Adraxis Alas Asmon: Part One of Two

My archive crawl on Aetherial Engines continues. I recommend clicking straight through to the “Full Story Page”; only some kind of WordPress shenanigans prevents me from simply reblogging that.

I like the Depression-era pulp setting of the first half of this one, not least because of the details that remind us why we wouldn’t want to live there – the polio-inflicted leg braces, the “Yellow Peril” magazine cover, the magazine staff one story away from the breadlines, and the fact that “Melvin Bush” needs to hide her true identity in order to sell stories.

The second half, I like because…well, because it’s Conan-esque pulp fantasy (did you know that Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft were pen pals, and that Conan is very much part of the Cthulhu Mythos?), with a truer romance (nerd love rules) and a deeper horror just beneath the surface.

Take a look.

Aethereal Engines

Part One: The Hero’s HeartPart One: The Hero’s Heart

Removing his fingers from the keys, Howard leaned over the typewriter and silently mouthed the words he had struck onto the paper. He shook his head and groaned. Pulling the release lever, he cranked the feeder knob and yanked the page free. Having wadded the paper into a tight paper ball, the young man pitched it into the wastebasket at the far end of the room. It joined twenty other balls that had preceded it.

The scrawny writer leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. “How the hell do you expect me to write this, Ed? I can’t ape Ian’s style to save my life, and this is the god-dammed climax of his story!”

Howard sighed and closed his eyes realizing that the impending deadline and restless week had brought him to ask questions of people who weren’t there. There was no…

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Adraxis Alas Asmon: Part One of Two

  1. Thanks again for a share! Adraxis Alas Asmon just flowed out onto the pages as I wrote it, and it is one of my favorite creations that I have finished so far. I really enjoy how a lot of people have resonated with it (a friend of mine liked it so much that she is planning a sequel story of her own to it). I wrote it as a tribute to the Depression Era pulp writers and their fiction, and I’m glad that shines through because writers like Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft are influences upon my style.

    I loved working with the action and mystery elements of this story, but my favorite part was romantic element. I wanted something that felt real and yet true to the pulp fantasy inspiration for the piece. I was very pleased with the result after some difficult reworking… Queen Kittala’s dialogue towards the end is some of my favorite that I have written.

    If you are curious for more background on this piece, here is a blog post from April where I wrote about some more of it: http://aetherealengineer.com/2015/04/22/wip-it-wendsday-april-22-2015/

    • Glad to do it. Just trying to bring my readers some quality content after months of treating this blog as an advertising space.

      Anyway, having read your WIP It Wednesday – isn’t that just the greatest moment, as a writer? When a story just takes off on its own and becomes something that you never expected it to become? And the characters start behaving in ways you never expected them to act? That’s how you know that the characters are alive and the story has truth in it.

      Incidentally, that picture of “The Summoning” intrigues me. That…spirit?…that’s being summoned is far less human that most gods are presented as being, but it’s not your standard Old One mass of tentacles and eyes. It’s clearly alien, but looks just human enough to fall into the uncanny valley. Hmm…

      • It truly is a great moment when the story surprises you and takes on a life of its own, I agree 100%. The only thing that surpasses that to me is when others love a story I have created and it takes on a life in them… I’m amazed when that happens. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Kill Your Darlings | Dreams of the Shining Horizon

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