I remember when I first began to write the short story “Dead Reckoning” and the challenges I faced. The prompt came from a writing class I was taking at the time. They were talking about an exercise the teacher gave a year or so ago in which he wanted the students to write a scene about a boat in trouble.
Everyone turned in a scene about a boat sinking. He seemed disappointed in the turn out after all that time. But I sat there thinking, “No way I would have written about a boat sinking because I know that would be the default plot line. I’d try to look deeper into the possibilities of the prompt than mail in something that boring.”
And then I started. “Ok, wise guy,” I said to myself, “what would you have written instead?”
After the class I went home and wrote this science fiction story. It had the added benefit of being set on a sailboat which feeds into my mania for sailing. The story went through about three very deep revisions until I found the proper voice. It’s one of my favorite stories and was written when I was beginning to move out of the SF genre and into other things. But I like the story no less for all that and people who have read it seem to like it, too.
Of course, you will be the judge of that. It’s being offered on Amazon Kindle now by Argo Navis Publishing. I really do hope you like it, and if you do read it I would appreciate an honest review posted at Amazon. Reviews help writers a lot, even so-called “bad” ones because they point out problems the reader had with the story.
If you are interested just click on the link below. Hope you enjoy the story! 🙂
Product Description: Three years ago alien crystalline structures fell to Earth near Cabo San Lucas, shattered on impact, and released von Neumann machines. Meanwhile, a 52-foot island of teak and canvas crewed by three people sail toward the towering, enigmatic alien structures with their own hidden mysteries, and fractured lives…and broken love.
As mankind races to an ultimate understanding why these alien structures came to Earth, and how we can communicate with them, two of the three people aboard the sailboat plot to kill the third…while outside forces set into motion their own terrifying plan to jump start the next step of human evolution.
“Mark Hoover is a writer who never hesitates to go deep, to try to find the core of what it means to be human and take a good hard look. If he has to stare down a nightmare or two along the way, well, that’s just fine.” —Richard Parks, author of the Lord Yamada series