Pandora Sands, or the Dream Author

I still remember standing in the doorway of the bookstore. Blue carpet stretched out under my feet. Above me, the sandy stone archways of the former cathedral now supported chandeliers and signs and at least one wooden ship with brass fittings and a golden sails.  Ten foot tall bookshelves made from old oak mingled with glass cabinets holding rare books, statues and hand-built models. You could walk up to a display of old maps, posters and artwork ripe for a dorm room wall.

And the music, Sonny Rollins style jazz, danced along the walls from an advanced sound system plugged into an old turntable. This was my idea of heaven. So it’s only fitting I’m dreaming the place. It’s hidden is some version of Prague, next to a comic book shop. My fiancée and I discover it and immediately dive into the stacks. She starts browsing, but I dive right to one specific part of the massive Science Fiction & Fantasy section.

It’s in the back, a low shelf topped by a glass display case featuring models of spacecraft held in suspension. The author I want is at the bottom. I sit, cross-legged, on the blue carpet and scan the paperbacks for her name: Pandora Sands

It’s easy to spot her. All of her work is published by DAW books. They feature the bright yellow spines. Her name glows in red while the book titles are solid black. The covers were painted in late 70’s Michael Whelan style.  I picked up the thickest of the books. It featured a woman in sphere – some form of anti-grav travel bubble –  wearing a brightly colored robe, pointing to the distance. The ground was split like a chessboard. Great towers swept above everyone in he background. In the foreground, beautiful men in sandals and thongs shared the scenes with lizard-like aliens.

Pamela Sands wrote like a combination of Tanith Lee and C.J. Cherryh. Her space operas were adventurous, detailed, sensual and political. They featured a freelance troubleshooter, Lady Stacia DuVare, and her travels across the galaxy. Supposedly, the character was created after meeting Stacia Blake at a Hawkwind concert.

In the end, I put the book back and just stared at the shelf. Even in my head, I knew this was a dream. There was no Pamela Sands, no books like this. They only existed in the mists of my mind.  Which is a damn shame.  When I woke up I Googled the name, hoping, but there was nothing.

But who knows – maybe she does exist? Or will, some day. And decades from now, an adventurous spirit will find her books tucked away in a used book store built within a church…

The Truth Revealed – thanks to Garth Marenghi

I admit, I was sucked in. A sheeple lead to the slaughter. But my eyes were opened by the brilliance of this man- Garth Marenghi:

 

It was here, in the awful light of his amazing literary talent, that I realized the Puppy campaigns were right all along. Why has a grand literary talent such as Marenghi never been honored with a Hugo? Was he too popular? Was he to controversial?

No, there is only one explanation for how this titan of terror, this dean of dark fantasy never received any popular recognition: the liberal Social Justice Warrior cabal and their gamma male army. Just as he was not responsible for a massive fire in Romford, Essex, in an attempt to hide massive tax frauds funding his suppressed film War of the Wasps, he was in no way responsible for the shameful treatment he received at the hands of the establishment.

Here the bloody-handed responsibility lies with the dark conspiracy of emasculating fiends, who dare to suggest works such as Ancillary Justice hold more merit than Wasp Sabat, or Stabber.  I only hope history judges your evil acts with more kindness than you’ve judged this demigod of a dream weaver.

A Quick Thought – The Screaming Gate

I had a thought – just needed to write it down. It won’t mean anything to folks now, but in the future.

At the end of K’s story, H dies in her arms. The body is preserved, though. When K is placed about Amantia, and the ship tries to fix itself, it uses H’s body as a way to do so. A ends up in H’s body.

Now, K’s got two goals: find who made her the way she is, and find a way to get A back in her body so H can be brought back to life completely.

The answers are through the gate.

I Believe in Blast Mancheese

 

I have an idea for a short story, but it’s a terrible one. So I’m writing it out over here. Just bits and bobs, for the purposes of exorcising it.

***

The story opens with our rocket scientist hero, blonde and muscular as all true heroes must be, arguing with politicians. The Martians have directed an asteroid towards earth, and the only way to intercept it is to ignite the booster rockets on an asteroid brought into the Earth/Moon sphere for mining purposes. He proposes a military strike to take the asteroid from the thugs and killers currently operating it.

The politician is objecting to the plan based on the recommendation of a so-called scientist (because sociology and those other sciences are not real. And besides, the scientist is a woman and a diplomat, which undercuts her greatly).  The asteroid is filled with refugees from various failed ethnic colonies. They can negotiate a resettlement deal without military action.

Our hero is resolute, even when his trusty ethnic subordinate thinks they should try negotiating.  And when our Hero confronts the woman sociologist, they reveal a mutual anger style attraction.  A plan is set to meet at a neutral colony. The hero is not invited.

Of course it’s a trap – the asteroid scum can only think about money, drugs and rapine, which they try to extort and take from the sociologist and her politicians. Our hero comes in with military support and rescues them all.  As a reward, the hero takes our woman sociologist to bed, where she admits the error of her ways and agrees to a military strike.

During the raid he sees the so-called refugees have a luxury items, thus proving they were wasting their resources instead of improving their lot in life and didn’t deserve any kindness. During the raid, the hero is just about to set the controls and start the burn when his trusty ethnic subordinate betrays him! The betrayal is for money and power, as the Martians have promised him debauched pleasure for the rest of his life.

Our hero kills his former sidekick, adding manpain to the story, and then launches the asteroid. After venting the remaining scum into space, he goes back to the colony for his reward – the woman, now ditching her former ways and supporting her man in every way.

***

Of course, this isn’t the whole story. In the end we would have a small paper written up by a Martian settler, discussing how stories like this one have gone on to shape Earth-Mars relations. It’s hard to negotiate with someone who sees your seed ethnic stock as traitorous, any sciences without direct military or industrial applications ‘useless’ and military action as the only solution. So the war continues.

Again, nothing interesting. But I had to get it out of my brain somewhere.

Ritual for Internal Transmogrification

Ritual for Internal Transmogrification

Note: This ritual is restricted to technomancers of the 5th circuit and above. Proper shielding is to be worn at all times.

Components:

  • Four low power Tesla coil spheres, set to discharge in a ritual rhomboid pattern
  • Symbolic capacitor, etched with absorption and containment circuit patterns
  • Grade one conductive ritual paint (for surfaces)
  • Grade three conductive ritual paint (for subjects)
  • Laptop with ritual components
  • A/V projector
  • Speaker system
  • Symbolic weapon: Hammer

Purpose: Human beings are imprinted. Over time, the stimuli they receive from birth makes imprints upon their soul, shaping who they become. There are times, however, when certain imprints become extremely toxic. The song in the center of their heart is out of tune, or hurtful. The internal voice they hear is vile and hateful. This corrodes their development, like bad code constantly copied over and over until it junks the system.

This ritual is designed to extract these voices and replace them with an expression of the individual’s free will. Through the course of the ritual, the person at the center is exposed to a manifestation of the caustic inner voice. It is then slowly drowned out by manifestations of rebellion and strength.

In doing so, the voice is transmogrified. The subject no longer hears the negative. The taint is neutralized and removed.

Ritual Set Up:

The ritual circuits are to be drawn with two connection points – one interior, in an inner circle, and one external. The symbolic capacitor is placed in and connected to the circuit via the ritual paint. The subject is placed in the internal circle, and similarly connected via the ritual paint. The electromagickal properties of the ritual paints will allow the entire formation to become a single circuit, pulling negative energy from the subject, diffusing it through the circuit, and trapping it in the capacitor.

Tesla coils will be set up at the four cardinal points around the ritual area. They will create a rhomboid containment field and provide electromagickal power for the caster.

Ritual components and A/V items will be loaded onto the laptop. This will be connected to the sound system and the projector. The A/V will begin as the ritual does. Timing is important.

Note: The voice to be exorcised should be spoken by the subject, mimicking the voice they hear within them.

The voice of defiance and rebellion should be Patrick McGoohan speaking lines from The Prisoner.

Of special note: “I am not a number! I am a free man”

“I will make no deals. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed or numbered! My life is my own.”

“Some of you have accepted your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

“I! I! I!”

Ritual:

The ritual itself begins with the A/V presentation of the voices within the subject. The initial presence should be overwhelming, to represent the subject’s current state of mind. Gradually, the coils are charged and the ritualist begins to work.

As the coils charge, the voice of rebellion should rise. Visually, images of circuits being overwritten, paths being cleared and other symbolic representation of the subject’s internal code being remade will dominate the space.

The ritualist will begin the incantations:

(image untranslatable)

This must be done in time with the rise of the voice of rebellion, until it dominates the ritual. As power is gained and stored, as the circuits are charged, and the voice of rebellion is at a crescendo, the final invocation is made:

(image untranslatable)

It is then the electromagickal energies are channeled through the circle. The subject should be wreathed in electrical arcs. They should travel along the circuits of the body until they reach the end of the ritual circuits on the floor and, eventually, the symbolic capacitor. When the symbolic capacitor is filled with the negative energies poured out of the subject’s body, the coils will spontaneously shut down.

All that will remain is a nimbus around the capacitor. Even that will die after a bit. The subject is then given the symbolic weapon: the hammer. He is pointed to the capacitor and told he now has a chance to destroy everything which held him back and be free.

At this point, the subject should destroy the capacitor in a massive wave of catharsis. If the subject is happy and weeping, for the voices in their head which once called them “idiot,” “lazy,” “stupid” or doubted their worth are gone, then the ritual is a success.

The subject is now free.

Vanishing Bookstores

Crossroads books exists. If you Google it, you’ll find the name. There’s a lovely website with an address. It’s simple and small and everything you would expect from a bookstore in Culpepper, VA. When you call the number, the husband and wife who own the store answer. Would you like a book? If they don’t have it in stock, they can order it for you. You can pick it up when it’s arrived.

When you get the call, you drive down one lonely highway after another, past dairy farms and construction supply depots and the occasional Buddhist ashram until you reach this tiny store. Hidden between a Johnny Rebel boot repair shop and a walk-in medical clinic, it feels more like a closet than a store. The counter is a tiny desk with an old-fashoned register. They let you browse around, hand you your book, and are always smiling when you check out.

One grey afternoon you decide to drop in and browse the shelves. You go to the exact same spot as before, and look between the Johnny Rebel and the walk-in clinic. You see nothing. The stores have expanded, just a little, pressing the closet-small bookstore out of existance. You pick up the phone and dial the number. The voice mail answers, thank you for calling, letting you know you can place an order at any time. They will do their best to assist. Please call first before pick-up.