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 Stories is 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EDIT: As of June 12, 2020, this play has been unpublished.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.
Other announcement: I’m on Twitter now, @FrancisRBass.
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!
School’s back in, so what better time to read a play about the future of higher education and students arguing with each other?
You can buy Monastery on Smashwords or on Amazon. Here’s the synopsis:
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.
We’ll Tell Happy Stories is now available on Smashwords and Amazon!
The 70-minute play is about Boa and Ardom, two refugees posing as ambassadors. With the help of a local captain, they and their daughter have survived for years pretending that their home country, Choroa, is still perfectly stable. When a royal edict orders that all Choroans must leave the country or face enslavement, Boa and Ardom must reveal harsh truths and spin fanciful stories in order to convince their hosts that they should be allowed to stay.
The publication also includes an afterword describing how the classes I was taking at the time affected this play, the origins of some of the names, and other trivia you may find interesting.
You can read the first half of the play for free below.Read More »