Click on the titles to read the stories.
It’s not like I planned it, but upon grouping my stories for compilation, I realized how inaccessible ‘Be kind to puns: 23 tales of Weirdica’ is in comparison to the ‘Politica’ and ‘Romantica’ collections. So it’s just as well that I get to shed light on some aspects of the stories.
The land before our time – Musing on a lineage of man before ongoing civilization, I asked myself, “Is it any more likely now than 20,000 years ago that we had such technology?” However, what transpires in the story itself has more to do with a guy taming his beast, and whatever allegories that come from that.
When TV is cheap enough – I’ve never done a cartwheel in my life, but Matt’s preoccupation has more to do with his devotion than the actual activity. It was about this time, while studying a Bach bass line, that I learned that excellence in something is more important than winning with it.
Days in the life of a teleporter – I wrote this before hearing about a similar movie (2008’s ‘Jumper’), and before reading about jaunting from Alfred Bester. I guess it’s not too uncommon an idea.
Be kind to puns – If it isn’t obvious enough, Colleen’s letter is a brief refutation of Objectivism. The abundance of puns in the story is a hat tip to Alan Moore’s ‘Pog’ story from ‘Swamp thing.’
By a corner of the garden – This was based on a stray thought of an alternative to abortion, where mothers could avoid the bother of childbearing without the murder. In this world, the adversity of the ‘real world’ is taught to people while still embryonic, and cruel as it appears, such people thrive, and just in time for the destruction of Earth. The last-minute romantic drama involves Floyd, the old man, contemplating this phenomenon.
Young love – The names of Manilyn and Rene come from local celebrities here, as is hinted at by the title. The only really weird thing about the story is that it involves aliens and love potions.
The screenplay – The script as summarized within this story is an actual screenplay I attempted to write two years ago, with songs and all. It’s not very good – the songs are better – but I did like some elements of the plot, enough to reiterate them here.
It’s all about the money – At first, the elevator girl Dana (named after Dana Delany; I name a lot of my characters Dana or variations thereof) was conceived as with no peculiar talents. I even considered her joining a cult as a plot point. As I wrote on, the idea of her world-hopping seemed to work.
The Heed, and, The expectations filter – It’s only a matter of time before mystical experience could be simulated deliberately by technology. Although I believe mysticism is the basis of religion, this story looks at what happens when the application of such technology still involves present tribalist tendencies.
Stop trying so hard – Obviously referring to George R.R. Martin’s ‘Game of thrones’ saga, this story helped me gain perspective on what I was doing. I was past two-thirds of my 200-story target, but not feeling particularly inspired with ideas to continue. And then Jenna Fischer’s voice from ‘The giant mechanical man’ came to mind, full of meaning: “Stop trying, so hard!” It was a tiny revelation.
Can’t wait to dream – Yet another story expressing my weakening will to say something with my stories. Might a way of life of continuous dreaming solve things? How was I to know then that I had yet to write what I consider to be my best stories, as found in my other collection ‘Dumbest president ever: 23 tales of Politica.’
Nannerl’s music – Prior to writing this in mid-December 2015, I constrained myself to write primarily in dialogue, with little to no narration. This story changed all that, and I was very satisfied with the outcome. The story is similar to the last ‘Sandman’ story during its original run, ‘The tempest.’
God at last – Daq wants to get over Bach as if Bach were a girl he was still hung up with. I still love the ‘Kyrie eleison,’ whose bass line I learned earlier this 2016, but the climactic affects that I get from it come and go.
Megan McCall, Queen of Asian Country – I’ve written 10 stories involving Megan McCall. When I first thought of some Chinese chick singing like Reba McEntire, I was really psyched to write about it, but the stories I wrote then were still the beginning of my recent storytelling development, and sound more like essay assignments. The two parts I include here come from the more ‘mature’ phase of my writing, and deal with her more humanly.
In the temple – The story seems so plain, but I put it in the collection because I liked how the people talked in it.
The order – Nothing much happens here, other than an order that arrives seven years early. I thought all the time-travel discussion was quite interesting, even though there’s very little by way of conclusion.
That which could not be named – We all, or many of us, have that fear of closing our eyes or of sticking our hands or feet beyond the bed while waiting for sleep. Perhaps the reader won’t quite get the meaning of the discussion on science – I don’t think I have – but it makes communication with someone five thousand years later plausible.
Taken – This attempts to look at what happens when spirit is separated from the material.
Motivational mirror – There is very little we know about how consciousness works, and what could yet be done with brain matter, so this allows for much speculation as found in this story.
The best – The first part isn’t about basketball per se, but the way that a paradigm shift seems to make all that precedes it so hopelessly backwards. Even speculating on a future paradigm is fruitless, because it presupposes application of such paradigm while still using an older paradigm. The second part is more down to earth, and one of my favorite sentimental things I’ve written.
The rural folk – In my published stories, the closest I get to a Star Trek reference is this story’s narrator’s name, Zarabeth. I fashioned the plot based on a story I read from ‘The big book of amazing knowledge’ as a child, about some dude two centuries ago creating a haunted house in which he frightened the residents away. I may even remember wrong, which is all the better for me as a writer.
Dad and the aliens – The idea for the bet comes from my personal frustration of being unable to get someone to see my point of view in an argument. If logic and reason won’t convince, maybe the loss of money will. I like how both silly and morbid this story is.
‘Be kind to puns’ is available for free today, Monday, and the next two Mondays, on Amazon.