March 21st, 2010

The Ontological Factor

Finished a new 6,400 word short story, "The Ontological Factor," a loving homage to Robert Asprin's Myth series. Years ago John Joseph Adams and I had to sit around Grand Central Station for a few hours waiting for someone, and in the course of that long conversation we discovered that we're both big fans of the Myth books, and he suggested I should write something in that style. I loved the idea, and spent a lot of time thinking about it, but was never able to come up with a good approach to the material. I went back to it after Asprin's death in 2008, because I thought it would be a nice tribute to the man who had been my favorite author during my childhood, and I spent quite a bit of time developing a concept, but in the end I just wasn't thrilled with it and moved on to other things. Late last year I finally came up with what I think is a terrific new twist on the idea of dimension-hopping adventurers, but I was too busy with other stuff to actually write it, and that probably ended up being for the best, because working out all the logical implications of the idea turned out to be fiendishly complicated, and even after I'd spent four or five months plotting it out in my head I still stalled when I tried to actually write it, because things I hadn't considered kept cropping up. In one of his forewards, Asprin, who was famously afflicted with writer's block, declared, "These books just look spontaneous and easy to write. Honest!", and I now have much greater appreciation for the truth of this. Anyway, the story is finally done, and I'm really, really pleased with how it turned out.