The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘story’

Idiosyncratica October Post

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/10/2008

OK, I know this is total schlock, but I kind of enjoyed it…

The dropship booms into the sand of the planet, shaking everyone of us from toe to tailbone, up our spines and through our skulls.

A moment of whiteness. We compensate. Civilians wouldn’t cope, their brains would spray from their ears, but we’re not civilians. We were changed into soldiers.

Doors open. Dropships resemble housebricks, with doors on all sides. You can exit from any side. Our mothership waits for us in orbit.

No injuries, no casualties, and the platoon leaves the ship.

We’re dealing with an infestation. Xenomorphs. That’s aliens to you. They’ve been munching colonists, so they called us in. This is the time that Ripley or someone starts with prophecies of doom. Whatever. No civilians on this mission. They can’t take the landings.

We exit. The implants kick in, scrolling information on atmospheric conditions. Target software sleeps in the corner of my vision, waiting to wake up and kick ass.

Light shines off the brick behind us. Nothing like Aliens here, it’s day, we’re not flexing muscles or bonding with gay jokes. We’re soldiers, not actors.

We head towards the colony through sand that shifts underfoot. Nobody shouts or hails us, there’s no gunfire or explosions. We hear nothing.

And then they rise. My target program kicks in with a grin, and I find myself shooting at xeno after xeno. We enter the colony building and swarms appear. We retreat to a corridor and regroup.

I give orders through the implant network, and we take the fight to them again. My implant keys up music inside my skull. I Walk The Line. Chicka-chicka-chicka, railway lines, blending with the sound of guns.

And then it ends. I see the dead on all sides, and the music changes to a dirge. I unclip my radio and signal the Sulaco.

We move.


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One Fine Night

Posted by That Other Mike on 27/07/2008

Inspired by Gary’s posting of Reflections, I’ve decided to post a short story I wrote a while back. I recently rewrote it because it was originally quite predictable, and it was liked by the missus and the Murningster himself; given that two such illustrious personages had given it their favour, I decided to inflict share it with you, too.

The story is enclosed, is NSFW and contains adult themes unsuitable for children.

Read the rest of this entry »

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My fiction and me – on being a writer and reader

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/07/2008

Before I get into my shtick about fiction, I’d just like to thank everyone who has decided to take part in our readers’ and writers’ group by joining Idiosyncratica. I’m sure we’ll all find it enjoyable and useful.

The topic we chose was “My fiction and me”, which I think is a nice and gentle opener. It may get more complex later on as we get into the swing of things and grow more confident as a group; then again, it might become easier for us to handle. We’ll see, anyway.

I’d like to start by talking about what I read. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been an avid reader. Mainly, I think, because I am by nature quite shy; I have learned to overcome it and be more outgoing, but it is an act of will rather than nature.

My reading runs a wide range, although I am very much a fan of the 20th century in terms of what I read, probably because the 20th was the first century in which reading was not a pursuit only of the wealthy who had leisure time: it saw a huge variety of different genres explode onto the scene in a very short time, from the hardboiled noir of Chandler to the elegant visionary themes of Alfred Bester to the psychological mastery of Patricia Highsmith. The sheer volume of different books about different themes and by such different people are enough to make the 20th century my favourite.

On my bookshelf, Vernon God Little sits next to The Left Hand of Darkness and The Wasp Factory:I will read almost any genre, although I do have my limits and my favourites. I am always drawn to science fiction, perhaps because it so often offers a vision of better future, and to horror and the supernatural, my affection for which I’m almost scared to analyse! I tend to stay away from romance fiction and I often find myself turned off by modern literary fiction, which too often takes pretence and obfuscation and confuses them with profundity.

I also adore certain writers beyond all measure and will remain for ever loyal to them: Margaret Atwood, Patricia Highsmith, Ursula K. Le Guin, Iain Banks (M. or not!), for example. They have created utterly believable characters in backwoods America, apocalyptic futures or utopian worlds of wonder; they tell incredibly human stories set among grand vistas in space or among the claustrophobic nightmare of the 1950s small town.

That’s who I like to read. My writing is a different story. I write with hesitation and I really dislike the actual process of writing. It doesn’t come easily to me, and I’m never sure if anything I do is actually worth reading.

It’s not that I have trouble with story or plot – they arrive whole into my brain, with beginnings and endings and every event, all sketched in faint lines. What I have to do is fill in the colour and block out the shapes, which is what I find difficult.

As far as what I write goes, it mirrors my reading habits – I feel drawn to the supernatural and technologically magical, as well as the darker side of human habits and personalities. This makes me a little wary of showing stuff to people sometimes, and also a little disturbed about it: if I can come up with the most horrific things to happen to my characters, what does that say about me as an individual? I sometimes need to be reassured that it isn’t the mark of a psychopath to write psychopaths, but Lottie and Gary both assure me that isn’t the case. I am thus reassured 😀

Anyway, those are my reading and writing habits: my fiction and me.

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