Hello, who am I? Why do you blame me? (new $1 reward from my Patreon Page)

Here is the latest entry on Robert Garbin’s Patreon page

 

“These are some of the mysteries facing the protagonist of this month’s story “Stubborn”.  That and the world of misery he is wandering through.  Do you know who he is?  Can you make it through this torturous world with him and can you continue even it there is no hope of redemption?

  

“The man paused at the edge of the plain, watching as the ground devoured the wailing waters of responsibility before his eyes, leaving his heart laden with the guilt that he felt honor bound to carry. Soon the land before him was as parched and barren as the mountains he now left behind. A hot, dry wind blew through the dead, brown grasses of the plain, dredging feelings of remorse from the solitary figure that moved silently onward. He knew no other way. Madness returned as he conversed with no one.

Where did I go wrong?

Long ago, cried the land.

What have I done to deserve this torment?

Everything, rasped the grasses.

Who was to blame?

You moaned the wind.

Did I cause this desolation?

Yes, echoed the earth.”

Will stubbornness be your strength or your downfall?  Come with me on this journey and find out.

 

Also, don’t forget to grab your free copy of “The Fall of Blessing and Prosperity”.

  

“How do I tell a tragedy? 

Do I start at the beginning or the end?

Should I show how events affected me or how they affected the world? 

Must I tell you why they occurred or why no one tried to stop them? 

I do not know.”

The Heat is On (from my Patreon page)

Well, North America has made the move into summer and it is already hitting the high humidity that is a trademark of Pennsylvania (between 60 and 90 %).  But it also means we are nearing the beginning of another month and time to tease the next story.  July’s store appropriately takes place in a blasted, blistering landscape where a lone person strives to continue moving on a journey he no longer remembers.  Worse, the devastated lands he crosses blame him for their plight.  How do you rest when the pain of a stone can break your heart?  What do you do to shut out the voices of regret and responsibility that never cease?  Find out in next month’s short story “Stubborn”.

Villainy or How to be Bad Without Really Trying (from my Patreon page)

Well, … huh.  I will admit that I tripped when approaching this subject.  I was going to say that I try to avoid making cardboard cut out villains, but then I remembered using the devil in several stories.  I also remembered that I don’t normally focus on the villain all that much because I usually delve into my character’s reaction to the villain, which may in some ways be a uniqueness to my stories that I did not intentionally strive for.

My characters universally fit into what I view as my reality.  They are people or aliens dealing with situations outside of their control where the villains are not clear-cut.  The villains most often were created beyond their knowledge base.  For instance, King Hadrian in “Sanity” was a manipulative leader used to being one step ahead of his opponents, maybe a little arrogant and foolhardy because of it.  He felt there was no one that could best him.  Unfortunately, he learns the hard way that the villains of this story can destroy his faith in his own abilities.  However, the story also shines a light on a another villain we all fall prey to, fear.  The Thrall, our bad guys in this one, reach into his mind and play with the fears at the core of his being.

In “Sorrow and Remembrance”, the novel I hope to pull together, the villains are the forces set into motion by overly proud and self-righteous people.  Forces that reach out far beyond the immediate area of conflict to engulf innocent bystanders.  Here the forces spread beyond defeating enemies in a war to steal years of life from some and to force others to destroy beauty to protect those they love.  For me this idea is very personal because of my interest in history.  How many of the problems we face today have been created by the choices of others?  How many decisions that we had no say in have become issues that we cannot afford to ignore?

Another enemy I have written about is ourselves.  I wrote a story for my collection called “Stubborn” which details the hellish world the protagonist becomes trapped in that is an externalization of the darker recesses of his mind.  Through the course of traveling this world, without memory, the character must confront the demons he thought he had overcome.  Demons of self loathing, weakness, and guilt.

Finally, in “The Devil’s in the Code”, the obvious villain, the devil, is actually not the villain.  The true villain of the story is human hubris.  Beelzebub is only the catalyst for our penchant for trouble making.  He leads people where they are so willing to go, such as playing with genetics for profit, and lets them hang themselves.  Hell is full of people who thought they were immune to the consequences of their actions, including a pair of investment bankers now living as crows among more powerful hell spawn.  So, yes some of my villains are not very developed in terms of personality, but they are different from the run of the mill.

The Vanishing

Well folks, finally mustered up the energy to send another story out.  I sent my story “Stubborn” off to Apex magazine; if anyone knows Sigrid Ellis, put a good word in for me.  I have only one other story out at the moment called “Sanity”.  I sent it to Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds some time ago and have not heard back yet.  Maybe I will check in with them soon.

So once again I have sent off one of my precious children to vanish into the wide world upon the four winds.