The ComBot was a mystery to most of the faculty. A few years ago one of the less socially gifted students had presented it with smug ceremony at a meeting of the various department heads. They’d been very proud and everyone had done their best to act impressed but no-one really felt sure why it was there or what it was supposed to do. The Lecturer in Advanced Artificial Intelligence and Robotics had done his best to explain it. She’d even made a Power Point presentation, with animated singing sloths and everything. But the slide show had made little difference. Especially to the Humanities lecturers who took to heckling about half way through, hurling the odd empty beer can for good measure. Ultimately she’d given it up as a futile endeavour and simply assured them that it was really very impressive and made everyone at the university look very smart. Which had gone down well all round. With the vocal exception of the Head of the Theology Department who said he’d seen The Matrix and that it was all going to end in tears. Continue reading ComBot 4000
Beamed down in the final seconds before the Philae lander’s batteries gave up the ghost I’m happy to present you with the cover for my upcoming short ‘Space FM’. Designed by alien lifeforms on a comet far, far away as a special favour to yours truly (friends in high places y’see?) it’s in the same vain as the Laikanist Times cover, an intentional similarity. Hopefully brings a bit of uniformity to the eclectic mess of stuff I write, with Sci Fi stuff sharing a certain something.
Anyway, here you go!
Support a struggling artist, buy my book!
Bit of a revision of my release schedule as vaguely hinted at here but I’m nonetheless glad to say that very soon I’ll be releasing a new (long) short story. It’s a little something I’ve been sitting on for a while and the original plan was to drip feed it through on this site, but as there are bigger projects coming which’ll be sampled here I figured I’d try something new.
So this story, at the moment still untitled, will be released exclusively on Amazon for the low low price of 99p. A bit of an experiment really but as I’m sure you’ll all agree I’m worth at least 40% of the price of a manky cup of coffee from Starbucks – right? And in this brave new world of Indie Publishing you’ve got to try anything short of black market organ trading and prostitution to get by. Hell, even they’re on the list of options should times get particularly hard.
Currently I’m doing the last edit, sorting some cover art for the ebook and doing the assorted mundane bits and pieces that make the whole process that much less joyful. A sample chapter will be coming in due course and I’m not going to say much until then beyond ‘Sci-Fi’ and ‘Strange’, which should be enough for anyone really. What I have done though is run up a little playlist, as is my habit, that I feel frames the story nicely. Plus I get to have a drink and listen to some good music while I line up the tracks, which is never a bad thing.
If you’re interested in knowing more about project ‘Strange and Sci-Fi’ be sure to sign up to the newsletter, follow me on Twitter, carve my name on your chest and sacrifice your first born to me. No American Express though.
And as a bit of a side note – we landed a very small thing on a very far away thing the other day. Humanity, what a species. My endless respect to those behind the Philae lander project and hello to the strange and terrifying life forms we’ve undoubtedly awoken on that comet.
One of these days novel – POW – straight to the moon!
Just a brief update today to distract me from a brief distraction from work on my next novel (Codename: The Russian Dwarf Hamster Almanac (subject to change)). The brief distraction from the novel is either a long short story or a short novella, depending on your point of view, which I hope to have done within the next couple of weeks.
Initially it was for a magazine submission but things have a habit of spiralling out of control. And now it’s kind of gone beyond the length of most magazines, let alone their gap for short stories. It’ll either be released part by part on this site for free (!) or as a proper ebook for a low low price (99p?) depending on what it comes out as in the end.
Not much by way of details I can share at the moment but if you check back soon I’ll see if I can throw up a short sample. Gotta keep my air of mystery after all right? What I will say though is ‘Sci Fi’ – although that means nothing really does it? Such is the joy of writin’.
And there, on the hill, stood a shoddy figure. Oddly resplendent in the tattered remains of a dog costume they pointed nervously to the sky and let out an almighty roar. Their words echoed across the barren landscape and they were ‘LAIKANIST TIMES, THEY COME!’ And the world did tremble… – First book of Laika.
An acid test, unfortunately without the acid. An experiment with no fixed goal or purpose. A novella released just to see what would happen.
I’ve decided to unleash Laikanist Times, my new novella on Amazon. Crashed America is still on its way but as a precursor I wanted to test the online waters and see how things go. Somehow that’s easier to do with 35,000 words and talking animals than something full length.
To mark the occasion I’ve made it available for free until midnight this Sunday (16th of March) so grab it while you can because after that it’ll be back to the low low low price of £1.53. Which is a bit of an odd number but that’s VAT for you.
The biggest issue with releasing anything, from music to novels to art is getting the word out there. Very bad things can flourish because the people behind them are excellent at marketing and very good things can fail because they’re not so I’ll throw out a universal plea for you to share it, if you like it. Or even if you don’t. Every new reader is a blessing and sends me into raptures of joy – at some point I’ll probably even start talking in tongues if it gets around enough.
I’ll be spamming the hell out of the internet for the next few weeks to try and get the word out so expect to hear a lot more but for now here’s the link – have at it…
Laikanist Times is the story of one planet divided by a few million years and a fistful of species divides. While the Bald Chimps are seeing apparitions and finding God (or possibly Dog) the dogs are indulging in some quantum meddling and the humans? Well, they had their time.
Rex the Bulldog sets out to change the world, for better or worse, Gdunk the Chimp aims for the stars, Yessa aims to be left alone and Raeget and Kaisabosen aim for, well, something probably. All alongside a host of characters including the good, the bad and the ugly with Jinx and the Four-Leggers, the Laikanists, the Whippet Brotherhood and the Great Salmonists each doing their best to ignore what they need to and find what they want. And all the while Laika the Space Dog is doing something, or not, depending on your point of view.
Laikanist Times is a strange and surrealist parable on the wonders and woes of religion, science, belief and talking animals. As the first novella from Dylan Malik Orchard it’s less a declaration of intent and more a declaration of confusion. With the answers to none of your questions and a slew of doubts to introduce. Humour, farce, satire, sloths and Sci-Fi are mixed together in a heady literary brew*.
*’heady literary brew’ may or may not actually mean anything.