The Silver, the Brass, the Blood, and the Chorus—Part 2

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 8, 2017 10:47:08 AM

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The road elevated. The Inner Spires rose into view, gold slathered over light. At a distance, from the city perimeter, they were towers. Drawing nearer, they appeared uglier to the eye—stubby, inglorious volcanos, long cold.

The truck drew them nearer. The rain was still stiff as a snare line. The corroding tires swept away the gathered acid wash.

"Feel that?" Rahz asked. Orry set his fingertips to the door.

"Wheels are vibrating on the axel," Orry said.

Rahz kept her hand on the wheel. "There are only ten pinches of calliban connecting the drivetrain to the axel, but there are two hundred and sixteen ferrum rivets holding the truck together. The calliban can survive in this climate. The ferrum" she held the thought, clenching the wheel.

"Can we make the return trip?" Orry asked.

"No," Rahz answered. "Not on these wheels. Not with our skins."

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The Silver, the Brass, the Blood, and the Chorus—Part 1

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 7, 2017 3:28:09 PM

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According to the Silversmiths, any antiquities brought in from the Weeping Desert were entirely harmless. This was a decree founded on logic, rather than confidence. The logic was simple enough: if any antiquity truly was dangerous, it'd kill the man holding it well before he made it back into the city limits.

Who could say? Well, the dead, for one. The haunted, for another. They didn't keep a good command over language if the deserving circumstance struck them.

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9 Ways You Can Begin Purging Your Internet Addiction

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Sep 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

human-adaptability-chart.jpgAccording to a recent interview in "GQ" (Gentlemen's Quarterly) Magazine, Aziz Ansari revealed he recently quit the internet. Heh, yeah, dude, that owns. That owns, like, big time.

Look, there are worse role models in the world than Aziz Ansari. The guy crafted a non-genre masterclass in tasteful television with "Master of None" over on Netflix and taught a generation of men in their 30s that being a cock to women isn't fashionable.

But quitting the internet? Aziz, that is a confident move. That is game atop game, man. It's like the most punk rock thing you can do in 2017. Not many could pull it off, because the world is full of psychos and we need to talk to each other to maintain the panicked high that gets us from sunrise to sunset. Rumor has it, Christopher Nolan doesn't use or email or even own a cell phone (or let people sit in chairs on his movie sets). But I believe that's only a symptom of Nolan being a British person and is not a deliberate choice.

Nevertheless, it got me thinking: how can a normal person purge their internet addiction?

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Topics: technology

The First Thing You Consider When Selling Your Content

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 30, 2017 12:00:00 PM

tetris-block-art-falling-into-place.jpgWhether fresh out of college, five years out of college, or gathering that spoiled-fruit funk near the ten year-mark, it's a sure thing you've had your head kicked by some stubborn mule in corporate middle-management. Look, it wasn't entirely your fault an individual misunderstood what motivated you. You were probably missing the skills to communicate your more passionate, creative aspects, and they were probably tossed into a jackal-cackling rush to avoid something costly about you they didn't get.

That's the key ingredient to personal motivation in all generations of workers: people and businesses who NEED content aren't competent judges of content.

There's no better time than now to slam a bridle on what you're passionate about and ride that animal till it collapses, especially if it's creative- or content-focused. Here's what you need to know about making money off what jerks begrudgingly admit is important...

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Topics: free books to read online

Neill Blomkamp and Oats Studios Shows Us the Future's Netflix Alternative

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 23, 2017 12:00:00 PM

rakka-oats-studios-monster.pngI've been systematically informing the YouTube recommendation algorithm that I never want to watch any video posted by anyone with the word "angry" in their username. You can imagine how neckbeards have fallen to my sword of disinterest. You can imagine a little harder, and figure there's not a drill-bit sharp enough to bore through all that toxic content. Sunlight will never find these deserving motherfuckers.

Too much content is created out of a desire to be heard, instead of a desire to know and be known. Too much content is about other content, this very post of mine included (which is why I write free books to read online during my nights and weekends).

To be blunt, the internet's content, the perpetual doggo chasing its tail, has now deep-throated the thing and is molars-deep into its own ass, ignorant to the ashy flavor. The dominant moods on the most popular content platforms are psychosis, shrieking, and self-preservation.

But with a little class, we can push beyond the slick, post-content Netflix alternative environment into something more honest and weird. So, how did Blomkamp do...?

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Topics: netflix alternative

Writing Free Books to Read Online: Stories that Break Status Quo

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

immortals-olympus.pngMost villains are aware of the world's status quo. They either love it or hate it.

Open your mind to the fearful, hateful creatures that will do anything to keep themselves comfortable.

In Suns Go Dark, I wanted to explore the older generation's fear of losing their palatial comfort, and passing that fear down to the young workers laboring on the sun-farms as their predecessors once did.

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Topics: free books to read online

Writing Free Books to Read Online: How to Write Two Protagonists

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

jupiter-ascending-trash-planet 0.pngA reader sits alone. They usually read alone. The simplest way to enter a story, particularly a work of fiction, is alongside a protagonist: a heroic guide character.

Stories with more than one lead protagonist are less common. The reader might not be sure which to align with and the writer will struggle to favor one over the other.

I welcomed this challenge for Suns Go Dark. Science fiction is about perspective and two leads means twice as much perspective. Most of Ghost Little's free books to read online have multiple protagonists, but that's a matter of narrative structure zig-zagging later in the story for a look into how the other half lives. Suns Go Dark favors two protagonists from the very beginning.

How do we write that into the sci-fi world? Check this out...

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Topics: free books to read online

Writing Free Books to Read Online: Creating Science Fiction Rules

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 9, 2017 12:00:00 PM

jupiter-ascending-ships 0.pngAfter debating character motivations for our free books to read online in the prior series installment, I want to shift attention to the novel's potential character interaction tropes.

We know our primary protagonist is tasked with co-existing alongside what is in most regards the protagonist of a young-adult dystopian novel, complete with caste-system rules and high school allegories. But we're faced with a question: is the "experienced person has to transport important other person" trope played out? What's the gender balance in that? If the protagonist is a man and the invincible, shouldn't-be-possible recruit is a woman, is that bad?

It depends on context and character motivations within the environment...

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Topics: free books to read online

Writing Free Books to Read Online: Science Fiction Protagonist Role Models

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 8, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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Now that we have a plot outlined, let's examine the best type of protagonist for the story's environment.

A simple way to start: what is exceptional about our protagonist if he / she is not a Chosen-One or a Messiah? If we're writing a free book to read online, does the audience demand a certain gravitas from their protagonist? Don't we all want to manipulate the world's very axis?

Well, if not, why is it important that our protagonist is even involved with the story's shifting world...?

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Writing Free Books to Read Online: How to Outline a Sci-Fi Story

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 7, 2017 12:00:00 PM

cowboy-bebeop-intro 0.pngThe brainstorming process for discovering Ghost Little's far-reaching science fiction novel, Suns Go Dark, began with a literal dream a girl had.

From that kernel of a dream, I explored its viability as a large epic, as a short story, or as a simpler free book to read online, but in any case, it would tie into the rest of the larger story arc spread across the other books.

In time, I discovered Suns Go Dark was the governing themetic force linking these stories together. But how did it go from dream to page?

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Topics: free books to read online

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The Ghost Little blog publishes EVERY WEEKDAY. It's sometimes immediately relevant to the books' development process. Other times, it's only thematically-relevant. Thoughts and ideas influence the creative process in ways that you wouldn't initially anticipate. They're all worth detailing and discussing!

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