Standalones & Shorts

In between my novels, I write science fiction and fantasy short stories and novellas.


The Eighteen Revenges of Doctor Milan

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Cezar didn't come to the prison colony known as the Pike for rehabilitation. He came for revenge.

Ten years ago, Cezar witnessed mutiny and murder aboard a colony starship. He survived, and with the aid of the enigmatic Doctor Milan he's worked his way into the Pike to kill the man who led the rebellion: the warden himself. But before he can get his hands around the warden's neck, he has to deal with the prison gang known as the Song, a Buddhist preacher with a suspicious interest in Cezar's past, and the creature lurking in the mines at the heart of the Pike... a monster that devours men whole and that may, in a way, be instrumental to Cezar's plans...

The time has come for karma and blood.

THE EIGHTEEN REVENGES OF DOCTOR MILAN is a psychedelic science fiction novella, in the tradition of Michael Moorcock and Alfred Bester.


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First published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #62
2017 Aurealis Awards Finalist: Best Horror Novella

"Hush, child. Let me loosen that rope. Is that better? Can you feel your fingers? No more crying. You'll bring the naiads down from the brook. They take pretty boys like you into the dark. They'd push your face into the pebbles and keep your drowned body for a plaything. No, don't fear me. There're enough monsters on this island already."

On a distant archipelago, warped by the magic of a long-dead witch, is a boy with a spear and sharp, gleaming teeth. A boy who collects others like himself - lonely, destitute, desperate for approval. A goat-footed child who never ages.

Pan is charismatic. Pan knows all the best tricks. All his lost boys worship and obey. But when he snatches young Jimmy from his London home, he may have met his match.

Because Jimmy isn't fooled by Pan's sweet songs. Jimmy wants to go home.

And Jimmy knows how to fight.


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First published in Apollo's Daughters by Silence in the Library Publishing.

In the irradiated ruins of post-war Melbourne, children are going missing.

The war in China changed Lance Corporal Diana Yossole. It broke her. It rebuilt her. Now she patrols the shanty-towns along Melbourne's shoreline, keeping the peace with engineered, military precision.

But when Yossole gets tasked to assist the local bluecaps in an infant kidnapping investigation, she discovers that war has a way of following you home. There's a conspiracy at work, hidden just out of sight between the sunken streets and bombed-out favelas, one that people would kill to protect... and that Yossole would die to uncover.

Future Tides: The Collected Works of Christopher Ruz

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  • They Trade In Eyes

  • No Exit

  • Whispers

  • The Hard Sell

  • The Aliens Came Alphabetically

  • Never Old Enough To Know

  • The Ant Tower

  • Occupied

  • Back To Civilisation

  • The King

  • Front Page Caption

  • Eight Ways From Tomorrow

  • An Unknown Hunger

  • The Last Broadcast

  • What You Bring Back

  • Black Rain

  • Long Way Home

  • Hercule And The Doctor

Lonely AIs, Peruvian parasites, graffiti activists and far-future memory swapping meet in Future Tides, a collection of all Christopher Ruz's short works from 2007 to 2011. Cyberpunk and space opera sit side by side with award-winning tales of heroin addiction and swords-and-sorcery fantasy in this 18 story, 60,000 word compilation. Future Tides includes three previous collections - PAST THE BORDERS, THE KING & OTHER STORIES, and NOTHING TOO DANGEROUS - as well as an exclusive scifi short: FRONT PAGE CAPTION.

In THE ANT TOWER, Parkin, a soldier-turned-mercenary, has been hired by the King's Magician to accompany him on a long journey into the great western desert, in search of an ancient and powerful artifact. After years spent battling the heathens in the frozen north, Parkin is glad for an easy contract. But there's more to fear in the desert than thirst, and as Parkin's comrades fall one by one, he's forced to ask - what does the Magician really want from him? And what evil has taken root in the rock mound known as the Ant Tower?

In THE KING, Derek and his misanthropic friends are competing to find enlightenment through misery. But Derek isn't playing by the rules. He has a plan that'll make him the idol of his all friends, as well as get him back into Sylvia's pants. All he has to do is quit heroin while they all watch. Except, Derek has never used heroin. And so begins the greatest lie of his life... a lie that might be too big to back away from...

In THE LAST BROADCAST, the colony ship known as the Vale has been spiralling towards Epsilon Eridani for four millennia, and Barry - the semi-sentient AI set to guard its frozen human cargo - has had a long time to question nature of his mission. There are gaps in his code, too many mistakes left unfixed. Could Barry's programmers really have been so lax? Or does he have a greater purpose? He has another eighteen thousand years to find the answer. In the meantime, he's growing bored, and idle hands are the devil's playthings...

And in THEY TRADE IN EYES, Alicia is faced with a terrible decision. To get any sort of job in the future economy requires new eyes - cobalt plated units with laser-blue irises, that can interpret petabytes of data at a glance, that record every moment of your life. Can she bring herself to go under the knife, and trade in her old fleshsacks for new units? And can she evade the street-dealers who steal and resell eyes to fill the new market in memory-trading? Business is business. Someone has to make a killing.

They Trade in Eyes

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Alicia has a problem. If she wants a job that isn't waiting tables, if she wants to be a somebody instead of a nobody, she needs new eyes. Schoolgirls and businessmen alike are trading in their old fleshsacks for cobalt plated units with laser-blue irises. Eyes that can interpret petabytes of data at a glance. Eyes that record every moment of your life.

But when eye-swapping - and, in turn, memory-swapping - becomes the new street fad, a black market in second-hand eyes flowers overnight... a market that Alicia is drawn into all too quickly. And when there's nobody willing to trade in their eyes?

Business is business. Someone has to make a killing.

THEY TRADE IN EYES is a 2800 word dark cyberpunk short in the vein of William Gibson and Philip K Dick.