The Fabulist

Compiled Computerized Charlatanism

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Life on Mars?
Chapter: 14
Page Count: 171
Word Count: 83,000
Nemo's Bounty: 250,000 Commercial

Point of Interest: Today's excerpt isn't actually from the Endless Night novel – it's from a pending short story, entitled “Olympus Lost,” whose opening paragraphs came to me in a haze. Enjoy.

"Callous chance had cast him beneath.

As only the Fates, blind spinners of fortune, held sway over cast lots and the other cleromancies, the youngest of the three brothers knew instantly who truly was responsible for this first seed of his damnation. At the time, that critical moment uncounted centuries ago, any properly scornful words failed him, as they typically did and he was driven to nothing but a halfhearted lash of his chariot's reigns and perhaps a thwarted sigh as fell steeds bore him forth and down a fresh cleft in the earth, yawning open as if to welcome him below.

The youngest among two bombastic brothers, each more vociferous than the last, Hades spoke least and thought most."

Few things to cover today – choose your poison:


There are any number of clichés I could prop up to describe the sensation, but leaving Fargo/Moorhead for an indeterminate amount of time has, in fact, been surreal. Somehow, with the LA trip, it managed to prowl nearer and nearer, relatively unnoticed and when I did finally acknowledge its proximity, I chose to focus of logistics, on wrapping up D&D campaigns, chopping up furniture and donating excess clothes to Good Will, without any actual thought to the emotional core of what I was about to do – transition from the last vestiges of my youth into actual, factual adulthood.

Yet, somehow, I ended up here, in St. Cloud, in the town of my birth, embodying the stereotype I fought most of my adolescent life – lurking in a darkened basement, reading about Tatooine population centers and sponging off my parents for food, shelter and transportation. Obviously, it's a stepping stone and when the Safety's development funds come through, I'll be the first one out the door, but I can't seem to shake this nagging feeling that I'm, in fact, heading backwards as opposed to forwards.

I'm also, ironically, lonely. Surrounded by my parents and one boarder, my interpersonal contact has radically dropped since leaving Moorhead. I really only interacted with my roommate while there, but her constant companionship was exactly that; constant. I'm certain it grated on her as time passed, but we never exactly addressed the nature of our relationship until the final hours and I feel as if more was left unsaid than was actually voiced. Here, with no one to care about fictional developments, I'm left to scrutinize not only my work itself, which seems to pale in recent observation, but the actual nature of my personality – something intentionally prickled. I don't know how she lived with me, because I'm not sure I can.


The book needs a title change. Bad Space is perfectly functional, I think, but the more exposure I have to the Dead Space video games, the more I gradually begin to appreciate its superiority to mine. Essentially the same title, Dead Space actually achieves more on multiple levels than Bad Space, albeit intentionally obvious, can.

I feel like it's gotta be Hull Damage. It doesn't quite mesh, in my opinion, with Galactic Menace or Unconstant Love and, seeing as how there'll be an official title drop in a pivotal point in the book, I hope it remains as right as it feels now. Only time will tell, I suppose.

I do technically owe mattdoyle  a Scum and Villainy Update and indeed, my own side campaign could use a plug, but unfortunately, I had a hell of time even reaching my quota today. Scum and Villainy and its sister-game, My Kind of Scum, will be better served when I've had a chance to recharge my vocabulary-gonads.

Until later.



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