Monday, December 5, 2011

It's monday and I continue to remain popular in Russia. Seriously, what's up with that? If you're reading this from  behind the iron curtain, drop me a line and give me a clue!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today I am going to post the beginning of the first story from volume 5 of the Course Books. No time for chit-chat, just enjoy it after the break:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today an excerpt from Horizon(working title). I'll let it speak for itself:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Well, since I seem to be getting a lot of hits from Russia lately, today I thought I would share an amusing fact. I'm sure most of you reading this are familiar with the former Soviet Union, or the U.S.S.R.(those of you reading from Russia might have heard of it, but know it by a slightly different acronym).

American audiences might have seen C.C.C.P. here and there, in fact there's even a gaming website using the name. I remember in junior high a friend of mine excitedly insisting we should all call the former Soviet Union the C.C.C.P.

And the funny thing is, reading this in text, I can almost guarantee each and every one of you is reading that acronym wrong(except, again, those of you who speak the right language), its actually the S.S.S.R..

Monday, November 14, 2011

Do you ever think about how straws work?

As another rarity, I am going to post a story here in it's entirety. This one is slated for release in the 5th volume of the Course Books:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

So I just realized I missed my anniversary, today is November 10th and this whole thing started on November 2nd, one year and 8 days ago today. Wow. Well, I'd like to say its been fun, to genuflect on my successes, to announce that I have made some actual progress... but I can't really do any of that because it'd be a bit of a lie.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today I am going to share a little excerpt from the opening of Where the Heart Is, the first in a series of light novels I have been working on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So I'd like to draw everyone's attention to my web comic, Development, and more specifically to our current fan-art competion! Catman(so named because he drives a caterpillar tractor everywhere), is a minor re-occuring character in the series. Development has just finished its first story-arc so you've got some back-issues to catch up on if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This is just a little excerpt from The Next Progression. I'm hoping by the time I find a publisher, I'll have some very anxious fans:

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm going to do something I haven't done in a few posts and put up another story piece. This one comes from my latest book, The Inclination to Destiny, available just to many places to count:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well, today I'm back and I spent the whole morning working in 3DS Max. My old friend and great passion, 3D will hopefully become an exciting extension to my my writing. I have already brought a few pieces of my story-world to life here and here, but it doesn't seem as though its interesting all that many people.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In honor of my first ever actual follower, I'm going to post a segment out of The Concourse to Victory. And in unrelated news,  The Inclination to Destiny is available on Kindle for a reasonable price, as compared to the price AuthorHouse wants for its ebooks. Anyway, story segment time:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I’d like to open by saying that economics blows.

All right, so as for those of you who read regularly(none of you) you will know that if I have one great passion, it is writing. If I have two great passions, the second slot is torn between legos and computers. Today its computers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

As we work our way through October, its interesting to note that this journal is coming up on its one-year anniversary.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I made a really fantastic post yesterday, had all kinds of neat stuff in it, truly inspired.

And blogger deleted it.

I am angry. Angry with rage! This seems to happen pretty randomly. Tuesday I guess just wasn't my day.

Ah well, not like I have any readers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I’m going to take a little time to discourage you all today, so if you’d like to remain encouraged I suggest you not follow the break.

Monday, September 26, 2011

To begin with, I'd like to open by directing you all to listen to the first few pages of Author of the Gust, now recorded for posterity on YouTube.coms. If you'd rather not be tied to a browser, my good friend Mike over at MuraFonts suggests you visit ListenTo YouTube to convert the file into an MP3. Not a bad idea, all things considered. What I've got so far is only a test, so far, but it worked out rather well, and I expect the rest of the chapter will be coming forthwith. In the meantime, please enjoy this exerpt from The ByWay to Freedom, part of the Course Books:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The enigma of the Oort Cloud.

Today we’re going to do something a little different and talk about Science. Specifically the rather enigmatic theory of the Oort Cloud, which has had a cathedral of speculation built around it which rivals even Nebraska Man.

An oldie but a goody, here's a little exerpt out of The Road to War:

Monday, September 19, 2011

With The Inclination to Destiny now live and nobody reading it, I thought I'd bring just a little sneak-peek of the final volume of the Course Books:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Not that anyone reads this site or anything, but I must announce: Volume IV of the Course Books is now live! That's right: The Inclination to Destiny is available for immediate purchase.

I'm Rick Austinson, we're done here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another piece from The Inclination to Destiny today, hopefully my non-existant readers are getting excited. Should be about two more weeks here before the book becomes available.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Double post today, here's a little chunk out of a story I wrote a few weeks ago, enjoy it after the break.

An analysis of my traffic patterns.

I’ve mentioned a time or two that I basically have zero followers. If you’re looking at my list to the right, and saying “Wait, I see followers there!” shut up, those aren’t followers. At the time of this writing, I have exactly 3, one is myself and the other two are a friend of mine who doesn’t actually read the journal.

And yet, when I consistently update, I manage to earn about 80 hits a month. Yes, this is not the most popular site on the net. But that can all change! Haha, not really.

Now, a lot of those hits are probably just me. I don’t browse around my own journal the same way I look at my wiki(of which way more than half the hits are definitely me), so its clear that at least a few individuals have, at some point, stumbled across the site.

What I find particularly fascinating is the number of hits outside the country. I live in America, and a good majority of my hits also come from America, but I get a surprising amount of traffic from Slovenia, Russia, Germany, and even Malaysia. In this case “Surprising” should be clarified as around 60 hits from each other those places.

Then there are the individual articles. No one actually reads them(well, one guy does, and I appreciate him for it), but for a while this one article consistently got at least one unique hit a day. It was an article about Back to the Future, and if my page views counter is to be believed, it is the most-read thing I have ever written.

Go figure.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Today I bring you another little piece of The Inclination to Destiny, soon to be available both in paper and electronic-form:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Inclination to Destiny updates.

Well, we had a nice litt'e break there over the three-day weekend, but now its back to work! and by "work" I mean posting to this site that no one ever reads. Just ever. At all.

Today I am sharing a small exerpt from The Strange Matter Sword, yet another story from the upcoming The Inclination to Destiny. On that note, I am presently reviewing the final galley, if I aprove it today, the book should be available by the end of the month.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

As promised, another teaser from The Inclination to Destiny. This comes roughly out of the middle of Aspect of Death, a story near the end.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Once again, another positive experience with AuthorHOUSE.

As promised, all week I will be bringing you previews of The Inclination to Destiny. This story is called Responsibility, but this is of course only the first little bit:

Monday, August 29, 2011

With my upcoming book The Inclination to Destiny getting ever closer, I am going to be running samples from it all week. This is the opening to the short story Heritage:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today I'm going to bring you the second half of my writing forum review, this time we're looking at WritingForums.Com(Not to be confused with the vastly inferior WritingForums.Org). Take a look, but the condensed version is that this one is quite a bit better:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

All right, well, Blogger has managed to delete this post twice, so third time's the charm. This is the first actual review in my review in my review series of different online writing forums. Read on to learn about WritingForums.Org:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This is the longest-researched post I have yet written. It began some time ago and I will be gathering a fair amount of information. Using a screen name that does not resemble any of my normal SNs, I have gone undercover to infiltrate several online creative writing forums.

Before I launch into the actual reviews, I am going to open with an outline of exactly what I’ve done. The reviews themselves will also link back to this article. So get ready, and away we go:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tomorrow morning's post a little early. This piece is hot off the presses, brand-spanking new, so shiny it has barely been spell-checked. I won't tell you what novel it comes from, but its going to be a long-time work in progress. Just enjoy this section out of context if you feel so inclined:

Lacking anything of interest to say or an audience to say it to, I'm going to post a few pages out of my current novel, The Next Progression. I believe I've posted bits of it before, as well as the map, but here's some that is very new:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today I’d like to use a bit on a specific set of terminology. I’m sure I’ll offend/annoy a few people, but away we go.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This is the opening few pages of Half the Fun, which will be coming out as part of The Inclination to Destiny later this year.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Map for the Consectution Books

Well, we’ve had a bit of a hiatus but August is here and I should probably continue posting. Most of my work lately has been on The Next Progression, and I haven’t got any new parts I’d like to share. Instead, I’m going to share an oldie but a goodie, this excerpt comes from The Road to War, the story is called Flash Point:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well, we're going with something completely different today, I am actually going to post someone else's copyrighted material. Bear with me for just a moment here, while I explain. Prince Valiant may be the most common model, but I base all my fictional princes on the tale of Sir Robin, the Brave. Read on as I go into greater detail!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well, its that time again. Specifically the time where I realize its late in the day and I wanted to get a post out to all my loyal readers. I couldn’t keep a straight face while typing that, I have no readers! Haha!

Well, today will be some entertaining subject matter. Not really.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Though I typically only post on weekdays, and we are presently in that grey area between Saturday and Sunday, I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this up here. It's another section from The Next Progression. If an agent or publisher ever happens to find this post and likes it, just email me and I'll happily send you the entire manuscript.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, in an effort to average two posts a week and not expecting to find time tomorrow, I figure I'll do a double today. Since my lengthy soliloquy about how much I hate 3D was kind of lame, here’s a story in it’s entirety:

I hate 3D.

First of all, let’s clarify, because as I may have mentioned I am a 3D artist. I’m not talking about 3D rendering or modeling, I love those. I mean the stupid, gimicy nonsense you find in theaters these days, and on very expensive and completely useless televisions. I’m talking about the stupid 3D-craze that’s been sweeping the country lately for some unknown reason.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am currently hard at work on a major re-write of The Next Progression, and since I have nothing better to write about today, I thought I'd post one of the new sections:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today, I am going to come at you with some basic writing tips and see what happens. Since I haven’t really got a readership at this point, I can’t say if it will help anyone or not, but here goes, in handy list-form:

Friday, July 1, 2011

I’d like to muse, if I could, on the concept of suspension of disbelief. Hopefully if you’re a fiction writing you know what this is, but in simplest terms its when you accept something preposterous for the sake of enjoyment. All fiction requires some level of suspension of disbelief.

Suspension of Disbelief, hereafter referred to as SoD, is a vital reader-skill we writers rely on. The more outrageous something is, the great SoD is required. We can graphy this, and it comes out as a pretty straight line: on the X axis we have Level of Absurdity, and on the Y axis SoD. The more absurd, the higher the SoD.

Assuming a story is well-written, it falls onto a perfect line on the graph. Failed material will create little spikes. The web-comic XKCD made an excellent example of this recently. In Star Wars, we were perfectly willing to accept light sabers and hyper drive, but are derailed by the simple fact that this universe should not contain falcons. The Harry Potter franchise is worse, creating a world where adults literally have magical powers and a third-grader’s understanding of the world. Rowling asks us to accept a vast hidden world of uneducated wizards, somehow hiding in plain sight, in the real world we live in today—if you add the HP universe to our theoretical graph, it jumps right the hell off the Y axis, asking you to provide about 20 times more SoD than the human race, as a whole, is capable of generating. (Ok, maybe I’m being a little hard on Mrs. Rowling, stay tuned for my article about “why Harry Potter is incredibly stupid but sort of OK anyway”. Don’t hold your breath, though.)

There was one incident in my writer’s club to which I often find myself referring. The author in question was writing essentially an HP-knockoff(which I am ok with) but somewhat less artfully done. Specifically, in one incident, she asked us to accept that there was a freaking wizard/witch airport concealed in Central Park. This airport included 747-sized airliners. I’m not really positive of the dimensions of Central Park or a 747, but I’m pretty sure you’d have an awful tough time just hiding the airplane in something you can walk across in a few minutes; let alone concealing the runway and enough space to get to altitude over the skyscrapers that line the park. It begged too much of my SoD, is what I’m saying.

I myself have been guilty of a few outrages. My title character, Hunter Jusenkyou, is frequently criticized(and rightly so) for being too fast, too strong, too resourceful, etc. In one particular incident, he just “happened to have” a pouch of fairy dust in his field kit. It was exactly what they needed at that moment. Now, fairy dust is far from standard issue, so it was reasonably absurd. In my defense, there is another story explaining exactly how he came by said dust, and honestly, if you had a bag of fairy dust, you’d carry it around with you everywhere you went, just in case.

The Course Books offer a very forgiving environment for me, since they are told in a non-linear fashion, I have the opportunity to go back and revise the storyline where needed. Currently, I’ve been explaining how a lot of Hunter’s more absurd actions are really not entirely his doing, and how to some degree he is just a puppet of the Gudersnipe Foundation.

Now all that aside, let’s look at something interesting further along the graph. Assuming a story is well-written and not filled with gigantic plot-holes, there comes a curious sort of uncanny valley, a point at which things become amazingly absurd, yet require comparatively little SoD. Further still, the SoD drops away almost to nil, but then quickly picks up again.

The “nil valley” as I have now dubbed it, comes in when the story is so absurd that your brain basically just says “screw it” and you are free to explore the pure ideas. To reach this valley, the story must be both extremely well-written and incredibly deep.

The example I would like to present for this is a book called The Cyberiad, by Stanislaw Lem. From page one, it is so ridiculously absurd, that you will laugh out loud. And yet, the story so compelling, the ideas so fascinating, the writing so exemplary, that you will continue reading.

The Cyerbiad shows us a world set in the distant future, where everyone is immortal robots, and the protagonists are “constructors” who can make or build anything. So basically they’re a robotic cyber-punk version of Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters®. And yet, from page one, even a casual fan of science fiction will have no trouble accepting this.

The very first story in the has one of the constructors building a machine that can make anything beginning with an N. It’s just a simple tale yet very engaging and entertaining. The back and fourth between the protagonists is also really enjoyable.

On the whole, the book is written such that the reader looks past the basic questions of how, and into the much deeper why. And science fiction really doesn’t have to be about how, when the why is the truly important part. Or, more accurately, why not?

Why does Trurl make an electronic poet the size of a large building? Why not? He’s a constructor, he did it because he can. This is the sort of rational that runs all through the Cyberiad, and never once will you question it, because how Trurl the Constructor built his electronic bard was far less important than why, and what happened when he did.

The Cyberiad is pure, free-form fiction, easily the equal of it’s namesake, Homer’s Iliad. It is deep, naked ideas, and thus defines the Nil Valley.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


A lot of people do not understand something very important about our modern world. That thing is the wide array of very complex systems that exist all around us to make what we have possible. Today, I would like to discuss a few of those systems, and compare them to some fictional ones.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In a vain attempt to keep to some kind of regular posting schedule, here is another short story I wrote the other day:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My apologees for the week-long absecnce, as an explanation I offer only that Portal 2 exists. Today I am actually going to post an entire story, something very new(written just the other day), so new I haven't even found an appropriate quote for it. I hope at least someone enjoys it:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well, I’m honestly surprised this subject hasn’t come up, but today I am going to address formatting. Its actually something very important, and can make or break your writing. There are of course an infinite number of styles and no one is correct, but today we’re going to look at a few tricks you can use no matter what to make your work read better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There is a mars mission profile out there called “Mars to Stay”, which involves sending a group of people to Mars and then not bringing them back. It makes fiscal sense as apparently you can send 20 people there for the price of bringing one back, or land an entire well-equipped lab on the surface for less than the cost of bringing back 50-60 kilograms of rock(about 100lb, for those of you who’d don’t speak metric). The curious part is, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have any trouble finding volunteers.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well, after sifting through my recent archives, I can't figure out whether or not I've posted this before. If I have, I'm sorry, if not, enjoy! You may recall a few days earlier when I mentioned what I was working on. For anyone who cares, I present the opening five pages or so of The First Candle:

Friday, May 27, 2011

So it occurs to me that I haven’t been writing much about how to write lately, which given that that is supposed to be the entire focus of the blog, I feel I have let all roughly 5 people who read this blog down. Actually the number is probably a lot lower than five, seriously, my counter should be in negative numbers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You can’t always control what you write, sometimes you don’t want to.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

History, as I have often pointed out, can be a great template for your writing. Take the life and times of that young go-getter Tutankhamun, who by the age of 9 had already become Lord of all Creation. How many nine-year-olds do you know who make the sun rise? Not many, I bet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This excerpt comes from the opening of Katherine the Average, a short story which takes place around a century and a half before the events of the Course Books, and concerns some of Jason Bur’I’s ancestors. Just a few generations back, unlike some other stories. This particular story has already been published in the book GavelGavel!!! by the Camarillo Writer’s Club.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An oldy, but a goody, this is a complete short story out of The Path to Ascension. This is a good example of re-purposing work, I had originally written this story for a school assignment, using characters and events from Mike Webber's The Apocalypse Troll. After putting so much work into it and coming up with such an original idea, I decided it wouldn’t take much to swap in my own characters and events. Thus, the story you see here is based entirely on my own intellectual property.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today’s topic: honoring your dead.

So I’d like to begin by saying that its very difficult to find recent pictures of Vladimir Lenin, but he looks really good for a guy who died in 1924. All right, so why am I talking about 87-year-dead communist mummies? Well…

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another small sample from The Concourse to Victory, this time the first few pages of Forbidden. Parts of this story were actually written while still working on The Path to Ascension, thus giveing it one of the longest production times in the series.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today I am going to share an exerpt from my as-yet-untitled manuscript that has been in progress for years now. Feel lucky, I don't typically share things I'm not finished with or haven't published yet:

Map making.

So a probably vaguely important part of any major fantasy undertaking is the map. This also a ridiculously difficult part, so lets talk about it a bit.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Today will be a day long remembered. Like the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, this is going to be one of those days we’ll smile when we tell our grandchildren about. May 1st, 2011: Osama Bin Laden is DEAD!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Updates and Projects.

Well, as you may have noticed, the posts have been fairly scant of light. The truth is I haven’t been writing, going through sort of an annual lul I suppose. For about 6 weeks or so each year I have to stop. I play video games for a bit, watch some TV, and wait for the inspiration to return.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The very best gaming operating system there is:

So today I’d like to diverge a bit from talking about writing(because I haven’t been writing) and instead talk about gaming(because I HAVE been gaming).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Well, I notice I haven't been around in a while, and I'm sorry for that. It's ok since I don't have any actual followers, but I also haven't been writing for a while, and it feels unfair to continue posting to a writing blog when I am not writing.

So today I am going to do something a little unusual. I am going to post a story from an as-yet unpublished work, and I am going to post the complete story. Not that anyone will actually read it, but nothing ever dies on the internet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writing a trilogy.

Well, it’s high time I got back on that horse and started posting again. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but since I don’t actually have any followers its really ok. Anyways, today we are going to dig in and explore the intricacies of writing a trilogy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Writing from a dream

We all have dreams. I don’t mean like Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, though hopefully you have some like that. I’m talking about the sorts of crazy things you get while you’re asleep.

Well, if you’ve got good enough recall, you can turn these into fantastic stories.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last week Ioffered up the first half of chapter 1 of Scion of the Storm, the sequel to Author of the Gust. Today, I present to you, the rest of the chapter:

Monday, March 14, 2011

I’d like to dig back into world development today. Specifically how to generate long-term potential in your novel series.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today for your enjoyment, I am posting the opening few pages of Scion of the Storm, the sequel to Author of the Gust.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Insultingly stupid movie physics, and things that actually make a great deal of sense.

I’m not a movie-buff by any means, but I like a good sci-fi movie as much as the next guy. As a self-proclaimed author of hard science fiction, I tend to have to cringe a bit as most TV and movies are soft sci-fi. Today I’m going to tackle one of my favorite movies of the mid 90s, a movie in which I actually have something of a personal stake: Independence Day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today I am going to share an exerpt from my as-yet-untitled manuscript that has been in progress for years now. Feel lucky, I don't typically share things I'm not finished with or haven't published yet:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Writing and music: no, this is not what you are expecting.

I’d like to take some time to discuss inspiration and potential. All that fun stuff. I’d also like to deride a few people, but then again there is every chance I will find some folks who agree with me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Todays post comes to you from The Concourse to Victory. I have previously posted a peice of this particular story, maybe I'll eventually post the entire thing. This is the begining, and the previous post actually picks up directly following it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Earlier today, I mentioned to a friend that my blog still had zero actual followers(it has 2, both technically the friend I was mentioning to), and he reminded me to "think lovely thoughts, and only then will the pixie dust propel you". Well, that reminded me of this excerpt from The Concourse to Victory:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The worst three words.

I was hanging around an online writing forum today, and had the pleasure of talking to an aspiring new writer going through a rough patch. The poor fellow had been bravely querying his first few agents, and managed to win the reverse-lottery.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rejections abound.

So, as I may have mentioned, I am presently querying for a new novel, The Next Progression. I have sent out a total of 14 queries, 2 by email and 12 by post. I am fully expecting to get back 14 rejections, because that’s just the way things go.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Today's post comes out of The Concourse to Victory, third volume of the Course Books. The story is titled Forbidden, and has very close ties to The Sun Also Rises from The Path to Ascension.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And we're back to posting snippets. This one comes to you from The Road to War, volume II of the Course Books.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Instead of posting another story snippet today, I am going to discuss another story near and dear to my heart: The Karate Kid. Not the new one, I mean the original 80s version. The 80s gave us so very much

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

As this seems to be more effective, I am going to contue posting writing samples. This falls into the category of "things that gave people at my writer's club nightmares", and is a good example of a throwaway universe. This story is slated for the as-yet unreleased The Inclination to Destiny, so take it as a nice sneak-peek.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Taking another que from last wednesday, I've decided to post another exerpt. This one comes from my newly available The Concourse to Victory which has just been released. The particular story in question is entitled FanFiction, and has close ties to CTRL+Z from the previous book. For your enjoyment:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

From concept to completion.

As I was printing out a new round of query letters today, I started thinking about the long trail from want to write to becoming an author. In a lot of ways, it really resembles a long climb up a mountain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today I am going to be taking a slightly different tac, and offering up an excerpt from one of my already available books. This piece comes from The Road to War, which is the second volume of the Course Books.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh the woes of editing.

With The Concourse to Victory finally available, I have not even paused for breath as I race forward into The Inclination to Destiny, having finalized the story-list and begun the final editing process.