November is a shambling odd-ball of a month. Were November a person you wouldn’t really like them. You’d suffer their presence quietly, hoping against hope that they’d just go away and leave you alone; you’d treat them with a passive-aggressive meanest that wouldn’t quite have the necessary understanding of social nuances to “get.” The sort of person who, the moment their back was turned you’d bolt for the nearest exit with a speed and urgency you didn’t realise you were capable of. November would have a bad moustache and no one had quite had the heart to inform them that it really didn’t suit them. November is forever going on about “their book” and how it’ll be amazing, yet no one has the heart to tell them it’s just as awful as their moustache. Add to this a distinctly pyromaniacal bent and you have the makings of someone who really should not be allowed near children.
So basically fuck November.
Perhaps I’m just bitter. I can’t grow a decent moustache and my body betraying me with maladies, plagues, facial twitches, heart-burn and fatigue has left me rather incapable of joining in with the NaNoWriMo fun. I can however still enjoy exploding showers of highly excited metal ion compounds with the best of them.
Now I’m sure many of you are embroiled in the NaNo frenzy, losing yourself to the 30 days of literary abandon. But for those not quite up to the colossal NaNo commitment I’m here to offer you an alternative. A quick jog round the park instead of a full-on marathon. It’s the start of November, it’s time for a new Pictonaut Challenge. It’s time for The Grid.
The Grid is the work of a concept artist by the name of Darren Douglas. I like the colour contrasts, I like the aesthetic, I feel a sense of motion in it despite its static medium and I’m in charge here so I get to make the decisions. The Grid sees a return to a comfortable and easily definable genre. This is very sci-fi, none of the “OOoooOOoo What could it be?!” type pictures I’ve been slinging at you for the past couple of months. We’re back to the same hard and dependable stuff we had back in July; back when it was still warm and I wasn’t having to haemorrhage cash trying to keep my dank hovel heated to a temperature slightly higher than that of a really big fridge.
We got an opportunity for hard edgy futurism, all grit and techno-wonder; An opportunity for pipe dreams of utopia and its nightmare twin, dystopia; Speculative; Pondering; Hope; Misery; Let’s get our sci-fi on!
For any new readers (not that I really think there are any new readers. Some times I wonder why people even bothering reading the drivel that comes seeping out of my festering mind-hole) the picture serves as a prompt, your mission if you chose to accept it, is to write a 1,000 word short story and send me a link by the end of November. Whether you chose to have the story self-destruct after 5 seconds is entirely up to you. I’d like to say that these are “The Rules” but realistically they’re only poorly enforced guidelines.
With the picture at our disposal let’s charge the word capacitors to maximum, hook the writing rig directly into the story-mainframe and prepare to make the jump to light-speed!
The Rogue Verbumancer – This race is mine!
James Clayton – I am a space god. I am the force of violent victory. I am the exulted angel, hero of the heavens.