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.
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.
My email is email@example.com
More than a dozen years ago, I wrote a fantasy poem in response to a challenge on an email list. I had forgotten all about it, until I tripped over it while clearing some debris from mail.
I guess that gives me the right to inflict it on you, dear readers.
This month only, I’m having a half-price sale on some of my stories. I’d love to see some comments on any of them. Comments, critiques, reviews, and thrown tomatoes are always welcome.
Use the PROMO CODE SSW50 at checkout to get 50% off the retail price of the following tales.
Shibari Sails is all about piracy and pleasure in the Caribbean. From Palm Beach to the West End, Vanessa Fullright and her fellow ex-cons, provide unforgettable vacations for wealthy patrons, while trying to avoid watery graves.
Perfect health, longevity, religious intolerance, political expedience, and aliens… all part of colonizing another world.
A terrorist launches multiple attacks with the help of thousands of rats.
An unlikely band of Guardians and their animal friends must be our first line of defense.
Turkey Creek Ghost
A psychotic ex-boyfriend threatens Dani and Ranger Rick in the lush beauty of a state park. Can Abinormal and Grandma Lupe save them?
A dieselpunk swashbuckler with a strong heroine, corrupt cops, gangsters, and airships!
As an author, I constantly run into news articles or historical events where if I were to write them into the plot of a story, no one would believe it. It seems Shannon A. Thompson has the same issue and gives some excellent examples in this recent post on her Hate / Love Relationship with Historical Fiction.
Shannon A. Thompson has a blog that I follow regularly. Sign up for her newsletter.
A FaceBook friend, Ron Porter, issued the following challenge.
Since April is (in the US at least) “Poetry Appreciation Month” I am offering an exercise for you all. Below is a poem I wrote a few months ago and it is posted below. The exercise I propose is as follows: take this poem, write an original poem on the theme and post it. Please use the Title as a line in the poem. try to (but not mandatory) incorporate the Image of “the dark lady”; magic/ occult/ spiritual reference and; the duality of human nature (both good and evil). I hope you have some fun with this and, I will post all submission on my poetry page this month, unless you ask that I do not. I hope you guys join me in this; you ARE my favorite writers. Use any style or form you choose.
Reflections on the Creation Process by Anthony Stevens
My friend, the Sassy Brit, has a weekly challenge.
What’s On Your Desk, Wednesday?
I accepted her challenge, sent her a photo and a brief description, but then it occurred to me that some folks might be interested in a more detailed description of how I do what I do.
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Cesar A. Cruz
Any discussion on the creative process should start with the physical environment and tools to be used. With that in mind, here’s a little background.
My wife and I have retired to a small apartment wing of the old family homestead. With this in mind, I downsized my office to include only that which I found critically useful.
I just finished posting a new short story that may lead into a longer-term series.
It’s called Miss Mystery and features a college student who discovers she has telekinetic abilities.
I’d like a little feedback on this tale, before I continue.
- Do you like how it plays so far?
- Are the characters believable?
- Would you like to see it as a graphic novel?
This first six chapters can be read for free, on Wattpad.
I just joined the Smashwords week of free epubs! This is your chance to get a couple of my best-sellers for free.
Multiplarity is a hundred and seventy thousand word Space Opera that includes 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.
Multiplarity is normally $8.99, but is free for the rest of the week.
Turkey Creek Ghost is a tale involving witches, ghosts, and a wolf. A psychotic ex-boyfriend threatens Dani and Ranger Rick in the lush beauty of a state park. Can Abinormal and Grandma Lupe save them?
Turkey Creek Ghost is normally $3.99, but is free for the rest of the week.
Both of these are great reads. Don’t miss out on this promotion.
While on the way home from an event, the teenagers and I were bouncing odd books we’d read recently. I came up with the following setup for a novel.
An Asian Cajun is working as a Luchador for a travelling wrestling act in England. After a show, he’s abducted by the gay first mate of a steam-powered UFO piloted by a lesbian captain and her transgender girlfriend. Oh! And the UFO is haunted by the ghost of a torch singer, killed by her jazz saxaphonist lover, who is still chasing her.
Well? Should I jump right on this idea? What y’all think?