Tag Archives: Novella

Friday Fiction: Final Freedom

I have to stop with the alliteration. It might start coming across as forced. I do find it to be the most beautiful form of rhyme.

Here’s my bit of fiction for the week, based on a writing prompt about, you guessed it, freedom. It’s a little dark, but that happens from time to time.

The land of the free. What a load of hogwash that is. Free to do as business and government and censorship let us. Free to walk the streets at night; free to be mugged and beat.

Nothin’s free these days.

The word sucks us in. Companies use it to lure the hungry into shopping malls, watching on cameras, rolling their finger tips together with greed, the trap sprung before the poor sucker is aware. Hell, you see those “Free 2 Play” videogames the media is bangin’ on about? What a joke. Games are about winning, and you can’t win nothin’ unless you pay. Your time or your money, it amounts to the same thing.

Governments the world over are striving for democracy. We’re free to vote—or not—and that’s real freedom!

Nah, sorry.

You see, we’re played with, strung along. What greater purchase is there than having your favourite brand leading the way? Christ, I mean campaigns are worse than Christmas, with the flashy lights, endless slogans, the piles and piles of money that go on behind the scenes.

And what about the mother of all freedom: Speech, our words, and thoughts, and ideas, and philosophies? That’s the last damn freedom you want because somebody, anybody, will come along as soon as you’ve expressed it and grind it into the dirt.

And of course, they’re free to do that.

It’s like a game of Snap—cards on top of each other until someone gets their grubby palm and smacks it down on top. It’s mine, all mine!

There’s one freedom I truly appreciate, but even it’s tainted. The freedom to bear arms. Bastards still make us get a licence. I have the freedom to defend myself, the freedom to carry a weapon at all times. But I don’t cherish it enough.

I don’t cherish the false freedoms afforded to me.

There’s only one freedom left.

And no one can take it away from me.

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Friday Fiction: Editing My NaNo Attempt

Welcome to the first of my regular updates. That is, each Friday I will post fiction that I am working on, whether that be edits or something fresh, and invite you to share your own. Every Saturday will be about what I have been reading, from article suggestions to book reviews. Sunday will be for musings—anything that I’ve come up with during the week, or feel needs to be expressed. Think of them as opinion drafts.

For my first post I’ve gone back and edited the beginnings of my NaNo attempt (going strong, by the way). I would post my original splurge, but that would be annoying. Instead, please enjoy the first 600 or so words of my very first novel, The Solar Saloon (and maybe suggest a better title!). You can check up on my progress here.

 Zinc flew above the regolith, the stars at his back. He focused on an incoming pole, reached out with long arms in anticipation. He was good at this, judged it perfectly. Slender fingers crept quickly around it, and with the momentum he had, Zinc swung right around as a meteoroid does a planet.

With a gymnast’s kick he let go and flung himself towards the next obstacle. He could hear his sisters laughing ecstatically. Smiling stoically, he extended his body as much as he could. Three hoops were coming up, and he would have to adjust his flight perfectly in order to get through them all. The noise of his siblings stopped while they held their breath.

One hoop. A few spurts from the gas jets.

The second hoop. A few more in the other direction.

Then Zinc thought of a better idea.

As he passed through the last circle, he sprung open, latching his fingers around the top of the hoop and snapping his torso back. Spinning round and round he heard a gasp from one of his sisters. His vision flashed from the black of space to the grey-blue of home. Slowly he relaxed and came to a stop, perched daintily on the apex. Beryl and Vana clap silently. In zero-g the only sounds that carry have to jump from comm-unit to comm-unit. He opened a link with them.

“Good?” he said.

“Very good!” said Vana.

“No, very, very good!” said Beryl, pushing her sister. The younger sibling floated a few metres before managing to land back on firm ground.

“Careful you two,” Zinc said. He twitched.

“Sorry Z-” Zinc nodded his helmet towards Vana.

“I mean, sorry Vana.”

“That’s OK, I coulda got back anyway, even without my hook!” She put her hands on her hips and patted the little gun on her hip. Zinc doubted that, but he always admired Vana’s spirit. Sometimes he wished his sisters wouldn’t look up to him so much, but since they did he put on a bit of a show. He preferred watching them try to equate themselves with the playground. He knew it back to front.

“C’mon Zinc, show us something else!”

Zinc declined. Instead, he jumped down, regolith bursting up in slow motion where his feet landed. He swung both arms back and did a little bow, which was his way of saying, “Show me what you got.”

Taking a seat on top of a largish rock, Zinc watched his sisters leap clumsily on to the equipment. His creation. It was an odd mix of metallic frames and bright plastic shapes. Tubes and tunnels, poles and planks. He’d even managed to make some of it go under the surface; he was particularly proud of that little innovation.

Zinc stared up past the outlines and the squabbling girls, into the dotted dark that was the sky. Making patterns was one of his favourite ways of passing the time. There were so many dots, changing all the time. There, two little girls holding hands. To the left of that, a fork, no, a spanner. He often tried to connect the stars in a perfect circle, just to see if he could. That was a hard one, and he’d only managed once. But there was one symbol that kept coming up.

That of a man. It was distinct more than any other formation, and he always saw it. It was too perfect not to have been placed there.

A scream ripped into his ear, a high-pitched scream laced with fear.


Zinc immediately refocused.

There was Vana, barely holding on to a spinning stick. He jumped down, and within three long strides he had skipped to her side. Placing a hand on Vana, he turned her to look into his faceplate.

“She just let go!” Zinc could see the fear. Or maybe that was a reflection.

Spinning around, he spied Beryl’s whiteness against the great black. She was screaming and yelling and hollering and Zinc had to force her link closed. Without wasting a second he launched himself after her. He had the greater speed, and would definitely catch her–but could they get back?

If you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month please link a part of your own story, something you’re particularly proud of.

With that, I’ll leave you with a quote from George Orwell:

In a time of universal deceit— telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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Novella Peek

So I’m getting through this novella of mine, and I think it could do with a little feedback vis-a-vis form. If you’re at all interested download the file and read the first 9000 words or so of my first draft. In particular, does the first-person narrative work?

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Forum Life Novella

A little novella I started on a few weeks back. Really need to get back into it. In other news, I wrote 500 words of a new story just before and Ommwriter deleted it. Argh!


“Welcome to Persordin”
I slip under the words, through the arches that give me access to the city. It’s a busy thoroughfare with people coming and going as they please. Keeping to the sides, I make my way towards the centre. I take it all in. The buildings, pale white and fading red. The people, smiling and chatting, not a trace of concern or doubt. I notice a great deal of augmentation on all of them, built for functionality, not fashion. I mutter thanks to the Creator for my forward-thinking; my own hasty additions will fit right in. I look down at the pipes and wires newly connected to my flesh. Basic as it is, I’m still adjusting to the changes, but at least no one is going question them.
I keep going, hands firmly in pockets, head down. This is not my world. My eyes swivel constantly, both to take everything in and to be sure I’m not being watched. Amongst the crowds of individuals I notice some people in uniforms, obviously some form of police or security. I avoid them at first, but soon realised they patrolled out of a formality. None of the citizens seemed frightened of them. They would have been like anyone else were it not for the clothes. I relaxed.
The city was of classic design, but clean and modernised. The streets I traversed were smooth and well-maintained, the buildings and habs spewing steam from the rooftops. PM-tubes ran likes vines across terraces. For the Tech Capital, it employed a perplexingly subtle approach to architecture. So transfixed by the wonder of Persordin, I kept walking in passers-by, none of whom seemed slightly angered by my obliviousness. Eventually, through nothing more than luck, I found what I was looking for.
I came into a gigantic forum. While I gathered myself,  I recalled what I had learnt of Persordin. For it is not only a hub of technology and progress, but also a place to freely discuss thoughts and opinions. A number of small districts border the centre, each having their own focus. There is one for serious philosophical debate, one devoted to personal technology progression, and the largest of them focussing on the popular practice of digital combat. While each would interest me in time, I headed straight for the social sector: The Rhube.

Here the buildings swung in close together. Signs and posters littered the walls, the latest social events advertised for all. I wandered for a while, getting to grips with this city. I’d never felt this level of boisterousness. It was invigorating to be among so many people all living and working together. I got lost, but eventually I stumbled on what I was looking for: a tavern. The sign hung over the large oak door. I entered the Uplate Lounge.
The stench of cigar smoke hit me, followed by the warmth of the fire. It was crowded, raucous shouts pinging between patrons, and the typical after work chat had taken hold. I made my way to the bar.
I ordered a whisky, neat, the bartender asking no questions.

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