations anthology. Released 7/29/20, available at Amazon. An interesting and imaginative collection of 300-word SF stories.

The Way Things Work - has been accepted by Abyss and Apex on 7-4-2020 for publication in late 2021 or early 2022. Some super-powers seem wimpy; Meet the team that uses science to help them realize their full potential. Most of the time.

My Home, My Galaxy - Accepted 7/11/20 for Daily Science Fiction. Released 1/8/21. A home-school physics lesson takes a strange turn.(And yes, a teacher actually used this story in a real class).

Heart of Stone, Published in the May/June 2021 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. First contact with aliens; will we recognize them when we meet them? Will they recognize us?

Superheroes Never Die has been accepted 10/9/20 for the "No Ordinary Mortals" anthology from Rogue Blades Entertainment. Release date TBD. Dying repeatedly as a superpower has it limits, and most of them are unpleasant. But how to save someone else's life? It's tricky.

The High Witch of Westham - Accepted 11/2/20 by Translunar Travelers Lounge, released Feb 2021, in issue 4. What can you do if your only witchly power is the ability to float in the air (and not very well, at that), and everyone wants to burn you at the stake? Except, you know, for that one odd guy that hangs around your shop so much.

Cloudchaser - Accepted 1/5/21 by Analog SF. Release date Jan/Feb 2022. The ultimate collector of unique things escapes his murderous brother by buying a strange hidden darkplanet. But with so many interested in what Lempa owns, how long can he remain hidden?

The Tree and the Wind published April 7, 2021 in MYTHIC #16. It's the story of an epic battle between the Tree of Life and the soul of a Nor'easter, as told by a drunk Scotsman.

Unwound - Published 10/29/21 by Daily Science Fiction. If you can turn back time, but it erases your memories, what good is it?

The Twenty Body Problem - Accepted 6/30/21 by Analog SF. Release date TBD. Discovering an asteroid that's made out of human corpses raises a few questions and some tense moments.

When the Rains Come - Accepted 7/31/21 by Dread Stone Press for their 'Field Notes from a Nightmare' anthology. Release date 11/16/21. Acid rain and rapidly diminishing oxygen in the atmosphere make life a little too interesting.

Send me an email, if you like (my email address is listed on the bottom of this page). And I'd be happy to hear any comments on any story if you got 'em: critique, question, or compliment.

FREEBIES - Stories and jokes posted for fun on my Facebook page, or other social media.

A Gift from the Stars - Beware gifts from strangers. Or aliens.

On the Menu - What's the strangest meat you've ever had at a restaurant? (Not a horror story).

The Math Problem - Posted on my FB page on 8/1/17. How to deal with an obnoxious know-it-all math teacher.

Mission to Mars, 2040 - A satirical piece about NASA's next excursion to Mars. Posted on Facebook, 6/16/18.

Blind Date - Posted on my FB page on 8/3/18. More of a joke than a story; it's so easy to read people!

Brother Simon Takes a Vow - Posted on FB on Jan 30, 2018. A joke.

Star Drive - Posted on FB on Jan 6, 2019. Abo Mwangi experiments with teleportation in a most unique fashion.

Author's Page on Amazon

Facebook Page

Twitter account, @tomjolly19


Riddles to Games magazine, in Wild Cards section. June, 1984.

Flip-Flop (a game), Games magazine. November 2002.

Office Space Card Game, Games Magazine. About Dec. 2004.

Ten New Poker Games, Games magazine, November 2005.

In Search of the World's Hardest Puzzle, Nov 2007, Knucklebones

Q&A, a trivia game to Games magazine, Dec 2011.

Review of Citadels in "Hobby Games 100 Best Games" (a book in which Wiz-War was also reviewed). Sept. 2007, Green Ronin Publishing.

Puzzle Games, Nov 2010, in Cubism For Fun.

The Flying Block Mechanic, July 2014, published in Cubism For Fun.

The Poison Oak Puzzle, in The Metagrobologist Magazine, issue 2, online.

Numerous free articles/blogs for League of Gamemakers.