"Save Me Plz"
- Realms of Fantasy, October 2007
- Escape Pod, Episode 124, September 2007
- Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008, edited by Rich Horton, Prime Books, July 2008
- Locus Magazine's 2007 Recommended Reading List

    Meg hadn't heard from Devon in four months, and she realized that she missed him. So on a whim she tossed her sword and scabbard into the back seat of her car and drove over to campus to visit him.
    She'd always thought that she and Devon would be one of those couples who really did stay friends afterward. They'd been close for so long, and things hadn't ended that badly. Actually, the whole incident seemed pretty silly to her now. Still, she'd been telling herself that the split had been for the best -- with her working full-time and him still an undergrad. It was like they were in two different worlds. She'd been busy with work, and he'd always been careless about answering email, and now somehow four months had passed without a word.
    She parked in the shadow of his dorm, then retrieved her sword and strapped it to her jeans. She approached his building. A spider, dog-sized and iridescent, rappelled toward her, its thorned limbs plucking the air. She dropped a hand to the hilt of her sword. The spider wisely withdrew, back to its webbed lair amid the eaves.

     Meg broke up with Devon after he got too obsessed with a fantasy video game. Now he's vanished. There's only one thing to do -- strap on her sword and go looking for him.
    This story is free to read online.
     Realms of Fantasy magazine is edited by Shawna McCarthy and is available in many bookstores. This issue also features fiction by Holly Black, Devon Monk, Jay Lake & Ruth Nestvold, Jack Skillingstead, and Naomi Kritzer.
     Escape Pod, edited by Stephen Eley, is a weekly podcast of fun science fiction short stories. It has recently featured work by writers such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Harry Turtledove, Kevin J. Anderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Mike Resnick, and Nancy Kress. "Save Me Plz" was performed by Mur Lafferty.
     Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008, edited by Rich Horton, is an anthology that collects many of the best fantasy short stories published in 2007. Here's the table of contents:

"Unpossible" by Daryl Gregory
"Light" by Kelly Link
"The Teashop" by Zoran Zivkovic
"The Rope" by Noreen Doyle
"Buttons" by William Alexander
"Brother of the Moon" by Holly Phillips
"A Diorama of the Infernal Regions" by Andy Duncan
"Heartstrung" by Rachel Swirsky
"Something in the Mermaid Way" by Carrie Laben
"Public Safety" by Matthew Johnson
"Stray" by Benjamin Rosenbaum and David Ackert
"The Comb" by Marly Youmans
"Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz Go to War Again" by Garth Nix
"The Last Worders" by Karen Joy Fowler
"Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss
"Save Me Plz" by David Barr Kirtley
"Bufo Rex" by Erik Amundsen
"The Master Miller's Tale" by Ian R. MacLeod
"The Cambist and Lord Iron" by Daniel Abraham

An illustration by HyeJeong Park of David Barr Kirtley's short story Save Me Plz. This illustration originally appeared in the October 2007 issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine. The illustration depicts an alluring blond elf woman who reaches toward the viewer while magical emanations flow from her hands.
Illustration by HyeJeong Park for Realms
of Fantasy
magazine. Used with permission.

"Save Me Plz" was listed on Locus Magazine's 2007 Recommended Reading List:

A section of the Locus Magazine 2007 Recommended Reading List showing David Barr Kirtley's short story Save Me Plz.

David produced a video picture book of the first scene of "Save Me Plz." Watch the video. Below is some of the artwork from it.

Meg and Devon.
Meg & Devon


A sexy blonde half-naked teen elf girl.

A giant spider.
The spider

     Comment on "Save Me Plz" at the Escape Pod message board.

"I loved this story, and its subtlety. It reminded me, at times, of Zelazny's edging into Amber. As a person who has lost people into that other world, hearing a story about a crossover into our world was stunning. Very well done!"
-jh, Escape Pod message board

"First time poster, been listening to the podcast for months. This one connected with me enough in such a way that I felt compelled to come here and post. I am a former MMO addict, and during the height of my time in the game I really had the feeling that it was my life. The end of the piece rung some sort of bell, along with Meg's emotional reaction. Keep up the awesome work!"
-mattatarms, Escape Pod message board

"Brilliant! I particularly loved the giant spider and bats. There is, of course, one other sci-fi movie this strongly reminds me of, but I will not mention it here. David Barr Kirtley -- brilliant story, but please please please don't make a sequel. Not a second. Not a third. This is perfect just as it is."
-robertmarkbram, Escape Pod message board

"I am SURE that I dated that guy in college. Brilliant programmer, always spouting some self-important wisdom, never went to class, got high a lot, WAY into gaming, dropped out. I am sure that was him the story was about."
-CieBird, Escape Pod message board

Watch the video: A link to YouTube.

Read the
story free: A link to the text of the short story Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley.

Listen to the
story free: A link to the Escape Pod website.

The cover of the anthology Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008.
Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008
at Amazon.com

The cover of the October 2007 issue of Realms of Fantasy magazine.