Stories by ScottyDM

I've decided to put all my stories on this website, even if they don't contain elements of virtual reality or skunks. Most of my writing efforts have been in the genre of speculative fiction, but I have ideas for fantasy and science fiction.

I still have my progress report, but instead of calling it Thoughts on Bot Story, I changed it to Thoughts on Writing, but then on 2005-09-22 I changed it again to Thoughts, a Blog and greatly expanded its scope.

Stories About SkunkWks, the Bot Story Series

Bot Story takes place in virtual reality. It's set in the near future and is my vision of what virtual reality may become someday. The name comes from the "bots" or artificial intelligences that populate a privately owned world named (oddly enough) SkunkWks. The bots act as tour guides and peacekeepers in the world. A slightly eccentric Scotsman named Dougie McDonnell and his wife Lene owns SkunkWks.

Bot Story: Table of Contents

A great place to start! You can reach all the Bot Story pages from this one. Or jump directly to one of the major subsections, below:

Book 1 – Nancy and the Ferrets

This was my first serious effort at writing fiction. It's a complete novella at seven chapters and 21,200 words. Nancy and the Ferrets needs a rewrite: I've redesigned and renamed several of the characters and locations for the rest of the series; it shows lack of planning in that it rambles (what in the world is chapter 6 about anyway?); and it is full of point-of-view, grammar, and other errors. Still, I like to think it's a fun read with a touch of humor.

Book 2 – Milliscent Awakens

A continuation of the Bot Story series, this novella focuses on Milliscent, the First Bot of SkunkWks who has the most sophisticated AI. Unfortunately, the story is incomplete with only the first three of seven chapters published. I like to think the quality of writing is much better than Nancy and the Ferrets. I found that writing the opening paragraphs and getting the balance just right, was a real challenge. If you read nothing else, read the first dozen paragraphs of chapter 1 and let me know what you think of them.


Some of this is actually interesting. For example the Technical Background offers a glimpse into my vision into the future of virtual reality.

Stories featuring Doctor Cheri Avant

I created the character of Doctor Cheri Avant to be the heroine in a high-conflict short story. I had been struggling with keeping conflict in Bot Story up to an interesting level, and figured a story filled with terrorism and violence would do the trick.

Rather than set in virtual reality, Doctor Avant is a real-world creature of flesh and blood. This is speculative fiction set in the 2030s.

Doctor Avant: Table of Contents

Always a good place to start, the Table of Contents gives an overview of what's happening.

Melpomene's Daughter

Still in the process of being written, this is supposed to be a short story of some 5,000 to 6,000 words, but it's grown far beyond that. Once finished, I'll need to work hard to get it down to size. I created this character and plot as my first attempt to sell a short story into the professional market. As such it will not be made publicly available until after it is published elsewhere—and depending on the publication contract, of course.

Beach Tour

I created this 3,500 word short story as an entry in a writing contest. I borrowed Doctor Avant from Melpomene's Daughter and speculated what her life might be like a year after Melpomene's ends. It didn't win, but did reasonably well in the contest.


Still under construction, but Inspiration, After Melpomene's Daughter, and Change Log are complete.

Novel in Progress: A Life for Rent

My laughable NaNoWriMo effort for 2005. I say laughable because at the start of November, I had only a vague idea of what to write. I managed 7,200 words before I realized I needed a plan. The last ¾ of November was spent in research and creation of that plan, so I never did get my 50,000 words done. But I do have a solid start on what I hope to be an interesting novel. I think I'll try to sell this one by calling it "speculative fiction" and "art" and see if I can interest an editor.

A Life for Rent: Table of Contents

There's not a lot here at the moment, my one-sentence synopsis of the novel and a couple of Appendixes. I'm slowly getting this section filled in.

Family Matters

This 3,500 word short story is an entry in a writing contest. It's an incident taken from the novel.

Random Short Stories

This is the place for stories that don't fit anywhere else, and don't justify their own section.

Random Stories: Table of Contents

As always, the Table of Contents is the place to start in each section.

The Rainbow Bridge

This is my retelling of a story I found on the 'Net called The Rainbow Bridge. I'm sure there are many variations on this theme, but the version I found featured a skunk—so it seemed appropriate for a website named SkunkWks.