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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.


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Environmental Impact

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"It's not a pigeon."

"What do you care. Wait. Did that just trash some pet theory of yours?"

"Shut up. While you're at it, forgive me for bothering to talk out loud in your presence. If you're gonna be like that."

"Sorry. Whatever. Just sayin' not every dead drunk homeless bird is a pigeon, you know? That's, like, racist or some shit. Anyway. What was he smokin'? Marley Lights?"

"What makes you think he was smoking anything? It's a cigarette butt. The sidewalks are paved with those. Hey. Maybe you can convince those ants to bring some of his lungs back so we can get 'em tested for nicotine and tar."

"Funny. What the hell's yer problem, anyway? 'Tsa dead bird. Hardly even smells worth rollin' in. What's up your snout today?"

"Same old same old. It's nothing to do with you. It just bugs me when the wildlife feels like drinking itself to death, you know? Pigeons might be too dumb to know when it's time to get out of town. But a thrasher? He had a choice. A better choice, anyway."

"I hear ya. There but for the grace of God, eh?"

"Yeah. And thank God we have livers bigger than an acorn kernel so we can drink more than the dregs of a can of Miller Lite should we feel the need."

"Amen. In fact, I feel the need right now."

"Sure. But first let's find something decent to roll in. I need to get the stink of this one off me."

"Okay. ... ... I wish the humans would come back."

"Shut your mouth."

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

16th Jul 2008, 00:34   | tags:

Advert

Okay. So it's not literature.

But it was fun to write. :)

[*]

16th Jul 2008, 13:26

taniwha says:

like the punchline here again.

Your writing reminds me of Robert Sheckley's work.

16th Jul 2008, 13:28

Wow. Damn, that's high praise.

Also, I'd kill a whole shoebox full of cute furry things for the chance to collaborate with Roger Zelazny, although I'd probably have to up the sacrifice ante in order to bring him back from the grave.

Anyway. Thanks again!

[*]

16th Jul 2008, 15:40

Dhamaka says:

this is why I know I can sell you

(re Zelazny me too - also for Kurt Vonnegurt Jr who wrote one of two stories I've tried to emulate all my life)

16th Jul 2008, 23:28

If you keep trying, I'm willing. :)

It's embarrassing how much Zelazny had an impact on me. I really can't think of much of what I think in the way of religious or political philosophy that doesn't have roots in his novel Lord of Light. I think I've reread it more times than I've bought copies for other people, but just barely.

[*]

17th Jul 2008, 00:39

Dhamaka says:

I'm sorry - had I not been ill I'm sure we'd have seen some progress by now.

I liked Lord of Light but read so much as a child and teenager that I selected what I want from all of them. The only single influence I could say that maybe I got it from a book is the indiscriminate love and caring exemplified by some of the characters in Heinlein's novels (can't reread any of them now because his writing's so misogynistic). But KV Jr wrote a short story of an old lady describing her dead husband to another. Packaging his memory so it would never die. I've written 5 homages/ of my own versions, all different but all inspired by his one piece (I also still hope for a love as he described although I'd rather not realise it after my partner's death) and Murukami wrote a story of the perfect love that was never realised. I've written 8 of my own versions/ homages of/to that and have ideas for several more.

17th Jul 2008, 09:21

jc1000000 says:

Like a seed rattling around in an old box, I've been wracking my brain trying to work out what i was reminded of when reading this... And after reading the barbie doll one, i had my eureka moment, the talking cats in murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore'.

Probably way off - but not come across that kinda writing before - so is that what Zelazny's stuff is like? What would you recommend?

Have always wanted to try a surreal style. In drawing it comes easily for me but not in words.

17th Jul 2008, 13:00

I hope you aren't reading any kind of accusation into my words, Dhamaka. I'm eager, and not so good at making publishing connections myself, but there's nothing like a deadline or an obligation here. In fact, the longer it takes the more I get to practice. :) Your life certainly comes first, regardless.

I'd love to see more hints of what you're working on.

Hmm. Talking animals, detective story ... yeah, could be an unconscious Murakami influence. I'm a huge Murakami fan, too. :)

How best to characterize Zelazny? He mostly writes about what people will be like (what people ARE like) when they get their hands on power. Stylewise, think Bradbury, maybe, but bring the characters much more into the foreground. Plotwise, thing Gaiman. Big, mythic stories. But faster paced, slick and easy reading.

Also pick up a copy of Lord of Light. It won a Hugo in '67 for a reason. It is still, even more so in my opinion, hugely politically and socially relevant.

[*]

17th Jul 2008, 13:34