Shane Halbach

Shane Halbach writes whatever he feels like: humorous science fiction, fantasy, magical realism when it strikes his fancy, even a touch of horror

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Shane Halbach lives in Chicago, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. His fiction has appeared in Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction, among others. He blogs at, or can be found on Twitter @shanehalbach.

Stories · Posts · Books


Mar 4, 2019 · 5,431 words (20 minutes) · 1 like · 38 views

Mystery Science Fiction spy invisibility

When a criminal suspect is murdered by an invisible assassin, who better to get to the bottom of it than an invisible secret agent?

empty car on road
Grant My Powder Be Dry and My Aim Be True

Feb 19, 2019 · 6,150 words (23 minutes) · 61 views


A man awakens naked in a forest with no memory and no clues to his identity. he displays mysterious powers during a fight with bandits, and the swordswoman Lyse agrees to help him discover who, or what, he is. The answers may be more than they bargained for, when strange warriors capture them for unknown purposes. In time, the two learn that gods sometimes control the world less than they like, and the world is a changing place. Some gods prefer things the way they were.

person holding brown hunting rifle
Downsizing Pluto

Feb 4, 2019 · 683 words (3 minutes) · 81 views

Fantasy Humor

I wondered, “What will happen to the Roman god Pluto, now that his planet isn’t a planet anymore?” Call me old fashioned, but I believe that all physical phenomenon in our world can be explained by the antics of powerful, supernatural beings. Obviously the god wasn’t hurt by the downgrade of the planet; the god was downgraded and the planet followed suit. That's more believable than a couple of scientists got together and decided that something we all agreed was a planet wasn’t a planet anymore.

Lullabies for a Clockwork Child

Jan 23, 2019 · 952 words (4 minutes) · 2 likes · 43 views


This story is about how love can make you blind, how you always want the best for your children, and why you should never, never wind that mainspring.

Random Play All and the League of Awesome

Jan 17, 2019 · 4,908 words (18 minutes) · 42 views

Fantasy Humor

I have always been a huge fan of superheros, but I never liked the idea of guys like Superman or Thor. I don’t want an unstoppable goody-two shoes. Show me a guy who doesn’t have it so easy. Show me a guy with just a *little* bit of power, and the wit and courage to use that little bit at just the right moment to make a *huge* difference.

white Samsung Android smartphone turned beside white earbuds on brown board
Human in the Loop

Jan 10, 2019 · 1,627 words (6 minutes) · 52 views

Science Fiction

If an automated vehicle had a crash, say, and someone dies, who is responsible? The “driver” who was behind the wheel at the time? The manufacturer who perhaps installed faulty software? The regulatory agency who allowed these vehicles on the road? The software developer who wrote the algorithm? What about in the case of emergent behavior; actions that were not explicitly programmed by anybody but instead emerged organically from an artificial neural network?

white DJI phantom-series quadcopter flying during daytime
An Engineered Product

Jan 7, 2019 · 868 words (4 minutes) · 1 like · 85 views

Humor Science Fiction

Sometimes the future is actually the past

herd of dairy cattles on field
My Heart is a Quadratic Equation

Jan 4, 2019 · 1,568 words (6 minutes) · 1 like · 67 views

Humor Science Fiction

Even mad scientists need love.

What else can you expect after a marathon of Electric Dream, Altered Carbon, Blade Runner and THX.
Models name is Mia you can find her on IG @awmammamia .
Exit Strategy

Jan 3, 2019 · 4,382 words (16 minutes) · 50 views


“Exit Strategy” is Ocean’s Eleven meets High Fantasy. What happens when a dwarf, a mage, and a thief conspire to steal a dragon’s horde? The same things that always happen during a heist: complications, quick improvisation, and double crosses. Oh, and did I mention the dragon?

person holding gold-colored ching coins
Her Path Lay Forward

Sep 22, 2017 · 1,287 words (5 minutes) · 1 like · 289 views


My children were looking at the scorecard of the excellent game Dixit, and they were debating about the character facing down the dragon in the picture. I overheard their discussion: “I think it’s an old woman,” said my daughter. “No,” said my son, “it must be a boy. An old woman can’t fight a dragon.” Not only CAN an old woman fight a dragon, but she may be the PERFECT person to fight a dragon!