I'll continue to correct any errors noted in the display format or spelling that are reported, but any revisions due to word choice changes or writing style will no longer be made to SOL due to the troubles and time taken to do them. Future revised versions will only be available at Lulu as PDF and print versions from Lulu at:
All the short stories have been gathered in a book collection at Lulu.
Cazna is no longer writing or interested in writing due to ill health. I will be doing some sequels when I get the time, but they will be posted on my SOL page when I do.
I now handle all Cazna's email for him, so please do NOT send him any emails other than to correct errors in stories.
Old blog amalgamation.
I'm all in favour of constructive criticism, and an outright "You messed up." However, I've had some comments about writing styles I wish to deal with.
A few have pointed out I've made technical errors in the stories, in style and grammar. I haven't. I've written millions of pages of documents that were technically correct - accident reports, technical journals, training manuals, lectures, ministerial briefs, reports to the Senate, etc. All were technically correct and dry as a glass full of silica grains.
These stories I write for the pleasure of writing, I'm glad others enjoy the stories, but I mainly write for my own enjoyment of writing. I use a method and style known as 'the vernacular.' I write as people would speak. Whether in the first person or the third person, I write as if I'm sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of my favourite drink and talking to you sitting in a similar chair with your favourite drink. Two old friends having a chat in comfort, I'm telling you about an incident I was involved in or saw. I write as I would tell it to you. So it's not technically correct English, nor is it in error, it's deliberate to make it feel more real and life like.
I use a lot of contractions, as that's what people do when speaking, I write they'll instead of they will - he'd instead of he had, and so on. Some can have dual meaning, but it's always easy to work out which is the correct contraction from the context of the story at that point.
To give an example of the difference: The scene is a lounge room, a 16 year old is awaiting the arrival of her favourite cousins who'll be staying for a week.
Technically correct: I sit in a lounge room chair as I await the arrival of my cousins with great anticipation. The doorbell chimes, I stand up and proceed to the door. Opening it, I see it is they. I open the door wider and speak loudly to mother, saying "Mother, it is them, they have arrived."
Vernacular: Laying on the lounge, I'm eagerly awaiting my favourite cousins' arrival. The doorbell rings, jumping up, I race to the door and open it. It's them, throwing the door wide, I yell "Mum, they're here."
The vernacular is more colourful and much more active than the technically correct, and much more fun.
Note: I'm Australian and use Australian spelling and terms, e.g. arse instead of ass. I try to minimise the ones that can be mixed up, e.g. prison instead of gaol or jail (for the USA).
Some authors tell you all about the main characters at the start. I like to tell you the basics, the minimum to allow you to picture them for yourselves. During the course of the story, I add more and more little details about them, so you learn more as you get to know them better - just the way you learn about people in real life. As the story progresses, you learn more about how they think, their past, their behaviours, their attitudes. I hope you learn to love those I want you to, and hate those I want you to.
Descriptions: I've been told my descriptions aren't detailed and I should give more detail. Technically this is true, but again, this is a deliberate choice. I give my physical descriptions of characters just enough to allow you to draw a basic mental image of them. Then I leave it up to you to add the fine detail. This is to allow you to use your imagination and to make just a small part of the story your own. You're now free to impose your own image of the face of the sexy school girl who lives three doors down the street if you wish, or the one across the road. If I'd given too much detail, you can't draw your own beauty into the picture. This way, I get you more actively involved in the story.
Sure, I could give a fine detailed description that would enable a police sketch artist to do a fine portrait. What happens if the description matches exactly someone alive that I've never met, or don't remember meeting. Oops, I really didn't want that law suit.
Suspension of Disbelief: Suspension of disbelief is like the concept of love at first sight, most people don't believe in it, but it happens. It's something that's possible, but a low probability. A related point is a specific plot device, but they're usually easily identified and only requires a simple acceptance of that one aspect, e.g. alien life forms masquerading as humans. This requires a single suspension of disbelief, but after that, the rest of the story should be totally realistic in its plot and actions.
Possible Reality: Take the cyborg in in the story Power Tool. Some people say 'Yeah, real, no way, it can't happen.' Yet the majority of the technology is there, and has been for over a decade. Memory plastic exists, as does Kevlar, carbon filament, fibre optics, tasers, computer control, and multi tasking software. For many years, scientists have been working on interfacing electronic devices with the human nervous system - the bionic ear, pace makers, bionic eyes, etc. It's happening right now. All I add is a small leap forward in the development (under current research) of a way to interface individual nerve endings of the spinal column with a computer, and allow two way feed and control between the brain and the computer.
The idea of not having the brain trying to match every nerve with the relevant cyborg body equivalent is my way of making this interface easier. The brain uses some nerves to send commands, instead of getting a whole bunch of individual commands that must be sent around the body, I have each limb and sub-unit operating with it's own processor commands, so only one command is sent from the processor linked to the brain, and the end recipient knows how to break it up and handle the positive feedback locally. Thus the processor in the hand handles the touch and pressure sensitivity of picking something up, not the main processor or the brain. The brain says right hand pick this up, the central processor sends the command 'pick this up' to the right hand, the local processor in the hand handles the fine details. This is a way of simplifying the command sets and the communication links. Now, if the scientists working on this read this and use it, we may see some more advances.
But the main point I'm getting to, people see a cyborg as not realistic, yet the technology has been around for nearly twenty years, we can do this now - if you have millions of dollars to spare to do it. Give it a few more years and the price will come down. In 1965, companies paid a hundred million dollars for a building full of computer equipment that does less than a two thousand dollar computer they carry around in a bag today.
To the anonymous person who said: "The government would have been all over Both the company and after John. The Military would classify the tech as a minimum. Can you say Black Ops holy grail."
Yes, I can say Black Ops Holy Grail, probably better than you can. But, I can also say, Already in Public Domain, and Read the above. For all we know, the Black Ops people may already have a secret version of John in use.
COMMENTS ON SOME STORIES
Revenge for the School: In the excellent story The Girls' School Connard Wellingham leaves a couple of issues open. I've been allowed to borrow some characters to write some follow ups. This is about the start of the revenge on the person who betrayed a trust and the school. It's heavily into BDSM, something I'm not so I may have not done it as best as I could. Anyone wishing to send me corrections or improvements is welcome to.
Although this is outside my personal comfort zone I did get it written. Some of the torture items I AM familiar with from reading some biographies and histories where people were tortured, so that is based on those events. My version of the Bastardo is, to the best of my knowledge, my own invention on how to 'improve' it.
Debt Collection: Caz is a nice guy who got royally screwed over. The person who did this continues to make life not so nice, and looks to do more harm. A situation arrives where he can turn the tables, explore some aspects of his psyche, and change the person involved.
The main aim of the story is Caz using heavy bouts of sex to humiliate his ex into changing. The length of the story codes should indicate a bit about how far this is going. But I should point out there are likely to be some aspects of what happens that doesn't appeal to everyone. For example, chapter 2 is heavy into BDSM and pain, something I'm not, and something Caz isn't that happy with, you may notice he ducks out for a while. Ditto with the bestiality, he recognises these appeals to others and doesn't reject them, but isn't all that into them; beyond the way they humiliate Jane. Although he does also recognise and use their ability to have an affect on Jane. Some twists at the end.
Thanks to vampdragon2k5 for proof reading it.
Blog revision by Ernest Bywater, at the request of Cazna.