The State of Literature in the West

It’s an absolute disaster, I’m going to say first and foremost, reminded to me with some horseshit of which I had the significant displeasure to make acquaintance just recently on Twitter. Running your own business is a dirty, soul-crushing affair, and being a writer is not much different.  Thanks to the nature of the medium, many would argue that it’s more challenging than other similar career paths.  As such, writers are always on the lookout for a grand opportunity, that one essential connection that will drive them from ignominy into the limelight.  Getting to the point, there was a hashtag trending on Twitter–I can’t remember the name of the fucking thing–in which editors and publishers tweeted out messages of the sort of transcripts they’re looking for and accepting.  There’s nothing wrong with this in and of itself; it provides another way for aspiring writers to connect with the publishing world even if it does leave all the power in the hands of the latter.  Some publishers and editors were really looking for nothing more than genre-specific cues, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Different publishers focus on different genres; no big deal; it’s what they specialize in.  What got to me Read More …

Salutation not Valedictions!

Look at that little button on the side labelled “Subscribe.”  You know you totally want to smash that… thing.  You’ll get updates of all my work when the work gets posted.  Don’t miss out. [You don’t need to be subscribed to be a member.  You don’t need to be a member to be subscribed.  But you do need to be a member to post.] Welcome to the Works of Robert Madsen, the home and online heart of the various writings of the author Robert Madsen and the occasional artist of his association.  I, the administrator, am the completely unpaid exponent of the writer in question, chained now for nearly two years upon this work-station and to be occasionally savaged with the lash when the wages of my continuous exhaustion and near-starvation causes me to roll my face across the keyboard.

Another Book Giveaway

Five copies! Five paperback copies of the legendary “Goliath Thunder: Sacrifice” signed by the author himself, Robert Madsen, five copies all a wondrous collection of four short stories illustrating the horrifying heights and lugubrious lows of the pilots of the titan war walkers of an utterly new millennium, struggling against the miserable cast of fate with a slaughterhouse suite of superlative firepower. Military Science Fiction occasionally dragging into the dark and sometimes even grimdark that will leave no eyes dry! Enter now for your chance to win one of five copies! The contest will run from February 28th to March 8th and will be available to entrants within the United States. Anyways, I’ve been instructed to announce that there will be a book giveaway starting at the end of this week starring five hardcopies that will be available through Goodreads.  The book in question is Goliath Thunder: Sacrifice, and the giveaway this time will only be available to residents of the United States.  You have to have an account to participate, I’m afraid, but if you’re a reader the platform is actually very convenient–most of the time.  It’s a bit of a labyrinth to a writer, with all the tools Read More …

Short Announcement

The release schedule is going to continue starting tomorrow.  I didn’t think it appropriate to recommence on Presidents’ Day.  From now on, my own website www.worksofrobertmadsen.com is going to function as my central hub, from which all my content is automatically disseminated.  I’m going to be honest.  It’s just too much work keeping track of my various social media individually. Anyways, that’s all for today.  Have a marvelous holiday. –Madsen

Author’s Update: Can’t Sleep Edition

I’m not sure how to go about saying this.  I’m not a well person.  A chronic physical ailment for which there is currently no cure but fortunately treatment.  It means that I’ll never be healthy, but with effort I can approximate something very close to that.  The problem lies in when I fail in that responsibility.  Two months of physical illness and various different stresses with which I coped magnificently poorly, and my health approximated the abysmal very rapidly.  So how do I say this more simply?  My life began falling apart and I collapsed. Anyways, this made for a slow week of long reflection.  I don’t regret it either.  The things I’ve seen and considered will hopefully prove fundamental. The least of which is that I simply need to master the marketing side of this arrangement.  I do the vast majority of my own marketing.  It’s not a thing like writing.  There are so many pitfalls for which I proved woefully unprepared.  Anyways, I’m just going to restrict my engagement to something manageable.  I’m also looking into alternative media–something aside from Twitter and Facebook.  The first is dying, and the second frankly doesn’t want me there.  I have to Read More …

Offense and the Iconoclast

I was listening to Ricky Gervais, a man I usually admire for reasons that will be elucidated shortly, talking about how he and his “mates” were looking around in an antique shop specializing in what he called “Iconoclastic art.”  I didn’t know what he meant at first.  For those of you who don’t understand, I’ll lay it down with the voice of Merriam-Webster; an iconoclast is: 1:  a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration 2:  a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions Art generally is not iconoclastic, but it can be.  Of course, what he was referring to is the wondrous corpus of art within the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church that were sometimes termed “ikons” and therefore suffered at the hands of its opponents: “iconoclasm.” It’s noteworthy that a man like Ricky Gervais, an entertainer who’s made a career of attacking people’s more dogmatic personal beliefs, was at any point talking about this on a radio show.  The fear in the mind of a genuine iconoclast is that the worshiper praying before the icon is not actually venerating what the icon represents, but is venerating the icon itself.  Those familiar with the ten commandments Read More …

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 1: Introduction

Chief Warrant Officer Edward Michelsson February the 27th 1253 CNS Blind Hercules En-Route from Autumn Breeze My name is Edward Michelsson, Chief Warrant Officer assigned as supporting investigator to the loss—possible scuttling—of the heavy transport Blind Hercules bound for Wolf Tertius from home-port of Autumn Breeze bearing a cargo largely consisting of vacuum-sealed rations, machining parts, and commercial-grade prosthetics.  Of the five-man crew, only a single corpse was discovered, drifting within the armored fuselage of the artillery-class panoply Plume surreptitiously secreted aboard the Hercules for transport with the knowledge of one Gregory Samuels, the corpse discovered within her largely unscarred auspices.  Cause of death was asphyxiation with the consumption of the several days worth of available oxygen.  The remaining crew are missing, presumed dead, their bodies perhaps obliterated in the explosion that was evident in the skies of Lacrimae Dearum on Sunday morning January 7, 1253 CNS.  What is known—in the investigation of the debris, the corpse, and from the Plume’s library, is that the remaining crew failed to compose routine logs—any logs in actuality—of their status and activities altogether as of September 13th, 1252 CNS, and that the only written and video records we have of the incident are recorded Read More …

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 2

Midshipman’s Log Part 92 Gregory Samuels September 9, 1252 CNS I can’t reiterate enough how lucky I was to get this job.  I can’t say it enough, and I’m not trying to kiss anyone’s ass.  But these opportunities don’t just swing around once in a lifetime; they don’t swing around at all.  I really need the money, and this job is a fair sight more meaningful than stacking shelves.  My head is clear, head is empty, which is no better or worse than any man could have asked for, circumstances being what they are.  Trying not to think about family.  Of course, they were the whole reason. So, the monthly record of the mental wherewithal of my crewmates.     Lieutenant Whatley, I think, has always thought very highly of himself despite being relegated to the command of military civilians.  He still carries around his sidearm, trying to spin it about like some hinterland sheriff.  I wonder if it even works anymore, how often he drops it.  Maybe he thinks we’ll be intimidated, but it’s not like the four of us have never seen a gun before; hell, we’ve all gone through at least superficial firearms training—on the off chance of Read More …

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 3

Midshipman’s Log Part 93 Gregory Samuels September 11, 1252 CNS I’ll skip the usual pleasantries.  I’m unhappy, more than a little unhappy, and that’s enough; you’ll find out why very shortly.  We were making for the XV2308B transit buoy when—surprise surprise—something showed up on the sensor suite difficult in appearance and producing—what they said—a regular monotonous series of what sounded like key-strokes.  At the time I was again taking inventory in the seventh starboard storage module when Lieutenant Whatley sounded on the PA firstly that potential salvage had been located and secondly that he intended to alter course to retrieve this for what he termed an “unbelievable salvage bonus.”  Space detritus—salvage bonus.  Man must be out of his mind.  I have this dark impression that Donnelly put him up to this, which was ultimately his decision, and I can’t imagine Matheson, who most assuredly would have been present, would have put up much in the way of protest.  That thing, whatever it is, they placed it in the largely empty starboard storage module number 23.  Things haven’t been the same since. Anomalous Object’s Container in Cargo Bay 23 Call it the ecstasy of gold, or call it space madness if Read More …