Way back in 2008, a handful of you may have read the first story I ever sold, “Shades of Red”, in the (web)pages of the sadly defunct A Thousand Faces. It was this big superhero epic that was probably too much story for the 8 or 10 thousand words I crammed it into, but that’s neither here nor there.
One of the characters was Asta, a private detective who happened to be an android. I didn’t really get into his origin much (maybe a hint or two) in the story, but I had it in my head. There are some drafts in my laptop somewhere of his story, a noir detective story featuring Asta’s first case, which was solving the murder of his own creator. Off the top of my head, I remember a disgraced former cop with whom he teams up, a lesbian black widow character, and a climax in which Asta has to battle a giant robot. Set in 1930s Chicago.
Anyway, like a year later Penny Arcade came out with Automata, which is extraordinarily similar. I think there are significant differences (my world isn’t flush with robots, for example, so Asta doesn’t face the animosity Carl does – however, in my story, his human detective pal is Jewish and that was going to be a thing), so I guess if I wanted to every blow the dust off Asta and get his motors firing again I could.
There’s been a resurgence in this sort of pulp sensibility over the past few years, so maybe it’s something I could finish and sell. Still, seeing such a similar concept done so well by Mike and Jerry pretty well eroded my desires to do so.
Anyway, I just happened to come across a link to Automata and it reminded me of all this. Carry on.
My flash piece about one of the many dangers of workplace romance is now available over at A Thousand Faces.
You’re going to need a hardhat.
Let me know what you think!
I have also written a Christmas story. If all goes well, you may be able to read it in a few weeks. If not, I’ll have to hang on to it and try to sell it next year, since I didn’t write it until yesterday. Christmas holiday themed things have a rather narrow window of only about half a year, you know.
Happy Veteran’s Day, everyone!
I just received the following missive from Frank of A Thousand Faces.
First things first: the reason for the holiday. A heartfelt THANK YOU to
all the real heroes, past and present, putting their life on the line to
preserve our rights to make up silly stories about masks and capes.
And, to celebrate, Lulu is offering up a nice ONE DAY ONLY 20.10% discount
on all orders placed today!
Head over to the Thousand Faces webstore —
and use coupon code VETSDAY305 at the checkout!
If you haven’t picked up any of the prior issues of the book, you should do so now! In particular, I recommend Issue Four, where you will find a superhero story of epic proportions with my name on it!
I almost forgot, but the writing group is doing our annual Story Every Day contest this month. For the next couple of weeks we’ll be churning out a short story every single day. It is crazy!
Thanks to some forgetfulness and a minor communications snafu, we’re actually starting today instead of yesterday like we’d originally intended. But no biggie. So I’ll be trying to post excerpts of my attempts each day.
This is a little of what I wrote last night at the write-in to kick things off. I thought this might serve as a good companion piece to a story I’ll have appearing in A Thousand Faces later this year.
Continue reading Story-a-day Day 0
Good news – A Thousand Faces accepted a new flash piece from me! I had a lot of fun writing this one. Look for that later this year.
Tuesday evening I pounded out more than I’ve written in a while. Perhaps I’m getting back on track after a pretty dry couple of months.
I’m a fan of writing these interview-style works. I enjoy writing dialogue, and the form really lets you explore the character and how they see the world and interact with others. Don’t have to worry about advancing a plot or framing an action scene. The story is in how the characters reveal themselves through their speaking. Just a couple of people sitting around chatting. It also makes me feel like I’m working on a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary (though I’m not nearly so talented as those guys).
There’s great poetry done in this style, too. So I thought, more as an exercise to get my brain going again more than anything else, that I’d write a few interviews with my fictional alien rock band, Virtuoso of the Serious Combat. By the time I got through the first section, the spark of a fuller story had ignited.
But do these sorts of things work as prose stories? I don’t know how entertaining they really are to anyone other than me. It may be that this will make a great screenplay for a short film, but not a short story. We shall see! I understand Script Frenzy is next month, too. Perhaps this will give me a chance to break in my copy of Celtx.
Anyway, here’s the rough first part of the interview series. Let me know if this looks like something that might be entertaining, in any medium. Continue reading Byline
A Thousand Faces is having a sale for today only – everything is 25% off with the coupon code CYBERBOOKS. If you have any interest in superhero fiction you should check it out. Issue 4, featuring my story “Shades of Red” (as well as some great stories by Erin and Jens), is only $8.97, before the discount! These are great deals, people.
What also may be of interest is that the latest issue is out, featuring a story by Erin and holy cats now I see one by KC Ball as well.
Man alive. I’m the superhero guy and you’ve all left me in the dust. I need to get back on that.
Clearly, I’ve fallen way behind on my Story Every Day exercises. I just barely squeezed one out for today.
Still, I thought it would be fun to play around with a minor bit character I created for Shades of Red way back when. I had to look him up just to remember his name. In a way this is sort of a follow-up to that story, one of the consequences of that adventure. Some of the best genre stories are from the point of view of someone not directly involved with the big epic that’s taking place. The little guy on the side who’s a witness to these big events can offer a fresh perspective on the action and help flesh out the universe at the same time.
This story involves Radio Gal, who if you’ve been around here long enough you’ve seen once or twice before. Just the first few hundred words. For some reason I have a blast writing these scenes of superheroes just sitting around talking. Continue reading SED Day Whatever
My wife made this awesome cake for my birthday last week.
Don’t recognize the picture? Then clearly you need to head over to A Thousand Faces and check it out!