Posts tagged ‘fiction’




For my blog, I don’t write long pieces.  I want to make my point and hold my readers’ attention.  (Notice I use the plural, perhaps wishful thinking.)  Not boring those reading my words.

This may gain your attention.  The entry following this discusses a story of haunting romance, a story captivating me most of my life, along with classic science fiction.

I seldom watch movies more than once, but there are exceptions.  Every chance I get I watch War of the Worlds – the original starring Gene Barry.  For those who may have missed it, he also appeared for a moment at the end of the remake starring Tom Cruise.  In some respects the remake has details reflecting H. G. Wells’ classic novel closer to the original movie.  Let me discuss these comments in more detail.

The original, made in the 1950’s, scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.  The way the suspense builds is magnificent.  Unfortunately, after multiple viewings, I have found some incidents which make little sense.  For one, when to original ship lands it is too hot to approach, yet when Gene Barry, and his almost girlfriend use the wooden farm and another ship lands destroying part of the house, the structure does not catch fire.  Also, for the act which finally results in the death of the Martians is that they venture into a new world without any protective gear.  Would a civilization traveling through space take that chance?  Maybe, if you enjoy something, you should not revisit it multiple time, and keeping the love alive.

Now for the remake starring Tom Cruise. The weaknesses are strong, yet also keep true to the book.

If you watch the movie you may remember when Cruise and his daughter are trapped in a cellar with a character played by Tim Robbins.  I could wrong about it being Robbins.  I’ve been wrong before.  I believe the character Robbins represents is a minister who is killed by the protagonist in the book.  This act of murder is hinted strongly in the movie.  But before this event, Robbins tells Cruise the belief is that the Martian machines were buried on the Earth a million years ago.  I should mention that the Martians come to Earth by way of lightning strikes to power up their machines.  Here comes the ‘give me a break’.  It’s like burying a Model T, and in the meantime, your society develops spacecraft able to travel twice the speed of light.  Yet, to save your civilization, you use the Model T.  Don’t you think that the Martians would have used technology which currently existed?

To the remakes credit, they do depict the Martian’s machines closer in the book than what the original movie.  But overall, I feel the original movie is the best.

Now onto the romance.

February 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm 1 comment


Over the course of our writing careers the answer to this question may, and probably will, change.  With age and success, or the lack there of, our mindset will morph until that final realization that we have done all we can do.  Let history be the judge of our effort.  We cast our lot to time.

I feel there is a spectrum to our need to write, spanning the need to leave our footprints in the sands of time to pursuing the almighty buck.  Most of us lie somewhere in-between, with the love of art or existence our goal.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to exist, and if you have the art and it pays the bills, so be it.  Each of us is unique to their purpose.  And only at the end of our time can we can we reflect on all we have accomplished.  For some of us, success may come after we are gone.  We can just do our best and hope for the best.  The important thing to consider when the end.

How many of us write, spend countless hours completing a work we feel important and no one responds to our effort.  We get no feedback, good or bad, from friends asked to read our work or agents and publishers where our writing has sought a home, just an awesome silence as our writing goes into the world.  Now, if your purpose in is to obtain profit, better known as paying the bills this hurts.  But your goal is just as noble as those whose sole purpose is the goal of longevity of their existence.

As mentioned above, if your goal in writing is to leave your mark on history, and you lack success, all is not lost.  How many of us know the authors of fiction whose work was not appreciated during their lifetime but discovered after they were gone.  We all know writers of fiction who fit the mold.  Struggling to leave their mark, yet their major work going unrecognized during their life.  Think of Herman Melville and his masterpiece, Moby Dick.

So many of us pursue this profession with little reward.  Leaving this life never knowing if our voice will be heard.  Put down your words.  Fate may find you.

To be continued with a look at your life and history.

I am once again going to ‘allow’ you to buy my work.


Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &


January 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment


I’m sure you’ve read multiple blogs and messages wishing you ‘Happy New Year’.  Well of course I wish you that, but I also wish you a ‘Productive New Year’.  Whatever you do, do more of it and do it well.  Make this a year you’re proud of and can look back on with happiness.  I’m going to try to accomplish those goal.  We’ll see what happens.


He is the better writer by about 100 orders of magnitude, but I’m trying to catch up.

But seriously, I am in the process of reading his novel, The Songs of Distant Earth.  I was lucky enough to be able to search a mass of science fiction novels donated to a small local library.  Books for which no room existed.  When I saw this novel in the boxes of donations, I immediately acquired the book to bring home.  I’m happy I did for now a novel I planned to write, formally on the back burner, is now going into the incinerator.

Let me explain.

I had written a short story, December Omen, as yet unpublished.  I will try to find this work a home in the coming year.  The work dealt with the end of the world, not a unique subject, but I thought I had a lock on a new scenario.  Turns out, Clark beat me to it.  We both end the world, but by different means.  We both send mankind into the cosmos in order to survive.  I through frozen embryos; Clark through genetic material and robotic factories to manufacture mankind on some remote Earth-like planet.

At this point, let me include a fact I know I read somewhere.  Whether it is reality or conjecture I do not remember.  Chalk that up to maturity (senility).  The article dealt with DNA, a very stable molecule, and the possibility to incorporate information using its structure.  What a concept!  How much information could reside in a gram of DNA?

However, what inspired this piece was a common scenario in both our stories.  In the new planet was created no religions would exist.  For reasons look at today’s newspaper or read a little history.  I could not believe Arthur C. Clark and I had the same thoughts.  The commonality, unfortunately, ends in that single instant.

January 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment


On the eve of this horror holiday, I thought I would offer a zombie treat.

This story was published in the now defunct Blood, Blade, & Thruster in their Winter 2006/2007 issue.  Included in this issue was an interview published with Piers Anthony.  This association caused my writing career to soar.  JUST KIDDING.  I should have saved that for April 1st.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story, and if you have a moment during your busy life, LET ME KNOW, my ego would appreciate the response.


As Norman stumbled through the dank Haitian swamp, he groaned, “Willard, it feels so unnatural walking around with my arms outstretched, but I can’t seem to put them down.  “I have an image to uphold.”

Willard, who was shuffling along, shook his head and sighed, “Of course it’s unnatural, you’re a zombie, damn it.  And your image is history.”

Norman complained, “I didn’t ask to be a zombie.”  With some difficulty, he swiveled his neck and surveyed the Haitian countryside.

Norman took in the landscape surrounding him.  He walked through a village.  It was nothing more than a few huts of mud and straw along a dusty road.  Chickens pecked in the brush along the roadside.  Chickens!  For some reason their presence made him uncomfortable.  “I really don’t want to be a zombie,” Norman muttered.  He was a forty-year-old college professor, a dark-haired trim man who always dressed well.  Now he was walking around covered in grime and dressed in rags.

Willard said, “If you didn’t want to become a zombie, you shouldn’t have run over the old voodoo woman’s chickens with your jeep.  Was she ever pissed?  She’s also the one that converted me into a zombie, but that’s another story.”

Norman looked at Willard and could not guess what he once looked like.  Willard was pale, gaunt and dressed in rags.  His age made undeterminable by his zombie state.

“As soon as you angered her she began making one of her little dolls.  She cackled while she worked.  That is never a good sign.  The doll is where your soul now resides.”

“I can’t believe this is happening to me, Willard.  I came to Haiti to do research on Haitian religions.  I am, or was, a respected and well-published anthropologist.  Now look at me.  I’m wearing rags and walking around like a…, like a …

“Zombie!” asked Willard

“Just because I ran over a few chickens?”

“Um, Norman, they looked like chickens, but they weren’t.  Nothing around the voodoo woman’s house is what it appears.  They were once her enemies.  She changed them into chickens and you freed them from pecking for insects along the road for the rest of their lives.  You ended their suffering.  So naturally, in her anger, she turned you into a zombie.  I am assigned to train all novice zombies.  To instruct how to attack people teach them what are the best parts to eat.”

Norman made a face at this remark.

“Now what?” asked Willard?

Norman sighed, “I’m a vegetarian.  But I will eat dairy.”

Willard said with disgust, “There are no vegetarian zombies.  And attacking the dairy section of a store is not going to do much for the zombie image.”

Norman grumbled, “Oh, I wouldn’t want to do anything to detract from the zombie image.  Give me a break.”

As the two zombies were arguing, Willard happened to glance over to the voodoo woman’s house.  There she stood in the doorway.  Willard could tell she was not happy.

She hobbled toward Willard and Norman, a waddling mass adorned with bones and beads.  Her crown of thick dreadlocks made her appear as if some multi-legged beast was sitting on her head.

The old voodoo woman shouted at Norman, “I knew you be a trouble maker, with your fancy jeep and running over people’s property.”

Norman mumbled, “Sorry about the chickens.”

“You sorry all right.  You be good and sorry real soon.”

The old woman produced her Norman doll, lifted the doll skyward, and began chanting in a low rumbling voice.

Norman’s soul returned to his body.  He felt like his old self.  He laughed with relief, then glance up.  Willard stumbled toward him, arms raised.

“Willard old buddy, we’re friends – right?”

Willard only growled and roared.

Norman looked desperately for an escape.  On either side of him, zombies with ash-gray complexions staggered in his direction.  He was surrounded.

The old voodoo woman said, “Here be my ‘children’, and they be hungry.”  She cackled as the circle of zombies grew smaller and smaller around Norman.

From beyond the wall of the living dead, Norman pleaded, “Please, make me a chicken!”


Those that observe ‘Mischief Night, please be kind.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

October 30, 2015 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment


A few days ago, after many rewrites, I finally finished my novella, Elmo’s Invention.  This 16,500 word work is a prequel to my first published Elmo novella, Elmo’s Sojourn, available from Melange Books.

Completing this current novella took quite longer than it should.  Life’s been rough but that’s part of the experience.  But once finished, off it went to Melange Books hopefully with a happy outcome.

Not to give too much away, Elmo’s Invention is the story of a Los Alamos scientist, Elmo, who tinkers in his cellar with ‘off the wall’ ideas that no one would pay him to pursue.  In the course of his tinkering, he invents the perfect prison, but that was not the result he was after.

If this stirs your interest, I’ll let you know if it is published and you interest can be satisfied.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

September 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment


Published as a paperback by Galley Books in 2015, with Revival, Stephen King has done it again; taking us on a ride through interesting characters with a touch of horror, maybe more than a touch. I enjoyed this novel. Now let me tell you why.

First, some background.

Stephen King and I are the same age, and we’re both writers of horror. The similarities stop there. King has bucks coming out his butt because his novels sell because they are excellent reads. I just have a butt with the usual production, but I’m working to change that. I love King’s work, and with this last novel, I’m beginning to understand why.

We grew up together.

I enjoy all of King’s earlier novels, written while he and I were young or of middle age, the characters kept my interest and the storylines were magnificent horror. But the age of the characters was unimportant to both me and the work. Then, as he grew old, and life took its toll, his writing began to change, and being the same age, I now strongly identify with the characters.

There is no guide to getting old, thank God, for if there was, some might chose not to. Everyone’s experience is different and unique. There are those who do not have a chance to experience the aches, pains and loss of the purpose they once knew. You know the only way to not grow old, think Marilyn Monroe. They are the ones who suffer the loss of opportunity of time and accomplishment.

Now, about the story.

Revival centers on a minister who loses his faith and a young boy he encounters before circumstances cause this loss. Even after his loss of faith, the minister holds revivals and accomplishes cures using ‘secret electricity’, an unknown form of electricity which he is sure exists. He also feels this electricity will allow him to glimpse worlds we cannot normally see. The result is not pleasant. King goes totally H.P. Lovecraftian at the novel’s conclusion. Being a fan of Lovecraft, I loved it.

Revival is an excellent tale of horror, but it is much more. It is also a skilled description of the ageing process through the life of its characters. Until you are there, advance age cannot be truly described. This is what give a richness to King’s tale. Through personal experience, King does a fantastic job of combining advance age, and bearing the crosses of life’s experiences.   I also bear crosses, and am stumbling through the years.

Treat yourself.

Read this book.

June 15, 2015 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment


Existing somewhere between clinical and raunchy, this novel explores the world of sex through the eyes of a Brazilian woman, living in Geneva, Switzerland, as a prostitute. The work journeys from one extreme to another, following the woman through her profession and experiences, but maintains a level of literature which is both informative and captivating.   After experiencing love found, then lost, she stumbles into this profession more by accident than desire. Although, through following her experiences, both desire and love come into play.

What I found most intriguing was the way Coelho mined the thoughts of a women, especially those of a woman in an uncommon situation of love for sale and profound individuality.

I love this author’s work, and treat yourself, start reading his novels.

June 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment


This piece will demonstrate how slow a learner I am and how much I have to learn.

I’m in the process of reading Paulo Coelho’s novel, Eleven Minutes. I’m sure many of you are familiar with his name from his famous novel, The Alchemist, which has been on the bestseller list for years.

As I’m reading, I marvel at how simple the process of his writing appears to be, how characters and scenes just falls into place. As I brooded on this observation and compared it to my own work, lightning struck my addled brain. The process was not simple but born through skill and hard work. The richness I observed was the level of his skill and determination.

I have had a problem for the last few years, well maybe more than one, and have discussed it in my blog in the past. I have a fear of the rewrite, of not getting it perfect. What a fool! The ‘write’ doesn’t make the piece, it’s the rewrite that gives life to the framework.

Looking at a writer as a sculptor, a sculptor of thought, if you will, the first draft is the initial release of the form imprisoned in the rock or marble, the metal or marble; the writer’s mind. It is only through careful chipping away that the work takes form. It is only after editing and living with the work is the work completed. The initial draft is nothing but the birth. I’m going to try to force myself to put these observations to use.

Please, stay in touch.

June 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment


Written in 1972-1973, this novel brought me a new appreciation of the ‘master’ as I have never felt before. In this story, Helen Keller could have seen the gifted writer which would emerge on the horror scene.

Surprisingly, this work, in the strictest sense, in not a horror novel. There is a dead accomplice giving Blaze, the main character, a brain-damaged man, advice, but he only exists in Blaze’s mind and memory. What I found remarkable about this work is how King creates a multi-faceted who kidnaps and kills, yet you’re able to get into his mind and past and find sympathy for his actions.

I’m not giving away any more detail. Buy the book and fill the ‘master’s’ coffers. You won’t be disappointed.

May 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment


Recently I read a short story, Waterspider, by Philip K. Dick, which was part of a collection, The Minority Report and other classic stories.

The reason I write this piece is that, in past posts, I have threatened to write a piece about science fiction writers and how, through their imaginations, predicted science fact. I’m still going to do it, with Arthur C. Clarke at the top of my list. However, Philip K. Dick beat me to the punch in a fascinating short story, Waterspider.

In Dick’s short story, the present is the future and scientists have sent a mission of volunteer prisoners into space, reducing their mass. The problem is, they don’t know how to restore the ship’s mass and its one-inch tall occupants upon arrival to their destination. Apparently, even in the future, some things never change.

However, the scientists remember a period in the past when people, known as pre-cogs, existed. The debate was whether the first pre-cog was Jonathan Swift or H.G. Wells. I’m surprised Jules Verne was not in the running. These individuals have the ability to predict the technology of the future, and one of them predicted a solution to mass recovery. These pre-cogs, with this ability unknown to them, were science fiction writers. The present-future scientists were able to travel to the past and decide to bring Poul Anderson, who, in a short story solved this problem.

These future scientist journey back in time to a convention of science fiction writers and meet a host of pre-cogs, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, along with a shy Philip K. Dick.

To say the least, this story blew me away. I encourage you to read it, if you can find it.

May 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

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