Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Of course, the gays are all over him, trying to "hire" him for the night. *hehehe* We're such a predictable lot, aren't we? Though, to be fair, that picture does look like many of the Manhunt pics I've seen. And as everyone knows, rentboys just have to be "straight"! Jacks they're asking price up. Because what gay man would want to have sex with another gay man? That's just... faggy.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
| You scored as A college textbook. You're an authority on something, you just know it. Everyone else does, too, but that doesn't mean they like you. Since you think very highly of everything you say, you charge a pretty penny to entertain your listeners. Those forced to pay do so grudgingly and try to defray the costs of learning from you by selling portions of their access to your charms to others. As a result of this speedy dissemination of your knowledge, you constantly add to your repertoire--and then hike your price. Despite your usefullness, which is rarely in doubt, nobody likes you. They find you didactic, boring and irrelevant--but still necessary.|
Your Literary Personality
created with QuizFarm.com
(Via Books, Inq.)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
(Via Defamer; Bread and Circuses)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
On the one hand, what ABB says is absolutely correct: to indulge in hyperbole, tolerance is really, "Well, we don't like you at all, but we'll refrain from beating you with a bat. Cheers!" No one wants to be reviled, even if allowed to go about life not (generally) being beaten with sticks. It's just not quite enough. And why settle for tolerance when respect is your natural right?
On the other hand, I sometimes want to say to, for instance, gay rights activists (though it applies to most other activists, too), "Yo, my LGBTIQ brethren/sistren/non-genderedren/multi-genderedren, it doesn't happen overnight! Respect and acceptance take time and are hard to get! We're going against thousands of years of history and socialization." Sometimes, then, tolerance is the best you can hope for. But then that just sounds like, "Oh, thank you, society, for giving us a few crumbs and not the full meal that is my right! You're so kind! We'll know our place from now on."
So, like a lot of things in life, I'm of two minds. *sigh* Any thoughts?
Friday, October 20, 2006
Beware The Walrus! (BTW, Does Anyone Else Remember "Adventures in Wonderland" And Get That Reference?)
The walrus' eyes are what make the winning picture, I think; they're really freaky in a totally fascinating way.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Twenty-four years I've graced the world with my presence. To mark this joyous occasion, money, bookstore gift certificates, porn, a good job, and/or a hot stud are all welcome! (In lieu of that, you fuckin' cheapskates, I'll take simple birthday well-wishes. Grudgingly.)
Now, let the one-year-early quarter-life crisis, in which I agonize over my life choices, delcare myself a total failure, and wallow in existential angst, commence!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
But lately things have been bubbling in the back of my head and I decided to start taking another crack at creative writing. I still doubt I'll ever be published, that anything I write will be of any quality or have anything at all interesting to say to anyone, or that I have the stamina to sit down and write a novel, but I've started forcing myself to, each day, just write a little bit of one of the story ideas I've had stewing.
Below is part of the first story I've written in this manner. I'm rather proud of it simply because I actually did it (does that make any sense?), but I have no illusions about its quality (or lack thereof). The plot is threadbare, the situations and setting cliched, the dialogue stitled and unimaginative, and the character barely at the level of cardboard cut-outs. I haven't even gone back and redrafted it; what you see is pretty much exactly what I initially wrote, so I'm sure there's all kinds of typos, inconsistencies, and clunky phrasings.
I realize that none of you come here really wanting to read my tenth-rate sci-fi drivel. For some insane reason, though, I feel like sharing. If you like it, you can say it; if you don't like it, you can say it; if you don't care, don't read it, or just have nothing to say, you can choose to not say anything at all.
This post contains the first, and thus far longest, section of the story. The other parts will be coming in later posts.
The Yucatan Sector was a galactic backwater. A region of several thousand star systems, most of them lifeless and none possessing native sentient (let alone technologically-advanced) species, combined with its distance from the centers of the human Radiation and Benzott homeworlds, isolation from the main trade routes, and lack of any resource not more cheaply and readily available elsewhere, made it so.
Mainly-human settlers inhabited a mere two dozen or so of its worlds, though only three were of any size or wealth (and even that of a relatively paltry nature, by galactic standards). With its remoteness and resource-poverty, the Yucatan Sector was ignored by the major interstellar powers, allowing its handful of worlds to govern themselves in a loose coalition dominated by Tikal, the largest and most prosperous of the worlds. The disinterest shown to it by the great powers made Tikal in particular a haven for those seeking a “respite” from more civilized areas due to legal difficulties.
The Yucatan Sector’s one sliver of fame came from some versions of a legend that placed the treasure cache of the twenty-fourth century Celestial Abyssinian emperor Teodoro VIII on an unknown planet in the sector, which had briefly been claimed by that fallen empire.
Even this, however, was barely noticed by the galaxy at large. Scholarly consensus placed the cache in either the El Dorado or Hudson sectors down-spiral of the Yucatan, and the efforts to discover the cache were concentrated there.
But at least one treasure-seeker gave credence to the Yucatan location. At that moment, he was sitting at a whistrum table in a seedy bar in Tikal City.
“Ten tokes,” Dr. Jon Redrun said in his clipped Proximan accent. “Aces.”
“Twenty tokes, aces,” the player to his right, a four-armed Lessick immediately replied.
The next player clockwise was lost in thought for a moment. She then gave a snort of disgust, threw down her hand, and declared, “Concede.”
“Too rich for your blood, Nadjah?” the player to her left, a middle-aged human male with dark, gray-streaked hair and a heavy five o’clock shadow asked with a half-teasing, half-sneering smile. “Never were any good at whistrum. Five tokes, knaven.”
Nadjah gave a dirty look to the man and left for the bar. The middle-aged human just chuckled.
“Twenty-five tokes, heart kings,” said the final player of the table, Redrun’s traveling companion, a youngish-looking woman with a husky voice and a small cybernetic implant tracing a crescent around her left eye socket by the name of Ianthe. “Declaration, please.”
The Lessick groaned at Ianthe’s words, which signaled the final round of betting. The toke-tabulator in the middle of the table flashed green and showed on its screen that nearly three hundred tokes were currently in the kitty. After Redrun, the Lessick, and the streak-haired man made their final bets, the tabulator flashed red and announced the final kitty value of three hundred and fifty-five tokes. Ianthe then showed her hand: all diamond knaven. The other three players showed their hands and the tabulator assigned each their earnings. Redrun and the Lessick both only received ten tokes, the streak-haired man received fifty tokes, and Ianthe won the remaining two hundred and eighty-five.
“Not even worth the tokes I put in,” the Lessick said through the voice modulator that was necessary to convert his mostly subsonic growls to Koine. With a sigh (or what the modulator detected was the equivalent), the large alien rose from his chair and ambled towards the lavatory.
Redrun sniffed. “Never liked whistrum. Far too random for my tastes. Much prefer texasem. Takes a little more skill.”
The streak-haired man just chuckled. “Whistrum isn’t as random as it looks. Just takes instinct. I’ve always relied on my instincts. Though it seems the attractive woman to my left has better instincts than I this evening.”
Ianthe gave him a small smile, totally noncommittal as she waved over a squat, flat-topped, tree-trunk-like Ccashguu waiter. “Care for a drink, Redrun? Fellow player whose name I didn’t catch?”
“Kelvin,” offered the heretofore unnamed streak-haired man. “And, yes, I’d love one, if you’re the one paying.” He ordered a whisky from the waiter.
“Marv, Ianthe!” Redrun exclaimed. “I’ll have a Spiral Arm with extra flayer’s milk.”
After taking down Ianthe’s own order, the Ccashguu returned to the bar area to retrieve their drinks and Redrun began making conversation.
“So, Mr. Kelvin…” he began.
“Just Kelvin,” Kelvin corrected.
Redrun restarted. “So, Kelvin, do you happen to know of any salvage or retrieval specialists? Ianthe and I were told that there might be a few hanging about this part of Tikal City.”
Kelvin leaned forward in his chair a bit. “As a matter of fact, I do know a good salvager.”
“Marv!” Redrun exclaimed. Ianthe, used to his boyish enthusiasm, smiled. “Could you give us a name?”
“I just did,” Kelvin declared with a self-satisfied smile. “I’m a salvager.”
“What luck! Do you have a ship?”
“Yep, a nice old Kremlin cargo ship with custom salvaging add-ons,” Kelvin said, pride in his ship evident in the tone of his voice. “The Novastorm looks like an old metal box, but she’s got lots of speed, cargo room, and personality.”
Ianthe, jumping in before another effusion from Redrun, said, “Well, Kelvin, it sounds as though you might be just what we’re looking for, though, of course, we’d like to inspect your ship before actually hiring you. I assume you have a crew?”
“Yes. You met Nadjha before; she’s my assemble/disassemble specialist. Got five others, all old hands. Not going to find a better salvage crew in the Yucatan, that’s for sure.”
“Not much to salvage in the Yucatan,” Ianthe quietly proclaimed. “Any reason a ship like yours would come all the way out here?”
Kelvin just grinned. “Spot of bother with the Pax over on the other end of the Radiation. We were helping ourselves to some scrap from their ‘pacification’ of Eudora. It was outside Eudora’s Oort Cloud, so according to interstellar law it was open season, but you know those plasma-damned Scars; the only law they go by is their own. Still, they’re a pain in the black hole when they get all riled up, so we just blasted for the other end of space. They’ll forget all about us soon. They just started fighting with the Benzott again, I hear.”
The waiter returned just then, its pseudopods grabbing their drinks from the top of its head and placing them on the table. Ianthe proffered her toke slip to pay; no tabs in Tikal.
“Here’s to a new venture!” Redrun toasted.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Ianthe cautioned. “Kelvin here doesn’t even know what the job is yet, we haven’t definitely offered it to him, and he certainly hasn’t accepted.”
“So what is the job?” Kelvin asked. “As you said, there’s not too much salvage out here. Yucatan hasn’t seen a space battle in centuries, if ever, and these black hole planets don’t produce enough junk to fill a landfill. Me and my crew aren’t pirates, either, so if hijacking’s what you’re after the answer’s automatically no.”
“Nothing like that, I assure you!” Redrun said, straightening up and sounding offended at the very notion that he would even think that of them. “I am a Doctor of Human History and a Nobile of Proxima! Ianthe is a fully-bonded and accredited technologist. We are not pirates!”
Kelvin spread his hands out in a gesture of placation. “Didn’t think you were. Just want to be clear about things, ya dig?”
“Of course,” Ianthe soothed as she took the receipt from the waiter. “It’s good to know where we stand from the beginning.”
Redrun, mollified now, gave a curt nod of agreement. He was a bit prickly when it came to intimations of his honor, but he also didn’t hold a grudge.
“So what is the job?”
Ianthe and Redrun exchanged a look and moved in closer to Kelvin. Ianthe, in a low voice, began. “Have you ever heard of Teodoro’s Cache, Kelvin?”
“Course. Mad human ruler, stacks of platinum and gems, secret vault hidden in the depths of space, it’s all familiar. Salvaged some ships from the Kaat asteroid belt over in El Dorado once when a group of treasure hunters who were looking at some of the bigger planetoids got pounded. Never gave it much thought, though. Maybe it exists or maybe it doesn’t; probably got plundered long ago and the lucky bastid’s just kept quiet.”
Redrun grinned excitedly. “I doubt that, Kelvin, because,” he paused and looked around before almost-whispering, “I’ve figured out where the Cache is and no one’s even looked there before.”
The salvager didn’t respond.
“Yucatan is one of the sectors the legends put the Cache in,” Ianthe continued, “but almost no one has ever looked here because El Dorado and Hudson were part of Celestial Abyssinia for much longer and much more completely than Yucatan and because Teodoro VIII’s pleasure domes were on Kaliban in Hudson, anyway.”
“I came into the possession of an old crystal disk about a cycle ago,” Redrun said. “I’d been researching the honor codes of the twenty-third century human empires and, since the disk was marked as containing a copy of How To Get Ahead At Court Through Dueling by a Celestial Abyssinian official, I thought it would be an invaluable source for my article.
“When I tired to open and read it, though, all I got was what looked like encrypted information. I tried to sort it all out using some decrypters I found on the GalNet, but it was much too advanced for them.”
“That’s where I came in,” Ianthe said, picking up the story. “Dr. Redrun asked one of his colleagues at the Proximan Technological Innovation Center for some help decrypting it. He couldn’t help, but he did give my name. I’ve done some work in information retrieval from old computers, so I know a lot about breaking old codes. When he came to me on Pasiphae and showed me the disk, I was intrigued; the code used was top-level military grade, so whatever was on it had been very, very important to someone. It took me a while, but I finally decrypted it.”
Redrun, excited now, broke in. “It was a map! Teodoro VIII had every mention of his cache wiped, killed his whole corps of scouts, one of whom must have found the planet for him, and even had the ship that had carried the treasure flown into a red giant. But one of his ministers managed to hide away a copy of the initial scouting reports on the planet chosen to be the site of the Cache! He probably thought he’d wait until Teodoro died and then go an get it for himself, but of course everything went to hell soon afterwards for Celestial Abyssinia, so he probably didn’t get the chance. It’s sat there untouched for two hundred years!”
“What’s in it for me an my crew?” Kelvin asked after a moment of thought.
“Fifty percent, divided however you choose between you,” Ianthe responded. “You’re the experts on retrieving, storing, and shipping materials, so it’s only fair. And if it turns out that our information is wrong or the treasure was already plundered, we’ll still pay you twenty thousand tokes for you time and trouble.”
Kelvin was silent for another minute. Gone was the slightly universe-mocking, devil-may-care attitude of before. Kelvin was a businessbeing and was weighing the offer with a businessbeing’s mind.
Finally, he said, “I’ll have to consult with my crew and you’ll probably want to look at the ship, but I think we have a deal.”
Ianthe smiled widely and Redrun positively beamed. “To our venture!” the professor proclaimed, holding up his drink.Ianthe and Kelvin held up their glasses as well and toasted the start of a hopefully-profitable adventure.