|Works by Jon Buck on Shifti|
I've been involved in this particular genre since 1996. And I didn't start small. My first magnum opus was the Winds of Change setting, which turned out to be surprisingly popular to write in. In the years since, I've grown a lot as a writer, and I don't plan on stopping. The stories that go up here will be those that will not be submitted for publication.
- Eve's Apple (2008)
- I've gotten enough of a start on this one that I'm going to start posting it here. This is a TG story. It's in a stock magic-technology setting that I use when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to create a whole new world out of whole cloth. :) Title is provisional.
- I've decided to post this still-incomplete story here as a reference. I've had some difficulty lately keeping it going, though I think it'll be coming to an end soon. The setting was inspired by James Lileks's The American Motel web site. Specifically, this postcard. I started writing it last July, so it's been a while. Both TF, furry, and TG are included. Say a prayer for the commercial man...
- Story split up to avoid problems with the Shifti database.
- Tradition (2007)
- This story was inspired by a vivid dream. The first section is essentially the dream itself. This is a transgender story. There will be no furry or animal transformations. And the normal caveats apply--I hope a plot turns up soon. I'll put up the first section here once it's posted to TSA-Talk.
- I'm also doing something here that I've never really done before. I'm trying to write this story from the POV of both characters, one of which is a female-to-male TG. This is proving to be a challenge, because I have to put myself in her place. I think it's working out so far.
- It's also going to be a long one, pushing almost 20k words already. Nearly halfway to novel length, and the story has barely gotten started. I'm going to try and plan out an end-state for the two main characters, otherwise I think this one will just ramble on for the whole academic year...
- This story is going on hiatus until I figure out the plot arc.
- Against Type (2007)
- A Xanadu story, co-op with Bryan. Unlike most Xanadu stories it actually begins a few weeks after the event, and concerns the problem of secondary transformations, like Slinx. It's also, amazingly, a story that features no deer transformation whatsoever.
- Colony (2005)
- A standalone novella, about 250 kilobytes of text.
- Inspiration for this story came from two pictures posted to Yerf. Two deer in 18th century Colonial outfits. I do not have external links, unfortunately.
- This is a world with geography roughly similar to our own. But different enough that the equivalent of North America was never colonized by humans, even in the Ice Age. I'm rather happy with this setting and may revisit it. The uncompleted story Exile's Road was the basis for this one.
- Doe's Hoof (2006)
- A quickie. What happens when you're down on your luck and you really have nowhere to go?
- Fight the Wind (2004, another chunk added 2008)
- I wrote this when I was unemployed, following graduate school. It lasted months, and during that time I got a lot of self doubt about the career I had chosen. So I wrote a few transgender stories like this kind of theme. It doesn't have a plot, per se. It's mainly about being carried along by events... and being changed beyond one's own recognition.
- This story features some graphic content, but so far no actual sex or violence. I've probably exaggerated it somewhat, not having firsthand experience, but the graphic depictions in the story are as close to reality as I can make them. I like being thorough.
- The Limelight (2004)
- A story in Bryan's Wisp-touched setting. I rather like the main character.
- Marquee (2007)
- This is a gift story for a friend for TSA-Talk's Christmas Xchange. It takes place in the same over-the-top comic book setting as Steel City. It's a silly, over the top comic book setting where transformations of almost any sort are simply a matter of fact. I rather like writing in it.
- Steel City (2007)
- This is yet another dream-inspired story. It's both transgender and transformational. It's also a non-deer story, and a non-horse story. I wrote this in the space of two days. It takes place in a very tongue-in-cheek Comic Book-style world where all the innocent bystanders are very jaded about the whole Hero-Villain thing. They just try and stay out of their way and get on with their lives. The Innocent Bystander's Survival Guide should always be taken to heart.
- Subject to Change (2009)
- In the months before I wrote this, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, the stock market crashed, millions lost their jobs, and I had some of the worst writer's block I've ever had. I call kind of story "fluff". Something I start writing to break the ice. Frequently a Plot shows up, as it has here. However, while I suppose it's more of a prologue to a longer work, there's no guarantee I'll continue it. For another story in the same setting, see Fish's Mad Hatters and Musical Chairs.
This setting has taken off faster than I thought. Partly due to the original story getting on the 2007 Ursa Major Recommended Anthropomorphics Short Fiction list. Thanks to whoever nominated me. The setting page can be accessed via the above link.
For a full story and related-page listing, please see the Paradise Category.
- A Kind of Paradise (2007)
- This is just fluff. It's been at least two months since I wrote anything, and I just need to loosen up a bit. Plot is optional, and probably nonexistent. However, it still turned out well. I'm going to have to continue it sometime soon. I've created a page with setting notes at Paradise (Setting). The story generated enough interest to open it up. The basic rules are in place.
- Tall Tales (2008)
- I actually started this story before Jetfire and Matthias started their series. But it's more or less required reading for Paradise authors, since there are a lot of Important Events.
- Open Secrets (2008)
- The next Paradise story. I thought I'd take a different tack with this one. This story went on hiatus for quite some time, since Real Life events were sadly outpacing(!) the oil prices originally depicted when I started this story in February. They hit $148 a barrel in July, then crashed as the economy did, reaching a low of about $34 in mid-December. I may change the story to reflect this some, but this story is essentially complete.
I credit Yoko Kanno with pushing me to actually find a decent name for this setting. Late at night. I'll have another look at this series soon. --Buck 09:38, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
- My ideas start with quickies, but always snowball into something bigger. This storylet was inspired by a dream I had. All the main imagery is there.
- Window of Opportunity (2007)
- Second in the series, Jason has to adapt to a very changed life, and realizes that without acting, things will go from bad to worse.
- Consolidation (2007)
- Next story in the series.
- Actaeon Reborn (2000)
- This is the first story (novella) I wrote that really felt professional to me. ended up submitting it to a couple of online magazines, but nothing ever came of it. So up it goes here.
- Arms and Armor (2001)
- A graduate student finds that there is still old magic lurking about in interesting places.
- Braggart (2001 or so)
- A lot of my stories are evoked by an image. The idea of a Greek god, roving around in a pimped up car, struck me as really funny. So I wondered just what kind of mischief he could get into.
- This is not one of my best stories. It just sort of ends. It's also shorter than usual for me.
- Hunter's Moon (2003)
- Another quickie. Basically, I was thinking about how a weredeer might communicate his or her condition, since deer are not known for biting people. This is what I came up with. And it's no fun for the weredeer.
- Sentinel (2002 or 2003)
- I have quite a few stand-alone stories. Putting them up on Shifti has made me look through my folders for the first time in years. There's a lot of stuff that I've forgotten about. This one was inspired by a friend's interest in Napoleonic Europe. It also sort-of takes place in the same setting as Actaeon Reborn above.
- The Sigh of Wind (2000)
- Sometimes I get in a mystical mood, and this story is the direct result. I think I managed to capture the feeling just right. I still think the results are a little pretentious. But I did get some neat art out of it.
In this section will go stories that I wrote prior to 2000. This has a number of caveats. Mainly that as I've matured as a writer, my writing style has also grown and improved. Improved a lot. In most cases I haven't read any of these in at least five years and more. All errors in grammar, spelling, and general story structure are therefore unchanged. Caveat emptor.
- Dragonsbane (1998)
- A lot of stories of mine are inspired by dreams. This dream grabbed me so hard, with such clear imagery, I rolled out of bed at 3am and started writing. It also spawned an unfinished sequel, which I intended as a novel from the start. But it never quite came to be. This is also one of my earlier works. So I had a great deal of enthusiasm when writing it, but not a whole lot of skill to bring it to fruition.
- The Long Shadow (1999)
- This turned into my first real attempt at novel-level worldbuilding. The next story in this setting, Fallen Gods, I first started writing when I started at the university that fall. I toted a notepad to all my classes and jotted down ideas and notations. I still have that notepad around somewhere (I'll have to find it). I also used Photoshop to create maps of the European-analogue. I won't be posting Fallen Gods here, as I hope to sell it. But this is a prototype novella, about 250k.
- Titanic (1996)
- This story is one of my earliest works. It also comes from a time when I was Titanic geek. I devoured just about everything about the ship, its passengers, and everything else. The genesis of this setting was my job at the time (working for a small retail store), my boss had come back from an Alaska cruise. I was also less settled on the species I "am" now, and whales and dolphins were much more in my imagination. So, here it is, in all its bombast and pretension.
- It's also the first story I wrote that started a trend for what amounts to historical fantasy-fiction. I've pretty much stayed there ever since.
- Warning: Story takes place in First Person perspective, yet has three main characters. This was an early experiment of mine. I really didn't know what I was doing. Can you tell?
- But the important thing is that I was having a lot of fun.
- Echoes (1998)
- I suppose I could call this a seminal work. It's a sort-of sequel to Titanic. Actually, not so much. A lot of the story takes place concurrently to "Titanic". It's also an early piece of worldbuilding. I've always liked the idea of reincarnation for some reason, since I was a child. This story had multiple sources of inspiration. One of which is, actually, the movie that came out in late 1997. Which I saw twice.
- I really made an effort at historical accuracy here. The story is about two brothers, one of whom dies at the Battle of Shiloh...
- There is already an external archive to these stories and this setting, so I'm not going to post too many of these here due to time constraints.
- Winds of Change (My first story, 1996)
- What can I say about WoC?
- Somehow it's ended up far more popular than I really know how to deal with. It's been a huge benefit to my life. I gained all sorts of friends through this one story.
- It really started in the summer of 1996, when I joined the TSA-Talk mailing list about a month after its creation. At the time it was a fast-growing community, certainly the first of its kind in the transformation genre on the internet. The stories and quickies were flying fast and furious, so in May I posted a short-short titled "A Picture is Worth 1000 Changes", after I saw Twister in the theatre. I combined it with my new photography hobby, at least to give the main character something to do.
- I intended it as a shared setting to begin with, and I had stopped at Part 3. Then I got something I never, ever expected. People liked reading it! Holy crap! Parts 4 and 5 (about ten pages each) were written in two days. The floodgates opened, and they've never closed since.
- But still, I can't look back at WoC and not see all the flaws in my writing. I haven't really looked at it since 1999 or so. There's even an unfinished sequel that will remain a dead end. Oh well.
- A Teen Thing (My second, 1996)
- Oh boy, what to say about this one? I remember the idea came from one the endless email exchanges between me and my friend Eirik. We did a lot of that in those days. I'd write some little bit of dialogue at the end of the message, he'd respond with something else. Sort of a micro-Round Robin.
- I was also still BIG into velociraptors. It wasn't until I decided to literally roll-for-species while creating a self-based character for the Great Round Robin that I got into deer, then things snowballed from there. But that's another story.
- This one is mostly a kind of authorial catharsis. I was a year out of high school in 1996, so it was still fresh in my mind.
- Be Prepared (1997 or 1998)
- A collaborative work with Eirik. The main characters are a Boy Scout troop out in the wilderness when the Change hits.
- Rush Hour (1997)
- A quickie. I wondered: What would happen to people stuck in rush hour traffic during the Change?
These are stories that, for one reason or another, ground to a halt. No further updates are expected here, but since I had originally posted these to TSA-Talk but never completed them, I still wanted some kind of record. It's also a sort of offsite backup.
One of my flaws as a writer is that, more often than not, I don't have a plot planned out from beginning to end. I come up with scenes and characters and only a general direction, if that much. This means my stuff tends to ramble a bit. And I have written myself into a corner on numerous occasions.
Posting these stories here has generated some interest. These stories do have a slim chance at being finished. Stories I'm presently working on take precedence, but I've always hated that I've left these particular stories unfinished.
- Exile's Road (2002)
- This story is a variation on the type of transformation used in Colony. That the land itself is a conscious, sentient thing that twists and changes the humans in it.
- Life Could be a Dream (2006)
- Another dream-inspired transgender story, though the dream itself is many years older. The impetus to actually write a story that used this particular plot device came after seeing Pixar's Cars in the theater, which used the classic rock song in the movie. This is going in the Unfinished category because I had more ideas after it hit the "end". See Author's Notes.
- Thesis (2003)
- A Wisp-touched story. Doppelganger from The Limelight was actually created here.
- Voyages (2005)
- An abortive attempt at a Science Fiction story but I hadn't really done one since WoC. Some of the technology depicted, especially the FTL, was shamelessly stolen from the anime series Outlaw Star.
- Consolidation (2007)
- The next in the series after Escape and Window of Opportunity. Story is on hiatus while I finish up some other work. Moved to Unfinished, though I may continue it later.