Critical Stories

Here's what I'm planning on writing (and revisiting to post) for the new site, Critical Futures which launches on Monday and that I wrote about here. I'm going to go from the stories that I've talked about least to the stories that you're most familiar with, and I'll include a little bit of background with each story/series.

  • Trailing Edge, is just a working title for a nexus of stories in a future world that's been left behind. Humans have been moving out, continuously for hundreds of years and this has had a huge effect on the people and worlds left in the wake of these great journeys. This is the anti-epic story of those people and worlds.
  • So this is an interesting story, I tried writing a story (which I might post, and that I've blogged about extensively) that I was calling Breakout about what happens on the "Leading Edge" of this "progress," and it was during a rough space inside my own head, and the story didn't really want to be in novel form, so I tried writing it has a hypertext, and that didn't work either, so I just let go. And then, I realized that maybe the more interesting part of this world would be the "other side." And while the original story had merits, and I might return to it in some form, it's not calling to me in the same way.
  • So I started writing this story, and I was thinking about the new site at the same time, so as a result the story really fits this new structure. The stories have a loose versioning system (so far I have "Episodes" 1, 2, 2.1, and 2.2, and 3 in progress or completed), and I write a page in one part or a page in another part, pretty regularly, and it's good stuff. Like the Mars story, I particularly enjoy how the narrative is multi-modal, that there are different types of stories, different forms that I get to explore. And the concept is pretty fun.
  • It's a story written for the media: I talk about a handful of things on tychoish, productivity, technology, knitting/spinning, science fiction/writing, and in a way all of these are telling a reasonably consistent story of me and what I'm interested in. Critical Futures is sort of the same, except that rather than technology and knitting, there'll be a couple of stories. And within those stories--as within my discussion of, say, technology--there'll be a number of different threads to the story. And I'll write it as I go, and the experience of writing fiction this way, is really appealing and compelling. Hopefully you'll feel similarly.
  • Knowing Mars, this is the novella I wrote last fall about a group of human telepaths who are forced to leave Earth in order to keep the secret of their ability safe... for a while.
  • Interestingly, since I'm getting in the habit of explaining the origins of the stories, this story descended from a novel that I wrote while I was in high school. This isn't part of that story, but rather an elaboration of the first six pages of the prologue (which really didn't work). It's clearly a sort of quirky coming out tale, and it's a fun story. It's a universe that I've got worked out, and I expect that there'll be more related stories. (I have one plotted out, mostly that I just have to write, and another that isn't coherent in my mind, yet.)
  • By the way there are about 30,000 words in this story, and one of the biggest goals of this new site is to provide inspiration to plow through and get the final edits done.
  • Station Keeping, the story that I (and others) wrote last year, as a sort of precursor to the current project. It's a far future space opera, where "progress" has slowed to a crawl because of the relativistic effects of travel, and the eons old social and political institutions that hold humans together are beginning to crumble. These stories explore the lives of the crew and residents of a space station above a critical world in the budding new order.
  • I think of it sort of told in the style of a TV show. Indeed I intended to post a series of episodes as a teleplay, because you know, I can. 12 episodes and about 10,000 words of this are old material, and then I've written 4 more that haven't been posted anywhere and I have plans at the moment for 36-40 episodes (of uncertain total length).
  • This is the remaining of a novel that I started writing but that sort of fell apart on me when I was a teenager. The characters and the setting were great, but the story is really a loose serial and not novel-like so it's understandable that it didn't work out. Its much more fun in this form.

And you know, odds and ends. I haven't given a lot of to the pacing. I know I have enough content, and I do think that with a little inspiration I can write enough, so we'll see how it goes. I also have an inkling of some other folks that might contribute some stuff from time to time, so we'll see. Stay tuned.

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