Month: May 2013

Weaver @2013, Jenn Lyons

Marduk’s Rebellion Concept Art: Mallory McLain

Meet Lieutenant Mallory McLain, code-named “Weaver,” an Intelligence Operations agent working for the Solar Independence League, the fancy-schmancy title for what most folks just call ‘The Rebellion.’ She’s one of the best of the best, a solo operative who specializes in break-ins: computer, prison or research lab. Only now that the aliens the human race has been fighting for almost a century are suing for a treaty and withdrawing from their occupation of Earth, there will finally be peace and she’s going to be out of a job. Right? Works in theory. Updated: The great thing about posting this is that after staring at her for a few days, I’ve decided to return her to being a blonde. The character is happier that way, if that makes any sense.

Why Momma Needs Her Stories

Anyone who doubts that the worlds we create in fiction can have a profound effect on the reality around us should go read this article on world-wide fertility rates. If you’re anything like me, you grew up being told several unassailable facts: one, that the world-wide population was booming to unsustainable levels and two, this was because  third world countries were having too many kids. I remember hearing incredible numbers: the population of the planet would be at 10 billion by 2010, which would of course lead to everyone starving and killing each other over that last piece of broccoli  Except this hasn’t quite panned out. The chaotic system turns out to be just a little self-adjusting, and it’s not necessarily for the reasons you’d think — certainly for no reason Darwin would have suggested. Population growth has slowed radically in the last twenty years. Virtually every part of the world but Africa is now operating at near ‘replacement’ levels of population growth — i.e. populations that are either self-sustaining or shrinking. Africa is still seeing …

The Right Way to Begin

I’m not usually one for affirmations, but this. Every time I doubt myself: this. I’ve finished the first draft of Blood Chimera. Once I’m finished with the first draft proofing and removing of all that passive voice (god oh god, why is it so damn easy for me to write in passive voice?) I’ll send the manuscript out for beta reading and, hopefully, walk away from it for a while. While people are reading, I told myself I was going to do a lot more blog writing, but honestly, I may just jump into the rewrite of Marduk’s Rebellion. As the imitable zefrank says: Let’s start this shit up. [Added: Doesn’t he look like Alan Tudyk above? Weird.]

The Best School

Last year this article started making the rounds on facebook and social media. Various other sources have picked it up because…well go on, read it. It’s amazing, isn’t it? The core idea is like Lord of the Flies with knowledge instead of blood as the punchline. They took one thousand tablet PCs, still in boxes, dropped them off at two villages, and left. No instructions. No lesson plans. Then…they let kids do what kids do best: get into shit they’re not supposed to be messing with. Six months later, those kids had not only figured out how to use the computer to teach themselves, their parents, and everyone around them to read and write but had taught themselves hacking in order to turn back on some of the tablet features (like the camera and internet access) that had been turned off originally. Would those kids have done all that if they’d been forced to? Marched into a school, sat down and given a strict lesson plan with at least three hours of homework? Maybe…I’m open …

Dark Son

Another reposted story from There by Candlelight: ——————————- Marty Lucas walked into the principal’s office like he was about to receive an award, maybe something for bravery or valor — a citation for standing up to a bunch of punk bullies who thought they could get away with beating the candy out of every kid who was weaker, smaller and different from what they thought was ‘cool.’ The difference in posture was transforming: most of the kids who knew him in class wouldn’t have recognized him. Marty normally walked through the world with his head down, his hands stuffed into the pocket of his tan jacket, his eyes on the street, lost in his own thoughts. Today only, he walked like he owned the place, like he was a foot taller and could take on anyone who gave him the wrong look. The school secretary, Nina Collington, looked distinctly bemused as she observed him. Nina was saucy looking redhead in her mid-thirties with short page-cut hair and mod cat’s eye glasses who has worked for the school …