Christopher J. Burke

Author, Webcomic creator, Math Teacher



Older News

12/14/2023: Another Anthology

I received an email that I will be in another anthology, hopefully to be published mid-2024. Since no contracts have been signed, I don't wish to say much about it because I don't want to 'jinx" anything. But I will say that it was a flash fiction story of about 1,000 words, which will appear with other stories of similar length although I don't know how many.


12/06/2023: RIP Stephen P. Burke

My brother Stephen passed away this week. It was unexpected. He was being treated for a different medical issue. Then he went into cardiac arrest. He never woke up again. He was 72.

How do you remember a life is a few paragraphs? Stephen was my second-oldest brother in a large Irish family. My earliest memories of him are when he went away to Iona College but would be home on the weekends. I had his bed during the week. Stephen loved his comic books. He bought many and passed them down to his brothers. He liked to write, draw and act. It makes me wonder where I got all that from. He starred in a number of productions at Iona College, including The Man Who Came to Dinner, where he seemed to have drawn a lot of inspiration from my father.

If Stephen's writing was published in college, that's all lost to me. The only stories of his that I know of were the ones I published myself in Driving Tigers Magazine. In fact, his second story was so big that I had to make a fifth issue of the magazine just to include it in two parts. DTM was going to cease publication after one year because I didn't get enough subscritions for a second year.

My other memories, of course, are chess. Stephen tried to teach me before I was even in kindergarten (or so it seems) but I obviously couldn't master the game at his level. I couldn't even tell you what his level actually was, or how far ahead he could see my moves. In recent months, he told me that he has collectible chess pieces in his apartment, and he wanted to be sure that nothing happened to them.

Stephen will be missed. And assuming that I get my second book published, my third book, whatever it is, will be dedicated to him.

Good-night, Steve. I'll see you again.


11/18/2023: A quick note to say that I've sold another story. The contract is signed. More details in a couple months as it gets closer to publication, but I should be in the next issue of Sci-Fi Lampoon.

In NaNoWriMO News: I have not kept up my 1,000 words per day pace that I started at, but I did edit the aforementioned story, I completed a mini-book that is going to be self-published Real Soon Now and and I've increased my output in my subreddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/xwhy/, with a dozen entries this month, so far, which is more than I produced in the first ten months of the year.

As for my mystery "self-publishing" project, I'm waiting on two things. First, I need a cover, and I have someone working on that. However, I might use an AI cover if that falls through. Second, I want to be a little farther along with the second mini-book before I launch the first. In a perfect world, there would be no more than a month between them. We shall see.


11/01/2023: Halloween has come and gone, and November is now here. That means it's time for NaNoWriMo which for me has usually been more of a NaNoSloMo.

I've never participated in this event before because, to be honest, I've never had an idea going in that was novel-length. And being more plotter than "pantser", I couldn't just start writing anything and hoping something would emerge.

So what's different this year? Well, I have a few irons in the fire. I'm just going to go for a word count and sort out the results later. But among the projects I want to work on are a bunch of started writing prompts from reddit that are more opening scene than complete story which could be turned into novellas or serials, depending on their structure. Also, I have the desire to turn some of these into short stories that will be self-published in Kindle Unlimited Real Soon Now. Finally, I've had the opening narration for a paranormal cozy mystery satire that I wouldn't mind putting some words into.

So those are my November plans. If I can get about 30,000 words out of it, that would be great.


09/01/2023: "A Sliver of Pi" is live at MetaStellar Reprints!

The story originally appeared in In A Flash 2020.

More stories are making the rounds, and I hope to have more good news soon.


08/24/2023: A Sliver of Pi to appear in September in MetaStellar

MetaStellar Magazine publishes new stories and reprints, and on September 1, 2023, they will be reprinting "A Sliver of Pi", a short (314-word) tale from In A Flash 2020

Be sure to check it out. I'll post the URL here when it goes live!


08/22/2023: In April, I mentioned the idea of self-publishing, and even listed a possible photo to use with Kindle Vella. I've held off a bit with it for a couple of reasons. At the time, I thought I could take a story I've already written, cut it in half, and expand it with 2 or 3 more installments. This was before I realized that some serials on Vella run several hundred episodes, with no end in sight. Granted, most of those are broken into "arcs" or "seasons", but it seemed like me "The Green Mile" approach of a story in 4 or 5 parts is not what readers are looking for. I wouldn't want to disappoint any potential fans by ending the story "so soon" when the story has been told. (Further exploits of the main characters could be possible, of course, but I'm not a "pantser" when it comes to writing.) Another reason is that I haven't totally given up on publishing that particular story as is. There's still a market or two to try. I could always come back to it.

The biggest reason is a shift to publishing 99 cent books of short stories with approximately 6,000 words and possibly a bonus story from either In A Flash 2020 or from the new collection that I hope goes to press in 2024. (Yeah for Sneak Peeks!) When could this happen? As soon as I have enough material for at least two books, with work picked out for books three and four. At that point, I will spend money to have someone make some covers for me, which will likely cost more than the books will earn. But you have to make it look good to get the readers' attention in the first place.

Exciting times ahead! I hope.


06/08/2023: New (x, why?) comic in Madrid.

I have a comic in Boletín Nº 93 of Instituto de Matemática Interdisciplinar (IMI) of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The bulletin is in Spanish, but the comic is in English, as it appeared on my blog.


04/19/2023: My HeliosphereNY 2023 schedule has been posted.

HeliosphereNY 2023 will take place Friday-Sunday April 28-30, in Piscataway, NJ. Yes, HeliosphereNY is in NJ.

I hope to see you there. Come by and say "hi!"


04/06/2023: I'm inching forward to self-publishing a story or a serial, either on Kindle or Kindle Vela. These would be stories that have made the rounds and while I've gotten some positive feedback, they haven't sealed any deals. So I'm considering pursuing Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Vella.

With that in mind, I started playing with some public domain images that I could tack onto my work. It's still rough, but I might develop one of the two images into a cover for the serial.

What do you think? You can email me, or find me on Twitter.


02/03/2023: Not exactly writing related, but I ended up in an article in the online magazine Bored Panda. A week or two back, I posted on reddit in r/movies about what was the pickiest thing that ever killed your suspension of disbelief. Was it something dumb like the subway lines being wrong? The author, Jonas Grinevicius, got in contact with me yesterday through Reddit's message system and asked some questions. I saw the email about 6 hours later and quickly responded. I'm happy to say that they updated the article with my responses, even editing out some of Jonas's original work. (I didn't tell him, but I saw the article as it originally posted before they added my comments.)

Jonas was happy to plug my books, and he even mentioned my webcomic, even though I did not!. I suck at self-promoting. I didn't want to push it past a shameless plug for my book. Hopefully, this will turn into a couple of sales.

And if you found this page through my blog from that article, WELCOME! Come back often. Drop a note on the blog and say HI!


2/01/2023: A new year is upon us, and a month has already flown by. Lots of stories are "out there", but one just came back. My Daily Science Fiction story "Portrait of a Lady Vampire" made it to the final round, as a reprint, to be made into a podcast, but it didn't make the final cut. Oh, well. That would've been cool. I can always record it myself, but having it produced for a podcast would have been nice. And it would've started 2023 off with a bang!


10/08/2022: Another one of my (x, why?) webcomics appeared in Madrid.

Nº 61 of Boletín del IMI has a comic which was reprinted from my blog: https://www.ucm.es/imi/boletin00061.

I'll say it again: It's always a thrill to see my comics making their way out into the world. (I wish more of my stories would follow!).


8/30/2022: A box of paperback copies of In A Flash 2020 is in the mail and should be arriving in a couple of days. I'll be ready to sell some directly and throw in some limited edition (x, why?) bookmarks.


8/21/2022: I mentioned last year that I had two stories (both 42 words long) accepted into an anthology of "42 Stories". I can now say that my published word count will go up by 84 words in 2024, although 42 of those will be under a psuedonym.

Below is an image I was sent to acknowledge my inclusion in the Fantasy chapter.


7/20/2022: I have been a little lax with updates of late. There isn't much to report on the Author front, but on the (x, why?) side of things, two more of my webcomics appeared in Madrid.

Nº 50 of Boletín del IMI has an original comic, which was later reprinted on my blog: https://ucm.es/imi/boletin00050. And Nº 54 of Boletín del IMI has a reprint which appeared on my blog first: https://ucm.es/imi/boletin00054.

It's always a thrill to see my comics making their way out into the world. (I wish more of my stories would follow!). Now I just need to devote more time to making some more of them.


4/28/2022: First Portugal, then Sweden, and now Spain! I appear in the latest edition of Boletin. That is, Nº 46 del Boletín del IMI, Instituto de Matemática Interdisciplinar (IMI), Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

There's an (x, why?) comic and an introduction for little old me. Check it out: https://ucm.es/imi/boletin00046.


4/26/2022: I signed a Permission Form granting the American Mathematical Society the right to use some of my math puzzles in their Mathematics 2023: Your Daily Epsilon of Math; 12-Month Calendar - January 2023 through December 2023". I've followed the daily postings on twitter for two years now, and I've given the "official" response several times. I've even used those responses as (x, why?) comics on my own blog.

I'm glad my work could be a part of this.


4/03/2022: I appeared last week at HeliosphereNY in Piscataway, NJ. Sorry about the lack of notice. I only feel comfortable updating this page from my home computer, and in the days before the convention, I was busy when I was home.

I did my first and second live and in person readings ever. (I didn't one via Zoom at last year's convention.) They went well. I got several laughs at the smaller, more intimate setting that I share with two more seasoned authors (who bought in the people). And I closed out the eSpec Books Launch Party readings. The audience loved the portion of "Bringer of Doom" that I read, and at least one person immediately bought the book to read the ending. (And I personalized the book, which I'd signed in advance.)

I also sold a copy of In A Flash 2020 -- to an editor! -- based on the two words, "Kindergarten Noir". I hoped she enjoyed it. I personalized her book as well with something that said that I knew something about her.

All in all, a fun convention. And now I'm hoping that I can do more of them. Or at least more readings.


2/01/2022: There is a new video posted of me reading The It Girl from In A Flash 2020 on YouTube. Check it out. Comments welcome.