Question: How does a teenaged author fit influences and inspirations from Andre Norton, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, and Madeleine L’Engle into a short story of fewer than three thousand words?
Answer: I’m still trying to figure out how it happened, and the story was written (and published in a small-press magazine) more than a quarter of a century ago.
In case you haven’t seen it yet (because I forgot to mention it — d’oh!), I’ve added one of my short stories here.
I’m sharing this story as-is — it’s so old that there are double spaces after the ends of sentences (decades ago, that was the correct way to type) — so you can see what a certain genetically engineered grammar ninja was doing as a seventeen-year-old. (If you’ve read “Solitude,” you may detect faint echoes of a setting in that story. One advantage of playing with a large multiverse is that I don’t have to justify recycling and repurposing story elements, because there’s a built-in reason for this sort of thing. Honestly, I just went through some of my old fiction, looking for a setting I could adapt, and the lone island in an apparent world-ocean said, “Pick me! Pick me!”)