Wait, elves and dwarves in a science fiction piece? Sure! Why not?
This one was written specifically for a call-for-submissions to a Port Yonder Press anthology about Elves. Rather than set the tale in the usual forest or cave settings, I went for something weird: outer space.
Elves, humans, and dwarves have an alliance against other, more nefarious forces who have built a missile capable of wiping out an outpost and everything within a huge range. Naturally, this missile needs to be stopped.
Most elves and humans handle the business of the outpost, including operations, medical, sciences, defense, and the all that happy stuff. A small number of highly trained elves and an even smaller number of very skilled humans form an elite force capable of doing all the really hazardous stuff that needs to be done to defeat the dastardly plans of the bad guys. Unfortunately, this hazardous duty ends up getting everyone injured from time to time, so elves have an agreement with the rest of the group: if they have children to take care of, they don’t do the rough stuff any more. They serve the group in other capacities.
The hero of the tale is Zanforil, one of those specially trained elites. His wife has been pregnant for a couple months, but he’s stayed in the elite forces until now. His commander gives him one last mission to go on before he can retire and turn his attention to inventing new equipment and training other elves and humans to take his place.
He’s not thrilled, and neither is his wife, but they agree on the condition that he uses a new prototype armor he has developed. The armor can do all kinds of wild stuff to protect him and help him succeed on the mission, and it takes advantage of the elven trait of perfect pitch so he can trigger the different features of his armor.
Ultimately, Port Yonder rejected the tale for their anthology, but then I heard about the Seventh Star Press one and went for it!
I don’t presently have a sequel in mind, but that might change. I’ve even been known to do crazy things like expand short stories into novels. You never know…