Procedural generation is fascinating. Essentially, it’s the idea that instead of making something, you create the rules to make that thing – a recipe instead of a meal. Games like Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft are only possible because of procedural generation; it would take an incredible amount of time to handcraft each world, but only a few minutes (once the rules have been made) to procedurally generate them.
The most interesting kind of procedural generation, to me, is language. I like words, and I love the idea that you can create intelligible sentences and text just by applying sufficiently precise and comprehensive rules. I must admit that I also find it alarming, but mostly I think it’s awesome. It raises all sorts of questions about what meaning actually is, and is often very entertaining. Continue reading “Sparks Fly: Romantic Premise Generator”
No one ever leaves.
It’s not, I should stress, that they don’t want to. There’s nothing much to do here, after all. The chess set is missing three bishops, the TV shows static more than anything else. No one wants to stay.
It’s not even that it’s difficult to leave. The door is over by the vending machine, and it isn’t locked. In ten steps, you could be out side and gone forever.
So people do leave – they leave all the time. But it doesn’t work. Continue reading “The Ward”
The first time was a shock. The zip came down, and there I was, dead eyes staring up at me. Continue reading “Professional Courtesy”
The issue with heaven is timekeeping, really. Purgatory’s the most obvious symptom of that. When you’re running an endless realm, filled with immortals glorifying things, it’s easy to lose track of how much time has actually passed. You end up ignoring virtuous souls for a few thousand years and pretending that they just needed time for quiet reflection.
Seriously, it’s a big issue. Not massive, obviously, because the place is literally paradise, but something of a headache. Everything gets done on the “epoch” time frame, rather than the human one.
I’m mostly just making excuses though. Mea Culpa. I should have been there on time. It was June’s kid, and I owed her a favour, so I should have made the effort.
Naturally then, when I realised that I was late (and that June would be furious – she’s always been good at righteous wrath), I got a move on. Continue reading “Recruitment”
Sit down, son. We need to talk.
In a few minutes, you’ll be sixteen. Not a kid any more – in some places, you’d already have started work. So, maybe hand out a few more of those applications, right, at the weekend?
Alright, alright. That’s not what I wanted to talk about. Just thought I’d mention it.
Your mother and I have something to tell you. Something you need to know. Something that, in all honesty, we should have told you before. It just never seemed like the right moment, if you know what I mean.
Your mother… well, she’s an angel. Continue reading “Heritage”
We are the dead.
We do not eat, or sleep, or spend time in leisure activities. We have no jobs to go to, no friends or families any more. What we were is gone, burnt away by death.
We do not haunt those who wronged us, or stay tethered to the site of our final, hopeless moments. We have no desire to, no need for justice. Who we were does not matter now.
All we have and all we do is hunger. Continue reading “Wisps”
The door hisses on pneumatic hinges, rising slowly to show the red sands of Mars. I check my suit one final time, run my eyes over the indicators on my wrist. Then I step out onto a new world. Continue reading “To Boldly Go…”