Category Archives: Stories

Serpent in the Citadel, Chapter 1: A Mass Effect Noir Detective Story

I’ve never written fan fiction before. Now I have. It doesn’t feature any characters from the game, it takes place a few years before the first Mass Effect, and is a noir detective story instead of sci-fi, but since it’s in the ME universe I suppose it’s fanfic. Once again, I can’t help but mash genres. Hey, I’m just happy I’m writing – this plus the short story I wrote for my wife for Valentine’s Day means I’m on a roll!

This is Part 1 of the story – I’ll be posting it in serial form.

Anyway, here we go:

The last time I was this hungover while being escorted through a military facility I was looking at ten years in a prison colony. Lucky for me I wasn’t wearing tin bracelets this time and no one had their gun drawn. Unlucky for me I was being marched to the Alliance Judge Advocate Corps office on Arcturus Station, the giant place where the most muckety of the mucks who ran the entire Systems Alliance Navy called home. I was krill in the mouth of humanity’s whale, and that wasn’t even the worst part.

The worst thing was, I was being escorted to my sister. Yes, I, Corrigan Blake, ex-Marine, former mercenary, galactic traveler, feared nothing in the universe half so much as I did my big sister.

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A Brief Uplifting Tale from the Land of Northreach

This morning, my wife asked me to tell her a story. This is what came out.

***

On a farm in Northreach, a child was playing alone behind the barn. His carved wooden soldiers were crude and simple, but he loved them anyway. His father had carved some of them, but some – the boy’s favorites – had been made by his father’s father, and despite the wood being worn from two generations of loving handling, those three figures were always the heroes and kings and generals, whatever the story in the boy’s head needed them to be. The day was cold, since winter was not long passed, but much of the snow was gone and behind the barn the ground was dry and free from the mud that seemed to be the main component of the farm during early spring.

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It’s Always the Eyes – A Short Story, Kind’ve

This is a short story, except nothing really happens in it, so I guess it’s not really a story. It’s something, anyway, whatever it is. I wrote it, so it’s not mine anymore, and reading it makes it yours. Sorry about that.

All I know is I must be a real joy to be around.

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So I Got Tagged With This Lucky Seven Thing And So Here Are “Seven” Lines From Waiting on the Dead

Pretty much on exactly the same day that I got picked for my incredibly prestigious award (I’m still waiting for my statuette. I get a statuette, right?), I also got hit with something else. No, not the bus that many people have waited years for, but something that’s actually pretty cool. I’ll let the awesome Candice Bundy explain:

The rules for this one are quite simple:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.

Also available in an attractive v-neck for the ladies!

In her post, she asked, as an offal lover, for a bit of Waiting on the Dead. Her request hit me at a pretty difficult time in my writing. In short, I hate it. I’m good with the blog posts, but halfway through the editing of The Storm of Northreach I just hit the wall. It’s not good enough. I’m not good enough to fix it. You know, the typical angsty writer bullshit that every one of us whiny little narcissists go through periodically. Well, fine, that THIS whiny little narcissist goes through from time to time. I’m trying to get through it, there are a couple of things that need to be addressed, and part of it has nothing to do with writing but involves the other production shit and WHINE WHINE WHINE I WANT A PONY.

I hope to be over that soon.

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The First Draft Beginning of Waiting on the Dead

It’s the first draft, so forgive me if it sucks. Let me know if it does, though, just so I can try to fix it.

Anyway, this is how it begins:

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Inside the Zombie Studio: An Interview with Comrick and Daevan of the Curse of Troius

Thank you for joining us today on Inside the Zombie Studio, the highest-rated and only show on television after the rise of the walking dead. I am your host, William Tetley.

(audience moans, shuffles)

Joining me today are two of the primary… shall I call them movers? of the zombie fantasy novel, The Curse of Troius. I am honored and pleased to welcome first the Stranger of Daneswall, Daevan. I hope that it wasn’t too much trouble getting through the horde surrounding the building?

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Last Alley – An Excerpt from The Storm of Northreach

This is the latest excerpt from The Storm of Northreach, the sequel to The Curse of Troius, due out sometime in 2011. As of now, this is unedited, since I wrote it yesterday afternoon. It may reflect that fact. But it does give an idea of what the novels are like without giving anything away, since this the former minstrel Ternn’s first appearance anywhere. Enjoy! Or hate it. I can’t tell you what to do. But you can tell me what you think.

***

The pouring rain ran in a sheet down Ternn’s seamed and pinched face. He clenched his arms protectively the crude clay jug pressed against the sodden fraying remnants of his shirt.  He staggered down the half-flooded road, plodding obliviously through the rank water that had risen from the lowest channels of the refuse canals that cut through the Gutters.  At this point, he would have waded through a knee-deep pool of the city’s collected shit in order to reach his favored spot, now that he’d gotten his hands on enough of Icar’s rotgut to keep him in a stupor for a few days.  With his treasure, he’d be able to keep the memories haunting him at bay for a little while longer. Read the rest of this entry

Chapter 12 Excerpt from The Storm of Northreach

Another unedited sneak peek at my current project.  This time, a new character!  Excitement!  Thrills!  CRAVAT-ADJUSTING!  Are you not entertained?!

The man with the golden key frowned as he examined the intricate gears and mechanisms inches from his nose.  His eyes narrowed behind the glass of his gold-rimmed spectacles as they searched for anything out of place in the workings of the Gnarri-made machine.  He eyed the coils and cogs and gears, making sure no tooth looked worn or scratched or pitted and that every pin and post was straight and sturdy.  Only then did he place the thin key inside its dedicated slot.  His fingers, though thick, manipulated the thin metal gently, almost lovingly, and a faint smile lifted the thin lips that normally rested in a sedate and calm downturn. Read the rest of this entry

The Space: A Short Story (Updated)

This idea popped into my head between last night and this morning.  I talked it over with Lady Aravan to nail down the idea, and wrote it today.  Hope you like it.

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Ralph Ebbets gripped the phone tightly in his damp fist, hating the whining edge that crept into his voice.  “Honey, I packed my lunch today, and – “

His wife’s voice cut him off sharply.  “Oh, heaven’s sake, Ralph,” and he hated the way she used his name as a contemptuous weapon, against which he could raise no protest for it was but his name, “your son is going back to school today and he wants to have lunch with his father before he leaves.  Can’t you change your precious routine for one day?” Read the rest of this entry

Excerpt: Prologue to The Storm of Northreach

Before I finished the end, I looped back to the beginning.

***

The tree branch digging into his buttocks was uncomfortable, but Ajen was barely conscious of that now.  He had planned to give Alys a little scare when she arrived for their tryst on Dane’s Knoll by climbing up the massive silver-barked tree that rose from it.  When she arrived, he was going to let her mill about the trunk for a time, let her build up a good bit of worry, then leap down and surprise her.  He’d anticipated getting a good slap out of it, but she’d be grateful for arms to wrap around her and make her feelings of fright go away. Read the rest of this entry