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Monthly Archives: June 2011

(Faust) Eric

And so my latest conquest is… conquered. Terry Pratchett’s Eric was very short, fun to read (I loved the wossname parrot), but also seemed to contradict a lot of Pratchett’s own ideas about the universe – the Creator made an appearance, and I was bothered by the fact that he created the entire universe, which in Eric consisted of only the Discworld, while in The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, the universe is shown to contain more worlds. It just bothered me that Pratchett changed the nature of the universe. The end of the universe was brilliant, though, as well as the start of the next one – it’s interesting that Death was the only survivor. And then he’ll be the oldest being in the next universe – maybe the new Azrael! And how interesting that will be…

On that note, if that universe ended, then what happened to the others? At the beginning of the universe, there were many creators and many universes (a theme I myself use in the Juxian Mythos – and also the idea of Death-like beings travelling from universe to universe, completing jobs) – so where did they go in the end? The way Pratchett implied the end was that there was only one universe – unless the end he referred to was the end of all universes, in which case things got a lot more serious.

So, in the end, it was fun, it had a happy ending, but not one of his best. It did have Rincewind, though. Next, I’ll be delving into C.A. Smith’s Hyperborea and Lovecraft’s ghostwritten works.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Readings

 

Space Adventure Magazine and “The Derelict”

Avast! A short story I wrote recently – the “secret project” I’ve been alluding to of late – is finally published in Space Adventure Magazine, published by ER Mixon of Science Adventure Press! My contribution, “The Derelict,” is a science fiction horror story, that I describe as across between Lovecraft and Firefly, with a dash of Pratchett thrown in! I was rather proud of it, and I recommend that you all go out and purchase this independently published magazine so that you can read both my story and the other ones in there! It will be available on more platforms soon, but currently is available as a PDF here, for the bargain price of $2.99 USD!

And just to whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from “The Derelict”:

“Going in – this is a big one, Reggie. Wonder what took it down.”

“Scans show very little surface damage; just an abrasion portside, near the rear. Not a large one, though – looks like it’s only a meter or two long. Nothing serious.”

“Then whatever got them came from inside,” Diana murmured.

“Aye, looks like. Probably just bad air filtration or something. But be careful anyway.”

Diana rolled her eyes. As if she was ever not careful. She finished placing the charges around the airlock’s exterior lock, and then moved a few meters down the length of the derelict ship, pulling herself along using bright orange cables that she had pinned to the hull. Once she was a safe distance away, she pressed the big red button in the center of the remote held in her right hand. The charges exploded silently, blasting open the airlock’s exterior door. The flames from the explosion managed to survive a few seconds in the outpouring of oxygen before their fuel supply was cut off and dispersed.

“Right. Time to see what we’ve got here.”

Reggie didn’t say anything as she watched Diana move back towards the now very open airlock from the safety of their ship. Her ship. The Buzzard, she was called; an apt name for what her crew did. Reggie preferred to think of her current day job as that of a recycler, making sure that nothing went to waste. More polite members of society would probably have called her a salvager, a derelict stripper, or a vulture. What she did for science.

“Is Diana in yet, cap’n?” called a voice from behind Reggie. She swiveled around in her bright orange plush chair and shook her head as a rather large man stepped onto the bridge.

“Just about though,” she added, pointing through the window behind her with her thumb. She shook her curly black hair out of her eyes. The man looked over the captain’s shoulder and nodded.

“She’s in now.”

Reggie swiveled back around again and watched Diana vanish into the airlock. Her voice came in over the communications channel a moment later. “Place seems empty – I’m in a side corridor, looks like. No signs of life – or death, even. Not here. Surprisingly clean, really…

*-*-*

If you want to read the rest, buy the issue!

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Writing

 

Soul Music

I just finished Terry Pratchett’s Soul Music and it is now one of my favorite books. Death was as amazing as always, and other than proving himself to be a fantastic guitar player and motorcyclist, his caring side really came out. The Death of Rats’ constant presence, as well as Quoth the Raven’s, made the book, as well as Susan Sto Helit’s first appearance – I must say I liked her better in this one than in Hogfather. Dibbler also made quite a large appearance, scamming as always, and this was the first time I’ve seen him really as a major character. I definitely recommend this book to anyone. Next is Eric!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Readings

 

The Libel of Blood Editing!

It comes, fear not! I have been working on it and on Dark Aeons of late (as well as my other project), and finally things are moving again. The Libel of Blood is currently edited up through Chapter 21, ending with the words “There was nothing left for me.” The “Winds of Madness” is also being edited by an editor, and “Dark Prophecy” has been edited now once by me. Onward to victory!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Writing

 

Doctor Who Season 6

The first half of Season Six of Doctor Who ended today. If you haven’t seen it, DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS POST. I have some very strong opinions on it; namely, that Moffat is overstepping himself and trying to make the series too epic and convoluted. I really enjoyed the first three episodes of the season, with the Silence and the Siren. The fourth episode (Gaiman’s) I hated, and I was not a fan of the two following it. The Seventh episode was fun to watch, but lacked… a lot of things. When the Doctor gathers his army, it contains mostly people we don’t know (I wanted to see Jack come back, even though I knew he wouldn’t), which made the idea that he had friends all over less… profound. The Headless Monks were very cool, but didn’t really have much substance. There is no explanation as to who Madame Kovarian is, and why everyone hates the Doctor.

And on top of it all, River was Amy’s daughter. That was my least favorite scenario. It was horribly contrived, artificial-feeling, and with no real links to anything else. It came a little bit too out of the blue. And again, Moffat is doing one of his epic end of the universe as we know it things again – it’s only been two seasons with him. Season 5 was wonderful, but the first half of this season seems… contrived, forced, and needlessly complex. I can only hope that the second half – when the Silence return – is better.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Watchings

 

The Wee Free Men

My latest conquest! The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. Unlike his other Discworld books, this one was a children’s novel, and so went by much faster and had a rather different writing style (with far fewer footnotes). However, it was still very much fun, and even had cameos from Nanny Ogg and “Mistress” Weatherwax. It makes me want to start reading Pratchett’s witch books (other than Equal Rites, which has already been conquered). Most of the book doesn’t even mention the Disc (the whole thing takes place on he Chalk – I spent a while failing to figure out where this was on the world), and had some actually very interesting philosophical ideas about dreams. I shall be reading the next one most definitely, if not just for the awesomeness of the Nac Mac Feegle! Next on my list of reads I think will be a short break from Pratchett; I’m thinking Cthulhu’s Reign.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Readings

 

Hell Factory

As I’ve been working on editing TLOB (and another project that I’ll reveal to you all in a few days), I’ve also managed to strike down another short story! The latest horrifying tale is called “Hell Factory,” and is mostly a conceptual piece, with no real “plot.” It was a decent piece of work, I think, though it might be hard for some to swallow or appreciate But… I like it. So there. An excerpt below:

*-*-*

The cherub of sleep fell up and away from me as the burning pain jolted me awake. I opened my bleeding eyes and slowly sat up. My few moments of rest had been blissfully divine, which made my awakening all the more painful. The metal cot – if indeed it could be called even that – I had been lying upon quickly heated to the temperature of an erupting volcano, and I yelped as I rolled off of it onto the rough, sharp obsidian of the floor.

I grimaced as the black stone of midnight scraped against my raw, smoking flesh, but did not make another sound. My yelp alone was enough to bring them down upon me.

Three piercing points of pure agony manifested themselves on my back, and I collapsed as the waves of torment shuddered through my body, speeding along my back and stopping to linger at my heart and my eyes. My vision went red and then black as a wave of blistering heat cracked my dehydrated eyeballs open. I could feel what little moisture remained in them pouring down my face like tears of pure pain.

Grzlt mbrkl!” came the voice from behind me, with a voice like the devil’s claws slowly screeching their way across a chalkboard. By now I understood the command, but my memory failed me, as it always did. In this place nothing could be relied on except pain.

The three points of pain came again in the same place. My body was not inured to the pain; no matter how much punishment it endured, every stroke of the lash or stab of the trident was worse than the one before. I collapsed onto the jagged obsidian and let my mind go, screaming and thrashing in a vain attempt to relieve myself of the pain. But my mind was clear; that was the real horror. There were no defenses to hide behind, no way to block out the torment; there was nothing between myself and the pain.

With my convulsions there came no release, and then the hellwhips descended, their flaming lengths arcing across my body, delicately wrapping themselves around me and then roughly twisting away, tearing off hunks of burning flesh as they did so.

They eventually stopped, and with it stopped much of the pain. One cannot appreciate torture fully if one is constantly in anguish; brief moments of reprieve make the return of torment all the more terrible.

As I lay sprawled in a pool of my own burning blood on the obsidian floor of Hell, my wounds began to heal and my eyes reformed in their sockets, and soon I was whole again, covered with a new layer of tender and raw skin.

Wishing to avoid more pain, I scrambled to my feet, cutting open my hands, knees, and feet in the process. “Chzrt rkltq!” I obeyed, turning about and walking away from my white-hot metal sleeping bench, past the grotesquely obese black imp that had been tormenting me. Its glowing red pitchfork was lowered menacingly, and its impish eyes flimmered evilly. A flicker of red in its hideously elongated mouth, lined with razor sharp, glimmering white fangs, told of the serpentine tongues that lurked within.

My speed earned me a jab in the shin with the pitchfork, and I nearly collapsed again with the pain. I remained upright, though, and the imp giggled and jabbed me again. The second stab was enough to send me down to the floor again, and the punishing hellwhips descended again as the imp laughed, snorted, and giggled madly at my pain.

*-*-*

Now that that’s done, I only have another two or three stories left in Dark Aeons! “Afflatus Divine” is about halfway done, and it’s my next short story project. Following that, I’ll be working on “Forest of Blood,” loosely based on a Call of Cthulhu scenario I ran with limited success. There may also be another very short piece entitled “Ascenscion” thrown in there as well! However, my primary focus over the next week will be on TLOB. Let’s hope I finish editing it soon!

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Writing