Entries Tagged 'Incomplete' ↓

From the Vault: Langue

Another fragment. Another incomplete story. Distinctive this time because A) I have absolutely no recollection of writing it (though it’s clearly something I wrote) and B) I have absolutely no idea where I was going with it. But it seems interesting to me.

In a way, it’s more stock than a lot of what I’ve written, particularly for fantasy. At the same time, there’s more of a horror dimension than a lot of my fantasy work.

It’s also distinctive because it’s one of the few stories to involve Fort Baxter, a fictional Maine town along the Canadian border, meant to be my home town of Fort Kent with serial numbers filed sort of off and a fresh coat of paint over it.

I think I probably wrote this while I was finishing up college. I was really into the idea of language critical theory/linguistic critical theory/the sign-significator-significated trichotomy for a while then. I’m a little surprised this isn’t more pretentious than it is as a result.

Apropos of nothing, the lead is named Karin MacDougal.  In 1997, a Karen McDougal became a somewhat more-famous-than-usual Playboy Playmate and then Playmate of the Year. From the tone of this piece, I believe it was written at least four and possibly more years before 1997, so despite the name, this is not an homage to a hot chick.

Also apropos of nothing, I used to make homemade hot cocoa like is described in here.

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From the Vault: America the Beautiful

When we go back to stuff I wrote in the past, moving forward, I think we’ll call it “From the Vault.” That’s the sort of thing we’ll do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, on those Tuesdays and Thursdays we actually do something.

This is a fragment — an incomplete chapter one of a book never written, dating back to the early 90’s. As with pretty much every science fiction writer who was once twenty, this was the beginning of my dystopia novel. Back in the days when I figured I was going to graduate school as a matter of course, I had seriously considered Utopia and Dystopia as a concentration and field of study. I was considering that alongside 19th and 20th Century American Poetry, of course. It never entered my head to go for a Ph.D. in the Modern Superhero Story, which is a pity since that’s what I’d clearly be able to nail.

To that end, I started writing my dystopia. I called it America the Beautiful, because I was very, very earnest about it. This was going to be a call to arms — a warning for the ages that would rank with Brave New World and 1984.

You know. Just like all the other dystopias out there.

Well, I never got out of the first chapter. But rereading the first chapter I’m a little amazed — as unsubtle as the title was, the opening, the establishment of tone and character… it’s better than I expected when I went back to reread this. I’m actually moderately interested in what Thomas’s story would turn out to be.

Not that we’ll ever find out. At least, if I ever pick this up, it’ll be significantly different than whatever I intended fifteen years ago.

There is one thing I like in this, as well. To me, a good dystopia — I mean, a really good and scary one — had to be compelling. You had to get the sense that the people living in that society were perfectly content to live in that society. I didn’t believe 1984 would ever happen for the sheer fact that if the entire world was uncomfortable and unhappy, someone would do something about it in a power bid. Brave New World was far more likely, because as scary as that would was, you could believe the people living in it enjoyed themselves. And when people were happy, they weren’t rebelling against the social order.

Anyhow. Here it is. I hope you like it.

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The Shal Mari Blues: A fragment

We continue a week where work is being… well, workish. No complaints. The start of the year is going significantly better than I could have feared. Still, there is much to be done and not much time to work here.

So, this is another incomplete story — the first chapter of an extended fanfic I never wrote a second chapter for. As with a lot of fan fiction I did over the last decade or so, this one’s based on In Nomine, but rereading it now it seems to me it stands on its own, more or less. The non-In Nomine fan might not get every reference, but I think pretty much everything is explained by context. You don’t really need to know what Essence is, for example — just that it’s useful, souls have it and demons want it.

Shal Mari appeared in my last In Nomine story here as well — Shal Mari Apres Vie: Or This Ain’t Bat Country. As with that story, Shal Mari is the grand city of Hell — the closest thing Hell comes to a nice place or a good face. Only, naturally, it’s Hell so it’s neither nice nor good in the end. There was some feeling, back a few years, that Heaven and Hell were woefully underdescribed in the official supplements, and this was one of my drivers for writing the Shal Mari Blues. I wanted to talk about… well, Hell, from the point of view of the poor schmuck condemned to it. And, because I find societies interesting, I wanted to actually examine the society that would form around damnation. Especially when damned souls themselves were valuable to demons without themselves being of value to demons.

Anyway, this is a story about Hell, so expect nasty language, concepts, mature themes and all the rest. But then, the site does have a disclaimer, now doesn’t it?

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The Old Ways, Chapter Five

And here, we have ourselves at Chapter Five — the last written chapter. There is about half of Chapter Six written, and then no more of The Old Ways, at least so far.

Will there be more? I guess that depends on what people think. Let me know what you think of this particular chapter, but also let me know what you think of the series in general. I appreciate it.

On the whole, even if I never pick this back up — and it’s worth noting my father likes The Old Ways, so there’s every chance I will — I’m glad to have written at least this much. This has been a different kind of story for me.

It is worth noting that the ultimate idea would have been less fantasy adventure and more ‘breakdown of civility into the bush a la Heart of Darkness, which is hinted at in this chapter, just slightly.

Have fun.

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The Old Ways, Chapter Four

And so we hit Chapter Four of The Old Ways. It seems to be gathering some fans, which is nice. Among those fans is my father, who’s also a big fan of Theftworld. I think some depth comes into play in this one.

For the record, as of yesterday we’d broken 200,000 words on this site, not counting comments. Which is a good amount of content for 70 days of blog existence, any way you look at it.

It kind of scares me that we’ve been doing this for seventy days already.

Anyhow. Here’s Jack and the merry band.

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The Old Ways, Chapter Three

Here we have Chapter Three. Some of the feedback’s been quite amazing, and I’m really glad to get it. I get the feeling a number of people like The Old Ways, at least in theory, but the execution is a bit off.

On the other hand, I think this chapter begins to move more towards narrative and less towards storytelling devices (though not all of the way, of course), and people might think it’s finding its place now. Or not. We’ll see. Regardless, enjoy!

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Dreamers (a fragment)

This is a story fragment — one I wrote in the mid 1990’s.

I assume.

It’s in my style. It’s in my files. It’s definitely one of mine from the Kinko’s years. And I have absolutely no memory of it.

It’s not impossible it was something I discussed with my friend Mason Kramer, or perhaps my friend Chris Angelini, or also perhaps my friend Gary Olson, as they were all writing for Superguy at the time — as was I, as has been detailed elsewhere — and both dealt quite a lot with dreamers and dreamweavers.

Though this doesn’t seem to be about the same thing at all.

I don’t think that’s where I intended to stop the story. I assume I meant to write more. But I have no idea. I don’t remember this at all.

So. I pass it to you, for your thoughts and impressions. Should I pursue this one? Should I not? Should I have… pie?

Let me know. And please enjoy.

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