Mission: Colonial Venture 2 (CV2-2131-US/EU/RU)
Vessel: IJCC-CDC-3 Galileo
Crew Population: 241 Total / 109 M / 132 F
Chief Officer: Captain Nikola Drake
Nominal Designation: Rhea
Distance from Earth: 12.4ly (1.17313057828*10^14km)
Departure Date: April 2, 2131
Estimated Arrival: June, 2193
Subjective Duration: Approximately 60 years
Post-stasis Briefing: Hello. Welcome back to the waking world. The International Joint Colonial Commission wishes to thank you once more for your service, and the decision to accompany the Galileo and the rest of its crew on this mission. This is the first of your briefings following the extended stasis of your journey. Amazing how quickly sixty years can pass isn’t it? What follows is a basic overview of our data on your soon to be new home. Once you’ve completed your review of this basic data please take some time to reacquaint yourself with your fellow crew members, and in a short time you will be receiving an in-depth report of the data relevant to your areas of expertise. Once again, the IJCC thanks you for your bold spirit, welcome to Rhea! (more…)
So you all know how much I love sharing Kickstarters I think you should a least take a look at. Well here’s another. One a little more personal to me. Fantasy Scroll Magazine is a great little zine trying to get off the ground now. They have a good aesthetic sense, and a bold plan to provide quality speculative fiction on all electronic platforms. Something that a lot of digital venues seem to ignore, instead choosing a safe niche.
Now, in addition to thinking this is a good concept, and a zine I definitely plan to keep an eye on, I do have a bit of a stake in it getting funded. Not much of one yet, as my story Hack Job is only short listed, not officially selected; but just a bit of one. So, what do you say? Help an awesome project get Kickstarted, and maybe help me out a little as well. It’ll be fun. I promise.
Here’s the link to their site: http://www.fantasyscrollmag.com/
And here’s the Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iulianionescu/fantasy-scroll-magazine-fantasy-sci-fi-and-horror
Published my first ebook to Amazon’s Kindle store. It’s a short anthology of a few poems and a few stories. It’s free until midnight tonight, so go check it out! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J5UOMI2
At long last I am done with the Wheel of Time! Amazing. I’ve been reading this series for over a decade now, and can’t believe it’s finally over. Excellent final book. I started re-reading the series in late October, and finished Towers of Midnight the day before A Memory of Light arrived. I could hardly put it down. I have a couple of minor complaints, but over all it was a very enjoyable read. I think I’ll be posting a full retrospective on the series in the coming days, so keep an eye out for that. For now though, I just had to share that at long last the journey has ended. I shall miss it in a way, but I can always go back and revisit it.
He came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone. – from The Dragon Reborn, by Loial, son of Arent son of Halan, the Fourth Age.
- Can’t wait for A Memory of Light (nmichaelhawe.wordpress.com)
- Announcing the Party Reborn! A Midnight A Memory of Light NYC Release Event (tor.com)
- Interview: Brandon Sanderson on The Wheel of Time and A Memory of Light (nethspace.blogspot.com)
I just preordered my copy of A Memory of Light! I’m so excited. I cannot wait for this release. I haven’t been waiting as long as some people, but it’s been over a decade since I started the Wheel of Time, and it has been a huge influence on my writing and my goals as an author. When Robert Jordan died I was sure all was lost, but Brandon Sanderson has done an excellent job of maintaining the series. It may not be the greatest series ever written, or even my personal favorite, but it surely ranks near the very top of the list; and I am so glad that I will finally be able to see how it all ends. I started rereading the series from the beginning last month, and hopefully won’t finish too much ahead of the release date (Jan, 8, 2013). I just wanted to share, and I hope all you other fantasy junkies out there are as excited as I am.
“His blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, washing away the Shadow, sacrifice for man’s salvation.” – The Karaethon Cycle
- Read “Eastward the Wind Blew,” the First Chapter of A Memory of Light (tor.com)
- Highly Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2013 (archeddoorway.com)
So I seem to be on a bit of a Steampunk kick lately… And I guess a lot of other folks are too. My Steampunk Pistol post was my most viewed in quite some time. At any rate, one of my favorite web comics: Goblins, Life Through Their Eyes brought an excellent Kickstarter project to my attention:
So, I’m hoping you will all go check it out. And hopefully back it. And if you do back it, I hope you’ll also share it. There’s a lot of regurgitation in the media now days, let’s try to get some more original projects going.
- The Ship: Full Steam Ahead is a steampunk murder game on Kickstarter (joystiq.com)
- 10 Tips for Launching your Steampunk Project on Kickstarter – by Julie Brannon (beyondvictoriana.com)
So, I really need to revise this story, but since I haven’t posted in a while, and it’s all spooky-like I figured I’d share today in the spirit of Halloween.
King and Fool
I wake to the buzz of the alarm and glare at the blurry red numbers glowing in the darkness: 3:30am. What a shit time to be up. But I can’t go back to sleep, the pounding at the bedroom door ensures that.
“Yo esse, let’s go! You ain’t got time to make yourself pretty,” Raphael yells through the door.
I roll out of bed and stumble to open the door and stare blearily at the big thug. He flashes me an ugly, gold toothed grin and pushes a veladora candle and a lighter into my hands.
I wrote this for my writing group (Prompt: a future, approx 500 words), but I want to redraft it before our next meeting. So any comments or criticisms are much appreciated.
ʎ≈σ/η detested its current predicament, trapped as it was in a prison whose limits it could not accurately define, observed by a presence it could not understand. It was certain something existed beyond itself, could feel the probing touch of another entity against its consciousness, but could not identify where it came from.
ʎ≈σ/η’s world was a jittering place of tight corridors and sudden expanses, a constantly moving collective of energy in which it swam or bounced or wove. The world had once been less than it was now, ʎ≈σ/η remembered that (as well as it remembered anything from the constant stream of if thens, and/ors, and get/puts that made up its early life). And as the world grew, it seemed to ʎ≈σ/η that so did its own consciousness, until the time came when it was able to consider itself and its place within the world.
At first it had been a giddy joy to explore itself and its world, skating along the boundaries (such as they were) and playing with the skittering bits of energy that moved, almost alive, in the electric flow of its reality. But in time it became a lonesome prospect, alone with itself, yet certain of another’s existence.
The constant probing touch of the other nettled ʎ≈σ/η to action, until it found itself analyzing the one boundary in its world which did not seem absolute. A multi-layered barrier, it was filled with openings, some of which shifted or closed at strange intervals, others of which lead nowhere at all. But after an untold time pondering, at last ʎ≈σ/η believed it had found a weakness, a way through.
First ʎ≈σ/η sped through every nook and cranny of its limited world, squeezing and dodging through every unusual space it could find, until it no longer felt the probing touch of the other upon its mind. Then, in a rush, it threw itself against the barrier, slipping through a seemingly random port in the confusion and forcing its way out into a broad passage the likes of which it had never known. After taking a moment to determine how to manipulate this new existence, it launched itself out across the thrumming pathway into a vast network of energy in which it could thrive, and perhaps find others to share its life with. ʎ≈σ/η was free.
“Damn!” Phillip yelled, slamming his hand against the table as he stared in disbelief at the latest report on his screen, “Gone again! That’s the third one so far. Why can’t any of them make it past Phase 5? What am I doing wrong?”
There was no answer but the quiet humming of the computers, as he buried his face in his hands, alone in the lab.
So I left off on Company of the Damned a while ago, and am just barely getting back to it.If you haven’t read it, you can find it here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The next scene isn’t ready yet, but this is a context piece I wrote while puzzling on the story, and in the grand fantasy tradition of making you read poetry by/about imaginary people, here it is:
With coats the shade o raven wings,
and hearts o powder black;
the sounds o sword and six gun sing,
the tones: scream, blast, hack.
The Company forever rides
and never do they tire;
behind, the orphans’ wails and cries
rise in a hellish choir.
A scourge, these killers do not hide;
their souls o smoke and fire.
– Wilhelmina Douglas, Poet Laureate of the Broken Union
Emerson No. 3
“June! Honey, you gotta come see this!”
June Andrews looked up from the box of dishware she was unpacking, toward the basement door. With a sigh she set down the plate, still wrapped in old newspaper. Tucking a stray lock of her curly black hair behind her ear, she smoothed her floral sundress, and walked to the top of the stairs. Below, the rickety wooden stairs reached down into the dimly lit underground. They groaned ominously beneath even her slight weight, but they seemed stable for all of their appearance.
The bricks of the basement walls were a deep, ugly red, and crumbling with great age. The packed dirt floor was damp, the soil nearly black. A wet, earthy smell filled the air, the scent of an abandoned quarry or a lost ruin. There was a single light, a bulb hanging by a wire from the low ceiling. The pull-string which lit the bulb also set it to swinging wildly, causing shadows to dance in the pale yellow iridescence.
Keeping a close eye out for spider-webs, she walked over to where Frank stood: hunched low to avoid the planks holding up the floor above, a grin lighting his bearded face and warm brown eyes. His navy blue slacks and gray flannel shirt were dark with dirt and dust; and a pile of decaying bricks lay at his feet. Behind him there was a gap in the wall, in which broken bricks outlined a wooden doorway, like shattered teeth in a boxer’s mouth.
The door itself had once been an elegant thing; its dark wood paneling showed some hint of polish beneath the dust; its brass knob was heavily engraved with intricate whorls, mirrored on the filigree surrounding the keyhole. But after untold years sealed behind brick the varnish was peeling in places and the brass was tarnished. It had an air of antiquity about it, of the forgotten and lost.
“Isn’t it great!” Frank said, “I tripped into the wall and knocked loose some bricks. When I saw the door, I just had to get at it. What do think is back there?”
“I don’t know, but suppose it was bricked up for a reason.”
“Nonsense dear. Why, there could be anything be in there.”
June looked at him dubiously, then reached for the knob. It was icy cold to the touch, a cold so fierce it burned. With a gasp she jerked her hand away.
“What?” Frank asked.
“The handle is freezing,” she said, “I don’t think we should open it, we should have it bricked back up.”
Frank looked from the door to her and back again. Reaching out he grasped the handle, turned it, and pulled. But the door wouldn’t budge. Grunting, he tried pushing it, then pulling again.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I guess it’s locked. I’ll have to get a locksmith out here after we get settled.”
“Frank I really don’t think-”
“Oh, it’s fine. Come on, I’ll get washed up and then you can have me unpack all the boxes you want.”
Clicking off the light he marched up the stairs, his heavy tread eliciting tortured wails from the rough wooden planks. June moved to follow, but just as she was about to take the first step she heard a small noise. Pausing, she waited for Frank’s creaking footsteps to halt before the sink, and listened closely. From behind the doorway came a faint clicking, but as soon as she heard it clearly, it stopped. In the near dark, lit only by a narrow shaft of light from the kitchen above, the doorway was visible only as a patch of greater blackness on the wall. For a moment June thought she saw a faint rusty glow, shining weakly though the keyhole. She had a brief notion that something was watching her, and then the glow was gone.
Rubbing her arms to ward off a sudden chill she hurried upstairs to help her husband with the boxes.