Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory Hoke

Fractured Friday: Michael M. Jones

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera.

B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂

Interview With Michael M. Jones

What Letter Were You Assigned: O

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

The Theatre of Dreams stands alone, small and unimposing against its surroundings. It’s located on the outskirts of the Gaslight District, Puxhill’s oldest and strangest community, set back a little ways from the road itself. Save for a small sign, you’d never know what the building truly was. There is no ticket booth; you cannot call ahead or pre-order here. There are no prices listed; entrance is paid with innocence and secrets, whispers and hopes. There are no hours posted; either you know when performances are, or you do not. The Theatre is not listed in any newspapers, trade magazines, or travel guides. It does not advertise. It doesn’t need to.

It’s Friday night, and the marquee reads, “Juliet Sinclair, appearing irregularly.”

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? Sadly, the statute of limitations hasn’t run out yet, and all involved are still alive. But it was so SHINY.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? I don’t want to embarrass, shock, or scandalize anyone. But what happens in Vegas stays on the security cameras forever. Or so I’m told.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? Do the laws of time and space count? Because if it’s the laws of man, I really don’t want to incriminate myself.

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? Oh, definitely.

Never ever? Well, I’ve learned never to say never. There are circumstances, sometimes.

Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it? Are we talking bribes here? What’s your offer? Is it cash? Food? Dancing girls? Booze? I may be easy but I’m not cheap.

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? I cheated: I already had the perfect story on hand, about a young woman who was broken somewhere deep in her heart and spirit, and who yearned for a life in which she was whole. And as fortune would have it, it was easy to give it an appropriate title. “Theatre of Dreams” became “O is for Oneiroi” thanks to a hazy memory of obscure Greek mythology.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? There used to be a sequence where the main character—Juliet—went forth into the mundane part of the city, where she encountered another character I particularly like. That bit was cut long ago for pacing, but I still liked it.

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? Appropriately, this one came to me in a dream, in that space between asleep and awake, when everything is hazy. The hard part was figuring out what, exactly, it was all about. This story is important to me because the Theatre of Dreams, and its owner Polly, are touchstones and waypoints in the Gaslight District, which recurs quite often in my Puxhill stories. They formed the seeds of something larger, and it’s exciting that at long last they’ll see the light of day. But unlike dreams, they won’t fade.



Michael M. Jones is a writer, book reviewer, and editor. He lives in Southwest Virginia, with too many books, just enough cats, and a wife who translates geek into mundane. His short stories have appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 3, A Chimerical World, and at Inscription Magazine. He is the editor of Scheherazade’s Facade and the forthcoming Schoolbooks & Sorcery. Visit him at

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B is for Broken is available now at:
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

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