A rant about the transitory nature of modern technology.
A 1,500 word short story.
This was just me venting my irritation at having to replace DVD recorders and such every couple of years, and then new ones not working properly or not doing what I want, and stuff I recorded on the old one now unusable for no reason I can see, and as you can tell I’m still irritated by it.
It’s pointless now, I suppose. With 3D printers becoming more sophisticated I can see us getting to the point where when an electronic device stops working we simply break it up, feed it into our home printer for materials, and have another one created. Of course the design specs will be updated regularly, and you’ll have to pay for them, so the companies can keep making money without overheads for warehousing and transport.
But at least with this possibility the materials wouldn’t be wasted, so a good part of my irritation would be reduced by this utopian vision of the future. So of course things won’t turn out like that.
The second short story in my Tales o f the Thief-City is out now on Smashwords.
After an absence from the thief-city, Rax Darkthorn has debts long overdue, and not to the kind of people who’d let them slide. Making good on them will require negotiating with a crystalline savage and a faerie queen, and placing himself in the middle of a simmering gang war.
Sequel to Street of Lost Gods.
A 6700 word fantasy short story.
It’ll be available through the Smashwords distribution network (Apple, Sony, Kobo, etc.) soon, but I won’t be making it available through Amazon (although Smashwords do offer it in Kindle format). The series is going to be free, but Amazon’s free price-matching has been erratic for a while, so it’s just not worth the trouble.
Amid tense peace talks between vampire and werewolf factions, a werewolf councillor is murdered. Recently adopted into the Clans, Jason is assigned to investigate, and forced by politics to partner with a vampire, his former girlfriend who he didn’t know had been turned. Faced with growing fanaticism among the Clans, a vampire assassin, an old family enemy, and the threat of losing control, Jason must solve the murder before his new life falls apart.
I remain happy with the ending, but worry that if I reread the rest it won’t match up. I know the first chapter is a mess, and should have stuck to a single POV. I could well be remembering it more harshly than it is, but I don’t want to reread until I get time for the inevitable revisions this’ll generate (no matter how many times I go through, or how happy I am with it at the time, as I go on and my writing improves [or at least evolves] I constantly feel compelled to tinker).
I’m not actually bothered by the infodump scene in the middle, as I feel it works as a conversation. That it gives an alternative view of the history as Jason explained (in a limited way) it earlier also prevents it feeling dry (I hope).
I’ve covered some of the origins of the novel in this interview.
Granted powers by a mysterious celestial event, the empowered must cope with the changes as they’re gathered under government control, to determine whether they’re assets or threats. Whether running from their previous life, running to what they want to be, or getting lost in their powers, everyone must deal with the revelation of the power’s source, and what it’s turning them into.
As a fan of the superhero genre I doubt this’ll be the only superpowers novel I’ll do. Originally this was just going to be a short story focussed on the interview in the middle of the book with the revelation. It grew beyond that before I even started writing it.
The variety of powers give scope to keep fight scenes fresh, and I’m relatively happy with most of those, especially the big one at the end. Looking back at it though, I wonder whether there were too many viewpoints, and I’m not altogether sure it hangs together that well. It probably needs a revision if I ever have the time.
The basic idea behind this was invasion by superpowers, which makes them a kind of infection. Ones which have beneficial effects, but which will also kill the carrier’s mind and turn their body into a host for a programmed consciousness.
While not explicitly linked to the other books, it could easily be linked by having the aliens responsible for this have also been victims of faerie incursions (see the review of Broken Worlds). They studied what was done and technologised it, turning it into a weapon.