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Category Archives: Science Fiction

Geeky, yes.

Mick, the Cute Little Blob (story #92)

So, here it is, Thursday morning, and we’ve put off writing to the last minute just like we predicted.  We are so predictable.  With all the predicting and such.  If it helps at all, we got up before our alarm this morning just to write the story before going to work.  Does it help?  Does it?  Help what?  Heck, I don’t know.  It’s too early to make sense.  At least here on the west coast, it is.

Quick public service announcement:  The word “oughta” does not rhyme with the word “order.”  Sadly, the people who wrote the song that inspired this announcement will most likely never read this blog.  But you can learn from their grievous errors.  And, if you ever happen to met someone who worked on an album called “A Children’s Treasury of Batman Musical Stories” in the 70s, now you know what to tell them.  This is what I get when I put on a shuffle of the 24 days worth of music in my iTunes.

And now we present for your reading pleasure a story about a little blob.  Why?  Because I think a little blob sounds funny right now.

MICK, THE CUTE LITTLE BLOB

Art by Deron Decesare

Once there was a little purple blob named Mick Queen.  He was a cute little blob and he lived in a cute little fantasy world full of other cute little blobs.  But he was cuter.  Don’t ask me what made him cuter, I have no idea what makes a blob cute.  They all look the same to me.

So, one afternoon, Mick was out gooing to the store when he saw his neighbor, Russell Chuck, gooing home from work.

“Hey, Russell!” he called, even though he didn’t have a mouth.

“Oh, hi, Mick,” Russell responded.

“Hey, why the frown?” Mick asked, because blobs can apparently read each other’s expressions.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Russell said.  Then he burst into tears, which looks really weird when a blob does it.  The blob just sort of shakes and leaks.  I mean, they don’t have eyes, so where do the tears come from?

“Hey, now, don’t cry,” Mick said.  “Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.”

“It’s my wife, Shawnee,” Russell said.  Getting control of himself, he added slowly, “she . . . she told me this morning that she wants to leave.”

“She’s leaving you?” Mick asked, amazed.

“No, she doesn’t want to leave me,” clarified Russell, “she just wants to leave.  You know, like, leave town.  I don’t know how to tell her that blobs really don’t do well outside of Blob Town.  You remember what happened to Steve when he–“

“Don’t remind me,” Russell said, shuddering (it looked like a Jell-o dessert during an earthquake).

“So, what should I tell her?” Russell asked.

“Well, you could tell her this story isn’t very entertaining,” Mick suggested.

“What good would that do?” asked Russell.

“I don’t know,” Mick replied, “maybe she could come up with a more interesting problem than just wanting to leave town.  I mean, seriously, Russell, that’s pretty weak.  We need something  catastrophic, here, not something silly that no one can relate to.”

“Hey, don’t blame me, it wasn’t my idea,” Russell protested.

“Whatever,” Mick said.  “Look, if this doesn’t get more interesting soon, I’m just gonna head off to the store and the rest of this story can be about me buying peanut butter.  Do you want that?”

“I guess not,” said Russell.  “Okay, let me get Shawnee out here and we’ll see what we can do.”

So, Russell went inside and got his wife, Shawnee, and the three of them sat (laid?  jiggled?  not “stood,” certainly…) around in the middle of the street trying to come with an interesting and/or amusing problem for a bunch of cute little blobs to have.  Several suggestions were: troublesome evolution (blobs growing arms and such), Shawnee having an affair with another blob (and the ensuing problem of trying to figure out which one), hopping in a meteorite and going to Earth and eating a bunch of people, some kind of callback using the words “oughta” and “order,” and an allegory about the socio-economic ramifications of the industrial revolution using a layered series of metaphors to comment simultaneously on class divisions and the inherent risks of unchecked progress.

All of these ideas were rejected and they eventually all decided to just go to the store and get some peanut butter.  Problem was that, by the time they finished debating, it was very late at night and the store was already closed.  So they couldn’t get anything at all, much less the peanut butter they wanted.

Man, it was catastrophic.  I’m sure you can relate.

THE END

Don’t look at me like that.  Please.

See you soon,

the SotWC

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Science Fiction

 

Much Ado About Stitch (story #75)

Man oh man, I just can’t do anything on time these days.  Well, good morning and sorry for the delay.  Gotta make it quick again this week because I need to go to work, but since I fell asleep early last night I do owe the faithful a story this morning.

What if Shakespeare wrote Disney movie novelizations?  It’s a burning question I think we’ve all asked at one time or another.  Or maybe not at all.  But it’s a question that I intend to provide one possible answer for.  Right now.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: if you haven’t seen the movie “Lilo & Stitch,” what follows is pretty much one gigantic spoiler, provided that you can even understand my ham-fisted attempts at writing like Shakespeare.]

MUCH ADO ABOUT STITCH

Two scientists, both alike in scientificness, doth be sent upon an errand from outer space to shores of Hawaii, where we lay our scene.  One shall we call Jumba, the other Pleakley.  Jumba hath wrought a creature so magnificent in evil, so fine in torturous jest, that he hath been driven from alien society in shame, the pursuit of which hath much overjoyed the imprisoned Jumba, much vexed the mild Pleakley.

Whereupon we discover young Lilo, most merry and wet with characteristic swimming, she hath returned from providing a prognosticating fish with peanut butter, much to the distress of her hula instructor.  More distress shall be felt from the rude and guileless ginger child who shall doth receive a punch on the nose from fair Lilo in return for many a cruel jest.  Trouble doth circle Lilo’s head like a murder of crows, and her elder sister finds her out of sorts, out of a fair time.

And, to this, we add the errand’s quest, one Experiment 626.  Big of eyes and blue of fur, he doth sport four arms in place of the masses’ two, and spines, oh the spines.  Having run afoul of a semi truck, doth he perish?  Doth he grind to the ground and remain nought but a leftover greasy emblem from space unfound and ignored?  Nay, but he doth survive and verily doth he wind up at the pound, making a shell of himself bearing arms but two and spines are there none.

Presently doth Lilo and her much vexed older sister, whom shall we address “Nani” to, entertain a visitor in the shape of one “Cobra Bubbles” by name.  Shall this worker social be forced upon the path of splitting up the family? Time will tell, but now our story doth return to the pound where Experiment 626 doth lay in wait, longing for escape and some mischief to perpetrate.

"Lilo, wanting all of a dog, may, as it happens, go to and likewise happen upon Experiment 626" Art by Maria Gullickson

Lilo, wanting all of a dog, may, as it happens, go to and likewise happen upon Experiment 626, deciding in her virtue to claim one being blue of fur and frightening to behold, one whom she shall deem worthy to be called “Stitch.”  Stitch shall he be when Jumba and Pleakley do happen upon the scene and many hijinks do ensue.

Amidst these hijinks doth a man come, tall and proud and not a little clumsy in his amorous pursuit of the elder sister in our tale.  And to this do we add Lilo’s love of the venerable Elvis Presley, and the soup is prepared.  May you sup with vigor and drink deep of the meat of the story herein, being that which is a tale of Lilo and Stitch.

“Stupid-head,” quoth Nani to Cobra Bubbles.

“Ohana means family.” So saith Lilo.

“I shall hide me in the countenance of an ugly woman,” doth Pleakley, at one turn, say unto Jumba.

“Bad dog,” quoth Lilo, and often, to Stitch.

“Grr,” saith Stitch, upon destroying many an object and emotion in the house of Nani and Lilo.

“He lost his family,” doth Lilo tell Stitch, much in the manner of a storyteller, about the fabled Ugly Duckling.

Stitch doth feel emotion and much reject his evil programming but, alas and alack, doth be discovered as no dog, but the wondrous and terrible alien experiment he is fated to live as.

Jumba and Pleakley doth exact much damage and most vexingly threaten the life of Lilo, who hath much rejected Stitch upon the discovery of his experimental status.  But, forsooth, Stitch doth, for love of Lilo, return, saving all that is dear, always excepting the house which be mightily destroyed in the carnage of battle.

“Stupid-head,” quoth Stitch to Jumba.

All aliens do gather then, both terrestrial and extra, and all shall be revealed when, as hands may join in friendship, none are enemy and all shall be called friend.  The house may be restored to dignity, the family may be restored to wholeness, and you may be returned to whatever task it please God you do.

“Ohana means family,” repeateth Stitch.  “I found my family,” may he continue, “it’s small and broken, but still good.  Yeah.  Still good.”

And the audience doth shed many a tear and speak falsely that they have something in their eye.  We know the truth, they surely cry.

For never was a story in emotion more rich, than this of Lilo and her Stitch.

THE END

I hope that my attempts at Shakespearean English haven’t offended any of the English majors out there.  And that Disney doesn’t hunt me down and sue me or anything.  Just expressing my love of this film and my love of Shakespeare all at once.  It’s a literary potpourri, I tell ya.

See you next week,

the SotWC

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Science Fiction

 

The Strange Invention and the Space Ship (story #68)

Hey, look!  I got a new keyboard!  Hooray for friends who are moving (not far, thankfully) and don’t mind giving away extra stuff!Out of gratitude, this week’s story is dedicated to Kevin Yong, who loves Godzilla and really bad sci-fi movies and Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Will these things inform my writing of this week’s story?  Heck, it’s anybody’s guess, but I’m gonna bet myself five bucks that the answer is “yes.”

THE STRANGE INVENTION AND THE SPACE SHIP

"Once there was a b-movie actor named Bruce..." Art by Eric Jansen

Once there was a b-movie actor named Bruce who fought all sorts of crazy creatures.  But I’m getting ahead of the story.  Like all crappy science fiction stories, I must try to explain through useless and illogical pseudo-science how we arrive at the alternate universe of our story.  If you can read the following out loud as though it is a movie voice over, that will achieve the proper effect.  If you read it in the bathroom so your voice has reverberation, all the better.

Shortly after the turn of the century (2015, to be infuriatingly exact in such a way that will render the story pointless in just a few short years, barring a completely ludicrous suspension of disbelief),  a scientist invented something.  This thing was really cool and scientific, but fell into the wrong hands and was merchandised relentlessly.  The product was called Uberflotsam.  Of course, a rival company started to market Uberjetsam and everything went downhill from there.  People began to fight about which product was better, even though nobody was quite sure what they did.  Ultimately, a billionaire named Evel McNastypants came out with a product called Uberdebris which supposedly had all the best characteristics of the other two products, but also employed a devilishly clever use of moon rocks in its quartzite vibraphone motor.  The need for moon rocks, however, made the product wildly expensive, not to mention subject to the whims of NASA which, in the future will obviously be run by private corporations comprised entirely of monkeys.  These monkeys were in no way related to the infamous Revolutionary War Era Monkey Clan of New Jersey, by the way.

So, one day as a guy named Joel and his robot friends were walking down Main Street USA, they saw something in the sky.  It was large and silver and looked like a pie plate on a string.

“Whoa,” said Joel.

“Whoa, indeed,” said Tom.

“Something sarcastic,” said Crow.

“My voice is annoying,” said Gypsy.

Just then, the pie plate landed and several creatures with cardboard heads got out.  They walked stiffly and slowly (because the guys in the suits couldn’t actually see anything) but everyone was real scared of them anyhow.

“All your base are belong to us,” the aliens said, although their mouths didn’t move at all.

“What does that mean?” Joel asked.

“What does that meme?” Tom asked almost simultaneously.

“This has got to be the geekiest story the SotWC has ever done,” Crow said.

“I can haz cheezburger?” Gypsy replied.

“What?” said the aliens.

“Is Gypsy a cat?” Joel asked.

“You bet your sweet behind she is,” said Roger and Meg.

“This is getting a little too weird,” said Bert I. Gordon, “but the dialogue is GREAT!”

“So, what do you want, anyway?” Joel asked the aliens.

“We want our moon rocks back,” replied the head alien, whose head was just a little bigger than the other aliens’ heads.  So he was the head alien in both a literal and a figurative sense.  If you follow.

“But, didn’t Evel McNastypants negotiate a moon rock settlement with you guys?” asked one of the numerous characters I’ve named so far.

“No way!” said the head alien.  “He just came and stole all our stuff and didn’t ask to share or anything.  We sent a guy to talk to him and he shot the guy right in his cardboard forehead.  Here, you can see it in this flashback.”

And everybody watched this grainy flashback segment that was obviously filmed on a soundstage with black felt in the background to look like outer space.  Sure enough, when one of the cardboard headed aliens approached Evel McNastypants, he pulled out an inexplicable ray-gun and shot the thing in its giant forehead.  The ray looked like a scratch on the film, and when it hit the cardboard head, it looked like a firecracker went off.  Pretty cool.

And so, everybody realized that Evel McNastypants was a bad guy all along and went to his house to ask him to play nice.  He said no, of course, so the aliens tried to kill him.  But he pulled out a huge pile of Uberdebris and flung it into the front yard, where it exploded, sending flaming shards of moon rocks and God knows what else in all directions.  All the aliens were killed except for the head alien, who lay there bleeding a substance that looked an awful lot like jello.

“Damn the Uberdebris,” he said, and was about to pass on when a shadow fell across his face.  He looked up and there, wearing a cowboy hat and a chainsaw for a hand, was Bruce the b-movie actor.

“Who’s laughing now?” Bruce asked.

“I don’t know,” said the head alien, “probably the jackass in the doorway who just blew everybody up.”  (Don’t worry, Roger and Meg and Gypsy weren’t hurt; they had taken off in their RV 20 minutes earlier.  But Joel was toast.)

Turning to Evel McNastypants, Bruce said, “give me some sugar, baby.”

“Huh?” said Evel.  “Did you just proposition me?”

“Yeah, I got a proposition for you,” Bruce said, pulling a shotgun from his back-holster.  “Come and get some.”

So Evel McNastypants walked out onto the lawn, side-stepping the head alien, and he and Bruce began to round each other for the ultimate showdown.

And then Godzilla showed up and stepped on everybody.  “How’s that for a showdown?” Godzilla said, and went off to look for Bambi.

About a half an hour later, Mike Nelson came walking into town and saw robot parts laying everywhere.  “Ah, who needs Joel anyway?” he said and sat down to reassemble the robots.  But that’s another story.  Another story that probably involves monkeys at least peripherally.

THE END

Once again I have written until past midnight and have no idea how entertaining or perplexing the story really is.  I really am a sucker for the inside jokes, though, that one thing is sure.

The Story of the Week Club: making sure that one person at a time gets our humor.

see you in seven,

the SotWC

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2010 in Science Fiction

 

A Ripple in the Mind of Her Eye (story #59)

Well, well, well and howdy, howdy.  Here we are for our first one-off story in over three months.  The excitement in the air is palpable!  Or maybe that’s just the humidity.  Let’s see if we actually remember how to do this one story at a time…  Just kidding, we have such a short attention span that it’s a major trick not to get distracted while eating a sandwich.  Anyway, since we are listening to music from “Back to the Future” (and also to piss off Geoffrey Strout) we’re going to write a story about time travel.  Now, remember, dear readers, that time travel is a tricky subject (as is science fiction in general) and can lend itself to many paradoxes and loopholes.  Also, we’re ridiculously enamored of our “creative license” clause here at the SotWC.  So, this should be fun.  Or really annoying, you be the judge.

A RIPPLE IN THE MIND OF HER EYE

Bert stood on the threshold.  In the back of his mind, he had a feeling that this had all happened sometime before.  He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something about the scene before him was dreadfully familiar.    Betsy was on the front lawn, screaming something about buttercups, and Rupert was running around in circles like a burning spastic.

Perhaps this had all happened in another life, but Bert didn’t believe in reincarnation.  Perhaps it had something to do with childhood trauma, but Bert didn’t believe in trauma.  Or children.  perhaps it was something he’d seen in an episode of “Doctor Who,” but Bert didn’t watch “Doctor Who.”  He was running out of options.  then he sudden;y realized that it didn’t matter where or when he had seen this before, he just really wanted a glass of grape juice.

Going inside, he found that they were out of grape juice.  “Consarn it all,” he said dejectedly.  “I bought that grape juice special for tonight.  Who could’ve drunk it all?”

At that moment, Betsy rushed inside.  “Bert!” she cried.  “Rupert has fallen into a ditch and can’t get up!  What will we do?”

With sudden inspiration, Bert grabbed Betsy by the shoulders.  “We’ll build a time machine,” he said, shaking her vigorously, “that’s what we’ll do.”

“How will that help?” she asked.

“We’ll go back in time and tell Rupert not to fall into the ditch, of course,” Bert replied evenly.  “Now, come and help me.  But make sure you’re wearing a shiny silver bikini when you do.”

“Well, obviously,” she said.

****

A mere six and a half days later, the time machine was complete.  Of course, Rupert was dead by then, but it didn’t matter to Bert.  He could go back in time and change all that.  He stood there on the threshold of a new dawn in scientific progress.  Coincidence?  I think not.

“Can I take this bikini off?” Betsy asked.

“By all means,” Bert replied with a sly grin.

“And put on some normal clothes, I mean,” she said exasperatedly.

“Oh, all right,” he said with an impatient flick of the wrist.  “But do hurry.  I’m standing on the threshold after all.”

Betsy quickly went and changed into a pretty cardigan sweater, stiletto heels and parachute pants.  “This will be all the rage in the future,” she told Bert upon seeing his quizzical stare.

“But we’re not going to the future,” he said.  “We’re going to the past.  Last Thursday, to be precise.”

“Consarn it all,” Betsy said.

With that, they climbed into the time machine (which, fortunately, I do not have to explain the creation of because the nature of science fiction writing is to present implausible events and not explain them properly unless you use terminology you hope no one will question because of its long and rambling bigness –  like “nanoquarkitudes” and “fallorhythms.”) and set the controls for “Last Thursday.”  Betsy sat down to do her nails, expecting the trip to take quite some time.  No sooner had she opened the bottle and gotten that smell everywhere than Bert said, “well, we’re here.”

“What?” she said.  “No flashing lights?  No lightning bolts?  No trails of fire?  No giant video-screen with a flight attendant telling the plot of the story?”

“How shocking,” Bert said into the dark.

As they exited the time machine, Bert and Betsy were stuck with the sheer magnitude of having actually traveled back in time.  Everything was just as they’d left it, yet somehow newer.  You know, like a week newer.  Fully blown away by the scientific, historical, and emotional impact of what they’d done, Betsy went, “golly.”

“Come,” Bert said, motioning Betsy over the hill (they’d transported themselves outside the house to avoid inadvertently crushing anyone, forgetting that no one had attended their party on Thursday night, because no sane person goes to parties on Thursday nights).  As they crested the rise, they saw Rupert standing just beyond the threshold.  “Goodbye,” he was exclaiming to the people inside, “thanks for the swell party!”  (Yes, Rupert had gone to the party even though it was on a Thursday.  By using universal conversion of a proposition, you might logically deduce that he must therefore be insane.  You would be forgetting, however, that we, the storytellers, may just be big fat liars.)

Scarcely able to believe their own eyes, Bert and Betsy looked and saw themselves standing there in the doorway (often referred to colloquially as a threshold).  Opting for stealth, Bert started to creep around to the back of the house.  Betsy, however, was so mesmerized at seeing herself standing there that she walked dazedly forward and ran smack into Rupert as he approached his car.

“Well, bless my nanoquarkitudes,” Rupert said, smiling at her, “how did you get out here so fast?  And when did you change into that dreadful outfit?”

Before Betsy could say anything, the Other Betsy came out of the house.  “Oh, Rupert,” she called, “you forgot your cups!  You don’t want to leave all this nice butter behind, do you?”

“The butter cups!” Betsy exclaimed as the Other Betsy stopped short in surprise.  Rupert looked from one to the other and back again.  “Don’t…” Betsy began, but it was too late.  In her utter shock and horror, the Other Betsy dropped all the cups full of butter that Rupert had won playing party games onto the driveway with a hideous shattering of glass and splattering of salty dairy products.  One of the resulting shards of glass cut Rupert’s foot a little and, man, did he ever freak out about it.  Betsy took the opportunity to run away into the night as the Other Betsy loudly lamented the destruction of the party favors.

Bert missed all of this in his quest to enter the house unseen from the back.  Not sure exactly what he was going to do, he found himself suddenly in the kitchen.  Not sure exactly why, he opened the refrigerator door.

You think you’re pretty smart, don’t you?  You figure Bert’s going to find the grape juice and drink it before the Other Bert comes inside and it’ll be one big sci-fi geek circular storyline demonstrating a linear theory of time travel where everything happens the same way no matter how many times you try to change it, huh?  Well, you’re half right.  The incredible snap ending you’re about to witness does, indeed, support a linear theory of time travel, but Bert doesn’t get to drink the grape juice.  Remember how everything looked familiar to him at the beginning?  Well, it’s because he’d already done this all, like, seven times, so all he found in the fridge was a note that said, “Dear Bert, remember to buy some more grape juice, I finished it all on my third trip back here.  And, next time you invent a time machine, remember to properly calibrate the fallorhythms or else you’ll forget everything.  AGAIN.”

“Consarn it all,” Bert said.

THE END

Well, for all the creative leeway and silliness we were prepared to allow ourselves here here with a time travel story, it was surprisingly bereft of huge plot holes and continuity errors.  Thank God it was still silly, at least.  We’ll try harder next week.  Yeah, right.

See you in seven,

the SotWC

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 29, 2010 in Science Fiction