Posts Tagged ‘Science fiction’


The empire was at war, once again. The docking platforms were lined with gun-clad airships, loading to the brim with soldiers and merchs alike.

As I trudged towards my own transport of destruction, I viewed a display of two love-torn kids putting on a drama for the whole place to catch a show. I’ve seen the type before—the boy, so young, he probably never even touched a loaded pressure-rifle before, and would be lucky if his trembling hands don’t blow his own head off the first time—but he read the penny-store novels and rags, and his mind was filled with the idea of battle’s glory.

He tore himself from the girl’s fingers, one-by-one, with such a caricature of love-lulled look on his face. I was too far to hear, but I already knew the lines as if they were reading them off an offstage cue-card.

“I’ll think of you every night,” he’ll say.

“I’ll cry myself to sleep, worrying about you,” she’ll say, while whipping up alligator-tears to make sure it was believable.

And then he’ll say, in some off iambic pentameter, “Good-bye, my love, I will long for the day I will return to you, and feel your touch again. For now, my empire calls…”

He’ll be puking in a corner, crying for his mommy at the sight of the first battle flare.

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Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater...

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into a storage tank via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (whose books you should be reading), started her own indie-publisher, the Writing Network. It’s still in its very young stages, but it’s being lead by someone that knows what she’s doing.

As one of her draws, she started a Word of the Day Flash Fiction, and while I haven’t had the time to do much with it since she started (because I was writing a bunch of deadlines), I will try to get more into it (especially since I need something to give my flashes structure). Back for her opening, I did do one for the word “sunshine” (even though her rules were a max of 500, I kept my rules of 300):

The sunshine shot deftly through the boarded window directly at my eyes, prying me from my sleep—something that used to be the most irritating way of waking up, but now was a comforting sign that I survived another night.

I stumbled to my feet with my head still spinning of an uneasy sleep, and made my way for the door. After a couple minutes worth of unlatching locks, I let in the new day and walked out into its warmth. My first step was into a pile of ash splayed across my porch—I had to force it from my head for now—convince myself it was only dirt as it seeped between my bare toes.

I walked to the end of the yard where the overflowing rain barrel sat and splashed the sun-warmed water at my face. Staring down at my reflection, I saw a face so worn and tired I barely recognized it as mine.

Then the extra eyes glimmered just over my shoulder.

I barely had time to dodge as the draugr swiped at me from a shadowed corner. I jumped back as it lunged forward, and burst into white flame—instantly consumed by the sun, with only the traces of it ever existing left behind.

I staggered back for the shelter of my home and re-latched the door behind ‘til I could work the courage back up to venture out again. I slumped back to my tattered mattress, and let the beam of sunshine comfort me with warmth. As I lay, I felt the warm slowly turn to a subtle burn across my arm. I sat up, and saw, slightly beginning to smolder, a slight scratch—not much—but just enough. Enough to know this would be my last taste of sunshine.

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Today is a very sad day for the writing community. We have lost someone that meant a lot to all of us, even if some never realized it…

Rest in Peace, Ann Crispin, you will be missed…


Writing (Photo credit: courosa)

This isn’t the definitive guide to how everyone does or should write a story, this is only me doing the best I can to tell you how I write a story, and hopefully, for those who are still trying to find their own thing, it will help—if nothing else, it’s just me trying to convince myself that I actually have any personal idea how to write a story to begin with.

The general story teller types are the “seat of your pants” writer, and the “obsessive planning” writer. Stephen King is notorious for being “seat of your pants,” meaning, you just take a very general concept, a basic character, and then push the throttle and don’t let up until you launch off a pier or into a wall… whichever comes first. Then you have the people that have to plan each and every detail of everything in the story, they must know exactly what happens in the beginning, what happens in every single chapter to make that thing qualify as a chapter by the rules of chaptering, and they know how it ends before they ever put a word to the story. As you can probably tell from the manner which I just wrote that, I veer more towards “seat of your pants.” With novel writing, I have a slight hybrid of the two going, but it’s still more “seat of your pants.” Basically, for something like ‘the Hole World,’ I actually have every detail of the entire planet, and a good portion of the solar system mapped out with an actual drawn map (quite a few of them, actually), and full list of characters, places, tech, creatures, etc. I do the same for all novels, but with ‘Stiym,’ I have it more basic, since it was originally a NaNo, when I started it, it was just a crudely drawn map that I quickly threw together in a notebook, and that was just so I could figure out where the different locations were, otherwise, it was entirely without planning, not even a single character was named or even thought up until Stiym was in front of them being told their name.

So… how do you do this? For me, it comes naturally, from the best I can determine, because I have been addicted to stories since I can remember (and I can remember a lot). I am not the type of bookworm that tells people to only read books, and scowls at TV and movies, because TV and movies are just as much of a source of stories as any book is… it is a bit lazier, but it’s still a story. I take in stories of all kinds to a level that most people are confused by me… I’ve had writer friends try to forgive me for not reading their book because they think it’s not in my usual genre—honestly, I haven’t read it because my reading list is infinite (as literal as the universe is infinitely expanding), I don’t really have a set genre for reading, I will take in any story thrown at me. Granted, I read a lot of scifi and fantasy because I like stories that take me the furthest from reality, and expand what is actually possible—but I am just as likely to read, or even write things that reality grounded.

So, what does that have to do with how to write a story like me? Basically, you have to have such an overwhelming addiction to stories, that the stories that already exist in the world is never enough, and your mind has to be constantly creating stories as a means of coping… that’s how it works. People that do this are usually easier to recognize when they’re younger, back when they were kids and they weren’t told to suppress their imagination and playing yet. They were the ones that had trouble focusing in school, because their minds were always somewhere else… and if they made it past all the prescribed drugs intended to destroy their worlds, and kept it all the way into adulthood, those people start realizing they should write down their worlds, so that the evil adults that tried to destroy them can never harm them again (I pretty much just told you what my ’11 NaNo was about).

(…to be continued…)

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

Ok, I don’t have time to do a review for anyone right now, but some friends of mine are in need of some pimping still. I will do a review of their work sometime later when I get time to do anything at all (I’m pushing it just for this).

If you look to the links to the side, you will see these people somewhere in all of that, however this post is to help them stand out. Everyone is available on Kindle. They’re all cheap, if not free, so please check them out, follow their blogs, Facebook them, Twitter them, click “buy” and tell your friends what you think of them and help them pay bills while you indulge in their hard work.

First up, we have Robert L. Collins:

He has a collection of Scifi and fantasy, non-fiction, novels, short-stories, and novellas, all available on Kindle:

And for all that is holy, we have some god’damn Sinead MacDughlas:

I’ve mentioned earlier that reviewing her book ‘Learn to Love Me’ is on my to-do list, so quit waiting on me, and get to it yourself. ‘Learn to Love Me’ in short is a mystery story with one of the more believable characters I’ve read in mystery in a long while (nowhere as cliché as Patterson). Go buy her stuff:

Catrina Taylor:

She writes the scifi and the fantasy and, holy-shit balls, Batman, three Kindle books are free:

And if we’re going to pimp her crazy ass, then we have to give a taste of her collaborator, Jason Dodge, who has his own short-story, ‘Memories of Hel’, out for a whole $0.99—you can’t buy shit for $0.99, but finally you now know what to do with all those useless pennies you’ve been collecting, now break open that jar, and get this shit:

Now there’s Cathrine Stovall, who already has a pretty good growing fan-base, so I’m probably just being redundant in pimping her at all, but it’s happening anyway:

You like vampire stories, but don’t like hearing about 200-year-old dudes trying to get in the pants of high-school girls and not being arrested for it? Then you need to look into Cathrine’s ‘Requiem for Humanity’ series:

And then we have some T.R. Stoddard:

She has a debut mystery novel, ‘Sunny with a Chance of Homicide,’ and look at that crazy shit, her site is pimping Cathrine Stovall… holy’crap, you should buy her stuff and see what’s up with that:

And that’s the pimping, kids. Go explore, buy things, pay their bills, have fun. I’ve gotta get back to work now so I can have something to force them to return the favor with.