Sunday, May 11, 2014

Far Worlds

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be included in a pretty awesome sci-fi anthology called Far Worlds. The book collected stories with a bunch of different tones, and when I read it cover-to-cover, I realized that mine was the only overtly comedic of the bunch.

My story “Golden Planet” is a sci-fi spoof of the Emmy-winning sitcom Golden Girls. It takes place on a retirement planet, stuffed with aliens, pet squids, and a little bit of unexpected death. My protagonist Roze falls in love with a handsome stranger, and things spiral out of control. I won’t give anything away, except that I’m very proud of the very last sentence. It’s a nice, dark way to end the story.

I wrote the first draft during a single weekend, when I was also working on a horror story about a possessed jump rope that murdered people. Needless to say, both stories had pretty goofy premises, but “Golden Planet” didn’t take things seriously while “Double Dutch” did. (I called the other story “Double Dutch” because it’s about twins, one of whom is murdered by the jump rope. It’s Shakespearean, really.)

My point is… it was fun to bounce back and forth between the different styles. I usually don’t write two stories at the same time, but in this case, it kind of worked. There weren’t any pet squids in my horror story, and there were no possessed toys in my sci-fi story, but the two of them really fed into each other as I wrote them.

Once I finished both stories, though, things diverged. “Golden Planet” was quickly accepted by Far Worlds, and the version in print is very similar to my first draft. “Double Dutch,” however, was almost completely changed in the rewrite process. It’s coming out around Halloween (the details will be announced later), but the title is different, the characters are different, and… well, the jump rope is now a rubber snake. That’s what happens during the re-write process. Jump ropes turn into snakes and stories either stay the same or they morph into something completely new.

But back to “Golden Planet”… If you wanna check out the exploits of Roze, Dorox, and the gang, pick up a copy of Far Worlds. Also, visit the Far Worlds Facebook page for updates and information.

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