New version of “Tough as Blades” short story

Some time ago I took to the short story I posted here years ago and edited it rather significantly, using the knowledge I’d gained from having an editor go over Slubes. Although it’s not entirely something new for this month, there are new scenes, including one that show how Master Hydra met Crawmaster, and all the old scenes have been thoroughly edited to be much better. “Tough as Blades“, the story whose title was the result of me forgetting that the actual phrase is tough as nails and that nails and blades don’t really have all that much in common??

One more month of 2016. On January 1st, Wandering Fortunes begins. A new world. New characters. New species. New nonsense. New beach ball. Around mid-December (the 16th or a few days after) I’m going to post some information to start diving into the new setting and everything of Wandering Fortunes. We saw Mintop over two books. Now we’ll see two planets over one book.

Of course, if you want to see this story start half a month early, you can become a patron over at Patreon!

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Darmenzi Chapter 19: Dragged into Darkness

Here we go, Chapter 19 of Darmenzi, Dragged into Darkness, is up. It’s the first half of the climax. Destination: moon. Destination: destruction. It is the chapter where everything is ruined! Can our heroes stop a disastrous plan? Will they even be given a chance? Can Chee keep her temper checked? Will the orbs have the power to stop Darmenzi? Read on for the first half of the answers!

Also, Duth and Wally have a pleasant chat with the villain. Well, not really.

Want to see the ending before anyone else? It’s totally possible with my Patreon. I post chapters half a month early for patrons, and I include weekly updates on how slow work is now that I’m working the dayjob again. But work is being done. Just not during the day.

Species Profile: Crawber

Today let’s talk about one of the more looked-down upon species of Mintop, crawbers. Many consider them buffoons, and they just don’t mind. Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

“Crawbers are decapods (crabs, lobsters, crayfish) that are very short, their dimensions being almost equal. They have hard, red outer shells and black, beady eyes. Their bodies are covered in an assortment of small, blunt spikes, and they have two large claws and six thin, pointed legs. Crawbers are often viewed by other species as simple and buffoonish, and though this has come to be seen as an insensitive stereotype, many crawbers are carefree enough to pay it no heed. Their average lifespan is about 50 years.”

Physical Characteristics

Crawbers appear to be somewhere between crabs and lobsters. The outward appearance of the crawber, as quoted from my personal encyclopedia: “Crawbers, at half the height of slubes, have close to the same height, length and width. Crawbers are hard and red, with slight variance in the coloring. They have black, beady eyes and pointy mouth, claws, and legs, the mouth having short, curved spikes on the bottom going up; the two claws together are about half the size of their body, and the legs are numbered at six. They have spikes going down their back, and other spikes on the side of their head. Near the end of their life the shell my crack and fall off, revealing the pink, squishy underskin.”

Crawbers can survive both in and out of water, though they tend to stay up on land; they’re equally clumsy in both areas. Crawber eggs must be laid in water and hatchlings must remain in water until their shell grows or they will dry out; those that live further inland will usually use a large tank of water for this purpose.

History and Culture

It’s said that crawbers came from the sea up onto land and immediately stopped evolving. This is probably one of the speciesist (that’s an awkward word) remarks, but it’s often used to explain why they’re clumsy. So few crawbers live outside the islands of Hackney and Interp that they go practically uncounted in population surveys.

As was said, crawbers are considered by many to be buffoonish and simple-minded. Although in more recent years this has been considered a bad stereotype, they often remain the butt of many jokes. Few crawbers have been seen having a problem with this, though, remaining upbeat and jovial despite what others say. Perhaps it’s not that they’re buffoonish or simple-minded, but they simply don’t let things concern or bother them.