Wednesday, November 30, 2016

[Amazing Stories] November's Writing Prompt: Rat Cage Housing

Now that my Halloween writing prompt break is over, it's back to the wild, speculative business of wondering what would happen if our world were irreparably altered.

This month, perhaps in light of the housing situation in Toronto and Vancouver, it's about cramming everyone in like rats.

Amazing Stories: Rat Cage Housing

As of a date eighteen months from now – in order to give people time to prepare – everyone has to live in a structure of the same size. This size is a height, width and depth mandated by the federal government of wherever the people live. People can move into apartment buildings that resemble the rat housing above, or they can build the appropriate structures on their own properties out of whatever materials they wish.
Some people have to downsize their residences. Others get to upsize. What about non-housing parts of a residential property, like backyards and swimming pools? What happens to cottages, cabins, beach houses and second homes? How do people manage?
So little room, so much customization. Who would benefit or hurt from this change?

Click the bolded link above to explore!

(from Wikimedia)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Null Legacy

As I promised, Null Legacy is upon us! It's only about 5 pages, as it was written as an entry in an anthology, making it the quickest read I've published yet.

My short and long descriptions from the Smashwords publication page:

Each step is a step into darkness, the same as it ever was, the same as it'll ever be. As the world erupts around one shadowy man who helps maintain order, he manipulates his surroundings while they manipulate him. An evening in a café takes him to a hill, a lake, or anywhere else lurking in the walls and tables around him, and he anticipates every one of them flawlessly.
*          *          * 
Enough test trials guarantees every ending to every story and every outcome to every event. A group of maintenance workers called nulls is enlisted to operate the world; they track it meticulously down to each time a colour changes or a shadow moves. Reality distorts in even the most everyday situations. One null visits a café where the run-down decor frequently gives away to a Carroll-esque series of seemingly random processes, and takes down every experience with robotic precision. What he never knows is when, or if, he is ever truly in control. 
A short, quick journey into the malleable, the speculative and the weird. 
Null Legacy is also available in the Toronto Writers' Co-Operative anthology Voices 2016.

It's available in PDF, EPUB, .mobi, or any other ebook format (even plain text if that possesses you). It's also available on Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Cover picture taken my me, in Toronto, on September 2, 2016.
Null Legacy is also available in the Toronto Writers' Co-Operative release Voices 2016, which was released on November 6.

My other Smashwords releases, all free as well, all available in as many formats:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Null Legacy: It's Been Read

Yesterday, I read my short story "Null Legacy" to a small crowd at the Hinton Theatre in the Toronto Reference Library. It was one of 15 readings from the Toronto Writers' Co-Operative's Voices 2016. The anthology is 31 works of prose and poetry in all imaginable genres and then some.

"Null Legacy" is a short-short, barely more than flash fiction (about 1900 words), that blends noir and science fantasy. Our unnamed protagonist, noted mostly for his combination of robotic memory and cynical sarcasm, finds that he can shape his world merely by noting the probability of each event...

Watch for "Null Legacy" on Smashwords later this month as a free ebook!

Here's me after the event:

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To inquire about Voices 2016, email the TOWC at