11 February 2011

'Road Lines'

What is the secret of the British ‘road lines’?

Across Britain, narrow lines can be observed at the edges of many roads. They occur close against the kerbside and parallel to it, on both major and minor highways. They occur singly or in pairs, appearing to be marked out in something similar to yellow paint. They range from two or three metres to many kilometres in length.

Where do the ‘road lines’ come from? Who makes them? What is their significance? Do they have a meaning -- and if so who, is intended to understand?

Millions of British motorists pass the ‘road lines’ in their cars each day, parking on them to visit the shops or pick their children up from school. None of them has the slightest clue as to the meaning of the mystery beneath their tyres.

02 February 2011

Cowboys and Indians

I'm beginning to suspect that Obverse Books' original plan to publish Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts this month may have been a tiny bit optimistic, and thus that my (no doubt annoyingly) persistent trailing of the book since October may have been premature. Obverse are a highly competent, not to mention lovely, small press, but the precedent for anyone managing to publish Faction Paradox books when they say they will hasn't been glorious, to say the least.

Nevertheless... here's the penultimate specimen of the eleven "Deleted Scenes" from my short story, "One Hundred Words from a Civil War":
     Once, the tribes of Mesara Plains Park sent their strongest, bravest young males to become bodyguards in the households of the rich. Now Mesara has been designated a Collateral Reservation, administered by a Sheriff from nearby Samraja District.
     The Mesarans are, to all intents and purposes, minotaurs, their human DNA ancestrally mingled with that of a proud species of bovinoid warriors. They do not accept subjugation willingly. Nor, now, is there any occupation for their restless youth.
     A troupe of them has surrounded the wagon-train bearing a gaggle of Samraji Civil servants. They brandish traditional axes and utter bloodcurdling bellows.
I'm not sure what I'll do after the next one. Possibly -- and I emphasise that this is contingent on my finding the time, energy and concentration span -- I'll make up some more, and carry on doing so until the book's published.