S. A. Barton

Biography

S.A. Barton lives in coastal Virginia with his wife, teen stepson, two under-5s, and demanding cat (as they all are). His path to the present was a strange, sometimes harrowing, and winding one; you may find this reflected in his writing. He has previously appeared in the pages of Penumbra magazine, in Daily Science Fiction, and in OMNI Reboot.

He's a winner of the first Amazing Stories Gernsback Writing Contest.

He is also proud to be a self-published indie author with dozens of short ebooks and collections to his credit, which may be found through sabarton.com. He also tweets far too much as @Tao23.

While most of S.A. Barton's work is in science fiction, some of it strays into other genres such as fantasy, mainstream, alternate history and others -- like the cat, it wanders some.

Where to find S. A. Barton online

Twitter: @Tao23
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: http://sabarton.com

Books

Closer Than You Think
Pre-release—available December 24, 2016. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,890. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
A short story collection: 21 stories and about 64,000 words. Closer Than You Think is a journey from the near future -- self-driving cars, automation, 3D printing -- to the far future where, who knows? houses may own humans or climate change might force the last of humanity to take shelter deep under the ocean. No aliens, but the farther forward we go, the more alien the human beings get!
Broken Rice: Third Serial Installment
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,940. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Part 3 of a serial, about 4800 words. Jewel, the living doll Caleb created, has come up in the world -- he has become the owner of the brickyard where Caleb slaves away for a pittance. How? Why? On the point of venturing out to find Jewel and demand answers, Jewel sends thugs to bring Caleb to him, and Caleb will be have to be clever and lucky to survive the confrontation with his creation!
Broken Rice: Second Serial Installment
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,910. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Part 2 of a serial, about 6500 words. Caleb is a poor child laborer who used to work in a sweatshop, until he stole materials to sew a doll to be the brother he never had. But the doll sprang to life and flew away, leaving him to be beaten and fired from the terrible job his family sorely needed. Now it's time for Caleb to find work and forget the doll. But will the doll forget him?
Broken Rice: First Serial Installment
Price: Free! Words: 5,500. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
First episode of a serial, about 5000 words. Caleb is a poverty-stricken child laborer in the Republic of Texas, a fragment of the former United States. The demands of simple existence means his family has little time for togetherness, and he has little time to make friends. But perhaps with scraps stolen from his employer, he can *make* one...
One More for the Road
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,150. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Angela's world is automated -- the cars drive themselves. Houses and tablets and phones are always listening to tell you how to do things and warn you against things you're not supposed to do. When she and her boyfriend inherit an old-style manual-drive car, it inspires her to try to master it -- and to realize how little a person actually controls in a technological,automated world.
Brittany And Dustin Depart This Earth
Price: Free! Words: 1,590. Language: American English. Published: May 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Technological
(4.00)
A short story of about 1500 words. Brittany and Dustin have had a long, happy marriage and now it's time to retire. They're headed for Little Heaven, an orbital habitat where elders can enjoy low-gravity living. Dustin, however, wanted to live out his days on Earth. He's going just to please Brittany -- which is a recipe for disaster unless he can find a way to be happy in Little Heaven!
'Skipper
Price: Free! Words: 5,080. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A short story, about 5000 words. N.T. is in trouble. Her ship has crashlanded. Her captain is gravely injured. When a group of native aliens kidnap one of her two remaining crewmates, it's up to her and Danielle to figure out how to rescue him and keep the captain safe at the same time, with only a single antique weapon between them. On top of that, the aliens are not quite what they seem...
The Last Trump (A Farce Of Politics)
Price: Free! Words: 2,310. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
(1.00)
When Donald Trump becomes President in 2016, nothing seems amiss -- aside from Donald Trump being President. But by the time 2020 rolls around, he's more popular than ever but things are beginning to fall apart. President Trump just doesn't seem to be himself... ...and the face he shows at his second inauguration is more shocking than anyone could dare dream!
Only Thirty Cents A Day
Price: Free! Words: 2,880. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
When Frederick Bolling encounters a garishly-dressed fast-talking weirdo in a parking garage, it's pretty routine -- just another day in New York City. But when he returns, he discovers that his car has been stolen and replaced with an exact replica -- and then things get WEIRD.
Tornado Gift
Price: Free! Words: 2,130. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Coming of age
(5.00)
A short story, about 2000 words. Strange is when a passing tornado drops an antique Westinghouse refrigerator in the backyard of your trailer. Stranger still is what is inside when Dad opens it, and what the contents mean for two rambunctious boys who often pay too little attention to their surroundings.
Among Apple Trees
Price: Free! Words: 1,810. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
(4.00)
A young man takes his great-granddad to the store -- a simple occurrence that happens hundreds, maybe thousands of times daily across the world. But this trip will be something unexpected and special for them both.
Lunacy
Price: Free! Words: 2,070. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
A short story of about 2000 words. Being the head psychologist of the lone city on the moon, the last hope of humanity, is a tough and lonely job. Spotting people who have become dangers to the city is important work. But it is even more important to study the man in the mirror...
It Could Be Anyone
Price: Free! Words: 1,730. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Ms. Gaither has lived a long time, and once again it's time to go shopping. It's a difficult task for her. But it's not difficult because of her age. Rather, it's difficult because of what she sees: endless possibilities, and things that might have been and things that might come to be --- unless she does something about it.
Dawn Across The Craze
Price: Free! Words: 3,520. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
A short story, about 3500 words. Fair warning: it's a relationship story: NO erotic content. Dawn and Tarik have had a long-range relationship---an interstellar one, with days or weeks passing between messages. Tarik is determined that it is finally time to meet in person. Dawn, however, has a secret: the two are much farther apart than mere light-years can measure.
New Housing Starts Increase For Twenty-Second Consecutive Year
Price: Free! Words: 1,580. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
A 1500 word short story. When more new houses are built than the year before, we call that a good thing. But for Daniel, Rosetta, and little Iris --and many others-- it has become not just a bad thing, but an intolerable oppression.
Flayed
Price: Free! Words: 3,570. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
A short story, about 3500 words. Donte is a veteran and a colonist on a struggling new world under a hot young flare star. For most of the colonists, the struggle is in coaxing crops out of the alien soil and avoiding the radiation of the flares. But for Donte, he must also deal with the lingering trauma of war -- and a body that feels skinned alive without the armor he once wore in the army.
I Pledge Allegiance
Price: Free! Words: 6,180. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
A short story, about 6100 words. Keshawn Bolling lives in a future of total government control. His religion, his education, even the length of his hair are dictated to him, Worse, his own father is one of the enforcers. He wants out; rumor says there is freedom to be had in the orbital habitats. But getting there won't be easy, and freedom is a slippery thing to define...
A Pornodroid's Tale
Price: Free! Words: 3,970. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
A short story, about 3900 words. Jimmy Babe has it all -- he's an interplanetary pop star. He has the adulation of billions, a starship that doubles as a mansion, a pornodroid devoted to his every physical need. But stardom has become a burden to Jimmy, and he's looking for a way out. Perhaps his awakened AI pornodroid can help -- if his record label will let her, that is.
He Shot First
Price: Free! Words: 3,690. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A short story, about 3600 words. Dan Tippdale is a human among aliens on an unfamiliar world. A bar fight lands him in jail -- and he shot first. The charge might not be murder, but that might not matter -- from the looks of things, he might not live to stand trial. And then there's the matter of his lawyer, who has something big in common with the alien Dan shot...
Kitty Itty And The Seawall Broke
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,050. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family, Fiction » Coming of age
A novella, about 9,000 words. Jonny lives with his mom on the hardscrabble coast of North Carolina. The old coast is underwater -- Jonny's dad makes a living diving to salvage valuables from drowned towns, rarely home. It's a hard life. When Jonny rescues Kitty Itty he learns a bit about responsibility and caring, but the coming hurricane Xerxes may teach them both some harder lessons.
Garbage Music
Price: Free! Words: 5,010. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
A short story, about 5000 words. Young Jacinta Jaara likes to sit by the old landfill mine and listen to the music ancient Neyerneyemeet plays. The music speaks of her of the old days, when the people of Australia were divided, before the war that changed everything. Soon, Jacinta's curiosity will lead her to an even more profound change, a change of growth, learning, and understanding.
Bunny With A Saw
Price: Free! Words: 1,360. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(3.50)
On a long drive in the middle of the night, it's a bad sign when the stars begin to move. You're seeing things. It's time to pull over and rest. Or maybe something impossible is happening instead... Bunny With A Saw is a short story of about 1300 words.
Meow Right Now
Price: Free! Words: 5,190. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
(4.00)
"Meow Right Now" is a short story, about 5100 words. Archaeologists often find strange and even dangerous things during their explorations. When Clay and Sandy uncover an ancient frozen cat on the Siberian plains, they have done just that, for Kwirrrf is not accustomed to being a pet. In fact, he's more accustomed to being a pet owner...
Riding the Drone
Price: Free! Words: 1,200. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00)
'Nobody gets blown up in the Air Force,' the legless Army vet who hung out in the public library all day used to tell him. Find out if that's true or not. "Riding the Drone" is a very short story of about 1150 words.
Half Sour, Half Sweet
Price: Free! Words: 7,050. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
David Brown is a lonely 70 year old man driving into the country to fish in a trout stream behind the house he grew up in. A place he hasn’t seen in a half-century or more. But of course, there’s more to it than that. While fishing, he notices something that he should have found when he was a child, and it opens up a whole new range of regrets to David… and magical opportunity.
Ice Age, Space Age
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 51,210. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Ice Age, Space age is a collection of thirteen stories previously released as ebook singles, together under a single cover. The stories range from the most recent ice age to farther in the future than the human race is now from the dawn of civilization -- strange times, strange people; but however removed in time the people in these stories may be, their basic humanity still shines through.
Male Mary
Price: Free! Words: 4,050. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
ADULT CONTENT: frequent references to male genitalia. Adult imagery. NOT erotica, NO sexual content. Male Mary is the story of a woman in the near future who uses a prescription drug to grow male genitalia for an upcoming date. The medication is safe and effective... UNLESS you don't follow directions. Male Mary is a short story of about 4,000 words.
Blood on the Corn
Price: Free! Words: 3,300. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Blood on the Corn follows two policemen who aren't quite policemen as they investigate a murder that isn't quite a murder. Their real mission might be familiar to humans, but it's not for their eyes at all. Blood on the Corn is a short story, about 3200 words.
Spoken Wood
Price: Free! Words: 2,670. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(5.00)
When Randall encounters an alien being deep in the forest, he finds himself struggling to understand what they are and what they intend for Earth. How quickly he can understand may determine not the fate of the world, but of humanity itself.
The Unfettered Dream
Price: Free! Words: 4,160. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
It is often said that wisdom comes with pain. Long ago in the north of the Indian subcontinent, a being of great wisdom arose. There is pain in his story, but perhaps the story we know is not all of the truth. Perhaps wisdom came at a greater price than we know. This is a vision of what it might have taken to bring it into the world. The Unfettered Dream is a short story of about 4,000 words.
Isolation And Other Stories
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,000. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Isolation is a collection of stories --- two novellas, a novelette, and two short stories --- that relate to the isolation that we all feel from our fellow beings on occasion, and the belonging that we all seek. The stories: Isolation, Anticipation, The Flowers Of Dawn, Turn Me On, Down On The Farm.
Hey, Baby
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,810. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Religious
(4.00)
If you meet a man dressed as Elvis in a Las Vegas casino in the middle of the night, that's not so strange. What is strange is when he tells you that he's a priest, that Elvis is Lord, and he's come from the future to find the truth of his scripture. Stranger still is when his religious rivals show up to express their disapproval...violently. Hey, Baby is a novelette of about 7600 words.
Speed Glacier
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,310. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Speed Glacier is a farce of ecoterrorism and the human urge to belong. It brings together a very unlikely and slightly misnamed weapon with a group of individuals that seem just as unlikely... unless you've been paying attention to popular culture and/or the news. Speed Glacier is a novelette of about 12,000 words.
Hunger
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,410. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.50)
Hunger is an anthology of short science fiction and fantasy stories. Each of them relates to the hungers that drive humanity--for food, for love, for power, for release from drudgery, or escape from times that have become too interesting. The stories in Hunger speak to the deep drives that move you, the appetites that lurk beneath the surface, struggling to emerge into the light.
Cat Zen
Price: Free! Words: 620. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
(3.50)
Sit down with a man, a cat, and some Zen for about 600 words. You won't regret it.
Nice Weather We're Having Today
Price: Free! Words: 880. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
(4.60)
A small-town mayor and a drifter with an odd object in his pocket have a little chat about the dry summer. 'Nice Weather' is flash fiction, under 1000 words.
The Always-House People
Price: Free! Words: 5,710. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
Ba'el, a pre-historic youth, strikes out on a quest to prove his manhood to himself and to his clan. Soon, he will discover the truth behind the religion of his people. Soon after, he will lose everything... and so will all of humanity. The Always-House People is a short story of about 5600 words.
Visions Of Odd
Price: Free! Words: 8,550. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
A collection of word-doodles from S.A. Barton's early writing 2007-2011. These are vignettes, not truly stories, explorations of possible futures for humanity -- some near-future, some far, some through alien eyes. Some themes appear in later stories, some not -- or not yet. Visions Of Odd contains 7 word-doodles totaling about 8400 words.

S. A. Barton's tag cloud

accident    addiction    air force    alien    alien abduction    alien civilization    alien planet    alien society    alienation    aliens    alternate dimension    alternate history    alternate reality    alternate timelines    america    ancient deity    ancient egypt    ancient powers    android    androids    anthology    antique car    apocalypse    apocalyptic    appetites    archaeologists    artificial intelligence    asteroids    atheism    atheist    atlantic    attachment    attack    australia    automation    balkanized united states    beach    beachcombing    blood    body alteration    boy    buddha    buddhism    cat    caution    charity    child    child labor    city    clan    class conflict    classic car    claustrophobia    climate change    collection    colony planet    comedy    communication    contemporary fantasy    conversion    corn    corporate culture    corporate power    crash    crashlanding    crucifixion    dating    death    discontent    drone    drought    dystopia    eating    ecology    ecoterrorism    elder living    elderly    elders    elvis    emptiness    enlightenment    escape    events beyond human control    fall of civilization    family    fantastic beings    far future    farce    fast food    first contact    florida    follow your heart    freedom    fusion drive    future    future city    future history    future society    futurism    garbage    gender swap    generational relationships    genocide    glacier    global warming    god    gods    golem    greed    gun    history    homeless    housing    human civilization    human nature    hunger    ice age    iceberg    immortality    indiginous peoples    inheritance    insanity    intergenerational    internet of things    interstellar travel    invasion    isolation    kafkaesque    kafkaesque short stories    key    landfill    language    las vegas    law    learning    learning to drive    liberty    life    life extension    loneliness    long distance relationship    longevity    love    lunar colony    magic    magical realism    man    manhattan    marriage    medicine    meditation    memories    memory    mentor    metamorphosis    missionary    mojave desert    moon colony    mortality    murder    music    music business    mythology    nanotech drug    nanotechnology    nature    new york    newspaper    nostalgia    old age    oppression    orbital habitat    organleggers    orion    overpopulation    pack ice    pain    past    patriotism    phantom limb syndrome    planetary survey    plant intelligence    police and detectives    politics    poor    pop star    population    possibilities    poverty    preacher    precognition    prehistoric    prehistoric war    prehistory    premonition    prophecy    psychological    psychology    ptsd    rain    rebellion    regrets    relationship    religion    religious warfare    republic of texas    rescue    retirement home    revelation    revolution    rich    robots    rural    sacrifice    salvage    satire    satori    science fiction    sea level rise    secret    self defense    self driving cars    selfdriving car    sex change    siberia    sleep    social class    social commentary    society    solar power    space    space exploration    space station    space travel    spaceship    speculative history    spirituality    suffering    supernatural    survival    telepathy    terrorism    time travel    tornado    town    transexual    trauma    trees    tribal    tribal warfare    tribe    trump 2016    united states    urges    usa    vegetarian    village    visions    war    war veteran    wealthy    weather    weird    weird fiction    wisdom    word of command    work    zazen    zen   

S. A. Barton's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by S. A. Barton

  • The Campsite on June 17, 2012

    Creepy, odd, fun. All the things I like in a good read. The middle seemed to sag a bit in some indefinable way... if I were writing this, I'd have been in a hurry to write that ending I like so much so maybe that explains it. I'd also have driven myself crazy trying to edit and re-edit that middle to work out that indefinable something, so it may be all for the best if I had simply gone ahead and published it... so goes my theory on what the author has done here. Having nitpicked quite a bit, I'm going to shut up and give this 5 stars.
  • The Star Creature on June 25, 2012

    Well and thoughtfully written and a joy to read. I see why it sold in '79, and it is still fresh today.
  • Green, a short story on Aug. 18, 2012

    It's hard to comment too deeply on the themes here without ruining the ending... I will say only that this story casts its net a little more broadly than I suspected it would when I began reading. An enjoyable read.
  • Mommy on Aug. 18, 2012

    Dark and powerful.
  • "Welcome to Hell. Would you like fries with that?" on Aug. 18, 2012

    I've knocked around a few different stations of the retail world, and I have had that day many times. "What, it's not over YET?" This story was simply that feeling distilled. Nice work.
  • Life's A Beach on Aug. 20, 2012

    A fun, light read with a pleasing twist. Quite enjoyable.
  • Siddhartha on Aug. 20, 2012

    Well, some say Zen is everything is Zen... Could use a little tweak on formatting, but nothing I couldn't look past. And that's only if it wasn't my reader being wonky, which is entirely possible. Good show.
  • Ramming Speed on Aug. 26, 2012

    Definitely a fun read, only slightly askew from the description. But then, descriptive blurbs are rarely right on the money, part of what they're there for is to be enticingly vague. A few minor typos survived editing. None are disastrous, chasing them down would improve basic readability a tad.
  • Scavenger on Oct. 04, 2012

    A fun little read with a smile at the end. Nice.