Kismet Reading Room
Kismet Short Fiction: Main Sequence (canon)

See also the comics and graphic novels.

Last modified March 12, 2012.

I think of the Kismet stories roughly in terms of a Hertzsprung-Russell stellar spectrum diagram. The (mostly*) canonical stories cluster like main sequence stars, with the rest of the stories (the Apocrypha) drifting farther and farther from the main sequence, out into white dwarf and supergiant territory (in keeping with the star metaphor). Canonical stories are listed in chronological order; dates are Galactic Standard.

*Stories are not fully canonical 'til they're in comic form; only the comics are 100% canon, so details may differ slightly in the short story versions. The short stories are a sort of test ground for trying out ideas and exploring around the edges of the comics.

Stories may contain sex, violence, adult situations and profanity.

239 - Battening Down [1900 wds; Reber March] A glimpse of Linton and his siblings when they were children. (written 2007, revised 2011) (old version)

246 - Souvenirs [926 wds; Jackie] Children play with shiny things. (written 2006)

250 - Aubergine [1100 wds; David Aubergine] In which David is creepy (but when is he not?). (written 2001)

250 - The Seaweed Pool [1700 wds; Guido, Seymour] Frank's bodyguards meet a mermaid. (written 2007)

272 - It Must Have Been Your Eyes [5500 wds; Fleetwood, Frank, Meg] Epic romance fail. Warning for non-consensual sex portrayed for laughs. (Yes, really. I probably wouldn't have written it this way now, but ... it is what it is.) (written 1999)

273-ish - Henchmen [7400 wds; Guido, Seymour, Frank, Fleetwood] Automation puts Frank's bodyguards out of work. (written 2002)

275 - Father's Day [4800 wds; Fleetwood, Frank, Morphine] We all try to do better than our parents. Sometimes we succeed. (written 2002)

275 - Tradition [2200 wds; Gil, Zack, Ru] While Kismet celebrates Founder's Day, its national holiday, some people keep their own sorts of much darker traditions. (written 2002)

276 & earlier - Five Ways Fleetwood Didn't Kiss a Co-Worker [2700 wds; Fleetwood + various Customs employees] Like the title says. (written 2006)

early 276 - Candles in the Shadow Market [8900 wds; Morphine, Melpomone, Loki] They dwell in the shadows of their technological society. (written 2001)

276 - untitled Signy vignette [550 wds; Signy] A short follow-up to Hunter's Moon; contains major spoilers. (written 2007)

Kismet Apocrypha part 1 (never were canon, never could be)

In keeping with the stellar main sequence metaphor above, these are far off the main line of Kismet stories -- they're flights of fancy that never happened and never could, except in some alternate Kismet universe where the rules are different.

A Kismet Carol [6500 wds; Frank, Leslie, bodyguards, Ghosts of Kismet Past &etc] This story is exactly what it sounds like. (written 1999; revised heavily in 2006 to swap Leslie for a character who no longer exists)

Wizard of Aaargh! [6300 wds; Frank, Guido, cameos by nearly everyone] Parody of a certain famous tale. (written 2002)

Masque [6300 wds; Sagan, Keane, cameos by others] Sagan, vampire hunter? Uh, yeah, I don't know either. Incidentally, Keane (a character who thus far appears in only one page of Hunter's Moon) was originally male, and is now female; that's clearly not the only thing about this story that isn't compatible with canon, but it's an interesting little canon inconsistency nonetheless. (written 2001)

Round Robin [5900 wds; Fleetwood, Elaine, Frank, Sagan] Most of what makes this story non-canonical is the simple fact that these characters would never actually do this. (written 1999, revised 2003 to swap Sagan for a character who no longer exists)

Spin the Bottle [2100 wds; almost everyone] Once again, totally non-canon because these characters would not actually do this. Basically this was me sitting down with dice and making them kiss each other in random combinations. (written somewhere between 2001 and 2003)

Beyond Heaven and Hell [16,000 wds; Sarah, Zack] The afterlife of characters who are canonically dead. Originally I was going to do a series of these, gradually adding in characters as they died in canon. I still like the idea of doing something similar in comic form. (written 2003-ish)

Kismet Apocrypha part 2 (once were canon, now aren't)

This batch of stories, on the other hand, were once part of the main sequence, but have been invalidated (or jossed, to borrow a fanfic term) by later changes to the timeline and/or characters. For example, "Even Love is Sold" is an early and very different version of the comic of the same name. Unlike the above batch of stories, which never could fit with canon (at least not easily), most of these could probably be rewritten to make them canonical again. I just ... don't really want to. At least not until I quit changing things. Since these were supposed to be canonical, most of them have specific dates.

Right now, all of the Dusty and Elaine stories are in this section, because their history changed once I started writing Sun-Cutter -- the main change is that I shifted it upwards by several years, so that events that originally took place in the other characters' past are now happening in the present. Also, Elaine's ship is quite different now, and Dusty's existence as a character (not to mention at which point he enters Elaine's life) is completely up in the air at the moment. Therefore these stories are now non-canonical because, among other reasons, they couldn't possibly have happened when they originally happened, even if the basic events do eventually occur.

228 - Even Love is Sold [9100 wds; Leslie, child Fleetwood] The original version of how Leslie acquired little Shelley. Imre is the character now known as Jamie Freelove. (written 1999) This story is quite a bit different now.

270 or 271 - The First [9400 wds; Elaine, Dusty] The first time Dusty and Elaine make love. Adult content, though it also exists in a PG13 version. (written 2000)

271 - Contract Negotiation Blues [12,500 wds; Elaine, Dusty, Fleetwood, others] Dusty and Elaine's wedding is about as bizarre as one would assume. (written 2002)

Dec. 25, 272 - Larceny and the Art of Gift Selection [13,000 wds; Fleetwood, Elaine, Frank, others] Elaine is gift shopping. So is Fleetwood. Be afraid. (written 2002)

Dec. 25, probably 273 or 274 - Glitter on the Tree [3400 wds; Elaine, Dusty] Christmas on Elaine's ship. (written 2002)

approx. 276 - Closer to Home [12,700 wds; Jackie] Jackie goes home, and learns something she didn't want to know about a friend. (written 2003)

Historical Curiosities

Stories that are mainly interesting at this point only because of what they turned into.

Hunter's Moon - the novella, version 2 [60,000 wds] Hunter's Moon was written from scratch three times. The first time was in 1995, and this exists only in longhand; I'd like to put it online sometime, because it's really different (and yet, in some ways, surprisingly the same), but I'd have to type it in. This is the second version, which I wrote in 1999 or so. The third and final version is the comic, which was begun in 2002. The plot is very close -- the differences at this point were mainly issues of characters' names, details of their past, and some of the smaller plot digressions. Still, if you have a lot of time on your hands, it might be fun to compare. One random note of interest is that the first page of the original longhand version includes a series of possible titles; apparently it was nearly called "Song of the Hunted" instead. (written 1999, revised several times prior to 2002)