Those who know me from my other writing know I can’t resist a good fairytale. Or doing bad things to good fairytales. Even when they’re not precisely fairytales but actually classic poetry. You also know that anybody’s gender can change at any moment, because a fairy godparent is a fairy godparent, am I right?
In this case, I was given two pieces of classic poetry to use as inspiration: William Allingham’s “The Fairies” and Christina Georgina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.” Now if you’ve ever read the latter, you may well be joining me in thinking that the scene with Laura and the goblins was maybe, just maybe, a little creepy. I’ve certainly always thought so myself and always put it down to some really bad goings-on being glossed over due to the era in which it was written. I admit that a certain amount of glossing is still going on, but while this story does contain an instance of gang rape, it’s not there for titillation; it’s due entirely to my personal relationship with the poem in question. (I also realize that warnings aren’t at all common in mainstream writing, but honestly I don’t know why they shouldn’t be. So if you have any questions before trying this fic, by all means, ask and I will answer!)
Lastly, I want to thank the fabulous Miss Jane Washburn, who gifted me one of her fabulous goblins, and who gave me the poems above as inspiration. This story is for her, and hopefully she’ll forgive me for making the goblins the bad guys. You can also find her on Twitter!
Loren knows better than to listen to faerie promises. But when medicine fails and prayers go unanswered, where else is there to turn? And when their lord’s heir returns after a seven-year absence, will Loren’s luck change for the better…or worse?
One of the most interesting things about writing science fiction, even near-future sci-fi, is deciding when and how to use slang and how to avoid anachronisms. If you’re coming up with something new, it has to be baked into the world, or it’s going to fly right over the reader’s head. It’s also worth some head-scratching to decide whether something is really going to stand the test of time.
While writing “Integrate,” Jell-O wrestling, for instance, was right out, even though we will probably still be slapping on a generic “Band-Aid” until technology replaces it entirely, whether the actual company is still in business or not. (And Starbucks can try to fool us with their “Marshmallow Dream Bars,” but that’s a lie. We know a Rice Krispy Treat when we see one.) Animal metaphors, however, my betas and I decided were fine, as being “dumb as a dodo” still has not “gone the way of the dinosaurs”. “Vanilla” was another keeper, as the word is simply too versatile to ever go completely out of style: my personal relationship to the word has evolved over the course of my life to mean a flavor, a level of kink, and most currently whether my PC game is running native or modded assets.
So I had to laugh when I was recently advised to “Create a blog! Generate followers!”, as my first thought was, “I can generate followers? Do I push a button? And how many can I generate at one time before lagging?”
Oh, English. Never change.
So I asked myself, “what do you need in order to get you motivated to write in the brief lull before work turns up the dial to nightmare difficulty?” The answer was obvious: sci-fi buddy cop murder mystery tentacle porn. (That would’ve been your answer too, right? Of course it would have!)
So here we have:
Integrate, at Smashwords
On a planet in the middle of allied space, two species—human and hirsa—founded a joint colony. For crimes involving both human and hirsa, there is the Department of Integration. When a particularly vicious murder is committed, two partners will have to question everything they know to find the killer—and learn about each other along the way.
Hope you enjoy!