Friday, December 12, 2008

Wayson Dower, Precursor to Another Wayson We All Know

I thought you all might enjoy this.

You may or may not know, but my first love in writing was horror. Until a friend from college, Dave Wolverton (a.k.a. David Farland of Runelords fame) suggested that I try my hand at military science fiction, the idea had never occurred to me. As the author of The Courtship of Princess Leia and On My Way to Paradise along with the Runelords books, he had an inside track. Also, I thought that a horror writer would have the right skillset for military science fiction.

To stick my toe in the water, I contacted an old acquaintance at LucasArts and offered to write the strategy guide for an RTS game called Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds if he would agree to include an original short story in the book.

As I was writing the story, I got a call from a woman at LucasFilm asking about the short story. She asked to see the story after letting me know that people are not allowed publish Star Wars fiction without Lucas's approval. I emailed her the story, and the next day she called to say that Lucas enjoyed it.

I thought that meant that I had an in. After finishing the strategy guide, I decided began expanding the story into an entire novel, the Star Wars saga told from the point of view of a storm trooper. I mentioned this to my friend at LucasArts, who mentioned it to the woman at LucasFilm, who called and in a polite but firm fashion informed me that, as George Lucas had not asked me to write the novel, it was unauthorized and could never be published.

Anyway, with the Star Wars termonology removed, here is the opening to my abandoned Star Wars novel.




Ahead through the fog, I could see Sk*****er sitting on a boulder looking confused, if not scared. To his credit, he did not sob or panic. Sweat and mud pasted his shaggy, white hair to the sides of his head, and his eyes darted from side to side searching desperately to find... to find me. I did not care if he searched for me with his precious F****. It would not matter.

Though I was three years older than Sk*****er , I did not age like him. Now nearly 60 years old, I still had the strength and endurance of an athletic 30-year-old man. Not Sk*****er , he showed his age, and his battles.

Throughout his life he had fought enemies that were far more dangerous than I, though none were so perfectly mated to disarm him. With his l*******ber, his X*** fighter, and his F***e, he toppled the E*****e.

He held a l******ber now; but he might as well have carried a simple knife or a stick. My very being made me a black hole to the F****e, nullifying all of Sk*****er J*** skills. He could not predict my b****r shots, could not block them with his l******er.

Without the F***e directing him, his J*** reflexes moved no more quickly than those of any other 56-year-old man. When he used the Force to throw rocks and branches at me, they fell to the ground, as did his attempts to read my thoughts.

Hidden by dead trees, I circled to within 10 meters of Sk*****er without him sensing me. I could shoot him or strangle him with the garrote I carried in my sleeve. Lightning flashed in the textured sky illuminating layers of swollen gray clouds. A fitting place for this to end--a polluted stream surrounded by dead trees on a planet shrouded by mist and endless storms.

And old L*** Sk*****er , wearing his drenched beggar's cloak with his baggy hood hanging behind his shoulders, could not see me… not with his eyes, not through the F***e. Whether it was fate or the F***e, destiny had brought us together. Even when an entire galaxy separated us, destiny's bonds drew us back together with almost suffocating might.

Placing my b****r back into its holster, I stepped into plain view.

24 comments:

Aaron Spuler said...

hehe cool I was able to figure out almost all of the *** words.

My first entry into serious horror came when I was about 16 - 18. I picked up an HP Lovecraft collection called 'Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre'. Always have loved the cover image (front: http://strangeink.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/whelan_lovecraft.jpg,

back: http://www.pesadelos.com/images/wallpapers/Lovecraft%20wild!.jpg). The guy lifting the cloak with the skeleton underneath is cool.

Lovecraft was amazing, doubt there will be another like him. He started a love of old (not the 'classics') writers. After him, I was in to Robert E. Howard for a while...

Steven Kent said...

Lovecraft changed the literary world.

Steven Kent said...

Love the first cover; though, in keeping with our Star Wars theme, the guy in the hood looks an awful lot like the Emperor.

Jon said...

That was a pretty cool introduction to your story! Now I want to know what happens lol. Damn you!

Lovecraft is pretty good, always been a fan of the super popular (deservedly so) At the Mountains of Madness.

Sniperae said...

i....dont comply with horror that well.i get freaked out when an enemy pops out of no where in a dark room. World War Z was the first "horror" book i read. lol, you should have seen it when my friend offered to buy me Dead Space.

i like the intro;it doesnt seem too intense, but it leaves enough out to make me want to see what will happen. what was the response in the strategy guide?

Steven Kent said...

The story in the strategy guide was added to the Star Wars lexicon. Some time I will tell you about it.

The response to the strategy guide overall was tepid. I always focussed too much on the single-player campaigns and not enough on the multi-player online for many readers.

I really, really need to read WWZ.

Aaron Spuler said...

One thing Lovecraft did great was that he made his universe mesh well. Almost all of his short stories were independent (not connected or tied to any other) but they all appeared to 'live' in the same universe.

Steven Kent said...

You know, Stephen King attempted to unify all of his creations in his Dark Tower series.

Aaron Spuler said...

I've read some Stephen King but not really any in the last 8-10 years though. Didn't read the Dark Tower series. Pet Semetary was probably my favorite by him..... the book was much scarier than the movie.

Steven Kent said...

Try reading The Green Mile. Better yet, try listening to The Green Mile with the great Frank Muller as narrator.

I just found out that Muller passed away in June. The literary world lost its greatest voice as far as I am concerned.

Jon said...

The Green Mile was an excellent movie, it's on my list to read. Just picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy to read while I wait for the next bunch of StarFist books.

Aaron Spuler said...

StarFist is good stuff.

kit said...

Yeah. That was kind of fun trying to figure out all those words.

I don't like any sort of horror. I just don't like being scared witless. That's what roller coasters are for.

Steven Kent said...

With the exception of Space Mountain, I am TERRIFIED of roller coasters and will not go near them.

Jon said...

well why is space mountain an exception?

Aaron Spuler said...

I don't really get to ride them anymore. My wife broke her collar bone on one when she was a teenager so she doesn't ride them anymore... And I'm not going to wait in line for an hour to ride a 2 minute ride and make her sit there waiting on me the whole time.

Probably the one that spooked me the most wasn't exactly a roller coaster. More like one of those basket things that flips over and sometimes gets stuck totally upside down for a minute or so. Like this one that I've ridden at Astroworld (Houston, TX) but Astroworld is no longer an amusement park. Turns out they could sell the land for more money than a few year's worth of admission tickets, and did so. That was a fun place to go to growing up.

Steven Kent said...

THe thing I do not like about roller coasters is the drops. Space Mountain have no big drops.

Jon said...

I hate the drops too. I also don't like those things that Aaron was talking about.. and especially things like the zipper that they have at practically every amusement park. example: http://www.astronomy-images.com/day-images/California/Marin-Sonoma/CountyFair/zipper.ride.KI8Q5299.jpg

kit said...

Space Mountain freaks me out more than Tower of Terror or Splash Mountain. Sorry, its just i've had my fingernails clipped when i put them up on Space Mountain by the track over head. Some girl on it stood up and got decapitated.

I like the big drops myself.

Aaron, can I ask how your wife broke her collar bone?

Steven Kent said...

YOw, Dude! I just sit tight and keep my hands and limbs in the car where they are safe.

Aaron Spuler said...

Well it was one of those rides where it spins and the bigger person is supposed to be on the outside. Her friend was a LOT bigger than her, and her friend got on the inside. The ride started to spin, and the centrifugal pulled her big friend towards the outside. Shoulder hit collar bone and it broke. She was making a lot of racket and the ride operators at the carnival thought she was either having fun or being a scaredy-cat and only when the ride was over did they find out what had happened.

kit said...

Bummer dude. That must of sucked. But atleast she didn't get decapitated. That would have been very depressing.

Pshaw! It's perfectly safe to put your arms up on Space Mountain if you have short arms. I don't, regrettably.

Chad Choban said...

Hi Steven... glad to meet(?) you... (if one can meet a person through posting a response to a blog!)

First let me say thanks for the Clone novels! Love them, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through "Elite".

This may come off as a little wierd, but I was wondering if I could use the picture of Sad Sam's from your home page, as the picture for a Steven L. Kent fan group on Facebook.

Can you let me know? I don't want to use it without permission!

Thanks!

Steven L. Kent said...

Chad, I'm pleased to meet you. Of course you can use the picture. I'm grateful that you want to do that. I am also grateful that you have read my books and glad you have enjoyed them.

Oh yeah, and welcome to Sad Sam's.