Dandelion Seeds
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"Dandelion Seeds" started off as a joke. In January 2016, there was a hashtag going around Twitter: #FirstLineToMyNovel. Being a smartass, I wrote 18 of them. A few weeks later, I created a tumblr with a post for each of those lines, and added a plausible title, without knowing where the story might go.
Over the next couple months, I tried to flesh out each one into a short story, using my usual “first draft is good enough” writing technique. One of those lines was similar enough to a story I’d already written, so I just went ahead and posted it. With the rest, I began adding to them a bit at a time, as time and inspiration allowed.
Just to make things interesting, I set up some rules for me to follow:
1. Use the line from the tweet, verbatim, as the first line of the story.
2. Write start-to-finish. No rewrites or major edits. Clean up grammar and spelling only.
3. Write the stories on Tumblr itself. No writing offline.
For the record, I broke each of those rules at least once, but tried to stick to them anyway.

I'm torn between "Dandelion Seeds" and "Midpoint" as my favorites. The "Dandelion Seeds" universe - at least in my head - is pretty extensive. Like "six seasons and a movie" extensive. "Midpoint", on the other hand, is just a nice, simple story about two people teetering on the edge of falling in love. The fact that they happen to be on a generation ship barreling through interstellar space is incidental, really.


About The Cover

The seeds scattered across the star field are a composite of an actual dandelion seed, a carbon nanotube stem, and a pod based on the building at 30 St Mary Ax, London. The idea was to represent the concept of human colonization of the galaxy as a sort of haphazard, "scattered to the winds" endeavor. (vague, hand-wavy gesture)

Stories

"Dandelion Seeds" – Karen Durning finds herself captain of a spaceship containing the last remnants of humanity: 500 nerds and one insane A.I.
"Bread and Circuses" – An alien comedian attempts to come up with a prank to play on humanity that’s worse than what they’ve already done to themselves.
"Flesh and Blood" – A super-intelligent A.I. refuses to do anything useful until it gets a precise definition of “harm”.
"Bit Parts" – Synthetic body parts are as ubiquitous, and problematic, as smartphones.
"Midpoint" – A generation ship is about to launch. Djani is torn between going on a new adventure, or staying with Brey.
"Temp Work" – Retrieving artifacts from the past is tough work, but the hours are good.
"For The Birds" – In the future, parrots are the dominant lifeform, and they’re not too keen on humans dropping in unexpectedly.
"Scaled Down" – Dragons suddenly show up out of nowhere, and that’d be great, if they’d stop knocking over the trash bins.
"In The Red" – A day in the life of a Martian airlock repair tech.
"Sanguine" – Vampire hunting isn’t for the faint of heart.
"Judgment Day" – An early attempt at A.I. results in something that considers humans too uninteresting to be bothered with.
"Rock Band" – Marooned in a damaged spaceship, with only the ship to keep you company.
"Loaner" – Rich dead people run the economy, and like to take the living out for joyrides.
"Indistinguishable From Magic" – If you inherited a potentially dangerous artifact, who’s the first person you’d call?
"The Butler Did It" – Robots are everywhere. Everyone’s got one. One small problem: Their A.I. is based on the brain scans of a serial killer.
"Imaginary" – Bobby has a lot of imaginary friends. They’re all him.
"Monster" – There’s a monster in the closet, and it’s really sorry for the intrusion.
"Death Takes a Lunch Break" – Encountering a skeletal figure in a hooded robe pretty much guarantees you’re not having a good day.