Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Point of Science Fiction

Years ago, I read a cartoon strip that has stuck with me.  Sort of.  The caption was something like, ‘the earliest science fiction pieces,’ and it had four panels.  Panel one was a cave man with a stone hammer hitting a larger rock, while I guy behind him yelled out, ‘thag, you crazy, you play god!’ and the panel after that shows the earth being split in two, presumably from the cave man hitting one rock with the other.  Then there was another one, this time with a cave man trying to start a fire while another cave man warns him of his insanity, followed by a picture of the world in flames.

It struck with me because I’d never seen science fiction this way before, but looking at the images, it kind of made sense.  There is a theme in SF of someone pushing the bounds of science, being warned against it, and then the entire world is in jeopardy because of their hubris.

And I do, from time to time, find myself reading a comment online from someone commenting on some scientific experiment with, ‘Oh my god, didn’t you read Jurassic Park?  This is how the world gets overrun by dinosaurs!’ or someone talking about how cloning is a terrible idea because of all the ways it could go wrong, usually exemplified by some pivotal piece of science fiction.

So, it kind of make sense to look at science fiction as being anti-science.  But that’s not really how I’ve ever read it.

To me, science fiction isn’t about the dangers of science, it’s a reminder that no matter how far technology goes, people will always be people.  We’re always subject to the same flaws in thinking, the same impatience, the same hubris.

The problem isn’t what technology can do, it’s what people might do with technology.  Cloning won’t bring about the destruction of humanity, but the people who control it might.

Bored? Reading is Free and Freeing!

Just a quick reminder out there to everyone stuck indoors due to that damned virus: there’s a lot to do online, and a surprising amount of it is free!

My personal recommendation is e-books.  Is that because I currently have an e-book available for free and I’m desperately trying to get people to read it in the hopes they’ll get hooked on the series and buy the rest making me wealthy, or at least able to support myself with my writing?

Yes.  Yes it is.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a really good idea!  And if, for whatever reason, you’re not interested in reading my book, (available for free by going to this website https://leodfitz.wixsite.com/ldfitz/free-book signing up for the newsletter, following the download button, and then, if you want, unsubscribing from that e-mail with a simple click of a button), well then, you’re missing out, but there are other books available for free.  Check out this subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/FreeEBOOKS/

Have fun, and be safe.

Ghoul Short Stories

So, for those of you who visit here to find out about the current state of the Walter stories, I’ve got great news: I’m going to be putting out short stories featuring Walter and some of the other residents of Collinswood Colorado in the near future.  I’ve got four short stories with an interesting thematic connection that I’d love to see if people can easily spot.  I’m going to be putting the first one out soon.

Available through my newsletter.

If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter so you can be one of the first people to read the short stories, the signup is available here:

https://leodfitz.wixsite.com/ldfitz/free-book

Signing up will also get you an e-mail that will give you access to a free e-version of book one of the series, so if you haven’t read that yet, please do.  And if there’s anyone you know whom you think would enjoy the series, but they haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, please let them know that they can get the first book for free right now.

New Plan! Free Stuff! Tell Your Friends!

Okay… so, in an effort to expand my audience, I’m giving away e-copies of my first book, Awfully Appetizing.  I’m also going to be putting out some short stories featuring Walter, which will also be available for free.  Via a newsletter.

So, all you have to do is go here:  https://leodfitz.wixsite.com/ldfitz/free-book  And sign up for the newsletter.  You’ll be sent an automated e-mail with a link to download the book.  If you don’t want anything more from me, there’s another link you can use to unsubscribe.

If you are interested in receiving some free short stories about everybody’s favorite ghoul, of if you just want to be alerted when my next book Delicious Detritus comes out, stay on and you’ll get periodic newsletters.  How often?  Not often.  Not even monthly.  I’m planning on putting one out in March, which will have one of the short stories in it, but after that… who knows?

“I’ve got a great idea for a story”

I’ve heard a lot of people say that.  Sometimes, when I hear the idea, I agree with them; sometimes I don’t.  But here’s the thing that I realized after having spent over a decade of my life as a writer:

The Idea is the Least of the Important Parts.

To be clear, I am not saying that it is unimportant.  Ideas are great.  A great idea can be the foundation for an amazing story.  But of all of the many important parts that go into writing a story, the idea is the least important one.

For years, I guarded my ideas like gold.  I was uncomfortable with the thought of letting other people read my work because, dammit, I didn’t want anyone stealing my amazing ideas!

One of the first clues I got to the mistake I was making was when I realized a basic truth of storywriting: we’re all stealing ideas all the time.  Sometimes it’s obvious.  When I was younger, in particular, it was a bit of a problem, I’d see a movie or read a book, something would resonate, and I’d write a story disturbingly similar to it.  Over time I became more sophisticated in my thefts, but make no mistake, they’re all over the place.  Whether it’s choosing to write from a particular perspective, or a moment in time designed to evoke a feeling I had when reading something else, all of my ideas are patchworks of things I’ve read other places or done other places.

Have you ever watched an old movie?  Something that someone else told you was ‘amazing’ and ‘revolutionary’ and found yourself thinking, ‘please, I’ve seen this a dozen times, and done much better, too!’?  Of course you have.  The first time I watched Psycho I was terribly disappointed.  I knew the big twist at the end, but even if I didn’t, the possibility would have occurred to me fairly quickly.  A major character who doesn’t ever appear and is only ever interacting with one other character?  Come on.

But the reason it’s so obvious now, the reason it’s been done so many times is because it was so revolutionary at the time.  The reason it was done better later is because so many other people stole it.  That’s what you do.  That’s what writing is.  You take what’s there, you mix it up with other stuff, try to do it better than it was ever done before, and when you fail, you try again.

The fact that there are so few new ideas is sort of the point, though.  Whether or not you have a great idea, the point of a story is to use it well.

I’m reminded of the movie ‘throw mama from the train.’  The story of a writer teaching a writing course who gets into a quid pro quo murder scheme with one of his students.  When everything is said and done, they both write books about it.  The student writes  a children’s pop up book, and the teacher writes an award winning novel.  The same information went in, but each of them took very different journeys from there.

Ideas are great, but don’t worry about them.  You’ll have plenty.  And for god’s sake, don’t ask a writer to write your idea for you.  It’s taken us a lifetime to figure out how to screw up our own stories.

Halloween Books!

It’s officially Halloween season!  At least, for those of us who consider Halloween to be a season, not just a day.  Anyhow, as a writer, and as a man who has a lot of friends who are writers, I’m more than a little bit disappointed by how little reading is going on these days, so I want to propose a change: this Halloween season, somewhere between finding the perfect costume and stocking up on sweet treats for children, take some time to buy some genre appropriate books to give to your friends.  Whether it’s ‘It’ by Steven King, or ‘The Wretched Walls’ by Brian Kaufman, find a book that will teach your friends the joy to be found in the scariest time of year!

Good luck, have fun, and be sure to eat something delicious!

It’s out! It’s officially AVAILABLE!

I just got the e-mail from Amazon, and Curdled Cuisine has been approved!  The kindle version is available now, and the print version is either available or about to be available.

So stoked!  Please read and let me know what you think!

Now my next big project is getting my mailing list set up.  I know, I know, mailing lists are so annoying, but the good news is, this one will come with short stories.  I’ve got three completed and two uncompleted short stories featuring Walter is a variety of precarious predicaments.  There is a theme to the five stories which I’m looking forward to seeing who spots it first, and I’m planning on releasing them, about half a story at a time, through my mailing list.  Please check back again soon and sign up!

Also, I’m planning on releasing the digital version of Awfully Appetizing for free to try to bring in new readers, so if you can think of anybody who might enjoy The Corpse-Eater Saga, I’ll have a link for you to direct them to, soon.

Thank you all so much!

72 Hours to go…

I know, I know, I’ve been terrible about finishing it up, but this time, it’s official:  as soon as I get final approval from whoever it is that amazon has do this stuff, Curdled Cuisine will be available.  The cover gave me no end of trouble, mostly because I have no artistic skills, but it’s finally done.

I swear, it’s on its way.

And, after I take care of a few personal matters, I hope to start work on book four in… like… two or three months.  So, who knows how long it will be until Delicious Detritus hits the market.

However…

I’ve got a couple of short stories centering around Walter and his ilk that I will be making available over the coming months.  Please keep coming back here so I can tell you how to get your hands on them.  I have to say, I’m very pleased with how they’ve been turning out.