SpecFicComp

May 30, 2010

JUST ONE DAY TO GO!

Enter the specfic flash fiction contest now to win awesome books from Twelfth Planet Press.

All you need to do is write me 300 – 500 words, drawing inspiration from the following passage:

“It was, rather, the quiet time under the tree, with the green leaves against the blue sky, the mild breeze, the soft sound of animals, and Giskard opposite him with faintly glowing eyes.”

(taken from Isaac Asimov’s, “The Robots of Dawn”)

Full details at my earlier post here

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Table of Contents

May 24, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A summary (with links) of all the ‘fiction on demand’ I’ve done to date:

  1. ghosts
  2. claws of light
  3. the american sector
  4. heaven
  5. For the birthday girl
  6. waiting
  7. The Last Building Standing
  8. Red on White
  9. Tethering the Sun
  10. Soil
  11. Youth
  12. Ulooka
  13. Communication Gap
  14. strawberries
  15. Two-fin Sisters
  16. typhoon
  17. The smoky reflection is the antiself
  18. powerlines
  19. Award winning micro-fiction
  20. eclipse

Spec Fic Challenge

May 20, 2010

REVERSE INSPIRATION CHALLENGE:

SPECULATIVE FICTION

Speculative fiction is an umbrella fiction genre covering the more specific genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history. (Yes, I pulled this from Wikipedia!)

THE CHALLENGE IS:

For you, my readers, to write 300 to 500 words of speculative fiction using the following as inspiration:

“It was, rather, the quiet time under the tree, with the green leaves against the blue sky, the mild breeze, the soft sound of animals, and Giskard opposite him with faintly glowing eyes.”

Taken from the end of Isaac Asimov’s, “The Robots of Dawn”.

You don’t need to use this line, and you shouldn’t use the characters. No Asimov fan-fiction please.  Just go with any image the passage puts in your mind, and take it from there. There are no wrong answers, only interesting writing. The competition is open to everyone, regardless of age, writing ability, or location on the planet.

For full details of entry and prizes, see my earlier post here.

CLOSES MAY 31st 2010


‘ghosts’

May 18, 2010

Written in response to inspiration provided by Leigh (see inspiration in comment below):

You’re running the net through the water, picking up the last of the surface leaves, your knee numb where the early morning cold of the pavers pushes through the worn material of your tracksuit. You scoop the final few and knock them into the bucket beside you. You hold the net up, and the sun refracts through the random drops of water that have managed to cling between spaces in the netting. The effect is like a wafting remnant of a crystal catacomb, the last wan ghosts clinging to the mortality they don’t realise they’ve given up already.

You stand up, screw the pole onto the netting and shake those few ghosts away. You plunge the net deep into the water and start herding the leaves from the tiles on the bottom of the pool.

The tinkle-scrape of metal on metal alerts you to an intrusion and you turn around to see a business suited arm reaching over to unlock the gate. It swings open and the real estate lady walks through. You don’t know her name.

“Hello Julie,” she says.

“Hi,” you mumble, turning away from her.

You hear the efficient clicking of her high heels moving over the pavers as she walks towards the house. You sneak a look at her long legs, smoothly flowing out from beneath her miniskirt. You imagine how you must look to her. Your legs aren’t too bad either, but they’re hidden beneath your work trackies. You return to scooping leaves.

You finish and carry the bucket of leaves over to the lemon tree where you tip it out over a patch of newly turned soil. The ground seems to shudder with pleasure beneath the twisted golem of a tree.

“Julie.”

She is behind you. Now that you know that she is there you can smell her perfume. It is strong, applied liberally. It is pungent in its excessiveness and it makes you like her a little less, which in turn gives you the courage to turn around. You look into her grey eyes.

“Have you seen Mr. Albanese?”

“No.”

“Could he be at the hospital?”

“He didn’t like the hospital.” You pause and then add, ‘Cause of all the visits for his wife.”

“When did she die?”

“Six months ago? Something like that.”

“Okay.” It’s her turn to pause. “Well Mr. Albanese said he’d be here this morning.”

You pat the pile of disturbed soil. “Can’t help you.”

The real estate lady looks at the patch of garden. “That’s a lovely lemon tree.”

“Yes,” you reply, “It is.”

“I hope the new owners keep it.”

“Why wouldn’t they?”

“This’ll be sold as a development block.” She walks away.

You look from her, to the tree.

Then back to her.


‘claws of light’

May 18, 2010

Written for Mark Welker’s Blogfolio challenge:

Every child on the Grace of Titan was told about the claws, and Tom had been no different. It was a fairy tale, a warning to stay in your bed. “Don’t unstrap from your bunk,” his mother would chide him, smiling. “The claws might be coming tonight.”

The claws were – or so the story went – an alien race that found their way onto the Grace sometime during the first century of its journey. No one living had ever seen them but the stories were still told, and children ran through corridors pointing at burn marks, shouting, “The claws were here!”

Tom was one of the ship’s oarsmen, and like the rest of his ilk, was not of the disposition that enabled a belief in phantom aliens, even when he was a pre-oarsmen child. The oarsmen were a highly organised political force on the Grace’s board of governors and Tom had recently risen to the post of First Oarsman.

The First Oarsman was one of seven leaders who could challenge to be Course Plotter of the ship. The current Plotter, was Janice, Lady of Foods, the ship’s strongest industry. Janice was ancient though, and despite the fact that she had managed to hold onto the Plotter role for seventy years, the next Plotter was unlikely to be as potent a force as the old lady.

Tom was ready. He would be the next Plotter, and then perhaps finally Grace of Titan would begin the correct journey to its destination, and arrive at the new home promised the crew that set out upon her three hundred years ago.

Tom lay in bed, imagining the day when he first drew line across the nav screen and watch the blip of the Grace respond to his command. “It will happen,” he promised the dark.

From his position in bed he saw a glint in his blackened room, and unsure what could possibly be reflecting light; he unbuckled from his bunk and floated over to the opposite wall. The light – which wasn’t reflected at all – grew before his eyes, sprouting out sharp branches like an Aloe Vera plant. The luminescent branches flexed into a fist then one branch stretched back out, pointing directly at Tom.

The branches – the claws he realised with horror – slashed through the darkness, the after effect left burning in the air. The claws moved in intricate patterns, painting a portrait in the dark. When they finished Tom recognized the face of the Lady of Foods. She was smiling.

The claws stretched towards him.


REVERSE INSPIRATION CHALLENGE: SPECULATIVE FICTION

May 10, 2010

REVERSE INSPIRATION CHALLENGE:

SPECULATIVE FICTION

Speculative fiction is an umbrella fiction genre covering the more specific genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history. (Yes, I pulled this from Wikipedia!)

THE CHALLENGE IS:

For you, my readers, to write 300 to 500 words of speculative fiction using the following as inspiration:

“It was, rather, the quiet time under the tree, with the green leaves against the blue sky, the mild breeze, the soft sound of animals, and Giskard opposite him with faintly glowing eyes.”

Taken from the end of Isaac Asimov’s, “The Robots of Dawn”.

You don’t need to use this line, and you shouldn’t use the characters. No Asimov fan-fiction please.  Just go with any image the passage puts in your mind, and take it from there. There are no wrong answers, only interesting writing. The competition is open to everyone, regardless of age, writing ability, or location on the planet.

TO ENTER:

Email your entry to dansimmo1(at)gmail.com with the entry pasted into the body of the email, and the subject line: “Reverse Inspiration Entry: Spec Fiction”.

SUBMISSION DATE:

Monday 10th May 2010 – 31st May 2010

PRIZES:

Two prizes are up for grabs, both coming from a West Australian publishing house, Twelfth Planet Press, who are rapidly building a reputation for putting out original, high quality speculative fiction. The entrants will be judged by Mark Welker, the Griffith Review 2009 Emerging Writer.

First prize:

Published on the Fiction on Demand blog, and a copy of Roadkill/Siren Beat, by Robert Shearman and Tansy Rayner Roberts

About Roadkill/Siren Beat

Second Prize:

Published on the Fiction on Demand blog, and a copy of Angel Rising, by Dirk Flinthart

About Angel Rising

Third and Fourth Prize:

Published on Fiction on Demand blog.

Get writing people!


‘the american sector’

May 10, 2010

Also written for Mark’s blog:

You are leaving the American sector? Christ, that didn’t look familiar. I look about. The world is dreary like the inside of a whale gut and it doesn’t smell much better either. Or perhaps that smell is me. I lift my arm and have a whiff of my armpits. Oh yeah, ripe. I run my tongue into my armpit hair, taste sweat (obviously) and funnily enough, curry powder.

The curry powder. Of course.

Curry has a displacing effect on me. As a twelve year old it had started when I bit into a curried egg sandwich that knocked me into the middle of next Wednesday. I was standing in my kitchen one minute, and then I was in front of my class, spluttering a mouthful of egg. The class exploded colourfully, every child jumped up, except for one: that little boy in the back who had known, dreaded, that this moment was coming.

Time displacement is difficult to explain so it was with a fair measure of relief that the symptoms of my curry powder allergy shifted to geographical displacement.

It had actually been beneficial. I’d just get to wherever I was going quicker. When I got married, I was displaced from my plane and met my wife at the Charles De Gualle airport with some hastily purchased flowers, and a baguette.

But the symptoms, like my wife, left. I hadn’t been displaced in, shit, I guess twelve years.

You are leaving the American sector?

The pub that I was walking out of when I displaced was full of stale beer, stale cigarette smoke, stale humans. I was turning grey, as grey as this place and I was getting used to the idea you know? It seemed like a slow, boring, harmless death. I’d accepted it.

But that sign, the warning it tries to impart upon me, has the opposite effect. The grey can’t get to me now. The colour is returning to my tar stained fingertips, they dance frenetically over each other like an upturned classroom of twelve year olds.

I’m going to die here. Bring it on.