Mysterious Ship (working title) (Lava Storm In the Neighborhood Book 2 - from the series: Giant Tales Apocalypse 10-Minute Stories) Launch Goal: Summer 2014 Deadline to email your story: May 15, 2014
3 Highlights: an appointment, a mysterious or magical ship, and a rock or asteroid
A while ago, your character was forced to cancel an appointment for some reason. You decide if the bridge went out, if they gave up, or if an evil entity is blocking the way, etc. For some reason (you decide) almost half of the ships on Earth have been destroyed. You decide if your character had something to do with the destruction, nothing to do with the destruction, or if your character can help stop another devastating destruction.
Setting: you choose either in the sea, or on dry ground
(Suggestion – think about your own appointments you’ve been to or meetings you’ve been in and build on that.)
Submissions: Send your story in an email attachment and paste it directly into the email as well -
It is not required, but you can take a look at the book 1 theme and highlights:
Theme: My Brother's Keeper
3 Highlights: lava rocks, first sign of wildlife, and a bully on the loose
Setting: (see the page for details)
Optional conflict for the brainiacs:
Our yellow sun sits at the center in this diagram. Earth’s orbit stands out in GREEN. The grey orbits are for Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Notice the orbit of a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) in ORANGE that crosses into Earth’s orbit.
I’ve recently become involved with the
International Space Elevator Consortium’s annual conference www.isec.org
and promoted the idea about our group using the space elevator as a background.
As for my story’s elevator, I wanted to contribute an design I’ve not yet seen
proposed. It may not be practical, but it sure is fun.
I was young when my first collectible was a photo
my dad got me, signed by the Mercury-7 – America’s first seven astronauts.
Later he got me the autograph of three astronauts visiting his McDonnell
Douglas lab, two of whom – Elliot Sea and Charles Bassett – soon afterward,
died Feb 28, 1966, when their T-38 crashed into my dad’s building. Needless to
say, space-based sci-fi has always interested me, and I’ve gravitated toward
and researched various aspects of space exploration, extra-terrestrial mining,
and proposed technologies for years. As a retired military commander, I've long
anticipated earthlings moving above and beyond. While many believe the risks
aren't worth the effort, I see the challenges as part of the adventure.
I approached the space elevator story with trepidation.
The moon and space exploration aren’t thing I long to experience. Space
exploration is a common topic at my house, however, and I grew up fascinated by
the Apollo launches and watched, mesmerized, as Neil Armstrong first set foot
on the moon.
The concept of the space elevator was something I’d
read about in science fiction. It also was a recent topic of conversation that
fascinated my husband. He convinced me to write the story – although neither
was sure what the story would be. It just needed a space elevator. So, I made
this marvelous possibility a rather routine piece of equipment, an aside to the
story of the first journalist on the moon.
In Maid in the Moon, the moon is the new frontier –
ripe with opportunities. When I created the world in which this story exists, I
envisioned a moon resort for wealthy tourists and an active mining community,
and then began to consider the other needs of a growing colony. Of course, as a
journalist myself, the need for news from the moon seems natural. What would it
be like to be the first journalist permanently reporting from the moon? What if
there was an accident? What if… Well, you get the idea. “What if…” drives the
story. Personally, I think there’s a lot going on that Maddi hasn’t told us.
Thinking like octopoda, it makes some
sense to consider that space belongs on the surface of the ocean. Well, it
makes sense to me, and for all you know I am an octopus. I’m definitely not a
squid though, as I don’t use ink! I’m a modern keyboard using type of guy.
There are no deeply submerged
messages in my story, despite the depth at which it started. There’s just the
glaringly obvious one. Yes, space elevators will work in some fashion, but a
first priority must be to protect the deep seas before we get too carried away
into deep space.
The names I chose for my five
commandoes were taken from the Latin names for various octopuses and squids.
Daft perhaps, but then what names would these creatures give to each other. As
I wrote I was thinking of them all communicating in the same language, by a
mixture of through liquid noises, and telepathy. Obviously they used the radio,
who wouldn’t? Would these different species be able to talk to each other? Well
I believe so. After all they all live in the same ocean, and they are all
cephalopods. We monkeys can chose to use the same language to communicate. I
for an example can probably have a far more meaningful conversation with a
chimpanzee than with some obstinate foreign humans. Oh rats! I’ve given away
the fact that I’m not a cephalopod. Then of course there are space elevators to
be considered. I’ll leave that to those other writers.
The Japanese Obayashi Corporation have already started to plan and build the
Space Elevator due for completion in 2050. So space travel is destined to become
as viable as the Concorde was for the early trans-Atlantic flights. Space is no
longer a distant dream of the readers of the Arthur C Clarke’s early science
fiction classics ... it is a here now reality within the realms of our next
I wanted to show how it was even within the excited dreams of a teenage
girl and her winning a ticket on Ebay that dreams can be real. Proving that by
following dreams even into space and against all the odds that fear did produce
you can still be at the forefront of creation of not only your own life story
but of the newest life even if it is in a different form ... evolution at its
We are all currently an evolution in process raising to life much like
that of the dead Tumbleweed rolling across the desert till it finds life giving
water for its seemingly dormant seeds. Each day I am continually amazed at the
cycle of our lives for there is such beauty and depth in death and dying, as
much, if not more so as there is in life and living.
Stories don’t come out of thin air for me. Something has to happen to
get me in gear. Like, turn my brain on and remember how to type. I’m sorta like
a duck. Every day, when I wake up, I have to learn how to walk all over.
Anyway, I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do until …
I think you’re probably aware that the things we plan rarely follow the
plan. What we wanted for a result never quite fits what we expected. While I
was thinking about writing a story for the Space Elevator anthology, several
things went wrong in my normally uneventful little life out here in the
geometric center of nowhere. The armpit of infinity. Things over which I had no
control and there was absolutely no way to predict them. When I’m low, I like
to write. When I'm really happy, I like to write. Come to think of it, I like
to write any time, any where and on anything. Paper towels stolen from the
public restroom, backs of napkins, the palm of my hand. You get the picture.
Problem is, how I’m feeling tends to show up in my writing. I can run, but I
can’t hide and write at the same time.
With those recent upsets fresh in my mind, a story began to gel. A story
about opportunity turned upside down and moneyed ecologists on the rampage. You
understand how it goes. The opportunity of a lifetime arises and you decide,
even if reluctantly, to take advantage of it. Suddenly, real life kicks in and
throws the whole dream into the sewer. In my story, Phil and Meg Bosworth are
made aware of that concept by falling into the middle of one of those
demonstrations by a fanatic group. You know what I mean? Well, Phil wound up
being impacted more than Meg. I don’t know; there was something about the guy I
didn’t like. What I wanted to do was mess up his life to compensate for what
took place in mine. Psychologists have a name for that. Who better to do that
to than a character in a story? After all, they can’t sue me, hunt me down,
shoot me, or cause me any trouble in the real world, can they? They’re part of
a fiction, right? Sure. No problem, I thought. I’ll just make this couple
miserable and I’ll feel better for it.
didn’t feel better. I found myself kicking my own mental butt and wanting to
expand the story. I wanted to give poor Phil a decent chance and reunite my
hapless couple. Sadly, that would take a lot more in the way of words than we
were allowed and, besides, I’d already sent it before my desire to fix things
for them surfaced. I’ll just have to wait awhile. Then I can save Phil from his
fate. In the meantime, I’ll just have to go on feeling guilty over having done
that to them. Sigh …
This was an interesting, educational, story to write. I’d never heard of
the Space Elevator concept before I began researching the hard facts behind the
theory. Currently the possibility is still just that. It is a simple idea when
discussed using models but in real life, the challenges are huge. The good news
is that technology is moving at such a cracking pace that the obstacles
preventing the actual construction are being moved aside quicker than
anticipated. The science will one day be in place and the chance of the likes
of me and you riding an elevator into space or to the moon will be as common as
flying to your favourite holiday destination, albeit a rather expensive trip.
The story itself, starts with a fairly mundane character in the form of nerdy
Marty Williams. The character of Orville is then brought in to create a sense
of mystery. The scene shifts quickly from the cheery nerd to the criminal
kidnapper Orville and his isolation out in the desert. His task is simple...At
this point one could ask: what has the character got to do with the Space
Elevator trip planned by Marty? This, I hope, is what kept you reading and
rewarded you with an unexpected ending.
A few months ago I
watched a Louis Theroux documentary about ghost hunters/ exorcists. An idea
popped into my head, about an exorcist for hire who specialised in ridding
people of an unwelcome and mischievous Alien influence. I shoved it aside. Dismissing
it as a moment of madness, to be likened to my strange obsession with launching
an Angel into space, via Science fiction.
Then the space elevator
opened the way to propel the above inspired characters skywards together, to a
place where fireworks might happen.
You may recognise the phrase, Meaningless, all is meaningless. It
comes from Ecclesiastes - and refers to the futile emptiness of trying to be
happy apart from God, (or without faith in anything) - however you like to view it. Seth’s just treading water
afraid of drowning but afraid to swim. The Character fills his life with empty
pursuits. Afraid of feeling and caring because if he does, he risks losing it
all over again. He has no faith in others or himself and very little self
worth- so treats himself and others accordingly. Perhaps the events in this
story will signal the beginning of a life changing experience for Seth. I like
to think so.
I enjoyed combining the
sacred and the profane in Babel Ascension. Mixing Faith with Science fiction
and a spot of irreverence has been fun ... You know what! I might just do it
I have always been
fascinated by Dante’ Alighieri and his Divine Comedy. Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory; were they real
places or just fables? Do they represent
three aspects that each of us carry inside of us? In After-Life I wanted to explore guilt and
They say that no man is
entirely good or entirely evil but that we all have both good and evil inside
us, but most of our actions take place in the vast middle ground, that gray
area that is neither black nor white.
There are very few Mother Theresas and very few Jack the Rippers. Most of us are just normal people, neither
saints nor sinners.
Tommy Tucker could have
been any one of us. Were there reasons
for the way he turned out?
Absolutely! He suffered abuse,
his father ran out on the family and then his mother died. But many others come from circumstances just
as unfortunate and grow up to live exemplary lives, lives of helping others
rather than hurting them.
Somewhere we make a
choice and that helps shape the next choice and that one helps shape the next
choice, and on and on. It is the choices
we make that ultimately determine our fate not the accidental circumstances
into which we are born.
When we make the wrong
choices, our conscience doesn’t give up easily.
It may create ghosts that haunt us to try to turn us back to a more
responsible path. Or does it? Maybe the ghosts that haunt us come not from
within ourselves but from some cosmic force that tries very hard to maintain a
balance. Tommy’s actions tipped
the scales and someone or something helped bring things back in balance.