The Edge of Earth

I’m writing a script for a 50’s inspired science fiction short film, that me and some friends are going to hopefully start filming in January! Here’s the treatment that I wrote as a starting place before I get going on the script. I am beyond excited for this – this is how I used to feel about starting a new play. Lots of questions, lots of things to figure out, lots of uncertainty – this is only a starting point, so much to explore and develop before we film a thing.

Working Title: The Edge of Earth

Teenagers from Outer Space - 1959
Teenagers from Outer Space – 1959

A proper SCIENCE FICTION movie from this period must contain:

  • aliens masquerading as humans (cheap costume)
  • a preposterous monster
  • a professor or scientist who is sought for wisdom
  • THEMES – racism, overpopulation, ecology, etc.
  • unnecessary monologues about THEMES
  • unlikely but palatable science
  • sexually attractive but chaste love interest (Pure One)
  • paragons of society: Manhood, Authority, Faith, etc.
  • aliens encountering children, familiar societal locales and institutions
  • sense of dread
  • slow pace

Touchstones: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Teenagers from Outer Space, Forbidden Planet

Synopsis:

Act One

A spacecraft crosses the emptiness of space, a figure sits in an strange cockpit filled with screens and light. The figure wears a helmet or flight mask, obscuring their features. A screen fills with strange symbols and we hear a strange voice speak in an alien language. The figure nods, then pushes a few buttons and descends to the planet below. Earth.

The figure emerges from the craft, holding an instrument. They take readings, then hook the instrument directly into their flight suit. The figure writhes as if in pain, then straightens – some change has occurred within the flight suit. The figure pulls free its helmet to reveal the long tresses of a human woman. The woman uses a reflective surface to inspect her face with curiosity, then turns back to her tasks. The craft is closed, but some extra care is taken with an odd section near the back. The woman rests her naked hand on it for a long moment before departing.

The woman walks down an empty road, stopping several times to inspect local flora and various street signs with equal curiosity. A few cars pass as she comes into town, but none stop or take any notice of the traveler and her strange clothing.

The woman approaches a shop of some sort, her face focused with concentration. An encounter with a customer or server reveals that the woman speaks English, though in a stilted and formal manner. The encounter is heading towards some uncomfortable or awkward crisis when a young woman named Natalie Marlowe intervenes. A few kind words, perhaps some money – the moment is smoothed over and Natalie takes the traveler by the hand and leads her outside the establishment.  The traveler seems touched by these gestures and through conversation reveals that her own name is Nora.  Natalie leaps to the conclusion that Nora is a foreign traveler in need of a guide and quickly volunteers, pulling her off deeper into town.

Meanwhile…two policemen/park rangers/authority figures discover Nora’s spacecraft. Their caution turns to terror as they trip some sort of proximity alarm, firing their weapons at the strange craft. The bullets hit the rear section of the craft, causing an immediate reaction of great violence. The two humans flee as something large and angry breaks free from the rear section of the craft. The last thing we see is a warning light flashing on the console of the craft.

Act Two

A light flashes from a device on the belt of Nora’s gear – but she has not noticed it, being completely wrapped up in exploring the town with Natalie. Natalie and Nora walk hand in hand, in a sequence of discovery – local customs, places of interest. Some flirtation occurs, initiated by Natalie, but it is chaste. Nora seems fascinated by all that she is shown, but not least of all by her new companion.

At last, the two take a break for short conversation where the subject turns to Nora’s home. She is evasive but does not directly lie. Natalie, with some trepidation, brings up the Polaris Sweetheart Dance. Nora is interested in this local custom and immediately accepts her companion’s invitation, but is confused by Natalie’s excitement at her acceptance. Some query of Natalie’s prompts the traveler to reach into her pack to show off something, which is when she discovers the flashing device warning of an attack on her craft. Abruptly Nora departs with little explanation, Natalie shouts directions to the dance after her – hoping that the two can meet back up later that evening.

Meanwhile… the two policemen burst into the local establishment that Nora visited earlier. They quickly commandeer the phone, informing the startled server that their own radio stopped working on the drive back to town. They begin to dial for Local Authority – when the line suddenly goes dead. Something large and angry bursts through the window – we only see the screaming faces of the policemen and other humans as they are destroyed.

Nora arrives back at her craft, breathless. She goes immediately to the shattered rear section and sees that SLAA has escaped. The sun is setting, Nora reaches into the cockpit and pulls free what we assume is a weapon. The lights and voices coming from the cockpit are insistent, but Nora ignores them. She says aloud ‘Natalie’ then holsters her weapon and heads out into the dark.

Act Three

The young people of town gather for the Polaris Dance, none suspecting that SLAA lurks in the shadows nearby. The creature picks off a few dance-goers in gruesome fashion, but remains unseen by the audience. The creature seems to hesitate as Natalie arrives, dropped off by her father, Professor Marlowe. He bores his daughter with tales of his research into the vast unknown reaches of space, but she is far too excited at the prospect of seeing Nora again to pay much attention. She kisses her father goodbye, and he grouches and pulls out a newspaper to read as he waits to pick up his daughter when the dance ends.

Natalie waits outside the dance for quite some time – but finally growing cold she enters alone. The SLAA follows.

The dance is wild and exciting, happy faces, movement. Natalie shakes free of her sadness and finds some friends nearby that she greets, and begins to dance. An overlong sequence of young people dancing and the SLAA growing closer.

At last ,the SLAA reveals itself to screams of terror from the gathered dancers. The SLAA is a monstrosity, terrible to behold – but pieces of it seem to drop away as it advances. It’s target seems to be Natalie, who stumbles and falls in the center of the dance floor. The SLAA closes on her, seeming unsure. At last, Nora appears heroically brandishing her strange weapon – putting herself between the SLAA and Natalie. The terrified townsfolk look on in transfixed horror at this standoff, soon joined by Professor Marlowe – brought in by the screams.

More and more of the SLAA falls away, revealing a figure that is a dark mirror to Nora. Nora explains tersely to Natalie that her race learned long ago that to prosper and grow they would need to remove and exile the dark parts of themselves, but they could never completely break the link. She and the SLAA are one being, and she is complicit in all of its crimes. She believed that she could keep it contained, but knows now that it is too dangerous a beast to inflict on the primitive Earth.

The SLAA howls in anger and grief, but is held back by Nora’s weapon. Nora bids farewell to Natalie with a kiss. Then at last, she activates her weapon destroying the SLAA — but at the same time destroying herself.

Natalie weeps, surrounded by the ashes of the traveler. Her father comes forth to comfort her and offers what consolation he may.

“If such wonders can exist out there among the stars, beyond the edge of the earth — who knows what greater wonders await us? If such a being can walk among us, one who seems to have all but mastered the darkness within – perhaps they too have mastered death?” – Professor Marlowe

Natalie weeps on and ashes blow across the dance floor.

END

The Unquiet Streets and the Fear We Cannot Name

Edward Felspar

Crime Desk

Vyle Tymes – 15th of Psydros, 2015

We live in two cities. Though they share the same streets and the same names and the same buildings proud and tall. Cerulean street lights, crimson flags, the moonsilver steel of the Rail – all the same.  The city of Vyle: serene and shining, as clean as fresh clockwork.  Every citizen, no matter how mean, holds their head a little higher to count themselves a trueborn son or daughter of Vyle. We know our city, we love our city. But, of late, we all have begun to see a second city, a darker one, one that we do not recognize, one that we are not so proud to bear in our blood. One that we walk a little faster from to put lock and key between us and this second city, the hungry city that appears when the sun goes down.

The Constant Reader is familiar with the litany of crimes that have become common in the midnight streets of Vyle. The kidnapping of Haley Westermont this summer. The brutal pillaging of the Veritas Freight shipment. The invasion of homes for petty theft and larceny, the accosting of ladies after dark for nefarious purpose, the bodies found washed up in the harbor come dawn. Over these past many months the rate of crime has accelerated. The hungry city has streets made of teeth and there are few among us who have not felt the bite in our own families.

The question must be posed: why in the largest city on the continent, the home of

Tagma Brass HQ - Staff
Tagma Brass HQ – Staff

the most potent military force ever devised by the will of mortal men, has this quiet harvest of its citizens gone unchecked? This question has been posed, again and again, by this reporter and by many other frightened and concerned Vylians. Poliarchos Winston Gage of Tagma Brass has responded only with the most terse and unfulfilling of statements. “Patrols will be doubled during nighttime hours.” “Tagma Brass investigates every criminal report and does not rest until the guilty party is brought to justice.” “We have some reports of isolated incidents near Flux St. and the more unsavory corners of the city, but the vast majority of Vyle is completely safe at all hours.”

Safe where he lives, perhaps this is what Poliarchos Gage means.

Though there are no sources willing to go on record to the following information, the lapse in journalistic diligence can perhaps be forgiven. Most sources who have reliable information are terrified for their lives and livelihood, and what is proper to print here can safely, and sadly, be considered common knowledge to most citizens of Vyle below the rank of demiarchos. This increase in criminal activity and the furor and intensity that has been visited upon the citizens of Vyle can be tracked to one organization: the Black Cross Gang. Their base of operations is unknown, their full number is unknown, even the origin of their crude symbol and moniker remains under a deep cloud. What is known is their cruelty, their fierce despite for the law, and their unending avarice. Recognize them by the black bandannas they wear, and the all too often sign of a black cross or ‘X’ daubed on their clothes with coal or tar.

If you encounter them in the daylight city of Vyle, avoid if at all possible. If you encounter them in the midnight streets, only your own skill and the gods’ love walk with you as Tagma Brass will not stir to defend its citizens.

Whispers have also reached this reporter’s ears of the purported head of this vicious cadre of thieves and murderers, a person known only as ‘White Crown’.  No verifiable reports have been made of anyone seeing this person, it is not uncommon for criminal groups like this to create a fictional figurehead — a ‘boss’ figure that both lends to their mystique, and also allows for a ‘monster in the shadows’ to lean on as a negotiation or intimidation tactic.

This newspaper will continue to report as accurately and as fully as we can about these true events and fierce dangers that grow ever more present in our city. We live in two cities now, haunted by a Beast that we cannot see and we are not even given the privilege of calling by name. The fear that grips this reporter is: will there always be two cities? Or will we wake one morning to find the jaws of the midnight city has closed over our peaceful home forever, beyond all reclaiming?

E. Felspar is a staff writer for the Vyle Tymes. Communication may be sent to his box at the Vyle Tymes Offices with further reports and news of criminal activity.

Inkshares Contest Survival Guide

With the announcement that my publisher is running another contest sponsored by The Nerdist, I raise my creaking bones from the sharp-edged divan of Anxiety and inksharesEditing to applaud and salute all the new campaigns! More writers, more books, more readers – these are always good things. It’s easy to think of writing as a purely competitive enterprise – especially in a contest framework, but you know what’s great about readers? They don’t want to read just one book – they want to read many books! And bringing more attention to my publisher helps me too – *rubs together hands maniacally* – now more people have a chance to see MY STUPID DORK BOOK FOR DORKS.

But let’s talk about your stupid dork book for dorks. And more importantly about how you can survive the next few weeks of the contest with crying in the bathtub only every other night.

  1. Use your campaign dashboard. Inkshares gives you plenty of easy tools to link up all of your Facebook, Google, etc. contacts and puts them in a handy list called the Reader Pipeline. This is a perfect way to start keeping track of who you  have contacted, who’s pre-ordered the book, who you need to beg harder. There are also built-in tools to contact prospective readers and also to THANK people who bought your book.
  2. Get comfortable with asking people for money. Yes, I know. It’s terrible. But you have to do it. All of the easy/passive ways you can ask aren’t going to get you there – i.e. posting on Facebook, or your blog, or Twitter. You are the best salesman of your work – you need to go directly to your friends, family, acquaintances, vague strangers, lemurs and ASK for the pre-order.
  3. Take a long look at your writing schedule. Assume it’s going to get thrown away for most of the contest. It’s a stressful time! You are going to start refreshing the contest page a few times an hour in the last few days of the contest – go ahead and accept that your writer-brain has checked out, and you are pure rodent-lust. It can be extremely demoralizing for writers – as surprise! – writing is what keeps us happy and reasonably emotionally balanced. You need to account for that, and build in some slack in your support network. (see: crying in the tub.)
  4. Get to know the other competitors. Not just follow their campaigns from the shadows — talk to them! 5 winners are going to make it, but there’s nothing saying that even more can hit the overall Inkshares funding goal. The more you share resources, readers, knowledge, and support the easier things will be for all of you. I made several friends during the last contest and I’m very glad that they are still talking to me. One of the winners of the last contest is putting another book up – JF Dubeau – he would be a great resource to you for help and ideas.
  5. Noblesse oblige. No doubt, tensions are going to run high as the contest heats up – it pays to remember that you all have the same goal, the same dream. Go out of your way to play fair, to help out the other campaigns. We’re all a bunch of small-timers trying to take the leap into a bigger arena. Even if you win, you can still stumble. Nerds must be held to a higher moral code – we are all taught by the finest stories and the greatest heroes.
  6. Updates. When you send out updates to your backers – remember that they are your allies, your friends and boon companions that want to help you make your dream come true. They are not your servants or conscripts. Ask them to help you, give them clear instructions of things they can do to aid the campaign – but don’t forget to entertain them! Show them exclusive parts of the book, concept art, videos, terrible pictures of yourself. Don’t just send out endless ‘GET MO PREORDERS’ updates – if you cause your core audience to tune you out, that’s hard to come back from!
  7. Cry in the shower. There are going to come moments when you will wonder why you jumped into this thing. We make stuff, we write stuff – it’s a learned skill to put your work out there in the world where anyone can bang on it, or worse ignore it. This contest is 6 weeks of permanent vulnerability – it will be hard. And it’s okay to feel bad. Here’s another post I wrote all about the emotional damage of self-promotion.
  8. It is okay to ask people for money. I’m saying this twice, because it goes against the grain for so many people. My day job is sales, so I have a much thicker skin about it – but even I get squirmy when it’s for my nerd poems. People want to help you – don’t feel like you have to make them read your excerpt, or explain the whole book to them. Don’t sell the book – sell YOU. Look in their eyes and ask for ten dollars. This contest is purely based on unique readers – not preorder count, so you don’t have to stress about getting multiple books out of people. Just ask – I promise that it is okay.
  9. Take breaks. Seriously – as much as you can, especially those last two weeks. You are going to become an internet-octopus, dripping your tentacles across all platforms looking for information and preorders and mentions and ideas and any glimmer of aid that can come to your campaign.  Go on walks. Play video games. Write if you can. There will come moments where you will stare at the contest page and try to WILL the numbers to go up – these are normal, but get your support network to pull you away from it as much as they can.
  10. Contact Inkshares with questions or concerns. Some weird stuff happened last contest. A glitch with some referral credit, things not appearing properly on campaign pages, etc. Everyone at Inkshares was always quick to respond, eager to fix the problem, and as transparent as they could be about the source of the problem and the solution. They want to get it right and they work hard to do so – it’s why I’m quite glad to have them as my publisher. (HEARTS 4 INKS)
  11. Cry in the shower.
  12. Your book is not on trial. There are a lot of moving parts to this contest. People are going to pre-order your book because it sounds awesome. Or because you asked them. Or because they liked the cover. Or, or or…if you find yourself slipping down the ranks, it DOES NOT MEAN your book is bad. Maybe the other books are doing a better job of pestering people, or they have a bigger family, or, or or. Do not start beating up your book and blaming it for not being shiny enough. Unless your book is into that and has given clear, vigorous consent.
  13. You can do it. By that I mean – you can get your book out into the world. This contest, the next contest, regular funding through Inkshares, Kickstarter, self-publishing, finding an agent, printing it out on copy paper and hiding it in Waffle House bathrooms — you can do it.

Enough blathering from me! Good fortune and good campaigning. If you have questions about anything, drop a comment below or look me up on Twitter – @gderekadams.

Asteroid Made of Dragons: First Read Impressions

Banana cover

I’m a little muddled honestly. I think it’s a stronger book than my last, but I don’t have the same feeling of certainty after the first read. Maybe because this book has a LOT more moving parts? I feel like it all works, the baseline mechanics of it all, and some scenes really shine, and the end really surprised me? It makes me deeply happy, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be.

I think it may just be a matter of form. Riddle Box was a murder mystery and that structure is a joy to inhabit — AMOD follows a three-act structure with a meta-narrative frame and all sorts of weird  hyper-narrative threads that shoot off all sorts of places. I like them! I want them to be there! But I guess it’s hard to quite feel it all settle in my head quite yet. RB was a dark lance to the heart, AMOD is this strange spinning wind chime that looks different from every angle.

I’m also serving a lot of masters in this book – something that is giving me no undue amount of anxiety-knives in my spleen. As always, the book must deliver on its own merits – one episodic adventure served a la carte. But, I also want readers who’ve followed me from the first two books to find the threads and rewards there for them – BUT BUT this is a bigger debut for a larger audience with my new publisher, so I don’t want new readers to feel unwelcome or confused, I also need to introduce the world and my entire ethos in an exciting and palatable fashion, ALSO I need to set up some secrets and foreshadowing for things that will happen in later adventures ALSO ALSO AS WELL AS just frankly deliver on the fun of the premise.

I won’t say that this draft has succeeded on all of these fronts. I will say that it is in the process of getting there.

BULLETED LIST

  • The frame story really lands for me – not sure how betas and editor will feel, but I think it will be especially nice for readers of RB and still work thematically for new readers.
  • First act really cooks along – lots of fun, strong starts, distinct voice for each section. May also just be because it’s been the longest since I wrote this section, but I enjoyed first act the most.
  • Xenon is the best. Suck it, all you old characters. You bore me.
  • First Act feels a lot like Spell/Sword in the Jonas & Rime chapters – wacky battles and teen angst.
  • Second act feels lumpy. There’s a chapter that straight SUCKS. Just halting, charmless, and bad. All connective gristle. Lots of re-writing here and the whole second act – this is where the reader gets to spend time in Gilead, and I don’t want that to be wasted.
  • Third Act we’re back to ACTION, ticking clock, asteroid falling, all that – the mechanics and emotion all land fairly well, need to work through the rise and fall of some of the action sequences. There’s a sequence i’m calling ‘Rime Goes Boom’ that I need to muse over and play with, going to need feedback on that one to get it to sing properly.
  • Denouement makes me grin like a huge nerd, its the anime ending – I can already feel the wind of the next adventure blowing and it’s exciting and makes me happy, especially because the plan is to leave Aufero to its own devices for a while after AMOD.

So, a complicated reaction. Lots of work to be done. God I’m glad I’m not doing it alone.

If you aren’t already – follow the book’s progress on my Inkshares page – where you can BUY IT if you’d like, or just malinger in the shadows and watch it change and grow and get better and better until its too hot for you, just way the fuck out of your league.

I Explain My New Publishing Deal to Aragorn, the Cat Who Lives With Me.

“Aragorn!” I screamed as I ran up the steps of our porch, feet pounding up to our front door. “Aragorn!!!! It happened! It. HAS. HAPPENED.”

I slammed the door behind me, remembering to throw the bolt – it doesn’t shut properly if you don’t throw the bolt, and when Train rumbles by the door can pop open — allowing the Dogs to wreak a very limited havoc on the neighborhood. My words echoed in the house and then fell quiet.  My Beloved and the dogs were out on a walk and the black and white cat was in the backyard absorbing solar radiation. It should just be me and Aragorn in the house. Is he asleep? I think I yelled pretty loud. I prepared to venture further, to face the lion in his lair, when at last his magnificent orange frame sauntered into view.

Aragorn
Aragorn

“What.”

“Oh, hey. Hey, Aragorn. Were…were you asleep? I mean, I can tell you about this later, if you were, you know, asleep.”

The orange tail lashed and he said nothing.

“Okay, I was just very excited because I’ve got my first publishing deal and I wanted to tell you about it.”

Aragorn blinked, then slowly uncoiled himself, heading back for his favorite nap spot.

“No! It’s a really cool thing! I won a contest and now I’m getting published by Inkshares and I’m going to be on Sword & Laser and –”

The orange cat stopped and looked back over his shoulder with disgust. “There’s no way you’re going to let me go back to sleep until you tell me about this, is there?”

I bounced on one foot, vibrating with pent up excitement. Aragorn sighed and curled back up in a nearby sunbeam. He flicked his whispers in a way that signified if not submission then at least grudging consent. I sat down next to him with my legs crossed. We sat together, him in the sun, me respectfully folding my hands and preparing my tale.

Aragorn opened one eye. “Did you fall asleep?”

“Snrrr..no! It’s just been a relentless couple of months okay, I was just taking a brain-pause.”

The orange cat closed his eye.

Inkshares is a publisher, an honest to god book publisher – but they’re trying to do something different. They crowdfund books – a little like Kickstarter, but with a guaranteed product. If you can convince 1000 people that you have a cool idea for a book, they will publish that book. Professional editor, professional marketing, professional cover design, the works – and it’ll be in bookstores. For real. Like I don’t have to personally deliver them myself and sweet-talk the staff. I heard about them a few months ago when Sword & Laser interviewed Gary Whitta.” I jabbered. “I had already been poking around the site – kicking the tires as it were – trying to decide if it would be a good fit for me and my next book. But then, out of nowhere they announce this contest.”

“Contest?” the cat didn’t quite sneer.

“A contest sponsored by Sword & Laser! It started in April and ran through the end of May. The top five fantasy and science fiction campaigns on the site with the highest pre-order counts would all be published – even if they didn’t hit the 1000 book goal. I thought about it for ten whole minutes before I jumped in. It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. It was too many coincidences! I had never even heard of Inkshares until the podcast, and now the podcast was running a fricking contest for fantasy novels and I WRITE FANTASY NOVELS. I had already setup a ‘dummy’ campaign with very basic information – in a frantic hour or two I field-dressed it and set it to launch.”

“What’s the book called?”

“Uh. I mean. I think we’ve agreed to disagree before about my style, so –”

“What. Is the stupid. Book. Called. Human.”

Asteroid Made of Dragons…?”Asteroid

Aragorn arched his back and hissed at me.  I held up both hands, hoping to placate him. “Yes, yes – I know. But you see, I won. I won Aragorn. It took a lot of amazing people helping me out and Inkshares amending the contest rules right at the end to factor in unique readers as well as pre-order totals. But I’m getting a book published. It is happening. It’s happening, Aragorn!”

The cat lowered his spine and plopped back on the floor – or at least the most graceful version of a ‘plop’ that can exist. I kept going, hoping he wouldn’t mind the excited spittle flying across the room.

“And on top of that I get to be in the Sword & Laser Collection. I get to be interviewed on the podcast. It’s come full circle or something. I also have to write a whole hell of a lot in the couple of months to get the manuscript done and I think I may have some sort of anxiety-related tic forming in my left eye – but I get to see my work in hardback. I…I…I…”

Aragorn stretched with boredom. “You realize this is only interesting to you? It’s nice that you tricked a bunch of friend and strangers into helping you, but I fail to see what this could possibly mean for me?”

Cats ruin everything. “I mean, we’ve just talked so much about the other books, i thought you’d be excited.”

“Yay.”

“Okay – okay, I get it,” I got up from the floor and skulked away.

The Best Thing

Banana-2

In the middle of all this madness, I get a new review for my first book.

And, as I’ve learned, my core demographic is 11 years old.

austin2What I liked about Spell/Sword is that when Rime and Jonas get of jail and fight the crystal frog and I also liked when they fought the grey witch and the assassin also that there’s a sword that is magic and can take away Rime’s magic also when she uses magic it damages her health and her power is unstoppable and Jonas on the run for murder.

Austin Sigman – Age 11

Yup. That’s what I like about Spell/Sword too. I can’t wait for him to read The Riddle Box and AMOD.

I’m being very terse because this took a kind of crappy stressful day and made it awesome. I don’t wear happy well.

Thank you so much for reading, Austin!

Addressing the Troops

in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.
in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.

[I wrote this as a backer update for my Inkshares campaign of Asteroid Made of Dragons — and I kind of liked it. I’m always trying to express my goals in some fashion or another, and I liked the word-shapes I came up with this time, so here you go.]

Good afternoon you feckless rabble, you hard-hearted convoy of bright-eyed adventurers.

We’ve picked up quite a few new followers – shamans, bladewalkers, puppeteers, guys named Chuck. My army grows with potency and I sip from a goblet of purest obsidian in vile pleasure.

Because this is the secret – this is the thing that books do, the invisible machinery of Purpose. It brings human minds together – across space and time and race and rhyme. It brings them together like little fireflies – little droplets of human energy floating in the dark. The more we gather the brighter that light becomes – doubling and redoubling like a dynamo, like thunder rumbling its way across the heavens.

The big Books? The ones out there with thousands or millions of readers – they burn like tiny suns, whole skies full of fire. Flame that sings across memory and dreams, powering the machines, turning the drill.

The drill? What drill? The drill that turns, breaking down the wall between our old gray world and the brighter worlds on the Other Side.

That’s my job, every author’s job, really. To walk along the edge of this world, tapping at the wall. And when you find a crack – when you smell something sweet or dark or evil or bright – some color on the other side you put your hand on it. You put your hand on it and you start to holler. Because you don’t want to lose it! Anything but lose the scent, the tiny little weak place in the dimensional barrier. And then you write – you write what’s on the other side, and if you’re very very lucky – readers come. With the real power, the real human energy — and if you get enough of them, you can break through.

We can break through. One day… one day. The Other worlds are out there and I can see mine — one day we’ll break on through and slip away.

Maybe this is a weird goal to post here? Chuck looks like he’s having second thoughts.

So thank you – is what I’m kind of saying – thank you for this small bonfire that we’ve built. May it guide others to our banner.

Have a great El Seis de Mayo! If you were unaware, it is officially the Greatest Day of the Year.

Sic Semper Tyrannosaur,

Derek

Two Free Books and One Asteroid (Made of Dragons)

I’m giving my books away this week – in hope that you will think about helping me reach my dreams and pre-order my new book. I put out the first two all on my own – now I’m working with Inkshares.com – a crowd-source publisher and their Sci-Fi / Fantasy Contest sponsored by Sword and Laser. Normally I would have to get 1000 pre-orders to get my book published – but in this contest the top 5 campaigns by the end of May all get published. For a raggedy self-publishing scamp like me, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

So here we are! I’ve gone through my friends and contacts online and begged, lied, pleaded, wept, and cajoled. And, almost unbelievably,  so many of them have stepped up to support me. But now I have to convince you – total stranger – to take a chance on my new book Asteroid Made of Dragons.

So I want to meet you half-way — I want to give you my first two books for free.

Kindle Version – FREE – May 4th – May 8th

spell_sword_cover_final

front_cover

There they are – the fruits of my brain garden – please take them.  You can learn more about each here and via the reviews on Amazon. The short version is: if you are a huge dork, well I pretty much wrote these books specifically for you.

And now, your part of the bargain! Because we have entered into some sort of bizarre internet blood-pact – bang a gong and summon the lukewarm spirits. The link to campaign page for the third book is below. Take a look! It’s another adventure for my heroes Jonas and Rime – but fret not! I write episodic fantasy – not epic – like any good episode of X-Files or Sherlock Holmes investigation, you will be provided with the minimum required knowledge to enjoy the adventure du jour. There are a couple of sample chapters already up of the third book, but if you enjoy those FREE BOOKS I JUST GAVE YOU – the third book will not disappoint.

Asteroid

ASTEROID MADE OF DRAGONS – PRE-ORDER ONLY 8.99!

  • Pro-Tip: If you sign up for Inkshares itself, they give you a $5 credit – which you can use towards my book!

Well – I guess that’s it? I don’t know quite what else to tell you, stranger. You are on my blog now, so there’s a metric ton of my other ramblings, short stories, and other errata – plus I just GAVE YOU TWO FREAKING BOOKS.

This is always where I come a little unglued at self-promotion. You have no reason to help me – but I hope you do! Even if you decide not to pre-order – maybe you know some people that would like some free books – or maybe people who would really like to help a book about a nuclear winter caused by a meteor crammed full of mythological creatures get published.

There are those people, right?

Leave comments here if you have questions, concerns, or burning rages — or come burn me down @gderekadams on Twitter.

Here’s a picture of a banana:

Banana-2

Tweet Poet

Design Sketch - Mike Groves @poopbird
Design Sketch – Mike Groves @poopbird

So here’s a thing I did on Twitter this afternoon. Yes, I am very weird.

Check out ‘s Asteroid Made of Dragons on : Would you be so kind, Twitter? Must I convince you?

Okay – – here’s the deal, written in words heavier than steel.

Books have I written, two by the count. With goblins and wizards of no little amount.Asteroid

Of Jonas and Rime, squire and wild mage, two travellers filled with stupidity and rage.

I wrote them myself, tap tap at my desk, then sent them to fly on a self-published quest.

It was fun, it was grand, my fiction did sizzle. But the slow creak of Time makes my energy fizzle.

I stared at the walls of Publishing’s grove, to climb it seemed worse than Plath’s head in a stove.

Patience and skill you need to make it for reals, I’m twitchy and tricksome, no match for these wheels.

Then one day did tell, a miraculous new site both potent and fell.

A place called , cute name all in all, they had a new way of brick-breaking the wall.

If enough friends I could trick, wheedle or sell, then my third book would be published like casting a spell.

Crowd-funding! Pre-orders! Kickstarter but more! Guaranteed results like robbing a store!

So to those who read these couplets that rhyme, could I perhaps wheedle a bit more of your time?

Take a look at my book, I hope you adore – and if I’m quite honest , I hope you’ll do more.

Click the button, bang the gong, let everyone know! Asteroids are coming with mother fucking dragons in tow!

So here is the link, thank you for reading. I hope you can find your wallet despite your eyeballs both bleeding.

Nothing is tagged and my followers few, perhaps these lines could get a RT or two?

Asteroid Made of Dragons – InkShares – Sword&Laser Publishing Contest

pow-hi

In a haze of stress neurons, I’ve done something rash. I’ve been lurking in the digital bushes around InkShares, a crowd-source publisher, for a few weeks now. I really like their model – if you meet your goal, the book gets published. Professionally edited, cover design, release in major markets, the works. But I was hesitating – partly because I wanted to wait until I had a little more open headspace – partly because I’m a little bit chickenshit.

But then I got an email about this contest.

In the words that I myself reverently uttered upon reading, ‘Bug Jesus.’

The top 5 sci-fi/fantasy novels in the contest get published. The five books with the most pre-orders by the end of May get published. Even if they don’t hit their funding goal. My book’s goal is 750 preorders for ebook / 1000 for paper – but it doesn’t matter. If I can get enough pre-orders to stay in the top five, I’m in. It’s just too good an opportunity to pass up. All I want is that 5th slot – Asteroid of Dragons in the finals with a bullet!

The grand prize is even better – being the first Sword and Laser Collection novel published by InkShares and getting interviewed on the podcast. Finally, Veronica and Tom will know the clever things I say about the month’s book that I’ve been saying in my car. [!]

So, now the hustle – which connotes the amount of work I need to put in, but also the slight tinge of a scam. I NEED people to pre-order the book before the deadline. I’m going to start by plowing through my Friends List, of course, but I’m not going to make it over the hump without – gulp – strangers.  I’m going to update the InkShares page regularly, I’m going to update here more, and be much more active on Twitter and FB. I’m going to be obnoxious. That is my vow. I have just over 45 days to convince as many people as possible to give me 9.99 – to extend faith in what I’ve written before, and take another leap in a book called Asteroid Made of Dragons.

Eep. Very eep.

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/asteroid-made-of-dragons

That’s the link – the starting line of this race. Help me win. Tell me how I can win. If you follow the link and don’t pre-order, come tell me why so I can FIX IT.

Much more to come. Just think, if this works – some responsible adult will be in charge of marketing and I’ll be left to write weird sonnets about sentient pickles. Won’t that be grand?