Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

(Wrote this back in 2003 for the now defunct DARK FUTURES website, where it came in 1st for their HOT DAYS CAN MAKE A HOT LIFE HOTTER contest).

I’ve heard some say winters are the worst around here. The way the cold freezes your blood, the way people are found flash frozen where they lay down the night before, how food is scarce and everyone scrabbles for what little there is. Those of us that have been around though, us scavenger types, the jackals, we know the truth. Summers’ll kill you faster than winter.

Winters cold keeps most of the diseases at bay, keeps them sleeping, see? You don’t get as much type two cholera, or  rampant dysentery, or whatever that new bug the speakers on the police drones are blasting on about. Take today, for instance. The speakers are warning that Mandarin Monkey-pox has been documented in quadrant B. Sure. That’s fine and all. That just means that one of the hospitals in Quadrant B has documented it. Know what that means for us down here, where there aren’t hospitals and you might get lucky and get into the clinic once a year? Yeah, it means that Monkey-Pox is in Quadrants B, C, D, F and probably all the way through Z. And they don’t bother telling you how not to get it. Some of them you get by eating the wrong thing, or fucking the wrong person, or breathing in the wrong air. Speaking of eating, its early, so I better go get my grub on.

Yeah, picking through the garbage is a before the sun is up kind of job. In the winter, it don’t matter so much. It stays cold enough, dry enough, the rot takes a while to set in. This time of year though, you better be up and out quick if you’re picking through the rich folks garbage for a hint of fresh veg, maybe a bit of gristle that’s gone unnoticed. Wait too long, and you’ll be battling bloated flies big as your head, and those rats the size of a two year old that have been popping up more and more. Then you’ve got to worry about what the garbage might have been sprayed with. I’ve heard the rich have started dousing their scraps. Maybe with something to keep us jackals sterile, maybe to spread the Monkey-pox. Maybe Monkey-Pox doesn’t come from Mandara after all, wherever that is, but its another form of control.

Here’s the other thing about summers down here on the ass end of the city. It gets hot, and it stays hot. Sure, we might not have to worry about getting burned directly by that big yellow bitch in the sky, but she heats up the air down here, makes it like an oven. All that concrete and steel up top, it traps it down here with us. Cooking us. Roasting us. Making the air so thick you’ve got to cut it with a knife.

So welcome to the slums. Welcome to the Oven. Pray that you make it to winter, because at least then you might get some peace.

This week’s Chuck Wendig challenge: Take one of ten titles and work a story around it. I went with Wolves of Sorrow, and decided I’d use it as an excuse to bring Hiram Sand and his behemoth back out for a spin. Because giant mechs and killer robots and giant mushroom forests. It is a smidge over the given limit, but you won’t hold that against me, will you?

(more…)

Coffin Dodgers: A Sci Fi Horror Book by [Adams, Tom G.H. ]

What would happen if THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME was set in the future, on an alien planet? What if instead of one person set loose in the wilderness, it was a team of competing extreme athletes?

That’s the simple premise behind the latest from Tom G.H. Adams, the aptly named COFFIN DODGERS. A group of extreme athletes and thrillseekers, here designated T-types, are sent to a newly discovered world, there to compete for a fat cash prize.

Soon, however, they discover that they are competing for more than money as they are being hunted and killed in a sadistic hunt. As I’ve come to expect from Tom, he leans way in on the horror, sometimes seeming to bring the gore for gore’s sake, but never ignoring the impact it has on his characters. While I do feel the motivation for his villain(s) is a bit over the top, I can appreciate how he worked the interplay of sex and violence into his text. He does an excellent job of getting into some of the characters heads, and I will say for villain of the piece, that was an insight I did not rightly relish.

Tom does an excellent job of setting up the tension between the hunters and the prey, and while there are elements of the chase I wish he would have explored more (how were the hunters tracking the other contestants? why didn’t the contestants realize something was fishy about the “contest” sooner?)

The novella did fall a little short for me in places. Given how it is set in the future, I would have appreciated a more diverse group of characters. All of them come from Earth, with no real delving into how a Mars colonist might compete. Some ethnic stereotypes are given broad strokes as well (the Australian pilot being the most glaring example). The planet as well, while interesting, relied heavily on it being an Earth analogue, albeit one still going through its own prehistoric development… complete with creatures that looked an awful like what you might find in Jurassic Park. I would have appreciated creatures perhaps a bit more alien, or at least flora that was less benign than what our contestants encountered here.

Overall, for a quick read, it is very enjoyable. 3 and a half stars.

You can pick up your own copy here on Amazon, and you can check out Tom’s website here.The book is releasing Feb 2nd.

A simple enough challenge. Go to theyfightcrime.net. Use those characters in a story. My two:

  1. He’s a bisexual evil genius with a water pistol full of pee.
  2. She’s an orphaned barbarian from the wrong side of the tracks.

Ahem. Sorry for the lack of clever title this week.

(more…)

Oh look! A story by me! And it’s not even on this site. Woo hoo!

Slightly more serious, you can check out my story “A Brief Flash in Darkness” in this issue of Phase 2, along with some other great sci-fi stories written by a group of excellent writers.

Curiosity

Posted: February 23, 2016 in cyberpunk, Fiction, Science Fiction
Tags: , , , ,

Image source: http://simonweaner.deviantart.com/art/Punker-587861262

This month’s story image prompt from the Cyberpunk Writer’s group I’m part of. Not very cyberpunk in ethos (my story, not the image), but I still like how it played out.

Leave a comment if you are feeling kind.

(more…)

This week’s challenge, take a title by someone else and turn it into a story. I went over by about 400 words on this one, but I think it’s worth it.

My title is courtesy of David Benson.

(more…)

This week’s challenge was to take someone elses’ character (from this challenge) and write a story. Limit was 2,000 words. I went with about 1500. I’m reasonably sure the character went in a direction the original writer intended, but that’s part of the magic of this, isn’t it? anyway, been thinking about cyberpunk type characters for a bit, which is why I’m pretty sure this turned out the way it did.

Original character sketch can be found here. (more…)

My response to the Chuck Wendig challenge this week. My words were a pile of napkins, a blue punch card, a dark potion, a broom, a small machine, a hardhat, a flashlight, a diploma. It’s a weird sci-fi/fantasy/mashup. Probably wouldn’t be too bad with a bit more polish.

(more…)