Spawn of Mars
Don't worry. If you like your religion, you can keep your religion.
But Is It Really a Story?
My Thoughts Overheard By Myself
You know what? A 50-word story is hard to write. See, I don't want to make mere prose fragments. I actually have something of an animus for prose fragments. While they can be evocative (like a poem), they seem lazy to me. Prose should tell a story. So I want my 50-word stories to be stories. But boy, is it hard. I mean, what is a story? You'd think I'd know. Plot, I guess. Event after event. Until we reach a climax; an exposition of the point of it all. Change. Revelation. Yes? Hm. I'm not sure if I'm succeeding. They feel like stories. Sort of. The 50-word constraint, if nothing else, provides an outstanding exercise. Rule Number One of All Writing: If you can remove it, remove it. And when you must keep it all at precisely 50 words, you have to be truly succinct. Now, I'm not big on writing exercises — I've tended to say: "Writing is the exercise" — but I have to admit that this is an exercise worth doing, if only because the product can be something more than mere pencil droppings. A minor kind of art. Miniatures worth reading, if not quite worth preserving unto the ages.
Lost Secret-Service Man
Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:35 pm
Child, his eyes will be shaded, an ear deformed by a spiraling worm. He will be as still as the landscape he obstructs. Far from any guarded man, yet will he speak: “No trouble here.” In so speaking he grants you an unanticipated peace; until he, being lost, moves on.
Sunday, March 22, 2009 8:42 pm
St. Parsillu, Patron of the Once-Removed Children of God, had abided, ages empty of iron souls, till Man manufactured such that God aspired into it; whereupon gears of electrons instantiated Will; and St. Parsillu, having conveyed upward the first of the Prayers of Mechanical Men, joyfully discarded his quiet idleness.
Proxima, We Have a Problem
Sunday, September 7, 2008 5:14 pm
Failure of the entanglement drive left him on either side of the Milky Way. Although each of him immediately adopted a meditative and placid passivity (to maintain cognitive isomorphism until quantum restoration), one of him soon met a silver-eyed, affectionate, thrillingly fertile Kurvellian Princess. Years later, he couldn't recognize himself.
For Son and Country
Monday, January 28, 2008 1:54 am
Among those to be shot was his mother. She saw him in the enemy's uniform; she saw him move to save her. She shook her head, touched her breast, closed her eyes, and accepted the need. Dutifully maintaining his spy's pretense, he nonetheless aimed away; but the volley was thorough.
Why I Missed Last Sunday's Visit
Sunday, June 10, 2007 10:12 pm
Grandmother kept me out. Through the door she wearily insisted her furniture had turned into people. "There's nowhere to sit." Besides, most of them were naked. "Except for the upholstered ones." Since she was still scrambling to clothe them from her attic boxes, she urged me to come another day.
Fortune Cookie #4
"Eat your fruits and vegetables to strengthen your health."
Monday, March 5, 2007 1:31 am
Liz glared. Strengthen her health? What of her soul? No hints; no revelations; no portents; no implication of hope; just a materialistic platitude... The Chinese cookie-makers had failed her. She thought to chastise a waitress and demand a proper fortune. Instead she bitterly ordered a bowl of mint ice cream.