Sunday, April 29, 2007

D is for Dreamtime

The Dreamtime is the Australian aborigine version of Jung’s collective unconscious, a
meeting place for the spirit realm. It is the place where our collective experiences are kept.

Shared only by the aborigines, dolphins, whales, and elephants–and before them, the mastodons and mammoths–this dream place has become the stuff of legend. But how else do you explain Crocodile Rock, an outcropping of rock that only resembles a crocodile from high in the air? Some people refuse to see the evidence, even when it is right in front of them.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

C is for C.R.O.A.T.O.A.N

The Inquisitor AI hovered before him, jetting him in the face with water. Frank awoke, sputtering, gasping for breath, thinking he was drowning. The effects of the dream juice still lay like gauze on his mind. In a flash he remembered the alley, the beautiful woman with the needle gun. He shook his head.

"I do not like to repeat myself," the Inquisitor said. "What did you do for your

"I don’t remember," said Frank for the hundredth time. It must have been that many
times. He didn’t know how long he had been chained to the wall in these dank catacombs, but he knew it had been a long time. Since the alley. Since the woman.

"Then tell me this," the Inquisitor said, turning and hovering away from him. "What does C.R.O.A.T.O.A.N stand for? Your company name. What does it mean?"

"I don’t–."

"Is it Creating Robots and Other Automatons To Oppress and Annihilate Nations?"


"Then what? What was your business?"

Frank thought, going down deep in his mind. His first clear memory was of the alley, and the realization that he had been fired. The rest was foggy, unclear. He reached in deep, knowing the answers were still in there somewhere. He pulled out a name from the murky depths of his mind. C.R.O.A.T.O.A.N. For some reason, Frank saw the name as if it was carved into the trunk of a tree.

"What was your business?" the Inquisitor repeated.

Frank smiled. "Mystery was my business."

It came flooding back in waves now. Frank Bonaventure, a cataloguer of mysteries for a corporation that had been around since man first learned to wonder. Fired and mind-wiped when he couldn’t be trusted with those secrets anymore. Frank Bonaventure, who knew where Jimmy Hoffa lies buried, and who shot JFK and George "Superman" Reeves. Frank Bonaventure, who could tell you what really happened in Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947, who knew whether or not there is a bigfoot, an abominable snowman, a Loch Ness monster. Frank had been
a keeper of secrets as old as time. Now they were all gone. He couldn’t remember the answers to these riddles, only that he once knew them. He had screwed up, gotten the Inquisitors on his tail, and had been erased and let go.

"What do you mean, mystery?" the Inquisitor AI asked.

And Frank told it everything he could remember, which wasn’t much. It would be up to
the Inquisitors and Investigators to find out the rest. But the jig was up. C.R.O.A.T.O.A.N would have to spill its secrets, now that its existence had been discovered. Now that no secret was safe.

"But what does it mean?" the Inquisitor AI asked again, apparently thinking that all its questions would be answered if it could simply deduce the meaning of the acronym.

Frank shook his head. "I don’t know. Maybe I never did."

Apparently satisfied, the AI floated backward, turned, and hovered up the dark

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

B is for Bunyip

"Lenny, baby. G’Day, mate. So good to hear from you. What can I do ya for?
What? You want to cancel the book gig? But that’s a sweet deal. I fought hard for–yes, I did tell you you’d have to pose for the illustrator of the book’s cover. What can I say? The guy’s a real stickler for reality. Well, what’s the world supposed to think? You crawl out of a billabong one week wearing a bear’s fur and fish scales, then the next you’re in a children’s book with a snake’s body and bat wings. What image? You look different every time someone ogles you in
some Outback watering hole.

"No, Lenny. I’m not upset. I just think that–movie? What m–oh yeah, I’m still hammering that one out. Oh yeah, a real classy horror picture. Same guys that did Mad Max. Yeah, you’ll be shot mostly at night. No, I haven’t seen a rough draft of the script yet, but they tell me it’s a doozie. Canberra. Yes, you’ll have your own trailer.

"Now listen, mate. Back to the book gig. I think that–I think you should–what? No,
please don’t eat anybody, especially womenfolk. Remember what I told you about good and bad publicity? Hello? Len? Damn overseas phone lines."

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Monday, April 23, 2007

From A to Z, in the Ambergris Alphabet

And now for something a little different. This is a story I wrote a while back that I'd like to share with everyone here. It's of a type known as an abecedary story, in which each unrelated section begins with a letter of the alphabet. Each day for the next 26 (hopefully) days, I'll post a new section. I hope you enjoy it.

A is for Abracadabra

Abracadabra is the most powerful word in all of magic. Real magic, that is. M-a-g-i-c-k magic. But nothing happens when it is spoken. Like a granddaddy longlegs, supposedly the most venomous arachnid in the world–yet its mandibles are too small to bite–the word abracadabra is both all powerful and useless. The reason for this is that, over the years, it has become mispronounced. It was originally spoken thus: ‘a’ as in ‘ah’, the ‘b’ with a short ‘p’ as in ‘put’, rolling both ‘r’s, the second ‘a’ as in ‘as’, the c pronounced as an ‘s’ like ‘cephalopod’ and the remaining letters were ran together in a phlemy ‘h’ sound as in the Yiddish ‘chutzpah’ and ‘Chanukah’. If you can say that, you can do anything.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jamie Bishop RIP

I just wanted to let everyone know that Jamie Bishop, son of science fiction writer and fellow Georgian Michael Bishop, died in the Virginia Tech tragedy on April 16th. Michael has been off the main SF radar for some years, but he is still putting out beautiful work. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he visited my college as their Visiting Author, and I interviewed him for the school newspaper. He is a terrific writer, and an all-around nice guy, and I am sorry for his loss. Messages can be sent here.


Make every day count, people.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm Writing for The Hub!

I got a little surprise yesterday: an email reply from The Hub Magazine. They're interested in having me write book reviews and features for them, so it looks like I'm adding another magazine to my resume.

In other news, I'm also going to be an online entrepreneur! More news when we have the details worked out, but I'm going to be helping others start their own online businesses.

And, I may be adding "anthology editor" to my resume. More on that soon.

Until then,

Keep watching the skies.

Monday, April 09, 2007

2007 Convention Appearances

Well, it's official. I'll be a guest at this year's Dragon*Con, being held Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia

Also, this June 10-11th, I'll be a guest at Sci-Fi Summer in Marietta, Georgia.

I'll post my schedule when I have it.