Transitional periods in history are what the ancient Chinese have been credited with referring to as interesting times.
We are in a major transition period right now and as in all such interesting times, there will be growing pains. This post is about AI, Cryptocurrency, Universal Basic Income, and various forms of government.
Shivering in sodden furs, Koragh stared out of the cave as hurried clouds shed fetid streams.
“The gods must be angry.” His mate whispered from behind as their child suckled. “Can you hunt?”
“We must.” He growled as he hefted the spear, its precious stone tip glistening in the dampness.
It has been sometime since I’ve been both surprised and sucked into a space opera. I was surprised because I felt this tale starts rather slowly, but builds momentum rapidly. I wasn’t prepared to like it after the first few pages. Then, I started to enjoy and, more importantly, emphasize, with the characters. There are more than a few twists that add to the enjoyment.
The Ness sisters are interesting heroines, but I found myself rooting for their robot.
Without handing out spoilers, I can say the novel takes place millions of years in the future, where humanity had gone through more than a dozen civilizations. Each one has peaked, then failed, and we’re left with tantalizing glimpses of technology from each.
Alastair Reynolds has written many good books, but I think this is one of his best. I’m looking forward to a sequel.
Send me an email requesting a novel from one of these three genres and I’ll reply with the .epub file of a complete novel. Better hurry. This offer ends Halloween night. Here are your choices:
Science Fiction – Multiplarity
Multiplarity is a hundred and seventy thousand word Space Opera with the following books.
Book One covers the development of Omniphage and the subsequent collapse of civilization. When beauty and health are no longer concerns, ignorance and greed may destroy humanity.
Book Two follows the development of a couple avenues of escape with the founding of a lunar colony and a transhumanist world. Even so, perfect health and longevity may not be enough against vacuum, radiation, and terrorism.
Book Three follows the founding of another world and finally meeting aliens. That is if religious intolerance and political expedience don’t condemn us once more.
Urban Fantasy – Shifter Shadows
From the dawn of prehistory to an apocalyptic day after tomorrow,
shifters and their friends have been in the background of every historical event. Shapechangers, healers, hunters, shamans, and great leaders, have always been around. We recognize the legendary ones, but must always keep in mind that Gomer is a good dog.
This novel is about a hundred and twelve thousand words.
Steampunk/Dieselpunk – Airship Legacy
Starting in late Victorian England and running through WWII, a remarkable series of characters share their adventures. Airships, naval vessels, strong women, and the fury of war on three continents, can elicit both laughter and tears.
This novel is about eighty-four thousand words in length.
I’m trying to get a feel for how many fans are actually reading my posts with this little experiment. If you have the time, I would love some sort of feedback after you’ve read your selection.
A few years back, I was challenged to write a lyric to the tune of City of New Orleans. It seemed an easy and fun task but, several hours later, I had come up with an entire science fiction song. Since I’ve been working on a generation ship idea for some time, I thought I’d present this little ditty.
Yoga Toolkit by Rica Lewis is an honest and slightly irreverant introduction to Yoga. It is sub-titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Magic & Momentum on the Mat”.
There are no drawings or photographs of impossibly flexible people tangled in tendon-snapping poses.
Instead, we find simple explanations of basic concepts and some great advice. For example:
“So here’s the truth: If you discover you are good at yoga, check your posture.”
Imperfections are to be found in all things and my primary complaint about this book is that she gives wonderful advice and hints at so many interesting paths, that the book is too short. Like any good work, she leaves us wanting more.
The final draft of Airship Legacy is ready. I need a few BETA readers. The first six people that send me an email request will get an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in .epub format. I would hope to get some feedback from them on typos or any other issue they encounter.
If all goes well, I expect to release this blockbuster towards the end of August.
Airship Legacy is an eighty five thousand word steampunk/dieselpunk crossover novel. It’s a multi-generational adventure on three continents, on land, sea, and air. There are several strong female characters including an airship captain nicknamed Crazy Taylor.
In the following excerpt, two military airships have engaged in battle near a tropical Pacific island.
Katrina realized it was much quieter. Weapons on both craft had stopped and she heard only the tortured whine of their overstressed engines and the wind, whistling through the many bullet holes. They passed astern of the other airship and were engulfed in the choking oil smoke from her flaming fuselage. By now, both craft were only a short distance above the dark blue of deep water. White spray from waves rolling over the half-submerged reefs was dampening the bottom of their hulls.
Hanz ordered Katrina to twist the wheel and kick the rudder pedals hard to one side. Then he shouted. “Forward mount! Target their bomb bay. See if you they have any left!” In a slow response to their efforts at the helm, the mortally wounded craft rolled to one side, enabling her belly guns to release a final stream of Willy Pæter. Every shot was centered on the double-hatch. The two craft were so close, none of the shots had a chance to spread until after they had punched through the thin metal.
One, last bomb was still in the rack and it was hit with more than a dozen rounds of Willy Pæter before it exploded. That was the final indignity for both ships.
The Blitzlied was hit hard on it’s port side, rolling with the impact until the cabin deck was almost vertical. That only held for a few seconds as the airframe crumpled and their momentum carried them forward. The reinforced keel contained forward and aft gun mounts, the power generator and the bridge. The cabin remained on its side, sliding closer to the water when, without warning, they hit the reef with a loud crash and she twisted sideways to lay full-length against the partially-submerged rocks. As two more waves hit what remained of the wreckage, the cabin rolled back into an almost level position before it slammed down. Water poured in through shattered windows and split seams. All except a few of the instrument lights died and the engines splashed to a stop.
Victoria was the first to free herself from the safety harness and struggle through the knee-deep water, to her brother. “He’s still alive!” She shouted as she released his buckles.
“Over there! That red handle above the door.” Hanz shouted at Katrina. “Pull it down hard!”
As she left the seat, she grabbed the canvas shoulder bag with her spare batteries and splashed over to the buckled hatch. When she hauled down on the red handle, it released an outside panel over the hatch and a rubberized package dropped. As soon as it fell, it started to make a loud hissing noise and inflate. Katrina pushed on the hatch and nothing happened. The second attempt, she just kicked the center support and the whole hatch popped open, then disappeared beneath the foam. She jumped to grab the raft and with one hand on a rope handle, she stood, chest-deep in water. Another wave hit and the remaining fuselage threatened to roll over them.
Hanz and Victoria carried the limp form of their captain to the hatch. Katrina hauled hard on the rope and swung the raft around so they might tumble in. “Here!” She slung the canvas bag from her shoulder, into the tiny craft. It was obviously only designed for two. There must have been others, but the airship was being torn apart around them. “Use your hands and paddle for shore!” She commanded, then started pushing against the reef and kicking as hard as she could force them away from the collapsing wreckage.