Planet in Theory: Riverboat Without a Captain (Finale)

(back to part one)

(estimated reading time: 1 hour, 17 minutes)

November 7th

2008

Our Nemesis

The artist’s retreat was over, and most of the last weren’t worth saying goodbye to. Long Odd Silver only sought out one of them, not meaning any offense to the rest of her band of course; it was just that none of them other than their lead singer had spoken a word the entire time. Perhaps she was the only one who could.

How the artists left was never actually witnessed, with the passengers assuming they vanished when there was nobody to observe them, as often happened with things in probable space that were either unsure of themselves or too sure of one aspect of themselves. Roxy Clink was likely the latter. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Riverboat Without a Captain (part four)

(back to part one)

(estimated reading time: 51 minutes)

October 13th

2008

Plunge

The window’s getting tight now. Not much year left in our year long voyage. It’s clear what Dry and Roman want: the 1to1. They’re still looking forward to the regularly scheduled programming. But what about Sonny? He’s still here even though his vengeance is complete and there’s nobody to wed.

He has plenty of artists to choose from still, but says they’re not his type. That means they’re not our type, that they won’t fill the captain’s shoes unless they trip into them. That’s not their purpose here, so it still belongs to a passenger. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Riverboat Without a Captain (part three)

(back to part one)

(estimated reading time: 1 hour, 34 minutes)

September 22nd

2007

Tell the Ice Floes to Hold that Pose

The chill in the air had less to do with the time of year and more to do with the waters they had entered: Rivulet M14. At times across the year they had seen other ships passing, many of whom signaled them with flashing lights and flares, their crews and passengers practically hanging over the side as they waved. There were likely radio broadcasts as well, but the Viper True made sure no machine aboard received them.

Sometimes someone on another vessel saw it as their only chance to interact with the legendary ship, jumping overboard and attempting to swim the distance. They never made it, and thought the Viper True’s pace was too swift to tell, Silver doubted they all made it back to their original vessels either. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Riverboat Without a Captain (part two)

(back to part one)

(estimated reading time: 1 hour, 30 minutes)

November 7th

2007

Big Shoes to Fill

And just what do you think you’re doing here!?” a woman in a scarlet coat asked. Her thin gloves were just as red, and so were her painted lips. Her heavy coat had a hood lined with what looked the fur of a snow leopard, each spot the number 2. If it actually came from an animal that meant its odds at the time of death had been 2to1, and people like her wouldn’t dare wear anything more likely than themselves, so she must have been that close to reality as well.

She had dark darting eyes like panicking tadpoles and a stance that suggested she would try to repel a mudslide with pure indignation rather than flee from it. Her glossy brown hair was done up in a frazzle like an electrical cable chewed on by a raccoon. Roman recognized her voice, and by the slight chill in her pallor he guessed she had been on that iceberg no more than 3 hours ago. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Riverboat Without a Captain (part one)

In 2006 poor Pluto suffered a demotion, from planet to dwarf planet, unwittingly causing a version of it to appear in probable space: the realm of planets that were only ever theorized and people who have to track their own likelihood as much as their food and water intake.  Pluto arrived with a full population of adults, suddenly responsible for their own lives, and thus began the Planet in Theory series.

In Pluto Takes the Stage we covered its crashing the party, and from there journeyed to the theorized counter-Earth Antichthon and dealt with its many ghosts in Funeral March to Gothic Rock.  Now we follow the wild 8to1 scoundrel Long Odd Silver and the former prince of Pluto as they crash-land on Vulcan, likeliest of theorized worlds, and right to the deck of an autonomous ship crewed by a handful of the shiftiest figures who all share the same goal.  They say the ship is headed to the 1to1, back to the reality Pluto dropped out of…

(estimated reading time for part one: 1 hour)

(estimated reading time for entire novel: 6 hours, 12 minutes)

Planet in Theory

Riverboat without a Captain

by

Blaine Arcade

November 7th

2007

Not Much Spit Left

Over 3,000,000,000 lonely miles separated Earth from Pluto. The dwarf planet was too far from the sun to have much of a bright side, but it hoped for one nonetheless when it was demoted, knocked out of the solar 9 like a back row billiard ball, held responsible for impacts several spheres away.

No longer a planet, but perhaps in a friendlier neighborhood? Only in the sense that it was emptier, so there were fewer threats to come screaming out of the darkness and smash into it. The people that had the privilege of existing went on, after an all too brief bout of complaining over Pluto’s loss, talking about all the other planets, how they were feeling, whether they were in retrograde, never to collectively turn their minds back to the downgrade. Continue reading

Captain Rob Series Update

My four volume high fantasy/low humor book series has just received another round of light edits, so I’m posting about it again in case anyone might be interested in giving them a read.  The Captain Rob series takes place in a richly nauseating fantasy world set entirely in… a gigantic public restroom.

It follows a crew of sink pirates on their many adventures from the harvesting of brown paper towel wood all the way to the holy grounds of the Glory Hole, and every gross squishy place in between.  There are monsters, gods, heists, groanworthy jokes galore, and plenty of swashbuckling swordplay.  Here are the links to the first chapters, and remember that all of my works are complete, and completely free to read.

Captain Rob Fights

Captain Rob Sinks

Captain Rob Robs

Captain Rob Deals

Challenging Applause (finale)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 47 minutes)

Sneak the Applause

Little Wars was underway, and both Forward Commander Snaps and Lord Ludmenti were missing it. The Challenging Applause that they had worked so hard to assemble, and actually assembled at the last second, was now fully deployed upon the battle board, inspiring and commanding Zoukas’s volunteered myrmidons against Tarkower’s crystallized shards of wit and their pocket Atlases.

They’d had precious little time for recovery after their scuffle with the Wonderland expectoration. Felicity was promptly refilled with flower petals to replace missing wads of cotton and sewn back up. Hans accepted no treatment for his loss of quills, and Momotaro shrugged off the bruises in his fruity flesh. Root Beer and Nero had partaken of the ‘drink me’ concoction and returned to their normal proportions. Continue reading

Challenging Applause (part three)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 3 minutes)

Scatter the Applause

It wasn’t hard for her two lieutenants to guess where the Olympian went directly from under Formaldeheidi’s dress, as within the hour the entire country knew the situation. Minimil was put on lockdown. All traffic in and out that was not Foraging and Reconnaissance was ceased. The main overhead lantern was given special oil so it burned with a reddish alarm flame. All citizens were encouraged to get doubly indoors and pack their most essential belongings should they need to evacuate.

Their escape route was not mentioned however, so many of the citizens assumed they would be alright. Minimil was a country of refugees where not many were born who were not myrmidons, and all the ones who were came from Queen Zoukas alone. Confidence was not placed in parents, or even in the goddess, but in Forward Commander Snaps and Lord Gumbonero Ludmenti of the twin handfuls, of the freshly announced Challenging Applause. Continue reading

Challenging Applause (part two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 26 minutes)

Sort the Handful

Sir Chee-chee

The queen knighted me thanks to all the assistance I offered Dr. Dolittle in his work. It was I who taught him the marmoset language.” Gumbonero and Snaps could’ve guessed this, given they were speaking to a golden marmoset in Bonsai Park. He’d descended from his little tree house eagerly at first knock on its trunk. “What most people don’t know is that he taught me English in turn.”

Would we have much use for someone who speaks marmoset on the game board?” the gingerbread man asked his companion. Continue reading

Challenging Applause (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.  The peril of Little Wars, in which they must fight in the stead of humans in chess-like battles, is at their doorstep.  Two veterans of covert teams must now, regrettably, join forces to draft a new group who will defend the sovereignty of the small.

This is the third in a trilogy of novellas, so to get caught up please check out The Challenging Handful and The Left Challenging Handful.

(reading time: 34 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 50 minutes)

Challenging Applause

by

Blaine Arcade

Snatch the Handful

The laborers refused to look him in the eye. That was a tall order for them, as they were all myrmidons, and thus had no eyelids. They had to quickly turn their heads away whenever they sensed the saccharine gaze of Herschel Pflaumen Snaps. One particularly creative one even put her antennae between her eye and his, pretending she couldn’t quite see him.

It offended the gingerbread soldier, as he was sure to have their attention anywhere but the safety of the city Minimil. Were this the wilderness, he a lost baked good perhaps dropped from the basket of Little Red Riding Hood while she skipped too enthusiastically, and they a roving band of ant-people with no hill to call home, they would have no trouble swarming and devouring his every last morsel. Continue reading