Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Perfect Wave

In the January 2008 issue of Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine, a story from Rudy Rucker and myself, “The Perfect Wave.” I talked Jeremy Bennett, my esteemed co-worker and a favorite artist, into doing a cover illustration especially for the story. Jeremy is not only a surfer, he did a great deal art for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and King Kong. We’ve spent a lot of time together poring over classic pulp covers, including at the Science Fiction Museum. Rudy and I were stoked by Jeremy’s interpretation of our story. Since it got majorly cropped for the magazine cover, I’ve provided a link to a full shot of the image with none of the lettering or bar codes, so people can enjoy it in full.

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Flurbs from R’lyeh

Issue #4 of Rudy Rucker’s Flurb is now live. With the kind permission of John Pelan, Rudy is running my story “The Vicar of R’lyeh,” which was written for John’s anthology The Cthulhuian Singularity. Every now and then, writing a Cth-Mythos story is a way of remembering my roots; it must be a little like playing covers or doing remixes of songs you love, if you’re a musician. I’ve got at least one more I’m mind-tinkering with, concerning Egyptian archaeology, Egyptian terrorism and the Beloved of Nyarlat.

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There’s great stuff in this issue of Flurb, including work by John Kessel, Kim Stanley Robinson and Kathleen Ann Goonan. Also, Gustav Flurbert, which was the first attempt to do a multi-part collaboration using Googledocs. This splattery composition, “Irene Leaves the Werehouse,” was rather constrained, but I hope to orchestrate more ambitious works, with a lot more simultaneous collaborators, in the future. Maybe on this very site.

New Flurb

Flurb #3 is out. Rudy keeps extracting things I didn’t know I had to give, old promises I forgot I might have made. Might have.

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Anders, DiFilippo, Gunn, Herbert, Laidlaw, Metzger, Quaglia, Rucker, Saknussemm, Shirley, Sirius, Tonnies, and Watson!

God to Earth: “Cry More, Noobs!”

Many months ago, Wired solicited a bunch of six-word stories in the manner of Hemingway. Mine got cut from the print edition (also, many months ago) because of an admittedly horrible page design (I saw it and it warn’t pretty), but these things tend to have a longer life on the web anyway:

God to Earth: “Cry more, noobs!”

“Help! Trapped in a text adventure!”

More here.

The Master of Ballantrae

The finest Robert Louis Stevenson novel I hadn’t read, The Master of Ballantrae (1889) blends the high-seas piracy of Kidnapped! and Treasure Island, with Jekyll & Hyde‘s dark doubled vision of humanity. It seems to have had a strong influence on Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer (1909), of which I was vividly reminded during certain long discussions in a ship’s cabin during a storm. And toward the stripped-down end of the novel, it turns into a grim frontier adventure reminiscent of Antonia Bird’s sublime Ravenous.

Highly recommended. Not all that hard to find online.

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“Before us was the high range of mountains toward which we had been all day deviously drawing near. From the first light of the dawn, their silver peaks had been the goal of our advance across a tumbled lowland forest, thrid with rough streams, and strewn with monstrous boulders; the peaks (as I say) silver, for already at the higher altitudes the snow fell nightly; but the woods and the low ground only breathed upon with frost. All day heaven had been charged with ugly vapours, in the which the sun swam and glimmered like a shilling piece; all day the wind blew on our left cheek barbarous cold, but very pure to breathe. With the end of the afternoon, however, the wind fell; the clouds, being no longer reinforced, were scattered or drunk up; the sun set behind us with some wintry splendour, and the white brow of the mountains shared its dying glow.”

I have no doubt that my recent one-day sojourn in Roatan spurred a renewed interest in Stevenson, but I ended up glomming onto this instead of any of his South Sea stories.