Planet in Theory: Pluto Takes the Stage (part two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 10 minutes)

Request in the Public Interest

For all the talk of Pluto of having opinions, of it styling its population’s civilization, against their will, after the early half of the 20th century, probably because that was when its own planethood was most aggressively speculated and it was nostalgic, the truth is that it was much more of a natural reaction.

If opinion came into it all, it was likely influence from human possibilities. Everyone past the dawn of plastic pines for the good old days of wood, paper, metal, and glass. While they want the smell and look of those things, in the end they’ll happily give it all up for the conveniences of the 21st, computing prime among them. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Pluto Takes the Stage (Part One)

Past the facts lies a realm where your guess has to be good enough: probable space!  Its places and peoples have their own odds, from 2to1 on down, getting less substantial all the way.  All the planets there are the ones merely theorized here, from tiny Vulcan, to Counter-Earth, to Phaeton, and now beyond to… Pluto?

The poor orbiting body’s downgrade from planet to dwarf shoved it into the realm of theory, so it popped up in probable space, complete with an adult population shocked to find themselves alive!  One such Plutonian is Minty Julip, who is nearly sure she is a librarian, and hopes to stay that way, but many are vying for power in their fresh world, and they think she belongs in the battle.

That battle will suck her into a chaotic maelstrom of criminal organizations, weaponized cardistry, literal storms of cats and dogs, and an unlikely companion calling themselves Long Odd Silver.  There may be no escape for her, but in probable space one can never be so sure.

(reading time: 1 hour, 9 minutes) (reading time for entire novel: 7 hours, 3 minutes)

Planet in Theory

Pluto takes the Stage

by

Blaine Arcade

In Media Res

Cherry-picking is both hope and folly. The brightest and sweetest on the tree exist, sure, spectrums need starting gates and finish lines as much as anything else, but to pretend it represents the whole is to wind up with a pie that looks great but sourly disappoints.

And I know salt and cherries don’t really go together, but you should still take what I’m about to say with a grain of it. I admit that I’ve cherry-picked these, out of 7 seas of reactions, just to give you an idea of how intensely this development struck some people. Continue reading

Jesus has the Wheels

(reading time: 25 minutes)

Jesus has the Wheels

by

Blaine Arcade

It was rare to see such a nice car in Watershed, and even rarer to see one driving with purpose, never stopping once for the driver to swear at their GPS until it got them out of that mosquito-infested and mosquito-invested bog that called itself a town.

Tom knew cars, on account of a few years working as a mechanic, and he couldn’t recall if he’d ever even worked on such a fine piece of machinery. He expected it to drive on by, as nobody sitting in that sort of thing could have any business with him, but it stopped, for the first time in days, at the foot of his gravel driveway. Continue reading

Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

(reading time: 30 minutes)

Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
(click here for audiobook)

Rethought
Resized
Rewritten
Rerhymed
Retold

by

Blaine Arcade
who has shamelessly molded it from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 


Argument

In which a harmonious utopia is upset by the harmony's approaching finale, and how one subject journeys with subjects of his own in search of the responsible musicians, only to find themselves beset by monsters, divine jailers, and the collapsing forces of nature.




Part Triangle

First it was saved, then it arrived
for them the date of dates
on the invitation described
1798

Continue reading

Little Nightmares 2 Lore Exploration

(Spoiler warning: full spoilers for Little Nightmares 1 and 2)

Little_Nightmares_Cover_Art

If you’re unfamiliar, Little Nightmares 2 is a horror puzzle-platformer video game developed by Tarsier Studios.  It is a prequel to the first game, and features the first game’s protagonist as a computer-controlled companion.  Players are tasked with navigating a hostile 2.5D world as grimy feral children populated by distorted monstrous adults that attack on sight and, more often than not, kill instantly.

In this post I’ll look to form a cohesive narrative theory of the second game, using only my personal play time and a little light Googling as resources.  This is inherently difficult, given that the world of Little Nightmares, somewhat implied by the title, operates based on dream logic.  Its surreal society draws a distinct line between children and adults, as if the two belong to different species. Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Finale)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 56 minutes)

Burn the Handful

The parliament building, which housed the Shoulders of Government, was made out of an old trunk and kept in the highest residential area of the barn: the hayloft. It was fed with several elevators of varying construction as well as by trained birds and their riders. Many of the birds were reassigned as security that day, and so the lip of the loft was covered with the saddled feathery creatures, their beaks making the line look like a living fence of spikes. Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Part Three)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 53 minutes)

Knead the Handful

Forty Myrmidons marched across the walls of Minimil after a hard day’s work. Marching sideways was possible for them, as long as they stayed on all fours, thanks to the clasping hooks on the wrists and ankles of their exoskeletons. Their progress would’ve been extremely slow if not for the divot network.

It was invisible from a distance, which in Minimil was anything greater than two meters. Up close it could be seen as nothing more than even rows of gouge marks in the old wood of the barn walls. Their purpose was to provide footholds to any and all arthropod citizens capable of wall-crawling, the most numerous of which were the Myrmidons. Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Part Two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 37 minutes)

Spread the Handful

The innkeeper thought she rose plenty early to start preparing breakfast for her handful of guests, but when she stepped down from her quarters into the tavern she found it transformed by makeshift houseplants, created by an even earlier bird.

Delicious was roaming about, watering them with single droplets, using a can lifted from the dead garden’s piled tools. She hummed a tune all the while, but by the time she made a complete lap the gnome couldn’t help but sing a verse.

-I long to see the girl I left behind meee!” When she stopped to breathe she noticed Miss Marood. “Oh, I’m sorry! Did I wake you?” Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Part One)

The small have their own country, and it fits in a barn!  The place is called Minimil, and it is home to Lilliputians, Shakespearian fairies, and the angels and devils of the shoulder that help you make all your decisions.  Minimil doesn’t yet know it, but it is under attack from an elite team of scoundrels in its gutters, threatened into service by an unknown entity.  They will sabotage the tiny government, to keep their heads and achieve their wildest dreams.
This is the second in a trilogy, though each novella tells its own whole story.  To get caught up please check out the original: The Challenging Handful.

(reading time: 36 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 3 hours, 2 minutes)

The Left Challenging Handful

by

Blaine Arcade

Pinch the Handful

Typically a man of his stature would have no trouble moving through tight spaces. At only fifteen centimeters tall there were several carved conch shells among the furniture in his palace that were positively roomy, but this welcome, if that’s what it was, was far from that.

He was squeezed front and back by musty wood, the only way to orient himself being the various splinters poking the capitals on the map of his body. The predicament was made all the tighter by the finery he rarely took off: a crown of fused amber glass, shoulder pads of the same, a layered cape of blue and white like ocean waves lapping at the sand, and the decorated saber sheath on his hip. Continue reading