Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quantum Spin Plates Update Number 1

Summer break comes to an end depressingly soon, and this brings with it the first ever QSP Update!
These updates are mostly a way for me to talk about what I’m working on, show off, and generally keep my various projects straight in my head. And thus, we have the two categories.

Shiny New Ideas: These are brand new concepts that have just recently shown up. They usually have a die-off rate of 90-95%, because I have a lot of ideas and usually write them for a short time, and then let them die. Sometimes, a SNI sticks and clings like glue!

Unfinished Rough Draft: These are drafts that are rough and unfinished. If an SNI survives to be 10k words, then it is officially considered to be a Rogue Draft. These usually have a die-off rate of anywhere from 60-15%, depending on whether or not it was easy or hard to get to these 10k points.

Note: I have finished drafts that I’m working on, and those will be covered in later issues of my Updates…and not this update because I was writing it at 1 in the morning and I’m about to pass out! Enjoy!



PSYCH-SQUAD: When Jack Hoole was pulled out of his senior biology class by two USAF colonels, he thought he was in trouble. Then, after making him sign an NDA, they explained: For the past ten years, the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Japan, Germany and the Russian Federation had been fighting a secret war against a galactic empire of psionic aliens called the Doyen, utilizing a stolen piece of Doyen technology called the Prometheus Device to activate psionic powers in latent human beings. Using these psionic powers, Psyches (as they are called) are able to create telekinetic, non-newtonian starships called Ego-Ships, as well as produce force fields, read minds, fold space/time to jump lightyears in a single instant, and project blasts of raw kinetic energy across kilometers of space.


Jack, being a latent, leaps at the chance for an actual honest to god adventure. And since the Prometheus Device works best on developing minds, the Air Force is eager to get him. He finds himself warped to Antares Station, a space station built in the binary star system Antares, 150 parsecs away from home. With his powers active, Jack meets a multinational group of other cadets, and learns that while humanity has some advantages over the Doyen Empire, the war remains an obscenely long shot. Still, if extinction is looking us in the face, Jack would rather go out swinging…


PROGRESS REPORT: Moderate to fast when I have the time to work on it.

THOUGHTS: I keep writing and hope that no one notices it’s a mashup between Stargate, Trinity and Evangelion.


Unfinished Rough Drafts

MERCH: The year is 2011. McCain is President, the Iran war has just wrapped up, and the global population of Supers has just hit 7,000. Supers – who appeared on the scene ten years before when Lady Liberty dramatically stopped the 9/11 attacks – have completely changed the world. They’ve invented new technologies, ended wars, cleaned up the environment, and in return, people shower them with fame, attention and money. To be lucky enough to have a Parnell Cortex, the required mutation to exhibit superpowers of any kind, is like winning the lottery ten times in a row.

That’s what Jake Vega thought at least.  And when his Cortex quickened during a high school assembly, everything went great. At first. He had superspeed, for one thing. For another thing, he’s been showered in money, merchandizing, offers for jobs left and right ranging from acting as a superpowered mercenary for Blackwater International to being a mascot for a city. In the end, he decides to front for Marvel’s new comic line.

But…Jake finds out that life as a super isn’t nearly as heroic as he thought. Oh, the money is good, but there’s little to no catching muggers, no supervillains to battle. Nothing but a life of shallow fame, easily earned wealth, and constant paparazzi. A life of being merch.


PROGRESS: Slowed down (Death possibility 65%)

THOUGHTS:  I’m not quite sure how to tell the story of a teenage boy given huge piles of money, groupies and FREAKING SUPER POWERS being consumed by enuii and depression due to this…without the main character seeming like a shallow douchebag. Seriously, just donate your money to charity, damn it!

THE TALE OF KES THE TWISTCATCHER: Forty thousand years in our future, on a distant farming planet ignored by the galaxy at large, Kes is the unwanted daughter of a brutal, abusive drunkard. But then, one day, something new comes to the village. Specifically, something old comes: A man, who had left the village years hence to seek his fortunes serving aboard starships. And back he has come, with three missing limbs, a missing eye, a face scarred by radiation…and a chest full of golden coins. His tales of adventures alighted her imagination. And so, she ran away from home and came to her homeworld’s spaceport.

And, almost immediately, she was set on by a press-gang. Beaten about the head. Shoved onto a shuttle and forced into slavery aboard the starship Revenge, captained by the piratical and brutal Lord-Captain Sadronosticus. There, Kes finds herself apprenticed to Denny Feng-Zhao, a mysterious old man who serves as the Revenge’s Twistcatcher: The officer responsible for managing and controlling and purging the ship’s population of mutants.

However, the history of the Revenge is long, and not all is as it seems…


PROGRESS: Fast when I write it! (Death Possibility 24%)

THOUGHTS: I love this story. Unfortunately, I can’t sell it to my delightful publishers at Candlemark and Gleam because…it is…a Warhammer 40,000 story. This means it has one and only one home: The mysterious and foreboding Black Library. Only these people will accept and publish WH40K stories. So, I guess I will have to toil endlessly at the gates of the Black Library…in between doing my actual works!


Between these projects, I'm working on my short stories, editing my finished books, and trying to graduate college.

And those are all my spin plates! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


And thus, we come to the second blog post.

My novel, Debris Dreams, takes place in the year 2068. That's 56 years. 56 know, one of my beta readers said that that makes Debris Dreams "near future." This struck me as odd, but I can see the point. After all, if I'm lucky, I'll live to see 2068.

But on the other hand...

Take the gulf between the year 1914 and 1970. In that time, we've had two world wars, total economic collapse, a inverse economic revitalization, a radical explosion of technologies, a moon landing, terrorism, social upheaval, artistic revolutions, actual revolutions, failed invasions...this list could go on for a while, but I think you get the gist.

So, the question logically goes, what happens between 2012 and 2068?

That's what I'm working on as I wait for my next round of edits for Debris Dreams! Three interconnected short stories that chart the history of the DD universe from 2022 to 2068, each one starring a different side character from Debris Dreams itself.

And you, my loyal blog readers (all three of them) will get to read previews, snippits and general ramblings about them. Goodie!


By David Colby

                Portia Brown stopped at the third checkpoint for the day and wished she had shot President Windrip when she had the chance. It was a petty, vindictive thought from a woman who prided herself in a lifetime of non-violence, and she tried to ignore it, even as a security mech stomped around her car. It was an odd mish-mash of old and new. New: Mechanized legs, controlled by a spliced in X-Box Kinetic mkVI scanner and operated with a nationalized OS poached out of Anon’s hands by the FSA’s netwar division. Old: Two ungainly looking Squad Automatic Weapons strapped to either side of the thing’s turreted head, a head that aimed directly at Portia’s car.


                That came from an entirely too human FSA officer, wearing a bulletproof vest that looked like it had stopped a few rounds over the past week. He also had a taser at his hip and an assault rifle over his back and looked willing to use both at the first sign of trouble.

                Portia kept her hands well above her head as she reached up and grabbed her papers from what had once been a holder for sunglasses. She held them out to the FSA officer, who took them and then walked over to the checkpoint scanner. He wasn’t paid to actually read the papers. That was a job that fell to the machine.

                The mech kept it’s guns trained on Portia. She drummed her fingers on the wheel.

                “Get ready for a surprise!”

                Portia’s eyes widened as she looked at the mech, which had just spoke with a warbly, mechanical voice. The mech’s head tilted to the side and the SAW’s…sawed away, dust from the new case-less rounds hazing the air around the mech’s head. The FSA guard hit the deck and the people behind Portia in the checkpoint line screamed, several diving out of their cars to curl up on the ground. Portia herself screamed and screamed, she couldn’t help it.

                The SAWs stopped firing, hissing and clicking as they cooled down. The mech turned and ran off, vanishing around the corner. Portia looked around, her ears ringing. None of the cars had been shredded. No blood spilled the San Franciscan streets, or dribbled down the steep hill that banked before the checkpoint. Even the FSA guard looked fine, picking himself up and brushing his hands over his armor. Dust had coated his body…and both he and Portia looked up at the same time, Portia craning her head to see out her car window.

                Etched on the side of an old red brick building, blasted into the wall by hollow point, crowd stopper shells was a leering face with an exaggerated chin and narrowed eyes. Underneath it, cut into the stone by computer aimed bullets, were three words: U MAD BRO?


Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello Fwordlil

A quantum spin state derives from two fundamental truths about the universe. The first is uncertainty: The more precisely we know a particle's speed, the less sure we are of its direction. The more we know its location, the less we know about how fast it's going.The second is that quantum mechanics will always give you a headache. Even people who understand quantum mechanics do not understand quantum mechanics.

But lots of people will understand metaphors. If they didn't, they'd be lousy metaphors and be taken behind the shed and shot. Which, incidentally, is also a metaphor. And so, we return to the title of this blog, of this post, and of my life in general: I've always known which direction I was going in, but never how fast.

I've always wanted to be a writer. I've always wanted to be a published writer. That's a pretty sure direction, but the path stretched out before me. Some days, it looked like a few months and then I'd be published. Some days, it looked like it'd never happen and I'd be stuck behind a Smiley Burger's counter, flipping patties. But now, uncertainty has vanished.

I know my location! And now, so do you: I'm going to be published by the astoundingly cool and entirely awesome Candlemark and Gleam (reachable at this here link). My debut novel is Debris Dreams: A tale of loss, war and the enduring power of love. Also, lasers.

But this blog isn't (entirely) about Debris Dreams. See, even as I've become sure of my place, I suddenly have no idea what my direction is. I have no idea if Debris Dreams is going to sell well, or sell at all. I think it's a pretty damn good book (not that I'm biased or anything), but that sometimes has little to nothing to do with the price of tea in China. So, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that DD sells and sells hard.

Thus...we come back to the name of the blog. The only way I can see to become a real, for-true actual professional author is to have as many plates spinning as possible. Flash fiction, contests, Q&A session, reader interaction and (of course) other novels in the works. This blog will become the nexus for these events.

I am David Anthony Colby, the Real Zoombie. Here, I will post short stories. Here, I will hold giveaways and announcements. Here, I will try and listen to your feedback and respond. Here, I will talk about the progress in my various novels. Here, I may even talk about my life when something astoundingly cool happens.

Here is where I will have my quantum spin plates.


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