A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nexus Progress

646 words on novelette "Nexus" rough draft. Now at 12 kilowords. Hammer about to come through the telephone. Tidbit:

Orphans of the Mind
V. Annie Troy

     Consider now the worker bee wending her way into the Pentagon from the upper platform of the Metro station. There is a reason for her being there; namely, that she is a civilian contractor “on loan” from MIT to U.S. Cyber Command, called uscybercom in that wonderful acronymic manner the government has. She splits her time between Ft. Meade and the Pentagon and so has been installed in an apartment in College Park, near the University.
      She walks with purpose, eyes straight ahead, no nonsense. She does not actually bump into anyone on the crowded platform or on the escalator to the security center, but swims like a fish among fish, maintaining her distance. A few in the morning stream send greetings her way and she answers their hails, but for the most part she is alone in the crowd.
     She seldom smiles – it is too much of an e
ffort – and when she does, it is a slight, wan upturn of the lips. You would have to look twice to be sure it was there, and it was seldom there long enough to be caught by that second look. “A cold fish,” some have called her, which was both true and unjust. Considering her upbringing, it is a wonder she can smile at all. Yet, there is this one just truth about the judgement: There is something darned fishy about her.
(c) 2015. Michael F. Flynn

Wednesday, July 29, 2015



It was fourty-four years ago today
Sergeant Pepper taught the kids to play

Monday, July 27, 2015

Watch this Space

The on-line submission system at ANALOG informs me that my sestina has been rejected. Evidently, poetry is not my metier. (Ho ho) I will await official notification, then figure out if I should just post it here for free.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Now, This is Funny

The Thomism Discussion Group in Facebook has a unique way of warning against topic drift or incivility:

Acta et Decreta Omnia
Reverendissimi Inquisitoris Generalis atque Illustrissimi
Colloquii Thomistici Gregis in Libro Facierum Statuti

... In solicitude, therefore, for the continued purity of this forum, and for the exigencies of Our bounden duty, We enjoin this decree upon you, that you ensure that your prospective scriptions be more plainly conformed to the directives which are set forth for Our learned company. ...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Infodumps for Fun and Profit

One of the problems the Writer faces is the dreaded Infodump. This occurs when a writer drops a mass of information on the Reader's head as if the latter were a statue and the former a pigeon. This is especially acute when the story is set in unfamiliar terrain, such as the future, the past, or an exotic country like Iowa, because the reader really does need some info if the setting is not to degenerate into the equally dreaded White Room. 

You are here, or not
One hardly needs to describe the sunny clime of LA or the concrete canyons of NYC, the which are well covered on the screens of television. Nor need the Writer expend effort telling the Reader what subways are and how they work. "Bob, take the A train to Harlem..." is sufficient. One needn't add: "As you know Bob, subways are underground railroads that operate off a powerful electrical current carried in a "third rail" running beside the track. Of the many trains running through this maze of tunnels, one of them, designated "A," runs up the Eighth Avenue tunnel in Manhattan, and..."

...and so on into the background of the IRT, BMT, and how the IND differed from the others... etc. etc. Dig it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Calvin and Hobbes on Art

The strip is long retired, but continues to speak to us:
Calvin and Hobbes
Always beware of artists with manifestos. Indeed, of anyone with a manifesto.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Examining some scanned photographs supplied by Pere, TOF was struck by a thought. Therefore, he is reflexively striking back. The two photographs, plus one of TOF's own, document three generations of Flynn caught at approximately the same ages, to within, he suspects, five years. Here are the images: