A Hill of Beans

A Modern Fantasy

A Hill of Beans - A Modern Fantasy
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A Hill of Beans is a collaborative fiction project conceived in a cocktail bar in Coventry. Yes, these things will happen. Everything will, eventually.

Mature Themes
This community permits the posting of mature and challenging writing which may not be appropriate for underage readers. This advice is provided as requested in FAQ Question #112.

Collaborative Fiction?
Goodness, if you've ended up here I'd hope you had a pretty good idea what to expect anyway. Its a writing project for a group of likeminded people. You won't necessarily be writing the same story but stories take place against the same backdrop, they overlap and intersect. Until I work out how to explain it better, just sign up and have a look at what's going on. You don't have to stay if you don't like it and you don't particularly have to write much if you want to stay... although we'd like you to.

Modern Fantasy?
Fantasy in the modern world... The obvious luminaries to mention are the likes of Neil Gaiman (of Sandman fame), Joss Whedon (of Buffy fame), Alan Moore (of Hellblazer fame), Shea and Wilson (of Illuminatus fame), and, if we really must, Anne Rice (of Interview with a Vampire notoriety - I've always preferred Poppy Z. Brite for that sort of thing or Storm Constantine's Wraeththu although that's hardly 'modern'). Quite what your take on it is, we don't care. The thing is to have fun with it. We'll try to avoid underpinning axioms as much as possible. If you want to do it, do it.

The Setting?
The City is a big place, just like any city. It could be anywhere, peopled with the usual chorus of disillusioned wage slaves, cabbies, tarts, aspiring artists, jaded artists, smalltime crooks, bigtime crooks, celebrities and nobodies, crooked cops and cops just trying to make the world a slightly less grubby place, supermodels and bag-ladies, disco queens and pretzel sellers, waitresses dreaming of fame, mechanics subway train drivers, revolutionaries and conformists, immigrants and fixtures, the mad, the bad, the hopeful and the hopeless, set against the usual backdrop of sodium lights, neon lights, highrise tenements and the glittering skyscrapers of the bigshot companies, warehouses, studios, parking lots, subways, alleyways, grim docks and glittering marinas, boutiques, cinemas, nightclubs, stripclubs, golf clubs, tattoo parlours and 24 hour pizza places. It's just your usual buzzing metropolis. And it's easy to get lost in the crowd of everyone else who is lost in the crowd.

Rick's Café is home to a select crowd to get lost in. You don't find it by accident. You seek it out or it seeks you out. This is where the City's more diverse immigrants come to unwind, meet up, make friends and do business. Its clientele... all the forgotten gods, translunar travellers, spirits and sorcerers, the undying and those who already have, hunters of knowledge and hunters of men. If they end up in the City, they end up at Rick's.

...himself is something of mystery. He's usually hanging around his café, although his capacity to look like whatever he damn well feels like often means you don't know quite where. But he doesn't brook any trouble in his gin joint. As far as anyone remembers (who's telling) he's always been in the City although there are rumours that he has quite a history. He fought, they say, for both sides during the Third Struggle. He might have been tangled up in the whole Atlantis debacle. And a lot of the powers and principalities of the world cut him a lot more slack that the proprietor of a bar has any right to. One thing's for sure, Rick ain't telling.

Getting involved...
See up at the top where it says "To join this community, click here." It might be a good idea to click there. If you could also leave a comment on the New Beanies post just to say who you are and how you got here that would be utterly groovy too. Membership needs to be mod-approved but there's no earthly reason why we wouldn't if you've done those two things.

Rules and Guidelines
Okay. There's only one rule. What the mods say, goes. This isn't a big enough venture to warrant anything more democratic or well-stated than that at this stage. Give it time and we may look at that one again but for now, for expediency, this is a dictatorship. But I give my solemn word I'm interested in making a success of that and high-handed ego-tripping ain't the way to do that.

I will point out a few guidelines though...

  • Story posts should be posted as 'Public' and tagged 'Story'. Initially they should also be tagged 'Draft'.
  • Apart from a few teaser lines, they should also be cut with <lj-cut> </lj-cut> tags.
  • You should post an 'Editorial' post at the same time. This should also be 'Friends Only' and be tagged, strangely, 'Editorial'. This will give people chance to raise concerns, proofread and so on. Not that it should be necessary most of the time.
  • At your discretion, you may add an 'Reader discretion advised' tag to a story post to indicate content that readers may find substantially offensive. You should indicate your reasons for doing so in the editorial post. Reader, the use of this tag is discretionary so its absence is no guarantee that you will not find a post offensive (nor its presence a guarantee that you will). For more on the use of this tag, see this post (members only).
  • Once you are satisfied that yor post has received due scrutiny from the community you can remove the 'Draft' tag. This will normally be when stuff brought up in the editorial has been sorted out.
  • If you want to 'borrow' someone else's character it's polite to ask. Posts about that sort of thing, and other things, should be 'Friends Only' and tagged 'Discussion'.
  • Posts about the weather, last night's Lost, the book you're reading should be tagged 'Chat' and, yes, they should 'Friends Only' too.
  • Try not to ego-trip with your characters too much. It gets irksome when everyone does that. And I'll try too.