“Paradox City” is the next story I wrote—or completed, anyway—after I finished the first draft of “Mark Red.” I say “completed,” because I actually began writing “The Chasm and the Collision” months before I started “Mark Red,” in apparent contradiction to what I wrote in my previous author’s note. But I had only written what were then the first and second chapters of “CatC,” which were eventually consolidated into one chapter, and had then put them aside. I also didn’t have them with me while I was a guest of the Florida State Department of Corrections. My mother, thankfully, had a printout of the chapters, and my intention was to complete that book once I had finished “Mark Red,” when I had worked enough of the rust from my writing gears. However, the chapters hadn’t arrived yet by the time I finished “Mark Red.” While I waited, I wanted to be productive and to maintain my daily early-morning writing habits, so I decided to write a short story. Continue reading
Okay, as I promised a while back, here is a preview of the cover design for Paradox City, my story that is a little too long to be a “short” story but just below the traditional borderline of “novella” (it’s about 29,000 words long). It has been completely rewritten, and is now in the editing process, so it will soon be available for purchase. As always, when it is up for sale, half the royalties will go to literacy charities.
I actually plan to give you all a little teaser from the story, either right before it comes out, or when it comes out. Oh, and just so we’re clear: While Mark Red is oriented toward the young adult market, and The Chasm and the Collision is appropriate for anyone from pre-teens to the elderly, Paradox City is definitely not for very young readers. Bad things do happen in this story…you know, profanity, adult situations, violence, nudity, references to Elvis singing Guns ‘n’ Roses songs…things not for the faint of heart. One of the joys (for me) of the short story is that situations don’t always have to turn out for the best, or even for the better. Bad things can happen to good (or at least benign) people without anyone receiving his or her comeuppance, or any deep philosophical treatment or explanation of what’s been happening. While novels, by and large, have more good endings than your average strip-mall massage parlor, it’s perfectly okay for a short story to end in an ambiguous fashion. Actually, that’s one of the most satisfying aspects to short stories: They can leave you guessing, which leaves you thinking and imagining.
I love ’em.
Just in case anyone wants any recommendations on the matter, my personal favorite short story authors include Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Edgar Allen Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Robert E. Howard…just to name a few. It’s fair to say that I’m much more excited when Stephen King is coming out with a new collection of short stories (as he is now) than I am about his novels*.
I suppose you can guess what my genre tendency of preference is in the short story world, based on that list of authors.
On a different subject, here’s advance warning: Mark Red: Chapter 13 is going to be out just in time for Halloween–partly by coincidence, and partly by design, like so much of the world. In it, Mark’s nature as a newly-made demi-vampire is going to collide with some aspects of adolescence that would have made him very happy, if only…well, you’ll have to read it to see.
And on a different different subject, I am still taking feedback on the issue of “Son of Man: Serial or novel?” The final decision has not yet been made, and the rewrite is still very much in progress, so there’s plenty of time to put in your two cents.
Finally, I’m soon going to be posting another entry on the criminal justice system, informed by my own unpleasant and too-prolonged experience with it. These articles take a little longer than regular blog posts, because I want to make sure they are products of serious thought as well as real research, when appropriate, not just my own personal experiences. This is not a simple subject, and it deserves great care.
Thank you all for reading. If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to “Like”, to “Comment”, and to “Share”, as well as to repost. (If you make any money from doing so, just throw me a cut, okay?) Oh, and by all means, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
*Which is not to disparage his novels. While I don’t love them universally, many are among my favorite modern works of fiction.