Wednesday, December 17, 2014

100-Word Sci-Fi: "Earthling Dynasty"

This week's story was inspired by the random word "decoy."

Earthling Dynasty
by
Nigel G. Mitchell

Toby Conrad felt disappointed when the blonde standing at the bar headed for the door. But at the last moment, she looked over her shoulder and winked at him.

Toby ran out after her, and spotted the blonde walking into an alley next to a Chinese food restaurant. He followed her into the darkness. A blinding light pierced the sky. He felt himself lifting off the ground. He screamed as he vanished.

*

Kodoc watched the Earthling teleport into the dissection chamber. "She did it again."

"Of course." His partner Saadyn pointed at the golden-haired android. "The decoy works every time."

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ebonics in DEAD LINKS is Gone

When I wrote my thriller Dead Links, I made two conscious choices. I wanted the heroine to be a female African-American, and I wanted her to speak in Ebonics. I wrote earlier about why I chose to use Ebonics, but the gist of it is that I wanted to show how a black woman can be intelligent and still speak in Ebonics. I actually based her dialogue on a friend of mine who's very bright and educated, but grew up in the ghetto, so she's kept those speech patterns. Some people judge her because of that and I think it's unfair. We should judge people by what they say, not how they say it.

Unfortunately, I've discovered most readers haven't seen it that way. They seem to find the Ebonics annoying and unrealistic. After getting three negative reviews based solely on the dialogue (one specifically on the use of the word "ain't"), I've decided the dialogue distracts too much from the reading experience. I've re-written Amanda's dialogue to remove much of the Ebonics, while still keeping her vocal style.

If the dialogue has been keeping you from enjoying Dead Links, now's the time to try it again.

Related Posts
Can Ebonics Be Used By Smart People?

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Read "The Girl Who Played With the Dragon Tattoo's Nest" For Free

I recently re-read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and while I enjoyed it, it does have its quirks. Like a lot of Swedish street names. And sandwiches. And the Mary Sue-like main character. And the hacking, which is (while more accurate than most fictional hacking) kind of ridiculous. And did I mention that it's Swedish? Because the author does, a lot. I actually became a little obsessed with the book in my head, running over all the weird things in it.

Anyway, just for fun, I started writing a parody of it that I call The Girl Who Played With the Dragon Tattoo's Nest. It was just supposed to be a quick 6000-word thing, but I've already passed that mark, and it's still going. It may end up being an actual thing instead of just a quick gag. I'm working on it for fun in-between projects, so I don't know when or even if I'll ever finish it. But you can read my progress on Wattpad for free. Let me know what you think.

And if you want to read a much shorter but undoubtedly funnier parody of Dragon Tattoo, check out Nora Ephron's short story, "The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut."

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams [Review]

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know that old question, what book would you take with you if you were trapped on a desert island? Well, my first pick would be a book on survival training. But my second pick would be "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." I know I could spend the rest of my life reading this book, because I've already read it more times than I could count, and I'm never tired of it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson [Review]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary: A disgraced financial journalist takes on an assignment that seems impossible: solve the mystery of a teenage girl who disappeared forty years ago. Along the way, he discovers dark secrets and forms an unlikely friendship with an antisocial female computer hacker.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

100-Word Sci-Fi: "Wipe Out"

On a regular basis, I write hundred word stories inspired by random words. Today's word is "toilet."

Wipe Out
by Nigel G. Mitchell

As lasers continued to pound on the reinforced Oval Office, the president shook his head. "I still don't understand how toilet paper could cause an intergalactic incident."

Professor Damaso pointed to a diagram of an alien creature on his screen. "It's simple. When the Volumii saw a roll of toilet paper in the International Space Exploration Vessel, they asked what it was. It took over an hour for the astronauts to explain, and that's when we discovered the Volumii don't excrete waste products. The concept so repulsed the Volumii they now consider humans a foul species that must be exterminated."

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"Toiletpapier (Gobran111)" by Brandon Blinkenberg - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toiletpapier_(Gobran111).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Toiletpapier_(Gobran111).jpg

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I Tried To Write Romance, But I Hate the Genre

It's time I made a confession. I did something I'm not proud of. I want to say it was peer pressure, that everyone else was doing it, and I was just trying to look cool. But to be honest, it was all my decision. I guess I just wanted to try it for myself. I'm talking, of course, about writing a romance novel.

Friday, October 31, 2014

How Long Does It Take to Read Popular Books?

Let's say you want to read the world's most popular books. And you should. How long would it take you to read all of them? Personal Creations created this infographic based on the books' length and average reading speed. Your mileage may vary.

UPDATE: Replaced image with IMGUR link

[Via Personal Creations via Shortlist]

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Monday, October 20, 2014

"Man Overboard" is Now Free

I finally was able to get my first permanently free story on Amazon. "Man Overboard" is a short story about an interstellar fisherman whose son gets lost in another dimension. You can get it at three major ebookstores; AmazonKobo, and Smashwords. Hopefully, I'll have more stories for free soon.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

100-Word Sci-Fi: "In the Corner"

This week's story was inspired by the random word "shadows."

In the Corner
by Nigel G. Mitchell

Talia Omar patted her daughter's hand. "I'm telling you, there are no monsters."

Hillary huddled deeper under the blankets. "But I saw it. There in the corner."

Talia pointed to the corner of the bedroom. "Do you see it there now?"

"No, but it was there. In the dark."

Talia stood up. "I'm going to turn off the lights, okay? I'll be right here." She switched off the lights. "I'm still here. Now do you see the monster in the corner?"

Hillary's wide eyes showed in the darkness. "No."

"See?"

"Because it's right behind you."

Talia turned around and screamed.

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.
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