Friday, April 15, 2005

The Slow Prometheus

Continued working last night on "Prometheus and the Little Lost Spaceship". This story has a few "deep concepts" in it and the writings going slower than usual, for me at least. So far I think I have 1,600 words.
One idea I'm tossing out in the story - that our solar system is the only one that has life, and it will be mankind's role to seed life through the galaxy - probably not go over well with s-f editors, who are more conservative lot than they would like to admit when it comes to the assumptions of the genre.
I explain that the 'aliens' we have been seeing are really time travelers from the past and the future and the answer to Fermi's Paradox is that - there's nobody out there.
This is not an original idea, so I'm not giving away any trade secrets.
I have a story outline - in fact, I think I started the story but stalled out at like 3,000 words - based on the "aliens as time travelers" story concept, called "Time Like a Rope".
"Prometheus" is the closest thing to Stapledonianism I've ever done. It's set 11,000,000 years in the future and the human race is extinct.
Sometime I even impress myself with a turn of phrase. I have an artificial human ask an old space probe when was the last time it encountered humans.
It describes the last humans it ever saw as "devolved child-like creatures wandering the ruins of its machines and eating vermin" or something like that. I'm quoting myself from memory, I don't have the story in front of me.
Jeez, what a bleak depiction - but it's what the story calls for.
One thing that's bothering me is that I can see the fuzzy outlines of a brilliant ending. I hope it clears up before I finish the first draft, or it will be another one of those stories I set aside for months and finish up later.
I think I finished the first draft of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" last August, but my gut tells me the longer I wait to finish it, the better it will be.
It's an alternative history story - which are always a hard sell - so it will have to be real snappy.
I finished the first draft of "A Rocket for the Republic" in July 2003 and then didn't finish it until October, because I changed jobs and moved in August.
Chris East at Futurismic returned "The Hideaway". Says it's not right for them - he's probably right, but he also turns around stories so fast, I don't mind running things by him.
One of the reasons I haven't written too much of "Prometheus" is that I worked on a serious revision to "Berserker" last night.
This was the story I workshopped at Turkey City last October. It was named "Death of a Monster" at the time.
This third incarnation of the tale has the alliterative title "Why I Came to California".
It's already made the rounds of the major venues. I noticed Chris hasn't seen it, so I decided to send it, but not before doing a worthy rewrite.
I had sent "Fermi's Fraternity" to Andromeda, but didn't get a response from their Slush-o-Matic, so yesterday I e-mailed a query. Robbie Matthews replied and said they didn't seem to have it, so I'd best resend.
I've been paranoid about not getting acknowledgment ever since I sent a rewrite to Chizine and didn't follow up.
By the time I queried, the reading period was up and the editor had never gotten the story. I blew a potential pro-level sale there.

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