It's hard to believe I have another release coming up already. Between life, work and everything else, my schedule for stories is pretty slow. BUT, as you can see, another story for you guys to enjoy. The Nut Job is a novella-length SF story in the Foolish Encounters anthology. As you may have noted, I am in good company with Tali Spencer, Tinnean, Elin Gregory, JC Wallace, Angel Martinez and Amy Lane also taking part in our quirky romp.
I thought it would be fun to introduce everyone to Spencer, my space captain with a Napoleon complex. The unsuspecting world may not be ready for him, but Spencer and the rest of his crew hits shelves April 1st. Enjoy!
The Chair & Fork Excerpt
“It’s still there, Spence.”
He bit down on his lip, giving Krapor side eyes.
The tall, lanky Tu’Varian glowered back. “Rcrred is gone and can’t take your damn chair.”
“Fine, but if it’s gone, I’m taking your new sonic screwdriver.”
Krapor paused in his gathering. His slender green fingers went to his work belt, cupping the screwdriver protectively. “You wouldn’t.”
Spencer crossed his arms, straightening up to his whole four and a half feet. It was shiny. He liked shiny.
“That’s just mean, Spence. I’d never find it again.”
He sniffed, looking away.
“No one can find anything in your hoard. Not even you.”
“I know exactly where everything is.”
Krapor tossed the handful of walnut hulls into the bin. “Oh yeah? Where’s that ornate metal fork you picked up on Irasol?”
“Left cubby, on the third row of the sixth rack on my north wall, in the orange plastic cup.”
The birds tweeted, several crickets made themselves known, the breeze rustled the leaves on the trees. Spencer continued checking his square of the forest floor, chucking half the yellowish-green walnuts hulls in the bins while pocketing the rest in his pouch he kept on hand for such occasions.
Only when Spencer looked up did he acknowledge Krapor, who was staring at him, slack-jawed.
Incredulous bastard. “What?”
“I can’t believe you can just spout off bullshit like that. You little sqoltal.”
“Your quarters are the definition of complete chaos. They have a picture of it in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. Do not enter—danger zone. Dozens of safety regulations are broken in it, with a pukey rainbow as its permanent guest on your ceiling. There is no way you can know where that fork is.”
Coming April 5th! The Not in the Stars Anthology from Mischief Corner Books.
Since the dawn of human expression, man has gazed up at the heavens in wonder, inspired by the wheeling of the stars to explain his surroundings. While our perception of those surroundings have changed, from thinking of the Earth as a flat, stable plane to realizing we’re falling through space in a tiny atmospheric bubble, our wonder remains constant.
Space stations, alien races, far-flung planets—join the Mischief Corner authors as they explore the possibilities the stars might offer. The catch? Returning to mundane old Earth might be harder than you think.
My contribution to the anthology is a steampunk inspired moon colony called Orion 1 in 'The Marduk Expanse'. I loved this world I created and plan to revisit it. I would love to do a story about the inhabitants of the Elevator. Feel Me is a good mix of my writing. There are laugh out loud moments and there are sad ones, all of them encompassing a story about a young man who wanted to mean something to the only place he ever called home.
Feel Me - Freddy MacKay
One terrorist blast changed Master Tobias Zimmer's entire existence, relegating him to being nothing more than just a "Coppies" because of the metal replacing his flesh. As the once future Shogun of moon colony Orion 1, he now idles his time away keeping tabs on the Loyalists while his father and brother broker negotiations with the Earth Consortium.
A confrontation with his childhood enemy, Dr. Thorsten Nordenfelt, sets into motion events that cannot be undone and puts Tobias's sheltered heart at the center of the colony's attempts to free itself from the repressive Earth's rule.
Late in seventeenth century, the industrialized nations pooled their resources to find new kinds of energy, ones compatible with their newly found steam power. Through telescopic powers and unmanned rockets, they found the moon's surface to be rich in ores, minerals, and a special type of helium that they could use in their ships, trains and carts.
A Consortium was built, consisting of a young nation called the United Americas, the British Dynasty, the Dutch Empire, the Swedish Lords, the Prussian Alliance, the Australian Bushwackers and the Japanese Empire.
Other countries soon bought into the Consortium as well, wanting their percentage of profits. The only question was how to get to the moon so they could have unparalleled resources. The answer came in a simple invention during the early eighteenth century, one developed for the increasingly towering houses of the Nobles.
Debates raged. Monies thrown around. Committees formed. Political alliances brokered and broken, sometimes in the same day. Eventually though, legal documents were signed and the plans for an elevator to space were made. Once in space, they could build a platform, and from that platform, they could travel to the moon and develop it.
The Consortium poured all their resources, energy and time into the Elevator, undoubtedly the biggest engineering and architectural feat ever undertaken by man. Decades and changing technology as well as alliances caused the building of the Elevator to be slow and often dangerous work. Many young men lost their lives on the project, some were lucky enough to become old men.
By the time man reached space, several generations had been born, lived and worked on the bustling metal city of the Elevator, the people developing their own culture, language (Latium), moral codes and customs. There they had a new problem with which to contend. How to get to the moon? And more importantly, who would be controlling it?
When the people of the Elevator made it to the moon, they had harsh conditions struggle against, but their spirit could not be broken. They were made of the sky already, and could not be brought back down.
The colonists survived, thrived, and ultimately built a sustainable environment for families to live on the moon colony Orion 1, because during the decades long building of the Elevator, invention and innovation had become a life force of its own, many men becoming great thinkers and modifiers of old technology and bringing new life to it and to the people.
The original engineers and developers of the space colony found themselves now the political juggernauts of the people referred to as the Masters, and the ruling family called the Shoguns. The Zimmer family has…
Lifting his foot off the metal depressor of the exhibit, Tobias sighed and took a step back. He had no desire to hear about the great Zimmers and how they created the bustling hub of Orion 1 with almost two thousand permanent residents. He knew the history forward and backward. He had to. Everyone did. Unlike everyone else, Tobias was the genius extraordinaire of the Zimmer family, and the next Shogun of the colony. Or he was going to be. Now he was relegated to being a nobody.
Just wanted to share a snippet from my WIp "Feel ME" for the Not in the Stars Anthology.
Oh, dear gods, what was Thorsten doing at his Portal? Why did the scourge of human existence want into Tobias's hub? No. It had to be a dream. Maybe he never really woke up at Dr. Goldstein's laboratory. The blast from the unpressurized Portal knocked him unconscious.
He had gotten knocked hard.
The pain filled nightmare with the Modifier's had been an expression of Tobias's mind wanting away from Thorsten. Yes. That could explain everything.
"Would you like to eat at the Spicy Noodles shop, or would you prefer the Indian stall with the good naan?"
Nope. Tobias sighed. This was his reality. Thorsten stood in the doorway, Tobias's coat in hand, ready to escort him to the Ichiban. The implications made his head hurt. The only saving grace at the moment would be his father hadn't contacted Tobias demanding explanations for yesterday. Maybe the negotiations kept him too busy to get angry. Probably not but one could hope. Tobias rubbed his forehead, trying not to frown too deeply.
"Or we can eat at the Hamada's Mine Restaurant. Their food is always excellent."
Tobias slid a glance to Thorsten. He had to figure a way out of this debacle waiting to happen. There was no way he could be see with the son of one of the biggest Loyalists on the colony. Gods only knew what Tobias's father would say if Thorsten continued to hang around.
Oh no. Noooooo. Oh, gods. Tobias's shook his head, feeling more caught then a helium miner without a life suit. Thorsten was mad if he thought Tobias's would walk with the dolt around Orion 1 together.
"Why are you shaking your head, Tobias? I thought you loved Hamada's Mine Restaurant," said Thorsten, crossing his arms. "You eat there all the time."
"I am not going to the Ichiban," stated Tobias quietly, controlling his voice carefully. Any perceived weakness and Thorsten would strike.
With a practiced flick of his hand, Thorsten pulled out his pocket watch then cocked an eyebrow. "You always go to the Ichiban this time of day, without fail."
Had Tobias gotten that predictable? Not good. He could become a target, or worse, the Loyalists would plan something disastrous when they knew Tobias would not be around. Bad. Very bad. How could he get so complacent? Stupid!
"What?" He snapped back, more than annoyed.
"Banging your head against the wall can't be good for you."
When had he started doing that?
"You need all your faculties undamaged. I'm not sure you have any to spare."
I tend to be a little squirrelly, but my friends still love me anyway. ;)