Free Lunch Studios

Tom Gordon

An affliction with no known cure.

A Happy WriterYep, I like to write stories, most of them "soft" space-opera SF or straightforward fantasy tinged with some ideas. It's more a hobby than anything else; something I do to scatter the contents of my fevered brain instead of working at a real job.

People have asked me if the content of some of these stories here fit chronologically into the canon of "One Small Step" my online SF comic. With the possible exception of certain abstract themes, like the eternal battle of creative technologists vs. back-to-nature types, I'd have to say "no."

Well, it had to happen eventually. Blog + Blather = BLOTHER! (though there's lots of artwork and corny photo illustrations thrown into the mix, as well.) And its predecessor: my non-fiction Miscellaneous Rants page. Where I used to stretch out my pitifully under-utilized wordsmith skills with utter impunity and disregard for literary coherence or popular opinion.

Swap Meet is a wholly irreverent "first contact" science-fiction yarn, where a morally impoverished (if not completely bankrupt) black marketeer inadvertently hustles his way into becoming undisputed master of the human race. It was an accident, really!

Public Relations. Put up with a multitude of whiny subcultures in your personal and professional life, and sooner or later you'll write an embittered short story like this, too.

Conveniently set in Matthew Feit's colorful "Tails of Baghdad" literary "universe," Buzz on the Street is a humorous original tale about the happy-go-lucky Buzz Roman, Baghdad's foremost swindler and entrepreneur, who gets into quite a lot of trouble with a magical artifact and a good chunk of the local citizenry. An uneasy alliance is thus forged between Roman and Baghdad's famed talking monkey superheroes (Studd, Smart Alec and Sherbert; the "Tails of Baghdad") in order to combat an otherworldly menace intent on enslaving the entire Fertile Crescent. Can one sales pitch REALLY save the universe? Read and see!

Duet is an incomplete near-future story (early-mid 21st century) that I may convert to a screenplay for film or TV someday, hopefully before the dismal progression of current events (namely, the boneheaded actions of the Unabomber, ALF, etc.) make it hopelessly dated. It is about the relationship between an inventor who develops an unusual antigravity technology, and the quasi-religious leader of an environmentalist terrorist organization ("Mother Earth Above Man") determined to return the United States to a agrarian, pre-industrial existance.

Starcross is a semi-novel, residing in the same "universe" as Duet, albeit three-hundred years later (2345). Humans have spread themselves across the galaxy, prosperously and freely trading ideas and products with other alien races in what amounts to a galaxy-wide Golden Age. But this progress is suddenly halted by a catastrophic disaster that results in isolationist "homegrown" forces seizing control of Earth; promptly abolishing all technology and space travel. Thus leaving thousands of colonial refugees stranded across the universe to contend with interstellar war... and the unenviable task of liberating their "homeworld."

Longbow's Big Adventure is my admittedly well-written but still unfinished effort at writing a stand-alone "Sentinel Rogues" yarn, featuring grizzled cyborg Erik North's weird journey into the subterranean underbelly of the Big Apple. Yes, even without thriving gene-tailored secret societies, falling asleep in a New Yawk subway station is ALWAYS a Bad Idea...

Insomnia is a totally surreal bit of old spec-fic, about an enterprising fellow who keeps trying to foist a bunch of half-baked "Save The World" schemes onto the rest of civilization... with only mixed results. Some of my cultural predictions about post-millennial America have already come true (Jane's Addiction reuniting, demise of death metal, domestic terrorism) And I think there ARE definite signs that a new movement of Really Bad Pop Music is already upon us... one even WORSE than rap and Bicycle Chain techno, if that's even esthetically possible. (Probably won't ever be called "mumble" though...)