Non-Compliant Space: A Short Guide to Short Fiction

I’m nearly finished with the draft of Nahara (the sequel to Nantais), and I wrote a contribution to Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime that’s also set in the Non-Compliant Space universe. Short pieces on my author blog keep proliferating.

I figured it was time for a quick guide to the available short fiction.

Untitled Design

This guide is more or less in chronological order. I say “more or less” because a couple stories involve time travel.

If it’s free to read, the title is linked. If not, the title of the thing you can find it in is linked.

“Kill Your Darlings,” Spoon Knife 3: Incursions

The action takes place in 1945, but the characters’ sense of “now” falls roughly in the first third of The Ambassador and the first half of Nahara, or the summer/fall of 2371. “Kill Your Darlings” is the first piece that steps away from the world of the Jemison and lets us know just how large and messed up this literary universe really is. Makes chasing intergalactic slavers look like small potatoes.

“Scene From a Barbershop,” Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber

Set on Mars in 2357, “Scene From a Barbershop” is the ignominious tale of how Resa Molloy and Richard Hayek met. It involves kindergarteners and hair.


Nantais, the first book in the trilogy, takes place in the summer of 2371 (if we’re counting by Earth time, which not everybody is). It’s the story of the ISS Jemison and how she got in way over her head by being too curious for her own good. Also, pirates.

Niralans: An Overview. The Planet,” “A Brief Historical Overview,” “Physiology I,” and “Family Units

If you ever wanted to read that book Hayek is perusing in Nantais, here’s every excerpt that I’ve released so far. The titles are pretty self-explanatory; it’s as non-fiction as you get with a fictional species in a fictional universe.

And yes, Niralans are basically copper-based cats.

Nahara (available in 2019)

Nahara is the second book in the trilogy, occurring in the summer/fall of 2371. There are fewer space battles, more family drama, and the most dangerous being in the known universe: a 15 year old girl.

The Ambassador (Part 1)

The Ambassador is the fourth book of the trilogy. It takes place at roughly the same time as Nahara, during the summer/fall of 2371, and it wraps up before the events of Nirala. Unlike the trilogy, however, it’s less a space opera than a political thriller. Is everyone in this fictional universe a spy?

Travel Companions

A one-shot that takes place during the first act of The Ambassador and that gets referenced in the book, but doesn’t actually appear in it. I wrote it based on a Tumblr post discussing how aliens would react to humans’ weird habit of bonding with animals.

From the Desk of the Ambassador

Occurs within a few hours of “Travel Companions,” and appears in The Ambassador in a somewhat hacked form. Like everything Niralans say, this one has far more layers of meaning than it appears to have at first glance.

Dossier” and “Wiretap

“Travel Companions” did two things: it introduced Anev Nahara, and it sporked the fact that humans’ need for socializing runs so deeply we’ll bond with just about anything. “Dossier” and “Wiretap” take both a bit further, and prove that sometimes the best mischief is made after you’ve left the space station.


“Letter” links Nahara and The Ambassador together, and appears in its entirety in the former as Dar and Koa try to work out exactly how dangerous a 15-year-old girl really is. (Their answer: not very. They’re wrong.)

“Something Within Us Which is Always Surprised By Change” (available in 2019 in Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime)

This short story takes place in 2381, in 2371, and in 2337, and the whole thing is just Hayek talking to someone over drinks. If you hated the fact that Meredith Cattrell got iced after one scene, you’ll either love this one or hate it – no in-between.