Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Commander Sue Writes!

Usually if I have something to say about my own writing I say it over at by Sue London. If you follow that link you'll see that I, uh, usually don't have a lot to say. But I got a request to hear about my writing (thanks Corin!) and like any artist can't pass up the opportunity. This is a sample from a book that I started back in the late 90s. It was submitted for work-shopping at Viable Paradise in 2007 and even though they asked for more it ultimately didn't make it. Yes, everyone say a collective "awwwww." But of all the characters I've written so far it is George that I love the most. He is driven and noble and sweetly tragic. Since you don't have a book cover to judge it by, or a back of the book synopsis to read, let me set it up for you.

The world has barely recovered from the Information Wars of 2018 and for the last twenty years the 'interactive virtual reality' or vweb has been slowly developed as a playground for scientists and scholars. Now that the vweb is almost within reach of the public the World Congress is becoming concerned and the more conservative members want the vweb shut down until its potential hazards are better understood. The central and nearly messianic figure of vweb development is George Day, founder of Virtuality. While George is facing the Congressional inquiries he thinks their threat is the worst thing that can happen to his world.  Then Virtuality users start dying, and a review of their programs proves that they were murdered.  George has to stop the murderous hacker who has devised a way to travel the byways of Virtuality, while keeping the World Congress from pulling the plug on the only reality he can live in.
   George opened the Washington Post to section A, page 12 and folded it back with a satisfying crinkle. He rustled it again to enjoy the noise. Halfway down the page he found the article he was looking for under Cora Perez’s byline. The corner of his mouth quirked at the title she had chosen, “It’s a Brand New Day”.
   Looking at George Day, it could be said that there is nothing extraordinary about him. Medium build. Medium complexion. Medium hair. Looks that belie any ethnic identification. He’s a little shy, but when his enthusiasm overtakes him his eyes sparkle with humor and he gestures eloquently with his hands. Nothing extraordinary. Except that George has a degenerative disease and has been bed-ridden since the age of twelve. He is in ‘Virtuality’ and I am interviewing him through a videoconference...
   A gentle knock on his office door made George look up from the paper. “Yes?"
   Mbutu stuck his head in. “It’s been off the press, what, five minutes? We’re already getting calls. The president of MiCorp is on line two to congratulate you, if you want to take it.” Mbutu’s trademark smile was even broader than usual. He and George just sort of stared at each other for a moment.
   “This is going to change things, isn’t it?” George asked with a mystified smile.
   “Yeah, I think so.”
   “Did you ever think that we would end up here?”
   “Not in a million years,” he said with a laugh. Shaking his head he added, “Not in two million.”
   While the office door drifted closed behind Mbutu, George picked up line two.
Thanks for checking out my fiction! It gives me a little fuzzy "Squee!" inside to know that you read this far. (If you skipped down here to the bottom just don't tell me.)

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