Category Archives: Junk Thought


The last night I spent with Null was much the same as the first.

She came to us a tiny white ball of fluff – she was so small, in fact, that she made our little apartment feel like an echoing cavern; our first apartment, our first shared pet.

I had my computer setup on a desk in the living room. It was an age before laptops had become ubiquitous, and I suspect there will come a time when films looking for period accuracy will have such a beast – plastic sheets of faux wood grain over fiberboard every one – proudly displayed for authenticity.

Now I keep my laptop setup on a table in the basement, behind which we built the sick old girl a bubble of safety to keep nosing dogs away.

On both occasions she slept over my right shoulder, wrapped in a blanket. On both occasions I tried to shoot digital bad guys, but her sleeping form was a constant distraction. In both frozen moments I turned every ten minutes to squint against the glare of the screen and make sure she was tended and comfortable (despite the fact that she had, in truth, not moved a single inch since the last time I’d fussed.)

Now she’s gone, and I should be able to end my watch, but I can’t stop looking over my shoulder.

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The F’ing General

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Into the Black

The Mountains of the Sun cover art
Are you a gut-shot explorer dying quickly on the edge of a collapsing star, your last few relativistic seconds spent dreaming of a sound and quiet life, or are you a sound and quiet life dying slowly on the edge of a gut-shot planet, your only few seconds spent dreaming of exploration?

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TNINA – This isn’t the Bob’s Burgers

We’ve made something stupid that may amuse you if you’re a fan of NIN and/or Bob’s Burgers.

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Broken Angles Flow Uphill

You may have noticed the rise of increasingly long book titles (that often sound like sentence fragments.)

The Girl on the Train

What you may not be aware of is that we’re simply running out of one or two word combinations that haven’t already been claimed. Everything from The Martian through to The Big Sleep has been used. You can’t chuck a noun without hitting an Isaac Asimov novel, a Margaret Atwood poem, and two Stephen King short stories before it touches the ground.

To those wondering why this is a problem – to those wondering why we shouldn’t just proudly claim 1984 for our Pac-Man-centric period-piece* murder mystery – I say: Try searching Goodreads for Possession.

(*I just made myself feel old, but if I were reading about about 1967 in 1997…)

When Breath Becomes Air

Of course, in this regard the Victorians might have been a step ahead. It’ll be a long time before we come back around to needing to re-use The Life and Extraordinary Adventures, the Perils and Critical Escapes, of Timothy Ginnadrake, That Child of Chequer’d Fortune

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Eddie Vedder Status Update

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Rejection Selection

BAENHaving received an absolutely-expected rejection letter from Baen has brought mixed feelings.

Tossing a work into the slush pile of one of the major publishers is – given the number of submissions they receive and the amount of time they have to consider each work – an utter lottery. Art is subjective, even pulpy art, and good work can simply miss the right set of eyes.

That said, I got a nice little personal note (beyond the standard form letter copy/paste) indicating there was genuine interest. It may not have made the final cut, but someone over at Baen flagged my first attempt at a novel as a real possibility for publication, and, as we stagger out of 2016, that’s enough to feel like a minor victory.

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It’s that dream again. He’s wielding the sword in wide loops, and it feels comfortable in his grip, its hilt so familiar in his hands that he almost believes it his friend. The damned smiling man is also there. He does not seem impressed. He never is. In a single motion the smirker draws his pistol, fires.

His slumbering death is quick, and he awakens again in the bar. He’s got a job to do; not a pleasant one, perhaps, but he’s got mouths to feed and Jabba doesn’t like lost cargo. It’s him though – that damned smiling man – and again he draws and fires before the sleeper might enact his own murderous intentions.

The man awakens to a dark room. What will stop these dreams? He must wipe the smile from that damned face – and he thinks he knows how. Pulling at the rigging that holds his prosthetic arm in place, he reviews his plans for Kimble’s wife.

The Fugitive: The One-Armed Man

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Dream Log: Handsy

Skeleton Hand
Strange dream last night. I can remember only the seconds before I woke, but I seem to have had a series of stressful adventures leading to a small gathering of friends I don’t actually know in the real world.

“That was a close one,” I said.

“Yeah – but look at this!” answered the fellow on my left, and we all turned in his direction. He was holding his wrist with his right hand while everything above his grip – fingers, palm, everything – had been stripped to the bone. We were stunned.

“Sure,” replied the guy on my right, “but look at this!”

My second friend was also holding his wrist, but there was flesh only above his grip – the rest of him was bare skeleton.

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Acid Redux or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reboot

Tremors Reboot?


I am having some serious and complicated feelings around the notion of a Tremors television reboot actually starring Mr. Kevin Bacon.

Let me use this as an excuse to launch sideways into a personal theory, however.

As we approach Max Reboot – that point at which we have effectively run out of popular or cult franchises to contemporize – we are marching ever closer to our own time period. No longer content to CGI up the 1960s with Planet of the Apes and Star Trek, this announcement and last year’s TMNT abomination leave me feeling like the needle is now firmly somewhere in the ’90s.

There were 5 years between Spider-Man 3 (2007) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – it seems like there was once a time when a project that big took that long just to make.

Will they even pause in the yearly cycle of Hunger Games movies before starting over at the beginning?

That said, don’t panic: Our escape route is obvious.

Eventually the needle will creep so far forward that some Hollywood suit will stumble across the notion of “rebooting a film that isn’t even out yet – refining an open palette, capturing something that hasn’t quite been seen before, tweaking the concepts of the genre without the limitations of a preconceived structure,” and we’ll be back to producing original ideas.

Either that, or the Chrononaut Division will have to start pitching scripts.


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