Science Fiction and Fantasy

Short stories by Rich Wingerter

These stories are from a collection of speculative fiction called Fantastical: A journey through the imagination. Unless otherwise noted, first serial rights are available, but some stories are out for submission at this time.

Stay a While With Me

Ishi, a renowned robot scientist, finally has the perfect mate. But his enjoyment is short-lived. Not only does his director want him to move on to a new project, but a more serious problem looms.

Word count: 1,400
Type: Science Fiction, Romance, Spiritual Transitions, Slipstream, Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Future Time

The Long Good-Bye

A very powerful woman is used to getting whatever she wants. Dreamy wants to keep her personal robot, Arnold. But he's a rental and eventually his company will want him back. They have a good replacement for him, too. A human.

Word count: 2,400
Type: Science Fiction, Romance, Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Future Time


Myra and Sam think they might be soul-mates. Myra is a sentient computer at a large retailer; Sam works for the government, which wants to know if he has some all-too-human failings. If they can prove he's committed a crime, they'll dismantle him. How can they get the goods on him when, let's be honest, he's smarter than they are?

Word count: 8,500
Type: Science Fiction, Romance, Espionage, Spy Story, Mystery Fiction, Artificial Intelligence, Future Time

Pretty Woman

Mandy, a busy but lonely business woman, becomes aware someone is following her. Increasingly irritated, she confronts him. After learning she doesn't want him looking at her, he grants her that wish, teaching her a lesson she never forgets.

Word count: 3,200
Type: Supernatural, Spritual Transitions, Magic, Fantasy, Present Time

The Elf Thief

Gyoff, a young elf with time on his hands, enjoys the thrill of stealing trivia from a nearby human village. But a human family captures him. In return for his freedom, the humans make him promise to change his ways. He has no intention of doing so, but events in the elf world force him to reconsider. If he can turn his life around, it will touch us all.

Word count: 6,500
Type: Fairy Tales, Supernatural, Folktales, Magic, Myths, Legends, Past Time

Platée the Plain

Zeus decides he’s had enough temper tantrums from his wife, Hera. She literally causes storms whenever he goes on the hunt. Zeus complains to his friend, Cithéron, who suggests a ruse: Why not pretend he is going to dump Hera and marry the rather plain Platée? They plan to confront Hera with her jealousy, telling her, “Obviously, Zeus would never marry such a homely creature.” But, Platée has another suitor, who isn’t willing to give her up, even for the king of the gods. And, when Hera refuses to play her part, it’s just possible the joke is on Zeus.

Based on a French opera, Platée by Jean-Philippe Rameau, itself based on the writing of an ancient Greek author (Pausanias), this classical story gets a complete face lift.

Word count: 9,750
Type: Fairy Tales, Supernatural, Folktales, Magic, Greek Myths, Legends, Past Time

Murder in Strawberry

Senior Detective Marianne McKensie and her partner, Detective Carter Alixhart, investigate a murder in the town of Strawberry. Almost everyone in Strawberry lives in a “glass house”, a home completely covered inside and out by Internet video. So, murder is out of the question, since everyone in the world can see events in Strawberry in real time. Nevertheless, none of the cameras show the murderer, just the murder, and McKensie has to track down the killer.

Word count: 14,700
Type: Science Fiction, Mystery Fiction, Police Procedural, Future Time

"Word count" indicates approximate number of words.

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