“In Thy Future” Challenge: 5 Things That Need To Be Done

Share 5 Things About My Future. Well, Had No Idea Last Week That This Was Going To Happen…

edge-of-tomorrow

“Look, I am not stupid you know. They cannot make things like that yet… Are you saying it’s from the future?” – Sarah Connor. 

Having studied/worked as a historian, the past seemed – somehow, comfortingly – more certain, less daunting, yet always reassuring. Reviving my passion for sci-fi through this blog has helped confront that unfathomable and intangible “future”; now comes this challenge (gleefully accepted): 

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Rules for the In Thy Future Challenge:

• Thank the blogger who nominated you.
• Link back to the challenge creator to track progress.
• Share 5 things about your future.  Then one day you can look back and find out how psychic you really are.
• Tag 5 bloggers and put them up to the challenge.

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Danica Piche @ Leading a Beautiful Life – nominated me for this Challenge.  Thank you, Danica!

5 Things About My Future:

stained-glass-beauty

“You should see what he can do” – Rogue.  

1. Get that novel finished. Obviously. And then write some more fiction. 

Yes, yes! This well-meaning intention has been announced/noted several times in this household – during this past year alone – to the point that Mrs. B no longer believes it. But hey, the ideas, enthusiasm and typing sessions generated over these past few weeks through my latest Brother Brad creation, have been fantastic.

Beforehand, there was a SF mega-opus coming along, but far too slowly. This project, on the other hand, is a different, more satisfying prospect – have not felt so good about writing fiction in a long time. Actually, working via WordPress rather than Word Document has actually sparked a more encouraging creative process.

If you are interested in Following this project as it comes to fruition, you can check out this site. Moreover, there are plenty of awesome ideas to stretch this concept into a series.

ETA: Volume 1 in the stores by Christmas!

roman-forum

“I’ve seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark. Rome is the light” – Maximus Decimus Meridius. 

2. Visit Rome.

“Yet you have never been there!” as Marcus Aurelius constantly – irritatingly – reminds me. Ciao! Talk about a radical departure from what usually appears on these Posts, this remains a long-standing Thing To Do. 

Finally got the chance to study Ancient Roman History at universityHowever, having no physical connection to the metropolis once considered the centre of the world, it was not easy to get to grips with my studies. After the degree came a great travel option: Europe or Southeast Asia. The latter was selected; my life advanced to a higher, more enjoyable, level, although one part of me wonders what fortune the former option could have presented…

Mi dispiace, goodness knows when this visit will happen.

Cosi e la vita, bebe…

ETA: Who knows? Summer 2016 perhaps, or 2017? 

asimov-foundation-covers-cropped

“With his fertile imagination, his wit, and his prolific output, Isaac Asimov truly laid the Foundation for all future generations of science fiction writers” – Kevin J. Anderson. 

3. Swot up on some essential science fiction classics.

Compiling my own sci-fi Posts, this would seem like a mandatory pursuit anyway. However, due to the unavailability of such classics – and work commitments, of course – this aim is not as easy as it sounds. 

Honestly, how can you accept me as a sci-fi blogger if some of the greatest literary works in the SF canon have not been thoroughly scrutinised?!

For example, top of the Essential Classics list comes the Foundation series – revered in some quarters as the greatest SF series ever published – created by the grand master himself: Isaac Asimov. Initially a trilogy – Foundation (1951), Foundation And Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953) – it now consists of six books; confusingly, Prelude to Foundation – the prequel – was the last book in the series to be published (as late as 1986).

ETA: From this November and on through Christmas (subject to availability). 

Green Arrow Clay Mann

“We have sat waiting like this many times before… At night, I can hear the call of my race. They wait for me. Once I join them, we will be forgotten” – Crow.  

4. Resurrect my archery.

Well, it doesn’t get any more ironic than this. There is a future for this ancient noble art in my life. Brad The Bowman: sounds kinda cool, huh? Not such an idle fantasy as it sounds…

Gawping at Crow, the Elvin bowman (the only highlight of ultra-cheap British fantasy flick: Hawk The Slayer) and the early ’80s Robin Hood TV series both proved to be lasting influences. This led me to sign up for an Archery Group at a fab holiday camp during junior school. Wow, talk about being a natural bowman – it was as if this mild-mannered moppet had been a Merry Man in a former life…

Unfortunately, there’s never been another chance to strap a quiver on me back ever since. My bow-draw-muscles are getting a tad flabby; yet my goatee is ripe and my Green Arrow costume gathers dust in the spare wardrobe.

So, put my name down for the next Archery Contest before my elvin skills set packs up completely; what say you?! 

ETA: The sooner the better…

TDU-BTTF2-A

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads” – Doc. Emmett Brown.  

Last but not least…

5. Secure a copy of Back To The Future 2 and watch it on October 21 2015.

Aim to have a rollicking laugh at how hopelessly wrong their vision of our future turned out to be! This average sequel should also be regarded as a serious lesson about how futile it is to try and predict such things like the onset of hoverboards. 

It’s best to end on such a relatively simple task, as long as the download technology does not let me down…

ETA: October 21 2015. About teatime.

groundhog_diner

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today” – Phil Connors.  

This may seem like such a daunting challenge, but – trust me – this provides an ideal opp to sort out what you need/want to do. 

So, the delightful nominees are: 

Hope you are up for the challenge – good luck!

xaviers

Wouldn’t it be thrilling to visit our future self, look them in the eye and ask: “Well, did you manage it?” 

comments

Cheers!

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The MediEvil: [Part ii] Est A Diabolica!

My Testimony To Those Wondrous And Terrible Events of 1115 AD Continues.  Chapelle-de-BethlC3A9em-Alien

“We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God” – Antonius Block. 

ACT II: DAEMON FUGIT!

“By thy troth, Will, we must find it! Pack the most basic of provisions; we travel light-“

“But Brother Brad, how can we expect to find this… this thing?” 

“Simple, boy. We follow the trail of petrified peasants that thing leaves in its wake. We must hurry. Thou art familiar with the apotheca: the storehouse of medicines?”

“Y-yea, Master.”

“I bid you go fetch that small vial with the green liquid from the top shelf.”

“Wherefore needest it thou, Master?”

“This is most important, for it be the only concoction that can destroy our otherworldly foe. I shall ready the horses and meet thee at the main gate.”

“The only…?” William gingerly took a pace forward. “Then… ye hath dealt with these skyfallen ones before?!”

Methinks perchance this boy was too bright…

“Yea, William… and will again and again, I’m afraid. Now, festinate! I shall see you anon.”

In very little time at all, William came running out of the North Transept, a bulging bag slung across his back; the vial clasped to his chest with both hands – good lad.

He noticed the pointed bundle I cradled: “What be that?”

I unfurled the top end of the cloth, revealing a hilt and hilt-guard. “A sword! I dare not ask what thou wert in thy past life, Master!”

“Fear not, my young friend. I was merely a traveller. In distant lands, one must be… cautious.”  

“O splendid scholar, with all these skills… why stay at this monastery?”

“Where else could I write my books…? Come, we cannot allow further delay.”

We mounted our steeds and set out into the far-from-idyllic terrain beyond. The trail was easy – yet so disturbing – to follow.

Regrettably, we discovered the eviscerated maiden whose face had twisted in sheer terror – may she rest in peace; and then we encountered the gibbering shepherd, blabbing something about a “malum diabolicum” – who still managed to give us reliable directions!

Undoubtedly, we were getting closer… 

“Ayah, Angelo Maligno!”

I could scarcely believe the frightened croak of the old beggar sitting beside the country lane as we approached him. I hurried over and knelt at his side.

“Be still, my old friend. Tell us, you saw the-“

Confound it! You bonehead, Brad! Only then did I notice that the vagrant was as blind as a trowel. 

“Why so flustered, old man?”

“The vile lacerta homos ye seek hath passed by not long past!”

“Nay! How could thou know-?!” 

A knowing smile erupted through his unkempt whiskers as he muttered: “I am gifted with powers of a higher order, young Quester. I-I sensed it. What passed this way ’twas certainly not mortal – it felt more sinister than Lucifer ‘isself…! But forgive my fevered ramblings… good den, good sir. My name is Nathaniel…”

“Hardly expected to find such a gifted soul in this lowly spot! Your aid is indeed very much appreciated, Nathaniel. William! Bring forth some bread!”

I passed some of our provisions to Nathaniel, who gorged on them eagerly, as if he’d not partaken of any nourishment for days. 

“Oh thank thee, young saints! Thank thee, kindly! I bid you good fortune in your tiresome quest. Fare thee well; may the Lord bless thee!”

“Nay… ’tis too late for Him to bother with me now…if at all. Doth ye know where yon thing dwelt?”  

Tired old Nathaniel spoke naught, but waved a trembling bony finger off to his left. My gaze wandered several yards yonder to – Saints preserve us! – the tranquil setting of the Church of St. Mary.

Of all the-?!

The beast had fled into a church…?! Lord, what madness was this?! devil's-reaper

“If I kill you, I am bound for Hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay” – Solomon Kane. 

ACT III: ANGELO MALIGNO

Without hesitation, we burst into St. Mary’s church.

‘Twas stood, hunched in the centre of the aisle – the belief that daemons could not frequent “holy” sites be damned.

It flicked its cowl back to reveal that Malachi’s facial features had completely disintegrated. The wraith’s true grotesque green head turned menacingly towards us; it barred dripping fangs at us; its low-pitched snarl echoed off the church walls.

“You… it could only be you. Thou art Brad: the one they call the Scribe.” 

“Verily, that I be; how do you know who I art, beast? What say you!”

“The hunted must know who his hunter is! Thou art cleverer than those other robed imbeciles: a formidable nemesis to be sure. So, call upon your God to save thee afore ye dare try and smite me, worm!” the wraith chortled.

“Nay: through His “Word, all things are created just as He willed”… where – on Earth – deceitful snake, do ye fit in?!”

“Hmm, my “Word calls forth flesh in the shape which was drawn from Adam.” Mayhap this disenchanted mortal ought to forsake thy misspent quest? …And start worshipping me, ha!”

I bellowed over its gurgling guffaws: “Silentium, dire one! I am too strong-willed to rise to your bait; too stubborn to let you skyfallen scum succeed!”   

“Very well, stubborn worm; I shall consign thee to thine own end! Maledixerit tibi voltus, mortalis!” 

With that, it unleashed a dagger, hurled it at me, but the deterioration of its human form had diminished its aim, as well as its stamina. The wraith collapsed in a final exhausted heap; the weapon just swished past me.

“Curse me? Ha, yea my misfortune was foretold long before you crash-landed…”

I took forth the vial, and sprayed its noisome contents on my adversary. They fizzled and burned on impact; the beast screamed, clutching a steaming arm.

“You accursed dregs! Backward sapiens…!” the beast spat as the delirium of searing torment set in. “How did you infernal lot ever get to this pitiful stage of evolution?”

“We mortals strive to learn, to build, to prosper-”

“Rot! We are all-too-familiar with the petty troubles of your kind: you crave war and spread famine… and pestilence. I harbour no shame when I aim to… exterminare celerrime praeiudicio!”

“Exterminate? With extreme prejudice? Regrettably for thee, Malachi was a feeble old man; that lifeforce is ebbing quickly from you now. You are in no position to do as thou wilt-” 

“Monetae…! …Ultionem!” it rasped, grabbing my arm in one last futile gesture.

I almost felt sorry for this damned shrivelled satyr; ’twas in no fit state to declare or exact such vengeance upon me right now.

While that vile shape writhed on the aisle floor, poor William lay slumped in the rear pews, sobbing uncontrollably.  Damn my eyes: yea, I had condemned the archfiend to burn in hell, but in doing so, had consigned my accomplice to endure a living hell… 

I leant my angry face closer and gleered at the ailing creature, and whispered with venom: “Know ye this, foul incubus: as long as my cursed life prevails, I shall warn others of thy diabolical presence on this fair and simple Earth; as long as I wield the written word, thy devious intent shall forever be set forth!”

The creature’s hold on my arm gradually loosened, but it managed to waste its dying breath by emitting another condescending splutter: “And there…! Thou art hopelessly mistaken… Brother… Brad.

“Write this tale, and be damned! In a thousand years from now, nobody will care enough to read… or believe it…!” a3-15

FINEM NOTE:

Brother Brad dedicated the rest of his life to rid our green and pleasant land of the inhuman skyfallen ones.  An inestimable number of esoteric tomes describing these Angelos Malos were produced. For many years, Brother Brad’s complete account resided at the Priory of Sele in Upper Beeding, in the southern counties, but during the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-40) alas, it was lost. 

This presentation is merely a palimpsest of what once was…  The-Seventh-Seal-1957-stars-from-the-past-32472124-500-362

21st Century Brad is on holiday.

The MediEvil: [Part i] An Unearthly Daemon In Our Midst!

My Testimony To Those Wondrous And Terrible Events of 1115 AD Begins.  alien-3-arceon1

O vis aeternitatis (Power of Eternity) – you who ordered all things in your heart, through your Word all things are created just as you willed, and your very Word calls forth flesh in the shape which was drawn from Adam” – Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179).

PROLOGO:

The storm was one of the worst of that wretched winter. The ferocious elements summoned by the Almighty must have cleft the wraith’s craft from the sky, for several folk from the village reported a great fiery star descending rapidly above the countryside.

I do not blame them for believing this malevolent portent – roaring through the night sky with an unspeakable cacophony – to have been naught but a dragon.  On several occasions during some of those coldest, loneliest winters, I had heard stories about the “ships of the sky” – magnificent shimmering vessels that traversed the clouds, supposedly transporting travellers from beyond the heavens.

Yet never – ever – in my lifetime did I expect to have to deal with any of their devilish occupants myself. 

‘Twas Brother Malachi – poor, unsuspecting Brother Malachi – who rushed to the aid of the injured being, which limped pathetically to our main gates on that tempestuous night. Although taking the precaution of locking it in a cell, by some devious sorcery – I dare not contemplate – the thing absorbed Malachi’s form, and now dictates its despicable demands to us in the monk’s crazed mish-mash of Latin and Olde English.  31-01-01/22

“Have you ever known a place where God would have felt at home?” – William of Baskerville.

ACT I: INTER MUNDOS

“Idiota, Brother Brad! 

“Dost thou know what has become of Brother Malachi?”

Father Severinus and his entourage had rode all night – let it be known, at some haste – to protest at my alleged gross mishandling of this whole monstrous incident. Brother William – my assistanthad just returned from tidying the storehouse of medicines, and couldn’t resist listening to our ensuing argument.

“There is no cause for alarm, Father Severinus, I assure thee. The brethren cleared the wreckage to the best of their abilities. I supervised the recovery of fragments from the “ship” myself; its main core was of stupendous proportions. Brother Malachi is locked in a cell, guarded by Brother Berengar. We are quite safe… Isn’t it ironic, though, how something so heaven-sent could be more malevolent than anything Hades could spawn?”

“Blasphemy! I will have nothing to do with this- this black magik, Brother Brad!” Father Severinus blared.

“…Oh, Father?” I instantly realised how inappropriate his title was. “Forgive me, but I was under the impression that “pater” denoted compassion and understanding-“

“Gah!” he grunted, and stormed out of the chamber.

“So be it… dotard,” I seethed under my breath. “Make thy leave…”

I watched hopelessly as the rotund ignoramus Severinus and his entourage rode out of our grounds. We were left to deal with this… dilemma on our own. Again, I would have to finish it myself.

As silence returned to our monastery once more, William wondered: “Brother Brad, why did yon peril have to fall out of the sky?” 

“Well, it-” 

At that moment! An abrupt and terrible ear-piercing shriek! The clatter of bowls and other implements crashing to the floor down the hallway! Frantic running up to our door! 

William and I watched in horror as Brother Berengar stumbled in, babbling hysterically and tearing at his hair as the most abominable seizure took hold.

“‘Tis Brother Malachi! Oh, heavens, Brother Malachi-!” 

I surged forward, my astonishment compelling me to try and shake him back to his senses. “What ails thee, Berengar?!”

“‘Tis Brother Malachi! Oh, blessed saints preserve us! He overpowered me and fled into the forest!”

Christ’s blood – ’twas the last thing we needed!

“Thank the Lord that fool Severinus did not get to see this…” I muttered gratefully.

“Forgive!” Berengar wailed, his grubby mitts locked in shaking prayer. “Paenitet! Sorry! Prithee forgive this dullard, Brother Brad!”

I placed a reassuring hand upon his shoulder. “Peace, Berengar. There be naught ye could hath done…”

In a flash, I pounded up the North Tower; William called frantically after me. In the blustery turret, I squinted at the dank and murky countryside yonder. Just as the boy emerged beside me, I caught sight of Malachi’s dark robe moments before he disappeared into the forest.

So be it. Our former “guest” had headed northeast – predictably back to the site of his downed vessel. “That way, William,” I cried. “We go northeast!” 

“Master, what does this all mean?” 

“Danger, boy… we must give chase – the daemon is loose!” seventh-seal-111

Brother Brad at work in his chamber... until the skyfallen ones set his life on a new perilous course...
Brother Brad at work in his chamber… until the skyfallen ones set his life on a new perilous course…

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