As I've reached the 50,000 word mark on my science fiction comedy novel 'The Pink Robots of Loving Death', I thought it would be fun to make available the first two chapters as a sample (which is about 27 pages; they're snappily quick chapters!).
For those readers who can't even face downloading and opening a pdf to check out its contents (what is the world coming to?), here's the first few pages' worth of text:
Chapter 1: Onager
A skinny man and an athletic woman stood in an underground chamber on a desolate planet, facing a pair of enormous, stone doors. The doors were each forty-foot high, made of granite and covered with carvings of cryptic figures; they were also closed.
The skinny man looked at the carvings. He ran his hand through his mop of unkempt, brown hair and shivered. “We’re going to die.”
“We’re not going to die, Murk,” said the woman. She sighed, looked at the doors, then examined one of her sheets of paper. On it was a dense collection of hand-written notes and diagrams.
“We’re going to die, Aura,” Murk repeated, “and I’m not talking eventually, in our beds. I mean soon, while we’re awake and really paying attention.”
“We are not going to die!” She snapped back. “We’ve been working for here for a year and the evidence,” she waved her notes, "shows that beyond those doors is the Vault of the Tau Gifts; a collection of perfect gifts created by a benevolent ancient race, thousands of years ago."
“A race who are dead,” said Murk. “That’s the key thing, Aura, the dead bit.” He waved his arms. “Those ancients died, like every other civilisation in this galaxy. The Dark God Hubris gets all the clever people and we’re next on the list!” His breath frosted in the chamber’s cold air. He rubbed his gloved hands. “They probably suffered a battery catastrophe.”
Aura rubbed her forehead. “Okay, Mr Gloom, I give in, what is a battery catastrophe?”
“One of the most notorious ways for a civilisation to die,” explained Murk. “You’ve never heard of a battery catastrophe?”
Murk frowned. “Have you been taking forgetting pills again?”
“I do not take forgetting pills!”
“But how would you know?” Murk added; “That’s your biggest problem, Aura, overconfidence.”
“I do not take forgetting pills,” she said, emphasising each word. She glared at him. “Then again,” she added, closing her eyes, “having spent the last year with you, they sound tempting.”
“A battery catastrophe is a very simple, but terrible event,” said Murk, paying no attention. “As a civilisation advances in technology, they inevitably build more and more powerful batteries. Always desirous of greater power, they continually accept the inflated claims of their battery salesmen that the latest generation of batteries are entirely safe, as well as being very quick to charge. Eventually, one day, as a result of a combination of several rare but critical circumstances, one of their hyper-batteries fails all its safety checks and explodes.” He mimed an explosion. “In their dense cities, the explosion inevitably hits other hyper-batteries, causing them to blow up too. A terrible hyper-battery chain-reaction is created; a superbova. It emits an electromagnetic pulse of such strength that all the batteries in the planet’s other cities blow up too!” He lowered his head; his voice grew grave. “In one brief, horrible event, that entire civilisation is destroyed, its achievements gone, its population decimated.” He shook his head. “A few, pitiful citizens survive, struggle out of the ruins and flee to the forests. There, they regress to a more primitive existence, living on, their knowledge and history gone. All they have left is a few myths, some strange trinkets and a deep and profound fear of heavy rectangles.” He put his hands together.
Aura crossed her arms. “You talk such crap.”
If all goes well, the novel should be finished by Spring of next year.