Category Archives: Taj Short

Short-ish story

I set out to write a short story for a SF mil-fic anthology. I decided to write about one of Armadillo’s early missions, a traumatic one. I figured I could whip it out in short order. It’s totally self-contained, and now at more than 12k words, expecting it to hit ~15k or so. Let’s just say it has a cast of characters that are rather unlike those in TSCB.

Vox said 16k words is more suited to a stand-alone novella. I should finish it this week, then editing (should go fast) and cover art, but no telling how long that will take. I’m also trying to figure out a good title.

Anyone up for being an alpha reader?

Armadillo short

Castalia House is going to be publishing an anthology, a mix of military essays and military sci-fi, edited by Tom Kratman, to be titled Riding the Red Horse. The goal is something like Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War series. For those not familiar with the biblical reference, the “red horse” is one of the four horses of the Apocalypse. Specifically, the horse of WAR.  For what it’s worth, there is a lot more to that little phrase than I thought there was (and they are not war, pestilence, famine, and death  as I had always remembered them). The article is worth a read.

In any case, one of the stories to be included in it, assuming they like it, will be a short by me. The subject is Armadillo’s first operational mission. I believe they are targeting “this year” for a release, but I don’t know if that will mean this week or late December.

Taj Short-Newborn 3

A middle aged man, slender, reddish hair combed straight back, well-groomed goatee, neatly dressed in a suit with the collar of a cleric and a small crucifix stands walking slowly on a treadmill in front of a desk, hands clasped behind his back. On the screen, a young woman in a simple skirt and blouse walks through a meadow, matching him pace for pace.
Ship AI: Faith in that which cannot be measured is not rational. Continue reading Taj Short-Newborn 3

Taj Short – Newborn 2

An elderly man with whiskers, tanned skin, and a waistcoat over his brightly colored shirt converses with a ship avatar, appearing as a swarthy middle-aged man with a confused expression.
Ship AI: But why is Xerbos Chancellor? His statements are contradictory to the point of being almost random, with extreme inconsistency not only over time, but current proclamations conflict with his claimed principles. I find no reason not to agree with the news articles calling him a pathological liar.
Bud: Yes, that and more. All politicians are liars. Continue reading Taj Short – Newborn 2

Taj Short-Newborn

A crowd of people are assembled in a large mission-control room. At each of the dozens of work-stations sit a range of people, from older men with flowing beards in casual clothing to “youngsters” in their late 20s sharply dressed in the latest fashions, a scattering of women. In the central area is a gathering of older people, ethnically diverse and dressed in conservative business clothing. The background is filled with the hum of the A/C and quiet murmur of the scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and programmers conversing or going though checklists. Most of those “on the floor” sound and look professional and excited, the politicians observing look nervous and uncertain. Continue reading Taj Short-Newborn