Tag Archives: firing squad

travel days ahead

I’m heading off to scenic Gippsland, Victoria tomorrow for some Koha training. I was talking to Sean the other day about how weird small businesses are. I mean, these librarians are paying for me to go out and teach them about this software I’ve only been using since April. I feel like at a lot of places I’d have needed more training than I have had (which is actually pretty extensive since I’m helping people with their Koha problems all day). Whatever works, I guess. And it means I get to see more of Oz while I’m here.

I’ve been pretty bad about going out to see stuff recently. A lot of hunkering down here in front of the internet. My friend Jamie is off to do his practicum in London (the real one) and got scolded by another of our classmates for solving internet puzzles while he’s supposed to be on vacation. But dude, I completely get that. I’ve been spending far too much time planning out Blood Bowl teams (speaking of which, I found an unofficial Blood Bowl client for playing online which almost works completely well apart from me not being able to simply stand up prone players – let me know if you’re interested in playing).

Of course, a week from today all of that will change since that’s when Holly arrives from China. I’ll engage in a tiny bit of understatement to say I’m looking forward to being in the same city as her, especially without an end-date.

Finally, if you miss my voice, you can now listen to me read Firing Squad, my Machine of Death story whenever you want. Though the magic of reading (and recording) it’s my voice without my innumerable hesitations, filler words and false starts that litter my real speech pattern, so it’s probably more pleasurable in every possible way. You can pump that story through your speakers and pity the poor shmucks who have to deal with me speaking without a script at them.

Like the librarians in Gippsdale next week.

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free as in oatmeal stout

After a meh sort of meeting at school today, I stopped off for ice cream and beer, both of which were sorely lacking in my part of the fridge. I’m walking up my street, bag with ice cream in one hand, box of beer in the other, and as I was approaching a skinny woman probably in her 20s, she said “Hey, how’s it going?” I think that’s what she said. I wasn’t sure if she was talking to me. I glanced at her, and she was wearing big sunglasses and clothes that rode that thrift-store-hipster/actual-hobo line pretty well. She had been talking to me, and she eyed my box of beer.

“Hey, umm, would I be able to trade you a pack of smokes for one of your beers? ‘Cause I’m really hung-over and you’d just be saving my life,” she said. I stopped, and kind of made my “I don’t think so” face as I formulated the sentence about me not needing a pack of cigarettes.

“Please,” she continued. “I just need something to drink. I’m so hung over.”

That’s what convinced me. The fact that she felt that her being hung over was a reason that’d convince me to trade beer with her. It just seemed so illogical there was no way I could not reward it. This might seem to contradict completely my denial of Halloween candy to that kid for not having a costume last week, but he didn’t even try to convince me. His heart wasn’t in it. This woman really wanted a beer, and this was her form of legitimate reasoning. She was so convinced it would work, she said it twice. I had to respect that.

So I opened my box of beer and gave her a bottle. She was rummaging for smokes and I told her not to worry about it. She told me karma would smile on me and I told her to have a good afternoon.

And then when I got home I found, not five dollars, but my copies of Machine of Death waiting for me. I’ve only read a couple of stories so far, and I think I’m going to wait till December to really sink into it. I’ve got the electronic version ready to go on my reader so it’ll be good travelling material. If you want to buy a copy, now that the “Let’s Be an Amazon Bestseller for a Day!” push is over, I’d probably get it from Topatoco, where you can buy loads of other books/T-shirts/gewgaws made by other indie creators I’m proud to be, however tangentially, associated with.

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the machine of death has arrived

Machine of Death Day is October 26, 2010So a few years ago I wrote a story for an awesome sounding SF anthology edited by webcomic people I really like (Ryan North, David Malki !, and Matthew Bennardo who I’m not really aware of outside of this context) called The Machine of Death. It’s available now on Amazon, but if you’re interested in buying it, it’d be great if you could do it on October 26 (from Amazon.com). If you want more information about the history behind the anthology and why we’d like you to buy it that day (hint: it has to do with being an indie publisher trying to make a splash), this post should explain things a bit.

But, you might be saying, what is this anthology about? Well, the concept is that they’re stories from a world where the Machine of Death exists. The Machine tells you how you will die. It is infallible, but can be cryptic. So the stories are funny or poignant or generally awesome. My story, Firing Squad, is about a traveller in a rebellious mountain country whose benevolence has consequences. The book has 30 or so stories, and each of them is also illustrated by cool people from webcomics. It’s kind of awesome.

So it would be great if you considered buying it (or telling someone else to buy it for you) on Amazon.com on October 26, 2010. It is Creative Commons licensed and will be available electronically for free, but actual sales are good things to encourage this kind of effort in the future. Thanks.
Machine of Death Day is October 26, 2010

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Soon I’ll be leaving for work and then Folk Fest, but before I go, some news: I’ll have a short story called Firing Squad in the upcoming Machine of Death anthology. I just got the email (and the contract) this morning. This is the one that you may remember me mentioning months ago when the editor pointed out that it stopped long before it should have, so I made it what I thought was good. Apparently the editors agreed.

Anyway, I don’t know when the book will be published yet, but I’m sure I’ll give it a mention. It’ll be eminently buyable too, not just some kid churning out pages from his bicycle run photocopier. Speaking of which this guy’s blog about his homemade windmill generator in Malawi is great.

Off to get sunburnt and dehydrated!

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method of death: firing squad

I wrote my second story for the Machine of Death anthology today. The concept only fermented for a week before writing, which is weird for me. Often I let ideas sit for months, nay years, before they get turned into actual words on a page. But I like this one much more than my first for the anthology, so we’ll see if all this fermentation is just turning my stuff into vinegar. I figure if either of them is picked, then I’ll put the other up on this site here.

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I read a book of Haruki Murakami short stories last week. There is nothing I love better than his stuff. I mean, seriously, I like to read lots of things but there is nothing I like to read more than something by this man. You know how they say to write things you’d like to read? I’m in the process of writing a couple of very Murakamiesque stories. I hope to get at least one of them completely done up by the time I turn 27.

That would be by Friday.

Today when I got home from playing Necromunda at Dave’s I sat on the porch in the last of the day’s sun and had a beer. What sucks about winter: not doing that.

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