A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Scrivening Life

Well, I've started in on a novelette intended for a collection of related stories, tentatively entitled Captive Dreams.  It is to include "Remember'd Kisses," "Melodies of the Heart," and "Captive Dreams." The first two had been previously collected (in The Nanotech Chronicles and in The Forest of Time, resp.) but the third has never been collected.  The conceit is that the main characters all live in the same neighborhood and make brief appearances in one another's stories. 

A fourth story, "Buried Hopes," is in preparation in order to fill out the book, and I may need to write a second original story as well.  For some reason, however, the other story I have in mind -- "Hopeful Monsters" -- I would rather try at ANALOG. 

In any case, here are the opening paragraphs:

Buried Hopes
by Michael F. Flynn
(c) 2011

Ethan and Kyle met in college and became from the start fast friends.  In part, this was literal, for they were both trackmen of no mean speed, each having set a State record back in their respective high schools – Kyle in the 100 meter dash and Ethan in the 5000 meter run.  Kyle used to joke that he could win fifty races to every one of Ethan’s, and Ethan would counter that Kyle was always rushing into things. 

They both liked to hoist a cold one at the Avalanche after school.  They both enjoyed the threedies, crude as they were in those days.  They had the same taste in women, which led to their one serious quarrel in college. 

They differed on any number of topics – in three of four sports, they rooted for different teams – but they did not insist on mutual agreement on all matters.  If a friendship cannot withstand a difference of opinion, it is not a friendship at all.  Kyle majored in computer science, which is the 100 meter dash of contemporary technology, while Ethan majored in philosophy, surely a marathon among human endeavors.  Kyle used to twig Ethan about entering a field of no practical use, but Ethan told him that while good computer science might stop our machines from making mistakes, good philosophy might stop people from making them, and he thought that might matter. 

Then came graduation, and they went their separate ways – Ethan to graduate school and Kyle to his parents’ garage, where he set up a software company.  They promised to stay in touch, and mostly did. 

Later, one of them decided to live forever. 

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