Archive for June, 2004

Subject index of Alternate View columns by John G. Cramer

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

I found this. There’s enough here to keep me reading for a few weeks.

Subject index of Alternate View columns by John G. Cramer

The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Cliches

Monday, June 28th, 2004

I found this list of cliched plot twists. The problem with it is, it is too comprehensive. Most of these cliches have made for good stories and will again. The key thing to remember here is that the story is about characters. The settings and plot twists are the setting for out characters and provide scenery and props for the character to bounce off of.

Unfortunately, the editorial readers will reject stories on these plots rather than on the story’s merits.

The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Cliches

Summer Flash Contest

Friday, June 25th, 2004

Arthur and I have finalized our new “What I Wrote On My Summer Vacation” flash contest. I hope that this will give us some readers over the summer doldrums.

Smeerp news

Friday, June 25th, 2004

I noticed another registration from a pro zine editor. I am hoping they will find Smeerp useful. I used a test login and gave the site a full once over and found another bug. I hope that no one noticed it.

Back to blogging

Friday, June 25th, 2004

I’ve decided to start blogging again. I have not been putting in my submissions, but I will start this.

I am usually quite depressed when I receive a rejection, so we will see how long I will share my failures (and a few successes) with the public.

Today I received a “Sorry” from ASIM for The Thoat after 10 days. Here is what the reviewer said:

It’s a fairly gentle read, but I didn’t feel that the writing in this one was quite polished enough. I found the action distant from the reader — possibly related to the number of uses of “could” “would” “had” and “was” in the first section, there were misused apostrophes, and the dialogue could have been snappier.

Yeah, that’s me all over. I have poor writing skills, although I think that I can tell a good story. Before I resubmit, I’ll have to go over this one. It is too short (2500) words and needs some thickening here and there.

I am still waiting on six stories. Three of which I have queried.

I have outlined a several western SF stories for LONE STAR STORIES, but I am reluctant to work on these. If a story gets rejected, where else would I send it? I am a huge Louis L’Amour fan and the prospect of writing a spec-fic western is very appealing

Other stories in the works are:

1 – On Ben Klibreck – A Scottish mountain top is a magical nexus where a man is whisked into a past full of demons and ghosts.

2 – Big Jim’s Blues – Another western tale about a steer that’s a little too smart.

3 – Dark Hairs – Micro Black holes in the asteroid belt and the problems they cause an independent miner.

4 – Flying – A boy gets in trouble while flying in zero G on a space station (re: Heinlein)

5 – The Glass House – Suspense and adventure as a group of terrorist try to steel an experimental super computer.

6 – Hell Harp – Two boys find a Harmonica from Hell in the Mississippi mud.

7 – Op 6 – An ALT.REC. Newsgroup is the focus of invaders from the future.

8 – Open Skies – A radio experimenter in 1912 receives strange signals.

9 – The Sleeping Indian – an oddly shaped asteroid is the focus for a fight between rival prospectors.

10 – Speed Kills – A secret society fights traffic deaths.

11 – The Big Herd – Prehistoric creatures in the old west.

12 – The Short Run – Adventures of a Star trader who returns to earth every 40 years.

13 – Unplugged – A concert in space goes horribly wrong.

14 – Voices – The voices that a group of homeless people hear in their heads are really aliens. (ala PK Dick)

15 – The Cold Men – a group of genetically altered soldiers fight terrorism.

Some of these are not worth finishing, but I like all of them. I have another thirty or so ideas in my idea list that I want to work on. Each of the stories listed above have a few pages of text written, some more.

If you read this, send me some encouragement.