Week 15 and VALIS(and The Divine Invasion)

This week I wrote about someone resurrected in a future society where death has been outlawed. I don’t like it and didn’t really know where I was going with it, so I’ve broken my streak of good stories. I finished something though!

I also read VALIS by Phillip K. Dick. It’s about a man who has a vision of a pink light beaming information into his head, and who starts to believe that he is talking to God, and is living in the past in Roman times, but that our world is overlaying that time. It’s very crazy and full of lots of bizarre stuff but it somehow manages to hold together. I enjoyed it a lot, and then enjoyed it even more when I found out that it was based on real experiences that PKD had (or thought he had). His visions led him to an obsession to find an explanation to what happened to him that lasted the rest of his life. During those eight years he wrote a journal of his thoughts that grew to over 8000 pages, sometimes he would write over 100 pages in one sitting, staying up all night writing. Published sections of it can be read in The Exegesis of Philip K. ┬áDick.

Anyway, the book was really good and had lots of philosophical insights and interesting thoughts. I’d recommend it to people interested in philosophy and theology as well as sci fi fans.

The ebook I got also came with the sequel, The Divine Invasion, so I read that as well. Contrary to VALIS, this came off to me as a bunch of insane rambling. The story makes hardly any sense and focuses lots of time on long theological diatribes that seem to have nothing to do with anything. I had a real hard time getting through it and wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re just really into PKD’s crazy beliefs.

A lot of my time this week got sucked up by my new obsession, which is learning to play Go. I’m going to focus more on splitting up my time this week between writing and obsessing on Go strategies, so hopefully I’ll have a better story next week.

Week 14 and Reflex

This week’s story was about someone trying to open a gate to a parallel universe. I had a prompt from a competition on a forum I frequent, I haven’t seen how I rate yet, so you’ll hear next week :)

I finished reading Reflex and it was really good, the writing seemed to improve a lot from Jumper, the writer seems to have evolved a lot. The story was also more intense.

In it, Davy, the teleporter, gets drugged and captured and has a device surgically implanted in him to prevent him from leaving a certain area. The people who’ve captured him want to use him to perform jobs for them.

He stretches his powers in interesting ways to get out of it. Recommended for anyone who liked the original, or even if you didn’t read the first one it works pretty well as a stand alone.



New Year

Happy 2014! 2014 sounds like a futuristic year, doesn’t it? It has a good vibe, a nice tone, I think it will be a good year.

The year is over and it’s time to add up things, this year I submitted 33 times and sold 1 story, i read 15 novels, or 16 if you count the one I’m nearly done with, which I think I will because I read a majority of it this year. I don’t know how many stories I wrote, exactly, because I wasn’t keeping close track, but I intend to keep track this year.

I plan to continue my weekly story until I make it to October, then I’ll see what I feel like doing, but I definitely want to have 100 submissions this year and read 52 novels, or more. Oh, and sell a couple stories as well. That would be nice.

Happy new year everyone, I wish you luck and happiness in our amazing and interesting future!

Week 13 and Jumper (and Ubik)

Another week, another story. This time I wrote about someone accidentally transporting himself into a motivational poster. I took inspiration from a novel I just finished: Jumper, by Steven Gould. I got it cause I saw that the new sequel, Impulse, was on the Nebula reading list.

It’s about a guy who learns he can teleport, and all the trouble he gets into with it. There is a movie based on it which has little similarities. So if you thought the movie was painful (as I did) don’t let this deter you from the book. The character is not horrible and the plot is entirely different. The whole thing with the Paladins in the movie was apparently just entirely made up.

I enjoyed the book a lot, as I’ve always imagined how fun it would be to be able to travel anywhere I wanted with a thought. He thinks of some creative ways to use it, as well as ways to evade the NSA agents chasing him. The ebook I got also came with the sequel ‘Reflex’, so I’ll probably read that next.

I also read Ubik, by Phillip K. Dick this week. In the future there are telepath’s and precogs and other psychic abilities. These people get hired by companies to spy on other companies and so on. There are also people with the ability to block telepaths and precogs, and they get hired by companies to protect their interests. The story is about a group of ‘intertials’ the people who block abilities going on a big job.

There’s a whole bunch more weird stuff and the book is sort of unsettling and creepy, but very good and worth a read. The ending didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but was still good.

I recommend both of these books!


Week 12 and A Scanner Darkly

Another week down and I actually like the story I did this week… for now. I may hate it when I read it again in a couple weeks. It’s about an old man with a head injury trying to decide if the strange thing he’s seeing out his kitchen window is real or not. I sort of modeled him of some of the junkies in the book I just read, A Scanner Darkly, by Phillip K. Dick.

I haven’t read a lot of PKD, but I think I’m going to have to start reading more of him. The book is about a fictional drug called ‘Substance D’ that deteriorates the addict’s brain, leading to paranoia and memory loss and other problems. The protagonist is an undercover narcotics agent, posing as a junkie. He is so far undercover that he ends up being assigned to report on himself, his undercover ┬ápersona. This, and the fact that he is taking the drug himself, leads to him becoming increasingly confused as to who he even is.

The story is humorous at times and disturbing at others, but over all very sad. Many of the characters are based on real friends of Dick’s who died from drug use. At the end of the book is a long list of names, all with the descriptors ‘deceased, brain damaged, psychosis’ next to them. These are names of people Dick knew who succumbed to drug addiction.

I have never been into drugs or been close to anyone who was, and this book makes me feel very grateful of that fact.