This summer I set myself the goal of finishing five new short stories and as the end of July approaches I'm halfway there. I haven't updated Ancient Logic in a little while so I thought this was a good time to record some progress on the writing front.
The first story is called "Drop-ins" and it's my attempt at a 'realistic' time-travel story. Realistic because it doesn't involve paradoxes and crazy flux-capacitors but rather a bunch of people using a neurological hack to fast-forward through their lives. Okay, semi-realistic. I don't think this story is the last word on this concept but I think the central metaphor, of sleepwalking your way to the future, is a strong one. I submitted that story this week, I'll see how it works out.
The second story more less showed up, fully formed sometimes in May. Seeing as how I was still elbow deep in the process of bringing "Drop-ins" to life, I couldn't really stop and figure out what this new story was all about. The story's called "Correspondent" and is about a child soldier trapped within a virtual world. I don't think the concept is so high-minded but again I like the idea of someone trapped within something meant as a game. The ending is one I'm particularly proud of and most of my editing has revolved around getting the rest of the story to live up to the voice of the last third.
The final story might take a few more drafts before I get it. I've been fascinated for some time about drones and wondered if these machines could be used to explore the idea of war-zones and just-causes. Why are some places on the map free-fire zones where we can indiscriminately fire one Hellfire missile after another and others off-limits? What would happen if you gave a machine the discretion to use violence when it deemed it appropriate? I like these questions better than I like the story so far but I find the more times I start from the beginning on the story, the closer I get to what the story is trying to say. I still have a month to get it right.