TV Tropes Monday: Street Samurai



Tweet of the Day: The Church Under the Sands


So, you are in the middle of a near future, high-tech, corporate dystopia infused with every vice known to man and multiple-variations dreamed up by legions of speculative writers. What do you do? Well you jack up your meat body with as many electronics as it can take, and arm up with a double order of weapons from katanas to assault rifles and hit the streets.

Do so to the sound of a cool soundtrack while spouting lines from The Book of Five Rings, then you are a Street Samurai.

Introduced in works of William Gibson, the street samurai may or may not wield swords, fight corporate crime or even follow a code, but they are better than the average mook and are from the streets, making them more akin to ronin (masterless samurai) than actual samurai (who, by definition, have a master).

The real reason for this character is the Rule of Cool. Characters like these have access to the latest technology, may use swords in a world of guns, or use guns as if they were guns, or any combination of the two, while wrapped up in the mystic of the samurai. And unlike many a samurai movie, they often run with a group of like minded individuals (the better to play and RPG with) that complement the samurai’s skill set as often as they act solo. Either way, expect a lot of roaming of streets and nations on their way to their next gig, which is almost always going to go sideways in a variety of ways.



Weekend Writing Warriors/ 8#sunday/07-26-15: The Wolf and the Songbird


Welcome to another edition of the Weekend Writing Warriors blog chain. We continue with another snippet from my short story collection, Weirder and Wilder Tales, which is a mix of speculative fiction short stories from high fantasy to science fiction with a dash of horror thrown in for good measure. Most are flash fiction, around a thousand words, but three stories are a bit longer. Today’s snippet is from The Wolf and the Songbird, the last of the longer pieces of the collection. A young maiden, emphasis on maiden, walks through the forest near to her small Welsh village, compelled by tradition and in search of someone or something….

An owl hooted in the distance. The hem of the long red cloak brushed the leaves that littered the forest floor. The cold air bit into every inch of exposed skin.

Did it have to be red?

But it was tradition. Like Mum’s inspection.

Maybe I should call the vicar to do it, they way it was done before? Or maybe a group of the village’s wise women? My book club meets tomorrow,” Mum said as she gave me a once over.

What was the inspection for, and why is she traveling so deep into the dark wood, well that will be answered in another time. For now, feel free to visit comment, subscribe to any of the blogs along the chain. Until next Sunday, I bid you adieu.


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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: New Hardware on Display at FPM




ANN News Desk

From Alliance News HQ in Vancouver

May 10, 2197

New Hardware on Display at FPM

By Amita Quita

Farnborough, Great Britain– The skies above the Farnborough Aerospace port came alive for over a week with the sound of the latest military aerospace craft as part of the annual Farnborough-Paris-Moscow  (FPN on the galactic trade exchange index) aerospace and trade show. Skilled pilots wowed the ten thousand strong crowd with aerobatic displays while hundreds of top executives from regional, planetary, sector corporations and governments perused the latest in the cutting edge of military hardware. Among the highlights of the show were:

  • The F-66 and F-68, the fighters designs in competition to fulfill the Alliance Military requirements for the next Advanced Carrier Fighter or ACF program. Both designs sported new crystalline ablative armor to protect them from directed energy weapons, upgraded electronics countermeasures, and new organic-machine interfaces. The ground displays showed both designs with FAST (Fuel and Sensor Tactical) packs loaded with extra munitions and the OSJ module or One-Shot-Jump module designed to give fighter size craft a limited FTL capability.
  • Rostvertol/Boeing offered a new version of the A-61 Mantis gunship, dubbed the A-62 Hornet. The Hornet showed expanded modularity beyond the Mantis already vaunted flexibility. Three version were on offer: the A-62A Omnirole Attack, the A-62B Omnirole Support and the A-62C Omnirole Electronics Warfare.  The Attack version dispensed with the cargo module, second crew man and switched the M350 dual machine gun turret for a pair of fixed M400 mass accelerator cannons, the same used in the UT-47A. The Support version has a larger cargo bay to carry more troops or mechs as needed while the Electronic Warfare version switches the cargo bay with an enlarged ALQ/ERP/DCC-122 jamming pod/electronic reconnaissance pod as well as expanded VI drone support, which enables a third crew member to control up to 24 combat drones at once. Each version has enlarged wing structure with three hard points each for multiple weapons packages that included triple launchers for advance drones as well as the new Peregrine Multi-Spectrum missile system in development for the Alliance Military.
  • Another expanded design was the UT-47B, a heavily armed and armored version of the venerable Kodiak Drop Shuttle. NorthAm Multistellar, primary manufacturer of the Kodiak in Alliance space integrated a series of modifications made on the field by users in recent conflicts. The B model sports a pair pintle mounts for light, dual barrel mass accelerators machine guns, improved rate of fire modification for the forward mass accelerator cannons, and a pair of rear mounted rocket/missile launcher for ground attack. They were intended to fill a close escort/fire support for other shuttles during landing operations.

Controversy shrouded some of these designs. Industries insiders who talked to ANN said that the F-66 pushes the airframe of the F-61 Trident to its limits and leaves no room for future hardware growth. They blame Shinsei Heavy Industries desire to keep costs down as well as their conservative approach to design for this development. Meanwhile the F-68 sports a new organic-machine interface that required cybernetic modifications on the part of the pilots without any observable benefits in terms of performance. That and that the design was suspiciously similar to the fighters operated by Cerberus during the Reaper Invasion.  A spokes person for Cord-Hislop Aerospace denied any connection to Cerberus past or present except that the company did analyze captured craft for the Alliance military and under their full supervision.

Meanwhile both the A-62 Hornet and the UV-47B Kodiak lived under the shadow of the McCollic case (see ANN Legal Brief) in which the former CEO of NorthAm Mulstistellar was found guilty of selling Alliance Military secrets to non-Citadel governments. Melinda Aguirre, current CEO of NorthAm assured ANN that the matter was laid to rest with the McCollic trial.

The show will move to Paris in 2198 as part of the FPM agreement to share the show’s placement among the three major European cities.

Report filed by Amita Quita for ANN News Vancouver.


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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: CoT Renewed for Another Season


Tweet of the Day: Bad Life Decisions: Chapters 21 & 22


From: Alliance News Entertainment Desk

May 6, 2197

Champions of the Terminus Renewed for Another Season

By Joan Calder

MILGROM, BEKENSTIEN Star Wold Productions celebrated the renewal of their banner extranet show, Champions of the Terminus, with an elaborate gala in the Zaibatsu Center in Bekenstein affluent North Beach area. A holographic replica of the Victory, the heroes’ flagship, floated above ZC. Dozens of celebrities attended the event, among them Sheryl Stone, who came off the first part of her tour linked to the show (see Sheryl Stone Kicks Off Tour). Her charity even aboard the the SSV Einstein was a hit with the troops and earned over 95 million credits in donations for the refugees of the recent conflict in Chav.

Speculation ran rife through various fan forums as the last episode of the season ended in not one, but two cliffhangers. The first involved Col. Tad Nowak discovery that his ex, Alliance  Military Major Karl Almodovar put a bounty on Agent DeTracy and accused her of being part of Trident, the secretive organization behind the shows events. The second cliffhanger involved a last second explosion aboard the Victory before the episode faded to black. Kiko Diaz, producer and show runner for CoT, assured fans in a recent Q&A that will be more of romantic triangles, more spine tingling action and more clashes with Trident in the upcoming season. He added that Sheryl Stone was hard at work on a new soundtrack for the season.

Veritech Network, CoT main distributor also announced that the show reached peak viewership with a new record of 4.9 billion individual views across Citadel space, a new record for an human produced action-drama series.

The new season starts October 1, 2197.

Report filed by Joan Calder for ANN News from ANN News Entertainment Desk on Bekenstien.


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TV Tropes Monday: Amicable Exes



Tweet of the Day: Sci Fi and Me


I often complain, and oh boy do I ever, about the problems with a trope. But when it comes to Amicable Exes, the only problem I have with it is that we don’t see it more often!

I mean, adults acting like adults? Who would have thunk it!

The main reason why this trope is not seen more often is that it robs the story of tension, specially of the Unresolved Sexual type. After all, if the exes have moved on, then there is no tension to be had. Of course, tension can be reintroduced by way of a new romantic interest being jealous of the ex in question which either reveals that: a) the new interest has some insecurities to deal with, or b) the new interest is not worthy of the hero. Of course, the new love interest could see what is going on and think that the hero is exactly who they want to be with because they can handle a breakup with such grace. It also avoids the male character who badmouths his exes as being “crazy”.

What I am really saying is, I want more Amicable Exes, stat!



Weekend Writing Warriors: #8Sunday/07-19-15/ The Gate




Welcome to another edition of the Weekend Writing Warriors blog chain. We continue with another snippet from my short story collection, Weirder and Wilder Tales, which is a mix of speculative fiction short stories from high fantasy to science fiction with a dash of horror thrown in for good measure. Most are flash fiction, around a thousand words, but three stories are a bit longer. Today’s snippet is from The Gate,  a post-cyberpunk tale. Detective Malone gets a call from a colleague about a murder in the worst part of an crumbling arcology:

Corporations ruled back then. They remade the world to fit their corporate image. But no one can do everything. It turned out that the bulk of human endeavor did not fit neatly within the confines of the market. The more they did, the less profitable they became. Then the people assaulted the great bastions of corporate wealth, the arcolgies. The glass broke, the profits margins tumbled, the rich left the Earth leaving their drones to survive in gigantic mausoleums.

People still lived here, at the tune of one-hundred thousand or so in one hundred and nine floors. The street at this level were empty, few people lived up here, except the desperate. A rat the size of a wild hare skittered underneath a moldy cardboard box.

There you go. As always, please feel free to comment and subscribe as well as check out the fellow bloggers along the chain.


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Mass Effect/AEC-ANN News: Operation Hammerfall Ends



Tweet of the Day: The #AskRandy Is As Big Trainwreck As Colonial Marines


ANN News Desk

On location in Chav

May 5, 2197

Operation Hammerfall Ends

by Lionel Storm

NEW BRISTOL, CHAV–  In a joint press conference representatives from the Hierarchy, Systems Alliance and the Chav colonial government announced that Operation Hammerfall had achieved its main objective of destroying pockets of Cerberus forces in the Terminus systems. Colonel Diadra Puller stated that the redeployment of Alliance forces to Citadel space was already underway. While pockets of resistance remain on the colony, the task of neutralizing them now passes to the colonial militia units with guidance from over a 1,000 Alliance military advisers.

President Riley presented several medals to both Alliance and colonial soldiers. Among them Commander Thompson-Ramos, who received Chav’s highest military honor, the Coeur de Lion. At the same time Prime Minister Hackett awarded the crew of the SSV Kursk with the Parliament Unit Citation for their daring assault of a Cerberus shipyard, where under the command of Lt. Commander James Vega, a team of Alliance marines seized the shipyards and several Cerberus’ warships.

The Alliance also released the latest casualty figures for the operation. An estimated 495 Alliance military personnel lost their lives in the five month battle to restore the lawful government of President Riley. More than 1,600 Alliance Marines were seriously wounded during the same time. Colonial casualties estimates stand at over 600 dead and 2,200 wounded. Enemy casualties were estimated to be anywhere between 2,800 to 5,000 Cerberus soldiers killed. Rebel soldiers losses stand at three times that number of wounded, killed or captured.

General Pavlov Rokossovsky,  joint commander of the planetary militia forces claimed that a new operation to secure the city of Jarvis where the rebellion began, will commence later this month.

Report filed on location by an non embedded reporter.



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