Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Persistant Kernel of an Idea

While on a recent trip to Boston, I found myself frantically editing the draft of a short story. The anthology's call for submission fell dead center in the middle of my trip. I should have been resting after stressful days, sight-seeing the wonders of Boston, or even enjoying a pleasant meal with colleagues. Instead, I was writing and editing a science fiction Valentine's Day story.

I conjured memories of the burning cold of February while the temperatures barely dipped into the  50s at night in October.  I plotted gunfire and secret tunnels while ordering room service overlooking a spectacular cityscape from the eleventh floor of my hotel. I welcomed fictional friends back to tell their story when I could have been meeting new, more solid people.

When I first read the Valentine's Day call for submissions, I told myself, you won't have time to write. It's your busiest time of year. There's nothing about this holiday you want to say.

But while I dismissed the idea, my subconscious was rousing.  There was a story I still wanted to tell--the perfect size for a short story. It was even about characters I love--my roboticist, Forbes Pohle, and his research assistant/lover, Oliver Lennox.

The duo first appeared in the Weird Science Anthology short story "The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters)" by Torquere Books. The story recounted how Forbes first met Oliver and how someone can pop into your life and change it in ways you don't expect.

But due to the nature of that story, there was another story that just begged to be told.  You see, that wasn't Oliver's first meeting with Forbes.  I wanted to tell that story--the one about Oliver, the smart kid that finds his world is  a lot bigger than he thought.

And as a bonus, this new story has a robot in it, too.  It's not the cuddly juggernaut of the first story, but a more stable, more intelligent creation. So be on the lookout for Jeepers, the robot cat. He's got some wicked defense mechanisms.

And cross your fingers for me that the story will be accepted.   :)


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