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The Way Things Are, Could Be, and the Role of Fiction

I don’t write these kinds of posts often… but, well… I just can’t not, this time…

I’m going to say some stuff that people won’t agree with. That’s fine. Say I’m wrong, I’ll listen, and I’ll consider. That’s as much as I can promise.

Amid all this rape culture media coverage (earlier in the year with the boys in the US and more recently with, shamefully, NZ’s own), I have realised that as I happened to include sexual assault in HEALER’S TOUCH it is a responsibility of my characters to deal with it in a realisitic, and hopefully healthy way.

Something I have been realising with fiction: it’s one thing to go out there and say, “Look, this is a bad guy doing bad things, we blew him up… that’s what happens when you do bad things… but, look, this good guy isn’t totally shiny, but he’s not that bad, so he’s cool”… But what about saying “Here… this is how it could be done… grow up like this guy/gal”? Just a thought I’ve been having.

It’s a tough one. Because to go out there and design a character, or three, that you think are the best role models for the world is to assume that you know best… which, well, who can?

I like to think that Jonas is a good

Read more…The Way Things Are, Could Be, and the Role of Fiction

A Night to Remember: Part Six (by Simon Petrie)

 

A Night to Remember: Part Six (by Simon Petrie)

Part One of this story can be found here. Part Two is here. Part Three is here. Part Four is here. Part Five is here. An updated list of extant parts can be found here.

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The one positive aspect, Gordon decided, was that Claudia Iyzowt was still alive. Albeit for a given value of ‘alive’ that involved the short, grey-haired heiress’s apparent sedation and confinement, by the medium of a set of depressingly secure-looking straps, to a disconcertingly medical-looking and unnervingly technological trolley with an unnecessarily extensive collection of blade- and sensor-wielding robotic limbs poised thirty centimetres or so above Claudia’s.

The negative aspects

Read more…A Night to Remember: Part Six (by Simon Petrie)

Snippet for Snippet’s sake

 

So, you guys know I’m not organized enough to have special days for special kinds of posts (I call it being creative … You know, writing whatever my inspiration tells me to write) but I know sometimes other bloggers share bits of their WiPs(eseses – uh oh … maybe my coffee was a touch stronger than necessary), and I just felt like sharing a scene.

Um, yeah … that’s all the intro I can think of. So here goes:

Leaving yet another small town behind, Jonas swung from Chino’s back and punched a tree.

Things were not going well. They had been zigzagging through every Turhmos town that lay roughly between Brurun and Duffirk – that city being the capital of Turhmos. Jonas suspected that was where Braph was, but there was no telling for sure. He could just as easily hide in a small town, if he found the right one. Granted, small town folk were more likely to talk and be suspicious of the kind of activity Braph got up to, but it wasn’t impossible. And so, they had been checking, with nothing to show for it. There hadn’t even been sightings.

Jonas punched the tree again. Bark and blood went flying – he might have been super strong, but his skin wasn’t impenetrable.

“Hey, Jonas.” Hisham slid from his own horse and tried to stop Jonas taking another swing. But Jonas went Syakaran on him and swung even faster and harder preventing Hisham grabbing his arm.

The tree creaked, and pain shot up Jonas’ arm. He bent over, cradling the limb, then shaking out his hand, all the while cursing profusely and stamping a foot. It was a hard-won victory, but a victory nonetheless.

“That’s not helping, man,” said Hisham, placing a hand on Jonas’ back. “We’re doin’ the best we can.”

Jonas took a moment to breathe through his curses. Then he straightened, stretching and clenching the injured hand. He’d scraped his knuckles good and jarred his bones, but nothing was broken. If he’d been alone in a room, he might have been pacing and throwing things. Nature didn’t always offer a decent alternative. But punching a tree was close.

Jonas looked at Hisham thinking he would just agree with his friend, climb back on his horse, and they would carry on. But when he looked up, all he wanted to do was punch something – someone – else, and Hisham didn’t deserve it.

Jonas turned from his friend, striding several frustrated paces, muttering incoherently, cursing Braph, cursing Turhmos, cursing himself for leaving Llew, cursing Llew for not just letting him be and staying put inside where she was safe, cursing Lord Tovias for not having an estate secure against Braph . . . He walked away from and back to Hisham several times, muttering and cursing, muttering and cursing. And finally stopped, puffing out a deep breath, in front of his friend.

“I know,” he said. “But it’s not enough. Braph can fly.”

The usual “I’m open for constructive” criticism invitation applies. Of course, scenes out of the middle of the story might not work as well as I think they do out of context, but oh well.

 

The warm fuzzies

I know I already shared this on my Facebook Page, but I still feel like sharing it here.

This is going to get me through this weekend:

“I really, really love this – just flew through all five chapters in one go even though I really should be sleeping. I just dropped in to jottify for a few minutes but because of this it turned into a couple hours because this is exactly the type of book I would pick up in a bookstore and just fall in love with the characters. I love the repartee, the characters are excellently drawn, the action well described and you have a deft hand with flowing writing; it’s very easy to read and I found it quite absorbing, although I do I have to admit that I was a bit overzealous in my devouring of it and in the beginning kept jumping further to see what happened next (I guess I’m too impatient, though once it’s published I’m definitely getting myself a hard copy that I can curl up with in bed and read at leisure :-) ). I would definitely like to see more of this!”

(o: