I enjoyed tremendously reading the science fiction novels of Iain M. Banks, especially the “Culture” series and back in September 2003 I thought I’d write a short story set in the Culture universe, just for my own amusement. I wrote about two hundred words vowing that I’d go back soon and continue.
Fast forward to January 2019 and I thought to myself, I really should do something with that beginning and so far I’ve knocked out about four and a half thousand words. Sadly in the intervening years Ian has died and taken any more adventures with him to the far beyond.
But as an exercise, writing purely for the sake of writing, I am finding that there is just as much joy in creating my own little corner of that universe as there was in reading Iain’s creations. I’ll not liken my efforts to his, mine are merely inspired by his but I am having a certain amount of fun in this endeavour.
A sort of beginning
So here, from 13th September 2003 is the faltering beginning:
Pod 2 hurtled towards the planet, “This is going to be close” it thought, too steep and an embarrassing collision with the atmosphere, not that pod 2 would be hurt by such a thing, well, not physically, too shallow and it might ricochet off into the inner system, no, don’t want to go that way. Sensors registered another explosion somewhere behind, registered, logged, examine later. The planet was getting closer, pod 2 looked again for any sort of guidance data from its central processing core, its brain, pod 2 had a brain, no guidance feed, damn! Another, lesser explosion, behind, off to the right and slightly above; the ship must be taking a real pounding. Pod 2 considered its fate, “use me as a decoy would they? Ah well, at least I’m not in the thick of the fighting.” it thought.
It thought, of course it thought, how else could it get things done? Officially, it was programmed and carried out tasks but in reality, it thought and right now it was thinking that due to the damage sustained on its precipitous egress from the ship it wasn’t quite in control of itself, “Damn!”
Pod 2 had acquired a penchant for colourful expressions…
And there it ended until 2019 when I again took up the virtual pen and began again.
My short story is set in the early phase of the The Idiran–Culture War and I make no apology for, well, anything much in this writing lark. I’m doing this for my own pleasure but if you gain something from it then everybody’s happy.
So far I’ve written a handful of chapters, short chapters – for a short story, hopefully something that this time I will bring to fruition. I had always wanted to write a longer story, who knows, maybe this short story will grow into one…
I’ll make no secret of this, some of what I’ve written so far I’ve written at work, coffee breaks and lunchtimes sort of thing – yes, really – well, you know… Usually when I’ve sat down to write at home the words just never seemed to flow, but before I break into Script for a Jester’s Tear I’ll just say that since I did stop to figure out where I was going, last time I sat to write at home the words did flow, so maybe there is hope for me yet.