One of the aspects of being a writer of science fiction is that you are obliged to create worlds. By which I mean settings although often that can mean actual planets. So why do I find myself writing stories that involve the destruction of towns? Perhaps because I can – haha. However, although whole planets might become depopulated (ARIA Trilogy), the annihilation of a town would never be the main theme. Rejuvenation, enhancement, survival and hope are more likely even if there’s a bit of horror, terror or conflict on the way.
Two examples of my destruction have emerged this month. In THE MEMORY ROCK, published by The Wifiles (see what they’ve done there with the name?) It’s available for free reading at http://thewifiles.com/?p=631
In that a school girl, on the bus home, witnesses a meteorite hitting a village. Curious things start happening to people who venture too close to the crater…
I could have used any village for this story, or made one up, but I used to be a geography teacher and rebelled against the use of “AnyTown” in the teaching and analytical models we were obliged to teach with, especially when we found pupils would know more about the non-existent model ports and towns than any real ones! I also needed a village I knew well. Dodleston is only six miles from my home city of Chester and many of my pupils used to be bussed to and from it. Perfect. I wrote the story, subjected it to a proofread from me, then by the fine members of Orbit 2 of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) critique group. They noted the memory theme in this story was a kind of spin-off from my ARIA books but that’s largely coincidentally. Something does happen to the memories of people getting too close to the crater but there’s a twist at the end I’d hope you wouldn’t expect.
After THE MEMORY ROCK was published earlier this year, the Chester newspapers picked it up to run a feature. Eg the Chester Chronicle: “Chester author obliterates Dodleston”.
Hilarious, even with my photo, but it was riddled with spelling errors – all theirs! Even so, It was well-liked on facebook and I ran it on twitter and facebook with the accompanying map – the geographer coming out in me again.
Please click on the link to read the story and like it if you do.
Yesterday I heard that another story, TUMBLER’S GIFT, is to be published by Perihelion SF magazine. Great! That story also involves the destruction of a settlement but this time it’s my own city of Chester. However, don’t panic dear Cestrians because it is when Tumbler, who has a gift for unlocking anything, unlocks a portal into a parallel world. Our own Chester isn’t unaffected but, again, not as you’d expect. I’ll let you know when it is published.
Other Nelder News
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Geoff’s UK Amazon author page
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