Wednesday, April 25, 2007

An Indexed List of My Online Fiction

In the blog post below I've put together an indexed list of all the short stories I've written and posted on this blog over the past two and a half years. I've already categorized all these stories as Fiction, and so they can be accessed down on the left sidebar under surface tension; but with as many stories as I've posted on this blog, a listing of the full text of all of them is less than ideal for browsing. Hence the brief indexed list.

While I was at it, I decided to include in the list my older works of fiction, which are available over at my personal website. These stories were written as far back as 25 and 30 years ago; they range in length from short stories all the way up to a complete science-fiction novella.

I wish I could explain why the stories I write are almost always science fiction; but I can't. Years back I read a lot of science fiction, but I read a lot of other fiction too. I've also been asked why my stories are usually so dark and grim; again, I really can't explain it, except that my stories have been that way as long as I've been writing, going all the way back to junior high and high school. I assume there's something there that I'm trying to work out; but I can't readily explain it or even sum it up.

This indexed list will remain available over on the left sidebar, at the top as "My Online Fiction"; and further down, under surface tension, as "Fiction (Indexed)."

5 Comments:

Blogger Richmond said...

Niiiiice. Spring Cleaning - blog style. I wish I were so motivated...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

I think you're stuck on the middle-images. You know: good exists, bad attacks good, good wins after great effort.

Your darker things are harshly compelling in their juxtaposition to brighter things, although the story itself is mostly dark.

Its the drawing of the reader into the world, the insistance that the reader considers what happened before the first page and after the last page that makes them brilliant works. If you don't feel like writing a novel, have you thought about using them as a compilation of short-stories?

I don't say that because you're a friend. I have friends that are bad writers. You're just not one of them :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Lucy, you point out something that hadn't quite registered on me before: in some of my more recent stories, good does win after great effort.

In my latest story, I think it's not too hard for the reader to envision that Reo may eventually triumph. The main question is, will he triumph by cutting loose as a Cosmic Avenger, or through following a sort of via crucis?

(People have pointed out to me before the frequent occurrence of Cosmic Avenger figures in my stories.)

On the other hand, there are some of my stories, including most of my older ones, where it's not at all clear that good wins out. In my longest and probably best-written story, the science-fiction novella Bearing Light (written back in 1980-81), the protagonist ends up realizing that he is damned, having let himself be drawn into a Faustean bargain where he is functioning quite literally as a professional serpent in Eden.

I've also written a number of other fictional pieces, not posted online. Novel? Somewhere I've got an unfinished novel entitled The Mark of Abel. Very dark and gloomy, the disintegration of an entire culture of interstellar traders as exemplified in the slow, gradual self-destruction of a former starship astrogator.

After seeing how John Eddy and Dean Esmay published their novel via Lulu.com, I have entertained the possibility of self-publishing a collection of my stories. In fact I've looked into it somewhat: looks to me like the chief obstacle would be mastering all the technicalities of getting the book set up and formatted just right. Because in order to make it affordable, Lulu.com puts the entire burden of editing and "typesetting" on the author. Nice, if you can pull it off. I think I might be able to, but first I'd have to become far more adept at OpenOffice than I am now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 3:34:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Also, you're quite correct, my stories often have far more "back story" to them than I explicitly include. If that somehow shows through to the reader, or shines in from around the edges, or helps draw the reader in, or even tempts the reader to guess at the missing pieces, then I'm gratified.

Though it makes it harder for me to pull the story into shape. I've got another story I've been carrying in my head now for a long time— set in an alternate history right here in my corner of Iowa— and I've done a lot of reading and historical research for it, even interviewed a few local people who know historical and archaeological details— and I cannot get the thing written down, because all the "back story" keeps overwhelming and smothering the narrative.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

I seem to remember a classic author saying that he wrote all the backstory in to clean-up his mind and then edited it out to clean-up the story. Of course, I can't remember WHICH author because my brain is cluttered with various renditions of "SesameStreet" songs :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:06:00 PM  

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