Godspeed Onward

As a few of you probably know, today was the launch of the very last Space Shuttle mission, STS-135. The shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Cape Canaveral at about 8:45 this morning. I tuned in for the last few minutes of the countdown and launch, and let me tell you: I was seriously tearing up. I didn’t expect to be affected by it at all, but there’s just something iconic about the shuttle. It’s been running missions my entire life, and now this is the very last one.

The president had better be serious when he’s talking about Mars missions. We’ve been jerked around enough before.

On the writing front, I more-or-less finished another short story this week. I planned to write 4 during by July 15 and instead I got only two, but that was probably a more realistic number anyway. I’m not done with either, not by a long shot, but they’re both solid platforms for revision, and that’s really what you want out of a first draft.

The second one, which I just finished this morning, I’m particularly interested in. It takes place in the same universe as the story that’ll appear in the NIWA anthology and in a genre I like to call “hopeful cyberpunk.” Basically, you take all of the technological trappings of cyberpunk–the mind/computer interfaces, cloning, genetic manipulation, corporate dominance–and you place them in a setting that’s not particularly punkish. Picture Star Trek‘s United Federation of Planets crossed with Neuromancer and you’ll get the idea. For whatever reasons, my stories tend to work best when they’re set in tech-heavy universes. Go figure.

Speaking of the NIWA anthology, I’m about halfway through my final edits for my story. The comments have been overwhelmingly positive, and not a ton needed to be changed. I think I’m going to rework the last scene, though; what I’d hoped was a climax didn’t seem to be serving its purpose, and there was a bit too much implication in the denouement. It’s got to be made more specific. Endings are hard, man…reading through the NIWA submissions really drove that home. Out of a dozen stories, all could stand some tweaking in the ending, and a few of them just plain failed in the last quarter. It’s hard.

With that, I’ll leave you with another tear-jerker of a video, produced by NPR:

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