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I may need some [fiction] help


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I may be in need of a sci-fi fiction writer to write a bunch of short half-page snippets to scatter through my game. I'd rather do it all myself, but I struggle writing fiction. Not sure what to do about it. I wanted my game to be all me, but looks like I don't possess the full skill set! Quite the conundrum! Anyone got any advice?

(I've attached a list below - ideally I would like to include a short piece based on each of those concepts; they're unconnected - each is an idea for a different campaign or setting, some soft sci-fi, some hard sci-fi).

For example, the 'signals from Outer Reaches' idea could be a group of scientists stationed on the lonely Pluto Listening Post whose job it is to monitor the signal which was first heard 50 years before, and maybe it changes.

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've written sci fi short fiction and even got paid for one of them. Is this paid work?

Well, it wasn't meant as a request for writers, more as a request for advice! But since then, it's gathered a little momentum with a few folks showing interest, so I'm going with a somewhat eclectic multi-author strategy, each about 500 words and paying $25.


First Post
I got back to you on twitter but just wanted say I am interested and will draw up a couple peaches and send them by Monday.

I am an aspiring writer yet to be published and would love an oppertunity to show what I can do


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Here's an example. I just whipped this up in 5 minutes, so it's not perfect, but it gives a sense of those 300-500 word slices of life I mean.

"Anything today, Doc?" Libbie Hamilton looked up at the young technician's question - the same question he'd asked her every one of the 212 days they'd been stationed on this lonely outpost. She shook her head wearily.
"Nope, nothing today, Reggie. Maybe tomorrow."
Reggie grinned, and handed her a cup of steaming coffee. Glancing up at the dark sky, he gestured through the window towards the pinprick of light that was the sun, over three billion miles away, almost indistinguishable from the thousands of other stars clearly visible from Pluto's surface.
"Hard to believe that's the sun, isn't it?", he asked. "This is the furthest I've been from it. Never left the solar system, y'know."
"Well, if you're lucky, maybe you'll get stationed on Proxima Centauri next. I hear they're actually building a hotel there."
The great dish of the listening post's radio telescope blocked half the sky, vastly larger than the small, metallic building which housed the research team. Regulations strictly prohibited them from venturing outside unless the equipment needed maintenance or repairs, but most people stationed there eventually donned an environmental suit and slipped out for a look around.
The faint, monotonous tone of the Signal could be heard from the computer bank in the corner of the room. The Signal. The same signal that had been broadcasting for over half a century, originating from the depths of space and time, at the very limits of the observable universe. In all that time, it hadn't changed, it hadn't varied, and it hadn't stopped.
"Next shipment from Ganymede is due in four days. I asked them for hot chocolate; I can't take any more of this Navy-issue coffee. It tastes like mud."
Libbie grinned. "It is mud. It's organically fabricated in those new hydroponic facilities."
Reggie chuckled. "My shift's over. Arian should be out soon to replace me. Roger and Shiera have a card game going in the dorm. I think I'll..."
He froze. His face went white. Libbie looked at him, startled.
"What's up, Reg? It's just a card game. Nothing to..."
She followed his gaze. The computer in the corner. The Signal.
The Signal had just changed.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
"Let me see!"
Roland rolled over, letting his sister take a turn on the viewpiece. Staring up at the night sky, he fancied he could see tiny moving lights, the same lights he'd just been watching close-up through their new telescope. He heard Simone draw her breath slightly, and grinned, understanding the awe that the sight caused.
"That's enough, kid. Give it back!" He grabbed the viewpiece back from his little sister. In the tiny screen he could see the orbital shipyards around the Phobos industrial facility, and the mighty battleship being constructed there. Hundreds of tiny shuttles and men and women in environmental suits flitted around the vessel as it drifted there, held inside a great skeletal cage which provided power and infrastructure for the workers.
The Excalibur was the first of its kind. A new, class XIII battleship, she boasted forward and aft pulse cannons and the newest torpedo technology. Two shield generators provided enough power to repel almost any Spartan attack, and her enormous antimatter engines were capable of FTL-12 - over 1,700 times light speed. On top of all that, she ran the newest experimental EMS-3 control computer system from Cooke Construction Systems, which were said to improve battle response times by over 13%, and the latest ESH-4 sensor arrays, finely tuned to improve targeting accuracy.
"D'you think we'll ever get to see it?" Simone asked.
"I will!" Roland passed back the viewpiece. "One day I'll be captain of that ship. You'll see!"
Simone giggled. Her older brother was a dreamer. He talked ceaselessly about joining the Navy, graduating the Academy, and being stationed on a great starship. She hoped it happened for him one day.
"Roland!" Their uncle's call from the habitat sounded urgent. They were in the arboretum, looking up through the dome into Mars' reddish night sky. Roland clambered to his feet as his uncle appeared in the doorway, a transmission slip in his hand.
"Roland - it's here!"
Simone jumped! Roland had taken off like a rocket, racing towards his uncle. He snatched the slip and stared at it, almost fearfully, afraid to open it. The outer seal featured a single sentence in a clear military font.
Naval Academy Application Acceptance.
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Cute but dangerous
You don't seem to be that bad a writer.

I would suggest writing most of it yourself, or at least a detailed outline, and then have someone spice it up a bit - adding scenery etc. That way it is still mostly you.


Here are a couple of pieces I had lying around that might work. I am not familiar with the N.E.W system, so I am not sure if they jive with the rules. I can edit them. You are welcome to use them if you wish. Put the $25 dollars towards the subscription drive or the artwork or something.

If I get the time, I will try and write something to one of the items in the attached list.

This one was the first IC post in a game a ran a while ago. The next post was a beautiful piece of writing, but not mine unfortunately.

The old Wyk class long range cruiser cranked itself out of Null Space. Aliandros blinked and looked around the room, as if seeing it for the first time. It was probably just seconds ago that she had seen it last, but Aliandros though it might be longer. It felt like longer this time. It felt as if she had been one a journey somewhere strange. But she knew from experience that it was impossible to tell how long they had been out. They would have to wait for the asto-navigator to calculate the 'lost time' for the jump. Aliandros closed her eyes again in an effort to see if she could recall any of the images from her 'journey'.

She didn't get the opportunity. Aliandros felt a subtle shift in gravity. The ship was executing emergency manoeuvres. Normally the artificial gravity masked changes in vector. But in extreme cases the compensators lagged behind as they struggled to handle the huge inertial loads imposed upon them. The Wyk's structural frames creaked and groaned. The whole vessel vibrated as the ship's engines tried vainly to shunt it in directions other than that it would wanted to take.

Alarm klaxons went off. Everything went the colour of blood. The PA began to screech. "Brace. Brace Brace For Impact. Code Red: Crash Stations. This is not a dr..."

The ship shuddered. Gravity wandered for a moment. Disappeared. Then returned. Loose objects rained onto the deck.

"... Relax from Brace! Code Red: Crash Stations. Hull integrity breached on all forward decks. Explosive Decompression Protocols are now in force. Integrity boundary set at Three bulkhead. Damage Control crews muster Beta DC Station."

The XO's voice was wound tight. It wavered. It hung on the edge of breaking.

This was a background piece for a setting I was tinkering with. I have edited it slightly to remove the references to magic.

Hosni squatted in the open door of the vannship and counted the Huggreth as they emerged from the hanger and marched across the flight deck of the battle carrier into the waiting transporter. With their assault Battlesuits and heavy rifles they radiated brutal power. Rumour had it that every suit was fortified and had power formulea woven through out. Hosni wondered what it would be like to don such a suit, to be wrapped in such defensive might, to have such strength and power at one's command.

Hosni wasn't sure what it was that they were after. He wasn't even sure where they were exactly. Somewhere over France probably. It always seemed to be France these days. The source of all woes at the moment. Poor old France. But where ever, whatever, it must be important. Two recon teams. A dozen Huggreth. Two squads of Greaves.

Hosni touched his own armour. It was a beautiful piece of armoursmithing. Shadow and stealth formulea woven through the matt black material subtly muted sounds and blurred the wearer's outline. It wasn't completely standard issue. Like most of those in his team, Hosni's had gear had been 'supplemented'. Hosni remembered the young noble he had taken it off. The man had been a fool and a peacock. But the squad he had led had been the real deal. That cold night high in the Pyrenees it had gone very close to going the other way.

With a hiss, the clamps released and Hosni's vannship lifted off. Hosni continued to watch the Huggreth cross the flight deck until the carrier disappeared into the gloom. Hosni remained in the door as the craft sped over the dark land below until the tap on the shoulder came. Hosni nodded and pulled his goggles down over his eyes. Taking a firm grip on the rifle across his lap Hosni stood up and stepped out of the door and into the empty space beyond. In his minds eye, Hosni could see the rest of the squad doing the same behind him.

Good Luck.