Archive for the ‘books’ Category

2013: Year in Review

January 6, 2014

Hi everyone. Let’s take a look at the last year and what’s coming up next year.

 

Tickling Butterflies

During 2013, I serialized at this website my epic fantasy novel, Tickling Butterflies.

Tickling Butterflies – 128 fairy tales rolled into one.

The book follows King John, who was born with a prophecy of death over his head. King John struggles to save The Land of All Legends by finding out all its secrets. In doing so, he follows the fairy tales back to their source: the magical planet Earth.

Tickling Butterflies is made out of 128 separate fairy tales that together form one epic story.

 

The Indestructibles

In 2013, I finished work on The Indestructibles, an independent, underground science fiction web-series. The Indestructibles premiered in UtopiaFest 2013 as a short film.

The Indestructibles

The Indestructibles

You can see all 7 episodes at The Indestructibles website, here.

 

 

New Worlds Comics

In 2013 I started a comic book company called New Worlds Comics. New Worlds Comics should premiere by February, 2014. The plan is to create some of the best fantasy and science fiction around, in both story and art. Four different series are in the works. Here are some teaser covers from the first two series: Wynter, a dark SF story, and Goof, a superhero comedy.

Wynter, Issue #1

  Wynter, Issue #1

Goofiest superhero ever.

Goofiest superhero ever.

210e7-goof232-cover_ipad

Wynter, Issue #2

Wynter, Issue #2

Goof, Issue #2

Goof, Issue #2

 

Stories in Russian

Hatchling, which has already appeared in four languages (I think), was translated into Russian and won Best Translated Story category in the Today Is Tomorrow competition. This led to two more stories that have appeared in Russian and more on the way.

 

Digital Kingmakers

The online magazine, SF Signal, was kind enough to allow me to publish a trilogy of 3 humorous SF stories, masquerading as non-fiction articles, all having to do with a high-tech company called Digital Kingmakers.

Each of the posts was chosen by the magazine as one of the best posts of that month. And recently, 2 of the 3 articles appeared in SF Signal’s list of Top 25 Guest Posts of 2013.

Here are links to all 3 articles in order:

Keep It Stupid, Simpleton

Benedict Cumberbatch, Neil Gaiman, and Guy Hasson Walk into a Bar…

How to Blow the Minds of SF Fans

 

What to Look Forward to in the Beginning of 2014?

  • We’re going to launch New Worlds Comics.
  • Tickling Butterflies is going to come out in hard cover in Israel.
  • In 2014, in a few weeks, I’m going to serialize my science fiction novel for young adults, Life: the Video Game, which was originally published by Bitan Publishers in 2003. You’re going to love the premise.

 

 

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Three Outsiders

April 14, 2013

If you’re just joining us, here’s the story so far.

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story. We are in the middle

 

The Three Outsiders

(Containing the unknown tale of three unknown people from an unknown world.)

 

A caring wolf mother found me, continued Benjamin Miller, and raised me with her wolf cubs. I grew up quickly, and left my new wolf family, thankful, appreciative, and loving. And yet, all through my childhood, I longed to return to my human family and to the world I had come from.

I decided to travel the Land of All Legends back and forth, crissing and crossing, zigging and zagging, until I found something that would help me return to the land of my birth and to my parents.

For thirty years I traveled the land. And at the end of thirty years, I found nothing, absolutely no clue as to how this place could exist, how I could have arrived from another place, and how I could possibly return.

Then, when I was full of despair and self pity, I lay down on the street and waited for Death. A woman found me. She was older than me, and took care of me, and we spoke. She learned my story, and then she told me hers.

She had also come from that other place, from the world where I had been born, that world with the tall buildings and lights on the ceilings of every room. She had come here when she was twelve. One moment she was at school, the next she had been transported to this place, to a place filled with real people and creatures that she had only read about.

She had never found out how she arrived at this place, just as I never did. But it was not at night, and it was not during a dream. It was in the middle of the day, when she was surrounded by her friends. 

Her name was Sylvia Fo, and she had come from a land called Milano. She had come here at the age of twelve, and so she knew more of the world she could not return to. She knew more and remembered more and missed more and needed it more. And she has searched for a way home for more years than I have been in the land.

We decided to continue searching for a way out and for more people like us, people lost to their original world.

For thirty years we combed the land, swept it, raked it, and scrutinized it. And yet, we found nothing. During our searches, we were both cursed by an evil witch, so that we could never die of old age. We could die of other things, but not of old age. We would simply get older and older and older. And therefore you see before you a seven-hundred-year-old man.

In any case, we found nothing but a curse, and once more the two of us fell into despair. We were two people without a story, surrounded by people and animals and creatures each of which had many stories told about them.

Upon our despair, we met a man, a hero, just returned from a quest. His name was Otto the Outstanding, and he had been on a quest to discover a creature called the Original Monster.

(King John the Cute’s ears perked up even more, remembering his own incident with Magno the Magnificent, who, six hundred years after Otto the Outstanding, was also on a quest to find the Original Monster. King John the Cute remembered that Magno the Magnificent had claimed that no one had ever found the Original monster.)

Otto the Outstanding, continued Benjamin Miller, claimed that he had found the Original Monster. But then, for a reason he would not explain, he had let the monster go. However, Otto the Outstanding told us, before he was freed, the Original Monster spoke of another world, a world of tall buildings and a light on the ceiling of every room. The Original Monster had traveled to that world and back many many times.

This is what Otto the Outstanding had told us before he had disappeared. Now our quest was changed. We decided to find the Original Monster. Otto the Outstanding believed the monster should live freely, but nonetheless told us where he had last been seen. We went in that direction, and I had never seen Otto the Outstanding since.

And so we spent the next forty years chasing rumor after rumor, desperately seeking the Original Monster. I do not believe we were ever even close. And yet it had given us hope that it was possible to return home. Still, more than a hundred years have passed since I had arrived at the Land of All Legends, and my parents surely were no longer alive. My world, you see, has no witches and no curses. People do not live to be seven hundred years old there.

Then, after a forty-year search, we were once more filled with despair. Once more, we lay down, crying, holding each other for comfort. And then another man found us. His name was Ochi Moeketsi.

We told him how we do not have a story, that we do not come from here. And then he told us, that he, also, had arrived from another land, a land called Johannesburg. He told us his story about his story-less life. He had been eighteen when he was snatched. He had been lying on the ground outside his house, staring at the clouds in the sky, losing himself in thought, when he had suddenly found himself staring at a very different sky in a very different land, filled with the stories his parents had told him throughout his childhood. Ever since that time, he had searched for an explanation, and a way back to his world.

In those first hundred years, King John the Cute, I have found two people who have been transported from my world. Something was happening, but not often. It was a mystery, but I had never solved it.

In any case, Ochi Moeketsi felt just the way we did: that he did not belong in a land of fairy tales and legends. He had searched for a way back for forty years, and only recently had found a clue. There was an island, he had heard, in the middle of Slapstick Ocean. It was an island filled with stories that did not belong in the Land of No Respect. It was an island filled with people and creatures who were vastly different from all other creatures who lived in the Land of All Legends. It was an island filled with creatures and people and animals who were, like us, different, and did not belong.

That, Ochi Moeketsi said, was where he was heading next.

Together, the three of us began a quest to reach the Land of No Respect, to discover its creatures that did not belong, and to perhaps find another clue that will tell us how to return home.

And that has been the long and harrowing story of how a group of three outsiders came to search for an island of outsiders.

“Hmmm,” King John the Cute said. He had been lost in the story, and felt that something important was being told to him. “Please continue.  I must hear the rest.”

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

Like this book? Try ‘The Emoticon Generation’.

The Emoticon Generation Book Tour

April 3, 2013

The Emoticon Generation book tour just launched over at The Little Red Reviewer’s blog. The tour will feature nine different blogs and will have reviews, interviews, and giveaways!

 

Here’s Little Red Reviewer’s announcement of the blog tour. And here’s the schedule:

 

Little Red Reviewer – April 2nd
Over the Effing Rainbow – April 4th
Dab of Darkness – April 6th
Attack of the Books! – April 8th
Postcards from La La Land – April 10th
My Bookish Ways – April 12th
Lynn’s Book Blog – April 14th
Two Dudes in an Attic – April 16th
A Fantastical Librarian  – April 18th

Enjoy!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Soldier’s Gift

March 19, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Soldier’s Gift

(Containing the respectful tale of a dutiful soldier’s gift.)

 

Once, during the days of King John the Cute’s quest to learn the secrets of the Land of All Legends, he had traveled to the Happily Ever After Home for the Married. There, desperately seeking to find people, creatures, or animals old enough to have seen the solution to mysteries, he approached anyone who seemed to possess answers to the mysteries that plagued the land.

On his second day at the Happily Ever After Home for the Married, King John the Cute saw a soldier eating breakfast with his wife. The soldier reminded King John the Cute of his trustworthy advisor, Colonel Stone, and so the king was drawn to the couple.

King John the Cute approached the couple. “My name is King John the Cute,” he introduced himself.

The woman and soldier bowed. Then, when the woman raised her eyes to and saw the king’s face, she said, “What a strange name. Why were you given that name?”

“That is a long story,” answered the king, “and my time is short. I am attempting to learn the secrets of the Land of All Legends. Could you tell me your story?”

The soldier obediently put down his fork and spoon and said, “Of course, your highness.”

Many years ago, began the soldier, back when we were both nineteen, I had met my beautiful wife and we had fallen in love. We were married and built a home for ourselves. But then a war broke out, and I was drafted into the service.

I went to war, and every three months I was allowed to return home for a weekend. We spent those weekends hugging each other and telling each other how much we missed our happy lives.

The war ended after two years, and my lovely wife believed that I would return forever. But my orders were different. I received a highly secret and highly important mission, which would require me to go into enemy land for a long, long time. I am not allowed, even today, to say what my mission was. And I was not allowed at the time to say how long I would be gone for.

And so, we spent our last weekend together for a long, long time.

When we said our goodbyes, I told my lovely wife, “I have left you a gift, a gift you will love. When my gift appears in its entirety, then and only then will I return.”

“What was that gift?” asked King John the Cute.

“I believe it is now my turn to tell the rest of the story,” said the wife.

A long, long time ago, a week after our last weekend together, I learned that there was a baby in my stomach. I knew there and then that this was the gift my brave husband had left me.

Although I was sad that my brave husband was gone, I was happy that I would soon have his child. And I believed that I understood his promise. When the baby came out, my brave husband would surely return.

Nine months later, I gave birth to a beautiful baby. As I nursed the baby, I waited for my husband to return. But he did not return. Then, seven days after I had given birth, I learned that there was another baby in my stomach.

My brave husband had left me quite a gift! He had left a slew of babies, waiting in line to grow in the stomach and be born.

In that way, I gave birth to a second baby, then nine months later to a third baby, and nine months later to a fourth baby. Years passed, and the gift my brave husband had left me kept coming and coming. And my husband was nowhere to be seen.

Then, after six years and exactly nine babies, my brave husband returned from his mission, saying that he has completed it successfully and that he has now been released from duty.

Ever since, we have raised our nine children. And now that they are all grown up, we have moved here to the Happily Ever After Home for the Married to live happily ever after.

This has been the surprising story, the wife said, of the wonderful gift my brave husband had left me.

King John the Cute said, “That is a wonderfully romantic story. Thank you for sharing it. I wonder if you know a man called Colonel Stone.”

“I can’t say that I have ever met the colonel,” said the dutiful soldier.

“Perhaps it was after your time,” said the King. “Have you perhaps heard of a place called Panache?”

“Yes, I have,” said the dutiful soldier. “The soldiers were saying it was a dangerous place.”

“Do you know where it is?” asked the king.

“I did once…” the dutiful soldier did his best to recall. “But try as I might right now, I cannot remember where it is, except… that it is somehow hidden from view in a most complex way. My king, I will take it upon myself to search my brain and rack my memories until I recall where Panache is. And I promise to you, that on the day you will most need to find Panache, I will be at your palace with the coordinates.”

King John the Cute put his hand on the soldier’s shoulder. “I can ask for no more than this. Thank you very much.”

This has been the dutiful tale of how a dutiful soldier made an important promise to King John the Cute.

 

(To be continued on Thursday…)

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Flying Horses

March 17, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Flying Horses

(Containing the sad and moving tale of the beginning of the end of the Land of All Legends.)

Once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, began once more the good witch Linda of Galinda, the Land of All Legends was a land of joy and happiness. It was a land of romance, of True Love, and of magic. Every day new creatures, great and small, appeared at the Border of Nothing, shimmering into life. Every few weeks a new land, a new island, a new ocean, or some piece of real estate shimmered into existence at the Border of Nothing. And all creatures, great and small, had their own stories.

That has not happened in six hundred years.

I will tell you now my own story of the time I realized that something had happened to the Land of All Legends, that the Land of All Legends was sick.

Back then, even though I was an evil witch, whenever I had some free time from doing evil deeds, I would come to the Border of Nothing and watch new creatures appear. It was a magnificent sight. I could watch it for hours and even for days, and never be bored. At the Border of Nothing, something always came from nothing, and that something was always different from that which had come before. I used to sit as closely as possible to the border itself, so that I could smell the newness of the creatures.

Then, one day, something that looked like a cloud shimmered into existence in the very air above me, smelling of hay and freshness. It was a massive white cloud that shimmered and glimmered, that flickered and glittered, and all the time grew greater and greater. It was a cloud unlike any cloud, and it was as big as a town.

Something about that cloud seemed not cloudy at all. I squinted, but it was too far above me.

I activated my wand and flew up to get a closer look. At the same time, the glittering cloud flew down towards me.

I was not afraid. But as the cloud approached, I could see that it was not a cloud at all. Just as a cloud is created magically out of thousands and thousands of tiny drops of water, this massive cloud was created out of thousands and thousands of normal-sized flying horses. The sheer number of them caused them to appear like a single cloud. The fact that they all flapped their wings gave a glimmering appearance to the cloud.

The flying horses flew in my direction, and passed me. More and more horses were to my left, to my right, beneath me and above me, flying in the same direction. Then they began to swirl and twirl around me, hundreds of flying horses playing with me, having fun. These horses had just been born, and it seemed that they were born for fun’s sakes.

We played for hours in the air. In fact, it was the first time I realized I might not be an evil witch. The few hours I had spent with the horses had caused me to turn from an evil witch to a not-so-evil witch.

After hours of fun, the cloud of flying horses began to fly in another direction, towards the main land. For a moment, I could see them come down behind a mountain. I waited for them to climb out, but for many minutes they did not.

Curious, I flew over the ridge and looked down.

The flying horses all lay on the ground, a field of flying horses lying down. And all of them were dead. In the middle, I saw the Death stand there, gray and grim.

I flew down and asked Death, “Why, Death, why did you kill them?”

“I do not know,” said Death. “They were all on my list.”

“But they had only just been born! They still had no story to tell! They had not lived their lives yet!”

“I do not have an answer,” said Death. “I have never had a creature on my list that had just been born. And now thousands lay dead. I do not know why they were on my list.”

At that moment, I could see that Death was as confused and shocked as I was. Something strange had happened, something that had appalled even Death himself.

Death left the scene without further word. And I remained there, among that which remained of my new friends, and I cried for two days and two nights. That event had turned me from being a not-so-evil witch to a slightly good witch. A hundred years later, I would be a pretty good witch. And a hundred years after that, I would become a good witch.

But as far as my experience is concerned that has been the first incident which marked the sickness that has grabbed hold of the Land of All Legends. Ever since that time, no new creatures had come into being from the Border of Nothing. No new continents had formed. No new oceans, no new rivers, no new creatures have shimmered into existence from the nothing.

And ever since that day, Death has been claiming more and more souls, and the land is so much emptier today than it had been six hundred years ago. Once, there were creatures everywhere you turned. Now, there are many creatures in the cities, and only a few creatures in-between.

This has been the sad and moving tale of the day I realized that the Land of All Legends was sick.

Linda of Galinda looked down, and saw that King John the Cute was crying. She let him cry for twenty more minutes. Then, he stopped.

“Thank you for sharing that tale with me,” said King John the Cute. “It is a sad story indeed.”

“These are the only stories I had to tell that have anything to do with your quest.”

“Do you not even know the village of Panache? It is a village of evil witches.”

Linda of Galinda shook her head. “I have never heard of it. I am sorry.”

“Thank you,” King John the Cute rose to his feet. “Thank you very much.”

With that, King John the Cute wiped away his tears and continued on his quest.

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Prophecy of John the Cute

March 14, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

 

The Prophecy of John the Cute

(Containing the truly true tale of Truly True Love.)

Let me tell you a tale, said Linda of Galinda, about the people who came to see your father and mother before you were born. This is a tale about those who give prophecy: the Foreseeing Propheseers (that last word she pronounced ‘propheh-see-ers’). Listen closely.

The tale of the Forseeing Propheseers is a tale of destiny. It is a tale of the past and the future and the present.

Once upon two times, there lived the two most powerful wizards in the world. The two were so powerful that no one has even been more powerful, before or after. The two wizards were complete opposites. One was hot tempered, the other cold tempered. One was hasty, the other thoughtful. One was a woman, the other was a man. So complete opposites were they, that they were made for each other, destined to meet and be together.

However, so complete opposites were they, that the woman, Willow, was born at the very beginning of time, when time had just began to tick and the Land of All Legends had just been created, while the man, William, was born at the very end of time, and seemed fated to die when the Land of All Legends will end and all time will stop from ticking.

One day, when both wizards were twenty years old, then each of them, in his and her own time, performed the most powerful spell of all times. That powerful spell, performed at the beginning and at the end of time simultaneously, was made even more powerful by the wizards’ powerful destinies… And the spell went awry.

At that instant, they saw each other through time.

At that instant, they could speak to each other.

At that instant, they fell in love. But it wasn’t True Love. What they had was better. What they had no one else has ever had nor will ever have in the Land of All Legends. What they had is called Truly True Love.

At that instant, when they saw each other, and fell in Truly True Love, the powerful magic they had performed began to pull them towards each other.

William, at the end of time, began to move at great speed backwards in time, towards his Truly True Love.

Willow, at the beginning of time, began to move at great speed forward in time, towards her Truly True Love.

The two are moving through time, even as we speak, one forward, the other backwards, at a hastened pace. They are destined to meet exactly in the middle of time itself, exactly in-between the beginning and the end.

As they speed through time, they spend their years talking to each other about everything that is and everything that was and everything that will be.

During her journey forward in time, Willow the Wizard, who is a romantic, decided that she must help other people marry their happy destinies. And so, using information from the future that she receives from her Truly True Love, William the Wizard, she sends her faithful lackeys with messages about a future that has already happened.

That is why prophecies are never wrong. And that is also why prophecies always have happy endings. She only chooses to help those who have happy endings.

The lackeys, called the Foreseeing Propheseers, move regularly through time, like us. And they receive their messages through Willow the Wizard’s powerful magic spells. By the time they have given their messages, Willow the Wizard has leapt years into the future. And so the Foreseeing Propheseers must wait until a message from their mistress appears again in order to give another prophecy.

That is how years before you were born, King Charming the Fourth received a prophecy that involved a certain John the Cute that had not yet been born. And that is how, years later, your parents were visited by the Foreseeing Propheseers, and received a message that you will become king and that you will save the Land of All Legends.

That is the story, John the Cute, of the Foreseeing Prophesseers, of the only known case of Truly True Love, and of the prophecies that carry your name.

“That is a truly important story,” said King John the Cute. “But that cannot be true. Firstly, Death himself had told me that he has seen that not all prophecies are true.”

Linda of Galinda, the good witch, nodded. “Death has a prophecy hanging over his head, as well. There was a man who was supposed to save Death from himself. That man had died three hundred, thirty three years, thirty three weeks and thirty three days ago. That man died without saving Death. And yet all prophecies are based on a happy future. Perhaps Death will still get his happy ending.”

“Still,” said King John the Cute. “You said all prophecies are good ones. My prophecy tells of my early death, at the age of twenty. That cannot be good.”

“Perhaps you misunderstood the prophecy,” said Linda of Galinda. “Maybe your end is happier than you believe.”

King John the Cute considered the lines from the prophecy:

To save the land from danger’s strife,

He’ll pay the price with his own life.

No, there was no unclear double-meaning in that. He said, “Well, the prophecy does say that I will save the Land of All Legends. That is certainly a happy ending, even if it requires my death.”

“Perhaps,” said Linda of Galinda. “I know nothing about the content of the prophecy itself. Now, then, do you want to hear the tale of the death of the Land of All Legends?”

“Yes. Absolutely!”

“Then listen closely.”

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – One Hundred Spiders

February 28, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

One Hundred Spiders

(Containing the dreadful tale of King John the Cute’s strange hallucinations.)

 

This is a story that happened on the fourth night of King John the Cute’s reign.

The day had been a busy one, and King John the Cute went to sleep in the bed that belonged only to kings. As usual, his personal bodyguard, Colonel Stone, stood at the doorway, ready for any attacker.

King John the Cute closed his eyes, and then he opened them. The room was gone. The palace was gone. Colonel Stone was gone. Instead, King John the Cute found himself in a cave. In front of him were a hundred man-sized attack spiders. Behind him and to the sides were only the walls of the cave. In his hand, he discovered that he held a lethal sword.

With all his might, King John the Cute battled the monsters. He slew ten giant spiders, and there were still ninety left. The task seemed impossible.

He slew forty more giant spiders without a bruise to himself, but there were still fifty left. The task still seemed impossible.

Slowly, he worked his way through the spiders, disbelieving his own skill and luck.

King John the Cute grew tired after an hour of fighting. But now, at least, there were only three giant spiders left.

Now there were two giant spiders left.

Now there was one giant spider left.

But by this time, King John the Cute had no strength left to raise his sword. The giant spider attacked, biting King John the Cute with its venomous fangs.

King John the Cute screamed.

He looked around, and saw that he was back in the palace. The cave, the ninety-nine dead spiders, and the live spider were gone. Colonel Stone stood over him.

“My liege,” said Colonel Stone. “What happened?”

King John the Cute told him what had occurred.

“I do not understand,” said Colonel Stone. “I had been here the entire time. There was no cave, no giant spiders, and I saw with my own eyes that you were asleep!”

King John the Cute felt the place on his arm where the spider had bitten him, and saw that he was not wounded.

Perhaps some magic was involved? King John the Cute summoned all his advisors. None could help, until Minister Vazir spoke.

“Your highness,” he said. “I know of no magical spells or powers that can transport you to a cave while keeping you in the bedroom. There is, however, a rare record of something else, something called a ‘dream’.”

“What do you mean by a ‘dream’?” asked John the Cute. “I only know that it is my dream to save the Land of All Legends.”

“It is the same word, your highness,” answered Minister Vazir, “but the dreams I refer to are something else entirely. A dream is supposed to be a magical event that occurs when you are asleep. In that dream, you hallucinate something that is not happening to you, but feels just as real as real life. And yet, you always wake up in your bed, completely safe, and nothing is changed.”

“Yes,” King John the Cute exclaimed. “That is exactly what I had! What does it mean? Why am I dreaming? Why am I seeing spiders?”

“I have no idea, your highness,” Minister Vazir answered the first question. “I have no idea, your highness,” he answered the second question. “I have no idea, your highness,” he answered the third and last question.

“Tell me the tales of other that have had dreams,” ordered King John the Cute.

“I am afraid I cannot. Dreams have been nothing more than rumors for the last thousand years. No one has seen someone who dreams. There are no recorded tales of who dreamed and what they dreamed of. Dreams are thought to be legend. No one dreams.”

“Except me,” said King John the Cute sadly.

“Except you.”

“What does that say about me? Why is this happening suddenly? Is there some hidden meaning to my dream?”

“I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness.”

King John the Cute mulled things over in his head. King Charming the Fourth had said that King John the Cute was not who he thought he was. If everyone else does not dream while he does, then maybe he is different from everyone else?

There was no way to know at present, he thought.

“Am I dreaming because I’m different?” he asked. “Did I begin to dream now because of the heavy responsibility that weighs upon me? Or is it a sign, an omen, of things to come?”

“I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness. I do not know, your highness.”

King John the Cute thought this over, and decided that this was another mystery that required solving in order to save the Land of All Legends. He dismissed everyone, and sent them to sleep. And yet, in his own mind, thoughts and question spiraled endlessly.

He did not know at the time that he would have the same dream, every night, until his death.

This has been the dreamy story of King John the Cute’s mysterious dream.

(To be continued on Sunday…)

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation

New Review for ‘The Emoticon Generation’

February 23, 2013

The Little Red Reviewer has just posted a review of my latest book, The Emoticon Generation.

Here are a few a few quotes:

His [last] collection Secret Thoughts was about how people deal with naturally ocurring telepathy, and his newest collection, The Emoticon Generation, is about the intersection of people and technology. I should have expected it would be weirder and more dangerous than the intersection of people and telepathy!

and

What makes this new collection so compelling is that with today’s technology we’re only a few years away from many of these stories becoming non-fiction.

and

These are character driven stories, and it’s  nice to see characters who demand to know what’s happening and take steps to find out, instead of passively allowing things to happen to them.  The truth might set us free, but sometimes it shatters us first.

 

Read Little Red Reviewer’s full review.

The Emoticon Generation by Guy Hasson

The Emoticon Generation at Amazon

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Soldier and the Box

February 17, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Soldier and the Box

(Containing the heroic tale of Colonel Stone.)

On the second day of his reign, once the celebrations had ended, King John the Cute came to Colonel Stone’s room. Colonel Stone had been King Charming the Fourth’s chief advisor, best friend, and personal bodyguard. He was the only one who had seen King Charming the Fourth pass his crown to John the Cute, and only through his reliable eyewitness testimony did John the Cute become king instead of Prince Charming the Fifth.

Colonel Stone had heard King Charming the Fourth tell the tale of the Fairy Tale Tree, and he knew that the future of the Land of All Legends rested on the shoulders of King John the Cute. Therefore, the colonel had sworn to serve the new king as well as he had the old king

“Colonel Stone,” King John the Cute said.

“Your highness,” Colonel Stone immediately stood at attention and saluted.

“There is no need for that,” King John the Cute waved at him. Colonel Stone stood at ease. “Tell me your story, Colonel Stone.”

Once upon a time, Colonel Stone told the new King, I had joined the king’s army. I had been seventeen and lied about my age.

You may not know this, but when you are accepted to the army, you are given a uniform, a gun, and a small, silver box. All soldiers carried their silver boxes with them, in their sacks or around their necks or in their pockets.

When I asked other soldiers what the empty silver box was for, the answer was always the same: “You’ll find out.”

One soldier even said, “You’ll find out. Or you’ll die in battle.”

I did not understand what they meant, but it seemed they all knew the answer to the secret and only I did not. In the same way, it also seemed that they knew the secret to being good soldiers. I was not a good soldier at that time, while everyone around me was. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I practiced with the gun, I could not be as good as the worst of my fellow soldiers.

One day, our platoon was ordered to attack a group of evil witches that had reportedly taken over a village called Panache. At the end of a terrible fight, our platoon was gone. I was the only survivor, and I had been taken prisoner by the evil witches of Panache.

They put me in a bamboo prison and planned on cooking me and making a potion of my remains. They said it would be a potion of great potency.

I had a few hours until sunset to live. It was during those few hours that I understood what the silver box was for. I understood that my emotions were getting in the way of me being a good soldier. I cared too much. I cared too much for the family I had left at home. I cared too much for the girl I loved. I cared too much for my own life. I cared too much for my future. I even cared too much for my enemies and did not want to hurt them too badly.

And so I put all my emotions in the silver box, and closed it tight. Now suddenly I had become a good soldier.

When the evil witches let me out of the cell to lead me to their cauldron, I attacked. I was ruthless and powerful. I was fearless and brave. Nothing would stop me except death.

I killed all but three of the witches there and used the respite in battle to run away with my life and report to my king. The problem, if you want to call it that, was that in the battle I had lost my silver box. To this day, if it hasn’t been moved, it lies right outside the village.

In the years that followed, I have tried to return to the village. But it does not appear on any map. And even though many have heard of it, I have met no one who knows where it can be found.

I have never recovered the box. I have never recovered my emotions.

And that, Colonel Stone said, is the story of how I became a heroic soldier and how I remain brave to this very day.

“Have you visited your family since?” King John the Cute asked.

“No. I have not had emotions that led me to do so.”

“Well, then, we must find the silver box and restore your emotions.”

“But your highness,” Colonel Stone protested. “I am a good soldier. I will serve you best without emotions.”

“The day you visit your family, the day you get your emotions back, you will become a person even better than you are now. And that will serve me well. Make it one of your tasks, Colonel, to find Panache…” For a second King John the Cute trailed off. He realized now that he had heard of Panache before. But as hard as he tried to remember where he had come across it, he could not. Eventually, he continued, “Colonel, find Panache. Together, we will retrieve your emotions.”

Colonel Stone discovered that the stunted, undersized emotions he had left were quite emotional at the King’s gesture.

“Thank you,” he bowed to his King.

The King smiled and returned to his chamber, to study the Fairy Tale Tree.

This has been the heroic story of Colonel Stone.

(To be continued on Tuesday…)

Do you like the stories? Share with your friends.

Secret Thoughts

Secret Thoughts, by Guy Hasson

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Man with Less than No Friends

February 14, 2013

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Man with Less than No Friends

(Containing the inexplicable story of Minister Azriel Jones.)

On the first day of his reign, King John the Cute came to Minister Azriel Jones’s room in the palace. “Tell me your story,” the king said.

Minister Azriel Jones, King Charming the Fourth’s Minister of Celebrations and now King John the Cute’s Minister of Celebrations, explained his situation, “I am a man with no friends. In fact, I am a man with minus four friends.”

“Minus four?” King John the Cute did not understand.

“Yes. Negative four friends.”

“I do not know what that means,” King John the Cute said. And so Minister Azriel Jones told his tale.

During childhood, Minister Azriel Jones began, I had many friends. But I was always fearful that my friends would leave me. I began to convince myself how one friend was talking about me behind his back, how another friend was telling lies about me, and so on.

Whenever I became convinced the story I had told myself was true, I confronted the friend and would not stop asking questions. At a certain point, my friends would always have enough of my questions and suspicions and stop being my friends. I would then always belatedly realize that the friend had no intentions to stop being my friend until I questioned him as if he was criminal.

But at the time I could not stop myself from behaving this way.

Friend after friend, I developed suspicions. Friend after friend, I approached and questioned. Friend after friend left me because of my behavior. And yet I could not stop myself.

By the time I had become a grown man, I had been left with no friends at all.

“This I understand,” King John the Cute said. “But how could you have less than zero friends?”

“Ah,” Minister Azriel Jones said. “That is because I began to see a psychologist.”

The psychologist explained, Minister Azriel Jones continued his tale, that the road to healing is a process, and that I must begin this process until it is finished. The process will take years, the psychologist explained. During those years, people will approach me and become my friends. But the process would not yet be done, and so I will lose those friends as I have all other friends in the past.

In the psychologist’s estimation I will lose four friends until this process is complete. Then and only then will I be able to keep real friends.

“And so you see,” Minister Azriel Jones told King John the Cute, “I now need to gain four friends to have zero friends. This means that I have minus four friends. I must lose four friends, even though I have none, before I have a real friend.”

“I will be your real friend,” King John the Cute offered.

“Then I will lose you. It is part of the process.”

“The process will eventually end. I will be your friend now, and I will be your friend after. I can wait.”

Minister Azriel Jones found it hard to believe his king, but he desperately wanted to.

“Thank you,” he bowed to his king.

The king smiled and returned to his chamber, to study the Fairy Tale Tree.

This has been the inexplicable story of Minister Azriel Jones, a man who had less than no friends.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)
 
Do you like the stories? Share with your friends.
Secret Thoughts

Secret Thoughts, by Guy Hasson


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