Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

SHATTERED ROADS
The Skyfire Saga Book 1
by Alice Henderson
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
In a future laid waste by environmental catastrophe, one woman in a shielded
megacity discovers a secret hidden within—and the nightmare of what lies
beyond.
Her designation is H124—a menial worker in a city safeguarded against the
devastating storms of the outer world. In a community where consumerism
has dulled the senses, where apathy is the norm and education is
a thing of the past, H124 has one job: remove the bodies of citizens when
they pass away in their living pods.
Then one night, H124’s routine leads
her into the underground ruins of an ancient university. Buried
within it is a prescient alarm set up generations ago: an
extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth.
When her warning is seen as an attempt
to topple the government with her knowledge of science, H124 is
hunted—and sent fleeing for her life beyond the shield of her
walled metropolis. In a weather-ravaged unknown, her only hope lies
with the Rovers, the most dangerous faction on Earth. For they have
continued to learn. And they have survived to help avert a terrifying
threat: the end of the world is near.

Excerpt

H124 waited outside the door, closing her eyes and concentrating on the theta wave receiver by the door lock. She mentally sent the message “unlock,” and the door hissed open. Quietly she stepped inside with her gear, then stopped as she heard noise coming from the main room. Someone still lived in this pod. Her employers had told her that the only way to access the corpse was through the neighboring pod. Weird, but she didn’t ask questions. Maybe the deceased’s lock was broken. Still, she’d never been inside someone’s place while they still occupied it, and she felt uncomfortable, a stranger in someone’s home.

She crept into the main room. Her instructions told her they’d created a hole in the wall there. A light flickered on the wall as she moved forward. Not wanting to disturb the occupant, she stepped lightly in her work boots. She knew she’d get in trouble if she interrupted him. She stepped around the corner and saw him, seated before his display, his button pad shimmering in midair just below his hands. The light from his display hovered in the air before him.

She knew about these display setups and button pads that most people were equipped with. But she’d only been in these living pods to clean out the previous tenants after they’d passed on, so she’d never seen the equipment turned on before.

Just ahead, she could see the ragged, dark hole in the wall, but her eyes returned to the floating display.

She’d never seen anything so beautiful. She knew she wasn’t supposed to, but she stopped before stepping through the hole. Unable to help herself, she stared at the display. Six windows filled the screen, and the man’s eyes darted from one to the other. Both hands fluttered over the button pad, fingers pressing down in such a rapid sequence, she didn’t know how he could possibly make sense of what he was doing. In one window he controlled an image of a little man who moved through different rooms of a building, pulling levers and pressing buttons on walls. In another flashed a sequence of unintelligible numbers. Another window held an animated avatar of someone else, a woman, with text flying across the screen just beneath her face. Every few seconds, his hands would stream over the buttons and more text would fly by. A group of people talked in yet another window, sitting around a table chattering about someone named Phil, and how they couldn’t believe that he had opted for the small swimming pool when he could have had the bigger one. Along the bottom of the screen scrolled more text: THIS YEAR’S MOST IMPORTANT DECISION! Pick the right candidate! Vote wisely! Watch the candidates’ videos! Yes! Vote for your favorite reality TV star in this all-important election to determine which show will be renewed!

In yet another window a little graph fluctuated up and down, beeping out sounds every now and then. Whenever it beeped, the man entered text in the window, pressing some more buttons until it stopped beeping. His eyes never left the display, and his fingers never stopped working at the keypad. It fascinated her that he could attend to so many things at once. What was he even doing in each of the windows? She had no idea.

He stood up suddenly, and she leaped back into the shadows. He walked to his wall slot as a delivery drone clattered in the vent and came through. The display followed in front of the man, while his fingers kept typing away. The drone hovered briefly, laid down the man’s new food tray with the food cubes, then took away his empty tray from earlier that day. It buzzed and vanished back into the vents. Rapidly the man reached out, grabbed the squares, and shoved them into his mouth. Then he returned to his seat, his attention on the display not once faltering.

Her face burning, H124 realized she’d been standing there far too long. If her employers found out, she’d be ticketed. Or worse. They could assign her even more extra duties. She was lucky the man hadn’t noticed her. She stepped forward quietly and reached the hole in the wall. Without a sound, she stepped through it into the dead man’s apartment.


Alice Henderson is a writer of fiction,
comics, and video game material. She was selected to attend
Launchpad, a NASA-funded writing workshop aimed at bringing accurate
science to fiction. Her love of wild places inspired her novel
Voracious, which pits a lone hiker against a shapeshifting creature
in the wilderness of Glacier National Park. Her novel Fresh Meat
is set in the world of the hit TV series Supernatural. She
also wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels Night
Terrors
and Portal Through Time. She has written short
stories for numerous anthologies including Body Horror, Werewolves &
Shapeshifters, and Mystery Date. While working at LucasArts, she
wrote material for several Star Wars video games, including Star
Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
and Star Wars: Battle for Naboo.
She holds an interdisciplinary master’s degree in folklore and
geography, and is a wildlife researcher and rehabilitator. Her novel
Portal Through Time won the Scribe Award for Best Novel.
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The Shades of Winter   A Novel of the Averraine Cycle

 

An aging band of sea raiders set out on one last voyage of revenge, and get a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Tam Isliefsdottir wasn’t planning to end her life in a futile attempt for vengeance, but when your brothers- and sisters-in-arms need you, what can you do? Leaving her son and her granddaughter behind and sailing to the shadowy island of Alvandir, she expected to die gloriously for the sake of her country, her king, and her own reputation.

Nothing is as it seems, however, and it hasn’t been for the last twenty years. Tam and her Kyndred are in for the surprise of their lives.

Click HERE to read more or buy the book on Amazon.


The Agony and the Ecstasy of writing Your Third Novel

I must confess, I found writing my first novel (A Spell in the Country) incredibly easy.

Seriously: there was no pressure. I had a pretty simple plot, a good main character, with her own unique voice, and since I had no intention of ever publishing that book (it was the 90s and my chances, I knew, were in the negative numbers for getting a publisher) (and I was not wrong) so all I was doing was entertaining myself.

And Casting in Stone went together in about six months, because I had been telling myself that story almost since the day I typed “The End” on the first book.

But this one?

The Shades of Winter was two years of handwringing, whinging, and angst.

The first bit wasn’t so bad – I knew (I thought) who these people were and what they were doing.

And then, just past the mid-point, one of the characters threw me a plot twist that was so incredible, so interesting, so trope-twisting, that I HAD to run with it…

But for eight months, I wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted, groping to find the road back to the story I wanted to tell.

And you know what?

It isn’t over yet. There’s more to the Kyndred’s adventures, and more to all of the Averraine Cycle.

I hope you all come along for the ride.

 


About the Author

Morgan Smith has been a goatherd, a landscaper, a weaver, a bookstore owner, a travel writer, and an archaeologist, and she will drop everything to travel anywhere, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Writing is something she has been doing all her life, though, one way or another, and now she thinks she might actually have something to say.

You can discover more about Morgan Smith by visiting her website HERE, or go to Amazon HERE. Follow on social media: Facebook and Twitter.

Off World
by Kimberly Adkins
Genre: SciFi
73 pages
Does space make you paranoid?

 

Was The Corporation harboring a dark secret on the off world
mining colony to protect their bottom line?
Christopher Carter loved to explore. He was a specialist in his field
back home on earth, and travel to a moon that orbited a gas giant
120 times the size of his home planet was the opportunity of a lifetime.
This would be his first deep space assignment, and he’d wanted this
contract more than anything else in the world; except for his family,
of course. And he didn’t have to choose one or the other.
It was amazing how things worked out –Until they didn’t.
Everyone was hiding something at the facility, and it didn’t take long to
figure out they were hiding it from him. Unfortunately for
Christopher, the truth would prove to be far more horrifying than
anything he could ever have imagined.
**Only .99 cents!**
Kimberly Adkins is an author and artist who spends her spare time working on
worm hole theories so she can go back in time and enter Star Gate’s
‘Get in the Gate’ sweepstakes as many times as it takes to win.
Q: Tell us something interesting about you that most people
wouldn’t know?
A: I have a Cylon toaster in my kitchen. So far, it hasn’t convinced
any of my other appliances to revolt against me and assume control
over the destiny of mankind. I guess I’m lucky there. It does burn
‘Frak Off’ onto my toast every morning, though.

Author’s Note:

It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt a spine tingling, awe-inspiring thrill. When you write fiction, your brain goes to so many places, and you wear several hats in the process. What we can imagine is amazing, and the world doesn’t often toss out something from our dreams.

Then February 6, 2018 came along, and SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  I held my breath while we watched the live feed. I said the word awesome more times than anyone ever should. But it was when those two rocket boosters flew back to Earth, landing with beautiful and perfect synchronicity on the designated pad, I knew I’d witnessed Science Fiction for real.

And as fast as Elon Musk garnered my undying admiration, he captured my heart as well, with the deployment of Starman, hands on the wheel of a cherry red Tesla Roadster, with David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ playing from the car radio.

He has a long journey ahead, our Starman headed for Mars and beyond, but he’s got some fantastic traveling music on the way. If you could, would you hitch a ride to the stars in his shiny space Roaster? I know I would in a heartbeat, even if it was the last thing I ever did.

In fact, somebody better look in the trunk. I might be there already.

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