Saturday, October 17, 2009

Writing Update 10/17/09

I feel too sick at the moment to actually write, so I figured I should post some kind of update on my writng.
My novel is going smoothly dispite some problems with plotting. I hope to be finished by Christmas. This is a dream novel to be working on; each new problem just makes the work better.

I'm working on a major licenced short story, the research of which is going well. The hardest part is copying the style of the author who lefft this unfinished--but I've read enough of his work that it's not too much of a challenge to attempt his style.

A short story about a certain Lord of the Jungle finding himself shipwrecked on an island known for producing dinosaurs and giant apes. I'm aiming for publication in a future volume of the Lofficiers execelent Tales of the Shadowmen anthologies.
(Three pages of a projected 30 are complete.)

Also: A short story taking place in the present day where a very liberal public defender (To make a joke: Is there any other kind?) has a very personal encounter with some Lovecraftian things while working on his current case.
(Zero pages completed out of a projected eight-or-ten.)

Bonus A: I'm considering, when I finish my current projects, submitting a novel to Pulp Press. They're currently running an open call on 23,000 word action novels, so it sounds right up my alley.

Bonus B: A short novel titled "The Electric Demon." This tale features Doc Savage--in a fight for his life against the insane Doctor James Caliban, Monk and Ham--trapped in the Africian caves of the Unknown Nine, and, Fu Manchu--facing such foes as even his wicked mind could not dream.
The main reason this story is not yet complete is that I am working on this story as part of my school's Creative Writing class. (One page complete out of a projected 60.)

James Bojaciuk

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prologue of my novel.

Take note that this will be removed in about a week.

James Bojaciuk

The environmental leader’s face was violently ugly.
Or so thought Alice Clayton. She looked at Victor Lupin’s head again and shuddered. His nose had been broken in the past, and an ever so faint scar shaped like a sideways “N” was on his cheek. Although, it seemed apparent that the other girls at this “Save the Earth” party did not share her feelings, since many were hanging on the activist’s chest, arms, whatever they could get a hold of. He watched them hungrily with his green eyes. His mouth puffed at his long cigar even more hungrily.
“Thank you for inviting me Mr. Lupin.” Alice said. Even though he repulsed her, Alice’s mother had taught her nothing if not to always be polite.
“No, thank you for coming Miss. Clayton. It is a pleasure to have the youngest member of one of the world’s most famous environmentalist families.”
She already noticed that many of the guests were well under twenty. Sensing her thoughts, Lupin said: “If we do not use the young to win the culture wars, what have we gained? Does the earth live if we convert the old and dying to our cause? No, the children must be used. As an antagonist of mine once said, “A little child shall lead them.”
The walls of the party hall had been freshly painted a bright red which clashed with the old lime green tablecloths. On the far side of the room was a cluster of guests reading with reverence an old leather bound book. Nearer Alice and Lupin was the buffet table, which was now missing a steak knife, and a drink stand. Between the two far points was a row of doors leading deeper into the house.
Lupin saw that one of his fourteen-year-old assistants was gesticulating; two fingers swung above his head.
“I must apologize, but I am needed in the next room.”
Alice took a sip of her drink and nodded, watching Lupin walk away toward where the page was now frantic in his movements. She picked up the ladle and refilled her drink from the bowl, still remembering her grandfather’s warning. “Always watch for the lion when bending for a drink.”
Sure enough, the lion came hunting for a doe. He was wearing a loose robe over his street clothes. His face was pulled into a permanent hyena smirk.
“What’s a cute blonde like you doin’ without a boy?” She turned, her face disgusted. “Hoo, she’s got grey eyes too. Never bedded one of them before!”
“Make another comment like that and you will never be able to “bed” another woman again. Am I quite clear?” She said, still watching Lupin argue with the page. In her hand was a steak knife stolen from the buffet table. She welded her blade backhanded at roughly his crotch level. If he tried anything more, a simple backwards flick from her hand would sever something he would much rather not loose. Sweat poured down his pocked visage; he slowly backed away into the crowd.
The leader was now shouting quietly at his subordinate, quietly for he was attempting to keep the guests from finding out what the problem was. Lupin’s eyes shone yellow under the fluorescent lights near the door.
That’s funny, she thought, in the harsher light his eyes are almost the same color as Great Uncle Clark’s. She groped for the cross that hung from her neck. Dear Lord help me…it cannot be ...?
Lupin turned toward her, his eyes sending a message. I’ve found you out, wretch.
She was unsure now, If she ran no one would know what happened, but if she stayed she could very well die. But she was not afraid of death, if it came, then so be it. But why hurry the grave, she thought, folding the steak knife into a crease in her dress.
Lupin finished his harried conversation then spent the next twenty minutes rounding the room talking personally with each guest.
He then wove his way to the door and rested a gigantic hand upon the handle. His face was warped into a sickening smile and his eyes were, thanks to the shade he found himself in, half green and half yellow.
“Come my friends and supporters. I have for you tonight the preview of that which will save us from ourselves, please follow me.”
After a five minute walk through the halls and stairwells of the old house they arrived in a room near the center of the structure. In the center of the room was a pedestal with an indent in the top; it was visually similar to a birdbath but deeper. Lining the walls were computer servers of the newest models, clearly someone rich was funding this affair. But as to this money-man’s identity it was unclear. Lastly some chalk-marks marred the Victorian woodwork, but Alice could not see the design from where she stood.
“In one week’s time we shall open a universal hole where I stand.” He said, tapping the chalk mark with foot. “This shall allow entry of something we call…a Great Old One. He, or I suppose I should say “It” as its biology contains both male and female part such as some sea dwellers, will come and cleanse the earth of pollutants, saving the earth from murder, bigotry, and pollution. And all morality will be replaced with true morality—our own.”
All but one of the guests genuinely applauded these notions. Alice did so as well, but only not to stick out and show herself.
“We shall use the computers, manned ably by Mort. Who sadly could not come tonight due to tomorrow being the start of school. Our “magical” Miss. Millie will be handling the chalk and other things of her type. And lastly I shall be handing the r’’ok’og’a. It promises to be a night the world shall not forget.
“But before we all go home and sleep peacefully in our beds, we have two orders of housekeeping. The first is for everyone still in high school to remember to show for the young people convention in two days.
“The second is that we have a spy in this room.”
The guests were thrown into confusion, who could the traitor be? Alice kept from panic and followed the crowd, except she, unlike they, had no clue as to what Lupin’s plan was.
“Who’d ever betray us?” She said as a smokescreen.
‘Come now Miss. Clayton. Do you think I’d not know you were the spy? Come now. You insist on convorting around with that Cross. It’s a wonder that none other than I saw though your attempt at infiltrating us.
“Seize and eliminate this feminine nuisance.”
The crowd stopped being fearful, simultaneously they became murderously angry.
Alice Clayton hefted the knife and stabbed at the first attacker. He was a teenager, barely any older than her herself. Glasses dropped off his dead face and crunched to the floor.
Alice backed herself up against the room’s corner, and let them come to her. Her grandfather’s wisdom came back once more. No matter how bad the situation, no matter how deadly your enemy, remember that you must keep your smarts about you, and always repeat to your self, “I still live”, for as long as a single breath remains in your lungs the tide of battle can and knowing you, will, turn.
She grabbed the neck of the next attacker squeezed his jugular. Alice had learned this technique from a eastern marshal arts master, Lung Po. The attacker’s eye budged until his adam’s apple popped. Then letting that body drop to the ground, she did a jabbing lunge that caught another follower in the gut. At a minimum she guaranteed the man would have a long stay in the hospital. But with that thrust she over extended her reach, leaving herself open to attack. Two foes beat her head with their bare hands.
As their final blows connected she cried with the last of her strength, “I Still Live!”
Then she was out of time.

Review--The Terror of Fu Manchu


Fu Manchu's latest plot, written by William P. Maynard, involves saving the human race from...wait? What? Since when did the Devil Doctor care about the human race?

The novel is set during a break in the narrative of The Hand of Fu Manchu. This is during the period where Fu Manchu was, arguably, at his most blood thirsty. The novel has plenty of action, adventure and daring-do. (The excellent scene with Petrie attempting to save children from a crocodile comes to mind.) The plot is mostly concerned with Nayland Smith and his trusty aid Dr. Petrie tracking down members of a cult that may or may not be related to the Si-Fan.

The problems I had were few, Maynard is not only a talented writer, but he clearly knows his Rohmer. The only thing that bothered me on first read through was the Lovecraftian elements, as I felt that the magic/demon stuff clashed with the Fu Manchu series' focus on logic above all else. But, after a discussion of it with Maynard himself I feel that those elements fit perfectly with Rohmer's fictional universe.

Final Tally:
Prose: A++ (A perfect recreation of Rohmer's style, perhaps the most perfect pastiche I've ever read)
Characterization: A-
Plot: A

Wold Newton relevancy rating: 9. (It features Fu Manchu, a proven WN family member, several crossovers with other Rohmer characters, and the use of the theory on the identity of Dr. Petrie's father.)