Clarion West (2)

Clarion West Donation Write-a-thon Week 2

Welcome to Clarion West’s Week 2 of their Write-a-thon donation drive.

I am your host, Thaddeus Howze, and I am contributing my time and my craft for your enjoyment in the hopes you will donate to Clarion West.

No, I am not compensated in any way, so any work I do is strictly because I believe in what Clarion produces; some of the best writers in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The graduates owe at least a part of their awesomeness to the teaching they receive in their six week extravaganza of torture, secret rituals, oneiromancy and the old fashioned craft of hitting the keys, every day.

Do your part and DONATE!

For your amusement I have been working on keeping myself on the keys every day. Using, I track my performance and currently at day 99 when this article was written. 99 days in a row. Not always brilliant but keeping steady and focused on a bigger picture.

Day 99 - 2013

The high points of this week have been working on what I call Five Minute Fiction. The goal is to craft a story you can read in five minutes. (If only they could be created in that amount of time, too.)

ScreenHunter_453 Jul. 01 18.14

My last week of work includes:

Black Ribbon – a life examined, a freeway traveled and a song connects the same man over the course of his life. (fiction, SF, fantasy)

Unnatural Gas – an industrialist shares the good news of impending wealth with a small town subjected to fracking. The townsfolk disagree. (fiction, fantasy, horror)

Keeping the Peace – a swarm AI designed to protect Humanity turns against itself once it believes it has failed its objective. (fiction, SF)

The Busiest Little Death House in Texas – The state of Texas gives new meanings to life-time employment and the death penalty. (fiction, SF, horror)

Through the Reeds – an angry young man connects with a hostile spirit imprisoned in a Russian lake. (fiction, horror)

From my other blog, A Matter of Scale – Introspection: It’s what should be for dinner – an essay on the value of looking inward to decide if you are having original thoughts or just repeating what you’ve been told all your life and why that matters. (essay, analysis, inspiration)

ScreenHunter_447 Jun. 25 19.50

About my novella.

Metal Organism Designed only for Cuddling (MODOC) is a series of short stories about a robotic nursing/monitoring android in the form of a cat, a child with special needs and a major domo AI charged with watching the boy. MODOC is the last of a series of renegade super AIs thought lost from an earlier technological age. Hiding out in the body of a nursing android, he comes to know Justin, a sickly child whose treatments don’t seem to improve his health. MODOC battles against the limited AI and major domo, Max, at first at odds about how to help Justin, their mutual charge, and then together when they discover his treatment isn’t theraputic at all…

In this dystopic world, the two major social powers, the Theocracy and the Technocracy are planning to create Arks to take mankind to the stars, just not all of mankind. But everything is not holistic as it seems. The complexity of AI needed to escape the Earth and plot the course between the stars cannot be artificially created, so another type of computer is being prepared. The minds of young children are being altered, enhanced and will eventually be harvested to be the neural networks of those ships…

But not if MODOC has anything to say about it first.

It has been a blast this week and hope you like my stories enough to share them with others and to give generously to Clarion West.

Until next week (or unexpected zombie attack) stay frosty.

Thaddeus Howze (Hub City Blues –


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