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In Service of a Greater Cause
alexshvartsman
Today a new SF e-zine, Schrodinger's Mouse, launches their inaugural issue. It features several short stories and poems, including "In Service of a Greater Cause" by yours truly.

I submitted this story to SM because, first of all, who wouldn't want to have their fiction appear in a mag with such an awesome name, but mostly because they were specifically looking for ethical or philosophically themed science fiction and this piece seemed like a perfect fit.

Before I talk more about this story, you should probably go read it and also check out a very cool illustration for it, created by Teresa Tunaley.



In writing this story I was trying to explore a concept of having a main character that could be a protagonist or an antagonist based on the perceptions of the reader. A Christian fundamentalist might sympathize entirely with Susan Pannell. At the same time, a technology-loving atheist could classify her actions as preparing to commit an act of terrorism. Likewise, Campbell (who is drawn in the image of turtleneck-sweater wearing Steve Jobs) can be seen as a hero or a villain - it all depends on whose rhetoric matches closest with your own belief system.

In terms of writing style, there is a definite nod to Simon R. Green, one of my favorite SF/F authors. I started writing this story and almost immediately realized that I am imitating his tone somewhat, so I went with it, even setting the story in England. As a new writer I am still working on finding my own voice, so I try to craft each piece in a different way/style/mood. Eventually I may figure out which works best, but learning to write in a wide range of styles can't be a bad thing either.

I am quite pleased with how "In Service" turned out. It's my wife's favorite story among what I've written so far, and it is among my own favorites as well. Hope you like it too.

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Alex
your picture is too big and ruin the format of LJ friend page style
Please, make it smaller or use lj cut

I am trying to figure out how to fix this. I am linking the picture from its original location at Schrodinger's Mouse magazine rather than copying it outright, not certain if there is a way to mess around with the size?

If you re-upload the image to another site (e.g. imgur.com) you should have better control over image size. Otherwise you can try the 'edit image' button in LiveJournal - I don't know how tech-savvy you are.

As for your story, I appreciate what you were trying to do with it - nice work. By the way, I jumped across here from StarCityGames; I'm a fan of your Magic writing too, even if your Magic-playing mostly predates mine.

Fixed, thank you very much :)

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