Tag Archives: Science fiction

Don’t Eat the Icicles

Waking up this morning, you notice a vail of icicles across half the back of your house. Pouring your first cup of coffee, you give it little attention due to the frigid temperatures outside. If you were able to look closer, you would see a rat sized mammal, weaving his way in and out of your gutters. The creature, depositing the clear liquid, was known as an acidic vulture. He closely resembled a badger with extendable extremities and retractable claws, sharp enough to slice granite.

The icicles, being made from an acrid fluid, froze at 32°; however, thawing brings clear drops that look harmless but melts whatever it touches on the ground below.

This fluid maybe used for mining or warfare. Ironically, warfare is brought about by the mined substance called chad. Chad was used for energy in the world of the other, and sought by all.

The Maldrin were a ground dwelling clan who carried shields that were manufactured with a recipe of chemicals and jewels that would repel the chad, although wear thin after years of use.

When temperatures remained too cold to melt the acrid stalactite the mammal would go to work slicing the deadly ice into chunks that would reign down upon the Maldrin . . .

Thank you for allowing me to show you how I spend my day in the world of writing science fiction and fantasy.

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Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Never Know

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like to live back in the days of the old west?” In my younger years, I’ll have to admit it seemed like a desirable experience; however, when I give that notion more consideration, it tends to take a different route.

First, I’d have to weigh the romanticized version of the west we see on television, against common sense.

It would be pretty cool to carry a gun strapped to my side, a rifle in my saddle holster and saddle bags full of everything from necessities to gold.

During cold weather, I’d wear a long black oil skin coat. Of course, I would never be caught without my leather chaps, cowboy boots and Stetson hat (or something equivalent).

My horse would be my best friend, and I would ride the range, sleeping under the stars, and cooking what I shot for dinner over an honest to goodness fire I made with my own two hands.

Occasionally, I would venture into town for a few shots of the ore red-eye and maybe some female companionship.

Then, I shift my thoughts to instances as simple as a toothache. What would be a painless procedure in this day and time, one hundred fifty years ago, would require and overabundance of whiskey and several men to hold the patient down while the barber/dentist removed the offending enamel object.

If I were not to mention sanitation, rotten meat, simple wounds becoming infected and the deadly diseases that are easily curable today, I would be remiss not to declare the lack of hygiene that getting close to anyone, (especially intimately) would likely result in bringing about a puke fest.

As an author, I cannot imagine performing edits and rewrites on an archaic typewriter. My latest novel includes time travel, boy am I glad it’s just Science Fiction!

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Writing a Novel is Like a Good Game of Golf, Both are in a Genre of Their Own

I’d have to say I’m passionate when it comes to writing, especially in the science fiction, fantasy and action adventure genres. I’ve published four novels, soon to finish the fifth and will return to number six, which has been patiently waiting for completion to come its way.

I’ve penned numerous short stories, write a weekly blog and a monthly newsletter. After all this work, the one thing I’ve never written about is golf.

Now I know that my last statement, in and of itself, seems a bit off kilter. You may even be thinking, what’s this guy talking about? This is where I need you to trust me and follow my logic; however, illogical it may seem.

I used to play this so-called, game of kings, though found it to be more of a throw your club, along with a cuss word or two. Hit an errant shot, followed by a cuss word or two. Reach the green in two and then four putt, followed by a string of cuss words and finally spending entirely too much time searching for lost golf balls with an occasional cuss word.

What you must remember, is all this fun comes after spending a small fortune on equipment and dozens upon dozens of little white balls.

What you really need to purchase, and so far I’ve been unable to find, is a golf swing.

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Too Much Time, Not Enough Time, Time After Time, Time And Time Again, C’mon Makeup Your Mind

I am working diligently on my latest manuscript. I write mainly in the science fiction and fantasy genres; however, this is the first time I have delved into the concept of time travel. Now, there’s a lot of things one can do bouncing from this time to that time, time after time. I suppose one could smack one’s own self upside the head if one had a notion to do so.  

My manuscript, I must admit, has a tendency to drive me a bit crazy. If there were only a few characters  this would not be the case, but keeping even a moderate amount of imaginary actors in their correct timelines can be a daunting task. It’s extremely easy to add another layer of difficulty to the mix when you write as I do. Some authors outline their entire book chapter by chapter before they begin writing. Me, I fly by the seat of my pants. It gives me more freedom to take off on an undetermined tangent which brings my book to life. In this way, along with my help, the book writes itself. So the next time you look at your watch, wall clock or sun-dial, imagine yourself in a different time setting even if it’s just relaxing in front of the television later that night. Me, I just may end up on a peaceful island reeling in a plethora of exotic fish. We never have enough time so use it wisely.

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The Saying Used to go “If you want to write, write.” Not If You Want to Write, Write, Re-write, Edit, Market, Market, Market

As I begin my blog, we are experiencing sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 50 mph. Trees are falling and power outages occurring around a good part of the state. In case you’re wondering, I live in Virginia. Fortunately, my power is still on, and no, I didn’t knock on wood. I hold a firm belief that if rapping my knuckles against a slab of tree (albeit finished) makes one iota of difference in my life, then I need to rethink my entire existence.

I’m working on a new science fiction/fantasy hybrid that is becoming extremely frustrating. Not because of the manuscript, but my inability to spend time working on it. Here’s where the irony rears its ugly head.

The time I need to write the book is spent on another necessary aspect of the writing biz, namely marketing. It’s not my intention to sound like a broken record or beat a dead horse, but something must be done about this travesty. I have spent many sleepless nights and grueling days pondering this conundrum. After many years of searching, I now have the perfect solution.

All we need do is lengthen our days. It would be a simple task. Change our present calendar to reflect six months instead of twelve, forty-eight hour days and a ten-day workweek. Aside from a few minor tweaks, I believe this would solve all of our problems. Just think, finally enough time to finish manuscript after manuscript, without the marketing beast hoarding every minute . . . at least I think so. What if marketing expands to meet or even exceed the percentage of time it demanded before the change? If this occurs, we’re right back where we started, only with twice the marketing.

Best leave bad enough alone; I don’t want to experience worse.

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Use Your Writing Process or Process Your Writing it Doesn’t Matter as Long as Your Process Processes Your Processable Process

Have you ever given much thought to the writing process? I am going to assume the answer is no since it’s not something I ponder on a regular basis. Now, just suppose I found myself in a pondering mood; the writing process might just be something I would ponder at that particular moment. In fact, let’s say I’m in the middle of pondering that very subject.

Some authors begin their novels by establishing the plots and an overall rough outline of how the book will flow. Then again, others will forego the rough outline of the entire novel, expanding that into a rough outline of each chapter. There are many ways to structure your writing and none of them is wrong. Each author uses what works best for him or her and that’s how it should be. Me, I fly by the seat of my pants. When I begin a novel, I sit before the virtual paper on my computer screen. I commence to thinking, eventually coming up with a character and a task for this character to do. I write science fiction and fantasy so this individual could end up anywhere, his destination limited only by my imagination. After that, I’m in it with all four feet, adding characters–sometimes human, but usually not–developing a world and allowing the book to write itself. Whew! I’m working up a sweat just thinking about it. What it boils down to (and don’t forget the boiling point drops 1° for every five hundred feet you rise in elevation) is write how you like and don’t forget to have fun. Gotta go…an idea just popped into my head.

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What People Are Saying About TERMINAL CORE:

eDianne

Jul 29, 2017Dianne rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ really liked it  · review of another edition
They were a small band of rebels, determined to save their planet from the greed and corruption of off-worlders bent on milking its very core dry. Aon isn’t a very large planet, but its core is very special, priceless, actually and there are those who will stop at nothing to have every last piece of it, destroying both the planet and its inhabitants. As good takes on evil in the battle to save Aon, the core itself comes alive with deadly creatures bent on self-preservation and no one is safe.
The Wild West meets Science Fiction in Lynn Steigleder’s TERMINAL CORE as an off-world mining company will try anything to own the priceless element, caladium, including killing a planet.
Characters with simple grit and pluck come to life as futuristic tools able to create everything from food to clothes with a thought let us know that we are NOT home on the range and those horses are not from Earth. Feel like you are in a creative warp between the nineteenth century west and a futuristic sci-fi adventure. This tale of survival will keep readers firmly planted on Aon soil, at least until the core creatures come out to play.Clever writing, interesting characters and a unique spin on other world survival, this is one for the “must try this,” pile! Lynn Steigleder has his creative juices on a rolling boil!I received this copy from Lynn Steigleder in exchange for my honest review.

Ashley Tomlinson

Jun 02, 2017Ashley Tomlinson rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ really liked it

This was one of the most unique, out there books I’ve ever read. It was highly creative which made me want to keep reading. It’s completely different from other sci-fi books that I read which I was worried about when I started it. I read a lot of science fiction books and because of that, I’ve read a lot of what feels like the same book written in a different way. Thankfully this book was on a level on its own and I loved it.

The chapters were really short which I liked at first but after a while it made the story feel jumpy. Like it would jump from scene to scene, character to character and it got frustrating the deeper into the story I got. That’s probably just a personal preference, though. I tend to like stories with one POV so when I read a book with multiple POV’s I favor one and it can make things difficult for me. The world building made up for any POV issues I may have had. It was amazing, I felt like I was in the story too.

I liked the wild wild west feeling I got while reading this, especially with the first few chapters. I also got a Men in Black vibe a time or two. All in all, this was a very interesting Science Fiction that really drew me into the story and didn’t let me go. I highly recommend it. (less)

Brittany

Jan 22, 2017Brittany rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ it was amazing
This was definitely one of those outside the box books. The plot was very creative, which is a nice change from the same old boring stuff a lot of authors recycle over and over again. If you are looking for something new I would highly recommend this book!

Wesley Britton

Jul 31, 2017 Wesley Britton rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  really liked it

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

I’m far from the first reviewer to point out the obvious—that Terminal Core is certainly sci fi, but it’s also filled to the brim with the flavor of the old, wild American west. On the remote, small planet of Aon (which has a solid core made from Calladium, the most valuable element in the universe), cities no longer exist and the world is very much like an open frontier. Characters wear Stetson hats and cowboy boots and ride horse-like six-legged animals carrying saddle-bags. Some characters speak in dialects that would be equally appropriate for 19th century ranch hands, cattle drivers, or prospectors. On this world of mostly men, much time is spent engaged in drunken fist fights inside old-fashioned saloons where everyone wants their whiskey.

On this back-water world, earth’s president and some duplicitous humans plan to destroy Aon to harvest its valuable core. To accomplish this, crude oil from Earth is shipped to Aon, refined and used to dissolve Calladium. In response, an animated, telepathic being that lives in Calladium incongruously calling itself J. Smith takes two of his “bug thugs” and two human hostages to earth to destroy the extraction centers for the oil. Even more frightening are the lethal creatures on Aon that burrow through earth and flesh. It’s as if the planet is defending itself against the intrusive offworlders.

As the story progressed, told with various points of view recounting a batch of alternating storylines, I was reminded of the novels of L. Sprague de Camp, especially his books of light, entertaining adventure populated by humanoids living among strange aliens using weird, exotic technology. De Camp didn’t explore speculative themes but rather took readers to faraway worlds where nothing was intended to provoke deep thought. Seems to me, Lynn Steigleder is in that tradition.

While not publicized as a YA novel, I think that readership would be an ideal target audience for Terminal Core, especially when all the frightening “monsters” start popping up from the ground. Likewise, I’d think Baby Boomers who might be a bit nostalgic for the breed of sci fi adventure stories we got to read before “hard science fiction” came to dominate sci fi might enjoy a book that is simple entertainment. I’ve read reviews that suggest that fans of Western stories might like Terminal Core, but I’m rather doubtful about that. As it goes along, Terminal Core becomes less and less earth-like with the settings, characters, devices and animals more and more fantastic and unusual.

Yes, Terminal Core is often grisly but few modern readers are going to be put off by weird creatures eating or squashing people and other biped species. The violence kicks into serious high gear in the final chapters when a band of hearty humans battle a relentless tide of killer beasts trying to exterminate all the humans on Aon. I must admit, the final sentences of the book are the most out-of-left-field twists I’ve ever read. Seems to me, the conclusion is a bit gratuitous—to say more would be a major spoiler. And as Terminal Core is apparently planned to be a stand-alone saga, you might find yourself fantasizing your own sequel to Lynn Steigleder’s very imaginative grand finale.

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