jump to navigation

Political Short Stories

The core of politics is the struggle to get or keep power. Much as the media like to portray it as strictly a partisan thing, politics has a personal side as well. That’s what I write about. And sometimes, a story becomes a series, like these…

What if the reason it’s so difficult to take action against global climate change is that the wealthy few who control the world’s great corporations have realized that it can be even more profitable than war? In 2095, the sea wall that kept the Pacific Ocean from submerging the California lowlands all the way to Sacramento has collapsed, and the official story is that it was terrorists. What if it wasn’t?

Have you ever held your tongue when someone made an offensive remark, or yielded to an unreasonable demand just to ‘keep the peace’? Each time, you lose a bit of self-confidence, and the perpetrator is emboldened. I blogged the process of turning that thought into the first story in this series. After that, it just took off with a life of its own.

This series was inspired by the experiences of Rolling, a blogger from India.

What if you knew your future? That was Ben’s curse. (Mine was that I didn’t know his name until the third installment.) He’d been born with memories of the important turnings of his life, memories that had netted him several fortunes. The trick to landing his next one was to trash his motorcycle on the highway, a crash he was guaranteed to walk away from. Try explaining that to the officer.

Several years before Mitt Romney assured us that “corporations are people, my friend,” I wrote this series in which a fictional Supreme Court granted them that Pinocchio wish. But being people cuts both ways, for they were also subject to the legal consequences of committing crimes.

Why is it so easy for people to feel superior to whatever segment of humanity is unlucky enough to be ‘The Other’ this week? Maybe someday, everyone will finally get past that and treat one another as equals. Who will we pick on then? (Soon after I posted “The A Word”, a reader asked for a follow-up. I succumbed a few days later.)

Fear isn’t the only way to keep the peace. What if you could spot conflicts before they happened, and then change things so that wouldn’t arise? Two of my novels, “The Shoals of Time”, and “Deadly Attractor” are set in such a world. (You can read more about my novels and the related short stories here.) But there’s more to any world than the particular narrative you’re familiar with, so I took a couple of trips into that world to explore some of the things my characters did behind the scenes.

Everyone’s familiar with warfare, but what’s peacefare all about? I batted the story idea around for some time before realizing that it could best be explored by some people I’d met in the course of writing my third novel, “Burnout Fever”. That book involves a few characters in a fictional activist organization called Constitutional Evolution who are exploring ways to improve the methods of governance. I figured they were up to the challenge.

The Republican Party retained control of the US House of Representatives in the 2012 elections largely through the magic of redrawing district boundaries. Gerrymandering may sound wonky, but until you know what it is and how it works, you can’t do anything to combat or eliminate the problems it causes. My problem was how to dramatize it, and what better place to start could there be than an exercise in street theater?

For all the times I’ve gotten sucked into the world I created for a story and turned it into a series, there are FAR more stories that have made it clear I should stay away once they were finished. These are my standalone short stories. They are in alphabetical order, rather than in the order in which I wrote them.

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers

%d bloggers like this: