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Re: The Wee Free Men - Week 1 Chapters 1 -3

I like the fact that anything people have made up is real. That stories had to come from somewhere. I kind of wish that were true. I would love to go into one of my favorite book worlds.

It's really interesting you should point that out as the importance of stories is probably the theme Pterry returns to more than anything and seems to be what the Discworld is all about when you boil it right down. It's probably most prevalent in the Witches novels, but the blur between fiction and reality is something he was obviously really fond of exploring.

April 04, 2015, 10:26:57 PM
Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread I've reworked a story idea I was working on for a University course I'm doing that otherwise wouldn't go anywhere for this month's contest. (FYI, for those who're regulars and don't recognise the name, I used to be heavily involved in this contest but had to take a step back due to other commitments, so I'm not a total random!) It's not really SF in any way, unfortunately, but hopefully someone finds something to like! 

The word count is 802 words.

Twitter - @the_idlewilder

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Long Road

Laura Freeman is about to die.

She’s so sure of it by this point that she wonders why she’s running. She’s been on this road all day and there’s not been one other vehicle. On either side of the long, never-ending road are old ditches, like something she’s seen in films about the First World War. She imagines lying down in them, taking cover and getting ready to go over the top. They’re so overgrown now they could never be trenches, but the seemingly infinite length of the road puts her in mind of something terrible and impossible to overcome.

Her mouth is parched and Laura can’t help but kick herself for throwing away her half-empty bottle of water a few hours earlier.

She’s hungry, too. Starving even. She’s running on empty but can’t help wondering – some would say obsessively – if she left a half-eaten Snickers in the glove compartment of her car.

And the car! Well, if it wasn’t for that hunk-a-junk she’d be sipping sweet, luscious cider by now instead of praying to god for just one drop of rain. Laura thinks back to the morning, trying to start the run down old piece of shit in the hotel car park while munching on that Snickers bar and knocking back a glass of ice cold coffee. Coffee like liquid silk swimming in her mouth instead of the cloying, glue-like remnants of saliva filling it now.
The car had spluttered into life on the third try, right as she was about to call a mechanic. And wasn’t that damned unfortunate? Maybe if she’d have called them she’d have spotted her phone’s battery on 15% and thought to charge it. But now here she is on a desolate roadside miles from anywhere with no way of calling for help.

Yes, Laura Freeman is about to die.

No doubt about it.

‘Take this road by the farm track, my love,’ the old hotelier had said. ‘Bit out in the sticks, maybe, but the old road’ll see you halve the journey, mind my words.’

Laura keeps thinking about that conversation. If only the old woman’s husband had been on the desk; maybe he’d have kept his mouth shut and she wouldn’t be out here in the middle of nowhere. Instead, Laura’s about to die, and all because of that old woman.

And her phone.

And her car.

Laura thinks back to the journey, bumping and grinding along the old farm track until out she came here, on this road. The Beatles were on the stereo, the track buzzing and jumping; she’s never been sure if it’s the stereo or the CD that’s the problem, but she gave it a whack anyway. Twice for good measure, and Hey Jude blasted out like it was the first time it had ever been played.

Laura belted the words out, ‘Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, Hey Jude!’ She was in the middle of nowhere after all. Who the hell cares?

The song cut out again and she thumped the dashboard, but something went lumpy under her feet and she hit the brakes, the car spinning as she tried to correct it.
Thrown forward.

Seatbelt catches.


Laura’s car was in the ditch – hey, it still is - and she couldn’t do anything about it. She tried and tried but it wouldn’t budge, so she got out and set to walk, grabbed her phone and her water bottle.

She’ll wave down the first car she sees.

Well, we know how that turns out, don’t we? Laura chides herself again.

But there’s something she’s been putting out of her mind. It’s only been a few hours, if that. Laura’s been running for what feels like forever now, but when she first set out she was walking at a steady pace.

This is panic.

Laura looks down at her jeans, smeared in mud and torn in several places. Her hands are grazed and covered in cuts and drenched in something wet and hot and sticky.

Her face feels tender to the touch, but it’s her side that hurts the most.

Laura feels the long, sharp shard of glass (or metal, she’s not sure) twist in her stomach and knows she’s about to die.

She looks behind and sees the car, a mangled wreck wrapped around a tree in the ditch. Glass peppers the road and blood smears run all the way to where she stands. Only Laura isn’t standing. Laura’s been running all day but not with her legs. She’s been running away from the very thought of something. Something terrible and impossible to overcome.

The water bottle lies half-empty in the ditch half a mile back and Laura feels inside her jacket for the shard again, but finds only her dead phone and a sticky, half-eaten Snickers bar.

April 06, 2015, 01:42:14 PM
Re: Misc. thread
@Idlewilder, @Eclipse, @Jeni - where are you? How far did I leave you behind? ;)
Let me assure you that Assail is totally worth your time. In some ways Esslemont surpasses Erikson in Blood and Bone and Assail. Try them out. :)

I only got as far as the end of the first part of Dust of Dreams before my head imploded and I literally couldn't concentrate long enough to read more than a page at a time .... thought I was getting back to normal a few months ago but then had a bit of a relapse... I have actually read nearly 3 books over the last month so I'm getting back to normal, but I might leave it another month or so before I head back to Malazan to finish the series.

Hey Jeni! Great to see you back - I'm glad you're starting to feel better.  :)

April 06, 2015, 06:22:52 PM
Re: Vision of Robin Hobb's "FOOL" revealed... Wow. That is...


April 08, 2015, 08:32:05 PM
Re: Favourite Abercrombie Novel? Best Served Cold is definitely my favourite because I loved the revenge plot, the characters (Shivers' arc and his opposing arc with Monza in particular are amazing) and the Styrian setting.

But I'd say The Heroes is probably his best work. It's thematically by far his most cohesive and the whole structure of the novel is still an amazing idea that he managed to pull off perfectly.

April 13, 2015, 09:44:28 AM
Re: Daredevil (Netflix) 6 episodes in and I'm very impressed. Excellent take on the character and seems to have reinvigorated what a lot of people thought was a minor Marvel superhero (probably due in part to the mostly mediocre Ben Affleck adaptation). Unlike Jmack the only element I don't think works is Foggy. The character would fit in most of the big films as broad comic relief but in this very, very dark part of the MCU I'm not convinced and find he clashes badly. All in all though it's great.

Plus I have to keep reminding myself whenever Daredevil beats the living shit out of a bad guy, with blood everywhere, cracked bones and whatever else, that there's a talking tree/raccoon combo wandering around out there somewhere too. Pretty crazy!

April 13, 2015, 09:18:38 PM
Re: New User...HI! Can you recommend my next book?
I am gonna say nay to Mark Lawrence, but yay to Den Patrick's The Boy with the Porcelain Blade. Has an Italian Renaissance style setting, but with a dark gothicky vibe. The sequel has just been released and is even better. He also joint runs London's best fantasy social - the monthly SRFC.

I'll just say Yay to both of those and throw in the gigantic elephant in the room: Malazan.

April 14, 2015, 07:39:03 PM
Re: KJ Parker to serialize new novel Ehh, I'm not against it. If it gets more people reading KJP then fantastic. 99p a month is nothing really - and I do get the logic of it being more at the end than the cost of one complete book to start with, but I don't really care that much. I'm interested and will be buying. I just wish Orbit had publicised it more, the first one is out in five days and most people are just hearing about it now!
April 15, 2015, 09:04:13 PM
Re: The Magicians by Lev Grossman - Who's reading with us? YES. I can't wait to reread this now. I have never gotten around to the sequels as it's so long since I read this one but I'm delighted it finally won. Have lost track of the number of times I've nominated and/or voted for this over the last few years.  :D

(Also one of the genuinely most creepy scenes I have ever read

Yup! It's stuck with me as one of the most skin-crawling moments I've ever read.

April 15, 2015, 11:03:29 PM
Re: The Wee Free Men - Week 1 Chapters 1 -3
The Wee Free men are fun ... I'd be curious to find out if their Pictish (sorry if that's the wrong term)  dialect comes across as contrived as, say for eg, the olde mockney did in Mieville's King Rat, to someone familiar with it though.  :P

It's more of a combo of traditional Doric (Aberdeenshire) and Glasgow Scots and doesn't read contrived at all actually. Some of my closest friends actually speak far broader Doric than the Feegles believe it or not!

April 19, 2015, 04:55:18 PM