mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

Story Sale: Moving Day

Yesterday I posted a link to the painting: Masters of the Earth by Joe Tucciarone, and I asked people what it made you think of. I only got three responses so far, but they were cute responses.

The reason I asked is because I just made a sale based on that painting to an upcoming anthology, VISUAL JOURNEYS. Visual Journeys is being published by Hadley Rille Books, and it's a riff on an old pulp era practice. Years ago, many pulp magazines would buy a bunch of cover paintings all at once, and then assign writers to write stories that would match the covers. Eric T. Reynolds (LJ: ericreynolds) had the idea of asking various writers to write stories based on paintings, the difference being that we could select the painting that sparked an idea for a story.

I was looking through paintings at various websites, expecting that I'd be drawn to something by Bob Eggleton (as I often am), when I came across Tucciarone's image of a ghostly large dinosaur menacing the Earth-Moon system. I paused in my web surfing and drank in the image. I did take a look at a few other paintings, but I kept coming back to this one, wondering what it meant for that dinosaur to loom over our home planet. Could it be the ghost of dinosaurs past? Could it be some sort of time travel? What did that painting mean?

Well, I figured out what that painting meant to me, and the result, "Moving Day," will be in the book when it is published this summer. I started writing it before Mom died, but her death interrupted the writing, and has ended up influencing the story much more than I ever expected. Since Toby Buckell posted a snippet of his story, I figure I can do the same. Here's the beginning of "Moving Day" for those who are interested:

To the Planetary Council, from Sarah Cohen, Honorary Galactic Liaison:

Mom is dead. She died yesterday from a heart attack.

I know I probably should have reported this sooner; but living out in the wild woods where we do, we tend not to think of the rest of the planet as often as we probably should. Jeff did contact the local authorities, and we took care of the proper recycling of Mom's body, and then he helped me delve into her things. It's amazing what one discovers when going through your parent's old records.

I found her diaries from the year that -- well, everyone knows. That year. Year zero. The one where everything changed for the human race.

I'm appending selections from four specific days for purposes of an accurate historical record, along with my own comments. I know that there are people on this planet who still hold my Mom accountable for what happened, despite the fact that she was merely a conduit through which events flowed. A lot of people thought she was too young at the time to have held so much responsibility in world affairs. I've always reminded everyone who tried to blame it on her -- or on me -- that she was appointed to her position by others, who had judged her as extremely qualified to take on the job.

I myself barely remember the events of the time, having been only nine years old (by the way we used to measure years, that is) at the time. But as I read through her diaries, I was surprised to find out how much of a role I played, at least in my Mom's mind.

I am very much looking forward to this book. First of all, a picture of each painting will be included with each story. Secondly, there's an impressive line-up in the book; Reynolds got stories from Mike Resnick, Tobias S. Buckell, Jay Lake, Lawrence M. Schoen, James Van Pelt and many other good writers. I'm proud to be associated with this anthology, and I hope others will find the book as intriguing as I did.

Copyright © Michael A. Burstein
Tags: announcements, personal, science-fiction, writing

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