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With the Liaden Universe® World Tour getting on the road again — this time to visit the Pittsburgh area where we’ll be Guests of Honor at Confluence — you might miss us on FaceBook or some of our other social media outlets. While we hope you can catch us at the convention, if you can’t you can still catch up on a couple of Splinter Universe Live reading from the spring.

First, at least timewise, there’s A Gift of Music, as read by Sharon Lee, a story in Sharon’s Carousel Tides universe which appeared originally as a featured story on

Then, there’s Steve’s story Charioteer, which was his first published story in Amazing, sold to Ted White in the mid 70s — it appeared in late 1977 in what was officially the May 1978 issue.

Another story read by Sharon was the joint Lee-Miller Liaden Universe® story The Beggar King, in which Clarence O’Berin arrives on Liad under rather uncertain conditions.

We’re still working on a lot of backlog of stories we’d like to read for you — Sharon’s just added what she considers one of her favorite chapters ever out of the Liaden Universe® to the Patreon site (Chapter 3 of Mouse and Dragon) and it and the fun Liaden story “A Day At The Races” will be available from links here in the fall.

As always, if you want to show support for a particular story you can drop us a note or use the Paypal donate button on the left side of the page. We thank you for all your help!

Listen to Steve read Lee and Miller’s locked-room murder mystery, “A Night at the Opera.”  Here’s your link.

Once more, Monday morning here at the Confusion Factory will be. . .rather chaotic.

And, once more, you benefit by getting the chapter early!

Here’s your link to Chapter Four.

Below is the cover art for A Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume Three, coming from Baen in August 2015:

Cover A Liaden Universe(R) Constellation Volume 3 --Art by Steve Hickman

Cover A Liaden Universe(R) Constellation Volume 3
–Art by Steve Hickman

For those who are curious, here’s the table of contents

Authors’ Foreword
Code of Honor
Guaranteed Delivery
Intelligent Design
Out of True
Roving Gambler
King of the Cats
Kin Ties
The Rifle’s First Wife
The Space at Tinsori Light
Landed Alien
Moon’s Honor
Quick Working Glossary

. . .you’ll note that most of the above titles come from stories that have previously appeared on Splinter Universe, so if you’re wondering why a favorite story “vanished,” this collection is where it vanished to.

Over the years we — that’s Sharon Lee and Steve Miller — have done a pretty fair amount of traveling for our fiction. We’ve been Guests of Honor at conventions around the country, we’ve been to riverside hotels and motels in Canada and a pondside geese-infested hotel in Kansas City. We’ve crossed international borders in a Blazer loaded down with books and in a Subaru carrying a small box with all of our awards, ending up in Montreal, Fredericton, Toronto before returning home to Maine. We’ve traveled AMTRAK to dusty Salt Lake City, to beautiful downtown San Jose, to busy Atlanta, to Reno and to Minneapolis and Baltimore and Chicago and … well, you get the idea.

Around all the traveling,  in and among it, before it, between it and during it, we’ve been writing. Those of you who come here to Splinter Universe have likely seen more of that writing than others. Some few of you recall our early short stories in Amazing, Dragon Magazine, and Fantasy Book. Some were with us already, with Kinzel under their reading belt when Agent of Change came out, and others didn’t meet us until Plan B. Then there were some of you who came to us when we started the adventure of Fledgling and later Saltation, live on the web.

What’s true is that we now have readers who are searching out the rare stuff, and others waiting for the next novel, which is in progress. Yet that’s a wait and one thing we hear over and over again is that our fans are waiting for more from Lee & Miller — sometimes the day after the latest book is just out.

So we’ve been thinking about the heady days of Fledgling, when something new was always just around the corner for our fans, and we’ve decided to expand the mission of Splinter Universe to include at least a new story a month. Not just the bits and pieces we’ve set aside as we were writing others things and displaying here hit or miss as we have been (so yeah, we WILL SO be putting up the other alternate Klamath start RSN!) but at least one new Lee & Miller story here, each month.

Not all of the new monthly stories will be Liaden stories, not all of them will be science fiction — but they will be new from Lee & Miller.  While we like writing our novels, we discover over time that writing short fiction helps keep the novels fresh as well, and so rather than working on two novels simultaneously, for the near future we’re going to be collaborating more closely on one at a time. The short fiction idea backlog has grown tremendously over the years and now is a good time to take to odd day off and flesh out or finish these starts.

In addition to our own work here we expect to continue with our previous experiment of having the occasional guest story, so you’ll have an additional reason to come by frequently.

How can you help? First, by reading and enjoying the fiction we post here. If you really like something you can even tell your friends or nominate it for an award. Second — you can donate directly on a story page if you like it (thus giving us useful and particular feedback) or you can use the sidebar donation button to support Splinter Universe as a whole. For now donations for guest stories will go entirely to the author of those stories by their chosen paylink, so you’ll donate at the end of their stories.

Speaking of travel, I should mention that we’ll use upcoming Splinter Universe donations to help pay for our trips to our next several conventions. In our sights right now are Boskone, which we travel to most every February, and DetCon in July, and on the distant horizon, a cross country train trip to SasQuan, in Spokane, come August of next year.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for all the support.

Sharon and Steve





“Emancipated Child” and “How Nathan Archer Came to be a Prince of the Land of the Flowers,” have been compiled into the eChapbook Surfside, now for sale at — here’s the link — and in the Kindle store at Amazon — here’s that link.

Please visit the complete eChapbook catalog at Pinbeam Books for all the Lee and Miller, Lee, Miller, and Liaden chapbooks now in existence!

Over the next few days-or-weeks, I will be aging stories off the site, compiling them into eChapbooks, and uploading them to Amazon, BN, and possibly Smashwords, depending on how much of a pain in the neck Smashwords is being this week.


Steve and I had intended to write a new story for the Liaden Universe® Silver Anniversary, but. . .

The world has been just a little too much with us.  Deadlines, real-life matters, including the fact that we — or at least I — have been under quite a bit of heavy weather.

So, anyway, the brand-new story went on hold — after all, this is the twenty-fifth year of the Liaden Universe®; plenty of time to write a new story when the schedule becomes, shall we say, a little less action-packed and filled with excitement?

Still. . .we felt that the occasion of February — the month in which It All Began, back in 1988, with Agent of Change, and the month that It All Continues, with the publication of Necessity’s Child — we felt that the occasion should be marked in some way.

Which is why we’re offering a splinter; the first 12,000-ish words of the Lute and Moonhawk novel we put aside in 1996, meaning to get back to it, someday.

We hope you enjoy it.

Here’s the link.

Steve put up the third Klamath piece yesterday.  This one introduces new characters, new setting and new POV.

Here’s the link


Teaser:  The black pennant snapped jauntily as Miri quick-marched the unit from the shuttle. The pennon was all they were allowed until the local flags came to head them up: they were to expect them in a few hours. In the meantime the large buff crescent with it’s two smaller followers smiled over them as Miri counted 100 paces in a straight line, called a right-ho,marched them 200 more and then called a stand-to with a salute to the shuttle.


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