You might recall that Craft Keep VR, the virtual reality game I ended up writing for after EGX 2016, was up for a Game of the Year award at Login Vilnius a while back. Well, it’s happened again, and this time it’s through the TIGA Games Industry Awards!
This time around, Craft Keep VR is right alongside big names like Forza Horizon and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Even just in its own category – Game by a Small Studio – there’s Yooka-Laylee and The Flame in the Flood, both of which have quite a bit more clout behind them than “Small Studio” would suggest: the teams behind those include some of the people behind Banjo-Kazooie, Halo and BioShock.
I hesitate to ask people to vote in this because I’m aware fairly few will have the VR hardware necessary to actually play Craft Keep, but if you’re in a position to compare the games in the shortlist (maybe you got a go at EGX or EGX Rezzed), then here’s the page where you can vote for your favourite.
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 30
“Great Lord Satan! Ruler of Hell! Chap with the really awesome horns and rockin’ goatee! Accept this virgin tribute as a token of our servitude.”
“Yeah,” said Cindi. “About that…”
“Look,” said Arch Anti-Bishop Dave, pulling down his hood. “If you’re going to play the ‘Actually, I’m not a virgin’ card, you can just stop right there. The first thing anyone does in this situation is claim not to be a virgin to avoid getting sacrificed, and I’m telling you now it’s not gonna work.”
“Oh, no, look. I’m not trying to avoid getting sacrificed. Why would I have responded to your Craigslist ad if I was? I’m just saying, you never specified that you needed a virgin, and I’m not sure that I am.”
“How can you not be sure if you’ve had sex?!?”
“Well,” Cindi shrugged, which was awkward on account of hanging upside-down from the ceiling over a portal to Hell. “What counts as sex?”
“You know…” Dave did that “finger going in and out of finger-and-thumb ring” gesture. “Sex.”
“Yeah, obviously, and I’ve never done that. But are there…other things? That would count in this situation?”
Dave narrowed his eyes. “Like what?” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 29
Challenge #13*: David Bowie Day. Write a story including a character in mourning and exploring the theme of religion. It must include at least three David Bowie film titles, a swan song, and a character who speaks to the audience only in David Bowie song titles.
Everyone had been sad about it, naturally. To so suddenly lose a figure so beloved to so many. But it had struck Hades more than most. To him it was deeply personal, somehow. It shouldn’t have been—until it had happened, he’d never even been in the same room—but it was. He bet Baal never had to put up with this sort of sacrilege.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” said Virgil to the reader.
That was Virgil’s imaginary friend: “the reader.” Hades wasn’t sure when it had started, but he suspected it had something to do with his still-alive friend Dante waltzing off to Purgatory and leaving him stuck here. That or the linguine incident. That had been hard on everybody. Hades himself didn’t much like to think about it. He turned his attention instead to Charon, still trying to lift the deceased into his tiny little canoe.
“Have you tried using a lever of some kind?” yelled one of the shades.
“For the last time, Archimedes, enough with the levers!” Hades yelled back, then turned to Charon once more.
He didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 27
Challenge #1: Write a 369er set in cloudcuckooland in which the protagonist is the only sane character.
“Moo,” said Snarf Garfunkel
“Moo,” said Mews Willis.
“Moo,” said Melissa McKitty.
“Is there, like, something… up… with our cats?” asked Farmer Jones.
“I think… Um, I think… I think… Um…” Farmer Bishop squinted at the field of large, black and white cats grazing among the fronds of pink, alien foliage rippling in the breeze. “They seem fine,” she continued at last.
“THOSE ARE COWS, YOU IDIOT,” yelled Olivia.
“Gentlemen.” Junior Vice-Badass Chad Buckley addressed the Committee for the Neatification of Fiscal Awesomeness. “A new planet calls for a new currency. Or something.”
“How about…” Spreadsheet Glaminator Richard Smith tented his fingers. “We used to put money into machines to get coffee. How about we put coffee into money… to get machines?”
Buckley did that finger-snap-pointing thing thing. “I love it!”
“YOUR ECONOMY IS TANKING RAPIDLY,” yelled Olivia.
“Okay,” began Lead Science-Maker-Happener Lauren Harper. “I’ve confirmed the strange yelling noises are emanating from Gasulon VII itself, but it’s safe to ignore them.”
“MY NAME IS OLIVIA, AND IT’S REALLY NOT.”
“And the reason the atmosphere is so good is… it’s just really good. Science over!”
“IT’S ACTUALLY BECAUSE I’M 47% THC.”
“Anybody got any Doritos? I’m super hungry for some reason.”
“THAT WOULD ALSO BE THE THC.”
If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:
Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.
You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which is currently crowdfunding at Unbound. Most pledge levels include all the books shown above, and all will include your name in the back of Ten Little Astronauts itself as a patron of my work.
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 26
“Yarr!” cried Long Schlong Silver, one hand on the hilt of his mighty cutlass. “I be on a quest for booty!”
The crew of the boarded vessel stared in awe at Silver’s glistening pecs, peeking coyly from his open, billowing shirt. For a moment, all were too distracted to speak.
Then the captain stepped forward, loosening his cravat. “Have heart, men!” he announced. “I’ll take care of this rogue.”
The captain spoke with a heavy accent. Silver couldn’t quite place where it came from, but he knew with every fibre of his being that it was deeply and innately sexy.
“So ye think ye can handle the legendary Long Schlong Silver?” he demanded, raising an eyebrow.
The captain stepped closer. “I’ve got a few ideas what to do with you.”
Silver took a step himself. He was now so close to the captain that their nipples were practically touching through the one shirt between them. “Do ye now?” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 25
Challenge #11: Write a story set in a board game. Its word count must be a multiple of 13.
“Well well well…”
Inspector Whiskers’ big round ears caught the unmistakable sound of a revolver being cocked.
“Looks like I’ve got a tail.”
Whiskers turned. “You’ve been keeping up this game of cat-and-mouse for quite some time, Officer Nibbles.”
“Longer than you know.” The mouse stepped into the pool of light beneath the streetlamp, streams of rain leaving hard lines in the fur of his face. “Too long to have you rat me out to the big cheese.”
“Why’d you do it?” Whiskers didn’t really need to ask, but he did need to buy some time. “You only got a couple more years on the job. Why risk your retirement plan?”
“Retirement plan?” Nibbles gave a short, squeaking laugh. “The way things are going down at the Department, I’ll be poor as a church mouse—and so will you! No, Inspector. This…” he gestured about the docks with the barrel of his gun. “This is my retirement plan.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 23
“You’re a wizard, Henry?”
“You’re a wizard, Henry,” repeated the large, hairy man with the umbrella. “And a darn good’un!”
“Stop!” shouted a smaller hairy man with a laser sword as he leapt over the already-knocked-down door. “That man is an impostor! You’re actually a space wizard. He was going to try and trap you in some kind of fake wizard school here on Earth!”
“Stop!” shouted an even smaller scaly…person, also with a laser sword as he squeezed past the second guy. “This man is an impostor! You’re actually a space lizard. He was going to try and trap you on some dank swamp planet where you’d never discover your true reptilian nature!”
“Stop!” shouted a larger scaly person with a very long scarf. “This iguanaman is an impostor! You’re actually a time lizard. He was going to…”
“Henry?” A woman stepped through the door. “Henry, is everything alright? Who are you talking to?” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 22
Challenge #10*: Write an interactive story with at least two good endings and two bad endings. It must feature a conflict between Man and Society, and must also involve a choice that hinges on equipping the right item.
In the arena, two majestic alabaster unicorns duel to the death. Their tungsten chainsaw horns ring out against one another like a swarm of killer bees in a blender.
Place bet: 3
Leave: 4 Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 21
“Visiting hours are over, I’m afraid. They have been for about seven hours.”
“Ah. But I called ahead!”
“I see.” The nurse checked her notes. “Then you must be Count…”
“Please, Count Dracula is my father! Call me Vlad.” He reached out, took her hand, and kissed it in the most vampirically dashing way imaginable.
“Nice to meet you.” She wiped it on her shirt in the least inconspicuous way imaginable.
Kids these days. The old vampire hypnosis never seemed to work on them. A shame, as he could have done with a snack after the long trip. He supposed it was all that Netflix or Snapchat or possibly some fortifying effect of a diet consisting almost entirely of avocado toast. That had never been a problem back in Transylvania. Except it probably was now. Everything flown everywhere!
“Do you know which room it is?” she asked.
“Of course! 1428, same as my birth y…I mean my bus. Ah, ah, ah.” He gave a nervous laugh. “The 14:28. They only start in the afternoon. That’s why I couldn’t get here during daylight.” Continue reading
Flash Fiction Month 2017, Day 19
Once upon a time there was a terrible dragon, which crawled along the ground on endless feet. The dragon was an ancient beast—forged long before Little Red was born—and only Grandmama was old enough to remember it. But Little Red had heard stories, and so when she saw the dragon coming she rolled her bike into a wooden bunker nearby and waited for it to pass.
But the dragon saw her inside with eyes of infra-red, and so it spoke: “Little Red, Little Red, let me come in.”
“Not by the spikes on your tinny-tin-tin!”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your fort in!”
The dragon breathed out a huge gout of fire that burned the wooden bunker to ash, but Little Red was clever, and so in the commotion she escaped and rode away across the wasteland to a bunker of steel. Continue reading