Archive | June, 2012

Thoughts on research

29 Jun

I like my stories to be accurate, as accurate as possible if they have any factual content.

So this involves doing research.  Sometimes research can be incredibly dull and boring, like having to read about Hitlers life during WW1 or reading about the order US States were formed.  Super dull, right?

Correct!

Other times research can be really good fun.

Like the time where I had read “The Rollerball Murders”. 

Then watch Rollerball.  Twice.

 

I can be a bit anal about wanting to be as factual as I can be, to the point where it actually gets in the way of the storytelling. I actually came across this problem when I wrote my first story I decided to sell.  I had a great idea but the facts ruined it so I had to go with my own reality on that occasion.

Facts are important to me.  Google is brilliant 99% of the time.

 

You can ask it incredibly stupid questions you’d think it’d never possibly have an answer for.

After all, how many other people are going want to know what terminal velocity on Mars is?

 

Facts can be great.  Just don’t let them get in the way of an otherwise awesome story.

Update

28 Jun

Extremely sore throat, very painful and hot.

Wrote a short about the Wright Brothers yesterday, thinking about doing another shorts anthology maybe calling it “Lightning Strikes Twice”.  Also started on an idea about reality tv, not sure if its going anywhere but it was interesting enough to make me want to write it down before I forgot it.

Interstellar Cola Wars

21 Jun

Interstellar Cola Wars, A Flash Fiction Story by Raymond Daley

The first Humans to land on their planet were treated with indifference until they produced their most famous product.

Unaware it was a beverage, the locals did many other things with it, including dying their clothes, washing their hair and using it as a moisteriser until the translator software caught up and the crew were able to tell the aliens it was a drink.

So they drank it.  And left many samples behind.
Twelve months passed and their biggest rival company landed, the first thing they saw were the empty cans.

A hacked version of the local dialect was already loaded aboard so when this particular crew met the inhabitants they were instantly able to tell them this new wonder they brought along was a drink.  One to be savoured with friends, enjoyed with a meal or a snack.  And the samples were handed out.

Not before every red and white can was picked up and recycled by the OTHER cola companies crew.  Enough was left to last at least five years.

After another twelve months had passed, a third rocket landed on the planet.
This was crewed by market researchers, all eager to learn which of the two Cola drinks the natives of this world preferred.

Why the endorsement rates were positively astronomical!  So to speak.
The marketing man had the amalgamation of both the previous crews translations.
Their head approached the Chief of the planet.
“Oh mighty Chief!  Which of the two Cola drinks does your planet prefer?”

The Chief thought long and hard before he finally answered.
“We all liked the black one.”

THE END.

Update

18 Jun

Feeling pretty crappy today (bad tummy), so am fairly relieved to have finished my flash fiction collection.  I decided that 28 stories was a nice round number in the end.

Each story has authors notes and there is a brief intro by me at the start explaining why I did the whole thing in the first place.  Not that anyone really cares.

I am going to make a check through my ideas folder and story notes to see what else might potentially be easier as a flash story, it’s a good way of weeding stuff out and using it rather than seeing it get rejected for being too much to do or not having legs to go very far.

There’s nothing worse than starting something only to discover it won’t float.

 

My new (unlocked) Kindle is two months old today, only another 30 days before I can legally jailbreak it and start adding some decent screensavers.

 

Hopefully I can finish “The Night Bus” before the end of this month, I am already working on the penultimate trip and I have a really clear vision of the ending, just not how the two link. Yet.

I’d also quite like to finish “Panic Over Metropolis” before the end of next month.  I guess we’ll have to see what other ideas occur to me in the mean time.

Work update

16 Jun

I’ve typed up everything I’d hand written for “Write Now” apart from a couple of sentances that are more general story concepts.  I’ll save them for when I think I can insert them.

My only current issue with “Write Now” is I have no real idea about where it’s going or why.

I’ve written a bit more for “The Night Bus”, all I really need to do is finish the penultimate then final journeys.  As I know where that ends, it’s not going to be too much of a task to make them meet.

I did a bit of writing at ESG, it was extremely annoying to go there expecting to do a proper catch-up only to be told they were over booked and come back another day.  The walk there did give me that idea, it’ll probably end up just being a flash piece that I think might go into my collection.

Story Archive – Nursery Crimes

10 Jun

Nursery Crimes

Copyright 18/9/11 by Raymond Daley

As with any crime, it’s always on the news long before the police are ever called. The death of a solid upstanding citizen, a well known philanthropist and friend to all charities. The very definition of a good egg.

Dispatch are sending me, I’m a Detective.

My name is Jack. But more about me later.

On our TV the news cameras are showing shots of the military who were already there, the reporter is shouting above the noise behind her.

“We’ve been informed by the Ministry of Defence that all the cavalry and all the infantry have responded to the scene of this emergency, as yet its unknown why there is such a big military presence here. Rumours are already circulating that the victim was friends with our own Sovereign.”

She struggles to continue to make herself heard over the chaos behind her as I make my way out of the squad house via the parking garage and floor it all the way to the scene.

I’m there in minutes.

Red lights mean nothing to an on duty cop in a hurry.

I can see the infantry are already putting up a perimeter cordon of about 50 metres so I make myself known with the magical cop/Jedi wave of my badge and am pointed by a grunt towards some brass by the name of Major Morgan.

“Who the hell are you?” he asks me gruffly, giving me that look like I’m a huge irritation.

‘Not yet,’ I think to myself ‘but soon!’.

I give him my friendliest smile, he’s got way more guns than I’ll ever have and I certainly DON’T want to be an enemy of his so friendly works for everyone involved in this instance.

“Local law enforcement sir, I wasn’t aware this incident had been placed under military jurisdiction so I’m taking over” I flashed him my shield and he knew he had to stand to one side.

By now my back-up is here, as is the Ambulance service. The soldiers are telling the medics they’d tried First Aid and life saving procedures. All that’s left is for the paramedic to pronounce our victim dead.

I get that shooting pain in my gut and dry swallow a couple of those tablets my Doc had prescribed for me, its got to get better soon – It sure as hell can’t get any worse, or can it? I start making notes as the coroner arrives to do the important stuff and finally our vic gets an ID.

“It seems like he was a bit of an adrenaline junkie Jack, ‘Nothing too high to climb!’ was his motto. By the looks of it he took a tumble from the very top of the curtain wall of the Providence Building. He was never going to survive the three hundred foot drop I’m afraid. The infantry and cavalry medics tried to do their best for him, patching him up and all but the internal injuries were much too severe I’m afraid” said the coroner.

He passed me the vic’s wallet and then it all made sense. He was the Sovereigns private secretary, that explained the military being here. Even with those rather nasty and currently unsubstantiated rumours of him appropriating funds for personal means he was still very much the golden boy.

Someone was gonna come out of this with egg on their face for sure, I was glad it wouldn’t be me at least.

As the paramedics put the body into the back of the meat wagon I try to finish the notes I have.

This is going to be one hell of a report and I’m not looking forward to telling his boss.

My trip back to the squad house is easy and without incident, a truly rare luxury in this city. I grab the Dictaphone from my desk and start to give my after action incident report.

“Incident, death of one white male. Surname, Dumpty, Christian Name Humpty. Occupation, Kings Private Secretary. Victim is thought to have slipped and fallen to his death whilst climbing the curtain wall of the Providence Building. All the Kings Horses and all the Kings men were unable to render sufficient medical assistance. Coroners initial verdict is death by misadventure. End of initial report by Detective Jack Sprat”.

I stop the Dictaphone and dry swallow another pill. The label on the bottle reads Atorvastatin, it’s for my cholesterol. I stopped eating fatty foods a long time ago but my doc still makes me take them. I guess I’d better go and break the bad news to the King if he doesn’t already know.

It’s hell on the Nursery Crimes division.

The End.

______________________________________

Authors Notes:-  It was fun to mess about with nursery rhyme characters and use their words as a parameter to write an actual story. If you didn’t spot it, Major Morgan is a joke, its the name of an old electronic organ that was sold in the 1980’s.

I do throw in a few clues that we are going to Humpty before we reach him, hopefully you spotted them. For those interested I am working on more in this series.

Story Archive – The Traveller

6 Jun

The Traveller.
Copyright 18/9/11 by Raymond Daley

London, 2011.  The landing was easy, done with the experience of one who’d performed it so many times he could probably do it in his sleep.  No, he’d better not say that out loud.  Somewhere in another reality there probably WAS an alternate version of him checking reality anomalies which required landing whilst asleep.

He fired up the computer.  Fantastic, this reality had Wi-Fi and an Internet.  Well that would make his job that much easier and quicker.

Brilliant, it even had a Wikipedia.  At least it was better than that last place, heck they hadn’t even had a space program so no satellites, no GPS and sadly no Internet.

He’d had to do all his research in libraries, eventually locating the anomaly – Werner Von Braun had died as a baby so no rocket research.  He’d been glad to leave there but London had looked so different without any Blitzkrieg, it looked old was what it looked.

“Anyway” he thought, “back to here”. Dickens had lived, Kennedy had been assassinated, Von Braun here too as well as the many other names he knew to check from his previous trips. Minutes of looking became hours which became days then weeks.

After 8 months he finally hit the jackpot under music.  Somehow that guy was still alive in 2011!  There he was, the required anomaly, large as life when he should have been long dead.

Alternate Earth catalogue #7854893473 anomaly listed as one Elvis Presley, still alive and still performing when the traveller knew full well he had died in 1977.  Reading further it appeared this Elvis wasn’t just ONE anomaly, he was several.

The third line of his Wikipedia entry read ‘Born in Newport, Wales, Presley moved to Cardiff, Wales with his family at the age of 13’ and then the realisation struck the traveller.  This was not the superstar he had known from his own world.

Reading about Elvis he discovered that ‘Jesse Garon Presley took the name of his twin brother Elvis for his stage name as a tribute to his memory after he was killed in a car crash in January of 1940’. Wow, no original Elvis and his brother had lived to replace him!

For another week he left the computer program logging the various anomalies concerning the ‘New Elvis’ as the traveller now thought of him, his appearance at Live Aid which relaunched his career to an entirely new generation and his massive donations to many charitable organizations.

The traveller skimmed through the data, amending where necessary before a particular entry caught his eye.  ‘Presley miraculously survived being killed in the September 11th bombings at the World Trade Centre.’  It appeared he had been booked to play a short corporate gig in the Windows on the World restaurant located in the North Tower.

Despite calling the venue to make them aware he was suffering from severe stomach flu, Elvis promised he would perform that day.

Elvis had arranged for a car to take him from his hotel to the World Trade Centre but the car had engine problems which was later discovered to be an oil leak.  This incident left Presley stranded over 2 miles from his destination.’

With this final anomaly logged and appended all that remained was for the traveller to advise Elvis of his presence here and the delivery of the correct time line.  After his performance at the Welsh Assembly the traveller approached Presley and presented his credentials.

“I’ve been expecting you for quite some time” Elvis said to the traveller which threw him off balance.  Presley reached into his jacket pulling out his wallet.

“Research Anomaly Division, Interception Branch” said Presley flashing him a badge the traveller instantly recognised from his training.  Elvis passed him a small data device which the traveller took and inserted into his own log.

It informed him that in his own reality the ability to travel between parallel Universes should not have been discovered for another 200 years and that all current field agents were being recalled prior to amendment.

The traveller in turn gave Elvis his own data cube he had been compiling.  Presley didn’t appear to be surprised by the information.  “They told me when I was hired to wait for you.  I was the meta anomaly.

They said I should have died at birth, should have been born in America.  It was why I took my brothers name, I knew eventually you would spot the many inaccuracies.  It just made it easier for me to make incursions that would lead you to me.”

The traveller returned to his vehicle and logged the data cube Presley had given him.  As he was preparing to jump to his own reality his screen flashed one final message from Elvis.

“Thank you very much.  Elvis has left this reality”.

The traveller jumped for the final time, saddened that he would never remember this meeting as it would never have happened.

During the jump the traveller recorded his final voice log, “Final jump back to reality.  Apparently we shouldn’t have discovered parallel Universes yet so we are all being recalled home prior to Amendment.  I wonder what my new life will turn out to be.  Agent Bruce Springsteen, final entry”.

The End.

__________________________________________

Authors Notes :-  I wrote this for a giggle – every time someone asks me about what a good game to play is I always normally make up some game name featuring Bruce Springsteen so I thought it’d be fun to write an SF piece with him in it, it appears on my blog, and I published it on Smashwords then Feedbooks.

Also, the ebook versions of this don’t have any authors notes.