Monday, December 30, 2013

Go Ahead and Laugh

Last Laugh - Four Flights of Fancy
Only $1.49!

Last Gasp - Four Cozy Thrillers
Only $1.49!

Organizing some of my short fiction into collections. For those who've been reading my silliness for awhile, there is nothing new here. I've had most of my stories in "two-packs" but want to provide more "bang for the buck" so am expanding each collection to at least four stories. If you're new to my site, though, these are perfect bite-sized introductions to my particular brand of quirkiness.

These two ebooks above are for sale on Amazon (click here for table of contents), and I'll be uploading them to the other online bookstores soon. I'll be working on Last Chance and Last Cry in January. Another cool deal is that the artwork is by one of the hottest indie cover designers on the web - Jason Gurley. He's been working with Hugh Howey and Michael Bunker and others and is producing some great concepts.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy these projects. But just so you know what you're getting into, here's a flash piece from Last Laugh. It first appeared at Every Day Fiction a few years back.

Spam Fiction by Lyndon Perry

“What was the setting?” I ask Alan, my co-author and programmer.

“Fifty words, Smittee.”

“Read it again,” I say.

“‘Nevertheless comb accident the incident I wonder,’ Jake replied. ‘A very burst respected ex-captain mad told me the story, and helpless a fine thing cough all is!’ He continued. ‘Could broken anything be more abominable osseous than the way he tense famous possesses irritate a dreamed good circle of friends?’”

“Hmm. Still sounds like spam,” I conclude.

“Yes, but my vocabulary algorithm cleaned up the word choice. And the recursive function took care of our earlier grammatical problems. Even the predictive parser is operating properly–I can catch the makings of a plot. I should probably re-sequence the punctuation superfactorials though.” Alan glances at me and I nod.

“Can’t hurt,” I reply. “Also, try setting the eff eff generator at 75 words this time.”

“Sure, let’s give it a shot.” Alan looks up and smiles. “Imagine! When we fully reverse code and appropriate this software we’ll make millions. We’ll be spitting out short stories left and right. Magazines will be lining up to buy anything written by us, ‘Alan Smittee.’”

“I have to admit,” I admit, “we’re harnessing great technology here. Those spam email programmers just don’t know what they have their hands on. They’re wasting their creative energies on advertising, for Pete’s sake–satisfied with simply probing spam defenses for word combinations that don’t ping the system.”

Alan picks up the thread. “But if they can penetrate the typical junk mail filter with just a few faux paragraphs of garbled sentences, then with a little tweaking we can create the perfect short fiction that even the choosiest editors will enjoy.”

We both smile and Alan finishes editing a bit of code. “Ready,” he says.

I punch the start button and the eff eff generator prints out a 75-word revision of the previous piece. I read it aloud.

“‘Nevertheless,’ Jake replied, ‘I wonder if the comb incident was an accident. A very mad, but respected ex-captain burst and told me the whole story. A fine thing that was, for a helpless cough is all it is!’ He continued in silence. ‘We could have broken anything that night. What can be more abominable than the tense way he dreamed of osseous tissue? The famous ex-captain possesses everything and irritates a good circle of friends.’”

“Getting closer, Smitty.” Alan can barely contain his enthusiasm. “We’ll be rich before you know it.”

I’m quietly hopeful. “Well, keep tweaking the software. It’s only a matter of time before our Flash Fiction Generator will spit out something worth publishing.”

Alan agrees. “And it sure beats trying to come up with an original story ourselves.”

"Spam Fiction" copyright (c) 2007 by Lyndon Perry

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)