Humorless excerpts

I’m currently working on two stories, one of which is called Humorless; sort of a horror comedy1 about the intra-dimensional invasion of an otherwise harmless clockpunk-fantasy world. The cast currently includes:

  • Grayson Dawes, antisocial alchemist and captain of the airship Humorless
  • Hugh, his friend
  • Emma Elsa Eliza Cassini, math-wiz
  • Her suspiciously competent horse
  • Grand Duke Jonathan Jacob Jorgen Cassini
  • Simon Sayers, the Duke’s youngest and most gifted adviser
  • Rebecca Vaughn, senior engineer aboard the Humorless
  • Thaddeus Vaughn, one of the most gifted spies within the League of Professionals; bit absentminded, though

As the title of the story clearly conveys, this is meant to be be somewhat funny2, and I thought I’d share a few bits I like.
The Humorless:

The bag of the dirigible was oblong from starboard to port as well as stem to stern – like a fat cigar that had been stepped on – and was woven of asbestos and glass silk. The whole of the thing was encrusted with sensor arrays, weapons, armor plating, landing platforms for smaller craft, several clockwork mechanisms of undetermined and likely illegal purpose, and one transplanted roof garden. The overall effect, when viewed from the city below, was that one was looking up from the bottom of a pool at a fat woman floating on the surface, wearing an ugly dress and too much jewelry.

Bit more on the zeppelin:

No one in Bodea-Lotnikk looked particularly surprised that their city was talking; it wasn’t a terribly common occurrence, but it happened often enough that most people knew what to expect when it did.
A talking zeppelin, though; that was something else entirely. That was something worth paying attention to.

A bit on the city below:

The irregular, winding, and most of all narrow streets of Lotnikk reminded Thaddeus Vaughn (not uncomfortably) of the moment of birth. That was always the first impression that came to him – claustrophobic, yet disconcertingly Oedipal.

Thaddeus encounters the worst that the world has to offer — professional adventurers:

It goes (almost) without saying that the man had companions. Professional adventurer types almost never travel in packs of less than four and, if separated, have a preternatural habit of ‘accidentally’ stumbling upon their lone companions just before or just after said companion is about to attract some kind of potentially profitable violence to their person.

There’s a few other bits that I’ve emailed out to the defenseless folks on in my contacts list, but these are what’s caught my eye today. Cheers.

  1. Too many re-viewings of movies like Army of Darkness, House, and Shawn of the Dead, I think. There’s been (so far) only one or two scenes that went in the way of the Spooky, but I think they came off fairly well. My goal is to try to convey (through showing) the kind horror-via-non-euclidean-wossnames that Lovecraft enjoyed telling about.
  2. Being funny, as others have already said many times, is exhausting. I don’t really know how some authors manage it.3
  3. There’s also quite a lot of footnotes.