Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Chapter One Cont.

Go to start of chapter One.

continue reading from previous post.
ALPHA Chapter One - (post two)
The young men continue their work in silence, each thinking his own thoughts. After awhile Crescent poses a question.
"I wonder..." he begins, "I wonder how many of us there are against how many of them?

Arrow and Dart shrug their shoulders. They don't want to be drawn into yet another pointless conversation but Arrow knows the answer to this question and after only a few seconds he decides to share this knowledge with his friends.

"At the last count," he whispers, looking around, furtively "there were three thousand of us, that was of course before Jangle disappeared!" Arrow picks up one of the pieces of casting from the bench and examines it. He rubs it on his sweatshirt, like some people do with apples, he inspects it again and gives it a final buff on his sleeve before returning it to the bench. He looks up at Crescent. "Does that answer your question?" he asks.
"No!" his friend replies. "It doesn't, not fully anyway."
"What else can I tell you?"
"How many damn robots there are in this flaming dome?
"That, Crescent my friend, is a very good question! And a very difficult one to answer."
"Yeah," interjects Dart, "nobody knows how many robots there are, there could be thousands behind those doors in the forbidden zone, for all we know."
"Well, we did count them recently," says Arrow, making a face and scratching his shaved head before continuing. "Actually it was Jangle and his friend Flippy, they counted eight hundred Pawns, ten Knights and four Rooks."

A pawn glides up to the bench where the three young men are deep in conversation, none of them see him coming until it's too late. He crashes into the metal frame, steel against steel, sparks flying, sending half finished components to the floor.
"Pick up the pieces! pick up the pieces!" The Pawn commands! "This is not a pic-nic, you men are here to WORK! Pick up the pieces and start again!" The Pawn spins around and glides off across the workshop.

"Phew, that was a close call." Says Arrow.
"Yeah, where were we up to, what were we saying?" Asks Dart, as the threesome crawl on their hands and knees picking up the bits and pieces from the hard concrete floor.
"I was telling you both about Jangle's survey." Mutters Arrow, banging his elbow against the frame of the workbench.
"Yeah, yeah, there's always been three thousand of us, everybody knows that!" Dart recalls, as they continue to pick up the pieces. "But, I don't remember there being so many blooming robots about!" He exclaims!
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Saturday, 26 January 2008

Zblog #1

Zblog #1
It's funny, to me at least, that most people I talk to about Space Invaders seem to think it must be Sci-fi. It never crossed my mind but there again, I know what happens, sort of...
So, I got to thinking about what genre if any, this little work might fall into. The short and long of it is that I don't really know. In some ways it's not even fiction at all because it really happened. Or did it? I don't remember! If it did really happen, then it happened a long time ago and if it didn't it doesn't really matter, does it?
If it's a fictional story based on fact then I guess it could be faction. Faction? That's for me to know and for you to find out. I will give some major clues though. Firstly Space Invaders is not Science Fiction, Science Faction or Science anything. It is simply a story about good and evil. About the powerful and the powerless. It is a tale of the manipulated and the manipulators. It is a novel about... Okay, then, yeah, I guess you're right, it probably could be categorized as Science Something. I've just checked a list of 92 different genres and it doesn't seem to fit any of them. Well, I haven't actually written it yet!
Don't you just love complications? You'd think it would be an easy task to write an Online Novel with blogspot and it probably is if you know what you're doing. The main problem is that each new posting goes above the previous posting so unless you post a complete chapter or keep on adding bits to an earlier posting there is no real continuity. I've been looking at the way other people get around this situation and the best solution is to have two sites, one with work-in-progress and a second one with the completed task. Anybody got any better ideas?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Chapter One

ALPHA Chapter One (first post)
The Rook glides effortlessly along the balcony, he's closely followed by a number of Pawns. Beneath their armour plated chess piece exterior, they are robots and masters of the Dome. The dull black painted finish of their coats completes the sinister look.

"Gentlemen we must have discipline!" Alpha begins his robotic rant. "There is no call for stupidity in our lives! The man Jangle has been found in an air shaft..." The Rook's voice echoes around the assembly area of the Dome. "If we are to survive you must obey us. We are your masters! We have built the city to protect you as our planet hurtles aimlessly through space" He continues, monosyllabically, the way only a robot can. "We are a small number on a very small planet. The Dome occupies nine tenths of the surface, the outside is uninhabitable..." His machine like voice drones on. And on..."I repeat, we must have discipline, the man Jangle is dead! That is all... Dismiss."

Young men begin to return to their living quarters or their place of work. Three of them, Arrow, Crescent and Dart walk away from the meeting together.

"I suppose they'll be watching us all, more closely now." Says Arrow, to no one in particular.
"Yes," replies Crescent. "I think there's some big panic going on behind the scenes." Then he thoughtfully adds. "I wonder what Jangle was up to?"

Before anybody could answer a Pawn bumps into Crescent, knocking him to the hardened concrete floor.
"Come on you men, back to work, these components need finishing!" The Pawn urges the three young men before gliding off to admonish another group.

"Slave driver!" Whispers Dart as he helps Crescent back to his feet. "We always have to meet some deadline for these rotten machines." He looks around to make sure that none of the chess pieces are watching or listening.
"That's a bit strong Dart! Don't you think? The machines are our masters, after all. Don't forget!" Says Arrow, speaking up for the robots.
"Our gaolers, more like!" Dart Hurriedly replies.

The three young men complete the short walk from the big meeting back to the assembly line in the highly mechanised workshop. They work side by side at the same bench, day after day, piecing together intricate castings to produce something... but they don't know what it is.

Crescent looks up at the other two and out across the workshop where several hundred more young men are busy working on different projects. The whole place is buzzing with activity.
"I wonder if we'll ever find out where we came from?" He asks, knowing that the others only know what he knows and that everybody only knows what the Rook and his cronies have told them anyway.

"I want to know what's going to become of us, do we really have any future?" Questions Dart, ignoring Crescent's cry from the heart.

The loss of their friend Jangle has affected the men more than they are willing to admit to themselves and the soul searching questions they are asking each other reflect this.

"Can anybody tell ME!!! WHAT'S going to happen to US?" Dart screams! But only Crescent and Arrow can hear him. The workshop is a noisy place, it is jam-packed full of heavy machinery.
It's Arrow who finally answers his question. "Not here we don't Dart, you know that as well as anybody. Here, there's only us and them!"
Continue reading...
Hi, Thanks for reading this far! Please leave a comment and introduce yourself. If you're writing an Online Novel or blogging about the novel you're writing, maybe you'd like to swap links.

Friday, 18 January 2008


First of all, thank you for visiting this page. I decided to create a new blog for Space Invaders as trying to slot it into Proper Joe's was never really going to work. The aim of writing this novel is just to prove to myself that I can do it. Of course I'm going to cheat! You didn't think I was just going to sit here burning the midnight oil night after night did you? Well, when I say cheat, I mean that I've already got the plot sorted out in the form of a play I wrote with the same title in 1984.
Of course I haven't got a clue about how I'm going to present this work as a novel. I have a vague idea in my head about the way I want it to go - whether I possess the skills to achieve this is a different matter.
One thing I will need your help with is feedback. Comments and critique are welcomed from anybody who can take/make the time to respond. If there's something you don't like about my story, please let me know, but do bear in mind that everything you read on these pages will only be a first draft.
You can bookmark this blog and return whenever you like, I'm going to be posting as often as I can.
The thing I always like best about writing is dialogue. Play scripts have always seemed the natural way for me to communicate. Space Invaders was originally written as a play but I wanted to do something else with it. I like the idea of a 'described play' or better still a play that you can read like a book rather than a script. On his blog Blogisode Dave Riley refers to a "Dialogue Novel" as a play that is read rather than a play that is performed. That is exactly what I've been wanting to do for the past twenty four years! So, thanks Dave, I guess your quote is pretty much the inspiration for my-work-in-progress-novel. Phew!