Story Fragment

Here’s a piece of something I’ve been working on. Working title of “Mountain Story.”

Reports of the new mountain began to arrive late in the week, and were immediately discounted as fabrication or illusion, of the sort that often explodes into public consciousness and dominates conversation until another replaces it.  Last year, there was the story of a hidden community of log-dwellers in the municipal parklands, and others, many others.

Early the next week, a man came into the Ministry of Parks and Justice building, a man with mud-caked clothing and a gashed forehead, a man who claimed proof.  Park stewards brought him to the director’s office, and the rest of the staff assembled.

No resident of The Expanse has seen a mountain (several hills yes, and two shallow gorges).  The existence of mountains has been speculated, but not confirmed, in a land somewhere below the southern horizon.  No modern expedition has yet ventured far enough, though records exist, accounts from the great explorer-captains of many years past, from an age of enquiry.

Continue reading “Story Fragment”


The Perfume and the City

I heard a report on NPR recently about the exploding market for celebrity scents. Not the actual scent of the celebrity (which would be much more interesting), and not, say, a scent that means, “Burt Reynolds in his Smokey and the Bandit period,” or “Lou Reed covered with glitter.” These are scents I could appreciate. No, what they seem to be talking about are scents celebrity-endorsed and named, developed for and assigned to a particular media star. How is this any different than celebrity-endorsed flannel sheets or health care plans?

Obviously, no one would be interested in an author-based perfume (not even that Twilight author’s), but what about the scent of a particular book? And not a book that has been transformed into a movie, with movie star identities assigned to it. Just a book. A good story. Maybe, one of my books…?

Being wealthy (like all writers), I’ve funded a research lab to develop some scents based on The Painting and the City. They’ll be available for purchase as soon as I have the shopping cart set up. Meanwhile, here’s a verbal introduction to the initial line of scents.

Lerner’s Studio

Fragrance Notes—an amalgam of earth and metal with a hint of chili pepper and cardamom. It’s charm lies in how it encourages the excitement of submerging oneself in whatever work most suits; for optimal effect, best applied early in the day.

Kreunen’s House

Fragrance Notes—Truffle oil, Hibiscus, Amber, Cognac. A scent that expands with use (or destroys the wearer). It carries no nostalgia or joy; best for any time you need to gain or maintain power over another.

Dapper Marionette

Fragrance Notes—Cinnamon and Adriatic Spearmint softened with hints of Dewy Green Leaves. Sensual and sophisticated, it offers one of the most intense olfactory experiences possible.

I’m sure many other books could provide exceptional scents that would dazzle and amaze. The Divinity Student: Something shocking and musty. The Babylonian Trilogy: A scent that says carnage and erudition. And many others, which will be under development soon.