Comments made easier! Feel free to try!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Notes: Mark Of Death and Other Stories

I have a couple of notes regarding the writing of Mark of Death, Old Medicine and a couple other stories.

Mark of Death is the first story I have written about a time and place, a near future world gone strange.  A disaster has befallen society, and the value of productive land had fallen because there has been a world wide crop blight, cause unknown.

Civil governments all over the world have failed with the food sources.  Things got violent for a while, especially in the larger cities.  Control of oil and and processing of that became the source of power, and the people gravitated to that.  Food from meat, fish, and processed algae were critical to survival.  Oil critical to growth.

Sometime along here, magic regained its power.  Superstitions became real.

The setting is sort of like Mad Max meets HP Lovecraft or perhaps the Magic of the Hyborian Age.

Mark of Death obviously describes an assassin's encounter with something evil, not long after the failure of society to react to the changes.

Old Medicine, to be posted in parts, beginning tomorrow, describes a scene a few years after the consolidation and formation of the Empire. 

The Empire is a feudal government system, with the strongest gang leaders awarded noble status by the Emperor.  For example, Blacke would not only become a great general for the crown, but she would also become Baroness of Southern Alberta.

Mark of Death is one of several stories I wrote about this time and place, better to realise this setting. Other stories included Old Medicine, A Druid in Stanley Park, The Grandfather of the Buffalo, A Grand Return, and A Knight on Highway 3

All of the stories mention some of the governing characters, including the Emperor and Blacke- especially Blacke- but rarely do the setting's power characters actually appear in  them.  The reason was that the novel I somehow never quite got around to writing was going to have a lot to do with them.

All of these other stories, with the exception of Old Medicine, plus about a hundred pages of handwritten notes were destroyed in the fire 3 years ago.

All of this means that I will have to rewrite them.  That's the easy part.  Harder will be to replace the handwritten notes.

Old Medicine I considered to be the pinnacle of those stories, however, and that manuscript survives.  It is approximately 5000 words and will be posted as part of the A to Z, in three parts- making each an unwieldy 1600 words (a violation of the keep the posts brief protocol- sorry to the A to Z management), but because it features two historically important characters (my first attempt to present fictional situations to characters that actually lived) that have come out of my love of history and my knowledge of Canadian History in particular.

Without giving any more away, Old Medicine will begin tomorrow (the letter O) and continue with the letter R and conclude with the letter S.

Criticism will be welcomed.


  1. Meh, keep it short is not a hard and fast rule. I certainly haven't been able to! Good luck to you in remedying the loss of those pages and research. One of my fears!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  2. I'm interested in Canadian history, it seems a big blank spot in US education to not include more about Canada.
    Looking forward to your posts, however, long.

    1. You might enjoy this, Kate. Old Medicine merges Canadian History, with a bit of American History- not that the destinies of the two countries have ever really been separate.

  3. Hi, it is always interesting to read stories about "the world going to Hell in a handbasket". It is so very true that civilization is not and has never been very civilized. That is what makes stories about it that hold our attention, I reckon. Best regards to you. Ruby

    1. Me too. The Fall of Civilisation has always made a compelling setting for all sorts of stories. One of my favourites remains Mad Max. But The Road was an excellent movie, even though some scenes were hard to watch. So was The Book of Eli.