A preview of the first chapter of the upcoming scifi short novel Mass Wasting, which centers on an itinerant salvager tasked with recovering a lost reconissance drone from a perilous lunar basin, is now available at Patreon (here). For those who aren’t members, all chapters of the book will be published here after the manuscript is sufficiently polished.
Rhetorical architecture / architecture of rhetoric
Longform fiction literature is often analogized to cinema, but a more apt point of functional correspondence would be residential architecture. In a domicile, there are no cues, no score, the eye is the camera, and the time one spends within such spaces before egress is greater than feature length, even of sprawling works like Shichinin no Samurai (discounting pieces like Empire that aren’t stories).
One acclimates to the engrossing novella or novel as to a new abode. None acclimate in any comparable fashion to films (especially in theaters) due compression of the entered world to the box of the screen; i.e. the spatially flat and broadly non-participatory nature of the moving picture experience. The film acts upon the passive viewer, the reader acts upon the book, the resident acts upon the house. Therein lies the symmetry between architect and novelist, resident and reader.
So one may regard each chapter as a chamber within the structure (the narrative text), and each chapter end line as a point of transit from one room (scene) to the next, a doorway, a staircase, a lift, a ramp, et cetera. The question then to ask (and the utility of the analogization) is: Should the reader be eased to the next chamber, as by an escalator, or thrust to it, as one falling through a trapdoor?
TATTER (a novella): new edition now available
“This sightless pall, a paltry imitation of cosmic predilection. Shorn of the demense of Man. No eyes to spy the firmament. Nor hands to scrap it. No tongue to taste the ichor. Nor will to shape it.” (excerpt, TATTER)
For some time I have been working on a revised edition of my science fiction novella TATTER, originally published in 2020, and recently completed the final touches on the manuscript.
Changes from the original version primarily concern grammar, word choice and certain sections of dialogue I found wanting. It is my hope that readers will find it a marked improvement.
Tier 2 & 3 Patreon supporter can find a copy via the archive page, or you can pick it up as a EPUB/PDF here.
For general queries or requests for review copies can reach me via: email@example.com.
Fiction Circular 12/12/20
From Autumn Writing: A New Home by Autumn M. Birt. Two gods seek out a craftsman to make them a new world.
“Kummin nudged the hot core of the planet toward the surface of the north. Volcanoes erupted, and high mountains rose. But that only warmed the land a bit and not the air enough, not if he meant it to be breathable to something other than a god.”
From Bristol Noir: The Shooting House by C.W. Blackwell. An outlaw family stumbles upon a secret.
“I was eleven years old when Pops went away.”
From Kelsey Garber: The Living (part I), and, The Living (part II). A young woman and her brother attempt to escape from spirits after a mysterious cataclysm.
“The tiny fog of our making drifted from us and every instinct urged me to snatch the ice from the air before it gave us away.”
From Smorgasbord Blog Magazine: The Snow Globe by Diana Wallace Peach. An old woman’s snow globe provides a gateway to the past, both figuratively and literally.
“‘How long you been with the carnival?’
‘A hundred years,’ he replies softly…”
From Varied Fiction: Weasel of Ore by Conrad Cajgler. An outcast inventor contends with malevolent raiders in a mountainside mining town.
“His work could be started again, once he’d return to the ashes that remained of his home.”
Fiction Circular 12/5/20
A weekly dissemination of independent writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless.
From David T. Wilby: We Are Gargoyle. A tech-savvy vigilante pursues a corrupt politician caught in the machinations of a shadowy corporation.
“He’d tried to be a hero in his own right. First in the army, then the police. All he’d seen was darkness”
From Geoffrey David West: The Model. An aspiring painter struggles with his lack of talent after failing to capture the essence of a mysterious art model.
“Seems to me that for every creative endeavour, whether it’s writing songs, painting pictures, or penning novels, you can learn all the right techniques from the very best teachers, but without some kind of innate talent, you’ll always be useless.”
From Ry-Ter’s Block: Goddess of Spring by Ryan Ludington. A tragic fable.
“When the man was younger – more foolish and rebellious in his ways – he stole the
flower crown veil that belonged to the Goddess of Spring.”
From Tall and True: The Al-Rabie Hotel by Robert Fairhead. A husband on vacation gets more than be bargained for when he encounters a mysterious man with a peculiar proposition.
“He glances up, fixes me with his piercing eyes, smiles and winks. Suddenly I feel scared.”
From Tom Kane: Sentinels. A survivor of an alien invasion looks for other stragglers.
“Time, the scree and the coming night were his enemy, but his nemesis was the invader of his world…”
From TW Iain: If You Only Walk Long Enough. A man finds himself trapped in a strange series of passageways and desperately seeks an escape.
“But there must be a window somewhere. Or maybe a door, one that leads outside. I just haven’t…”
Fiction Circular 11/28/20
A weekly dissemination of independent writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless.
From Boondock Ramblings: The Farmer’s Daughter, Chapter 34 by Lisa R. Howler.
“Cecily looked Molly up and down again, slower this time, her cheeks sucked in slightly. ‘Oh. Well, okay. That’s different. You usually date tall, leggy blonds.'”
From Caliath: Muri Veteres by João-Maria.
“-icy this marriage, this enlightened fatherland of tombs-“
From Colin McQueen: Dramatis Personae by Colin McQueen.
“His face, which in his prime had looked lived-in, now looked as if someone had died there.”
From Friday Flash Fiction: Saturday Stories 11/28/20 (a collection of shorts) by F.F.F.
“Before going to bed each night, five-year-old Sarah Ball would listen to her father read the book she’d long ago memorized, hug him afterwards with all her might, and, as he kissed her forehead and left the room, crawl under her covers and wind back her magic clock twenty-four hours. Tomorrow would be the exact same thing, and she feared she would tire of the routine–but then she thought about what would happen the following day, how her father would be gunned down in the line of duty during a random traffic stop. No. She’d keep using the clock.”
From New Pop Lit: Just Another Silly Love Song by Nick Gallup (whose Mysterious Case of the Sticky Drawer was previously featured in our fiction round-up).
“The number of my single friends was dwindling. One by one, they were taking marriage vows. Once they were married, I became convinced they were plotting to persuade those of us who had not yet taken the leap to join them. I never knew if it was because they wanted us to share their joy or their misery.”
From Odd Fiction: Dragon Jail by Evan Witmer.
“The ceramics are flame retardant so none of the dragons can burn him by shooting their breath between the bars of their cell.”
From Snowy Fictions: Paused by Madeleine Rose Jones.
“Time is continuous, and a working clock never stops ticking. It never pauses, not for anyone. Except for me.”
From Terror House Magazine: As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us by Dawn DeBraal.
“Her training did not prepare her for a faceless, broken woman lying in a ditch.”
From Times & Tides of a Beachwriter: Flat Earth Society by Tidalscribe.
“How could there be life on a ball of earth… people? They would surely fall off.”
Fiction Circular 8/1/20
A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless.
From Caliath: Notes on the Creative Corpse by Joao-Maria (a poem concerning the creative process).
To dispetal the cosmos and the cosmos, place those steatic specs upon the unreeling…J.M., Notes on the Creative Corpse
From Cyberwave: Coloring For Karen (a scifi short story).
With a wave of his hand the boy produced magnificent shapes and formed islands out of the empty ocean while standing on the cliff. His eyes were closed but he knew he didn’t need them. He used his imagination without bounds, and without the influence of external stimuli.– Cyberwave, Coloring For Karen
From Jan Christensen: Sad Victory (a mystery short story).
“Of course I’m okay.” Her mouth twisted around the slang word disagreeably.– J. Christensen, Sad Victory
From Horror Tree: Pale Horse by Lynn Love (a tale concerning a man who may or may not be crazy hears a voice that may or may not be there).
‘That ain’t no wind,’ he says. ‘There’s a voice. Can’t you hear it?’– L. Love, Pale Horse
From The Chronicles of History: Beyond The Trees by Samantha James (a short story of the fantastique).
A young orphaned girl flees her home one afternoon and finds herself lost in a big scary forest. The child becomes injured but is assisted by an unlikely companion that claims to know the way to the girl’s home at the abbey. Not all is as it seems …– S. James, synopsis
PDF edition of ‘The Silence & The Howl’ now available on Gumroad
A 90 page PDF of the midwestern novella THE SILENCE & THE HOWL is now available from Gumroad with purchase of the previously released EPUB edition, at no additional charge.
PDF edition of ‘Tatter’ now available on Gumroad
A 106 page PDF edition of the scifi novella TATTER is now available on Gumroad with purchase of the previously released EPUB edition, at no additional charge.
Fiction Circular 7/25/20
A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web by Kaiter Enless
From Little Tales For Busy Folks: The Corridor by Vic Smith. A subterranean adventure takes a unnerving turn. Would be aided by more character development.
I was convinced there was something down here with me. I could hear breathing. I couldn’t tell how far away it was, or where the sound was coming from, but I was sure it was there– V. Smith, The Corridor
From New Pop Lit: Zeenith, a fiction and poetry collection featuring Brian Eckert, Mark Marchenko, Holly Day, Chrissi Sepe, Kathleen M. Crane, Robert Kaercher, Erin Knowles Chapman, and James Croal Jackson. The volume is available for purchase for $25 via Paypal, or credit-card.
Full color. State of the art. Hand crafted. Sleek and stylish.– Promotional tag-line for Zeenith
From Scraps & Scribblings: Goodnight, Sweet Prince by Richard Tearle. Macabre historical fiction. Seems a fragment of a larger work.
George has gone too far. You can see that, surely? He has taken the law into his own hands – my law, let it be noted.– R. Tearle, Goodnight, Sweet Prince
From Short Stories Online: Progressive Jackpot by Shane Lambert. A raffle takes place at a bowling league. Instead of telling by showing action the author simply lists off what occurs, week by week, which makes the story read, unfortunately, like a news article.
Almost all of the other Beer Leaguers had their own minor-league fantasies about what they would do if they won the money. One lady wanted to be a bar star for a weekend at a local country club. Another guy wanted to place a bet on the Edmonton Oilers winning the Stanley Cup. Another simply would have bought a new RCA television.– Shane Lambert, Progressive Jackpot
From T. W. Iain: Ghost. A chronicle of a daring thief’s plan. At first, I assumed it was going to be one of those insufferably drippy slice-of-life flash-shorts which forms the great bulk of what is redundantly referred to as ‘literary fiction;’ thankfully, my assumption was incorrect. The piece develops its two principal characters impressively well with so few words and builds to a surprising, bittersweet crescendo.
The casket was closed, of course. She’d refused any suggestion of surgery.– T. W. Iain, Ghost
From Vastness: Discount Baby by H. W. Taylor. A speculative sci-fi tale concerning a future wherein certain classes are prohibited from childbirth, a situation which prompts a enterprising and childless couple to attempt to trick the system. A superb work, which, in the most positive of ways, reminded me, faintly, of Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca.
Best of the week.
She was protecting him, by letting him give her hope.– H. W. Taylor, Discount Baby
Fiction Circular 7/18/20
A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web.
From Bill Chance: The Sorcerer’s Intern. A spoof of Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
“I left some fishing weights on the table, could you turn them into gold, please. I’m a little short with the grocery money this weekend.”B. Chance, The Sorcerer’s Intern
From Boondock Ramblings: The Farmer’s Daughter (Chapter 1; A Serialized Novel) by Lisa R. Howeler.
She’d been used to one annoying older brother her entire life, but five years ago Jason had invited his college roommate Alex to come work on the family farm and now it was like she had two annoying older brothersL. R. Howeler, The Farmer’s Daughter
From Close 2 The Bone: Billy’s Grave by Lisa Short. Two young women discover criminals desecrating their late brother’s tombstone and decide to defend their land.
They had kicked over Billy’s gravestone; Faith could tell when Kayla spotted it lying all askew by the stiffening of her shoulders. They might not have known they were even on a gravesite—she and Kayla had buried Billy themselves, and the only marker they’d been able to place had been a river-worn slab of rockL. Short, Billy’s Grave
From Literally Story: Crimson Coloured Raindrops by David Darvasi. A curious, charming tale of mysterious entities venturing below a dreamlike-city of steam and fume. Best of the week.
he started cutting the darkness – quite literally. Not for any romantic reason, other than he wouldn’t do anything metaphorically.D. Darvasi, Crimson Coloured Raindrops
From Literary Yard: The Last Time Rublev Saw The Sea by Tom Z. Spencer. Strongly influenced by recent events, Spencer’s story follows a young man navigating the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
We were told it can’t transmit human to human, and then that masks don’t work, and then to wear masks, and eventually to go home, and lock the door.T. Z. Spencer, The Last Time Rublev Saw The Sea
From Momus News: Critical Equipment by E.A. Wicklund (EagleAye). A short, humorous piece.
“At last! The very thing I need to combat this pandemic,” said Blumquist.E. Wicklund, Critical Equipment
From Neel Writes: Memories Unspooled by Neel A. Panicker. A charming flash fiction.
“You children are so unlucky for unlike us you hear your music strapped on headphones, and watch your favourite film and music stars gyrate on your palm tops”N. Panicker, Memories Unspooled
From Nicholas C. Rossis: Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. The advice is basic, but can prove useful to new fiction writers (for more experienced writer’s, I would recommend the T. Bailey Saunders’ translation of Arthur Schopenhauer’s The Art of Literature).
It doesn’t matter how well-constructed your world is if you’re incapable of dishing it out in smaller portions that are relevant to what’s happening in that particular sequence. If there’s a city that’s important to the story, give the reader the necessary info when the characters actually go there, instead of dumping 500 years of detailed history and politics from three different provinces in a prologue.N.C. Rossis, on info dumps in fiction
From Curiomancy: Samizdat by Rick Wayne. A excerpt from the author’s scifi novel Zero Signal.
the human cognitive capacity was more or less fixed, artificial minds could adjust their filters on the fly. A wider net meant slower thinking, and vice versa, but they could scale their attention to their needs.R. Wayne, Samizdat
Compiled by Kaiter Enless.
The Lexicon: A Cornucopia Of Wonderful Words (1996) by William F. Buckley Jr.; A Review
William F. Buckley’s The Lexicon (published by Harcourt Brace & Company and described as a “pocket word guide”) is a compact reference of uncommon words, which places emphasis not simply on the rarity of the words included, but also, as one might induce from the inclusion of cornucopia in the title, the applicable breadth and variety of those words. Omitted are such narrow oddities as arachibutyrophobia (ie. the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth); a word which Buckley thought belonged in the “zoo section” of dictionaries. The utility of such special case, single-use words as the aforementioned, to general discourse, (then, as now) are, obviously, minimal. Thus, their omission doubtless bowdlerized the volume considerably from what it would otherwise be, should its author have saw fit to include as many arcane and ancient lexical peculiarities as could be found, without regard to utility.
The consequence of this view on the book itself is that it is rather light on inkhornisms and consists primarily of words that tend to sit at the back of the average reader’s mind, like boxes of old clothing in an ill-ventured and moth-proofed attic; such as aberrant (ie. a person whose behavior departs substantially from the standards for behavior in his group) and bellwether (ie. the guide by which one measures other data), as well as a sprinkling of latin phrases such as ab initio (ie. from the beginning) and caeteris paribus (ie. if all other relevant things remain unaltered); and more atypical offerings, such as asservation (ie. an assertion made in very positive form; a solemn assertion), buncombe (ie. talk that is empty, insincere, or merely for effect; humbug), cacoethes (ie. an uncontrollable desire), and enjambement (ie. continuation in prosody of the sense in a phrase beyond the end of a verse or couplet; the running over of a sentence from one line into another so that closely related words fall in different lines).
Every word featured is accompanied, in addition to its definition, by a example of its use in a sentence; often, a wry, scathing observation of some political situation or personality of the time or utilization of Buckley’s fictive works (all citations from his published oeuvre). It is these amusing asides (in addition to a number of cartoons by Arnold Roth) which lend the book its singularity and readability—that quality so often and ironically lacking in written works concerning language.