Tag Archives: Stories

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

This is the space that I’ll come back and use to plug Cory Doctorow’s book, Little Brother.  It’s hard to give it a strong enough reccomendation, but I’ll come back and try.

PS.  You can download it for free from his site at the link up above.  You have no excuse not to read this book.

PPS.  Cory Doctorow is Canadian.  For what it’s worth.  To me, that’s a bit.

PPPS.  This is a story about being a geek, and a bit of a social misfit.  If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty solid chance you will connect with the protagonist.

PPPPS.  If you are somehow in charge of getting books into the hands of kids, this might be one to get onto the young adult shelves.  *hint, hint*

PPPPPS.  This is a book I want my kids to read when they’re 13 or older.  I may force it on them, but I know the old horse and water adage.  That’s ok, I’ve got 11 years to figure out how to get them to read it, starting with buying a couple of copies.

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Ficlet Repost #1

For those of you who don’t want to click my RSS to view my ficlets I’m liking so much, I thought I’d repost a few of them here. This one was I think the first I wrote for a challenge – a story that had requirements that needed to be met. In this case it had to contain certain words, which I bolded.  Let me know what you think.

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Killer Clown (Stovohobo’s Challenge)

By Jeff Closs / SupRspi

As always I came upon the scene in medias res. The train had derailed and tumbled down an embankment, crushing a house.

And it’s occupant, or I wouldn’t be here.

I flashed my ID to the cop at the taped off perimeter.

“So, wierd as it looks?” I asked.

“You aren’t going to believe it sir. They say they need a TOD on the clown, think he’s been dead since before the accident.”

“Clown?”

“Yessir. Clown. You better just go on inside.”

As I entered I knew why they were curious. The accident was only a couple hours old, and already the stench of death permeated the place, clinging to the flowered wallpaper like tar.

I entered what was the living room. The train’s cowcatcher had scooped up a sofa and an old gramophone, it’s horn bent and mangled.

The victim was indeed a clown, with a hooped costume barely concealing his avoirdupois and adorned with a fancifully large daisy boutonniere.

“Well” I said to the officer in charge, “obviously it was murder.”

“So, you see zee gunshot wound, yes?”

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This story (like all ficlets) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. What does this mean?

1024 Characters

Ficlets continues to entertain me.  I’ve got about 8 written, and most of them seem to be getting good reviews.  It’s challenging to write a contained piece of fiction in only 1024 characters – but when you finish a story and see that little “ficlet nirvana” instead of a count of how many characters over or under you are – it’s cool.

I’ve only managed it on two of them – the others are all under a bit.

Challenges are cool.  If you see stories of mine on the RSS feed on the right that have {suchandsuch challenge} in them, it means that I am writing within someone else’s proscribed rules.  Usually it includes using certain words (which I usually bold) but it can be anything.  These are the most interesting because they force you to write outside your comfort zone.

I’m off back to ficlets now – look for my stories, and feel free to comment and write your own.   In case you don’t want to wander over and read my stories there, I’m going to post a couple of them here over the next few days – ones I especially like for whatever reason.

::Currently Listening to: The Cure – Lullaby::

Ficlets

A while ago I was turned on to ficlets by John Scalzi, an author and blogger I admire.

I just recently went there again to read a story posted by Wil Wheaton. (yeah, that Star Trek guy I like, who is an hawesome author) Wil’s story was basically amazing – the kind of thing I wish I could come up with. It was also inspirational, because I resurrected my ficlets username and wrote a few ficlets.

I wrote a disasterbation piece about someone in my line of work being taken hostage by an angry gun toting customer. I wrote a very vague piece about the world ending, and someone counting down the minutes. This one has inspired a few people to write sequels and prequels – one of the neatest aspects of ficlets.

Actually, I’ll let Wil sum it up, as he already did so well here.

“What does “collaborative short fiction” mean in this case? Simple: You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters [Jeff’s note: If you get 1024 characters exactly it marks your ficlet as “ficlet nirvana”]) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you’ve written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a “sequel” to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a “prequel,” explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels — and of course, other people can write sequels and prequels to those. What you end up with is a story with multiple authors and multiple branchings — lots of possibilities and surprises.”

I am amazed at how a story I wrote can inspire 6 other people to write short stories based on it, and how I can surf between the prequels and sequels, and end up reading alternative “dimensions” on my story. It’s hard to describe, but say someone writes two prequels to my story. Someone else comes along and writes one sequel, and someone writes a sequel to that. In the hierarchy it is in the same point as my story, but is different.

Just for fun I tossed the RSS feed of my stories into the sidebar – you can go click on them and read them. If you sign up you can post comments on them, continue them, prequel them, or just write your own.

If you do sign up, send me your username so I can add you to my watchlist.