Steven Popkes


…grew up in many American regions: California, the desert Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the Deep South. He now lives in Massachusetts. His first love was biology and he earned his MS in Neurophysiology at the University of Missouri. Times being what they were, he became a software engineer. In recent years he has built avionics for planes and rockets.

It supports the writing habit.

He is best known for his short stories. “The Color Winter” was a finalist for the Nebula Award. “The Secret Lives of Fairy Tales,” reprinted here at BVC, was first published by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

He’s published two novels: Caliban Landing (Congdon and Weed, 1988) and Slow Lightning (Tor, 1991). Both deal with the complexities of alien contact.

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The Secret Lives of Fairy Tales

A Free Short Story
by Steven Popkes

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Emperor Thomas had heard about Po and Ho long before he met them. Not that he begrudged two scam artists a living. He liked the Salt Dodge and the False Gumdrop as much as anyone and had a good laugh on how they had modified the Glam and took everything the Widow Stein owned, right down to her porcelain teeth. But all good things come to an end and their end was in sight when the local magistrate hauled them up in front of the Emperor.

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