A Ferret and Contact Me

I hope you all had a nice 4th of July or Wednesday for those of you not in the U.S. I had a pretty relaxing time.

Late in the day on Tuesday I wrote a sequel to a pretty funny Ficlet titled Hungover Impeding Ferret-Related Apocalypse. The original story had the protagonist waking in his office disoriented and ended with a guy changing into his office saying “Aliens are threatening to destroy Earth if they can’t speak to my ferret. And I’ve lost him.” As soon as I read that line I had to continue the story. My Ficlet is called It’s Always Canada and you can read it here:

It’s Always Canada

“Have you checked his office?” I said, removing the current issue of Mad Magazine from my forehead.

“Come again?” answered Seth, my brother, and information getter.

“Your ferret,” I replied. “Have looked for him in his office?”

“Hadn’t thought of that,” said Seth, rubbing the back of his scrawny pale neck. “Where’s his office again?”

“I’m surprised you don’t even know where your own pet’s office is,” I said, pointing to the tall closet in the corner near the window. “And don’t look at me like that. He likes it in there. Says it helps him concentrate.”

Seth slowly opened the closet door, finding Sammy staring intently at the stress ball that I had given him a few Christmases past. Only now did I remember the ball was a miniature globe.

“How’s it going buddy?” said Seth nervously.

Sammy did not look up.

“There’s some aliens asking for you,” Seth continued, his voice trailing.

Sammy shot a glance at me then back to the ball and it all became clear.

“It’s Canada,” I said, reaching for my pistol.

So far it has been a big hit, being read 29 times and rated 6 times for an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy this, another writer has continued the story and you can read that here.

As you may notice, I have added a Contact Me tab to the top of the site. Click that and you will be taken to a form you can use to send me an email. If you are logged into wordpress you will see a text box to enter your message. If you are not logged into wordpress you will be asked for your name, website, and email address. Click the button and you will send your message to me via email.

Robert J Sawyer interviewed on Ficlets Blog

Yesterday John Scalzi posted an excellent interview with science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer on the Ficlets blog. Mr. Sawyer comes across as a very intelligent guy in the interview, offering up his thoughts about writing, science fiction as a genre, and Canadian vs. American writers. The part of the interview that really got me thinking, though, was when he described meeting an old woman who had just read science fiction for the first time. Here is the quote:

A few years ago, the Region of Waterloo, which is close to a million people in Ontario, Canada, did my Hominids for their community-wide reading program. And at one of the public events I did, an old woman came up to me, and she said she’d made it to ninety without ever reading science fiction, but had loved my book and regretted now that she’d never even tried the genre earlier; mine had been the first SF novel she’d ever read, and, she said, it was also, because she had so little time left, going to be the last.

Wow, there is something about there that really makes me think. Could you imagine thinking to yourself, “This may be the last book I ever read”? I guess I would take a little more care in what that book would be.

Anyhow, check out the interview. I think you will enjoy it.

Ficlet – Being Dead Ain’t So Bad

In the building where I work we have several of those Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines that are used to start someone’s heart in the case of cardiac arrest. While walking past one of those a story idea popped into my head. It started with a question. What would happen if one of those things were used on someone who was already dead (I’m pretty sure nothing would happen)? As that question swirled in my brain I imagined some dead/undead person walking around, using an AED to give himself a little jolt, just to feel his heart beat for a moment. Well, I decided to take this idea and write a little Ficlet on my lunch break. Here it is. I hope you enjoy:

Being Dead Ain’t So Bad

Seth opened his shirt, pressed the Automated External Defibrillator to his chest, and pushed the shock button, sending an electric current into his heart. In college, Seth had tried the most popular drugs, but nothing could match the high he felt as his heart began to pulse in his chest. In that brief moment Seth felt alive.

Seth wasn’t sure of much, but he knew he wasn’t a zombie. Not once had he felt the desire to eat anyone’s brain nor grunt or moan. He had notices himself walking in an undead shuffle, but figured this loss of mobility was because his left foot was ready to fall off.

Replacing the machine in its case, Seth hurried on, knowing the AED ’s audible instructions would draw unwanted attention. Seth avoided leaving his house during the day, and not just because the hot summer sun sped up the rotting process. He was simply in no mood to talk to anyone.

By and large, Seth felt no desire to seek answers about his condition. As it were, those answers were about to find him.

Civil War on an Unknown Planet

I just wrote a quick little sci-fi Ficlet over my lunch break and though I would share it here. The title of the Ficlet is Civil War on an Unknown Planet stems from some daydreaming I was having the other day. I was thinking about the future and if space travel would ever be as common as driving a car. Then I thought of what would happen if there was life on other planets? Then I though, what if there was life on other planets and we visited one of these planets, and what if this planet was in the middle of a civil war? What if we chose the wrong side to fight with? What if we fought with the “bad guys”? What if there weren’t any “bad guys”?

Anyhow, here is my story for your enjoyment. Remember I was limited to 1044 characters and I left the ending open for someone to continue on. Enjoy:


Civil War on an Unknown Planet

One was to take certain precautions when visiting a planet that had yet to be documented by the Federation of Space Travelers. Were the natives friendly to humans? Was there oxygen available or would one have to rely on a respirator? Most importantly, where was the nearest Pub?

Mitch knew none of these things as he began his descent towards the glowing landing strip, flashing the Spee-Lunker’s headlights in the universal sign of peace. He had visited thousands of undocumented planets and never once had a problem, save for the time he nearly made love to the President of Ecabosh Alpha’s beloved house pet. Species confusion aside, Mitch had no reason to believe this pit-stop would be any different.

A mile above the landing pad Mitch first noticed the ground surrounding the landing site was completely charred. “Must be some type of protective shield,” he thought as he ejected from his ship, too close to the ground to pull up. Ship gone, Mitch was about to find himself stranded in the middle of a civil war.

Writing Update

Well, I am still flailing away at my Machine of Death short story, something that should’ve been complete a month ago. I’m making progress, and could hopefully finish it soon, but it is not yet done. To be honest with you, writing that one hasn’t been all that enjoyable. I will not give up, though.

I wonder why I’m having so much trouble with that one, as I also had trouble with the Shimmer Magazine Pirate story. Maybe it’s because it’s forcing me to write to someone else’s idea rather than my own? I hope that’s the reason and it isn’t because I am simply incapable of completing a short story. Again, I won’t give up.

I have been doing some writing and enjoying some writing. I have been contributing to a pretty funny story over on the Ficlets site (I have written 2 parts, another writer has written 5 parts). The story is written in the first person and is about a woman who wakes up to find a snake in her toilet. I turned the snake into a talking snake, and there is also a talking pigeon. It turns out the woman has to save the world from a cookie. Anyhow, it’s a pretty funny story. Here are the links:

Anyhow, it’s a pretty silly but I think well written story. Check it out. I have to say it’s pretty cool collaborating on a story with someone I have never met, but seems to have the same type of sense of humor as myself.

Pretty Cool

I know I’ve mentioned Ficletson thissite about a thousand times, but I get a kick out of reading and writing over there, so bear with me. Anyhow, I thought I would mention something that I’m pretty proud of: if you browse on over to the Stories page on the site and look under the Most Active column you will see two Ficlets written by yours truly. I have no idea what makes a Ficlets “Most Active”, but I think it’s a combination of how many times it was viewed, how many times it was rated, and how many sequels it has spawned. My Ficlet, How to Buy a Time Machine, has been read 169 times and been rated 20 times for a overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. As a writer, it’s so cool that a large number of people have read something I have created and seem to enjoy it.

Another of my Ficlets, The Gift, has been read 58 times and rated 11 times for an average score of 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the idea of this one, but I think I could’ve done a better job writing it. At least people seem to be enjoying it, I guess.

Anyhow, sorry for tooting my own horn. I just had to tell somebody 🙂 .

Future Sam

I haven’t received a lot of responses about the Ficlets I have posted here (and that’s ok), so I’m not sure if you’re reading/enjoying them. However, I wrote one yesterday I’m pretty proud of, so I thought I’d post it here for your enjoyment. This one is a sequel to the Ficlet I posted last Friday titled How to Buy a Time Machine.

For those interested, you can read the full text at that post. In summary, Sam is surfing the web and encounters an ad from eBay advertising Time Travel Machines and with text “You can find anything on eBay.” Sam is having a crappy time of things, so he decides to click on the link. There have been two sequels, in which our hero discovers a time machine that is listing for $1500, and he also discovers mysterious messages writing on his notebook from his future self. Anyhow, that’s the setup. I present to you, Future Sam (note:I only had 1024 characters to work with):

Future Sam

Sam grabbed his lighter and torched his “enchanted notebook”. It was bad enough he had to take orders from his boss. He didn’t need some spiral bound chieftain telling him how to lead his life. It would be hours before he found the notebook with the words “Nice try tubby” written on the first page. Turns out Future Sam has a sense of humor.

Sam was able to acquire the device for $1501 as there’s little demand for a $1500 time machine, even one touted as being in “Good Condition”. Sam wasn’t sure how he was going to pay his credit card bill in a month, but figured that was Future Sam’s problem.

Upon winning the auction, Sam received an email from the machine’s owner asking him to pick the time machine “as soon as possible”. Sam knew from the address listed that the mysterious man lived only a half hour away so Sam replied that he would pick up the device later that day.

Sam climbed into the Neon, turned the key, and opened the garage door. Blocking his way was Amy. “We need to talk now,” she said.

There has already been a sequel written to my piece. Read it here.

Fiction Friday – How to Buy a Time Machine

I thought I would post a little Ficlet I wrote the other day for you all to enjoy. This was inspired by a search I did on Ficlets yesterday for the tag “Time Travel”. On the results page for “Time Travel” there is a box on the right hand side for sponsored links, which I’m guessing is some form of the Google Ads. Anyhow, inside the box was a link that said “Time Travel Machines” from eBay. The accompanying text said, “Whatever you’re looking for you can get it on eBay.” Sadly, when I clicked on the link, there were no true Time Machines. They must’ve sold out. Anyhow, I turned the whole thing into the story below:

How to Buy a Time Machine

Sam was having a crummy day, a lackluster week, and a downright disappointing life. His girlfriend broke up with him, his car broke down again, and his project at work could most optimistically be described as stalled. As Sam thought of what he said to Amy, his stomach ached with regret. Maybe his mother was right: think before you speak.

“At least I have Ficlets,” Sam thought, settling behind the desk in his home office. Not much of a writer himself, Sam enjoyed browsing the stories on the site, vowing to one day work up the courage to post.

As always, Sam began by searching the tag “Time Travel”. The notion of time as a road, able to be navigated from beginning to ending in much the same way his Neon traveled the turnpike, had always excited him.

As he was about to click on the most recent story, something in the “Sponsored Links” box caught his eye. The Ad Title said “Time Travel Machines” and the text read “Whatever you’re looking for you can get it on eBay”.

Curious, Sam clicked the link.

As always with Ficlets, you can create a prequel or sequel to this story (you will have to log in first).