- Home > Archive: May, 2011
When digging through old boxes and files a few days ago, I came upon my high-school scrapbooks and the magazine that printed my first story ever. I was 14 years old, and a Wisconsin High School Writings publication chose my story “Memorial.” (The story was later reprinted in the small-press magazine Alpha Adventures.
I’ve reproduced it below in its entirety. Maybe Steven Spielberg will see it now and decide to make it into an epic $200M film!
Or maybe not.
Since this is Memorial Day weekend in the US, I wanted to share “Memorial” with you. (I’ve improved my skills a little since then…)
Kevin J. Anderson
The roar of the ocean echoed through the empty sky, but no one was left alive to hear it. Waves, glinting from filtered light, lapped up against a long beach, leaving a deposit of deadly radiation which had made even the life-spawning sea sterile.
The sun burned down through a radioactive haze, warming nothing but the dead sands. No bird flew in the sky, no fish swam in the sea, no man walked the earth. Apart from the roar of the poisonous sea and the gentle sound of the just-as-deadly wind, the world was silent—the earth was dead.
The waves washed the shore again, taking with them a few grains of sand, exposing something to the sun’s glare. More sand washed away, and the days passed.
The object became uncovered, something made of glass, clear, uncolored, but clouded slightly. Its shape was not what it had been, but was now warped slightly from exposure to the furuous, raging heat of countless atomic blasts.
It had been a bottle once; and now it comprised the entire remnants of mankind. The bottle was the only representative of the human race, a memorial, a monument to the way of life which had been so suddenly destroyed.
Visitors coming and finding the earth dead would find this bottle, and from it try to reconstruct the civilization which had spawned it.
Paint on the bottle formed letters, now meaningless. The paint was blistered and burned, but the message, for all who could read it, was plain.
The words read: COKE ADDS LIFE.
One of our highlights every year is to attend the Writers of the Future workshop and awards, the genre’s most spectacular awards ceremony. I have been a judge in the contest since 1996 and Rebecca became a judge in 2007. Last year, I gave a speech describing the first 25 years of the contest, which has just been posted on YouTube. It’s less than four minutes long.
For the first part of the week, the 12 new writer winners attend a thorough and intensive workshop taught by Tim Powers and KD Wentworth, with numerous guest speakers. The workshop took place in the beautiful facilities at Author Services, Inc, on Hollywood Boulevard.
Rebecca and I were guest speakers at the workshop, along with Eric Flint, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dave Wolverton, Robert J. Sawyer, Doug Beason, Gregory Benford, Mike Resnick, Yoji Kondo, and others.
Tim Powers and KD Wentworth teach the workshop
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Eric Flint, Kevin J. Anderson
Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson
On Friday night, all of the new writers, artists, judges, and their guests mingled for a casual barbecue at the Roosevelt Hotel. It was our chance to get to know the authors of the stories we had read—Keffy KM Kehrli, Patty Jansen, Patrick O’Sullivan, Richard Johnson, Geir Lanesskog, Ryan Harvey, Jeff Lyman, Brennan Harvey, Van Aaron Hughes, Ben Mann, Adam Perin, D.A. d’Amico, and John Arkwright. We also got to know many of the award-winning illustrators, Dustin Panzino, Vivian Freidel, Nico Photos, Ryan Downing, Fred Jordan, Irvin Rodruiguez,Scott Hargrave, Meghan Muriel, and Joey Jordan.
With Ryan Harvey at the barbecue
For the main event on Sunday evening, after makeup, getting into formal clothes, and setting up for photos, we gathered for the banquet. Rebecca and I sat with June Scobee Rodgers from the Challenger Learning Centers, John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, Josh Robert Thomas from the Craig Ferguson Show, and Jerry Pournelle and Roberta Pournelle.
Rebecca, Kevin, June Scobee Rodgers, and John Goodwin
After the banquet, the crowds gathered in the Blossom Room, the same auditorium where the first Academy Awards were held.
Illustrators of the Future judge (and Young Jedi Knights cover artist) Dave Dorman, with Rebecca and Kevin
The evening began with a spectacular dance performance
Rebecca and I presented an award to John Arkwright, author of “The Sundial”
Writers and Illustrators of the Future winners and the presenting judges
After the ceremony, all the winners, judges, and guests attended a reception and book signing to celebrate the release of the new anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 27.
In memory of Douglas Adams, the late author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, May 25 has been designated Towel Day. http://www.towelday.org/
I thought it appropriate to pose for a pic in the gym with my very own “Don’t Panic” towel.
With eReaders becoming so ubiquitous in all types and sizes, from smartphones to Kindles/Nooks/Kobos, to iPads and other tablets, many authors (including myself) are experiencing a Renaissance of their backlist. Stories that were published in magazines or anthologies, then quickly vanished from the bookstores…novels that have been unavailable to the public except in used-book stores or pirate sites—now they have a second life as eBooks.
Rebecca and I have been working hard to clean up, reformat, and upload some of the very best of my out-of-print novels and stories. You can see all of the titles on the Wordfire homepage.
In the past week, we released two new titles, my SF novel Hopscotch, and the hard-SF technothriller, Lifeline written with Doug Beason.
One of Kevin’s most innovative SF concepts: Suppose you could switch bodies with another person. What exciting new experiences would you choose to explore? What forbidden desires would you indulge? Suppose someone stole your life—how far would you go to get it back? A pure adrenaline thriller of hijacked identities, elusive motives, and deeply buried secrets.
The bestselling first novel by Kevin J. Anderson & Doug Beason. In shock and grief the last remnants of the human race watched from space as the holocaust of war raged across the face of the Earth. Now the future rested in the hands of three fragile space colonies: Aguinaldo—The Philippine L-5 colony whose brilliant biochemist engineered a limitless supply of food. Kibalchich—The Soviet space exploration platform that harbors a deadly secret. Orbitech 1—The American space factory whose superstrong weavewire could be a lifeline to link the colonies—or a cutting-edge weapon of destruction.
As allies, they could unite to rebuild a better world. As enemies, they could destroy mankind’s last hope for survival. Includes an all-new afterword by Doug Beason.