Jul 202017
 

Because why not, I’ve written a short story. Not sure if it’s any good or not, so I’m hoping to find three martyrs volunteers willing to give it a read and give me feedback. There are two things:

  1. Ya gotta be willing to reply back here with your general impressions after you’ve read it. It hasn’t really been edited yet… I scribbled it out in a day, and I’m sure it’s chock full o’ grammar errors. Just looking for “I would read more of this” or “meh” or “that sucked ass” or “take my money,” stuff like that. And any other comments.
  2. Ya gotta be a fan of Lovecraft, and reasonably knowledgeable in the Lovecraftian basics. Otherwise, this just won’t make much sense. This isn’t “Lovecraftian in tone or theme,” it’s an outright shameless pastiche.

I’ve been poking away at the next Pax Orionis story, but this one sort of popped into my head and I had to scribble it down. If interested, comment. First three volunteers get to read free fiction.

 Posted by at 4:28 am
  • Warren

    I really like Lovecraft so I’d like to see your story.

    Thanks,

    Warren

    • Scottlowther

      First!

      • Warren W. James

        Scott – I really really loved your story!!!

        This goes to prove that sometimes getting up at 4 AM to go to work has benefits beyond a paycheck and missing the worst of LA’s rush hour traffic.

        I’m a big Lovecraft fan and have a number of shelves filled with Lovecraftian fiction. Some good but much not so much so. I am always looking for the next great Lovecraftian story. And now I’ve found it.

        You did a respectful job of building on what Lovecraft had written and then made believable extrapolations based on that to come up with a great new story. It felt believable and did a good job of fitting in with what Lovecraft had written. {Well, I think the Leviathons did stretch things a bit and I think you might want to tweak that part some but they were not so outré that they pulled me out of the story.}

        In some ways your story reminded me of the mythos stories written by Charles Stross but yours was much better.

        There were some typos and the like but those could be easily fixed.

        I can do a line by markup for typos and other things if you’ll send me a version that can be edited using track changes. Could also discuss more about things you might want to tweak – there aren’t many – but that would be more appropriate for a non-public discussion.

        Some people might observe that your story reads like a treatment for a screenplay and they would not be too far off base. But I enjoyed your story for what it was and realize that doing it in a conventional novel style would have turned this tight 15 page gem into a multi-thousand page monstrosity worthy of George RR Martin. You presented an interesting situation, moved things along with believable action and made me hungry for the next installment. It doesn’t get any better than that.

        OTOH, this would be a great opener for a novel. And it would also serve to help draw in people who are not familiar with the works of HP Lovecraft and give them the backstory that underlies your story.

        I could see this story being the novel’s Introduction and when you get to that last line…. “And then, of course, it got worse.” you would transition to a first person narrative told with characters and dialog and all those other pesky things that readers expect to see in a novel. That way you’d start the novel with a huge but wonderfully interesting info dump and then segue into a story that shows us how things got worse and what people did about it.

        I think you have the makings of a really enjoyable Lovecraftian horror story. I think you should polish it up a bit, fix the typos and then post it on your web site for everyone else to enjoy. Then you should get busy on writing a full length novel because I want to know what comes next.

        You might occasionally put up chapters here to get people interested but don’t post to much. You want people to feel like they are getting something new when they buy your book. You should focus on getting that novel out in a format that can be read on a Kindle and let Amazon offer it for sale all round the world. Once the word gets out I think you could have a winner.

        Keep up the good work. I liked your story a lot. This is a really impressive bit of writing and it could lead to much bigger things. I can’t wait for you to turn this into a full fledged novel.

        You’ve gotten me hooked. Now sit your butt down and start writing the rest of your book.

        • Scottlowther

          Thanks for the comments.

          > This goes to prove that sometimes getting up at 4 AM

          Pfff. What’s this “getting up at 4AM nonsense? I’m at the “still awake at 4AM” stage of life.

          >I think the Leviathons did stretch things a bit

          Hmmm. Puns….

          > your story reminded me of the mythos stories written by Charles Stross

          When I started scribbling this a few days ago, I finally wandered by Amazon and ordered his first three “Laundry” novels. I’m hoping that when I read them I won’t see too many parallels.

          > There were some typos

          “Some?” I imagine there are a lot, and a lot of run-on sentences and other grammar errors that would cause the Grammar Nazis to explode. it’s what happens when you bang something out in a hurry.

          > I could see this story being the novel’s Introduction and when you get
          to that last line…. “And then, of course, it got worse.” you would
          transition to a first person narrative told with characters and dialog
          and all those other pesky things that readers expect to see in a novel.

          Were I to try to turn this into a novel-length work, I can’t currently see how I would go about focusing on a single character or small group of character, like I’ve done with the Zaneverse novel. I can only currently see it as a collection of different tales around a whole bunch of different people, perhaps with the narrator as the binding force. I hate to say it, but emulating *something* of the style of “World War Z.” But in this case, unlike “Z” or “Pax Orionis,” I don’t think I’d try to produce something that reads like a “non fiction” history of the event, but actual tales. Under the circumstances, a whole lot of them would end with some variation of either “and then he died” or “and then he went mad.”

          Zaneverse is the product of twenty five years of work, Pax Orionis, about 15. This thing? Genesis was two days ago. The planning is… a little lean.

          • Henry Quirk

            “Were I to try to turn this into a novel-length work…”

            Don’t. This a short story. Treat it as such.

          • Henry Quirk

            “he went mad”

            I wonder how a bonafide sociopath would fare in the face of a Lovercraftian Reality? Such a person is not exactly crazy but more an alien in thinking and perspective, and that alien nature may very well insulate such a person from the deeper effects of coming face-to-face with madness incarnate.

          • Scottlowther

            I imagine it would depend greatly on whether or not the sociopath felt personally threatened by the eldritch horrors. If, say, the sociopath lives in Dallas and the “horror” is “japan suddenly turned into angles,” he might view it as nothing more than pure entertainment. But if the horror surrounded him… shrug.

            One also wonders how someone already crazy would deal.

        • Scottlowther

          > I think the Leviathons did stretch things a bit and I think you might
          want to tweak that part some but they were not so outré that they
          pulled me out of the story.}

          Hmmm….

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhfIpUgxgm8

  • cygnus_darkstar

    I’ve enjoyed the stories you’ve previously posted and I’m a bit of an H.P. Lovecraft fanatic, so I’d be happy to review this work.

    • Scottlowther

      Second!

      • cygnus_darkstar

        That was quite a fun read. I’ve sent you a reaaaaaalllly long email with my critique and thoughts, for what they’re worth. If you like, I can repost it here as a comment as well.

        • Scottlowther

          Well, a non-spoilery edited version I suppose…

  • Henry Quirk

    I’d like a shot it, please.

    • Scottlowther

      Third!

      • Henry Quirk

        Got it…will begin tonight after the little one hits the sack…you want comments here, yeah?

        • Scottlowther

          Yup. Good or bad, positive or negative.

  • Henry Quirk

    I’d like a shot *’at’ it, please

    *see there? editor power!

  • Siergen

    I wonder if the volunteers need to sign a legal waiver in case reading the story drives them insane…

    • Henry Quirk

      Too late!

  • KellyFromMesquite

    This is what happens when I sleep late, no freebies. I would have liked to read your story and commented.

  • Henry Quirk

    Using the ‘gotta keep reading/wanna read more’ standard: a fine piece of writing.

    No major revisions are needed (in substance or presentation). It’s a clean ‘get in, get out’ piece that does what’s intended and drops off exactly where it should (leaving me asking ‘what happens next?’).

    Only change you could make is the title. Try sumthin’ like ‘Addendum to File OO-C-DO:734 (summation of field notes)’. This makes the story less definitive, less internally weighty, more like a report appended to one of a thousand or more files.

    Clean it up, smooth it out, send it off (to whoever publishes fantastic fiction these days).

    Now gimme my no-prize.