There's only one word to describe this guy and it's amazing.
I'm amazed at his ideas and how he can keep me hooked to a series that's 6 books long. Yes, that's his Night's Dawn series, the thrilling series that got me utterly hooked to his books.
Check out his website, and go to the bibligraphy section for his short story Softlight Sins. It's reproduced in whole there, so do spend 10 minutes reading it.
The story is pretty good for his early works, it showed where he got the ideas for his latter stories from. But if compared to his works now, I must say this story lacks depth and development, it jumped into the plot without explaining what's going on. I understand it's a short story and there's words constraint, but that's the challenge of writing a short story, write a 10k word story about something radically different and yet not losing depth.
Night's Dawn, this series is just amazing and I'm in love with Joshua Calvert, he's like the most amazing guy ever, but of course, he can only exist in a book, there's no way such a guy can exist in real life. That's good too, then I would be jealous to death of his beau :p
Must try to find time to read this series again, for the third time :p
Talking about short story earlier, I love this one.
"The Shortest SF Story Ever Told" by Forrest J Ackerman:
Cosmic Report Card --- Earth --- F
That's it, that's the whole story, but it's darn funny too :p I'm a avid SF fan, I got it and I love it :)