Profile of William Ledbetter

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Born in 1961 Indiana, William Ledbetter wrote stories throughout his childhood, but didn't gain fame until his 11th grade Literature teacher read one of his science fiction stories aloud to the class. Amid the snickers and rolled eyes, were a couple whispers of "cool!"  He was hooked.  Today he lives near Dallas, Texas with a very understanding wife, the one kid who has still not left the nest and way too many animals. He's working diligently on a novel trilogy about the violent birth of a new humanity. He also leads a Dallas writers group called Future Classics and an active member of his local National Space Society chapter.

For more information visit William Ledbetter's website:


"Window Pain," Parchment Symbols/Anxiety Publications (June 2000).

"HindSight," SBD SF&F 2002 Anthology (Feb. 2002)

"Monarch," Quantum Muse, (Jan. 2003)

"Hired Help," Flash Me Magazine, (Oct. 2003)

"A Beast Named Winter," Distant Worlds, (Nov. 2003)

"In the Arms of Monsters," Continuum Science Fiction, (March. 2004)

"Shell Game", Flash Me Magazine, (Feb. 2005)

"Ascension Salad," Sci Fi Dimensions, (Aug. 2005)

"Ice Scream", Yard Dog Press, (Dec. 2005)

"Medic!," Jim Baen's Universe, (Aug. 2006)

"Regatta in G Minor," Running the Line anthology (Oct. 2006)

"How Tom Hanks Saved my Baby From the Moon," Yard Dog Press (June 2007)

"Thief of Hearts," Sails & Sorcery anthology (August 2007)

"Over the Moon and Running," Something Wicked, (Oct. 2008)


Lois Tilton of The Internet Review of Science Fiction
on "Medic!"

This military SF tale is a variation on the new-guy-in-the-squad story, with the new guy being a medical robot. Ledbetter makes the old plot fresh by telling it from the robot's point of view. The action is quick-paced with a strong edge of danger throughout. RECOMMENDED

The Fix
Over the Moon and Running

To finish on a positive note, perhaps the best story in the issue is by William Ledbetter, who crafts an unusual and emotionally charged tale around elements borrowed from American Indian shapeshifter folklore. In "Over the Moon and Running," former professional tennis player Dina Gurov has lost the use of her legs following a car accident. Now, five years later, she wakes one night to find herself threatened with kidnap and imprisonment by a strange man who promises to heal her, asking that in return she pay an as yet unspecified debt. In less skilful and less restrained hands, this might have been a mess, but Ledbetter never lets his potentially disturbing material get the better of him. Dina is far from the stereotypical besieged female victim so often lazily portrayed in the genre, and Frank, a man we initially think to be a monster, is shown to be an altogether more complex character. The relationship that develops between the two feels natural and unforced, and Ledbetter isnt afraid to end a pretty violent story on an optimistic note.

The Fix
Thief of Hearts

Next, William Ledbetter gives us a swashbuckling adventure in "Thief of Hearts." Captain Birchs pirates find the ship theyve been trailing easier to attack than expected, as it comes out of a fog badly and inexplicably damaged. Onboard, they find a mysterious girl, naked, with hair rooted all the way down her back. Some believe she is a witch, others a selkie. But the girl befriends the young Malagasy cabin boy, who tells the captain that she is neither witch nor selkie, but a member of an ancient and magical race his people know. In time, the captain finds that this strange girl can give him his hearts desire, but not in the way he expected. Believable in historical detail and internally consistent, "Thief of Hearts" is intriguing and mysterious, and stands out as one of the stronger stories in this anthology.