Welcome to God in the Machine, an online science fiction serial story, with new episodes coming online every other Monday.
I’m glad you’re here. I’ll try to explain the gist of what this is about, and I’ll try to keep it brief. It’ll be less annoying that way.
It started with a glance at a picture of a robot. I was knee-deep in a novel, I had short stories piling up and no real need for another project, but that didn’t seem to count for anything. In the picture, the robot was tall and thin, angular and very alien looking. It carried a long javelin and it wore a cloak. I remember looking at it and wondering why the robot needed to wear an item of clothing. The answer — which I can’t tell you, because you’ll find out later in the story — was what led to this robot series. I hate to trot out the cliche that it came to me in a flash, but it did, in broad strokes.
The first thing I realized was that it was too long to be a single novel, or even a couple of novels, or even a trilogy of novels. The second thing I realized was that it was too unwieldy to work properly as self-contained short stories. So I suggested to an editor I knew — Lucien Spelman, of Blood, Blade & Thruster Magazine — that we run it as a series of chapbooks.
It was a good idea and we went ahead with it. Under that idea, I wrote the first three episodes very quickly. Then, that plan fell through and I went back to work on other projects. My robots would wait for me. These stories come easy and sweet.
I’d been itching to do another online series for ages, mostly out of nostalgia, but partially because I see it as a medium which is tailor-made for the internet. My only hesitation was…
It always comes back to that, which is to my frustration, I’ll admit. At a certain point in one’s career, one is no longer willing to just give everything away freely. It’s less a matter of greed and more a matter of the money justifying the writing. It’s the argument for trying to publish your short stories in magazines that pay as opposed to ones that’ll take anything.
I ran around and around a half dozen different money schemes, none of which were entirely workable, and many of which did not leave me in completely good conscience. I want to write this series, okay? I’m itching to do it. So how I’m going to treat money is this:
There are donation buttons all over the place. I am offering no set amount of money that must be reached before the next episode goes online. No set number of episodes free and then the rest are subscription. I am posting an episode every other Monday (why? Because I have Mondays free, that’s why) come hell or high water. All I ask is that there are enough donations to justify my continuing to write this series without feeling as if I’m just giving it away emptily.The money goes first toward the series itself, what costs it will have, and second…well…toward bills. I just had a son. Amazing how much those cost. A parrot would have been cheaper. I wish I could say it’s something really cool like beer money, but I’m boring enough that the closest I’ll come to that is tea money. And who am I? Well, I am…
I should have followed that with “great and terrible,” or at least “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” right? Ah well.
My name’s Pete Tzinski. I’ve been writing for a long time now (I mean, since back before I discovered girls), but not quite as long as I’ve been reading science fiction. It’s what I’m wired up for. How much sci-fi I read waxes and wanes in any given month, but it’s always present. It’s built in. Likewise, when I write, it may not always be science fiction, but SF’s always present, somewhere.
I write lots of stuff. Short stories, novels, the occasional comic book script, I did a radio drama script for fun. I’ll happily give anything a whirl. But for the longest time — and, arguably, the happiest time — what I wrote was serial fiction, which I posted on the internet. I wrote several hundred thousand words of story which went up on the internet freely. Some of it is still available, if you hunt for it. A lot of it isn’t very good. I make no apologies.
I am happily married and, as mentioned above, have a son who was born on July 24th , 2007. That makes him a new guy, all right. His name is Zach. I’m writing this in the lull of a nap.
I have a house full of animals, most of whom live and eat better than I do, an irony which I can’t bring myself to do anything about. Aside from me, there’s also
And as soon as Mister Christoffer Saar gives me some fun details to post here, I’ll tell you all about him. Until then, all I can reveal is that he was born in a floating raft, in the middle of a Finland swamp and things only went downhill from there.
That’s it. Welcome again. I hope you enjoy the stories. I hope you tell your friends. I’m happy for this excuse to write them.
Note: this picture is about as non-canon as you can get.
It’s just Chris Saar being Chris Saar. Which is delightful.