I’ve just published “Boom Town,” a short story available on Smashwords and Amazon.
The story takes place in a small town on the living planet of Eltru, when a vast reserve of fuel is discovered beneath the town. Katherine, a young girl whose family lives on a spice farm over the fuel reserve, quietly observes her parents as they struggle over whether or not to sell their land to a mining corporation, and move away from their home. She relies on her close relationship with her brother to help her understand the secret conflicts and tensions between the adults, and ends up keeping some dangerous secrets of Julian’s herself.
The publication includes an afterward where I describe how subscribing to Asimov’s influenced the story, and my writing sensibilities as a whole.
I’ve just published “Grumbles,” a short story available on Smashwords and Amazon.
The story is told by Claudio, who returns to the house of his uncle Terrance, one of his many guardians during his tumultuous childhood, to decide what memorabilia he wants to take with him on his move to the asteroid belt. As he sifts through old scrapbooks and toys, he re-discovers “Grumbles,” a robot companion from his adolescence with an acerbic, sardonic attitude. Space is limited on the shuttle out to the belt, so Claudio and Grumbles argue heatedly about which objects are worth taking, and which items present a distorted recording of the past.
The story was originally published in Kzine, and you can still purchase the issue it appeared in.
So Francis, why should I buy this thing, when I can buy another thing, which has the first thing in it, as well as other things for no additional cost?
Because you love me? Also, because this publication includes an afterword describing the origin of the story, the process of editing it, and some of my own memory-recording habits.
As of today, it’s Read an Ebook Week, so all my ebooks are on sale for 50% off on Smashwords, and my play We’ll Tell Happy Storiesis available completely free! From March 5-11, you can use coupon code RAE50 to get 50% off any of the ebooks, and coupon code SFree to get 100% off We’ll Tell Happy Stories.
EDIT: As of June 12, 2020, this play has been unpublished. I reread it recently and found it intellectually irresponsible, uncritically insensitive, and just annoying. Not because it’s apologia, but because all the characters are intentionally horrible and the last line is “Who fucking cares.” If I saw this play performed I would think it was wack and be annoyed I’d wasted 15 minutes. Because I’m the author, I can make it so it is never performed or read. So I have.
It has also been removed from the collection 19; a collection of plays.
I’ve just published He Molested Kids, a short play available on Smashwords and Amazon.
In this fifteen-minute play, four college students meet to plan a party, and end up sidetracked by an argument about the savior of the world. Just a few months after he defeated the Himalayan, allegations of sexual abuse have emerged around Dawa the Savior. This issue turns from small talk among a group of friends to an explosive argument with deep implications.
The publication includes an afterword in which I discuss the origins of the idea, and how my intro to political analysis class factored into it’s outlining.
I’ve just published “Just Dig,” a short story, available on Amazon and Smashwords. Here’s the synopsis:
Two brothers, asteroid prospectors, are awoken when an asteroid lands somewhere along the boundary between their little plot, and the enormous plot owned by their neighbors. They drive out to see on whose plot the rock has fallen, and who can claim it as theirs to sell. As they do, they argue about whether they can depend on luck to end a long dry spell, or if they’ll have to make their own luck to turn a profit.
Also included in the publication is a brief afterword, in which I explain the origins of the story, the edits it went through, and who won the 2014 FSU vs. Notre Dame football game.
Here we go with my first self-published prose piece! It’s a short story about a democratically run MMO. You can buy it for half price (more about that below) on Amazon and Smashwords. Here’s the synopsis:
Volt is the leader of the Anarchists, an official gang on the De.mocra.cy server. In a near-future internet filled with highly regulated, highly restrictive MMOs, the De.mocra.cy server is entirely self-regulated, affording unprecedented freedom of speech and freedom of violence to its users—until now. A new law has outlawed violence between consenting parties, and Volt must mobilize a fractious group of gang leaders to campaign against it—and, unbeknownst to them, to challenge the Unwritten Amendment.
Also included in the publication is an afterword, in which I discuss some of what I mentioned in my post about limits, as well as where the idea for the story came from, and what “–> <— vs. <– –>” means.
In addition to publishing this, I’ve set all my ebooks to half price, at which price they shall remain until the end of December. You can find them all on Smashwords and on Amazon.
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, joyous Kwanza, and just good job being a human, everybody!
A couple decades in the future higher education has evolved, and Academic Campuses (sometimes referred to as “monasteries”) offer an affordable, though longer and more intensive, alternative to universities. In this hour-long play, the student editors of the Marietta Academic Campus’s literary journal, The Mac, meet just before the start of summer to finish up the latest issue, and to celebrate their success. As the play continues, a hypothetical conversation about graduating early and starting up a magazine outside the monastery turns into a spirited argument.
As usual the publication includes an afterword. In this one I describe my own arguments with myself about college, and my outlining process for the play.
Whew. It’s been awhile since I did one of these, but here goes.
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor – Lagoon is a book about Lagos, Nigeria, and what happens when aliens arrive there. It’s a sprawling portrait of the city, its people, its landmarks, and the ecosystem it was built around. It focuses most on three individuals—a marine biologist, a soldier, and a rap star, who all find themselves wandering out to the beach shortly after the aliens arrive, and being sucked into the lagoon.
The book has an enormous ensemble of characters, and still manages to have all of them distinct enough that you can keep track. It also does an excellent job of describing the city, which becomes even more important as the book goes on, and parts of the city literally come alive. The story twists and turns without a clear direction, but it’s a lot of fun following those twists, and the book is constantly introducing new and interesting characters and ideas. A testament to how well characterized everything in his story is—it’s been over three months since I listened to it, and I can still remember multiple characters and events that are only mentioned in a single chapter.
Also I listened to the audiobook of it, over the course of the long drive from Iowa City back to Tallahassee, and the narrators (a male and a female) are fantastic.
Seriously though, as I write this description, I keep remembering characters and details from the book, like the guys running 409 scams, and the rapper from Atlanta, and the fantastically entertaining and dislikable preacher. That’s because it’s awesome. Nnedi Okorafor is awesome. Check this book out.Read More »
Chapter 25 – The Greatest War Ever (as they called it)
The chronicler explains why this war “really was, I swear it, quite easily the greatest war ever.”
Chapter 26 – The Battle of Hradec Králové
The chronicler uses the Battle of Hradec Králové, where the forces of General Hampl gathered to overthrow Mayor Skočdopole, as a reflection of world events on a smaller scale.
Chapter 22 – An Elderly Patriot
As Czech reporter Cyril Kéval and his fellow journalists wade through endless reports of minor conflicts, skirmishes, and riots from around the country and the world, Kéval happens upon a letter from an “Elderly Patriot” calling for national unity.
Chapter 18 – Night Time in the Editing Room
As religions and governments all over the world embrace the Absolute, Bishop Linda berates the editor of a Catholic Journal for continuing their invective against Him.
Chapter 19 – The Canonisation Process
The Catholic Church goes through the long, unprecedented procedure of welcoming the Absolute into the church as its God.
The fifteen-minute play follows two characters—Raymond Mare and Sandra Holt—as they vie for control of Sandcastle Isle. Ray is the CEO and inheritor of Mare Realty, an old, moneyed company which has a near total monopoly on the Floridian beach island. Sandra Holt works for the newer, less successful Beach Realty of Sandcastle Isle. Sandra, pretending she’s only a tourist, befriends and manipulates Ray, and the power dynamic between the two companies begins to shift. With each passing scene, the stage is constricted as the water rises, and the beach steadily erodes.
If you read my post “That’d Make a Great Play,” this is the play I was talking about. I was driven to right it because I found the spectacle of staging an eroding beach so interesting (it was also an assignment for my playwriting class, but whatever—I would’ve written it anyway.)
Included also in this publication is an afterword describing how I came upon this idea, why I went the path that I did with it, and why the name is so damn long.
What better summer reading than a play about Florida sinking?
Only one chapter today, because the next three chapters work well as a block, and I didn’t want to split them up. So, three chapters next Sunday, and just one chapter today—though it’s a very fun chapter.
Chapter 12 – The Private Tutor
The learned Doctor Balhouš sets out to write an academic paper regarding recent episodes of religious fervor and fanaticism, and does so all day long, and through the night.
Chapter 10 – The Blessed Elen
Mr. Bondy ponders the state of the world as he walks the streets, and has a chance encounter with his once love, Elen.
Chapter 11 – The First Conflict
A carousel fitted with a carburator becomes a divine sanctuary, and its owner a spiritual leader, but there is friction when the carousel starts touring near the holy dredger.