• Member Since 30th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 37 minutes ago

RainbowDoubleDash


“If the youth are not initiated into the tribe, they will burn down the village, just to feel its warmth.” — African proverb

More Blog Posts221

  • 124 weeks
    I'm (still) not quite dead...

    I'm sorry, I am so very sorry for the lack of updates on, well, anything. A few of you have probably noticed that I've still been putting in the occasional appearance or comment, but as for chapter updates...yeah I've barely written anything for months for various reasons - work sucks, arranging a couple vacations, a falling out in my D&D group of 14 years, and just a sort of malaise that

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    13 comments · 1,224 views
  • 160 weeks
    So I know I'm a little late to the party, but...

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    6 comments · 1,001 views
  • 164 weeks
    When you're writing a chapter...

    And listening to music to keep yourself in the mood, and then you hear a song that has you suddenly realize that you've been writing the entire chapter wrong and should have instead been basing it around the song - not necessarily using the song directly (especially since that would be against site rules concerning wholesale copying of lyrics), but certainly drawing on it for inspiration.

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    5 comments · 469 views
  • 168 weeks
    The Good News and the Bad News

    The good news is that I got a root canal on Monday. No more pain in teeth. Yay!

    The bad news is that I was 3/4ths of the way through the next chapter of Midnight Castle (~5000 words) and realized that I was writing it totally wrong. I need to go back to practically the start and change up a lot, though I'm salvaging lines and paragraphs wherever I can.

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    6 comments · 473 views
Dec
3rd
2021

I'm (still) not quite dead... · 4:35am Dec 3rd, 2021

I'm sorry, I am so very sorry for the lack of updates on, well, anything. A few of you have probably noticed that I've still been putting in the occasional appearance or comment, but as for chapter updates...yeah I've barely written anything for months for various reasons - work sucks, arranging a couple vacations, a falling out in my D&D group of 14 years, and just a sort of malaise that I've been in. Blah blah blah, excuses excuses.

Silver lining: I seem to have broken said malaise. I'm a bit more than 4,000 words into the next chapter of Trouble at Midnight Castle. I also have about a 6,000 word bonus chapter for Trouble in Tiatarta that I wrote up a few weeks back in a fit of spontaneity; the chapter doesn't really add anything much but I just started writing it anyway and finished it. I'll probably post both at the same time. May expand the Tiatarta chapter to actually link into Trouble at Midnight Castle and/or The End is Never the End.

In addition to that I intend to set aside all writing time from December 20th onwards to finishing a backlog story of mine, The Rime of the Ancient Pegasus.

In addition to those I've been considering writing a story for that sci-fi contest that Bicyclette is running. That's fully plotted out and probably wouldn't be very long, but we'll see. I do have a title for it: Any Sufficiently Analyzed Miracle... I mostly bring this up because while not part of the overall story arc of my "Reformation" series it would probably make reference to it and be tangentially set in it, albeit about, oh, 10 or so years down the line. I'd make sure there were no spoilers of note, though.

In any event. Sorry, sorry, so very sorry, but I'm back at it now.

Oh I also put together this non-pony story over on 4chan for...well, no reason. Technically it's a sequel to a previous, also non-pony story I've written. Maybe you'll enjoy it? It's short.

I settle back in the pilot seat. The moon Titan, Humanity’s last major settled planetoid in their home system, is about a quarter of a million kilometers behind us. I adjust the flight straps with my lower arms while my upper ones do a few systems checks, my human copilot doing the same. It’s not long before we’re done, though, and the silence starts to set in.

I choose that moment to finally enact my revenge.

“Humanity Fuck Yeah?” I ask.

Liu-Mei Banarjee, my copilot, starts, her eyes going wide as she looks at me. She says something in her native language and then continues in Standard. “Oh no - ”

My mandibles are wide. “It does kind of have a ring to it,” I say.

Banarjee is covering her face with her hands. “No, Thriik, no…”

“I mean I don’t know much about human music but I could see it as some kind of sulphur chant. ‘Humanity! Fuck YEAH!’

“It’s funny you say that, we’ve got this classic music style that sounds a lot like sulphur chants.”

“I’ve heard it. Farrokh Bulsara was a genius.” I clack my mandibles a little as I chuckle. “Aren’t you curious how I learned about it?”

Banarjee is rubbing one temple now. “No, I’m not. What I want to know is who else in the crew you told it to.”

I shut my mandibles and hold up all four hands. “No one, I’m not that mean.”

“Thanks - ”

“Except Tehcual, because he was with me in Seoul when I learned about it. And he told Ramij. And Ramij told many, many people.”

Banarjee is covering her face again. “I hate you, Thriik. I hate you with all the fiery burning passion of the Sun.” That’s a lot of hate - the human home star is actually pretty big, somewhere in the top ten percent of the entire Galaxy.

I clack my mandibles again. “Well you’re not getting out of it. We spent the entire trip from Veleth to Sol talking about kthazzzash apocalypses - ”

“Zombies. Call them zombies, I can actually pronounce it.”

“Zombies, then. So now we’re talking about this Humanity Fuck Yeah thing.”

Banarjee peeks out from behind her hands, “I thought you had fun!”

“Well maybe you’ll have fun with this.”

Banarjee settles down, tapping her fingers on her seat’s arm rests. “Okay, look,” she says, “first contact was only fifty years ago for us. We thought we were alone in the universe, or that FTL was impossible so even if we weren’t we’d never really meet other species.”

“Reasonable,” I note with a wave of a hand.

“But, like, we have fantasy stories. We have movies and books and musicals and everything about aliens arriving in Sol or is figuring out some kind of FTL and meeting them. But we had no idea what aliens were actually like. So a lot of the time the aliens would be, like, stand-ins for something. They’d represent aspects of ourselves so that we could look at it and examine it without looking at us. Y’know?”

My vestigial wings buzz in annoyance. “Yeah, Liu-Mei, dethek have those things too. I’ve shown you Stargate.”

“You know we have a franchise with exactly the same title? Totally different premise, though.”

“Not surprising.”

“Anyway, yeah, so we have that. But, like, we also…had alien invasion stories. Where you guys would want to destroy Mars or conquer Earth because you’re evil or want to colonize us or whatever.”

Hhhzzzkkk,” I buzz for effect. “We want your men for breeding stock and your women for food. We demand Venus because apparently it’s way easier to conquer a planet with sapient beings shooting at us on it than just settle somewhere else that didn’t develop intelligent life, or to terraform someplace.”

Banarjee laughs. “Yeah. Also you wanted our water a lot.”

“We were invading you for one of the most common resources in the universe?”

“I didn’t say they made sense!”

“Okay. And this brings us to Humanity Fuck Yeah how…?”

“Well…” Banarjee is tapping her fingers together. “So they’re stories. So they need drama. So humanity would often be in kind of the losing end of the fighting. Aliens would be stronger or smarter or tougher or more advanced or, like, all of those. It’s way more interesting to watch a bunch of outnumbered, outgunned guys save the day than just a human victory the whole way through.”

“Naturally,” i say, “just like in Stargate, how the Tjevahn Empire always has the upper hand over Commander Thrash.”

“His name sounds great in English, by the way.” Banarjee says, naming the dominant human language. “But yeah. Humanity Fuck Yeah is…I guess the reverse of that.”

“Humans losing to outnumbered, outgunned aliens?”

“No. Humans being…well, exceptional. Humans being strong rather than weak pushovers.”

I blink my transparent eyelids a few times. “So…stories without drama or stakes.”

“No, not exactly…well, yeah, when it’s done wrong.” Banarjee sighs, leaning back and crossing her arms as she thinks. “But it’s more just a reaction to humans always being basic. We didn’t know what you guys would be like out here. Dethek and kyn and chalak and varjren and tuxtla and elai and veras and tor’qua…we had only ourselves to use as a point of reference. And I guess it just kind of got old, having humans always be just basic, every other species defined by how they were better than us.”

“You got jealous,” I say, “of fictional species that you created.”

“Oh come on, I bet there’s a Dethek Fuck Yeah on Moraal.”

“If there is, I haven’t heard of it,” I say. I spend a few moments checking our controls, see nothing has changed, and then look back to Banarjee. “Okay, so that explains why the genre came around. And why it’s still around since your first contact was so recent. Think it’ll stick around?”

Banarjee shrugs. “I think…I think humans are always going to want to feel like we’re special. So yeah.”

“Well dethek don’t think that we’re special. We know it.”

“Isn’t your home star gonna be swallowed by two black holes in a few thousand years?”

“And that’s how we know we’re special: the gods are clearly real, and they clearly hate us specifically. Fuck ‘em.”

Banarjee laughs. “And varjrens think they’re fallen angels, kicked out of Heaven but destined to earn their way back in.”

“I don’t know what an angel is. But the dominant kyn religion actually makes them the top creatures in creation. All their spirits and gods and stuff, they tricked them into making them rulers.”

“Ha! They look like giant house cats, I believe that.” 

We chuckle a moment, and a bit of companionable silence fills the cockpit. I get up and get us some coffee - straight from the fields of Colombia, the best coffee in the universe - and once it’s finished and I sit back down, pass Banarjee a cup while sipping my own.

“I guess it’s not just humans,” Banarjee says. “I guess we just all like to feel special sometimes.”

Hhzzz,” I buzz in agreement. “Nothing wrong with that, though.”

“Nah.” With my compound eyes, I can see her cradling her cup and staring out at the stars as the kilometers roll by while we approach a safe warp point.

“So what’s the human Stargate like?” I ask.

“Oh my God it’s the greatest movie ever made,” she says. “Totally unappreciated in it’s time but these days is up there with Citizen Kane and Baahubali. So there’s this ancient Earth civilization called Egypt, and…”

Comments ( 13 )

Hey, it's always good to hear from you, old friend, and believe me I more than understand the feeling of life dropping the malaise bug on me. Glad to hear that despite it all you're getting out of the rut. :twilightsmile:

I kind of feel like a lot of us have been in a general malaise lately. I'm happy to hear you have balanced your humors again.

I almost skipped the story because it wasn't what l came here to see, but I decided any story from you I should at least give a chance. I ended up going back and reading your first as well, and they were both quite fascinating. Jolly show good chap.
I blame Charles Dickens for the spontaneous British accent.

Glad to hear from you again. :)

Your writing stories that are far better then most of the last two seasons for free next to whatever real life stuff you got going on. I don't think that a lot of people will get that mad over a delay. Take your time.

That being said I'm incredibly hyped by what you have in store.

It's ok. Take it easy

Glad to see you again!

Glad to know you're still alive! I can't wait to see the new chapters, but go ahead and take your time if you need to!

That was a nice little sci-fi cultural excerpt.

and just a sort of malaise that I've been in

I practically have a second home in Malaise, The Mandu-Eyefeel Badlands. They sell decent shirts there. Well, not really, but you gotta buy one when you're passing, don't you?

Silver lining: I seem to have broken said malaise.

👍😃 Good on yer, mate! That's nothing to sneeze at, right enough.

In addition to those I've been considering writing a story for that sci-fi contest that Bicyclette is running. That's fully plotted out and probably wouldn't be very long, but we'll see. I do have a title for it: Any Sufficiently Analyzed Miracle... I mostly bring this up because while not part of the overall story arc of my "Reformation" series it would probably make reference to it and be tangentially set in it, albeit about, oh, 10 or so years down the line. I'd make sure there were no spoilers of note, though.

Did look at that contest, but there are plenty of reasons against me. High on the list is my troubles fitting Sci-Fi onto Pony without getting really long-winded about it (and feeling I'd need to do a ton of research to stand a chance, which I'm not up for at the moment).

Any Sufficiently Analyzed Miracle...

Ooh, I like that title. Classic Arthur C. Clarke with a spin. :rainbowkiss:

I mostly bring this up because while not part of the overall story arc of my "Reformation" series it would probably make reference to it and be tangentially set in it, albeit about, oh, 10 or so years down the line. I'd make sure there were no spoilers of note, though.

I'm continually impressed by writers who maintain a multi-story continuity. It's harder than it looks keeping track of all the details. Course, making each one also work as a standalone is a beggar of a task in its own right.

And briefly: myself, pretty much if ever I did a Sci-Fi Pony, it'd be more "complete AU" than "distant canon future", not least of all because I like to go all-out in worldbuilding with something like that. The trick, unfortunately, is making sure readers understand it's "complete AU that recycles canon ingredients" and not "AU history of canon", a distinction I still see people muddy up.

Good to see this is still alive, seen a lot of good stories die recently.

Also hope things are going smoothly after all, sometimes things just drag and life seems to drain you and it sucks.

I know I'm late, but I'm glad to hear you're still okay! You're an excellent writer and I look forward to your writing.

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