Jan 222018
 

Here is the first tale from Volume One of War With The Deep Ones, “Honolulu.” It’s provided complete in both PDF and EPUB (Kindle) formats. I would be interested in any and all constructive comments, criticisms, suggestions. Feel free to spread this far and wide… any relevant people, forums, discussion groups, whatever, that you think might like this, feel free. And if you do, let me know where.

Also interested in whether you prefer the PDF or the EPUB version.

The terribly short background for this story: it’s more than a century after the events of H.P. Lovecrafts “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” The Deep Ones – a race of amphibious humanoids (think: kinda like the Creature From The Black Lagoon, except smarter and more froggy) have finally decided that they’re done with mankind. There are a lot of them. And the vast majority of mankind is wholly in the dark. They are hard to kill, they have commitment to cause and they have shall we say patrons and allies that are just plain bad new for Mankind. On our side, we have… us. And some associates at Brass Valley…

Some of the stories will have recurring characters. Most will be one-and-done. This is about an event of global scale, after all… there would be billions of stories to tell here. I’m not going to try that hard, though.

War With The Deep Ones 1 Honolulu epub format

 

War With The Deep Ones 1 Honolulu pdf format

Let me know what you think. I’ll release the other stories here and probably at Amazon from time to time, for probably something like a buck or two a pop. If you are a Big Time Publisher and you read this and want to throw a gigantic advance at me and/or movie rights… let’s talk.

If you read this and enjoyed it, please consider putting a little something in the tip jar.

 


Fiction TipJar


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 Posted by at 2:09 am
  • Robbie

    So the fishmen’s only real advantage is there’s a lot of them? They’re gonna be in deep trouble when the military finally gets moving.

    • robunos20

      “Quantity has a Quality all if it’s own”

      • Thucydides_of_Athens

        Where did we leave those nuclear depth charges…….?

        • robunos20

          nuclear depth charges seem to be a popular solution, however, they were designed to destroy a small hard target at a fair miss distance. I’m not sure how one would work against a dispersed target like a horde of Deep Ones, or a Deep One City . . .

    • Scottlowther

      > only real advantage is there’s a lot of them

      At this point, numbers, surprise and willingness to kill. One religiously-motivated sea monster vs. one beachcomber… it’s a bit lopsided.

      • Herp McDerp

        Hmmm. Are the Deep Ones good to eat? I can think of certain locations on this planet where the fish-men would be viewed as tasty snacks, conveniently self-delivered.

        General question: Do the Deep Ones need to worry about decompression?

        • Scottlowther

          Eating Deep Ones is a point raised in one of the already written stories. The concept will be dealt with in more depth in a story in book two.

          Decompression – the bends – is not a big issue for them. It was hinted at in “Innsmouth” that they’d cone up from the depths and go back down at will.

        • robunos20

          Remember, Deep Ones are Lovecraftian horrors, eldritch creatures from Time Immemorial, and worshipping strange Gods whose nature and existence we can not begin to understand. The Laws of Nature as we know them may not apply here . . .

  • robunos20

    I liked it. A slow mundane start, then ‘something’ is wrong, followed by ‘HOLY $**T!! WTF is happening! Then it’s gore time . . . oh, and a nice homage to ‘The War of the Worlds’, and a ‘what DOES happen next’ ending . . .
    Just a couple of typos, and a few little edits that I would make, such as :-
    “but nobody was behaving anomalously;”
    ‘anomalously’ isn’t the right word here, I feel, it’s too technical. ‘Unusually’ is better, it’s more ‘ordinary’ . . .
    and here :-
    “He turned back to look down the jetway. The flight attendant was just behind him, another person a few yards behind her. She leaped; he caught her”
    change the second ‘he’ to ‘Reggie’, it wasn’t quite clear to me what was happening until I read it a second time.
    and lastly this bit:-
    “In another case, as the door tore off it would peel a ten-meter strip of the outer fuselage with it; the passenger compartment would lose pressurization in a split second. The plane would actually make it to the
    destination, landing under autopilot as it was filled with nothing but frozen corpses.”
    Now, you’re the aerospace professional, but I was always under the impression that the cargo hold was part of the pressure hull, and so the door had to be closed and locked _before_ the aircraft could be pressurised, the several DC-10 cargo door blow-outs come to mind . . .
    Other than that, excellent, waiting for the next installment . . .
    Oh, and either format is fine, I can handle both.

    • Scottlowther

      > I was always under the impression that the cargo hold was part of the pressure hull

      Quiet, you…

      Let’s just say that, since this is more than a century since the raid on Innsmouth, this particular jetliner is a new type with a separately-pressurized cargo compartment. Yeah, that’s it.

      Thanks for the edit-suggestions.

      • robunos20

        Hey, no worries, plot device, I got it . . . 😉

      • Paul451

        “Anomalously” didn’t bother me. If he was someone who used that word, he would occasionally think in those terms. It seems to be a common writers’ trick to use the character’s own vocabulary/style when writing from a specific character’s perspective, even when writing in third-person. And he didn’t strike me as a dullard, just stressed/hungover/unhappy.

        Re: The cargo doors. I was under the impression that the cargo section can be reached from inside the passenger cabin by the crew. Possibly the outer hatches can therefore be closed and sealed from inside while the aircraft is taxiing. Those aircraft that can’t, would travel at lower altitude to avoid the whole “freeze the passengers” thing. So they can still fly with the cargo hatch open, and hence the passenger cabin unpressurised. (But it’ll play merry hell with their range. And they might still rip open, even if flying low’n’slow.)

        Similarly, if there was a suddenly pressure loss, the oxygen masks would drop, the pilots would descend to a lower altitude with thicker air. AIUI, pilots train for it. So unless the aircraft was rendered unflyable, that freeze’n’land scenario wouldn’t happen. (The only time I heard about it happening was a slow leak combined with a faulty pressure sensor, everyone (including the pilots) just went to sleep and died, and the plane flew until it ran out of fuel. With a sudden pressure loss, everyone would know about it.)

        If you wanted to swap those aircraft losses around, you could have the fishmen climb the luggage lifters and rollers and get into some aircraft through the cargo space to reach the soft, chewy, passengery centres. Others up in the wheel wells, clawing through the floor to the cabin; or at the very least clawing through the hydraulic lines, preventing the aircraft from either raising or later lowering their gear. Variations on the fate of the hero-plane. (Speaking of which, unless you have some other cause in mind, I doubt running over some fishmen would burst the tyres, those suckers are built tough.)

        Other variants for aircraft losses might be fishmen and luggage sucked up through jet engines of otherwise intact planes, leaving those planes trapped on the tarmac, surrounded by monsters, with no way out.

        I’m of the… vague impression that air-crews don’t use “satellite phones”, as such, to talk to other control towers. Airlines have their own comsat network for such purpose, accessed through regular on-board comms. Worth asking a pilot, to get the lingo right.

        • Scottlowther

          > if there was a suddenly pressure loss, the oxygen masks would drop, the
          pilots would descend to a lower altitude with thicker air.

          I’m doing edits & re-writes. In this case, rather than the plane taking off with the door open, the door was closed but damaged, finally popping some time later. Perhaps it has a Deep One stuck into it with its claws; it freezes into an ice cube at high altitude and finally rips off, taking the door and a strip of fuselage with it. In any case, it pops at cruising altitude and peels a length of fuselage with it. At 43,000 feet, having a strip of fuselage suddenly not there would result in explosive decompression, going from about 10.9 psia to about 2 more or less instantly. At best, someone would have a few seconds before they pass out at that altitude, and due to the suddenness of it, a lot of people would pass out *instantly.* If that were to include the co-pilot (pilots was heading back to take a leak, got sucked out the hole), the plane would presumably continue at altitude. Even if some passengers got their masks on, they would be trapped in their seats; and how long does that oxygen last?

          Other excuses:

          1) It’s a Chinese airliner. Instead of oxygen, the masks release a mix of lead, cadmium and smog.

          2) The oxygen system was provided by whoever is providing the oxygen system for the F-35.

          3) The oxygen system just plain fails to deploy.

          In any event, the FAA is unlikely to do much of an investigation on this one.

          > I doubt running over some fishmen would burst the tyres,

          Perhaps not. Running into a crowd of ’em at takeoff speed probably won’t do the structure of the landing gear any favors, though.

          • Paul451

            and how long does that oxygen last?

            About 15 minutes. Long enough to drop altitude to breathable levels.

            Re: Sudden decompression. Aircraft have had entire pieces torn off (including crew sucked out. There was an infamous incident when I were a younger lad where the window in the cockpit tore off and a pilot was sucked out, saved by a flight steward hanging on to his legs. It doesn’t get more “instant decompression in the cockpit” than that.) If the plane remained flyable, then the crew had time to put on their oxygen masks.

            Aside: I wasn’t looking for “excuses”, I just thought you might want to tweak the reasons for accidents. They weren’t core parts of the plot (except the implied crash of the hero-plane), so it doesn’t matter what kills them. Hence avoiding “WTF” incongruities for readers should be fairly easy. (I’m not an aerospace expert, but they jumped out at me.)

          • Scottlowther

            > About 15 minutes. Long enough to drop altitude to breathable levels.

            Assuming there’s someone driving the bus. I imagine if the autopilot is up to the job of auto-landing, it’s probably smart enough to drop altitude if there is a cabin breach but… shrug. Dunno. This would be a day of things goin’ wrong.

            > (I was trying to be helpful critical, not “internet” critical.

            Understood, and appreciated. “Hey, this here bit threw me out of the story” is good criticism. “Yer a damn Nazi because I disagree with your immigration policies, thus your story about invading sea monsters is wrong and stoopid” is not so helpful. And of course “your interpretation of Deep One biology/numbers/tactics/strategy does not match my head canon, so you’re wrong and stoopid” is not so helpful either. If some miracle occurs and my little tales find more than a few dozen readers, I fully expect both types of the unhelpful criticism. Shrug.

            I haven’t defined just what’s going on with the invasion around the world… yet. The next story I plan to drop is a real info-dump of a yarn…not a whole lot happens in terms of plot, just a lot of exposition. It’s not the way you’re supposed to do it, but I figured it needed doing.

            It’s a whole lot of confusion, followed by a day of panic. But you know who it would really suck for? The people on long-range jet transports who took off on a regular day and discovered too late to go back that their destination is now overrun with monsters, as are all possible secondary landing sites.

  • Ian Bruene

    “the Deep Ones have the unfortunate habit of
    worshipping Cthulhu and being, sell, monsters.”

    2 typos in the introduction “worshipping”, “sell”.

    Hmmmm, from the description of the Deep One’s mouth I’m thinking like the Selkath in Star Wars, but far more murderous. Bonus: the story they featured in included an underwater base where nearly everyone went insane and started ripping people apart.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/b/b5/Selkath_profile.png/revision/latest?cb=20130730150958

    • Scottlowther

      >2 typos in the introduction

      Oh, frak. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read this since July looking for spelling errors. Somebody else writes something, can spot every little error right off the bat. I wrote it? The spelling errors are invisible.

      • robunos20

        That’s because you wrote it, and so you read what you think you’ve written, not what’s actually there . . .

    • Scottlowther

      > “worshipping”, “sell”.

      Hmmm. “Sell” was clearly a typo,” should have been “well.” But “worshipping” is perfectly cromulent spelling, though British, oddly enough.

      https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/worshipping

      • Paul451

        Did you notice the “fist few decades” in the same paragraph while you were checking those two?

        (Reading the actual story, the only typo I saw was on page 8 of the PDF, “across Reggies face” instead of “Reggie’s”.)

  • Robbie

    The plane landing under autopilot reminds me of that story about the B-29 in WW2 that landed itself after the crew bailed out and it started legends about bombers being flown by phantom crews.

  • markus baur

    love it – and like both epub and pdf version (i use bath formats, depending on the situation and device)

    • Scottlowther

      > love it

      Tell all your friends.

  • vpp1956

    Scott,

    Loved the story and hope you make more efforts along these lines.

    Have you read Stross’s novella “A Colder War”. Its available on-line as a freebie. Its similar to your effort: an updating of HP Lovecraft and the Cthullu Mythos into a reimagined Cold War.

    Stross also authors the Laundry Series wherein Lovecraftian horrors are pitted against a modern day descendant of the UK’s Special Operations Executive, magic is real, and, it turns out, its all a reflection of the interplay between higher order maths and the “real” world.

    There’s also a disturbingly well-done retelling of Lovecraft’s world in graphic novel form called “Neonomicon / Providence” – a trilogy plus one. A sizable portion of “Neonomicon” (the plus one) deals with the FBI vs a Deep One cult in modern day Providence, RI. The treatment is very graphic and very adult. Truly not Spiderman. The “Providence” trio is more or less set in the world of the 1920s and 30s – until the world of Providence and the Neonomicon collide.

    I played with an idea for a while that I wanted to try and write along the lines of computer game reviewer that receives and unsolicited product with a request from the gaming company to give it a try and give them some feedback. The game is based on Lovecraft’s world and the designer includes a cryptic note describing it as a “persistent world” game. Where things continue to happen – maybe to your stuff – even when you’re logged out.

    He tries it out. is Intrigued. Suffers a setback in the game. Logs out, And then his real life starts to go down the toilet REAL fast. Girlfriend quits the relationship. Fired from his job with no explanation. Power is cut-off to the house. He spends a fraught uncomfortable night trying to sleep and plagued by disturbing dreams that he somehow knows he won’t remember. And wakes to find himself not in his house in a suburb of San Jose in 2018. But in threadbare, depression era boarding house ca 1930something in Arkham, Mass…

    Then I lost the thread…

    Persistent indeed. I guess Jumanji meets Cthullu.

    Anyway, keep up the literary efforts and who knows – maybe when Hollywood runs out of comic book movies – your stuff might get a look-see.

    Vaughn

    • Scottlowther

      > I played with an idea for a while that I wanted to try and write

      Start scribblin’. Took me 20+ years to write my first novel. Took me six months to write the second.

      Now, to see how many centuries to get one of them published…

    • robunos20

      >Jumanji meets Cthullu.
      Sounds good to me . . .