S. A. Barton


S.A. Barton knows third person bios look professional, but he doesn't care for them nonetheless.
I prefer to be more personal, partly because overcompartmentalization is a former flaw I remain mindful of. As a (recently diagnosed) autistic/ADHD human, I have many reasons to remain mindful and many rewards for doing so. I dislike the label disability but understand it does sometimes apply to me and my work–but enough about that.
I live in the Chicagoland exurbs near parentals and my sole sibling and her family, where the city is in reach but the deer are closer. Like many writers I often live in my own head; I prefer to be close to nature and select humans daily so I don't stay there.
My children live in Virginia with their mom and her husband. Buy more of my books, please: help finance some in-person visits because thrice-weekly videocalls are good but not the same as IRL hugs.
My writing is diverse and reflects all of the above as well as roughly four decades of personal seeking and many jobs beginning with my rural Wisconsin roadside worm stand, begun to finance an RPG habit in 1981 and shut down by the state when my success began luring customers from the local bait shop.
You'll find my more polished and mostly self-published fiction here; so far my nonfiction lives with my visual art and select fiction on Patreon.com/sabarton and Twitter.com/sabartonwrites :)

Where to find S. A. Barton online


That's All
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 35,000. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
A chance meeting with a star's daughter saves Chad Miklos from giving up on his dreams and launches him into TeleVicarious fame. When she unexpectedly dies, the emotional tracks the camera picks up from him are all off-script. With his reality show in danger of tanking on the cusp of wild success and Chad unwilling to mask his mourning, he'll be lucky to survive the fallout--and his castmates' ire
Carrying Salt to Heaven
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,260. Language: American English. Published: September 16, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Krig is one of the People, the last humans on Earth: a static society that waits for the end and no more thanks to the bots that tend to their needs and a society bound to tradition. When he boards one of the bot ships that carries the dead to Heaven, he discovers a strange new world and the history of the People. But the discovery has cost him his humanity, and the way forward is strange...
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,790. Language: American English. Published: April 10, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Estrella is the human who most haunts the dreams of artificial intelligence Deverek 2082 July Elgin Secure, a UN security agent who interviews redflagged biologicals traveling off-planet. This is the story of their one and only interaction, alone together in a vacuum-sterilized interview room, and *why* she lives as a ghost in Deverek's background processes. This short read is about 1700 words.
Jack, Off (An Unerotic Short Story)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,390. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Jack goes by Jay since he purchased his jack, Jack. He knew his jack, Jack would be the perfect romantic and domestic companion--the user manual promised. What he didn't know is that jacks are allowed to dump their owners in certain circumstances--and now the only way for Jay to get Jack back is to do the seemingly impossible!
Starts With A Flame
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,470. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Harv has a dream: become a firefighter. But he lives in a world where the firetrucks and extinguishers don't need humans to fight fires. Still, he's determined to find a way. The way he finds is fraught with danger: rage, anger, obsession, secret plans, stubborn pride, crime, and of course: the fire!
The Glass Key
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,620. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Daniel is apprenticed to a master tinker in the Kingdom of Chicagoland, a society built in the ruins of the old high-tech world. When he breaks a piece of precious ancient glass, Master Nieve commands him to journey to a landfill guarded by ancient war bots to secure more. From there, he will find that the ancient world isn't as dead as everyone believes, and he'll have to think fast to survive!
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,810. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Maladapt is a mini-collection of four short stories totalling just under 15,000 words. These are stories about the struggle to adapt to the coming future. About coming to terms with migrating to a robotic body, to telepresence, to universal surveillance and what it means to those of us who don't quite fit in. They're stories about FAILURE to adapt, and the victories to be won beyond failure.
Closer Than You Think
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,910. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2016 . 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!
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 from 1 review)
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!
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 from 1 review)
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!
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.
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.
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 from 2 reviews)
'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.

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.