Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Planet Jumpers" published in Every Day Fiction

I received my subscriber email from EDF yesterday with my story, "Planet Jumpers," in it. It appears it went up on the website the day before.

This was one of the many stories I've written that began as a one-hour challenge. Two major inspirations are at play in it. One is Italo Calvino's story about how the moon used to be much closer to the earth and how the people (of some sort) in those days used to go back and forth from one to the other. It's one of the t-zero or Cosmicomics stories narrated by Qfwfq. Scientifically it makes no sense, but it's such a lovely and rich story that the science doesn't matter. The other source is a detail from Gene Wolfe's Book of the Short Sun. In that series, there are two planets, and the alien natives of one of them are able to jump between planets (or claim they are able to, or the narrator believes they are able to--one always has to be cautious about this kind of thing in Wolfe's books, and especially when it was a series I read only once and that was years ago). There are reasons to question this ability, not just the science of it, but within the story. But the image was a fun one. So those two ideas came together as I wrote this. Where the alien species came from and the idea of their intense breeding programs, well, I don't recall any specific inspiration for that, just the whimsy of my mind.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Episode 9, Calling in the Press

Episode 9 is live today! In this one, Chels decides on a bold move to make the people of Spire City realize what Orgood's infection is doing and where it comes from. Will her plan make things better for those who are infected, or will it backfire?

I've been thinking again recently about how I structured these episodes when I wrote them. There's a balance between moving the season-long and series-long arcs forward and a sort of return-to-status-quo, in the style of many sitcoms and other TV shows. Firefly was definitely forefront in my mind as I worked through this part of the series, so even if no one else sees the influence, I can see how certain aspects of the stories drew from that show.

Some episodes fall quite cleanly within one of those camps, and especially at this point of the first season, more of them are return-to-status-quo stories. Think of them as those fun episodes like "Jaynestown," full of adventure and conflict, but not adding much toward the big arc of the show, especially the mystery of River and the agents who are pursuing them.

Other episodes have a much more obvious connection to the series arc. We're working on the final tweaks of the last few episodes of season 1, and there's a definite ramping up of the confrontation with Orgood coming. My recollection is that season 2 has much more of a long-arc focus (though I haven't looked too closely at those stories in a while). And season 3 has its own twists on that balance.

I won't say here whether "Calling in the Press" is more status-quo or arc-focused. But I will say that this one has some major consequences for events in season 2 and beyond.

Available from all the usual suspects.

Friday, May 09, 2014

"Apprentice in the Steam Library" sold to Villainous Press

I've sold a steampunk short story to a new anthology coming out from Villainous Press. I'll give more details when I know more about the release and other information, but the idea behind the anthology is that these are all steampunk stories not directly tied to London or New York or other places in the real world. My story is actually set in Spire City, though the name is never used. Readers of Spire City: Infected will even find one little reference to the characters of the serial, which should be fun for them.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Alas for CLASH! Dawn of Steam...but not the end!

The Kickstarter campaign for CLASH! Dawn of Steam ended today. It earned 230 backers and over $12,600 toward its goal, which is a most respectable campaign in many ways...but not quite enough to meet its goal. All is not lost, though. Mad Ape Games is already working on a scaled-back campaign with only one 2-player boxed set and some other adjustments to lower the costs. So there will be more, and I'll be sure to post a link when that happens.

In the meantime, two more of my stories did appear (one as I was frantically getting ready for a road trip to Iowa, and one while we were there, which is my excuse for not posting the links at the time).

Kaira Haedes is a bat-riding, blood-magic-casting Herald of Fear. Rather than brute force, she uses magic and trickery to bring down a city.

Arandor Lantheiin is as much a staple of typical epic fantasy as anything I've likely written in years, an elven king with great knowledge of ancient magic. The story is pure epic fantasy, the heroes besieged in an impregnable fortress--or so they hope--and a powerful force camped outside their walls, trying to break through. But you should know by now that the story won't end up as predictable as that might sound.

So give them a read, and let them whet your appetite for the new, revised campaign for the game in a few weeks or so.