Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part three)

(back to part one)

Popette at the Door

Ra-da-dang-dong. Ra-da-dang-dong. It was a surprisingly cheerful doorbell, not at all like the welcome she remembered. Of course, that was more than a lifetime ago. That said, the exterior of the Billity Catholicish School for Girls hadn’t changed all that much. The giant stable nearby, nearly three times the size of the house, was a new addition, but the school itself was still that drab green and white monolith under its four cardinal direction willows.

Now as I’ve said, Poppy and Suzette were in an odd state, with the latter being largely in control, but operating within the template of the mischievous child. They couldn’t converse with each other, talk over what was a good idea and what was bad. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part two)

(back to part one)

Catalogues of Women

Thank you all for coming out this afternoon, I know it’s hotter than the devil’s bedpan out here. Leave it to a South Reap October to turn pumpkins into prunes; that’s what my father always used to say.” There was some light laughter, less than he expected, but he chalked it up to the fatiguing heat.

There was at least some shade thanks to the garden trees behind the town hall, where Mountainblood always held its press conferences. Journalists for local rags, both clean and oily, were clustered under the crab apples, fanning themselves with hats because their cards were busy recording the event. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part one)

(This is the second in a trilogy.  If you wish to go back to the beginning, here you go.)

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 beyond.

Long Odd Silver and Roman Koch are prisoners, stolen from the newest world in probable space and brought to the Counter-Earth called Antichthon.  Buried deep in a desert prison, going mad, they must find a way to join forces with one of the locals: a crazy fellow by the name of Linus ‘Likely’ Hood.  Linus is eager to break his brother out of that very same prison, and ride off together on the backs of stolen mechanical bulls!

Halloween is fast approaching, and the ghosts are getting restless.  All will come to a head when the hollowing holiday arrives and the impossible becomes dreaded inevitability.

Planet in Theory

Funeral March to Gothic Rock

by

Blaine Arcade

Banjo Says Tariff

The song playing on the radio was quaint the first few times. After that it was the height of irritation, even in that gravity-free place where height was relative. The only instrument was the banjo, and it only had one thing to say: sit tight or loosen the purse strings. These weren’t lyrics, that would’ve added a human voice to the endless plink and plonk of the four strings, which to many of the crew sounded like a hand with a missing finger going about its life clumsily and blissfully unaware.

No, the tune was a reminder that they weren’t in charge, and that the people who were in charge weren’t budging, not even an inch in that place where inches couldn’t matter less, unless their demands were met. There was a tariff, and they had to pay up if they wanted to enter Antichthon’s atmosphere with their perishable cargo. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Pluto Takes the Stage (finale)

(back to part one)

An Excerpt from Masquerade Monthly, Issue #34

Available at Aleatory Books

As our regular readers will know by now, we’re committed to offering everyone on Pluto the most sound and fashionable advice when it comes to selecting and wearing emergency masks, whether likelihood is a concern or you’re just looking to spice up your Friday night look. Admittedly, we tend to get caught up in trends, what with the planet’s wealth of fine craftsmen at our disposal.

Today we reach into the back of the mask drawer, tackling queries sent by many a reader regarding nontraditional and improvised masks. Many of you have also expressed an interest in so called ‘minimal masks’, here meaning items worn upon the face that one would not expect to count as identity forming but have nonetheless been demonstrated to work as such. Continue reading

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

(back to part one)

One in a Simillion

Popcorn’s here finally. I’m starving. Hey, over here moron!” Toddy Hot raised his hand and snapped his fingers several times to get the crazy8’s attention. The person who’d been set to the task of fetching the refreshments barely knew where they were, and certainly didn’t understand what kind of crowd surrounded them.

Since they were wearing a red striped shirt and a little paper hat they assumed they were an employee of this entertainment venue and it was their responsibility to serve anyone else there. At the moment they were on the carpeted stairs between rows of descending seats, and down at the center there was a boxing ring, though the 2 men inside it were conversing instead of throwing punches. Continue reading

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

(back to part one)

The 9th Life of Long Odd Silver

We are closed!” Minty shouted as she rushed toward the front door in her green silk pajamas. It was so early in the morning that there was only a shred of daylight outside, so she held an illuminated card up like a candle, footage of a yellow flame flickering. Her feet were bare and her glasses resting comfortably on her nightstand a few rooms away.

Whunk whunk whunk! The knock came again, though it was more like somebody swinging a sack of potatoes against the wood. Then there was another knock from a different angle, smaller, harder, more persistent. Then another. It was hammering, she realized. Continue reading

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

(back to part one)

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.

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

Blaine’s Short Story Blurbs

Well, they aren’t quite blurbs, given that these stories are, you know, short, but now that we’ve got descriptions for our books and novellas available, it’s time to move onto these.

If you don’t know me, I’m Blaine Arcade, a speculative fiction writing hobbyist, and I write lots of out-there science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, and a little horror.  All of my stories are available here and free to read, so please check them out if you’re interested.  Happy reading!

Jesus has the Wheels

Jesus has come to town in his big black SUV.  He says it’s time for the rapture.  The only problem is that this is white Jesus, and he isn’t so friendly.

Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

An epic poem reimagining and expansion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, heartily cross-pollinated with The Odyssey.

Mary Annette’s Big and Beautiful Dog and Pony Show

Somewhere in the enchanting space between dinner theater and the wild west, performer Madrigal Mora finally gets his shot to use that ol’ dirt-kicking magic, but the owner has seen fit to cast him as the villain… Continue reading

Blaine’s Novella Blurbs

Hot off adding blurbs to all my books here on the blog, I figured I’d do the same thing for all of my novellas as well.  I write lots of wild speculative fiction, and it’s all freely available here, so please check out anything that looks interesting to you.

The Justice Backers Series

Justice Backers, Justice Backers: Secret Shuffle, and Justice Backers: The Lichen Calls

It’s the mid 2010’s, justice systems grow ever more rigid as crime takes to the internet.  With a little help from a crowdfunding website, a newly forged team of superheroes is looking to fill in the gaps, and provide their backers with some cool merch along the way!

Get all the updates straight from each hero as they take on vicious trolls, a trading card blackmail ring, and an ancient fungal entity with its own world wide web in this trilogy of novellas that also work together as a book. Continue reading