Brigadoon is an ongoing science fiction project following the life and times of the staff of a deep-space lodginghouse, which functions as a B&B for some, and a home for others.
There, ahead of the ship it lay! Brigadoon, enchanted refuge at the edge of space! Brigadoon, whose glimmering form lay ahead of us, given a misty halo by the Carina Nebula! And my hands did sweat as the ship docked, and my hands did tremble as I opened the door and stepped forward into a new world.
And then did Ariadne, dark of eye and dark of humor elbow me aside, saying,
“Could you not stand in the doorway? We’ve got shit to move here!”
Downcast I stood aside, and let our own lightning elemental sweep by, searing the world around her as she fled for the wires and conduits that welcomed her rage.
Then did Ebb Spacedragon, steadfast and true, roll forward in her gleaming carriage and lay a hand upon my shoulder. Strength flooded into me once more as she gazed upon me and said,
“I don’t think she even remembers her first time on a space station. Take your time, and if you’re still mad about it, put something snippy in the blog.”
If you want to read more, you can head over to my patreon to get access, and to see what else you’ll be supporting!
After my long silence on this site, I’m happy to announce that my circumstances have changed, and there’s going to be a lot more traffic here. As of yesterday, my own writing is now my only means of income, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of me. Some of that will be here, but a majority of it will be over on my blog, Oceanoxia.
Part of my Patreon rewards setup is an ongoing science fiction series following the adventures of a group of friends who bought a fixer-upper space station from VultureCorp, Custodians of the Galaxy. Starting on July 1st, there will be daily updates for my $5+ per month patrons as the crew of Brigadoon manage their outer space B&B in an ancient mining company barracks station that was left behind by the miners for some unknown reason.
Beyond the main story, which will occasionally have free chapters available here, there will also be other content from the various people staying at Brigadoon, and much of that content will be available at the Brigadoon Guest Registry.
I was raised on Tolkien. Every year around Christmas, in addition to reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, my family would also read a few of the Letters from Father Christmas that Tolkien wrote for his own children. For those who aren’t aware, Tolkien wrote a series of letters to his children claiming to be from Father Christmas. The letters contain all sorts of stories and illustrations about the goings-on at the North Pole, the antics of the North Polar Bear (the official one), what the elves that worked for him were up to, and so on.
It was these letters, more than The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, that formed my view of goblins. The ones that Father Christmas dealt with were similar to the goblins of The Hobbit, but smaller, and in my opinion a bit stranger. I couldn’t make myself watch more than one of the new Hobbit movies, but the goblins shown in the first one were one of my favorite parts of all of Peter Jackson’s interpretations of Middle Earth. The creatures shown were all goblins, but they ranged in size from the massive king, to the little cackling messenger on a zipline. They were spooky and menacing and above all, they were downright weird!
For me, goblins are like aliens that come from below, rather than above. They’re as much a part of our world as we are, but just as we are at home in the light of day, they are at home in the darkest places of the Earth. Maybe that’s why I see them as embodying strangeness. To be a goblin is to be at home in a world that fills humans with the terror of the unknown. They come from that parallel Earth that gave birth to bats, goblin sharks, and glowworms.
All of these things have familiar elements. Bats are rather like ordinary furry creatures in many ways, but they’re also radically different. The elongated fingers, strange faces and ears might be similar to those of our relatives the aye-aye or the tarsier (both good examples of goblins), but the skin webbing and ability to fly set them apart. They’re at home in a world that is pretty alien to us, and they look like it:
Goblin sharks seem like normal sharks until they bite, and become something utterly different. They simultaneously seem more human, with a more defined chin and mouth under that long nose, and less like anything we’re used to :
And then there are cave glow worms – in the light of day, they’re fairly normal insect larvae. Not pleasant to look at (for most of us), but not terribly interesting either. At home in the darkness, however, they form a glowing constellation across the ceilings of their caves, beautiful, but deadly for any insects that wander too close to the slimy strands hanging down below the lights. If they get caught, they’re reeled in by the worm, and devoured.
In the world of goblins, light is dangerous. It lures you to death, or reveals you to predators. Autumn is the time when our world begins to be more like their world, for a little while.
As Halloween arrives, the trees are losing their leaves, and the birds are flying south, and the light that we value so much is fading day by day. October 31st has come and gone, and America will now be obsessed with Christmas for the next couple months (with a passing nod to Thanksgiving), but that is just a distraction from the truth.
As the last glow of the sunset fades, night is only just beginning. Halloween has passed, and now night is really coming. The long darkness and cold has driven the goblins with which we have become familiar into hiding. Now is the time for the goblins that we don’t know about – the ones that revel in the cold darkness beyond the edge of our fire light.
Halloween was just the beginning.
I’m pleased to announce that my first novel, Exits and Entrances is now available in paperback and e-book formats on Amazon.com! This is the culmination of years of writing, learning, and re-writing, and I’m delighted to have it out!
My publisher described the book as a metaphysical fantasy, and I think that’s a good fit for it. This novel is the first of a trilogy, with book two well underway. I invite you all to read it, and to tell your friends about it.
He had once climbed the stairs of the Empire State Building, and that didn’t take half the time he was spending on these. Anthony was also fairly certain that he knew of no buildings with black marble stairs of such great width. He couldn’t see the walls on either side of him now, just darkness.
Wisps of pale green mist gathered around him, glowing faintly without lending any light to their surroundings. Anthony paused to look back. The stairs behind him were a well of darkness out of which reached faint tendrils of the luminous fog.
After what seemed like hours, he reached a door. It was unquestionably a door. Anthony was utterly certain that it was a door, but he couldn’t tell if it was a normal roof exit door, or a huge wooden door with wrought-iron hinges, or a house door, or a gate. It seemed to be all doors at once. Not flickering exactly, but not remaining in one guise either. Anthony realized that all the doors he had ever seen in his life were merely imitations or reflections of this door. Leaving such a door closed was not an option. Mouth dry and hands sweating, he opened it and stepped through.
When Shakespeare wrote “all the world’s a stage”, nobody took it literally.
Anthony Ballrain knows that as well as anybody, but when his walk home from work takes him past a door he’s been dreaming about, he feels like it’s his cue to exit. Stepping through, he finds himself in a seemingly uninhabited world that has only a casual relationship with reality. When he finally finds other people, they’ve already met him, and what’s more, they really, really don’t like him.
In a world where the impossible happens on a regular basis, Anthony is forced to confront a darker side of himself. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder for him to figure out just which side that is.
Publisher: Wandering in the Words Press