newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Here's my yearly entry for One Hundred Words of Horror... only a few, sort of ran out of time and didn't have much inspiration so they're not my best, but I do like the tradition and wanted to come up with something.

Prognosis

The surgery went very well. Your husband is responsive, and the new organs are functioning better than the old ones.

Prognosis is good. I had to remove more tissue than I anticipated, but the organs need room to grow. I just want to warn you he may not look much like the man you knew.

But he’ll live. That’s the important thing. Assuming rejection doesn’t set in, he can look forward to many, many years.

With a result like that, why worry over the little details, like that I didn’t get his consent.

Or that I’m not really a doctor.

-

Inoperable

They say hallucinations are a side effect of the tumor. But I know these aren’t hallucinations. Hallucinations don’t leave a trail of dead bodies.

They’re not just dead. Mutilated, like something exploded inside them.

You’re probably thinking like the police do, that I killed them, in a delusional state. But it’s not hallucination. I don’t see anything except the carnage, and they saw that too, just a little later.

I’ve figured it out. It’s not a tumor. It’s a transmitter. To some other dimension. Telling them to come. And they’ll be coming for you soon, unless you cut it out.

-

Little Bundles of Joy

Nobody noticed the loss of the children. The thing had devoured their souls, but they kept eating, sleeping, and even playing. You don’t really need a soul to play. It’s as biologically hardwired as hunger. Children’s souls are undeveloped, barely there. Replaceable.

So the thing lent them its motives, to lure others to that spot in the woods. Parents made better meals but poor tools. Their bodies were too accustomed to their souls, and without them, ran down, and soon died in squalor.

But the children would still play, and could always be adopted, smiling automatons waiting for new thoughts.

-

(Last year's entries can be found here).

If you do the One Hundred Words of Horror meme, feel free to post a link in the comments so people who are interested can follow up on people not on their flist.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Almost forgot. I've done this the last couple years now, and a couple people have participated. But, what the heck. We're about 2 weeks from Halloween. This is either a meme, if people are interested and want to take it up, or just something I plan on doing personally if not:

In the spirit of upcoming Halloween, and as sort of a last minute whet-the-appetite for Nano, I present "One Hundred Words of Horror for Halloween". Nano's about writing big, this is about writing small.

The rules:
1. Write short horror stories, and post them on Halloween.
2. Each story must be exactly 100 words. No more, no less (you can choose to count arguable symbols important to the story either as words or not as you wish). This amount does not include the title.
3. The stories must be in some way horror-related. This doesn't necessarily mean they have to be scary - you can deal with horror themes in a humorous way - but it's Halloween, so these should be in a Halloween spirit.
4. Post as many stories as you like.
5. (Optional) Respond to other people's stories with candy!


Don't really know if I'll do more than one since I'm in a bit of a low ebb creativity wise, but I'll try.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
First up,
Form (March 22nd, 1991)
Discussions on the various forms, novella vs short story, trilogy vs series, in comics and speculative fiction.

Part One: Short Stories: Dave Duncan (on why he thinks SF works best in short stories), Crawford Kilian (on the short story as 'training ground' and area of experimentation), Jim Baen (on the strength of short stories/novellas in SF), Marianne Nelson (on why if you want to get into SF you should start with short stories). Novella/Novellette: Judith Merril (on why the Novella's almost unique to SF), a bit of history. The Serial: Neil Gaiman (on the problems and advantages of writing serial fiction, like his comic the Sandman, and the "Is Little Nell Dead Yet" phenomenon), Chris Claremont (differences on writing a novel and writing an ongoing series, and the why the book and the audience don't have to keep going together)
Part Two: Neil Gaiman (on benefits of writing Good Omens, compared to comic writing). Alternative Comics: Black and White. Gilbert Hernandez (on why Love and Rockets is Black and White), Ty Templeton (on why he enjoys black and white), Kevin Eastman (on problems he encountered in getting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published). Novels: Jim Baen (on the benefits of the novel in SF). The Trilogy (and other variations): Guy Gavriel Kay (on the mundane reasons the trilogy has become a standard form in fantasy fiction, on the danger of writers going back to the well), Tanya Huff (on writing a Duology, and the repeated questions about the third book despite the (big spoilers)), a bit of a clip from Misery, Tanya Huff again (on why trilogy and series are so popular), George Zebrowski (on the problems of writing long term series fiction and how they're not artistic)
Part Three: The Graphic Novel: David Lloyd (artist on on V for Vendetta, and whether it benefitted from being repackaged as a Graphic novel), Will Eisner (on why he left serial comics for the Graphic Novel, and pioneering the form with A Contract With God). Conclusion: Dan Piraro (Bizarro, experimenting with animation based on his cartoon panels)

Chaos: (March 14th, 1991)
Chaos theory. A bit more heavy on the science (popularist science reporting that is), side with only a bit of discussion on its use in art/fiction/SF.

Part One James Gleick (explaining Chaos Theory itself, Fractals, the Butterfly Effect and why it took so long to reach the public consciousness), Caleb Howard (computer hacker, on impact of fractals on computer animation)
Part Two: CGi short film Panspermia, Jeff Evans (on sterility and unnatural perfection in computer graphics being corrected by fractals and chaos theory), James Gleick (on the fractalness of Ferns, and to be wary of the human tendency to pattern-recognize). Here's the slow switching over to Chaos theory in art and fiction: Bill Sienkiewicz (on using Fractals in Big Numbers, with Alan Moore, theological/philosophical implications on chaos theory and fractals), Jeff Evans (on that last topic), James Gleick (on misunderstanding of theory in general to extend to social/philosophical problems), the host talks about the tendency of SF writers to misunderstand science or to just use it as gobledegook to base their stories around
Part Three: George Zebrowski (on his reaction to James Gleick book about Chaos Theory), Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on his reaction to the book, and whether he plans to use Chaos theory in his work), Gregory Benford (on using Chaos Theory in SF), Douglas Adams (on his reaction after reading Chaos on how everything seems to fit in with it), James Gleick (on the idea catching fire in the culture at large).

Fear: October 31, 1991

Horror, the use of Fear itself as a theme in fiction, and what scares creators

Part One: Archie Goodwin (on role of fear in storytelling, the "safe scare", Stephen Jones (horror anthologist on the two basic emotions being Fear and Love, and how the best stories combine both, and the best use of fear he's read, the "show or don't show the monster" debate), Tanya Huff (on why we like to be scared, fear being like sex). Some examples of SF that uses Fear in them. Bob Shaw (on why he's so intrigued by fear, and his own phobia, and science as 'pushing away darkness to make us feel better')Part Two: Louis Shiner (on his use of Tesla and his phobias in his story White City), Brian Stableford (on why Fear's begun to play such a large role in his work, particularly his vampire novel the Empire of Fear, the current popularity of Horror, a nice scientific look at the connection between fear and arousal), Neil Gaiman (the role of Fear in Sandman, the difference between Fear and Horror), Pete Milligan and Grant Morrison (on exploring Fear and Dread in their comics, fear as dislocating the mind and the startings of religion)
Part Three: Clive Barker (on different types of fears, and all his personal fears, and why he's using less fear in his book Imajica, and how he doesn't think his early stories really evoked fear, or why fear's not especially interesting on its own, on what medium fear works best in), Jeff Ryman (and the role of Fear in the Wizard of Oz, fear as social control)

And Profiles, an episode where he profiles 3 specific creators, Daniel Clowes (independent comic 8Ball), Peter Straub (horror author), and Marv Newland (animator), but none of them especially interest me so no detailed breakdown (however, Part 2 does contain the complete short film "Bambi Meets Godzilla", done by Newland, and the third part is mostly Straub talking about horror so it works as a nice companion to the Fear ep).
Part One Part Two Part Three

Looking forward to next week, Violence, which I believe has interview bits with Brian Stableford about his pacifist space opera hero, Star Pilot Grainger, the first time I've seen it since I actually read (and loved) the books. PoG was one of the reasons for me trying them, too.

In other news, been having a bit of headaches lately, think it's probably eye strain. Which is annoying, cause I only have one left working and so many things I enjoy doing involve using it. Need perfect cyber-eyes to get invented now. And to become rich and handsome, and not at all socially awkward, so long as I'm dreaming.

TVwise... Glee's 2nd episode wasn't bad, not quite as fun as the first, but okay. Supernatural had its premiere, and, well, it was okay, a few fun bits, a few meh bits, but Bobby is awesome as usual.

Been watching old school Who as usual. I'll probably finish Four's run and then take a break for a while. Not because I specifically want to, but once regular TV starts up again I find I have less time for it since I have more I need to download (often legally, thanks to TV channel websites) that I missed during the regular week. I can pick up with Five in the summer or during the rerun-gaps that crop up every once in a while in the regular season. Just finished Shada, and the season's been reasonably fun. Think the Nightmare of Eden was one of my favorites of the recent batch. As for the big "Which Romana is better" debate? Right now I'm still putting them about even. I don't have a particular preference one way or the other. II has a slightly more friendly chemistry with the Doctor, true, but I kind of liked the slight standoffishness of I. So, again, they're about even, just II had a longer time to shine and slightly better stories, I think, but that's not the actress' fault so I can hardly hold it against that version.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Yay, Halloween. Not that I'm doing anything (I have a gasmask and some other props more or less ready to go so I can quickly go as a radioactive mutant from the wasteland, just in case a party springs up spontaneously that I can't avoid, but the odds of that are about as close as that of me falling through the floor because my atoms happens to be at spontaneously the wrong place at all the wrong times. Which would actually be kinda cool. Anyway, I love Halloween conceptually even if I haven't done much of it for years. Live in an apartment so there aren't even Trick or Treaters to be vaguely amused. Saw a handful of people in costume on the way home from work but it was still chilly enough that mostly it was just a little facepaint or whatever could be seen beneath coats. Ah well.

Anyway, what's been up with me? Well, as mentioned in the previous post, I've had computer problems. In fact, Wednesday in general sucked. Not only was work late, and I was feeling the start of a cold coming on, but as I was unwinding and getting ready to watch something or other on that computer (my downloading/tv watching computer) there was an error, it spontaneously rebooted and... rebooted and rebooted. Basically one of the hive files of the registry got corrupted. Yay, fun. Anyway, after a good deal of work (during a time which included a spontaneous power failure that I almost suspect was the universe being malicious towards me), I was able to restore a really old registry and be functional (but without a lot of my settings and programs) and thanks to that and a lot more work, about an hour ago, I was able to repair the original registry. So I'm almost where I was Tuesday! (But with a more recent backup of the registry and several boot/repair disks, having at least partly learned my lesson). Just one last crossing my fingers as another reboot (to do some updates that had been neglected) progresses to make sure it all boots up again the second time around.

Anyway, in other news, I will not be doing Nano this year, but I will be doing PerExWriMo again - Personal Extra Writing Month. I'll be trying to write every day except Wednesdays (where my work/comic schedule really messes things up for that) for the whole month. Which might actually be a more impressive feat than Nano last year - last year, I sped through it and completed Nano in a little over two weeks, and so didn't actually spend a whole month of constant work - I took the last two weeks off. This time I can't just take days off without failing.

Edit: Looks like the work continues - boots up fine but IE wants to restart every time I go to a new page. Must still be some corruption in the state of that computer, have to do more work to root it out.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Here's my entries for the One Hundred Words of Horror thing.

Savage Beast

"You misunderstand us, Hunter," said the man in black. "We’re not monsters. We have a deep, sacred reverence for life.

"Just... not human life. Why should we? You pollute our world, and at every opportunity you shove wood in our hearts."

His fangs gleamed and I struggled against my bonds, thinking of Mina. As if sensing that, he added, "Relax, there’ll be no bloodless corpse for your darling wife to find. That would be crass and as wasteful as you." He raised a saw, its handle made of polished bone. "We make sure to use every part of the animal."

Caveat Emptor

The occult bookstore owner promised it would completely rid the house of spirits, and offered a money-back guarantee.

After months of strange, unsettling noises since moving in, Mr. Bradley was desperate. It sounded like a good deal.

At midnight, amidst horrific moans and unexplainable knockings, the family linked hands and performed the ritual.

At last the house fell silent.

Two days later, neighbors broke through the door and found their limp, dehydrated bodies still in the circle. Only Mr. Bradley survived, and has been in a hospital since then, listless and staring vacantly, no spark of life in his eyes.

Meme

This is a short but absolutely true story, a story about the future.

The last person to read this story will die.

The fate will be inescapable.

That might seem like a grim prospect. Of course, anyone can avoid being the last reader by ensuring somebody else is. You could post the story as your own. It’s been done before, and if spreads widely enough, the last reader might be a stranger to you. Is it fair to inflict that fate on them? More importantly, was it any fairer to inflict it on you? Make your decision. Pass it on?

Long-Term Relationship

She appeared every week in Nate’s apartment to re-enact her last night. She entered, showered, changed, then sat in front of the TV for three hours before she went to the door, and was strangled by whoever was on the other side. It was the same every week, yet Nate couldn’t resist watching. He considered trying to catch the killer, to put her spirit to rest… but then he might never see her again. She was the only one in his life, sad as that was. On their tenth anniversary, Nate shot himself, having waited long enough to meet her.

(Copyright/Creative Commons info can be found here).


(Last year's entries can be found here).

If you do the One Hundred Words of Horror meme, feel free to post a link in the comments so people who are interested can follow up on people not on their flist.

So, there we go. Not the best. Would have spent yesterday working on a few more and improving these but had computer problems to deal with. More on that in a later post. Happy Halloween everyone!
newnumber6: (rotating)
Finished: Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks (reread)
Started: A For Anything, by Damon Knight

Consider Phlebas was the first banks I read, and, although it was also the first he'd published in the Cultureverse, I'd wanted to go back to it, having the feeling that I wasn't quite ready for all the ideas in it and so would get more out of it on a second reading. So how did that go? (no spoilers)Read more... )

Finished: Nine Princes in Amber, by Roger Zelazny (reread)
Started: The Guns of Avalon, by Roger Zelazny (reread)

I'm low on new books, so I figured I'd reread at least a few books of the Amber series. (Slight summary of the 'verse behind the cut, minor spoilers for the first book I guess)Read more... )

Looks like no Wolverine and the X-Men this week, YTV was playing Halloween specials. Curse you Halloween! Speaking of Halloween (bless you Halloween!) I've finally started on a couple of my entries for One Hundred Words of Horror. As for the holiday itself, well, I'm not planning on going anywhere or doing anything, so a costume is sort of irrelevant. However, I do have some military gasmasks from my Dad and so if I _was_ going to be anything it'd probably be some kind of radioactive mutant (with my bright green zombie hand and maybe a little makeup under the mask).

And speaking of cartoons, I finished watching Avatar. It didn't finish up quite as well as I'd hoped. With a few exceptions the third season was a bit disappointing, in fact. But as a whole the series was still enjoyable.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Okay, last year I did this on the spur of the moment, and only posted it a day or so before the day. And only one other person (to my knowledge) participated. This year I'm starting a full two weeks before Halloween and hopefully others might be inclined to join in. So this is either a meme, if people are interested and want to take it up and repost, or just something I plan on doing personally if not:

In the spirit of upcoming Halloween, and as sort of a last minute whet-the-appetite for Nano, I present "One Hundred Words of Horror for Halloween". Nano's about writing big, this is about writing small.

The rules:
1. Write short horror stories, and post them on Halloween.
2. Each story must be exactly 100 words. No more, no less (you can choose to count arguable symbols important to the story either as words or not as you wish). This amount does not include the title.
3. The stories must be in some way horror-related. This doesn't necessarily mean they have to be scary - you can deal with horror themes in a humorous way - but it's Halloween, so these should be in a Halloween spirit.
4. Post as many stories as you like.
5. (Optional) Respond to other people's stories with candy!
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Here we go... 4 100 word short horror stories, for Halloween.

The Biography of King Earl

A good biographer can capture a subject's soul in a few words. So can an evil sorcerer. It doesn't take many. One hundred will do the job, contain all that is or was about a man.

The worst part is, in a really good spell, the words come to overwrite reality. The subject is removed from history, eternally tortured by cramped spaces and a lack of detail. His deeds go unremembered, and even the sorcerer can't remember his reason. The poor man hasn't even been given a face.

Once a glorious king, his palace is much smaller now. One story.

-

IM Worried

Marybear11 (09:45:15PM): I miss u.
Bi++erPhi1 (09:46:03PM): U 2. How r the kids?
Marybear11 (09:46:35PM): Asleep.
Bi++erPhi1 (09:46:43PM): No problems?
Marybear11 (09:47:02PM): Not with them. Scary being here alone, tho.
Bi++erPhi1 (09:47:24PM): Scaredy cat.
Marybear11 (09:47:54PM): Serious, its creepy. I keep thinking someone's watching.
Bi++erPhi1 (09:48:26PM): You say that every time.
Marybear11 (09:48:57PM): Worse this time, probably cuz of what happened at work.
Bi++erPhi1 (09:49:19PM): he'll cool off
Marybear11 (09:49:31PM): hope so
Bi++erPhi1 (09:50:01PM): *hug* I'll be back tomorrow.
Marybear11 (09:50:29PM): can't wait. Brb, doorbell
Bi++erPhi1 (09:56:28PM): u back yet?
Bi++erPhi1 (09:59:52PM): Mary?
Bi++erPhi1 (10:13:14PM): U there?
Bi++erPhi1 (11:11:39PM): ...hello?

(Author's note: I consider each timestamp 1 word and each namestamp likewise 1 word)
-

There's Something Outside

There's Something outside, and it wants in. I'm afraid. I'm not sure why. Maybe It's benign, only curious about us. But maybe It's malevolent, and wants to hurt us.

I didn't expect this when I decided to sleep under the stars. I thought I was outside. I didn't know then that every outside is inside somewhere else. I fell asleep by the campfire, and awoke to the sound of Something scrabbling, pushing against the walls of what I thought was everything. Now I want that damn axe, before It breaks through.

There's Something Outside, and oh, god, it's coming In!

-

The last one I actually wrote last year, but I figured I'd include it for the theme's sake...

The Stars Were Right

They always said Millie and I were each other's destiny, but something was always in the way.

Then it finally happened. The stars aligned. We were both single.

That night was perfect until we woke and saw that thing rising from the ocean.

Now, like most, she does little besides cannibalism, screwing, and killing, indiscriminately, and yelling "Ia! Ia Cthulhu!"

I fake it, to take care of her, but she knows. We're growing apart.

It's sad to discover two people so in love can't manage to go mad together. And to think, she always said I was the impractical one.

-

(See here for copyright/Creative Commons info)


Edit: [livejournal.com profile] occamsnailfile also has wrote some 100 word short horror stories here. They're quite good, you should check them out.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (ghost)
Happy Halloween everyone. For the last few years I really haven't done anything for Halloween, and yet it's probably my favorite ever holiday. It's just great conceptually. Not the candy thing necessarily, which is fun for kids I guess, but the whole dressing up. Really, it's a holiday you can wear anything you want without fear of looking stupid - even if you, say, had a horrible looking tacky outfit, you could wear it and claim it was a costume (just say it's a character in a book, and make up the book title. People don't read anymore. It's sad, but can be used to your advantage).

Anyway, even though I've not done anything these last few years, I always did _something_, something tiny, even just for me. Like getting out the old fake skin and applying a fake wound to myself. Or making a makeshift costume and wearing it but not letting anyone see. Just to sort of honor the holiday.

Today, though, my brother and his girlfriend and I went on a bit of a walk about the area - we had to return a DVD rented last night and he had to cash a cheque, so we figured we'd all go and wander around looking at the house decorations and what people are dressed up as. We didn't formally dress up (my brother joked he was going as an Avian Bird Flu Carrier), but I went as a Browncoat - by wearing my Blue Sun shirt and, well, my brown coat. Nobody noticed I was in costume at all, but hey, that works fine for me. It's still enough for me. Didn't see too many kids, maybe a couple dozen or so all in all (at least close enough to get an idea what they were wearing). Some nice house decorations though. Also stopped into a 7-11 where I was seriously tempted to pick up something they had there I'd never seen (never going into a 7-11), something called "Death Rain" potato chips, in various flavours including Cajun, Buffalo Wings, and Habernero. They looked pretty good but ehh, didn't have too much cash on me and they cost way more than a bag of chips of that size should. Ah well.

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