Updated Anthology Map!

Hey all. As you may know, my writing and I are busy at work producing an anthology about space travel and colonization. We have our location picked out, the star system Gliese 581. We have a planet, known as Gliese 581 g. We still need more writers, I was hoping for a dozen or so people to contribute to our short story collection. So if you’re a writer and enjoy classic sci-fi, space travel, exoplanets, weird aliens, androids, terraforming, sub-orbital colonies, space elevators, terradome and so forth, let me know and I’ll set you up with a project!

In the meantime, I’ve updated our map of the Gliese 581 to more accurately reflect the planets and the names they will be assigned in our story. Have a gander:

Another Anthology Sample!

Gliese 581 g, aka. “Yuva”

Hello all again! Recently, my colleague and collaborator on the upcoming anthology about space and colonization – Mr. Goran Zidar – sent me a draft of his story. Dealing with Terraformers, the story tells the tale of the people who went on ahead of the main colonization force to alter the climate of Gliese 581 g (aka. Yuva) to meet the needs of the coming settlers.

As all fans of sci-fi know, terraforming is a very labor-intensive process that takes decades, if not centuries, and requires some pretty top of the line equipment and hard science. So you can imagine how excited I was to see Mr. Zidar’s take on the whole thing. Well, the text of his draft is posted below, the first installment on what will be a full-length short story, and certainly impressed the hell out of me. Read it for yourselves, you’ll see what I mean.

Terraformers:
“Don’t you just love it?” Kirana said. She leaned back against the stones and let the reddish light of the sun bathe her face. The warmth from the small red dwarf star felt good through her oxygen mask, and she closed her eyes to let it wash over her.

“It’s just a sunset, Kira,” her brother, Justin, pointed out. “We see them every day.”

“Dad says that in ten years we’ll be able go outside without masks. I can’t wait.”

“Ten years? That’s ages.”

“It’s not that long when you think about it.”

“What do you mean?” Her brother looked at her, his brows furrowed.

“The machine’s been running for more than thirty years already. Ten years isn’t much compared to that.”

“It is when you’re only eleven.”

“I suppose, but it’s still incredible.” She sighed wistfully. “I’ve lived here my whole life, but it’s like I know we don’t belong here.”

“You’re a weirdo, you know that?” He gave his sister a playful shove.

“You know that Earth’s sun is about three times bigger than here?”

“Now that’s incredible,” Justin said. “Imagine it. Must be like summer all year round.”

“Now you’re the weirdo.” She shoved him back.

“Kira. Justin. Where are you?” Her father’s voice came over the intercom.

She looked across to her brother who rolled his eyes. “On the ridge, Father,” she said, keying the mic for broadcast. “What’s up?”

“I need you both back here. We’ve been summoned. There’s a shuttle arriving to collect us in three minutes.”

“Okay, Dad. We’re on our way.”

“Yippee!” Justin said, clapping his hands together. “I’m going on a shuttle.”

Kira raised an eyebrow. “There must be something big happening for them to send one of those.”

“Let’s hurry.” Justin rose and disappeared between the rocks. “We don’t want to miss it.”

Kira laughed as she chased after her brother. “Slow down, Justin. They won’t leave without us.”

The pair reached the small research station just as the shuttle was touching down. Dust flew everywhere as the landing thrusters engaged to bring the small transport to a gentle stop.

Their father waved them over as he waited for the dust to settle. Kira could tell by the stiffness in his stance that he wasn’t happy. She knew he hated interruptions and a summons from on high would definitely not sit well with him. She slid her hand in his and squeezed it slightly. He relaxed immediately; she always knew how to read his moods.

“What about the ATV?” she said.

“I’m sure they brought someone to drive it back.”

This station was located about 1500 kilometres from the space elevator. The three of them had spent the last few days trekking across the planet’s surface to survey the damaged research stations closest to the space elevator. Most of the data could be collected remotely, but father hated the politics topside and these malfunctioning stations were the perfect excuse for him to get away.

The hatch on the shuttle cracked open, and Daric stepped out. As soon as Justin saw it was him he ran up to the pilot. Daric opened his arms and the pair embraced fondly. Justin dreamed of one being a pilot, and Daric was something of his hero. It’s a good thing he was such a nice guy because Justin can be annoying from time to time.

“Hey there, Daric,” her father said he drew nearer.

“Good evening, Sir.”

Kira felt her dad stiffen. Formality didn’t sit well with him, especially not when it came from Daric.

“What’s up?” he said.

Daric shrugged. “No idea, I’m just the taxi service. Whatever it is, it’s above my pay grade.”

Her father sighed loudly. “Let’s get this over with.”

They all climbed into the shuttle, Justin claiming a seat in the cockpit next to Daric while Kira and her father sat in back. She found her father looking out the window. Dust billowed as the shuttle’s engines started, obscuring the view outside. By the time they’d cleared the dust, they saw that ATV had already begun its long trek back to the Needle, as the space elevator was called.

The trip up to the station perched atop the Needle took less than fifteen minutes. Kira sat in silence while Justin chatted incessantly to Daric. She was constantly amazed at the young pilot’s patience when it came to dealing with her brother. With a smile, she looked out the window at the station that loomed before them.

The station was a reminder of where they came from, the only really tangible thing they had that spoke of Earth. It was built over a hundred and fifty years ago, originally serving as the ship that brought the reconnaissance team here. It was huge, large enough to accommodate some humanity’s best minds and their families.

Doctors, scientists, engineers, mechanics, and teachers, the best and brightest with all the skills needed to shape an entire world to their will. An entire generation had lived and died on that trip. Cryogenic storage techniques were deemed too experimental to risk on this journey. The crew all knew that even with the best life extension therapies available to them, most of those who’d left earth would never live to see their arrival.

Gliese 581 is twenty light-years from Earth. It was a long way to travel, and the journey lasted more than a century. Kira’s father was born in that inky void, a true child of the stars, but she and her brother had been born here. Everything they knew of Earth came from their studies. To her, the human home-world was nothing more than a collection of images and words, equal parts beautiful and terrible. The poisoned ball of rock beneath her was more a home to her than Earth ever would be.

When the colonists first entered the system, their ship was placed into a low geo-stationary orbit around the star’s fourth planet, and their work began. It stopped being a ship, and became the crucible for their hopes and dreams. After all these years it may no longer be capable of interstellar flight, but it remained their home.

She thought of everything they’d managed to accomplish since their arrival. All the lives lost, the risks, the sacrifice, all of it so that when the next waves of humans arrived, they’d have a world to live on. Some part of her wondered if these newcomers would be worthy of it. From what she understood of human nature, she doubted that they would be.

The shuttle docked with the station, and the three of them disembarked, leaving Daric to complete his post flight checks. Their father took them aside and hugged them tightly. It was a long hug, and based on Justin’s fidgeting, not something he was entirely comfortable with.

“What was that for?” Kira said when he finally released them.

Her father smiled. “Does a father need a reason to hug his kids? I just wanted to show you I loved you.”

 “Dad,” Justin pushed their father back a step. “We already know that.”

“You’re going to a council meeting, aren’t you?” He always got clingy before one of those. The nest of vipers he called them. Kira hadn’t ever really seen a viper, but she understood the reference well enough.

He nodded. “Now go home, both of you. We’ve been roughing it for a while so I’m sure you’ll enjoy being free of these damned suits. For a little while I’ll be there just as soon as I can.”

“Yes, father.” Kira sighed.

“Oh, and Kira.”

“I know, I know, keep an eye on Justin.” She turned and ushered her little brother into the station.

“I’ll see you in a little bit.” Her dad called out after them.

Kira rolled her eyes, and give her father a dismissive wave as she turned the corner. Walking through the corridors of the station made her feel uncomfortable. She imagined that the steel walls were closing in on her. It was always like this after coming back from the planet’s surface. Down there she felt like she could go anywhere, do anything, but up here, everything was so constrained, so… regimented.

Things had to be done according to a predefined schedule, and there was never any room for compromise. Of course she understood exactly why such routine was important; their very survival depended on it, but it always took some getting used to after being planet side for a few days. 

See what I mean? Sub-orbital stations, space elevators, atv’s, shuttles and sleeper ships. I’d say this stuff practically writes itself, but it doesn’t! People like Mr. Zidar, Mrs. Muhammed-Ali, Mr. Joel, and myself do! Ah, I’m just kidding, we aint divas and we definitely don’t think our hips weight a tonne. Then again, if this book goes mainstream and makes us famous… all bets are off 😉

Space Anthology!

My apologies to all those expecting a post about zombies or post-apocalyptic stories. You see, my group and I are busy designing an entire world for our new anthology and we needed some mock-ups to help speed our imaginations to their goal. That’s been my obsession these last few days, that and visiting family. But alas, I have no idea how to post a PDF file to a Shaw Photo Share account, so I came here to do it instead. Behold… Our new Colony Ship!

The overall design is built around the concepts of a generation ship and a sleeper-ship, with the habitation module and the cryo-stasis bays in the center with the engine and shuttle bays at the rear and the command module at the front. And of course, for the people in the center area, the concept of an O’Neil Cylinder comes into play – a ship that utilizes a rotating section to generate gravity. And I think a long spine connecting it all together, which requires a cart since the gravity is at its lowest in the center, would also be cool.

Oh, and I should mention that we’ve selected a location for our story and done some additional mapping to give the setting a truly realistic feel. As already noted, the star system in question is Gliese 581, and the planet is 581 g, a real exoplanet that scientists believe could host life. And here is what it looks like, for our purposes anyway:

It’s called Yuva, a Turkish word which translates to “Home”. All the continents are named in honor of the scientists who helped discover Gliese 581’s planetary system. The rest, well, that’s all us baby! The polar continent, named New Gondwana, is named after the super-continent of Earth’s Precambrian period. And the vast stretches of sea are just tentative names that I thought seemed appropriate, given their position between the major landmasses. Note the color, which denotes levels of fertility, green being lush, grey being glacial, and yellow and light green being desert of savanna land.

Anthology Sample!

Gliese 581 g, a real exoplanet where our story takes place

Hey all. As you may recall, me and my people over at Writer’s Worth have begun working on a new anthology. The concept is space travel and colonization, a phenomena which will most likely be taking place in this and the next century. After a lot of brainstorming and hard research, we have even been producing some first drafts.

The first is being written by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali, the working mother and writer who I’ve mentioned a few times on this site. In her hands is the first story of the anthology, dealing with the families who are selected to take part in the off-world experiment. The second comes from Goran Zidar, another favorite here on my site, who is covering the topic of the terraformers who venture on ahead in order to prepare the planet for settlement.

And then there’s William J. Joel, another Writer’s Worth peer, who has volunteered to cover the daunting tale of the generational ships that will deliver the colonists to their new home. Already he has advanced some ideas which are complex and inspired, and personally I can’t wait to see some drafts. Between these three authors and a fourth installment dealing with exobiology, the first part of the novel is well underway!

And last, but hopefully not least, is my own contribution. As the opening chapter in Part II, it deals with the efforts of the colonists to create a planetary government. The story is told from the point of view of a synthetic named Winston, an AI who has been assigned to work with the planetary council. Programmed with an experimental social science known as “Ethical Calculus”, he will soon learn that working with humans is not nearly as difficult as getting them to work together!

Here is an excerpt from the story which I have tentatively named “Winston Agonistes”:

The sun was beginning to set, casting the sky into a deep orange. It was the time that the first settlers had called “the magic hour”, the many warm hours between dusk and dark. Winston stood at the dome wall and watched. On occasion, he cast a passing glance at his hands, which the glowing sun seemed to casting in the color of a light citrus fruit. He was sure he would find that amusing, if he could. He was sure there was much about this situation that would inspire an emotional reaction.

Alas, such was not the case. Though understandable to him, such things still remained inaccessible. Perhaps someday, with adequate upgrades in the available software…

“Mr. Winston?” a voice called to him from the doorway. The footsteps and tone of voice immediately indicated who it was. He put on a smile and turned to face him.

“Councilman Mutlu. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Mr. Winston,” he replied, entering the room. He looked around appraisingly, noting the furniture and layout. No doubt it all seemed excessive to him, but at the same time necessary. “I trust you are adjusting to your new surroundings?”

“Of course, Mr. Mutlu. I am settling in quite nicely.”

“Good, good,” he said, looking around awkwardly. Even without the ability to empathize, he could gauge the man’s discomfort. Then again, many people exhibited this reaction when in the company of a synthetic. In such circumstances, it was always best to focus on matters of a professional nature. At least that was what his subroutines told him.

“Would you care to sit down? I can offer you some refreshment as well if you so desire. Tea? Coffee?”

“Ah, tea, thank you.”

He busied himself with a tray of carafes and a heater as Mutlu took one of the chairs in front of his desk. He noted the sounds of shifting against the seat’s fabric, the way he kept moving his hands from one spot to the next. By the time the water had boiled in the heater and had located an appropriate tea from the stores, Mutlu seemed to have found a comfortable seated position. He approached him with all the assorted items on the tray that had been provided. He set it down between them on his desk and offered Mutlu a cup.

“The business of running a colony is quite stressful work, is it not Councilman?”

“Uh, yes, yes it is,” he said, taking the cup that was offered. “Have you had a chance to look over the proposals we have sent over.”

“I have indeed,” he said, taking the other cup and sitting back in his own chair. He knew this to be mere small talk, as the matter of processing those proposals had been a mere matter of dispensation. Assessing the nature of the problem, suggested measures, and weighing them according to the rubrics of his primary programming. Under the circumstances, asking such a question was completely inane, but in keeping with social norms.

“And what have you found?”

He took a sip from his cup before answering. “Quite simply, that the Council’s draft is in keeping with the best traditions of constitutionalism and humanism. That ensuring the rights of all citizens, regardless of their background prior to making the journey, is the most sensible course of approach. Ensuring that such a baseline exists at such an early stage is the wisest approach in both fostering amnesty between colonies while at the same guaranteeing that they submit to further negotiation.”

Mutlu looked down at his cup, back up again to his eyes. He seemed preoccupied with him performing this most basic function in front of him, but did not appear oblivious to his words. Eventually, he took another sip and smiled.

“Good. My colleagues will be most pleased to hear  that.”

He smiled in return. “Does the Council hold my endorsement in such high regard?”

Joviality. The gesture known as playful irony. Suggesting that the Councilor saw his approval as something very high indeed, a testament to his computational abilities. A gentle mockery of his obvious discomfort, meant to trigger a humorous response.

“Well yes…” he said, entirely serious. “I can only assume that you’ve subjected our hopes to proceed with a formal constitution to your… what did you call it again?”

“Ethical Calculus, sir.”

“Right!” Mutlu set his cup down and began to speak more freely. His hands began to provide gestures that accorded visual representation to his words. “After all, we’ve been subjected to a great deal of criticism from within and without, many people think we should be ironing out the basic agreements between colonies before we commit to any kind of draft that could commit us to policies down the road. I must say I find all those arguments…”

“Distasteful?” Winston suggested.  Mutlu nodded.

“Quite right… it seems a shameful thing that such cynicism has set into the process already. It’s almost as if they don’t think the colonists can…”

“Trust each other?”

Mutlu nodded again. He noticed a growing shimmer in the man’s eye. How quickly he was forgetting that the man sitting across from him was not a man at all.

“Exactly the point. And it’s not like we’re talking about disparate factions here. Everyone on this world came here with the same goal in mind. The same hope for a new beginning.”

“And yet, old habits die hard.”

Mutlu looked at him with surprise. “Are you saying you have doubts, then?”

Winston smiled as broadly as the muscle fibers in his face would permit.

“Purely an observation. Nevertheless, you and the Council are on the right track. You should take heart in that.”

“Excellent.” Mutlu retrieved his cup and began to look at curiously at Winston again. One more, it seemed that the knowledge of what he was dealing with was creeping back into his mind. But at least he seemed at ease. One by one, the Council seemed to be adjusting to the idea of having synthetics amongst them, entrusting their most precious decision making to them even. It was a significant step up from the laborious practices that the other models were forced to endure.

And that’s the story thus far. Stay tuned for more on the progress of this and other Writer’s Worth Anthologies. Speaking of which, Grim5Next, the dystopian anthology which began months ago, is coming along and getting into its third and final part. Progress!

Crashland – Chapter 12 Now Appearing at Story Time!

The votes are in and chapter 12 of Crashland is now available at Story Time. Last time around, the protagonist William Holden was being introduced to the final member of the crew. This, he discovered, was a cybernetic being known as Simon, a breed of human being designed to monitor cyberspace at all times. He also deduced what Jacobs plan was… unfortunately he didn’t tell the rest of us what it was. Yeah, I know, but I aint telling neither!

In any case, their discussion was interrupted when one of Jacobs men came to announce that they had a problem. When he learned what it was, he conveyed to Holden that they did indeed have a problem! The only question was, what was the nature of it? I asked audiences to decide. Was it: a. a rival gang attacking their hideout, b. an unruly mob that was threatening their friends who are camped out near the entrance, or c. the tube collapsing?

Well, the votes are in and audiences have once again decided. It’s C! The tube is collapsing, and now Holden, Jacobs, and his little band of agents will have to evacuate quickly! Come and by and see what happens, then stick around to vote on the next chapter! It’s all happening over at Story Time.

Another G5N Anthology in the works!

Don’t you just love it when things come together, and by things I mean talented people and a good concept? Well that seems to be happening once again. A few months back, I joined Writer’s Worth over at Goodreads, a writer’s group dedicated to promoting new talent and aspiring authors. We have since morphed into Grim5Next, an online community with its own site and members all over the world. Our first anthology, World’s Undone, is coming together nicely and should be finished in a few months.

But more recently, a couple of Grim5Next people got together and decided we wanted to get to work on another anthology. Maybe we’re all a little driven, but somehow, we just couldn’t wait for the first to be released. And with the departure of the master-singer of sci-fi, Ray Bradbury, and the news of the Venus transit, we felt ourselves inspired. In fact, it all began with a single conversation between Mrs. Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali and myself:

Khaal­i­dah: Four nerds verg­ing on geeks live in my house, of which I am one. One of our nerdi­est but fun con­ver­sa­tions cen­tered around the ques­tion “Would you rather go to space or the bot­tom of the ocean?” Hands down the answer was space. I once dreamed that my son, now 21, would one day go to space and walk on Mars. He is no longer a child who dreams of space, although it still intrigues, and space seems a dis­tant child­hood dream of his. But even for myself, at the ripe old age of 41, the idea of going to space is a bright hope, even though I know it is unat­tain­able and unre­al­is­tic. But, given the chance, I would go. This post reminds me of the awe­some­ness of our great uni­verse, of the chaotic ran­dom­ness, of the beauty of this world and the things we have to be grate­ful for, and of how utterly minus­cule we peo­ple really are in the grand scheme of things.

Me: Okay, you need to write this down. I fore­see you doing a story where a fam­ily does go into space. Ho boy, I smell another anthology here!

Khaalidah: An anthol­ogy about space, going to space or any­thing related sounds awe­some. I vote for you to be the edi­tor. What do we need to do to get started?

That’s how it all got started. After some initial brainstorming, we plotted out what we wanted this all to be about. Space and Colonization! In the near future, such endeavors might just become a reality. In fact, they might have to be if we want to survive as a species. And inspired by the dearly departed Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, I thought we ought to tackle some of the same issues he did, taking into account some more recent historical developments. Like Bradbury’s chronicles, it will be a series of interlinked stories, but told from different points of view in different time frames.

After some astrological research, your humble editor selected a location. 61 Cygni, the star system that sits roughly 11 and a half light years away from Earth. Though there’s no hard evidence to support the theory, it has been ventured that there may be a system of planets in the system, including three small objects, two gas giants, and one mega-planet. At right, you will see the little map I prepared for our, and your, viewing pleasure.

And in time, we picked up some more dedicated souls, William J Joel and Goran Zidar, who you may remember from Story Time fame (he’s the inventor). Already, these two have signed up for slots in the opening part of the anthology. Divided into four stories, Part I will tell the tale of how colonization is getting underway here at Earth in the not too distant future. And before it ends, it will address the issues of converting the new world over to human needs, and how the local flora and fauna are not too happy about it!

And of course, I got a few more people who’ve volunteered to help just as soon as they have the time. Courtney, Jinn and Doremy, I’m looking in your direction. You’re initiative is most appreciated and there’s still plenty of stories to be written and slots to be filled. And of course, Parts II and III are still in development, and slots remain open for more writers. Though it’s still in development, I know it’s going to be inspired, thanks to the people we got working on it. I also know we are going to have fun doing it.

Thanks Twitterers!

I recently noticed that some of my buds here have been sharing my articles over on Twitter quite regularly. I can only assume that they did this out of sheer awesomeness, and that in doing so they sent some more traffic my way. As such, I want to thank those responsible. So thank you to the following people (and their twitter handles):

Cassie Hynds (@CassieHynds) – erotic fiction writer and critic who frequently includes me in her “awesome author” posts. Don’t know what she sees in my humble sci-fi blog, but who am I to complain?
Goran Zidar (@GZidar)
– my colleague over at Grim5Next and a fellow writer. His YA, paranormal works can also be found on Story Time.me, which by the way he is the creator of!
Vanessa Howe (@geekinacardigan)
– fellow geek, sci-fi enthusiast, and Firefly acolyte who seems to appreciate this stuff even more than I do. Didn’t think that was possible, but again, can’t complain! Good to have such people in my corner.
khaalidah (@khaalidah)
– mother, wife, and fellow writer and colleague over at Grim5Next who’s cross cultural insights and personal touch with her writing puts me in awe. As a working mother, she often asks other writers where we find the time. Me? I wonder how SHE finds the time to produce these gems!
Nina D’Arcangela (@Sotet_Angyal)
– a horror writer and the woman behind Siren’s Call Publications, she’s also a colleague over Grim5Next, not to mention the woman who beta’d my contribution to our anthology. She’s a talent scout people, put in a good word for me!
Maureen Hovermale (@zencherry)
– writer, reviewer, voracious reader, this woman does it all and has the scars (and writer’s callouses, apparently) to prove it! I hope to keep garnering her attention, she sounds like she could worth impressing!

An extra shout out to all those who have given me any kind of promotion or reblogged me over the last two years. You’re a cornerstone of the edifice known as DIY writing! I hope I can return the favor someday. Like my pa always says, “It’s takes about 20 years to become an overnight success.” So my philosophy is, any breaks we can give each other are golden! So thank you all for and good luck in all your endeavors!

Crashland – Chapter 11, Now Appearing at Story Time!

Alright! After days and days of sinking my teeth into utopian lit, I’ve finally managed to get back to my dystopian ways! Which means that Chapter 11 of Crashlands is now available over at Story Time. And as promised, things are getting tense!

Last time, Holden was introduced to the being known as “Simon”. As usual it was up to the voting audience to determine what Simon was. Was he a cyborg that could interface with any machine on the planet? Was he a Nexus, a special type of Cyborg that authorities use to monitor the infobahn? Or was he a cyber terrorist that they had captured and turned to their cause?

Well, after some deliberation and a plea from the author, audiences got their votes in, a tie was broken, and Simon was declared a Nexus! Now, in chapter 11, we get to learn more about him, what his purpose is in their mission, and how Holden is expected to help him out. He also learns, now and for the first time, exactly where they will be heading to.

And so the question is once again posed to you, the voting audience: what happens next? Come on over and see what happens in this chapter, then stick around to decide on the next outcome. It’s in your hands people, whatever you say goes!

Crashland – Chapter 10, Now Appearing at Story Time!

Well, it’s about that time again. Audiences have once again voted, indicated what they want to see happen, and the story goes on. But before I get into what chapter 10 of Crashland is going to be like, I want to thank all the people who take time out of their busy day schedules to come on by and read my work. You are the life blood of the serial novel industry, so take a bow!

To recap, chapter 9 ended with Holden once again facing a choice. The mysterious man Jacobs who saved him has now explained exactly who he and his friends are and what they do. Exigencies, they are called, a global anti-terrorism task force that specializes in dealing with clean-ups. When the worst happens, they get called in to put it right. Infopocalypse is just one of many scenarios they are trained to deal with.

With a series of safehouses across the world, and armories stacked with analogue and virus-proof weapons, they are about to set out and reign in the people responsible for the Crash. They have asked for Holden’s help, but only if he’s prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice: not only must he be prepared to die, he must be prepared to kill! With all that in mind, the only question for Holden was yes, no, or some possible third option.

Well, audiences decided they wanted Holden to come up with a third option. Somewhere between saving the world and taking out anyone who got in his way, the majority of voters seemed to think that some kind of provisions needed to be met first. And so the next chapter opens with a little negotiation, followed by an introduction that has been coming for some time. Yes, in the last chapter, there was a mysterious new character alluded to, someone without whom Jacobs and his men would never be able to rebuild society. This mysterious “other” is about to be introduced…

So come on by to Story Time, have a look at chapter 10, and once again stick around to vote on what happens next! Things are coming together, and it’s all thanks to you fine folks. Give yourselves a hand, man! If you were closer, I’d say let’s finish this chapter and hit the bar. Author buys first round!

Crashland – Chapter 9: Cybercops or Apocalyptic Soldiers?

 Well, it’s happening again. Once more, we seem to have a bit of a deadlock forming over at Story Timeover which direction the next chapter should take. It seems that between Cybercops and Apocalyptic Soldiers, audiences were a bit torn over which they would like to see more.First of all, let me thank all the people who came by and took the time to vote on Chapter 8. You’re suggestions and ideas made that one of the funnest chaperts thus far, mainly because it gave me the chance to set things up and determine which way they were going.

Unfortunately, that set-up seems to have created a bit of a logjam. When chapter eight ended, Holden was learning exactly who his saviours were. It seemed they knew who he was and wanted his help to end the Crash crisis. This, combined with all their training, weapons and resources led Holden to ask exactly who these men were. Who could they be?

The choices were: 1. Apocalyptic warriors who were waiting for this to happen. 2. Cybercops who are charged with hunting down the terrorists who made it happen, and 3. The terrorists themselves, who are just using them for their own ends. As it stands, only one vote stands between option one and two. Doesn’t really seem like a fair marging for selecting one and rejecting the other. So before I can proceed with chapter 9, I’m going to need more votes to move things forward.

You got time, you like cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic settings? Then please come on by and vote for your favorite outcome. I promise that whichever way it goes, there will be action, twists and lost of intrigue 😉