06/04/2024 Snippet, SEVEN FLAGS.

Worldbuilding!

Everybody knew that the Carnivores had its blades pointed outwards these days, and that it now only sheathed them in the flesh of actual foes to the Empire. There was still a certain space given them in camp. There was no need to be antagonistic, was there? There were plenty of real enemies to fight, these days.

Liza still felt surprisingly relaxed when the two of them ducked into the set of linked tents that was serving the Carnivores as a command center. It helped that she had a truly guiltless conscience — Well, guiltless with regard to my loyalties, she admitted to herself. Mother Mary knows that I have plenty of sins to remember. It helped a bit more that she was on a mission for the Emperor himself. She might have lingering reservations about the secret police, but she recognized their commitment to the well-being of the Imperium Orci.

That didn’t mean that working with them was safe, but then: Liza had never been really safe once in her life. Why start now?

06/03/2024 Snippet, SEVEN FLAGS.

There could conceivably be a Volume Three of TALES FROM THE FERMI RESOLUTION, you know. If enough people like the first two, that is. Also: this name, I like.

The province wasn’t as far west as it was supposed to be, though. There was a large purple-green swirl along its western edge, looking unpleasantly like an infected boil on the province. “That’s ugly,” Liza observed. “Dominion stay-behind forces?”

“Worse,” Callie told her. “A Dominion mage. Oh, not one of their Archmages,” she went on, at Liza’s involuntary start. “If it was one of those, that spot would already be represented by a burned-through hole on the map.”

“Or maybe it wouldn’t be,” observed the Emperor. Liza noted that his tone was serious, for the moment. “Saint Anthony is important to the Imperium. It’s going to be the new capital, for one thing.”

Liza gave him a puzzled look. “Isn’t it a monster-haunted ruin, Imperator?”

“Yes! At least, I certainly hope so.” The Emperor laughed. “Monsters can’t threaten to tie you up in court for a decade unless you pay through the nose for the land you’re seizing. If they could, they’d stop being monsters.” He brightened. “Although then they can be taxpayers, which is always nice. — But no, all we have to do with Saint Anthony is just clean out the creatures. After we take care of the enemy forces that are really in our way right now.”

#commissionearned

First stretch goal reached in TALES FROM THE FERMI RESOLUTION 2 Kickstarter!

In just over a week, too.

I’ve already picked the next stretch goal for the TALES FROM THE FERMI RESOLUTION 2 Kickstarter:

  • $2,000: More sampler stories! At this point, the sampler will be five Fermi Resolution stories, including two ones exclusive to this sampler. It will be very close to a short episodic novel at that point, as all five stories will be set in the Falling Walls of Lunacy Marsh/Asenath Fermi Resolution horror sub-series. The Moon is not a nice place in a magical apocalypse. With these stories, you’ll get to see just how much.

Back it today!

Call for feedback on the Kickstarter.

I am almost ready to send the Kickstarter in for review (I still have to do a video). I doubt there’s going to be any problems, but that’s when you check harder, right? In the spirit of that: if you want to take a look at said Kickstarter and give me some feedback, feel free to let me know in comments and I’ll email you a link.

Also: if you want to be a beta reader for the stories, again, let me know in comments.

Beginning Snippet, THE GIRL AND THE NATIONAL TREASURE.

I don’t know when I’m getting back to this. I do have the story in my head, though.

I was sitting in the best dive bar in ‘Vana, doing shots with the shade of Ernest Hemingway, when she walked through the door. 

Was it the real Hemingway’s ghost? Damned if I know. It knew the books better than I did (not hard), spoke Elvish with an Old American accent, and drank like a fish. He was a cheap drunk, too. It didn’t matter what booze I poured in his shot glass, as long as it could burn. So… close enough, I guess. It wasn’t like I was planning to go write a book with him, even if it was the real Hemingway.

I lit another shot for Hemingway, then carefully poured another, much smaller one from my own bottle while I waited for her to come find me. No rotgut for me; Cuba makes the best rum in the Caribbean, and I had a permanent bottle of the best. I could afford it, thanks to the woman now looking for me.

Was I flattering myself? Well, no. Miss Serenity Mahota was one of Greater Hershey’s little commercial agents, ready for anything and far too good for this establishment. I was the most interesting thing in the Bota Élfica, and false modesty be damned. She wasn’t here for the drinks, and she definitely wasn’t here for the food, so she had to be here for me.

I didn’t even consider hiding. If Mahota was here on business, I might as well take the meeting now.

Mahota didn’t even scowl at Hemingway’s ghost. The single look she gave in his direction was enough to make him hurriedly drift down the bar a bit. “Ms. Deckard,” Mahota nodded at me as she settled into the now-vacant seat. “You are a surprisingly easy woman to find.”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” I asked as I waved for another glass. “I’m out of the business, and I settled up all my grudges before I left. If somebody from the old days wants to stop by and shoot the breeze, well. I got plenty of free time.” The bartender dropped another glass in front of me. “Whiskey,” I told him. “The good bottle.”

“Generous of you,” Mahota noted. She looked down, and poured a shot from Hemingway’s bottle into his shot glass, stared at it for a moment — then pushed both down in front of the ghost. “Although admittedly necessary.”

“Well, it’s Hershey’s money,” I told her grandly. “The least I can do is buy you a drink or two.”

“Actually, Ms. Deckard, it is your money.” She gave me one of her spare smiles. “I remember writing out a receipt. Certainly our old business was concluded, and concluded satisfactorily. There is no existing obligation between us.”

“Here we go,” I muttered. I gave her a looser grin (I wasn’t drunk, but I set a pretty good pace for myself when drinking) at her raised eyebrow. “You didn’t travel all the way across the Caribbean because you missed me” — dammit — “and, like you said, we don’t have any old business left to go over. So you’re here to conduct some new business.”

01/03/2023 Snippet, PICKMAN’S MODELS.

So, yeah. I have to do this one before I can do the other one. Of course, if I keep this up I’ll have another book. Which is cool, except that damned if I know how to pay for it…

Heinlein Station
American Administrative Zone
Luna
2104 AD

“I’m very sorry, Commander.” We’re still overbooked by five percent.”

Commander Tobias Mather didn’t think Pickman was sorry at all, let alone very, but he wasn’t entirely sure. The man didn’t like to make eye contact at the best of times, and was somehow even now managing to avoid the gaze of the person sitting opposite him. There was a faint quirk of Pickman’s lips that was disturbingly diagnostic, though. As if it was good news that five percent of the surviving population of the Moon wouldn’t be able to escape. Or at least pleasurable news.

Maybe he’s just too deep into his spreadsheets and extrapolations, Tobias thought. It’s not giving him the perspective he needs.

Or maybe Robert Clark Pickman is a sadist, Commander. Tobias wondered if he was hearing a touch of contempt in Asenath’s voice, there. It was hard to tell with AIs, particularly when they were a disembodied voice in your head. It is as simple an explanation as yours.

Snippet the Last, THE GOLEM JOB.

I’ll be cleaning it up tomorrow, but it’s done. Note, by the way: this was written to be broken up for various sections of a RPG supplement, so it’s more a set of vignettes than anything else. I will probably expand it more if and when I get around to volume 2 of TALES FROM THE FERMI RESOLUTION. Which, yes, is an agenda item.

#commissionearned

Continue reading Snippet the Last, THE GOLEM JOB.

The February Patreon stuff is up!

Huzzah!

  • Short Story: Verdict of History. History was deliberately unkind in its verdict, and I fret that I didn’t make it unkind enough. I rarely dislike my own protagonists to the extent that I disliked these two.
  • RPGs: ARTIFACTS, Chapter 3: Artifacts. Yes, very redundant. And a bunch of synonyms for redundant, because who needs to sit through that joke?

The final Kickstarter reward for TINSEL RAIN has been sent out!

This was the early signup bonus of art, and three Fermi Resolution horror stories (one of which is new!) that should have gone out a while ago. But it’s all done, hee-hee, it’s off to be distributed, ho-ho, all taken care of, YOU HEAR ME! STOP CROUCHING ON MY BEDPOST, YOU DAMNED TENEBROUS HARPY OF UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS! IT’S OVER! OVER! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

(pause)

Sorry about that. Anyway, check your email if you Kickstarted TINSEL RAIN early. If it doesn’t go through, or you were supposed to, and didn’t, let me know and I’ll hook you up.

#commissionearned