Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
The second story in the collection to take its title from a confectionary-related death that turns out to be irrelevant to the main characters. And like Flaming Marshmallow, that put me off it for a while.
Fudge is not quite a twist story, but the whole thing does lead up to a prediction, and the nature of the prediction is what gives it its punch. It doesn’t count as a twist because we don’t really find out what it means, only how it affects the protagonist. And then, Fudge ends.
That’s the other thing you can do with a short story – end on a note that is not so much “Oh my God what the fuck barbecue” as “Hmmm.” It’s good, and well-read by author Kit Yona in the podcast version, but personally I quite like to be all “Oh my God what the fuck barbecue.”
Machine of Death: a book that appears to be good so far. It’s now $18 whether you buy it from Amazon or Topatoco, and I think Topatoco have faster international shipping. The whole book is free in PDF form, and is trickling out steadily as an audiobook in podcast form. My story for it is online here.
Kit: Thanks for the thoughtful review - the title was a sticking point from the beginning. Obviously if we went with the prediction itself, like the others, the nut-punch at the end gets telegraphed. I was okay with it, but the editors decided to go with 'Fudge' instead and I'm okay with that too.
Tom Francis: It's Kit! Hi! Yeah, it might have robbed it of some of the impact if the prediction had been the title - I did like the lingering menace it leaves by being vague but specific enough to do some damage. I guess you'd also lose the build-up, which is pretty tense.
I can't help trying to predict the endings - and particularly the predictions - in this collection. I thought yours was going to be nastier, or at least nasty in a more immediate fashion. It's a good sign that I'm constantly wrong.
Patrick Rose: I've only read the first few stories, and yours was the most shocking Kit. Great twist.
Listening to Yahtzee read his was entertaining as well, I heartily recommend that. When's yours Mr Francis?
Bret: His was "exploded".
It's a good one.
Patrick Rose: As in, when is his recording for the podcast?
Tom Francis: No idea I'm afraid, nor do I know who's reading it.
Jaz: @Kit: Should have called it "Nut-punch".