Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friday Snippet: Hunter and Hunted

Yet another piece written for my sci-fi writing class. I haven't developed much of the story behind it, but again, I like it. I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think and leave a link!

Copyrighted, do not reproduce, material liable to change. Etc.
Through the deadly crush of the snow-blanketed forest and the heavy scent of pine sneaking between the branches, Lyte knew he was Hunted. He paused, snow grunting under his boots. He knelt. Tilting his head back to the cold winter sky, he narrowed his eyes, searching for a sign of what stalked his footsteps. He could taste it, like the flat tang of rust: blood on the wind.

Traces of it, like spider webs, drifted through the blackened trees, and he saw scents and memories and whispered words of travelers long dead swirling on the air. But no sign of the thing prowling through the snow. He frowned darkly. He’d been Hunted most of his life, walking from one Edge of the world to the other since the last battle at the Port o' Mourning. But this time his ash-black hair stood on end and his nerves crackled with near-panic. A strange alien threat soaked the air.

His stomach lurched and he leaned forward, pressing his bare hand deep into the snow. Voices assaulted him in a cacophony, calling his name in lullabies and battle cries. Above all others, her voice - Even’s voice - rose out of memory, as clear as if she crouched beside him under the slate grey sky, her slender arms looped around his neck.

“I’ll never marry a Hunter,” she said.

The first time she told him that, they were children lying in rain-wet grass on a cool spring night. The whole world gleamed like a freshly painted canvas. He would turn to her, his cheek pressed against the silvered jade blades of grass. Her jaw was touched in starlight and he never answered her. He never answered her because her voice lifted off into the night and it was enough that he heard her humming and speaking in rhyme just above the cricket-song. But when he was older and all of that was gone and he Hunted the world over for blood, it was never enough.

So say we all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas All

Merry Christmas. I hope you are all with your families and safe. See you after the holiday season.

One More Thing...
And the wonderful news I promised? You know, I never noticed it before. Then one day, he walked into the room and I couldn't stop smiling and the world sort of went vivid and just lifted, as if gravity didn't matter. Bear told me he liked me - wanted to date - and I agreed. Just that simple. Now life and everything else in it is wonderful.

So, I found this boy -

A dark-eyed chemistry boy -
A boy who likes me.

So say we all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Snippet: Ares Last Stand

This was a flash-sort-of-fiction I wrote up for my sci-fi writing class portfolio. I haven't developed much of the story behind it, but I like it. I hope you enjoy. I know I've been out of the snippet loop for a while, but I'm hoping I'll have more time this next semester. Let me know what you think and leave a link!

Copyrighted, do not reproduce, material liable to change. Etc.
She waits at the docks at Olympus Mons. Far below on Tharsis Fields, she sees the lines of soldiers sprawling out in black and red. She feels a moment of regret. A few brief flickers of light, like giant flash bulbs, signal the end of her world. Mushroom clouds sprout and bloom, billowing up until they crest the seventeen-mile summit where the Alala, her last armed cruiser, hovers, tethered at the edge of heaven.

A few brief flickers of light, like giant flash bulbs, signal the end of her world.

She refuses to cry, but beads of liquid salt drift up like pearls in the zero gravity. Her brothers are dead. Ma’adim lies in ruins over her lover. The Terran Federation waits to glass her civilization from orbit. She is the last of the House of Ares.

But before the last ship out, she passed her memories on – the memories of the Battle at Sarandib Bridge, of the Terran ships looming large and menacing against the Martian sky. She may end here, but this is only beginning. Far off in the dark, the last of her fleet waited in silent wrath.

So say we all.

p.s. I have good news that I'll tell you later. Promise.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Did Survive

Post-Final Good Day(s), Grad Schools and Mold Colonies
Well, ladies and gents, finals week is finished. I got my grades this morning and from my cheerful tone, you can probably gather that things went in my favor. For the past few days, I've laid up from that gauntlet. Laying up includes going for drives, playing with fat tabby cats at Petsmart, browsing around Barnes & Noble and dozing on Bear's couch after celebrating my nomination for a scholarship.

I've also been able catch my breath and get my materials together for graduate school applications. Most of my schools have later application dates, which is wonderful. I'll have time to get my writing sample together and send off all the transcripts, letters of recommendation, shot records and other bureaucratic paperwork without pulling my hair out.

Also, as finals came down, we discovered our dorm was laced with mold At first, we didn't know if it was another flaw in this building: either way, we weren't really surprised. When your dorm has seven-walled rooms, 5/6 washers that don't work, and one-coat-paint that chips when you breathe on it, you're not surprised that mold is the obvious next step.

One Good Day
Lazing on the couch
after Smirnoff and sandwiches.

This was a good day.

Colony 01
Condensation beads
Mold colonizes my sill.
Allergies and colds!

Mass Effect...and My Face
So...I finished Mass Effect. I finished Mass Effect and my face is thoroughly melted, my socks thoroughly rocked. If you'll forgive the horrid quality of the picture to the left, you can see my version of the lead character in all 47 levels of his coolness. As John Shepard, I gallivanted across the galaxy, destroying synthetics and biological terrors while saving beautiful alien scientists and duking it out with the coolest bad guy in the whole universe.

In the bouncy MAKO land-rover, I laid siege to countless bases, cracked the decryption on hundreds of weapons lockers, and squashed newly evolving forms of alien life. I tried to play a natural mix of Paragon/Renegade, slinging out cruel words to my enemies, while romancing every available character on deck and charming my way to better deals at the markets. I tried to make sure my action were justified, that I was playing it as an experience and a story - not just another game. The results were absolutely fantastic.

While Mass Effect makes a great attempt to blend traditional RPG elements with a shooter, what stands head-and-shoulders above everything else in this game is the addictive conversation and story. Mass Effect is the first in a series of three, so hopefully any bugs will get worked out. Sure, it's got frame rate problems and loads a little slow at times, but that's hardly a good enough reason not to get it. You should look into it. For serious.

Other Stuff to Discuss
As I head toward home and Christmas break with the folks, I'll fill you guys in on the missing month of my life. I've made huge leaps in my novel, planned out an illustrated short story for next semester, read a couple of fantastic books and maybe found a field of study I hadn't considered before. So glad to be back. I'll be making the rounds this week to reintroduce myself, so see you then!

So say we all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Catching My Breath Under the Gun

Finals. I'll talk more once I can live and breathe again. Just give me a week. See you on the other side.

So say we all.