Archive for the ‘online stories’ 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.

 

 

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‘Tickilng Butterflies’ – The Museum of History

August 29, 2013

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

The Museum of History

(Containing an historical meeting at the Museum of History.)

 

Once upon a time on the planet Earth, three strangers to the world walked into a human town the first time in their lives. These three were the celebrated King John the Cute, Minister Vazir who was also known as little Charley, and the seven-hundred-year-old Benjamin Miller.

Once inside the town, they came upon a statue of a soldier, standing in the middle of a busy square.

King John the Cute approached the statue and said, “Excuse me, sir. We are new to this world and would like some direction.”

The statue looked at the threesome and saluted. “King John the Cute,” he said. “I have been waiting for you for a long time. How may I assist you?”

“We seek knowledge about this world and those who live here. Where can we get a lesson in its history?”

“That is a fortuitous question, for a five minute walk in that direction,” the statue pointed to its right, “is an art museum. There is nowhere better to learn of the history of the world.”

“Thank you, my friend,” said King John the Cute. “We shall be on our way.”

“My pleasure. I hope that by the time you leave this world, more people will speak to me.”

The threesome continued in the direction of the museum. Behind them, the statue froze in place once more. But for the first time since it had been erected, the statue no longer saluted, but pointed in the direction of the museum.

The entrance to the museum was free. Along with many other people of the town, the threesome from another world entered the museum.

The museum had corridor upon corridor of important paintings from the civilized history of man. The threesome entered a huge hall with dozens of paintings. People stood around looking at the paintings, when King John the Cute suddenly declared in a loud voice. “Paintings! We are new to this world! Can you teach us about its history?”

People stopped and looked at the strange man wearing the crown. Then the paintings began to whisper to one another, “King John the Cute!” “It’s King John the Cute!” “King John the Cute has finally come!”

“You are welcome in our museum, King John the Cute,” said an old Renaissance painting.

The people in the room gasped. Two elderly gentlemen fainted.

“It is true that we have seen quite a lot through the centuries,” spoke an old painting of a young woman. “And we talk amongst ourselves at night, compare stories, especially stories about the painters that drew us. We have been doing so in preparation for your coming. And I believe that of all the things we have seen, one story will be of the utmost importance to you and your quest.”

“Did you hear the painting talk!” shouted a woman.

“Please be quiet, people,” King John the Cute hushed the crowd. “Let us listen to the tale of the paintings.” The room fell silent. Everyone listened.

Although we all have different stories to tell, began the old painting of a young woman, and although we were all created by different artists in different times at different places, there is one story that repeats again and again in all of our experiences. This is the story we wish to tell you.

This is the story of the land from which you come, King John the Cute, a land whose name we do not know, a land of man’s artistic creations. It is also the story of the artists. Each of us was drawn by an artist, a talented artist who felt big emotions, dreamed big dreams, and knew that there was something inside of him that was special.

When each of our artists had a particularly good day painting, he later looked at the perfection he had created and knew that it was better than anything he could ever have done. Some of the artists felt that the hand of God somehow rested on them and caused them to paint better than is humanly possible. Some artists believed that art was more important than life. But all artists believed that there is somehow a truth that exists outside this world, and when they paint perfection, they paint that truth. They believe in a world of art, a world of invention, where everything is truthful and beautiful. They believe that world exists outside of Earth. They believe that world exists regardless of Earth. That world cannot be tainted and cannot be touched, but when a painter paints perfection, that world touches him.

All of us paintings agree that this could not be a coincidence. Surely the artists agree for a reason. Surely a world of truth and beauty is the world from which you come. Surely this has been the story of your own world, the name of which we do not know.

With these words, the painting’s story was done. All people in the room turned their heads from the paintings to the king standing in the middle of the room.

“You tell a fascinating story,” said King John the Cute, carefully considering his words. “And surely it is not a coincidence, as you paintings say. However, a few people have come from your land to ours, and so our world can be touched. Our world suffers from an illness now, so surely it is not perfect and can be tainted. There is truth to your story and the story of your painters, but I am not sure what the lesson of your story is. Still, you have given me much to think about. I thank you for this history lesson. And I must depart, for I have great tasks ahead of me and very little time.”

“It has been our great pleasure to meet and assist you,” said the old painting of a young woman. “And I believe I speak for all the paintings.”

The threesome thanked the paintings and left the museum, deep in thought.

This has been the artful tale in which King John the Cute received a history lesson about the magical planet known as Earth.

 

(To be continued on Sunday…)

You can win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Engine that Lost the Race

July 7, 2013

Win a chance to have a fairy tale written about you in the Tickling Butterflies universe!

Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.

Here’s the story so farThe story continues:

 

The Engine that Lost the Race

(Containing a disturbing life-lesson about the nature of Life and Death.)

Four months had passed since Chariot’s incarceration. Three stories have been told, and Chariot could not escape and could not understand how three more stories could make him betray King John the Cute. Helpless and unable to respond to his king’s calls, he waited for the next story.

On the last day of the fourth month, Farmer Moozik reemerged from his house, and said, “I will now tell you the fourth story out of six, little boy cloud. Listen closely, for it has an important life-lesson.”

Chariot said nothing. Old Farmer Moozik began to tell his tale,

“Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a train engine called Speedy the Engine. Speedy the Engine was the fastest engine that had ever existed. He was small, but feisty. He was fun to be with, but everything for him was a competition. Whenever he spoke to someone, he would somehow turn it into a race. And whenever he raced, Speedy the Engine would always win.

“When he was young, he raced all his friends. And he always won. When he was a teenager, he raced the other engine boys to impress the engine girls. But even when an engine girl was impressed by him and wanted to talk to him, all he wanted to do was race some more.

“Soon, Speedy the Engine grew to be an adult engine. He always found work, bringing things from one side of the continent to the other. But always he was in a race. As the years passed, all his engine friends became slower and slower. They were married and lived happily ever after, they had children, they retired, they even had grandchildren. And of all the engines, only Speedy the Engine kept on having competitions and races. All those years, Speedy the Engine wanted to prove that he was the best.

“Then, one day, Death came to claim Speedy the Engine. As Speedy the Engine saw Death approach, he knew Death came for him. At that point in time, he also realized that life was the only thing that had passed him by.

“Death touched Speedy the Engine with his hand and claimed his soul. At that very last moment, Speedy the Engine realized that this was the one race he had lost: Life would continue to go on, while Speedy the Engine would now forever stay behind.

This has been the story of the engine that lost the race.”

Chariot listened to the story, horrified. “Why have you told me this story, Farmer Moozik? What possible relevance would it have for me? Why did I have to wait an entire month to hear it?”

Farmer Moozik shook his head painfully. “You are young and you do not understand life-lessons, little boy cloud. The life-lesson of this story is that Death helps Life win in the end.”

Chariot wanted to shout angrily that he did not understand what that meant. But Farmer Moozik’s words reminded him of Death’s prophecy, that one day Death would become Life. But surely, Farmer Moozik did not mean to talk about that, but rather that King John the Cute’s death would somehow bring others life.

Chariot shook off these thoughts. He did not want to think too much about Farmer Moozik’s words, for he did not want to be swayed by the old man’s words.

But when he looked around, Chariot saw that he was now alone again, alone with his thoughts of Death and Life.

This has been yet another disturbing life-lesson from the River Red Continent.

 

 

(To be continued on Tuesday…)
 
The Emoticon Generation

The Emoticon Generation

 

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Pint of Beer and Its Glass House

January 3, 2013

Continuing the serialization of my epic fantasy novel, Tickling Butterflies, with a new fairy tale ‘episode’ every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Pint of Beer and Its Glass House

(Containing the magnificent tale in which John the Cute learns that there are secrets to the Land of All Legends.)

Once upon a time in the town of Bambooville lived a pint of beer.

The pint of beer began its life in a house made of glass. Its house, in fact, was a drinking glass.

The pint of beer became aware of itself and its surroundings and was very happy. On top it felt a sudsy, bubbly feeling. Inside, little happy bubbles made their way to the top, relieving the pint of beer of tension. But most of all, the pint of beer was happy to live in its specialized glass house. It seemed that this house was built entirely with the pint of beer in mind. It was so snug and comfortable. It fit it so well. There were no holes, so the pint of beer did not drip anywhere. Everything was so perfect, that the pint of beer saw it as proof that the Land of All Legends was created for the benefit of this one pint of beer.

Almost immediately after its life began, something raised the glass and drank a bit of the beer. Although there was less of it, the pint of beer found the touch of the lips fun and smooth. The pint of beer liked the taste of the lips, just as the lips liked the taste of the beer. (more…)

‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Giant and the Rocks

January 1, 2013

Continuing the serialization of my epic fantasy novel, Tickling Butterflies, with new fairy tales every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Giant and the Rocks

(Containing the tragic tale in which John the Cute learns the importance of telling the truth.)

 

When John the Cute was nine years old, his mother took him to the nearby town of Furryville. While his mother visited friends, John the Cute played in the yard and befriended a giant called Megaboy.

Megaboy was as big as the town of Furryville and used to sleep on top of the mountains to the west. Come daylight, he would always take exactly three steps, and come to stand on the outskirts of town, where he would talk to the friendly citizens. Megaboy was easy to like and everyone felt he was a good friend.

Wherever Megaboy went, he carried huge rocks in his arms and would never let them go. Even when other people wanted to shake his hand, Megaboy would say that his hands were busy holding the rocks, and would not put them aside. Even when someone in town carried something heavy, Megaboy could not help, because he insisted that he could not let go of the rocks.

When John the Cute asked Megaboy why he was holding the rocks, Megaboy said, “Because I like them.”

Later that day, when John the Cute and his mother left Furryville, he asked her about Megaboy and the rocks. She gave him a different answer. “Megaboy is ashamed of being a giant. He doesn’t like it. When he holds the rocks,” his mother continued, “he thinks that maybe we’ll think it’s the rocks that make him so big and heavy.”

John the Cute did not understand. He wanted to tell Megaboy the truth, that everyone knows he is a giant, and that everyone likes him.

His mother told him that Megaboy could not bear to have his secret revealed. He would be insulted, and leave Furryville out of shame, never to return. That is the reason, she told her son, that no one tells the giant that they know he is a giant, and why no one insists he drop the rocks.

One day, Megaboy, while standing on the edge of town, sneezed, and accidentally let go of the rocks. The rocks destroyed the town of Furryville and half the people in it died while the other half was injured.

On that day, John the Cute learned the importance of telling the truth, and vowed that in the future he would always tell the truth.

This has been the tragic tale in which John the Cute learned the importance of telling the truth.

(To be continued on Thursday…)

Twitter Event: #9898 – an SF Experiment on Twitter

September 27, 2012

Stand-up comedians experiment in night clubs. They try out different things on small audiences, to see how people react to it. They try different things on different nights to hone their act and to see how the audience reacts.

Seems to me that Twitter is a great place for an SF author to do the same thing. One such experiment is going on right now, called #9898.

I’m not going to tell you anything about it. Go read it. It’s being updated daily, and may in the future be updated weekly (we’ll see how the experiment goes).

If you’re reading this long after it was written, check out the tag: #9898.

Here’s my Twitter, check it out: Vision Etc.

Plucked: A Palindromic Twitter Story

September 19, 2012

You know how tweets in the Twitterverse are read in the opposite order than the one they were written in? The newest tweets are found on top, to be read first, and the older ones at the bottom, to be read last.

I invented a new story form in Twitter, one that solves that problem: A palindromic twitter story. It can be read from top to bottom or bottom to top and it will read exactly the same. Here it is. Enjoy.

A new form: Palindromic Twitter story

Free Fiction: Googlenomics

April 15, 2012

I’m an SF author. I come up with ideas. Ideas about the next technology, where things might go in the next few years and how it will change the world. A while ago I came up with an idea called ‘Googlenomics’ that deals with how economy is going to look completely different in the next few years.

As much as I like getting published by SF magazines, I also like my stories to be relevant and influence conversation, and SF magazines have become irrelevant over the last few years, as far as influencing anything in the national zeitgeist. So rather than write a story about Googlenomics, I wrote a fake article, which I published on April Fools in my blog in Gamasutra, where it had a better chance of reaching the audience it was meant for.

So here is the piece, reprinted here.

Who knows, maybe the technology for Googlenomics is already being developed somewhere right now…

Googlenomics Is Coming

INTRODUCING GOOGLENOMICS

By Guy Hasson

I’ve wrestled with myself about whether I should write this post or not. I’ve written it three times, deleted it, emptied the recycle bin, rewrote it. Revealing secure information may get me sued, after all. Revealing this information may have much wider repercussions. But you know what? To hell with it. This is something that should be stopped. I’m not sure anything can stop it, but the first criteria for change is getting the information out there. I’m typing this, publishing it, and not looking back.

I consulted no one but my close friends before publishing it. I do it completely of my own accord and at no one’s behest. Small warning: You’re about to get very angry.

How I Got the Information

I received the information through one of my best friends. I won’t reveal his identity, I’ll just say that I know him for more than fifteen years and I trust him completely. Let’s call him Charley. Charley works for Tru$t, a Chicago-based start-up company you’ve probably never heard of unless you know someone who works there or who finances it.

Tru$t is situated in downtown Chicago, taking only half a floor in Aon Center, on the side overlooking Two Prudential Plaza. It has been around for the last two years, dealing mainly with research. It’s one of those companies that fly under the news radar, because it doesn’t offer the public anything, nor does it want to. In fact, it wishes to remain anonymous until it comes out with its final product.

The Information

The information I received is in the form of emails, leaked to me by Charley, containing inside discussions as well as ongoing negotiations between Tru$t and Google.

What Tru$t wants from Google is to buy the data it has accumulated and is still accumulating about our daily and minutely habits. Google said ‘no’, but when they heard what Tru$t was about, they did not close the door, but kept on listening. Just to be clear: they hadn’t said ‘yes’ yet, but they hadn’t told them to go jump in the river, either. Now bear with me, because that is the least maddening part of the story.

What Tru$t wants from Google is all information about our habits: what we click on, what we don’t click on, what we search for, what we buy, some of the content of our emails, what videos we see and search for on YouTube, who our friends are, what we find important, what we like, and more.. Now the reason Tru$t wants this information is also the reason this deal might just happen. Tru$t wants to revolutionize commerce, first in the internet and then outside it. Tru$t has a long-term plan and the experts and research to pull it off. Having read hundreds of emails on the subject, as well as the documents attached, my mind keeps calling it only one thing: Googlenomics.

The Path to Googlenomics

Stage #1: Tru$t is going to use Google’s data (or someone else’s if the deal falls through, but Google is their first choice) to create social algorithms that will tell Tru$t exactly how much certain products are worth to each of us.

What does this mean? It means that if I’m an artist and I want to buy a Photoshop license, it’s worth more to me than it is to my neighbor who would just like to have the same program for fun. So I would be willing to pay $5,000 in order to be able to work as a freelancer, while my neighbor would only spend $100 on it or he just wouldn’t buy it. Although today we pay the same prices for most products, every product is actually worth something different to different people. It’s also worth something different to the same person at different times (For example: I’m willing to pay a lot more for a tire for my car if I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat and there’s only one shop that’s milking me dry). ‘Worth’ in this case is defined as the maximum price one would actually pay for a product at a certain moment in time.

Stage #2: Tru$t introduces its product to monopolies. For example, Microsoft. Microsoft has products only it sells, and it sells them at a fixed price to everyone, regardless of how much they’re actually worth to the buyers.

Tru$t’s product will make sure that if you buy a Microsoft product (for example), the price you see is the price that product is worth to you. This means that when I try to buy a certain product, I’ll see price X, and when my friend tries to buy the same product, he’ll see a totally different price. We each see the price we’re willing to pay for that product. And since we can’t get this product elsewhere (it’s a monopoly, after all), we either pay the price it’s worth to us, or we don’t get the product. There’s no shopping around. Another example: Do you really want to play Mass Effect 3 (or, more realistically, when this product comes out, Mass Effect 4)? You just might pay $2,000 or $3,000 for it. Just because you want it badly.

A different price for each customer is so outside our realm of understanding that Tru$t has prepared a document that explains its value. Here is an excerpt, from the document they sent to Google (although they decided to rewrite it afterwards). Here’s how they explain the value of what they offer:

The current system of fixed prices hurts the suppliers financially. With the new system of personality-based prices, our research shows that any supplier can, at the very least, triple their revenues.

Two cases fall under personality-based prices.

Case #1: A customer is willing to pay more than the asked-for price.

Under the current fixed-prices system, the supplier is hurt financially, because he loses the difference between the asked-for price and what the customer is actually willing to pay. With personality-based prices, the customer pays exactly as much as s/he believes the product is worth.

Case #2: A customer is unwilling to pay the asked-for price.

In this case, the customer would like to use the supplier’s product, but does not wish to invest the entire asked-for price. Under the current fixed-prices system, the supplier loses that customer and his money. With personality-based prices, the customer is offered exactly the price he would be willing to pay in order to buy the product. In this case, the customer pays the supplier a sum that in the current, outdated system he would not have paid.

Any supplier using our service will gain additional profits in both instances, and see his/her income skyrocket.

So: We’re going to pay more for things we really want and less for things we don’t. The companies using Tru$t’s products will see their profits “skyrocket”, while Tru$t will get a certain percentage of the income.

(A small note: What did they mean by personality-based pricing. Sometimes how much you’re willing to pay for something isn’t just determined by how much you need it, but by your personality, as well. Are you a haggler who will only pay when prices are down? You’ll pay less under their system. Are you a person who lets other people walk over him? You’ll pay more.)

This by itself will change our entire economy (anything from the way we buy games, monetization in social games, prices in online shops, to prices in actual shops, where you have to identify yourself to buy a product). There are monopolies all around us giving us products we like but don’t really need (Apple anyone?), but there are also monopolies that give us things we can’t do without (water, electricity). How much are water and electricity worth to you? How much will you really pay to have them in your home?

Which brings us to the next stage:

Stage #3: Tru$t is already preparing for the time in which competing companies will appear in the market.

Suppose Tru$t is first on the market with this type of product. Its success and economic potential will mean that other companies will no doubt crop up, creating their own social algorithms and coming up with similar products. So a few years after Tru$t’s initial arrival at the market, it expects to see more such companies appear.

Tru$t is preparing itself for that occasion. Its economists have recommended that when there is more than one such company, Tru$t should expand its product to companies that do not have a monopoly. For example, if Tru$t is alone in the market and works only with McDonald’s, its algorithm will say a lunch is worth $40 to a certain customer on a certain day. But that same customer can cross the street to a Burger King and get the same product for a cheaper price. But if McDonald’s is working with Tru$t and Burger King is working with another social algorithm company, the two products will cost practically the same for the same person on that same day. It’s not worth it for that person to cross the street in search of a better price. So you see, everyone earns more: both companies working with the social algorithm companies as well as both competing social algorithm companies who earn a percentage of said income. Who loses? You know who.

A Massive Game Changer

This is a global game changer. Every aspect of our economy will be transformed, and in a few years will never be the same. Our economy is based on fixed prices with small fluctuations here and there. The new economy will have prices that fluctuate from person to person – a person based economy, or even a personality-based economy. The social algorithm companies will have a hand in (and profit from) almost every economic transaction in the computerized world.

Like I said, I’m not sure this train can be stopped. Even though I’ve released the information ahead of time, Charlie and I differ about whether this knowledge will help change things in any way. I guess we’ll see.

So. Now you know. Googlenomics is coming. What are you going to do about it?

‘How Obama Lost the Presidency’ – A Free Story

January 17, 2012

A few months ago I was asked to write a story for a zombie anthology. I don’t write about zombies and I’ve never actually ‘gotten it’. I don’t know what the attraction is. But, still, I found a short-short story I did connect to, a political one. The zombie anthology collapsed upon itself a short while later, which left me with this story. Since it’s a political story about the current elections in the US, I figured I should just publish it here for free now, rather than wait a few months till it’s published in a magazine. By then it won’t be relevant anymore. So here it is, the true story of how Obama lost the 2012 presidency.

 

HOW OBAMA LOST THE PRESIDENCY

By Guy Hasson

 

The most hush-hush, hidden, underground secret in the United States today is not a military secret or any kind of security concern. Not enemy movements, not terrorist chatter, not spies lost behind enemy lines. No, no, no; don’t be silly. The number one secret in the U.S. today is how Julian Fischer, chief political advisor to the G.O.P., got Stanley Washington elected president. Two months before the Republican primaries ended, Julian Fischer decided to back the one man who had zero chance of winning. Fischer staked his own reputation on the outcome of these elections and moved mountains in his party to win. And, to the surprise of any poll-followers out there, Washington beat the most popular president since Clinton by a landslide.

Oh, did I forget to mention the one fact everyone knows but no longer find it politically-correct to say? Stanley Washington is a zombie. ‘Naturally born’ in the U.S. he certainly was. The Constitution just failed to take into account the ‘unnaturally reborn’.

So. Nobody knows why Julian Fischer gambled it all on zombie. Nobody knows why he turned out to be right. Nobody in politics, at least.

Did I say “nobody knows”? I meant “nobody knew”. I got the secret off him just after three a.m. today.

Little ol’ me, with my tall-ass legs, luscious lips, and abundant cleavage. Little ol’ me, a girl he’s never seen with a Louisiana accent, just hired by the NY Times, not yet known enough to be recognized by any politicos.

I sat there at the bar stretching my gorgeous gams at one of merrier of inauguration bashes, on the one day his ego would be so inflated it would blind his judgment. Us Southern girls, we know how to stoke a man’s ego to the point where he’s just dying to tell you how great he is. A little immature ejaculation. Of the verbal kind.

So there I was, all by my Louisiana lonesome. And he came. And he bought me a drink, and I made sure he drank five to my one. A little bat of the eyelashes here, a little stroke to the arm there, a little marveling at everything he said about who he was and all he had done. And the next thing he knew, his dream was coming true, because I suggested we go up to my room in the hotel.

A little less clothes, a little more touching, and I started homing in on my target. Didn’t care that I didn’t warn him I’m a journalist. Didn’t care I was crossing a line by dangling hush-your-mouth in front of him and touching him more than a journalist should. Tomorrow the headline would be mine. If the quote was good enough, and I now know that it was, no one would care how I got it. Only the story would be remembered. Boy, would it be remembered.

“Tell me,” I whispered in his ear. “You’re so smart. How’d you do it? How’d you know?”

“He’s a great candidate,” he said between kisses to my neck. “Articulate. He knows how to be in front of an audience. Never loses his cool.”

“Yeah,” I purred. “But he’s a zombie!”

He was getting hot and bothered. I scratched him softly behind the neck: a mind-blinding hormone torpedo.

“He’s not dangerous. And he’s the best man for the job. He’s got qualifications up the wazoo. Former Secretary of State back when he was alive, one of the greatest lawyers our country has ever seen, ambassador to—”

“Yeah, but he’s a zombie! How’d you know? How could you be that smart?”

And I saw it in his eyes. There it was. It was coming.

“You have to be really good,” he said, my hand digging into his chest.

“Yeah?”

“You have to know how to read the American people, know which button does what, and where the fault lines are.”

“Yeah?”

“With a small push of one button, you rock a fault line and move millions.”

“What did you do? What did you see?” He was going to tell me. I knew it. In my head, I was already indignantly throwing him out of the room a second after he gave it to me.

“I was smart enough to see the truth no one else was willing to admit.”

“Yeah?”

And then he whispered tomorrow’s headline ever so slowly.

“I realized the American public…”

“…Yeah?…”

“…Was more afraid…”

“…Yeah?…”

“…Of a black man than a zombie.”

Read all about it in today’s paper.

 

–THE END

 

‘Generation E’ Reprinted at InterNova

July 29, 2011

The short story Generation E: The Emoticon Generation has just been reprinted in Inter Nova. It’s a science fiction story about two minutes from now. It takes our current emoticon generation and goes with it as far as one can.

Meshuggener Smiley by Oscar Wolf