Once again it’s that very special time of year when I remind you that it’s hella easy to make your own booze, appropriate for gift-giving or general drunkification. (That link goes to my time-tested E-Z DIY Limoncello recipe; make it now, give it during Xmas/Xanukah week, get super-popular in the Dark Days of the Unconquered Son/Sun)
My alt-reality horses-and-highways serial sci-fi story is rounding the home stretch over at Motor1.com! You can now read the entire story in one go; enjoy this FREE READ for your Friday!
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses!'”—attributed to Henry Ford
Fist fights, affable drunks, and belligerent horses! Check it out: “The Faster Horse” (part four of four)
Here’s a tiny excerpt of the big excerpt:
Chico and the portal guy were waiting for me outside FDA Annex D. Chico was smoking a cigarette. If this was a screenplay, his entire character description would read “sinister Mexican.” The portal guy was just standing there, hands in pockets, staring up at the stars and whistling that “Yakkety Sax” song from Benny Hill. He abruptly cut off as I climbed out of my car.
“This is your New Guy?” he asked Chico. The portal guy was one of those cheap-blue-oxford-&-khaki-pants cubicle drones, but younger and skinnier than the stock character. He looked pretty damn rumpled—not just “it’s three a.m.” tired, although it was three a.m. It was more the “I’m tired of my whole stupid life” kind of tired. Chico blew twin streams of smoke out his nose, flicking away his cigarette butt without acknowledging the portal guy’s question.
“New guy?” I mugged like a vaudevillian, joining them at the glass door, “What happened to the old guy?”
“Gal,” the portal guy answered as he waved us in through the glass doors of FDA Annex D. “She got burned as a witch.” . . .
If you dig actors, gastropubs, meth dealers, heists, Early American Material Culture, academia, mobsters, or Mexican food then this is the novella for you!!! Read more: “Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” by David Erik Nelson
— David Helder (@dhelder) December 7, 2016
For those with a taste for “inside baseball”: The original working title of this novella was “Colonial Meth.” That is an awful title—but still an improvement over “Time-Portal Crystal Meth Missionaries,” which is what I scrawled at the top of the first index card. If you squint, you can see that the first legal-pad draft is already titled “Where There is Nothing, There is God”—a title I cribbed from William Butler Yeats by way of my old pal Fritz Swanson.
I’m not sure when I started the index cards for this story (these tend to get carried around in my pocket and taped to the bathroom mirror for a few months while I mull a story over) or the long-hand legal-pad draft, but I’ve got typed draft pages with creation dates as old as November 2013. My submissions log indicates I first sent this out in November 2014—so I guess it took a year to write/revise—and then basically another year-and-a-half to sell (the story was actually accepted in March of 2016), and several more months to revise to everyone’s satisfaction, proof, etc.
Installment number two of my latest alt-reality serial story for Motor1.com is now up and ready! Learn what crazy contraption could possibly replace the huge, angry highway horses we all know and love—and how they hell you’d make the damn thing move!
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses!'”
—attributed to Henry Ford
“The Faster Horse” (part two of four)
For your seasonally appropriate reading:
- “The Slender Men” by David Erik Nelson (web exclusive!)
- “Brights” (or “In the Midst of Darkness, Light Persists”)—a brief tale of uncertain moral
- “Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Questions #3 thru #5” (I’m preeeeety sure this was my first paid fiction sale)
- “Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Question #7” (also available as audio; “Exit Exam Q #7” starts around the 20-minute mark)
- “Four Household Tales (As told by Poor Mojo’s Giant Squid)”
I love watching Rob Scallon rock out on a shovel guitar. FYI, this is a totally doable afternoon DIY project for any of you (yes, even you!) or the bored teen in your life. You can build something just like this (or a hockey-stick bass, an electric broomstick banjo, an axe ax—you get the gag) using the methods laid out in the “$10 Electric Guitar” project in my first book (click here now to get a FREE copy of that project—and, if you’re near Metro Detroit in July, you can come to Motor City Steam Con where I’ll be running a workshop on electric-guitarifying stuff).
Wnat more DIY musical shenanigans? I’ve got a whole new book of crazy music projects.
Continuing to experiment with both interactive fiction and consistent self-promotion—and you are the benificieries there-of! Please enjoy this lil interactive story:
If you dig it, please do pass the link around. And, as ever, I’m eager for feedback as I feel my way forward in this format. Sock it to me!
Hey nifty! MAKE is featuring a project from my latest book. Click thru and Turn an Old Walkman into a Musical Scratchbox. Get wiggy and whack right now! Full build instructions at the link. Wanna hear it before you build it? Check out KipKay’s video demo:
And you still have time to sign up for a free PDF Jam Pack including full build instructions for two projects and a steep discount on either of my DIY books. Check it out!