In the Spring of 1998, I was watching an interview with noted SF author, Harlan Ellison about the process of writing. He has this little gimmick where he sits in the window of a book store and customers drop off story ideas. He then busily types away, producing a story based on that idea within a few hours. The idea is that a writer writes, and there is no excuse for him or her to do otherwise. I was shamed, and sat down with an image in my head (a guy maneuvering a small spacecraft in low earth orbit, while listening to Mozart), and started typing what I was determined would be a short story which would be completed within a week.
Two years later, I put the last period at the end of a 90-something page noveloid which, as it turns out, was precisely too long to publish as a short, and too short to publish as a novel. In the process of researching it, I'd read Bob Zubrin's excellent The Case For Mars, as well as a host of other books and articles, learned a lot of cool stuff, and got mixed up in the private spaceflight advocacy community. So, not wasted effort...but I was a bit bummed that only a couple of people got to read the story.
So, I've decided to post it on line and link to it here, broken up into six parts (which I'll make available approximately every week). Because I can. Of course, in the highly unlikely event that I get a chance to publish it "for real," I'll be yanking it from here in a hot minute.
Also, I'm a rank neophyte when it comes to hosting files on the Web, and categorically refuse to pay a cent to do it. So, I'm trying a free file hosting service from Microsoft. This may change if anyone's got a better idea (...). It's in PDF format, so you'll need Adobe Reader to read it (is there anyone who doesn't have that on their machine?).
Anyway, here it is. Hope you enjoy.
Night Music, Part One
UPDATE: Not unexpectedly, the Microsoft "Skydrive" annoyed me one too many times (i.e., once) by deleting my files. I have moved the file to a free box.net account. The link takes you to a shared folder which I will populate with the parts of the story as I make them available.
UPDATE 2: Since posting these, I have taken the step of self-publishing Night Music for the Kindle platform. Since it is now for sale ($3.00 US), it seemed a mite counterproductive to keep it up here for free (hence the now-broken links). But hey, if you read the rest of this blog, you'll see that the idea of being a Capitalist is not exactly alien to me! Hope you'll have a look at the sample, and, if you like what you see, download the Whole Thing. Here's a link to a suite of free Kindle reading apps for those who don't have a Kindle reader, but do have a smart phone, tablet, PC/MAC, or Blackberry.