Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another submission out the door....

The deadline for the SpecFicNZ competition was today (31/03/11) - so naturally it took until right up to today to finish off my story (Trip Hawker and the Point of Death) and get it submitted.
Frankly, I have no idea what kind of chance it has of winning, I worry that my writing is a bit low-brow for NZ tastes - although the competition is being run by the Wily Writers website which is based in the US.

This story is the second to feature my character, Trip Hawker, (the first, ..and the Asteroid of Vengeance is soon to turn up in "Rockets, Swords and Rainbows: New Tales of Science Fiction") - it's deliberately breathless pulp, hopefully with a bit of oomph in the subject matter, but more than anything, I want it to be a thumping good piece of action. If I have an issue with New Zealand writing, it always seems to be very deliberately deep and meaningful - I should note that there is still lots of excellent writing, but I find it all a little serious.

Interestingly, the main force behind the Wily Writers website is Angel Leigh McCoy who penned the superb "Barnes Family Reunion" in the Masters of Horror anthology (also featuring my story, "Something Unpleasant")  ... Angel's story is NOT any reflection of my own family get-togethers...

Todays drabble is inspired by the dramatic tumbling of despotic regimes across the middle-east and the exciting surge of democracy and freedom...

The President’s bunker was finally breached and the Allied troops charged in, shooting the henchmen of the tyrant.
Captain Flint pointed his gun at the President.
“Flint,” said the President, “remember when we took out those terrorists?”
Flint smiled. “This is nothing personal, but we’re on the side of the freedom fighters now.”
The President shrugged. “Freedom fighters, terrorists?” Flint shot him dead.
The rebel leader stormed in, shoved the President’s body aside and tried out the chair behind the desk.
“So when are the elections?” asked Flint.
The Leader waved a hand. “Don’t worry, we’ll get round to it.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Super-heroics for Canterbury, not so super heroics for my story....

I finally finished and submitted my superhero story “The Girl who blew his mind” to the Beta City Anthology – and once again, its writing is a tale of three different stories, all different. The first was a straight good vs evil battle with Redstar, our socialist super hero taking on evil aliens with his more human nemesis, Charles Vance complicating issues. Version two made Redstar more of an ally of Mr Vance, but one who was about to be thoroughly stabbed in the back as the story progressed. Our final version sees Redstar deleted altogether and Charles Vance (now the Man with a Billion Brains) takes centre stage in a furious battle in cyberspace and his own psyche!!!!

It has been fun working on this story. As always, I had to go through my weird process to discover what my story actually is. What is slightly annoying is that if it is rejected (or maybe when) I really have no idea what to do with it – unlike my western horror story, which has been bounced around a couple of other horror anthologies, this story was conceived and written for one particular anthology.

Ah well, it is out there now, and although I’m not particularly confident, I still take satisfaction in actually finishing it. As Neil Gaiman advised at the Wellington Readers and Writers Festival last year, if you want to be a writer you’ve got to write and finish stuff. The writing bit is sort of obvious, but the finishing bit was a very good tip – my hard drive is still littered with half done stuff – it is a good habit to grind on through to the end, as I have found, it may not be the story I want, but it often points to the story that I’m after. At the signing session after his talk, Neil stole my Gold pen... but that’s another story.

Talking of Neil Gaiman, he has agreed to provide a story for a great anthology that is being worked on right now: Tales for Canterbury. It’s a book being put together by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro (both of whom have excellent stories in “A Foreign Country”) and all proceeds from it will be going to help victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

And this blog’s drabble – a bit of Biblical satire...

God waved to Adam. “All OK?” He called.
Adam waved cheerily back. “Sweet as,” he shouted back as Eve, his stunning, naked wife walked up.
“Now,” said God, “you haven’t eaten from the tree of knowledge, eh?”
“Course not,” said Adam.
“Cool,” said God, and off He trotted. He found the Serpent.
“So they’re not eating the fruit?” said the Serpent.
“No,” said God, “how is My Plan supposed to work if they won’t eat the fruit?”
“I could tell them to eat it?” said the Serpent.
“Oh go on, then,” said God, “we’ve got to get this going somehow.”