Posts Tagged ‘Chunks Of Story’

My recent collab is available … and reviewed!

Shock Totem - Issue 2 I collaborated on the short story, “Messages from Valerie Polichar” (my first collaboration, ever.) It just came out in Shock Totem Magazine. (This is also the first time my name’s been put on the cover!)

There’s some great stories in the issue. You can pick one up on Amazon.

It’s already been reviewed on a blog. Robert J. Duperre had this to say about our story:

Messages from Valerie Polichar by Grá Linnaea and Sarah Dunn – This, for a while, was my least favorite story. The inclusion of technology and technological terms in a work of fiction has a tendency to turn me off because it can date the tale horribly. However, this one, by the end, I grew to appreciate, and it became my second-favorite. It’s the story of a woman who obsesses with the dead and Facebook. Sound like an odd plot? It is. And it works.

Heh. I’m starting to get used to that. Reviewers seem to hate my stuff at first and then … i dunno, it infects their brain or something.

Thanks for the review, Robert!

My first (unofficial) review.

John E. Rogers, Jr. writes on the Asimov’s Forum:

“LIFE IN STEAM by Gra Linnaea
(Illustrated by Ryan Behrens)

The first truly superb story in the anthology. Answers the age-old question of what would have happened if James Blish had tried his hand at Steam Punk. This would. I hereby dub this sub-sub genre Steam Monk. Religious intolerance, agents of the Inquisition, artificial “Babbage” brains made of wood and brass, chasms full of clanking and hissing machinery, an impossibly alternate world where travel upward into the “heavens” involves spider ships that crawl along the fixed, solid firmament of the sky, crises of intellectual and spiritual “conscience,” and some good, old fashioned action. What’s not to love?”

I feel a little squee. 🙂


John goes on to say later:

“Linnaea’s bizarre, rule-breaking steam monk story “Life in Steam” exhibits a form of literary bravado (and bravura) we need to see more of.”

More squee!

art day 50 – [story fragment] Red Hot Rush

Whoa, i’ve been doing this for 50 days? Sheesh!

I didn’t have anything immediately ready this morning, so i did some five-minute writing exercises and this little chunk annoyed me the least.

I haven’t figured out why its working title is, “Red Hot Rush” yet. Maybe it has something to do with pizza. (As always, the views of my annoying cynical characters do not necessarily reflect the views of the author. K? K!)

I think this was about to get seriously surreal when the timer went off.


Increasing night-blindness was starting to put a real crimp in Hal’s driving. Doing pizza delivery at fifty-five was humiliating, but so would being a bum. No driving, no job. No job, no crappy apartment with cockroaches. No apartment, bum.

He already felt like a bum. He dressed like one. If he wasn’t driving a car, he might be indistinguishable from a bum. Some bums had car’s, they lived in them. That was probably a lot cheaper.
And yeah, it wasn’t PC to call them bums. Bums and bag lady’s?

Was there a male counterpart to a bag lady? Were all bums male? He’d have to investigate. He got off the pizza job at two AM and could probably sneak into the library to check Wikipedia.

He had a volunteer pass at the library, and with it he could sneak in at night. There was the constant fear of being caught, but he couldn’t let the damn pass go to waste, could he? Not when the vast Internet lay waiting for him out there.

He was lost. Or rather, he thought he was lost. It was hard to tell when he couldn’t read any of the signs.

In a minute, he’d need to pull over and examine a street sign up close.

Through the fogged window, street signs looked like dessicated trees, buildings looked like the looming walls of a sea canal.


art day 25 – [story fragment] Rubber Duckies

This little chunk of cynical just sorta popped out. Hmmm… i haven’t figured out if there’s anybody to like in this, or … um, what anybody’s doing. Ah well, into the “Story Starts” folder with you.


I got the nickname Nix when I was fourteen. I thought it was cool, like the guys had stopped thinking of me as the token girl, like I had finally bought some status in the gang. It was three, maybe three and a half months later when I learned what it meant. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
After that, I think I kept the name because I wanted everyone to think it rolled off of me. Like my nerve endings had gone numb.
Not that I had much choice anyway. Once you were branded in the gang, that was it for life. The same time I figured out what Nix meant was when I started to feel more confused about what friends meant.
Don’t get the wrong idea from the word “gang.” I’m talking about a bunch of nerdy suburban white kids. Ducky, Erik and Eric. Rick, Pat and me. I found out later Ducky spread rumors they were all screwing me. Buying status with kids cooler than us.
The gang weren’t very kind to each other either. Ducky made names for everyone. Eric was Virgin. Pat was Stick. They called Rick Spoon Boy, from some drunken story Ducky made up about a boy who lives on a toilet, eating shit.
Ducky named us all. We each had a superhero name. We each had a Godzilla Monster name, and a wrestling name.
I was Nix, Capt. Pox, Rodan, and The Masked Vagina.
I never figured why we looked up to Ducky. He was our fashion. He made our fads and broke them.
And he always got his way, could lay any chick he wanted. Except for me. And to be honest, sometimes I thought about it.


art day 17 – [story fragment] Dervish

This might be the start of something if i can get some real characters into it … and a plot … maybe some character desires.


Trevor ran his articulated plastic fingers through the thick grey wires that were supposed to look like his hair. He kept the wires pulled back in a stiff ponytail that hung against his undyed cotton jacket. His face was a solid piece of plastic resin, so he couldn’t visually express emotion.
He enunciated every word carefully. “I am tired of staying inside.”
For all Dr. Mortison’s expression, she may as well have had a plastic face herself. If she had a first name, she had never said it. “Trevor, we still don’t know the effects the outside will have on you.”

He tapped his fingers against his hard cheeks. She would press the point for at least another few minutes. He slowed his outside perceptions until Dr. Mortison raced, making her words an incomprehensible stream. When she seemed to be winding down, Trevor sped his perceptions back to one-one time. His heat fins were pressing against his shirt and he shrugged to dissipate it before he started smoking. Besides, he liked this coat.
“…Not to worry Trevor, people will be excited to meet you. You’ll be exploring the world in no time.” Dr. Mortison smiled.

Dragging his feet down the hall to his room, he mentally spun the VR randomizer. In his mind, he hung from the very tips of his fingers. There was something about the situation that made things all right, if only for a bit. His internal tension drained until calm hung abnormally from his bones like he was resting in the park.
In VR, he looked down, past his dangling legs, to the abyss far far beneath his black boots.
The strength in his fingers gave, in a way they never would in real life, and his body quickly reached terminal velocity.
He savored his body dashing on the marble floor below and pulled his mind from virtual.