Sunday, April 21, 2013

Children of the Mechanism

Okay, I'm going to do something crazy. I am going to link you to a story I wrote fifteen years ago. Folks, it is not well written, and that's putting it mildly. It is a story called "Stick Boys." Now, this story appeared in a couple of places. First, it appeared in print in a now-defunct magazine called Lost Worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy (circa 1997). I still have a few copies of it in a box somewhere. It later appeared in an online magazine called Aphelion (circa 1999), where it can still be seen to this day. Yes, I am going to give you the link to the Aphelion page where it appears, but I warn you to lower your expectations:

Now for some history about that story, and I only remember this history because I happened to be keeping a journal during the time when I wrote it. Fall of 1994 is the time, Reid Hall is the place. According to the journal entry, I watched a documentary about children in the Holocaust on CNN one evening. I don't remember the documentary, but I can only imagine it was bleak and sad. Anyway, affected by the documentary, I went on to write this short story, which I turned in as a Creative Writing assignment.

It was a revised version of the Creative Writing story that wound up in print and online. After the story appeared in Lost Worlds, the editor contacted me to say that readers had really liked it and wanted to see more stories set in the same world. So I attempted it. I wrote a second story (called Bugs on the Mechanism), but by the time I was finished and ready to submit it, the magazine had folded. Nevertheless, the world of Stick Boys stuck with me. Over time, I wrote other stories set in that world. The stories, in order, are: Stick Boys, Bugs on the Mechanism, The Master's Shadow and Feeding the Grong. Eventually, I took those four separate stories and attempted (back in 2007 or so) to craft them into a novel. I was not up to the task. I think I got about a third of the way through and gave up and later went on to write Mary of the Aether.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am now up to the task, and it is the next novel I am working on. I call it Children of the Mechanism, which is a title derived from the second of the four stories. I am writing approximately 2,000 words a day, so I should be done in another month and a half.

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