A while ago I sat down to write a story that takes place in the TinCaniverse, the setting for what has become a growing series of short stories that Piker Press has been kind enough to publish. The story I was writing had a lot of history behind it, and finally I had to recognize that even if all the stories are designed to be readable on their own, I needed to record that history in a different story, to give it a human focus.
So, a different story, with the same main character, but earlier in time, to take us through that tumultuous period.
Well, two previous stories, actually — the period in question, once I gave it the space to blossom, turns out to be pretty darn tumultuous indeed. The second of the two, the one I set aside to write this blog entry, takes place in such a turbulent period that the story even has… action! If it goes as planned in my head, there will be people running, and people chasing them, and raised voices and everything.
But don’t too excited yet, “Left Behind” is about people drinking in bars and pondering man’s relationship to a vast, uncaring universe (and a few other things). When I read it with a critical eye today I thought it was still a bit “facty”, but it has some petty good moments in it as well.
For those keeping score at home, it’s worth remembering that the first three of the stories were told by Captain Ed Smith, enigmatic and philosophical space explorer. Later stories have shown that Ed’s memory isn’t all that great, however, and this story is no exception. It seems he even had trouble remembering the gender of his lawyer. He has other things on his mind.