Category Archives: Writing

StorycastRob: The book!

I am very pleased to announce that, a couple of months ahead of schedule, the first StorycastRob anthology is now available!

Called StorycastRob: Mic Drop, it collects stories from across the lifetime of my podcast, the blog, and my contributions to RB Wood’s Word Count Podcast, together in one place for the first time, It is available for Kindle from Amazon right now.

Special Offer: all StorycastRob patrons on Patreon will receive a free copy of Mic Drop this December. If you want to support the podcast and get a free book, join now at Patreon.

“Loot!” Part Two

Last week I introduced you to a short fantasy comedy sketch I wrote and recorded for my Patreon subscribers. Today we are going to finish off with, traditionally, part two. However, to make sure that my Patrons are still getting added value, this version skips over a subplot where Tuomo finds a magic ring and sings a song about it. For that, you’ll need to sub!

If you’ve not seen it yet, check out Part One, and then, on with the tale!

Scene Two: It’s just not my bag

ABNER: Well there we have it. It’s taken six hours, but we finally have the treasure sorted.
HILVI: We know how long it took, we were here.
ABNER: Harumph. Final tally, according to Hilvi, and checked by Braddox—
BRADDOX: You’re welcome.
ABNER: – is significant. Gemstones worth an estimated three thousand golden crowns. Around fifteen thousand crowns worth of transportable jewellery, trinkets and other artwork. And then there’s coins. Many, many coins. Even after we buried the dragon respectfully under all the copper bits, (thank you so much for that suggestion Hilvi)—
HILVI: It was the will of Lady Gloridia.
ABNER: – we have sixty thousand shillings and around seventeen thousand crowns.
TUOMO: [Awestruck] We’re rich.
ABNER: It is, indeed, an impressive haul, my fur-footed friend.
BRADDOX: Well we better be getting to packing. We work high value to low. Gemstones first, then jewellery, then fill out with as much coin as you jam in.
TUOMO: Right!
ABNER: Wise words, my axe-wielding friend. But, may I offer an alternative?
BRADDOX: What is it?
ABNER: As you must surely appreciate, I am an old man, stoop-backed from decades of study. The Staff of Tumult is not merely my weapon but is an aid to my walking. I cannot hope to carry the same amount of bulk as one as mightily-thewed as yourself.
BRADDOX: Thank you very much.
ABNER: Welcome, welcome, my sturdy-headed friend. What I am suggesting is that we should organise our loads so that each of us would carry the same value. I would take the lighter, more valuable items, but you would take the heavier bulk. That way, should we be separated, each will retain his fair share.
HILVI: Plus ten percent for Gloridian tithes.
ABNER: Naturally, naturally.
BRADDOX: [suspiciously] I don’t know, seems like I’m doing more heavy lifting for the same reward.
ABNER: Not disproportionately, I assure you.
BRADDOX: Oh, not disproportionately? I see, I see. Well, I suppose. As long as I don’t have to carry the disproportionates I suppose that’s okay.
TUOMO: I only have this small pack. I could leave some of the cooking utensils out to make room for the treasure. But I’d want my share to compensate for the loss of cookware.
ABNER: [Through gritted teeth]. Cookware. Of course. So all we need to do is calculate the load distribution so that I carry lighter things, Hilvi carries a ten percent bonus for Gloridia, and Tuomo is compensated for the loss of pots.
BRADDOX: And no disproportionates for me.
ABNER: Quite so. Well that seems… simple enough.
HILVI: Let’s start by filling Tuomo’s pack, to see how much he can carry?
BRADDOX: A few of these gemstones…
HILVI: Trinkets and artwork…
ABNER: And finally, coins. How does that feel, Tuomo? Too heavy?
TUOMO: [cautiously] Noooo…
BRADDOX: Good lad. We’ll finish up in here, go get the horses ready.
TUOMO: Can do!
[Beat]
[Another]
BRADDOX: Okay, now he’s gone, can we talk about how ridiculously small his pack is? Even you must be able to carry more than that, Abner.
ABNER: Well, I suppose, if it came to it… particular enchantments could be used to enhance certain physical attributes. Temporarily.
BRADDOX: We will talk about that later.
HILVI: Are you really suggesting we dupe Tuomo out of an even share?
BRADDOX: It’s not really duping. We just loaded him up with enough cash to buy his brother’s stupid pub four times over, even if he melts half of it down to make bloody solid gold pots. It’s just… we’d have more.
HILVI: Ooooooh.
ABNER: Well that seems to settle it, then. Pass me the bag, I’ll start loading up.
HILVI: Yes, I’ll take one too. The sooner we get out of here the better. Gloridia isn’t going to worship herself at evensong.
[Beat]
BRADDOX: I don’t have any bags. I have all these weapons and armour, bags would just interfere with my swing. Don’t you two have bags?
ABNER: Weak, bent-backed… years of study…
HILVI: Forsaking all worldly possessions…
BRADDOX: Even bags?
HILVI: Why would I need bags if I have no worldly possessions?
BRADDOX: Fine. Just… we’ll just use the saddlebags on the horses. Easy.
HILVI: We should have used those in the first place.
BRADDOX: Shut it. Not a word about this to Tuomo, agreed.
HILVI: Agreed.
ABNER: Indubitably.
BRADDOX: [a little removed, shouting after Tuomo] Hey! Tuomo! We’ve had a great idea. Bring the horses around, we’ll use their saddlebags.
[Beat]
BRADDOX: [Still calling from a ways off] Tuomo! Tuomo! Bloody hell. He’s buggered off. And he’s taken the sodding horses.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed that, leave me a comment, and maybe we will revisit this world, or this format, in the future!

“Loot!” Part One

Time for something a little different. Trying something experimental for the latest Patreon podcast, I thought I’d turn my hand at a little scripting. What resulted was a ten-minute sketch about the aftermath of an adventuring party slaying a dragon. Here’s the first half of the script, check back next week for the second half.

Loot!

By Rob Edwards

Scene One: Death of a Legend

TUOMO: Is— Is it dead?
BRADDOX: It had bloody well better be, Tuomo. Can someone find a stick or something to lever its head off my legs? Abner get over here and use that staff of yours for something useful.
ABNER: You would do well to consider your words more wisely, Braddox. The power of the Staff of Tumult is not to be mocked. Had it not chosen to protect us, aye, even you, warrior, when the battle commenced—
HILVI: We would all be charcoal. We understand, Abner.
ABNER: Well! I would have thought better of you, Hilvi. A man of the cloth should respect his elders.
TUOMO: But, we did it? We killed a dragon?
BRADDOX: It was no match for my axe, Flamedrinker.
HILVI: Guided by the blessings of our Lady Gloridia, may her eternal light illuminate all we do.
ABNER: And, need I remind you, shielded by the Staff of Tumult.
BRADDOX: You needn’t remind us, and yet you’ve done it twice.
TUOMO: I should probably name my weapons too.
HILVI: Hold still, Braddox, with the might of the Lady Gloridia coursing through me, I will have you free in [STRAINED] no time. Tuomo, might you, perhaps, get underneath and give it a boost. And Abner…?
ABNER: Yet again, I must save you all from follies of your own making.
HILVI: Heave!
BRADDOX: That’s it. I think I can wriggle free. Uff! That’s better. This dragon-bed of coins and treasure may look impressive, but I don’t think I could sleep on it. I’ve a silver shilling jammed up my—
TUOMO: Treasure! Oh yes! I suppose we can take some? I mean we killed the dragon and all, that’s how it works, isn’t it?
BRADDOX: To the victor the spoils, shorty.
HILVI: With a suitable tithe to the church of our Lady Gloridia, naturally. The prayer sofas in the Dawn Room need reupholstering again.
ABNER: And I must purchase rare and expensive ingredients of alchemical science to prepare a tincture to restore energy to my Staff.
BRADDOX: Aye, there’s a bevy of professional ladies in Twinbridge who do the same for me. Tinctures cost extra.
TUOMO: And I promised my brother I’d invest in his pub. We all need the money. But how do we share it?
ABNER: An apposite question. It takes not a man of my learning to see that we cannot simply carry it all away. We must choose well what we claim, for we will not get this chance again. When word spreads of our victory here today—
BRADDOX: And it will! (I talk in my sleep).
ABNER: – scavengers will quickly claim what we have not.
TUOMO: I suppose we start sifting then. Set aside the copper bits, take only shillings and crowns.
HILVI: And bring any jewellery you find to me. My Lady Gloridia has blessed me with a jeweller’s eye, and a magnifying glass. I should be able to judge what is worth our time.
BRADDOX: And what is not ‘worth’ bothering with? Maybe just a shiny for you to give to an orphan? Hah. Bring it to BOTH of us to look at.
TUOMO: We can trust Hilvi, surely? He’s a priest.
BRADDOX: Let me see how far I can throw him, then I’ll let you know how much I trust him.
TUOMO: I don’t understand.
HILVI: Don’t let it disturb you, young Tuomo. The Lady Gloridia forgives his suspicions and his insults. I don’t, not necessarily, but the Lady Gloridia does.
ABNER: Silence!
BRADDOX: What do you want?
ABNER: My worst fears are confirmed. We must tread warily, for legends say that dragon gold is cursed. Those who seek it out may become consumed by the need of it. This magical compulsion can set brother upon brother, shatter friendships, burst fellowships asunder!
TUOMO: Gosh.
ABNER: Fortunately, I have studied the curse’s effects, and believe I know how we may protect ourselves from it.
TUOMO: How, Abner? Tell us.
ABNER: With my arcane training, I believe I can resist the curse long enough… so if I take the gold and you guys the silver? Okay?
TUOMO: What?
BRADDOX: Boo!
HILVI: We’re not falling for that.
ABNER: Well it was worth a go.
BRADDOX: Just for that, you can start over at the back end of the dragon corpse. I’ll sift near the head. Tuomo, Hilvi, take a wing each.
TUOMO: Okay!

Check back next week for part two!

If you’d like to hear my one-man staging of Loot!, join my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/storycastrob and get access to bonus podcasts, a free annual ebook, and autographed copies of my books.

New Book! New Podcast! New!

There’s new things out today!

First up, the latest anthology from Inklings Press is now available! The follow-up to our hit anthology Tales from Alternate Earths is here! Tales from Alternate Earths 2 is  available in Kindle format today, with the paperback due by the end of next week. In it, you will find ten stories of alternate history, secret history and other re-imaginings of our world. This includes my story The Emperor of the North, featuring a Finland gripped in an ice age.

Get it from Amazon now: myBook.to/AlternateEarths2

Also out today is the latest episode of my podcast. In this episode I read a creepy story from Jeff Provine, originally featured in the previous Inklings book Tales from the Underground. Listen to the episode here.

A Quantum of Memory

Book launch day! Sometimes, apparently, book launches are like buses. Still recovering from the excitement around the launch of Inklings Press’s Tales from the Underground, but no rest for the wicked, as today sees the launch of the Sci-fi Roundtable’s debut anthology The Quantum Soul. Available in Kindle format right now, with paperback coming later this month.

The theme of the anthology is “What is life?” and for my story, Shepherd of Memory, I wanted to write something that really felt like good solid science fiction. The story follows a team of scientific explorers on the planet Phi Lima Upsilon, where they encounter a life form unlike any they expected. Or perhaps Dr Jim Wilson is imagining it all?

You can catch an excerpt from Shepherd of Memory in this month’s podcast, as well as the latest chapter of my novel.

The Lords of Negative Space

The latest anthology from Inklings Press is Tales from the Underground, available from 6th October 2017. You can pick it up from Amazon from Friday.

If the name sounds familiar, and you’re a long time listener to the podcast, you are right, it has been on StorycastRob the podcast for some time. To listen to the story, check out Episode 5, right now. The version in the anthology is a little different from the podcast version, but it is essentially the same story.

Lords of Trivia Space

  • This story started life as a writing challenge I set myself. If you’ve heard or read a lot of my stories, you may have noticed that I have a lot of dialogue, letting reported speech do a lot of heavy lifting in my story. I set out to pare back the dialogue on this one, and we are several pages in before you see any quote marks. That said, the narrator’s voice became a lot more conversational as a result.
  • It pulls from all over my personal history. For example, like Sarah, I worked as a medical records clerk for a while a few years ago, the struggle is real. The corridor I describe in the story exists, or at least it’s based on a corridor in Western Eye Hospital in London.

 

 

The general awesomeness of October

October!

Glad we made it, September was awesome, we had so much traffic on my podcast that I hit my monthly bandwidth limit in the last few days. I hope that didn’t stop anyone listening to something they wanted to from my back catalogue. But now’s the time, the limit is reset, go listen to as much as you like!

October is going to be EVEN MORE AWESOME! Not only will I be recording the next chapter of the podcast later this week, but you will be able to buy not one, but two books with my stories in them in October.

October 6th sees the launch of Tales from the Underground, the sixth anthology from Inklings Press. In it, you will find my story The Lords of Negative Space. Pre-order now at Amazon: myBook.to/Uground

Then on October 19th, the Sci-fi Roundtable launches its first anthology, The Quantum Soul. In there you will find my story The Shepherd of Memory. Pre-order this on Amazon: myBook.to/QuantumSoul

So if you want to catch my stories, you’re spoiled for choice this month!

Swings and Roundabouts

The new episode of my podcast is out now! To celebrate, here’s a reveal of the cover for Writ in Blood and Silver the book, which I’m hoping will hit Amazon in the first quarter next year. Although, as I say in the podcast, the more I work around book publishing, the more I realise that Delays Happen.

Thanks to Ricardo for the cover (follow him on Twitter @Winged_Leo ).

You can hear Chapter 8 of Writ in Blood and Silver, Swings and Roundabouts, right here!

However… in related news…

So, if you have to be a victim, be one of your own success, I say.
 
I tried out a Facebook advert promotion thing for the last episode of the podcast, and while I only got a handful of engagements (according to the metrics) it seems those who did try out the podcast must have worked their way through the entire back catalogue. Thanks for listening if you were one of those who tried out the podcast for the first time because of the advert.
 
The only downside is that… well… I’m already approaching the bandwidth limit for my website for September. I’m not sure what happens if I hit it… I’d guess people trying to access it won’t be able to? So, hopefully you can listen to the podcast. Apologies if you encounter a problem, it should all reset again in October.  If this starts to be an ongoing problem, I might have to see about upgrading my hosting, or downgrading the quality of the audio files to make them smaller (which I don’t really want to do, but might be more practical).
Anyway. Thanks for listening, everybody, it makes me really proud to know that people stick around when they find us.  Tell your friends! Except… maybe wait until October?

The East Cave

Time for a new story, don’t you think? And today, I’m turning my hand to a little bit of political comedy with orcs.  In a world that in no way resembles ours, the new leader of the orcish administration is having a few problems settling in…

The East Cave

Balkus paused at the door and hastily rubbed the toes of his boots against the backs of his trousers. He was in enough trouble, without looking for more. He looked down at his feet, trying to decide if it had helped. Orc boots did not naturally take a shine. Continue reading The East Cave