Bill_Ingersoll, The Apprentice Scrivener
I am the author, coauthor, and publisher of thirteen books that I will broadly categorize as "regional non-fiction." Despite being a published writer--or perhaps because of it--I am well aware that getting ahead in this genre is an uphill battle. Therefore, rather than letting some of my story ideas languish or become forgotten, this seems to be a good format to share them.
Theryl Ureste fears she may be one of the few survivors of a genocidal attack on the planet Chaandria. As the alien race known as the Iib Ch'iib exterminate the 12 million humans living on this distant world, they have so far overlooked Ureste's small-scale titanium mine on the rocky moon Chhota Chandrama. For the last three months Theryl has been watching with horror as the alien fleet grows in strength, her despair mounting as all contact with Chaandria is lost — and with it, all likelihood of finding her husband and young son. Supplies are dwindling, and soon she and her employees will face starvation if they don't escape to safety.
Therefore Theryl must attempt an impossible journey if she has any hope of locating her family in the middle of the war zone. This is an action will almost certainly attract the attention of the Iib Ch'iib conquerors — and lead to instant annihilation.
- 7 endings, with any single read-through about the length of a short story
- 12 million people exterminated by the Iib Ch'iib
- 13 lightyears to the nearest safe world
- 2 lost members of your family
- 1 driving motivation
Not every family's story ends in happiness.
© 2020 Bill Ingersoll
Revised April 30, 2020 to substitute artwork
Image source: wallpaperplay.com
You are a young recruit in the Astral Navy, serving aboard a minor transport vessel making routine personnel transport runs to Star Base Ishtria. When a malfunction requires the captain to drop the ship out of hyperspace, you find yourself in orbit above Giri Minor--a deserted world with a dark history and circled by uncharted asteroid clouds.
This is a story told in the classical "gamebook" format. This means that it is more narrative-driven and less of a game, and roughly the same length as many printed books in this genre.
- 19 endings, including 4 "preferred" endings, and 1 epilogue
- 1 abandoned colony
- 1 alien with ambiguous motivations
- 16 passengers aboard the transport ship, 4 crew members, but only ??? survivors
- Thousands of sand-dwelling creatures with mind-altering properties
Can you survive Giri Minor?
(c) 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: tomswallpapers.com.
It's been four years since you were rescued from Giri Minor, and because of your heroic actions you have been commissioned as an officer in the Astral Navy. Your first assignment as a newly-promoted lieutenant aboard the Starship Orion: search for the noted xenoanthropologist Dr. Lori Munro and her husband Ander Dyo, who have gone missing on the planet Folvan. As you explore the so-called "Grass Planet," known for its expansive prairie environment and bronze-age civilization, you will find that not all is as it seems.
This is a story told in the classical "gamebook" format. This means that it is more narrative-driven and less of a game, with many unique storypaths resulting from the choices you make.
- 45 endings, with 1 epilogue, told in 105,000 words
- 5 people assigned to your expedition
- 4 missing researchers
- 3 hungry teek-teeks
- 2 Iib Ch'iib raids
- 1 closely-guarded secret... and only 1 way to learn it.
Will you unlock the secret of the Grass Planet?
(c) 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: tomswallpapers.com.
Previously in the Orion Chronicles:
Betha Willamon is a citizen of the city of Utopia Planitia, a former American colony on Mars and an important shipyard for the production of deep-space exploration vessels. In its heyday it was a thriving city, built under the Martian surface. But ever since the despot known as Colonel Green took control, living conditions in U.P. have become soul crushing… and no one is allowed to leave.
When Betha hears a rumor of a U.S. Space Force expedition that has recently landed nearby on the surface of Mars, she dreams of fleeing to a place where trees grow tall and people swim in fresh water. But is it even possible to escape Utopia?
Choose from two versions of this story:
- Tiny 'Topias Jam Version: 2250 words, 15 pages, 6 endings
- Expanded Version: 11,434 words, 31 pages, 10 endings
- SUITABLE FOR MATURE READERS ONLY
© 2020 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: goodfon.com
As evening arrives on Thanksgiving Day, Hammie Dansker is still struggling with the recent death of his father — and the even more recent marriage of his mother to his uncle. After a tense dinner prepared by his mother and former girlfriend, Hammie steps out onto the porch of his late father's farm… and notices that the dogs, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, are dead. A familiar but unwelcome sound can be heard out in the pastures. This can mean only one thing: the Vicious Moles of Nature have returned!
This is horror story… based on a tragic misinterpretation of Hamlet.
- 8 endings
- 1 night of terror
- ??? vicious moles
© 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: wallhere.com.
You have been hired to retrieve the Stone of Vul-Kar, a purple gem located in an ancient temple on Woban Island's highest point. But this mysterious and recently discovered speck of land in the South Pacific is inhabited by a fierce tribe of three-eyed cannibals who are determined to kill any and all intruders. And as forbidding as that sounds, the Wobans are just some of the obstacles that stand in your way to glory and avarice: greedy collectors, ruthless murderers, and scorned colleagues all await you on the adventure that lies ahead.
Will you be able to retrieve the jewel and bring it back to your employer safely? Or will you be just the latest victim of this deadly island?
A Brief Note about this Gamebook:
I first wrote Woban Island in 1988, when I was in the seventh grade. The story was inspired by "Fireball Island," a three-dimensional board game that debuted in 1986 and was reissued in 2018. The object was to be the first player to reach the jewel located on the highest point of the island, without being bowled over by the red marble "fireballs." In my story, I substituted the fireballs with the three-eyed Wobans because I thought they would be more interesting to write about, and less of a random force of nature. Otherwise, the basic premise remains the same: you are one of several adventurers vying to be the first to reach the jewel.
This version is a page-by-page modernization of my 1988 hand-printed original. It is told in the traditional gamebook format, similar to the classic Choose Your Own Adventure™ series I was reading at that age. But rather than just transcribing an otherwise amateurish work from my teenaged years, I embellished the story, fleshed out the characters, and added tons of detail. This CYS version of Woban Island is a new edifice built on an old foundation.
Accept Woban Island for what it is: a preposterous and fantastical adventure story written by a 13-year-old, adapted 31 years later for the momentary amusement of a 21st-century audience. If you dwell too much on plausibility, you're missing the point. I had a hoot writing this one. Twice.
- 29 endings
- 3 main story paths
- 2 potential "employers"
- 1 objective: be the first to obtain the Stone of Vul-Kar
(c) 1988 & 2019 Bill Ingersoll
Image source: Wallpaperplay.com
Manuel Rodrigues dos Santos is a colonist living on KAI 222-d, an Earth-type planet orbiting a distant star. One of 37 travelers who endured many decades of cryosleep on the one-way journey to "Kaitoo," he and his wife escaped hit squads and rape gangs on Earth for an opportunity to forge a new life on this unknown new world. But upon their arrival, Manny emerged from his tube only to discover that Marisol had perished during the journey.
Now, many years later, Manny hunts the creatures known as the "saints" â€” an arboreal invertebrate that is the primary source of protein for the Newfoundland Landing colony. As he leads a multigenerational group of his fellow colonists on an annual hunting trip into a remote mountain range, he struggles to control his secret desires for a certain beautiful young woman who reminds him of his dead wife. By day she seeks to learn his craft; by night she seeks a more intimate kind of connection.
Is she who she seems to be? And as their encounters become more intense, is it worth hazarding everything he has built for himself by pursuing a forbidden romance?
Recent PostsWorkaholism and overtime: problem and solution on 5/27/2020 2:05:02 PM
Exactly how I feel about this topic. Why botter.
Vampyr - Interest Check on 5/19/2020 12:32:06 PM
Bob looks in the mirror, hoping to comb his hair just so, but…
Things that make me happy on 5/18/2020 4:33:53 PM
That was why I bought it -- for creature inspiration!
Things that make me happy on 5/18/2020 7:53:41 AM
In that case, check these out. From the same book, these are "flooers", or bats that evolved to resemble flowers.
Things that make me happy on 5/17/2020 6:14:36 PM
Not at all. The ones in the photo you posted are cute.
Things that make me happy on 5/17/2020 6:13:47 PM
"Scythe-arm swan monster" isn't ringing a bell. The book is "After Man" by Dougal Dixon.
Tiny 'topias Jam on 5/17/2020 6:03:36 PM
Mine will be back, with the original 2250-word version, and a slightly longer (7000 word?) alternate version. It was interesting to work within the word limit, basically conveying an entire scene in 100 words, but it was also frustrating that no story branch could go anywhere. So instead of collecting half a dozen comments saying as much, I decided to just write the missing branch(es).
Both versions will be in the same storygame.
Things that make me happy on 5/15/2020 12:16:32 PM
I'll contribute this, just to flesh out the full range of what bats might be:
Not to worry; this doesn't exist. It's from a book of imaginary future evolution, illustrating what bats might become in a few hundred million years.
(With apologies for derailing an otherwise perfectly awesome thread.)
Yoren the Cleric on 5/12/2020 9:26:39 PM
Little yippy dogs get more attention than they deserve. Because they never shut up, not because they do anything productive (or bring joy to anyone).
I'll take a pit bull any day.
Tiny 'topias Jam on 5/11/2020 12:52:26 AM
Well look at what I went and did tonight.
A dystopia set in a real-life place named Utopia.
In regards to the word count, when you subtract the title page (20 words) and the Pearl Jam quote (50 words), the story itself comes out to 2250 words exactly.