Monthly Archives: March 2014
Once upon a time, there was a webcomic called Casey and Andy. Mad science, zany characters and lots of geekery, it was one of my favorites. I was sad, but satisfied, when it ended.
Then about a month ago Howard Taylor mentioned a hard sci-fi novel called The Martian, and that it was written by the same Andy Weir who once gave us Casey and Andy. I bought the book before I finished reading Howard’s post about it.
And it’s good.
This has had me in a funk since I learned about it this morning. Three of a friend’s cats have been attacked by someone with a pellet gun. Two of those cats used to hang out with me.
Veterinarians are expensive and time-consuming, so here’s a link to a page raising money to help.
I don’t have anything more to say, except to wish my love to the family.
I picked up Hull Damage for Kindle free on Amazon. The current rating there is 3 & a half stars, and that feels about right to me. It has a lot going on, both for and against it.
The setting is sci-fi, it feels like a cross between Heavy Metal’s dystopian space settings and Firefly’s wild lawlessness, with a healthy dose of Star Wars. The book follows the career of a space pirate and his crew, an episodic story of the ups and downs they face trying to make a name for themselves. Read the rest of this entry
So yesterday I picked up an app called “iDeas for writing”, (that’s how they capitalize it) and I’ve been playing with it from time to time all weekend. The concept is simple, it has several random generators for characters and story prompts, and then some exercises to stretch yourself with these tools.
I spent some time with it and a tablet of paper, and wrote a page inspired by a “first sentence” the app provided. Because I’m me, this short bit of creative writing required a nap to recover from.
So, here’s what I wrote.
The pirate thought about her again. She had been on his mind more than usual lately, singing in his dreams the way she used to sing in the kitchen.
He couldn’t really remember any of the songs she used to sing, but he could still hear her voice as clearly as his own.
He knew she would not be proud of the decisions he had made. But neither would she condemn him for them. He was sure about that.
The pirate shivered and tried to clear his head. She always came to mind right before a raid, since the very first one, but her memory haunted him more lately. He thought he knew why, too.
In the beginning there was little choice for him, trapped as he was between crime and starvation. He had done what was needed to survive. But things had changed since then.
His ill-gotten gains had built up to a tidy sum. It wasn’t the vast fortunes hoarded by pirates of legend, but it was enough. It was time.
Time for one last heist.
Time to retire.
That’s it. More a teaser than a story, but it was fun to make. I like the ambiguity of it, we know so little yet it still tells a story.
So there’s my ultra-short fiction for today. Maybe I’ll have more next weekend, who knows.
Next up, book reviews!
Let me just blow the dust off, here.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been the past three months, I’ve been working 55 to 60 hour weeks. When you have as much trouble writing as I do, that doesn’t leave much time for blogging. But things have calmed down a bit now, so I should hopefully be able to post again from time to time.
If nothing else, there’s a lot of books I want to write about.
Speaking of books, here’s a cool thing! StoryBundle offers collections of books in epub format that you pay what you like for. The current offering is the “Epic Fantasy Bundle”, and it lasts for another ten days.
It really is epic, too! If you pay over $12 you get three bonus books. I paid $20, because I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my hard-earned overtime pay and frankly I often undertip.
The one I’m reading now is The Camelot Papers, which should win a prize for misleading cover art. I thought I’d be reading a farcical comedy, and while there are moments of dark humor, this really isn’t one. It is compelling, though, and so far I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll try to write up a proper review once I’m done with it.
Speaking of cool things, Evolution Expo is happening in Oakland this summer! It’s billed as “putting the science back into science fiction”, which is something I can get behind! I fully intend to attend, and you should too!
So, I’m back to writing again. No where near as often as 2012, but hopefully more than 2013. Coming soon, book reports and ultra-short fiction!