Tag Archives: novella

A Semblance of Truth

We’re delighted to announce that the Kickstarter for Hopeless, Maine Inheritance (Outland editions) has funded and we’re now in the exciting realm of stretch goals. If the project reaches $6k, everyone who backs it will also get a pdf of the novella A Semblance of Truth. Wander this way – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hopelessmaine/hopeless-maine-2-inheritance-by-tom-and-nimue-brown

Here’s a bit of that book to tempt you in…

This is not a diary. That would imply an inward focus and a degree of self obsession that I find distasteful. It is to be a record of impressions and insights. While my weekly newssheet, The Hopeless Vendetta permits me to share key moments of local life with my fellow citizens, I feel strongly a need to leave a more lasting and detailed record. There are things I do not know how to speak of publically, but there must be truth, somewhere. For weal or woe, this is my testament.

Why do the Jones’s chickens have three legs, more often than not? Other people’s chickens seem perfectly happy with two. Birds, I have observed, do not generally favour the three legged option and yet, on the Jones farm, there they are. I visited today to record events at their open farm day. Sadly the mutant goat has passed on, so I can no longer observe it. Is there some connection between the three eyes on the goat and the three legs upon the chickens? I cannot conceive of a way of making that connection unless perchance there is something in the air or the soil of that particular spot leading to extra features. However, to the best of my knowledge, that branch of the Jones family remains unafflicted by additional limbs or eyes. It troubles me that I can think of no way to better study or observe these curiosities.

I had considered studying the births and deaths of this island as a separate project, but paper is in short supply. I haven’t heard of a birth for weeks, and by my calculations at this rate we won’t have a population here at all in fifty years time unless a great many more people are shipwrecked. Then there is the matter of death. Millicent Cobbage, 84, dismembered. By whom? There is no apparent evidence, only the gruesome remains. Jobe Mathias, 26 ex-sanguinated . How? I have no idea. The doctor has examined him and there is a remarkable dearth of blood in his body. Regan Higsbottom, 42, missing for two weeks, declared dead. Too many questions and seldom any answers at all. I have published all, and perhaps someone will step forward with insight.

Last night, a bloodstorm swept the island. I saw the first of it fall as the light was fading, the violent red drops cascading from the sky, while the smell of iron hung in the air. I stayed out for as long as I could to make observations. My clothes were badly soiled and will bear the stains for some time to come, I fear. Fortunately I was not wearing my good suit. By dawn today, houses, windows and roads alike were stained with this most disquieting substance. It made for a strange spectacle with the pale orange of the sunlight. By the viscosity and the way in which the liquid soon crusted, I am confident this was indeed blood. I spoke with Doc Willoughby who confirmed my fears but he could not say if it was animal or human in origin. Where did all the blood come from? I think of ex-sanguinated Jobe Mathias and wonder if others shared his fate. But if so, then how was the blood transmitted? Why did it fall from the sky? Does this shocking event represent some unimaginable horror that has happened beyond the boundaries of our beloved island? How could so much blood have become airborne, with no trace of any body parts? Are there monsters in our skies? Perhaps time will present answers. I want to believe that it was no more than colourful dust swept up by a rain cloud, that the iron came from desert sands, a mere illusion of carnage, the horror a product of my own troubled mind. But surely such dust would have washed from my shirt? I cannot get the stains out, no matter how I try.

The Prospect of Joy

Why yes, that is a very steampunk looking submarine, isn’t it? What would happen if some intrepid adventurer took a steampunk submarine into the troubled waters around the coast of Hopeless, Maine?

When Keith Errington first suggested the idea, we were slightly uneasy because one of the features of the island is that no one ever leaves (aside from Owen) and this device was so obviously designed the work around that premise. But, as we found out more about his mad scheme, we became ever more enchanted by it, and so, dear readers, we let him have his way.

The result of this, is the rather fabulous tale The Oddatsea – illustrated by Tom. Keith is a bit prone to the puns, so if the title gives you a small shiver of horror, the rest of the book will only prove worse. You were warned! More of it over here – https://hopeless-maine.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

One of the things that is an ongoing joy around the Hopeless Maine project, is seeing what happens when other people get in to play with it. Keith Errington’s novella has been one of the more ambitious moves so far, alongside Keith Healing’s role play game. But, participating in Hopeless is not just for people called Keith and we are pretty much always open to suggestion!