Peter Schnake


Peter Schnake lives and writes in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although stories had a bad habit of interrupting his life and possessing his pen, he didn’t write in earnest until a bout of seizures in his early twenties caused him to reexamine his priorities. Now he devotes as much time as he is able to his writing and hopes soon to make it a full-time occupation.

He believes that stories should surprise and move. Language should be precise and clean and images should evoke and provoke. He believes that happy endings are not always the best endings, and that sometimes a great story dissatisfies.

His writing spans genres, from the dark and brooding Southern Gothic style of “American Alligator,” to the suspense-filled and intimate thriller, “Thus Arrived the Lights.”

When not writing (or drinking coffee) Mr. Schnake enjoys stargazing and watching the Food Network.

Smashwords Interview

What does the future look like without bees?
Pretty dismal. Bees are responsible for pollinating all crops except for the cereal grains like wheat, oats, rye, rice, etc. So, in the world of "A Land Overflowing," the cereal grains become one of the main food sources. But I posit that some business savvy minds will harness hand-pollination or other alternative pollination techniques to continue on most crops. But they'll be extremely expensive. Of course, in the world of "A Land Overflowing," there is some political upset and some folks want to limit access to food to those who have "inferior" genes or who have committed a crime, etc. It all creates a really tense environment.
What are you working on next?
The parameters for the world of "A Land Overflowing," (no bees, no helium, etc.) has really inspired me. You'll see more from this world. Maybe it won't all be about Gideon, but it will hang on similar ideas.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Peter Schnake online


Helium Quest
This collection of short stories features a mosaic of stand-alone tales from the not too distant future: a future in which the bees have gone extinct, helium has been over-harvested, in short, Earth is dying. The resiliency of humanity is tested, faith is questioned, courage and hope scraped together in desperation. And life goes on.


Price: Free!

The Snake-Bearer

Price: $0.99 USD.

Titus Ad Larem

Price: $0.99 USD.


Titus Ad Larem
Series: Helium Quest. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 31,710. Language: American English. Published: February 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
Titus’ life as a stay-at-home dad is disrupted when his husband, Lucas, loses his job. He re-enters the workforce as a stockboy at Glenn’s Value Plus, where an encounter with a woman stealing tunafood and a coworker vowing to get him fired cause him to wish he lived on Mars. The X-Tellus company wants to give him that wish. But what would it take to leave his life—and his family—behind?
The Snake-Bearer
Series: Helium Quest. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,990. Language: American English. Published: August 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Literature » Literary
The Gathering begins like all others. The Healer claims unnatural powers and uses poor Latin. But the snake-bearer is new to brothers Mark and Orin. As the snake-bearer’s role becomes clear, Mark is scandalized. The prices the Healer demands are too high. And the outcomes, questionable. “He’s just another fraud,” Mark says. So then, why does Mark feel the Healer rummaging around in his head?
Series: Helium Quest. Price: Free! Words: 7,800. Language: American English. Published: March 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
In this final transcript from the "Helianthus," First Lieutenant Hyland Rivera confronts his own desire to take the vessel on a collision course with the sun, because as he says, “God told him to.” Once Captain Zephaniah Cass gets wind of Hy's plans, the battle for the fate of the "Helianthus" begins. Torn between love and fears, the men grapple for the meaning in their lives.
A Land Overflowing
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 131,650. Language: American English. Published: December 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Ten years after the bees are gone… Gideon Groebel suddenly finds himself in possession of the only known hive in the country—and hunted for it—and the prime suspect in the pipeline bombing. For protection, he strikes a deal to gather evidence on the real terrorist. But when his efforts are sidelined by a forbidden romance and an old man trying to save his soul, things get stickier.
Bishop's Fruit, Or The Last Temptation of Santa
Price: Free! Words: 3,020. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Christian » Classical & allegory
Braving a cold night in Myra to give his gifts in secret, Our Bishop encounters a child who seems intent on stopping him. But is that the child's true intent, or is he offering a chance to give more than mere fruit?
Price: Free! Words: 3,390. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Inspirational
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
In this short story, Christie, a relapsed alcoholic, faces her first Christmas apart from her children. As she window-shops for gifts her ex-husband won’t allow her to give, she finds a family huddled around a fire in the alley behind the store. If she wants to offer help, she must face her own fractured heart.
Thus Arrived The Lights
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,730. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Decades after Nancy Myers is threatened to keep quiet about travels she can't remember, strange lights interrupt David Aguilera's red-eye flight. When he starts talking about he saw, he is quickly hushed by some very powerful people, including Nancy's sister, the Queen of Media. And then the men who limp arrive...
American Alligator
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 47,110. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Coming of age
This raw, coming-of-age story captures musical savant, Josiah Greene, driven to self-injury for quietude. Finally free of an abusive past, but ignored by the woman of his dreams, Maya, cashier at the local Mercado, Josiah faces an onslaught of predators, including the Jesus grafittied on the side of his apartment building.

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