Entries from July 2007 ↓

Interviewing Leather, Part Six

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Interviewing Leather

Because I love you thiiiiiiiis much, it’s the sixth part of “Interviewing Leather.” We’re actually moving into the first extensively changed/written bits since I started posting this as a serial — since as you’ll recall, the story was unfinished to begin with — and I hope you enjoy the result. Things are also a bit more active in this week’s entry. But then, that had to happen sooner or later, right?

It is worth noting the language is a little bit rougher in this entry.

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The Songs of Books

This entry is part 7 of 26 in the series Mythology of the Modern World

It is Mythology Day once again, and today’s comes from… [checks notes] um… hm. Super Battle Droid.

Look, I’m not going to ask for a clarification. He (or she) might have a blaster. My skin is soft and remarkably unblasterproof.

Anyhow, SBD’s question is simple. Well, actually, it’s somewhat convoluted:

What really happens to the myriad graduate and undergraduate thesis papers after they disappear into the archives of their respective universities, never to be read, cited, peer reviewed, or heard from again?

That’s a good question, and worthy of examination. For reasons I hope will become clear, we will explore it in a myth we call:

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Protected: Theftworld Chapter Six

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A Judgment of History

For those tired of In Nomine fan fiction, I offer up this Nobilis fan fiction, for this our Random Thursday.

Nobilis is one of the primary influences on my Mythology series, though it is (generally) a darker take on it. Humanity mixes with the divine, assuming Estates and powers, and entering into a very genteel warfare between different ‘familias’ of nobility among the demigods.

This is as typical a Nobilis story as I can think of. And I think it stands on its own. If not… um… well, please accept my hope that you win the lottery.

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Death is a Moving Target

Not too long ago, David Malki !, Ryan North and Matthew Bennardo put out a call of submissions for a new high concept short story collection called Machine of Death. The concept was simple. A machine had been invented that would give a simple, albeit mysterious, answer to the question “how am I going to die?” It was based on an entry in Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics.

I was fascinated, because I had always enjoyed the classic Heinlein short story “Life Line.” Which was based on the invention of a machine that would tell you exactly when you would die. And was the first short story Heinlein ever published.

So I lept into writing a story to submit for the collection. And after forty-five hundred words it was ready.

The problem was, I had written an updating of “Life Line,” operating from an entirely different principle. See, “Life Line” had detailed the reaction of the world — most exactly the insurance industry — into this discovery of the moment of death. And that fascinated me. Besides, I didn’t think there were enough dark fantasy/sf stories about actuaries.

Which meant my high concept wasn’t the high concept. I had a story about a machine that would predict the moment of death, barring lifestyle change or misadventure.

So I wrote another story to submit. And then, right as it was ready for submission (and had been read by several people with advice), I hit the same dry period that the rest of my writing and online contact hit, and so it never went to them. Ah well, I’ll include it here sometime.

In the meantime, please enjoy “Death is a Moving Target.”

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Interviewing Leather, Part Five

This entry is part 5 of 14 in the series Interviewing Leather

I’m breaking the Leather story where the scene breaks naturally fall. That mean’s this week’s is shorter than normal. But then, it had to happen sometime, right? Anyway. Here’s Leather. Have fun with her!

Because there’s nothing more fun than spreadsheets….

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What’s the real deal with gasoline prices?

This entry is part 6 of 26 in the series Mythology of the Modern World

Today, we have a myth as suggested by a fellow who goes by Channing, who I know by a couple of other names but “Channing” works as well as any.

Channing asks:

What really is the deal with gasoline prices? Half the time there’s some kind of patent price-jacking going on to coincide with major travel weekends, but the other half it’s like they’ve got trained chickens selecting the price and then the media submits some kind of half-hearted unconvincing post hoc reason as to why they are what they are, either up or down. Who’s really at the switch? And what do they want?

Which is a pretty elaborate ‘question,’ but one I’m going to distill down to the following: what is the real deal with gasoline prices?

More as always after the break, but first, a note on the writing. The first couple of myths were fusions of essays (with digressions) and immediate stories (with digressions). These had their fans, but a number of people thought the combination made them too long and too uneven. And in the end, I am an entertainer, and if my spastic movements look more like a seizure than a dance, it’s time to go back to the soft shoe.

Last week’s myth was entirely story (with digressions), and it went over rather well indeed. This week’s is entirely essay (with digressions), and we’ll see how it does.

Please note, there will continue to be some essays and some fusions, as that’s how my brain works and some myths will require it.

Let me know what you think!

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Weekend: Influential!

Still sick, still achy, still in Canada, and still keeping on keeping on. I hope you’re all well and doing better than I am healthwise. (As for non-health? Hey, I’m with my fiancée. I’m golden.

It’s the weekend, and that means it’s open mike day. And I thought today might be fun to discuss influences. If you look at Mythology of the Modern World, you see Neil Gaiman bumping up against Thomas Bulfinch, with a good sized dollop of the Bros. Grimm as filtered through Nobilis and Hitherby Dragons. All of which also owes a moderate amount to Douglas Adams, at least in style. Looking at Justice Wing stuff, there’s a goodly amount of the old Superguy stuff in there, but with big chunks of Tom Wolf and Hunter S. Thompson, alongside some of the potboiler style stuff. And Theftworld is Robert Heinlein and Mike Resnick having a confab with J. Michael Straczynski with DS9 era Ronald Moore offering commentary and drinks.

Which isn’t to say any of this is up to any of their quality. But I’m talking influence.

So what about all of you? What influences do you have in your creative work, your day to day life — whatever, really? Sound off! With sound!

Protected: Theftworld Chapter Five

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Poetry: Pippo Spano

This is late. I’m sick. Thursdays are random anyway, so what the heck.

This is actually the first poem I ever published, in an issue of the Black Fly Review. It was written for an art history class where we had to select a specific painting and give a response. The example was a poem, and I misunderstood and thought we were supposed to write a poem, which pissed me off.

As it works out, this is one of the high points of my academic career — one of those moments that changes your outlook forever.

The painting is Pippo Spano, by Andrea del Castagno, written for his “Cycle of Famous Men and Women.”

Sorry I’m a bit nonlucid tonight.

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