Fiction Currently Available
from L. Wade Powers

Although I enjoyed an academic career writing nonfiction in the biological and medical sciences, I have always wanted to create fictional characters and scenarios. I started reading at the age of five and quickly consumed many of the Oz books, stories about Tarzan, Sheena, and Bomba, as well as the usual children's literature, from fairy tales to Mark Twain (yes, I was politically incorrect in those far gone times and remain happily so to this day). I discovered science fiction at the Oakland Public Library at the age of twelve, starting me on a lifelong pursuit of reading and collecting that genre in its many subgenres and formats. Although a pre-med biology major in college, one of my best courses was on contemporary literature, where I was introduced to Porter, Bulgakov, Bellow, and so many others. My fascination with Steinbeck, his stories and life, continues to the present. I published a critical review in 2015 on The Winter of Our Discontent in Steinbeck Review.

Some people, including friends of mine, are not especially fond of short stories. They like the full blown novel, a story they can immerse themselves in for several days. I love novels also, including sequential ones, but I have a special passion for the short story format, whether it be science fiction (Bradbury, Fredric Brown, and Asimov were among my early favorites), horror (ah, the master, Stephen King), or contemporary (Atwood, Faulkner, Annie Proulx). I devoured the early masters, such as Twain, Poe, and O. Henry, marveling at the way in which they could create an environment in a few pages of eloquent phrasing. I alternate between writing short fiction, including a few pieces of short-short or flash fiction, and longer narratives or novels. I also like novellas (Sleep Donation by Karen Russell is an excellent example), but the market for this format is limited.

The Home (2019) Second Edition

What do the following individuals have in common? Walt (13), bewildered and beguiled, falling in love for the first time, second time, third time... Patti (12), precocious and outrageous, the wayward redhead; Freddie (12), freckled and fearless, the diminutive Romeo likes them all; Caroline (11), slim, blonde and innocent, Walt's companion and confidant; Frankie (12), the dormitory enforcer and bully; HoneySue (14), sexuality incorporated, dance lessons free; Ronnie (13), tattletale and frequent target of retaliatory beatings; and Jeannie (17), orphan and loner. They are all residents of The Home, a foster institution during the 1950s. It is a time of teenage ascendancy and the arrival of rock 'n roll. Walt, a naive thirteen-year-old, leaves his mother to experience dormitory living, the conflicts between group loyalty and personal ethics, the onset of introspection and its implications, and to confront the perplexing challenges of sexual awakening. Told with humor and nostalgia, the story is set against a background of first loves, music, dance, and occasional violence. Relationships shift between adolescent boys and girls as they adapt, or not, and survive, or not, in The Home.

 

 

Falling in Love and Other Misadventures (2019)

What is love and how does one attain it? Instead of the usual romantic portrayal, love in this collection of twenty stories and two interludes is viewed from a variety of perspectives and in a number of guises, including the love of adventure, the need for loyalty and social acceptance, and the feelings we express for other people, animals, and ourselves. What happens when a naive young man falls in love with his first intimate, a hotel prostitute? When do lucid dreams become real? What's so important about a wedding ring? A safety pin? What happens on a deserted, rat-infested island? What could possibly go wrong with shoplifting, burning leaves, a health fair physical, time travel, buying a car, helping an alien, or picking up someone at a local nightclub? It's all about life, real or imagined, partner. Been there and done that!

 

The Party House (2019)

A barrier island on the Gulf coast of Texas in the 1970s is only nominally part of the Lone Star State or anywhere else. It is home to a tavern and neighborhood social club called The Party House, hosting an eclectic clientele of hippies, rednecks, tourists, and others, along with their schemes, dreams, and relationships. Into the craziness steps Pete, a serious graduate student arriving on the island to conduct field research. He quickly succumbs to the drinking, dancing, gambling, and intimacies associated with the summertime beach life and wintertime bar life. His five-year sojourn includes an encounter with an outlaw biker gang, attempts to play pimp for a woman friend, surviving a hurricane, and confrontations with drunks, an angry father, a massive gathering of sharks, and poisonous jellyfish. Island life includes a young female pool hustler, an all night peyote party, and an assortment of has been and wanna be characters. Ultimately, Pete must choose between a demanding academic career or continue the raucous and comfortable lifestyle he has come to embrace. Can you have both?

 

 

Confronting the Boundaries (2020)

A collection of twenty tales, real and unreal, plus four poems and three photo-essays. Everyday life is full of challenges, including problems with family relationships, trials in dating and mating, miscommunication, overcoming tragedy, and encounters with the strange and unpredictable. Meet Starlight Bernie, an old man alone on a train; Fig Newton, a boy with a peculiar hobby; the Pizza Kid and his dog Rainbow struggling to forget; a professor who investigates a futuristic love store; and a man who wants to end the world as we know it. These stories and many more characterize the places and times where boundaries shift, limits are imposed, and challenges are either met or not.

New Albion Sunset (2020)

Drake's Lost English Outpost in North America, 1579

In 1577 Francis Drake left England with five ships on a trading mission to the Mediterranean. Instead, he sailed for the New World and entered the Pacific with one ship to relieve Spanish towns and ships of gold, silver, and other treasures. His voyage around the world was well-documented, except for one mysterious chapter. Before sailing across the Pacific to the East Indies, he spent several weeks on the west coast of North America. He brought a second ship, one captured off Nicaragua, with about 80 men and one woman to an anchorage site where he claimed New Albion as a territorial possession for Queen Elizabeth. He left the coast with 63 people, one ship, and considerably less silver in 1579. This book, a hybrid novel and historical inquiry, relates the fate of the New Albion Company, the twenty men left behind when the Golden Hinde departed. Set in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, the story presents historic and fictional characters, encounters with native tribes, a shipwreck, and the struggle to survive. An appendix, with maps, illustrations, dates, references, and factual details, provides support for armchair explorers and historians to explore the premise of the novel.

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$17.95 | 352 pages

Also in e-book and hardback formats and at selected bookstores.

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$14.95 (paperback) | 286 pages

Also in e-book and hardback formats and at select bookstores.

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$14.95 (paperback) | 296 pages

Also in e-book and hardback formats and at select bookstores.

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$14.95 | 230 pages

Also in e-book and hardback formats and at select bookstores.

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$15.95 | 292 pages

Also in e-book and hardback formats and at select bookstores.

Writing in Progress

I always have a few short stories circulating among literary magazines or gathering for the next short story collection.

The Hotel (working title)

Three men returning from the northern California gold fields to Utah in 1864 are robbed of their considerable fortune in crude bars of gold and silver. The gold is buried by the robbers but they are killed shortly afterwards and the cache remains hidden until accidently discovered by a school teacher and her companion in 1957. Set in the high desert of northeastern California, the novel relates the interactions of several people who share the secret of the treasure over the next thirty years. Forming a survivor's tontine, the members of the group scheme and dream about how to cash in. Alliances, loyalty, love, hate, greed, ambition, and stupidity have their say in the ever-changing relationships in and out of the Hotel in the dusty town of Sagebrush. Expected publication in spring, 2021.

Surrogation (working title)

In the not too distant future, a new virus renders most of the male population of the world sterile. It is also lethal in many, but does not affect females. Women quickly take over as the leaders in business, politics and most aspects of life. The few men that remain fertile are sequestered and become sperm donors to maintain the human species. Most male offspring are also infected by the virus, so the number of viable and fertile males slowly declines as women seek medical solutions and restructure society to accommodate the new reality. That reality includes the use of increasing dependence on artificial intelligence, labor robots, and sexual surrogates. However, in any new reformulation of society, there are always a few rebels that continue to embrace the traditional relationships. Expected publication in late 2021.

© 2019-2020 by Lawrence W. Powers.
Website Design by Melissa K. Thomas at Luminare Press