Birth of a Science Fiction Horror Story

full metal horror

Screenshot from Facebook

I’m currently creating a story for an open submissions at Zombie Pirate Publishing called “Full Metal Horror 2,” a sequel to last year’s anthology, which by the way is doing fabulously, both in seller’s rank and reviews at Amazon.

Anyway, I’m creating the tale more or less from scratch (it is very, very loosely based on a very brief tale I developed here not too long ago) and thus, I had to do a fair amount of research (and it’s not over yet).

The story morphed in my imagination as I thought of the “practicality” or the original concept, and it’s become a sort of a “Silent Running” / “Alien” / “The Martian” / “Passengers” meets The Donner Party / “Lord of the Flies” / Jeffrey Dahmer / Fagin … well, kind of.

I spent the better part of last Sunday designing an interstellar spaceship including its habitats, command core, ancillary spacecraft, even firearms and robots (still need to fine tune a bunch of things), plus looking up famous serial killers and cannibals.

Sounds pretty lurid.

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The First Set of Ideas

the planet venus


Ideas. I get ideas. Some of them are extensions of my earlier robots stories, but others have been knocking around inside my brain for quite some time. Now that I’m becoming more comfortable in giving those thoughts a tangible expression, I want to branch out and try different types of stories.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. All of the titles are provisional.

The Problem With Ethics

If you’ve read The Rescuers, you know it ends with a lead in to the next story in this series. What happens when a Three-Laws driven Positronic brain is put in charge of automating many or most of the administrative and security functions of the main campus of a major business, the National Robotics Corporation, the company that created the brain in the first place? It may sound like a boring premise, but remember, how humans do business, the good, bad, and ugly of it, is very different from how a Three Laws synthetic intelligence would.

The Man Who Woke Up

This is the start of an entirely new and original series. A man wakes up in an unfamiliar room. He doesn’t know his name and the person he sees in the mirror looks “wrong” to him. He discovers his only hope of finding out about his past is a mysterious woman called Zoel. But she’s not interested in his past, only his future.

The Adventures of Jimmy and Grandpa

My seven-year-old grandson has a terrific imagination. His favorite game to play with me is to act out elaborate scenarios based on games, TV shows, books, and comic books. He’ll start out telling part of the story and then I have to tell the next part. We go round and round until we come up with a resolution to our problem (which typically involves defeating some sort of monster). I’m thinking about writing a series of children’s stories based on our “adventures” together. Oh, I’m not comfortable using his actual name, so I chose an adaptation of his middle name (yes, he’s named after me…awwww).

The Flight of Havoc Two

This tale will be part of my robots series, but it’s set some years in the future compared to the other stories. One of the concepts of manned missions to Venus is not to send astronauts to the surface where they would face hazards that would almost certainly prove fatal, but to have them explore the planet from an airship sailing high in the atmosphere. My premise is to have the first airships be flown by Positronic robots whose task is to build long-term flying platforms for later human explorers. Of course, something goes wrong.

Let me know what you think and feel free to make suggestions.