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  • Charlie Dickinson
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Charlie Dickinson has published sixteen short stories online at Amarillo Bay, Blue Moon Review, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. His essays and book reviews appear at several websites, including hackwriters, Portland Tribune, and slashdot. His published two novels include The Wire Donkey (2010) and The Thieves of Shiny Things (2013), both by Cetus Editions.

Mr. Dickinson's educational background includes a B.A. in English from Cal State Northridge and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.  He now lives in Portland, Oregon and posts a blog at cosmicplodding.net.

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The Thieves of Shiny Things: a Stone Age mystery

By: Charlie Dickinson

In prehistoric California, among rolling foothills of the Sierras, young Jupa discovers his father dead by an old oak tree. An elder, Keleli, concludes it was murder. How will the murderer be caught? How does loss change Jupa, coming into his own as a man? The Thieves of Shiny Things weaves murder, coming-of-age, and social bonds into a Stone Age mystery that evokes the Native America that once was.

Jupa rubbed his left temple. These ravens? He glanced down to where he might climb off the path. Then his gaze ascended a dirt bank thick with the sere yellow of wild rye fallen upon itself. Above, a bone-gray sky drifted closer in late afternoon and already shrouded verdant conifers higher up the mountain. The ravens flapped dusky circles about an oak tree, raucously. Alone atop the bank, the black oak stood in silhouette. He stared at its tracery of leafless branch...

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The Cat at Light's End (stories)

By: Charlie Dickinson

THE CAT AT LIGHT'S END is made up of fourteen stories set against the backdrop of Irvington, an inner-city neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, usually noted for its fine old homes ("like living in the 1920s") and political activism. The stories reveal moments from the lives of diverse protagonists, ranging in age from fourteen weeks to 102 years. Characters sometimes appear in more than one story.

"On their hands, The Human Flies have special polymer suction devices. Tremendous holding power," the radio announcer said. "That's how they can risk their lives. And their tennis shoes, custom-manufactured, have got dozens of small suction cups." Laura squinted. Why would anybody do this? The precise diamond pattern Las Moscas kept on the pink glass must have inviolably attached them to the sheer side of the glass monolith. Laura had to believe that. But her back thri...

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The Wire Donkey

By: Charlie Dickinson

Charlie Dickinson's inspiration for The Wire Donkey came while waiting in a checkout line at a Nature's Northwest grocery store in Portland. Ahead of him was a young man, who proudly wore an AmeriCorps T-shirt, emblematic of youthful idealism and a search for social justice. He took extra time putting his purchases in a backpack because, as he told the checkout woman, he was on bike. That vignette became the basis of a short story, “Talking Cabbage Heads,” about an idea...

“That, over there, secured to the bike rack, is my blessed wire donkey. Takes me anywhere, anytime. Unapologetic British mechanical genius: a genuine Raleigh three-speed bicycle. Yeah, my righteous wire donkey. They went to design them in the Thirties, those Brits were dreaming hundred-year bicycle. All-steel frame, no carbon-fiber nonsense. Look at these fenders--plastic? Of course not. Real steel, many coats of enamel. Not for nothing these humble cruisers carried gene...

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Losing Laika: a Soviet historical novel

By: Charlie Dickinson

Losing Laika is a Cold War novel. On May 1, 1960, Petró Kravets and colleague Ivan arrive at the crash of the American U-2 spy plane. Experienced optics technicians, they remove the camera. Above all, their work carries on their late fathers' legacy of defending the Motherland. Petró believes Soviet technology, from Sputnik-1 on, triumphs. And in the Cold War competition with America, the Soviet people hold their own. He hopes a better future awaits his toddler son ...

"Also making its way toward the crash site was a small convoy of old, rugged GAZ-63 trucks, four-wheel drives, rocking through the gullied road toward smoke from the downed plane. The two men in the back seat of the first truck joined the convoy after flying down from OTS, the Optics Test Station of the Ministry of Military Aeronautics in Gorod. They understood a spy plane undeniably capable of military photography had been shot down. Sleeved elbow out an open window...

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