Dredgery – Unwelcome

Unwelcome – Indepentional

Unwelcome is a story that I thought off after being exposed to a variety of different post-apocalyptic fiction settings, Fallout and Warhammer 40K among them. Whatever form this apocalypse took, both its form and the world that came before has largely faded from public memory. Only the idea that the world Outside is dangerous and should be left alone.

Coming up with names for the characters of Unwelcome was a good chuckle. Gremli and Organaisa are probably the most obvious ones; Gremli is a bit of a troublemaker, so she is a “Gremlin”. Organaisa is one of the few who remembers the world before, whether through scant few years of personal experience or tales delivered down through the Elders of the the tribe. Being one of the Eldest, he can’t do too much physical work anymore, so he is an “Organiser”. Wida is a bit of a cruel one I suppose, being a comment on her good physical healthy and sturdy frame, that she is “Wide”. Finally, the group Gremli is part of, the Youngs. The story doesn’t mention it nor is it shaped by it, but Unwelcome takes place somewhere in Germany. So ‘Youngs’ is another word-change from “Jungs” which means guys or boys. That the group contains no small amount of girls is simply because they don’t know any better.


Dredgery – Collage

Collage – Indepentional

Collage, along with Baggage which I will cover later, is an attempt at more slow-burning horror. It was inspired by a combination of remembering the basement of my old family home and an old mousepad I had, as silly as that sounds. It was an old present, a pair of mousepads printed with a picture of me and my dad on a vacation. A good present that I got a lot of use out of. But they both had a tendency for the wear and tear to show up on on my face, the black underside of the mousepad slowly replacing my features. It didn’t exactly keep me up at night, but it was a little unnerving at times.

But enough about that. As said earlier, Collage was meant to be a slow burner. So I tried to extend the scenes of Blake looking at the collages as much as I felt reasonable. For this I also had to describe characters you never ever meet in a fair amount of detail, from their appearance to their hobbies and achievements. The idea behind Mr Wilkinson was that he targets people that either have achieved something or someone that he believes will in the near future. As the main character, Blake is, of course, the next target. As shown in the final scene.

Dredgery – Branch Quest

Branch Quest – Indepentional


I wrote Branch Quest as a horror story, but like so many other of my horror stories, the build-up isn’t really there and it ends too soon. It was inspired by the oak tree outside of my own childhood home ( Cookbook Overload – Our House ). During early summer, before they were pruned back, the branches of the big oak tree outside our house would stretch around the front to tap at the windows of my room. Though even the heaviest storm never managed to smash my window in.

Early on Seymour comments on the house becoming ‘stranger and stranger’ as the day goes on, but this is never really expanded upon. Instead, just as the children have their game set up and ready, they are rudely interrupted by the breaking of glass as the branches of the ‘tree’ smash the window.

I suppose Branch Quest might’ve worked better as a pilot or intro for a longer series of stories told in the Cobbler household, the family trying to lead a normal life in a house that constantly throws paranormal curveballs at you. That would also explain why Jon never seems worried about the sudden tree outside his window nor the fact that his own mother is telling them to hurry out of the house. Without any context from other stories, I guess it makes Jon seem a bit forgetful.

Dredgery – Mountains from Molehills

Mountains from Molehills – Indepentional

Mountains from Molehills, along with the Baggage series, is probably the closest I’ve gotten to writing hard sci-fi. Post-Einstein is a phrase I use in the opening line, meaning in this timeline they’ve found a way to travel faster through space than we currently think possible.

Like a couple of the Indepentionals before it, it was largely inspired by the science-fiction stories of Arthur Clarke, the story having a certain focus on ‘scientific’ details that are not normally present in my writing. Another piece of inspiration is my, at times, quite literal mind hearing the phrase ‘mountains from molehills’ and trying to think of a way to base a story around a more literal interpretation.

It bears similarities to Eccentric Botchanist in that the discovery of a new planet sparks off the events of the story, but here the events are more benign for Earth and less so for the discovered planet whose ecosystem is damaged by result-focused colonists.

Dredgery – An Omen of Leaves

An Omen of Leaves – Indepentional

An Omen of Leaves is a sort of prequel-story to Bless You – Indepentional set perhaps a few days before the (meager) events of the story. It was inspired by the header-picture used for the story-post (Autumn from Wikipedia Commons), as at first glance it looked to me like the leaves blown about by the wind were indeed catching on something otherwise not visible in the picture.

Both it and Bless are horror-like, but are pretty much all build-up with no payoff. I would peg Collage and Branch Quest, stories Dredgery will cover later, as better horror-stories, though Branch Quest still suffers from similar problems as Omen and Bless.


Dredgery – BodyBuster

BodyBuster // Something Blue, Something Borrowed – Indepentional

“Something Blue, Something Borrowed” is essentially my pet-name for BodyBuster while I was writing it. Like the couple Indepentionals before it, it was written around a period where I was re-reading The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. I believe I was visiting my home town for some reason or other when I passed the old Blockbuster that somehow had managed to keep its position near the effective center of town. I do wonder how they stay in business, let alone keep a quite attractive position for a shop. But that’s an aside.

BodyBuster is my idea of one futuristic version of Blockbuster where customers don’t rent movies or games anymore. They rent a vacation on a whole different planet, their consciousness transferred to androids on the company’s base on the various planets on offer. One thing, though. If such a venture ever becomes a reality, I cannot imagine they would choose the name “BodyBuster”, no matter how high their love for the old rental-brand. It just sounds unsafe.

One thing that certainly did not help while I was writing BodyBuster was that I tried to map out the Journey- and Vacation-parts of the scenario out in my head, but none of that is shown in the story, as it ends the moment their journey begins. Establishing a base within the Sol system would be astronomically expensive for a private company, let alone a base in an entirely different star system. And then you have to find a way to safely beam a clump of data, meant in this analogue to be the digital version of a human consciousness, across the vastness of space to a very specific point on a planet surface. Having a string of relay stations along the way would probably make it safer and easier, but would drive up the cost.

In retrospect, the sentence – “There was no check-in beyond confirming your presence and preparedness for the journey” is a bit off; since the only thing you need to do for this journey is to be present, surely that would be the most important check-up. And since you would be away for up to 9 months on very foreign soil, being mentally prepared would also be very important.

The planet name ‘Alpha Centauri Bb’ is one I cannot recall why I chose. Perhaps Bb is meant to be ‘Baby’? Or it’s an alternative to a number – It’s the B category, and within that category it is ‘b’.

The story really does end too soon. Going back, I think I would have at least written out their arrival on their temporary home, shown them arriving on the new planet before ending it there.

Finally, I feel I need to apologise for another stereotype, that of the australian Lucy McCanneigh. I don’t really talk to any australians on a regular basis, so I guess I just want off a curious sort of soft-scifi version of Steve Irwin.



Dredgery – Robo-Cuppa

Wrote a little about what inspired one of my short stories

Cookbook Overload

Robo-Cuppa – Indepentional

First-off, I would like to apologise for the stereotype at play in Robo-Cuppa. Like the previous couple of Indepentionals, it was inspired in part by various stories in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clark but also Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow, more specifically the animated series Stand Alone Complex directed by Kenji Kamiyama.

These influences made me think of the situation in Robo-Cuppa, in where an early form of the advanced kinds of prosthetic work in Ghost… was developed in England, though that might not be terribly apparently in the actual story. And this is where the stereotype comes into play. I considered what would be a humorous thing to use as a trial for this new technology and its ‘current’ applications to everyday life.

The conclusion of which was making a nice cup of tea.

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