Short Stories

An anthology is on its way!

Journey to the Stars: Science Fiction Stories from the Bottom of the Ocean to the Depths of Space

Some stories inside:

concept cover

Failure to Communicate

We can’t even communicate with dolphins, an intelligent mammal from our own planet. How on earth (or off it) could we talk to alien life?

Earth Story

With an asteroid hurtling towards their planet, a ship is sent to evacuate their colony … It wasn’t just the dinosaurs that suffered.

The Locker Room

I spent a month working in the belly of a factory trawler, elbow deep in fish guts. I told the guys on my shift they were going to be characters in a story, a combat platoon on a space ship. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent, because, well, they aren’t.


A climate fiction look at fishing in the near future. New Zealand has one of the best managed fisheries in the world. What happens when the rest of the world’s fish is gone and their boats start heading south?

Benthic Material

As the narrator in this story describes, benthic material is found on the ocean floor. Here, he tells some trainees what got hauled up …

From the Lucid Universe: Solo

Who will catch the killer, when the killer is from a different reality? It takes a dreamer to stop a dreamer. Solo accompanies my three Lucid novels, American Dreamer, Tomorrow’s History, and Gods and Dreamers. But Solo stands alone, in a much darker place … literally, the stuff of nightmares.

From the MisStep Universe: The Originals

They thought they had found a planet for free, but what happened to those that were there before? Catching up with their generation ship, we finally find out …

Expected publication date: July , 2021

Previously published (but also included in anthology):

The Ethnographer’s Gift

Described as odd but horrific, an alien ethnographer collects death moments for his study. One autumn morning he starts to show Chloe … Published in Breach #10

From The Ethnographer’s Gift:

“This is one of my favourites,” she was answered. “Did you see the look on the girls’ faces?”

“Yes, I did,” Chloe said coldly. She didn’t like what she watched. It worried and frightened her.

“Why are you showing me this?” Chloe asked. She was visibly upset by what she saw. She crossed her arms as if to give herself a reassuring hug.

But her companion went on, sounding more excited. “They really loved each other very much. They were just like any family. They just got lost in the heat and the boredom.”

“They’re really dead now?” Chloe asked.

See my interview with Breach magazine on their webpage:

Journey to the Stars

A man’s dream of meeting the lights he has seen in the sky, of journeying with them, turns to nightmare when he finally gets what he wants …

Included in the anthology: Kaituhi Rawhiti: A Celebration of East Coast Writers

E-book available HERE


“It’s like hanging out with a group of Coasties enjoying a barbecue at the beach. We’ve just had a feed from the grill of sausages and kai moana, cooked to perfection by the four editors, Aaron Compton, Christopher McMaster, Gillian Moon and Claire Price, our glasses have been filled with either beer or wine (well, for the adults), and now it’s time to break out the guitar and sing some songs. These contributors each sing a mean waiata.

        —Witi Ihimaera (from the Introduction)

Praise for Journey to the Stars (from the introduction by Witi Ihimaera): “I want to take my hat off to Mr McMaster. One of the wonderful aspects of reading new work is that you come across someone you’ve never read before … His story, Journey to the Stars has me very glad he is a Gisborne writer.”

From the MisStep Universe:

Stepping Out: The Personal Log of Captain Elizabeth Sheridan

Soon to be published in the upcoming Revolutions anthology from Deadset press, Stepping Out is the prologue to my science fiction novel, MisStep, presented here as a stand alone short story.

About the anthology: Revolutions will be the third annual anthology by ASF. The group was formed to give Australian speculative writers a place to come to for advice, ideas, joint marketing, and so much more. Our first two anthologies—Beginnings and Journeys—were released November 2018 & November 2019, and Revolutions will continue this trend with a November 2020 release.

Stepping Out: After almost two decades of searching in vain for a planet ‘B’ to save a dying Earth, one by one the crew of the exploratory ship, Fortitude, take the decision to ‘step out’ on their return home, a form of suicide by stepping out the airlock into the vacuum of space. The personal log of the captain, referred to by some as a long suicide note, acts as a wake up call to Earth, a catalyst in the social revolution that future generations would remember as the Great Clean Up, the collective decision to save the only home humanity has.

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