Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Scenes from a Stellar Skirmish

Well, the less said about Nano the better. November is a rough month for free time, what with it being prime wedding season here. That doesn’t mean my book is dead and buried, it just means it’ll take longer.

Alliteration, that’s the challenge for this week. I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be just the title, or the whole shebang, so I figured it was safer to go with lots of alliteration. I’ve always been a fan of epic poems, which often tend to have quite a bit of alliteration in them. They’re writing in hard mode, as they’re often translations, so it can be tricky to stay true to the idea being expressed and find the right word to represent it.

I decided to go with space for my short story - a titchy wee one, as there’s quite a bit of alliteration going on. I’m neither Virgil nor a skald, and they tended to limit themselves to three repetitive sounds on a line, mixing it up with normal words too.

And since it’s space a space theme, I might as well throw in a nice picture, which has a special place in my heart. In Star Control 2, this is the main image we’re presented of the race of aliens called the Spathi. One of their pilots is called Snelopy, a name I liked so much I added an extra l to and took it as my own.

<Picture lifted from http://www.star-control.com/hosted/happycamper/gifs/spathi.gif they pinched it from Star Control II. He is supposed to animate, but he's not doing so at the moment, and I'm running out of time to fiddle with it>

Scenes from a Stellar Skirmish

As always, the attackers approached from Andromeda. Sweeping silently through space, shields set, the squadron started to intercept. Descending on the dreadnoughts, determined to dispatch them... Flying in formation, fighters at the fore, with the frigates following - the foe failed to flee. Commands were cried out, combat codes cleared: crews at the ready.

We waited, weighing up the odds for our exact time to engage the enemy. My units mission: maneuver in amongst their ships, seeking to snare one before it was blasted to bits. Force fields fell to phaser cannons and concussion charges.

Time! Twenty troops touched down, hacking into the hull, hewing hunks off. Gaining egress, guns up, eyes guarded, we blasted bulkheads until they buckled. Klaxons clanged, interspersed with the chittering and clicking that made up their speech.

Finally, we faced our foes in the foredeck, vulcan cannons and the vacuum giving them vacant eyes, tentacles twitching as they twisted round the levers and lights that comprised their control panel. Proud of our prize, we hauled it into our hold and headed home, hyperdrive humming.


  1. excellent execution - extremely enjoyable to read! okay that's about all the alliteration I have in me right now; it reads so smoothly from start to finish; I always wondered about the story behind Snellopy - now I know :)

  2. Good story, amazing alliteration. Edifying and enjoyable!
    Louise Sorensen

  3. I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award: