A blog where Stephanie M. Belser test-drives her fictional stories.
Expect the occasional
"stall, spin, crash & burn".

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Monkey’s Star

(A flash fiction challenge)

I had settled in for my tour of duty some cycles ago. It was not difficult work to watch the Monkey Planet. The job was mine because of my treatise on the characteristics of emerging species. Based on a statistical and cultural analysis of worlds whose populations had developed space travel, I had developed a framework to use to assess the likelihood of any newly-discovered sentient species developing the ability to interact with the rest of the space-faring civilizations.

It was an analytical system which had stood the test of time. Or it did, until the discovery of the Monkey Planet. They didn’t fit the framework. On the contrary, they seemed to be unsuitable for mastering the technology of fire, let alone space travel. But they had figured out how to make fusion weapons and use the radio spectrum for communications. Now they were venturing from their world to others in their system. They had robotic probes that had left their star system.

Their spacecrafts were exceedingly primitive. They had recently been developing magnetic-plasma rockets. Every other space faring species had developed far better forms of propulsion before they traveled into space. The Monkeys had gone to their nearest neighboring planet with chemical rockets that we regarded as little more than children’s toys.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


There are a lot of people who are writing works of fiction that will never see the guts of an offset press. That's kind of the way it is. Harsh, but true. So it really kind of galls my gizzard that there is a fictional author who is "writing" fiction. Look, I like Nathan Fillion's work. He was great as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly/Serenity. But the fact that a fictional author is publishing books? In reality, that's probably not much different from the "Tom Clancy's", "Richard Ludlum's" and now, "Robert B. Parker's" books that are in print. Maybe some of those books are based on notes (or at least grocery lists) written by the real guy. It's bad enough that people who don't read books (Snookie and Dubya come to mind) are writing books. And maybe the "Castle" series is no different from using a pen name. But it feels wrong to me. YMMV.