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A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 27

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero is Reminded that there is More than One Distraction

The Avadis system wasn’t, at first glance, a particularly interesting place. Its planets had little to mine that couldn’t be found elsewhere—making it an unattractive claim for Trade Barons—and the system sat far enough inside fringe world space that it held little strategic value for the Alliance of Free Worlds or the Radiant Throne. It did, however, have a gas giant that no interstellar power had claimed as its own, and a consortium of concerned interests that were determined to make sure it stayed that way.

Free fuel attracted a lot of interest.

The economy that sprang up around the free fuel depot mostly followed the pitch “as long as you’re here, you might as well buy something.” There was a brisk, thriving trade that focused on the kinds of things people who didn’t like paying for things would buy. Illegal things, in other words: the Avadis black market was so openly displayed it was nearly silver.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 26

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Outside Forces Invite Themselves In

Velis Enge leaned back in her office chair, blearily rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she forced herself to finish reading the mission debrief. She thought back wistfully to her days as a field agent, complaining about having to write them. She smiled briefly—relishing the irony—then forced herself to pay attention to her work. When she finished, she placed the data tablet down on her desk with a sigh and reached for the lukewarm cup of coffee on her desk.

The Death and Rebirth of The Points Between

Submitted by C B Wright on

Once upon a time I was happily writing a serial called The Points Between. It was a story I was incredibly passionate about telling -- a story that was viscerally important to me, even though it was way out of my comfort zone and far, far above my level of expertise -- and I'd actually finished an entire arc, and had started on the second arc, when a bunch of inconvenient things happened. The result of these inconvenient things was that the story has remained dormant for years: not dead, because it's never a story I've given up on, but dormant. I needed to make some decisions, and I didn't know what decisions I wanted to make.

I've made those decisions, and am in the process of moving forward. This is the story of that interminable process, and what came out of it.

The Points Between is, in my head, a story with three arcs. The first arc, where Matthew discovered he was a magician, was finished. The second arc, where he had to discover what that meant, was getting started. The third arc, where he had to choose how to use what he knew, was being set up. I was generally pleased with most of what I'd written, but there were a few things I'd done that had bothered me:

WHEREIN I Discuss Free Speech and Unify the Nation by Making Everyone Disagree With Me

Submitted by C B Wright on

Free speech is one of those things that everyone loves when they want to use it, and hates when the other guy tries to use it too. This is, of course, an oversimplification, but when you stand back and look at all the churn surrounding the argument over whether or not Neo-Nazis and Klansmen should be allowed to march around, armed to the teeth, shouting “blood and soil” while protesting people who don’t like Civil War monuments, it does seem that when you simplify the arguments, you get “yes, I should be allowed to proudly proclaim that it’s good to be a racist prick and threaten to kill people” vs “no, you shouldn’t be allowed to proudly proclaim that it’s good to be a racist prick and threaten to kill people.”

Normally, I would find this argument pretty simple, though unpleasant, to respond to. My standard response would be “it’s not okay to be a racist prick. Racist pricks should be opposed. However, it should be done in a way that doesn’t break one of the few American principles that actually works rather well, in fact works better than people in power generally like, in fact so well that people in power are constantly looking for ways to make it go away without actually admitting they’re doing that.”

In other words, opposing a racist prick must be done in a way that doesn’t take away the racist prick’s right to proclaim his racist prickness to the world.

The Grudge I Cherish Most: Analog Magazine and the Birth of a Supervillain

Submitted by C B Wright on

A few days ago I saw a game on Twitter where people posted the “grudge they cherish the most.” It was fun reading—people sharing their stories of That One Guy who said something immensely insulting that stuck with them for years and years. I had a story I almost shared, but I didn’t. Why? Because it’s complicated. In many ways, it’s my origin story:

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