Archive for the Spaceflight Category

The Most Powerful Man in the World and other stories is free this weekend

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags , on April 25, 2015 by oneoveralpha

The Most Powerful Man in the World2“The Most Powerful Man in the World and other stories” is a collection of five of my short, scifi stories to provide a sample of my writing. It will be free to download on Kindle from now through Monday, April 27, so grab your free copy now.

Here are short blurbs for the stories included. A being from the distant future with almost unlimited powers comes back to help Ian Steele make the world a better place in “The Most Powerful Man in the World.” The bookstore customer has an entirely different reason for wanting books in “Black Market Books.” “Motherhood” tells the story of Thomas Gillespie, the surrogate mother for an AI. “Storyteller” is about an author thinking his book into existence. And “Deadworld” is about the alien world humans are reborn on – in alien bodies – after they die.

For a taste, here is an excerpt from “The Most Powerful Man in the World”

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“What happened?” Ian asked from the floor.

“You fainted.”

Ian sat up and looked around the empty room. It was maybe fifteen feet on a side and painted a dull grey. “Where am I?”

“A dimensional intrusion located within your living room wall.”

“Huh?”

Pulling him to his feet, she explained, “Basically, it’s a space that can be as large,” here Karen threw her arms out and the walls zoomed away beyond sight, “or as small as I want.” She then drew her arms in and the two stood in a space the size of a phone booth. The room returned to its original size and Karen stretched. “But I think this is a good size.”

Ian spun around, trying to keep an eye on each of the walls as if they might sneak up and squish him. “What the hell is this?”

Karen put her arm around him. “Arthur C. Clarke once said that ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’” Shrugging, Karen stated, “This is magic.”

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Lonely Phoenix

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags , on April 17, 2015 by oneoveralpha

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Partway to a new colony world, board member Geoffrey Ames is woken from hibernation by the caretaking crew of the Lucian. They require him to look into the matter of their fellow crewman Morgan Heller. Morgan’s claims – such as being over 1500 years old – would normally land him in the psychiatric ward, except he can back up some of his other claims.

Here is an excerpt to give you a sample:

Delara and Geoffrey entered the cell. Along the far wall were a bed and a toilet. A small table had been placed between the bed and door, along with three folding chairs. Without ceremony, Delara set the first aid kit on the table and sat down. Geoffrey paused and studied the prisoner who stood on the other side of the table. Morgan Heller was below average height, but with plenty of muscle.

Morgan grinned and waved to the chair beside Delara. “Please, sit down.”

Geoffrey looked from him to Delara, but her face was turned away. He looked back to Morgan and nodded before sitting down.

“I’d offer you a drink, but,” Morgan spread his hands, “I must have misplaced the key to the wine cellar.” He chuckled to himself then sat down.

Geoffrey began, “Mister Heller–”

“Please, call me Morgan.”

“Mister Heller,” Geoffrey continued, gaining a smirk from Morgan, “my name is Geoffrey Ames. I’m a member of the Board of Directors woken to look into this … situation.”

“Good morning, Mister Ames.”

After a pause, Geoffrey asked, “Mister Heller, why do they have you locked up in here?”

Morgan frowned and glanced at Delara, who replied, “I thought it best if he hears your story without any preconceived notions.”

“I see.” Morgan turned back to Geoffrey and stated, “The reason they have me locked in here is because of what I am.”

When he didn’t immediately continue, Geoffrey prompted, “Which is?”

“I don’t know. The closest word for what I am is … vampire.”

For several seconds there was only silence. Then Geoffrey nodded and turned to Delara. “You woke me for this?”

Delara only smiled and opened the first aid kit. She took out a pair of scissors and held them up in front of Geoffrey. She opened and closed them a few times, and turned them around so he could see both sides. “What are you doing?” he asked.

Instead of replying, she slid them across the table to Morgan.

Morgan sighed. He picked up the scissors, opened them, and then swept a blade across his forearm.

Geoffrey jumped up, knocking over his chair. “What the hell is going on here?”

Delara stood and put her hand on his shoulder. “Geoffrey, look at his arm.”

Against his better judgment, Geoffrey turned to look at Morgan’s arm. The wound wasn’t deep, with only a little bit of blood. But then he watched as the wound closed. The edges of the skin just rejoined.

Delara sat back down and took a wipe from the kit and passed it to Morgan, who cleaned the blood from his arm. A light pink scar was the only indication something had happened.

Apparently none the worse, Morgan looked up to Geoffrey and explained, “I heal very quickly. That’s why I’m in here. There was an accident that several people witnessed. They saw me gravely injured, and then I healed right before their eyes.”

“There is security footage of the accident as well as his healing,” Delara stated.

Geoffrey looked from Morgan’s arm, to the scissors, to Delara, then to Morgan’s smiling face. “If you’ll excuse me,” Geoffrey said, then he turned and left.

***

If you are at all curious, you can find “Lonely Phoenix” on Kindle.

Rise

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags on April 3, 2015 by oneoveralpha

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“Rise” is a stand alone story set in my Human Republic Universe. The story follows some of the events after the tragic deaths of the colonists in a small colony in a distant star system.

Here is an excerpt to give you a sample:

There were days when MP Lyn Rankin just hated the Earth. Especially Africa; especially Kenya. On the human level, she could understand Sandra Lewis’s idea of placing the Capital of the Human Republic – this brand new step in the history of Humanity – on the continent that gave birth to Homo sapiens. On a political level, she could appreciate using the location of the Capital as a way to placate a continent for centuries of abuse and neglect. But on the personal level, she hated being here. The air was too thick, too heavy, too dusty or, on days like this, too humid.

The window of her cab was streaked with water. How anyone could find rain beautiful, something to look forward to, was beyond her. Even inside her sealed cab everything felt damp.

To take her mind off the rain, she again tried to figure out the summons to see President Väkelä. It must be Trident Colony, she thought. But if it had been attacked by pirates or rogue Lumens, you call out the Guard and Navy to hunt them down. You inform their MP, but that does not require a meeting with the President.

Unless, something else had happened. Maybe the colonists were being held captive. But what could she do? The Human Republic would not negotiate with terrorists. An epidemic? Call in the CDA. Then – to make things more confusing – Lyn wondered what if something wonderful had happened instead? What if the colonists had found evidence for another alien race, one the Pentans did not know of? Would that warrant a meeting with the President?

She had been down this road several times before, but could not get anywhere. To take her mind off the problem, she looked back out the window.

***

If you are at all curious, you can find “Rise” on Kindle.

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags , on March 27, 2015 by oneoveralpha

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Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, create farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five short stories set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there.

For an example, here is an excerpt from “Putting Down Roots”

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Julie smiled to the camera and gave a little wave. “Hello from the Armstrong Research Station at the Lunar South Pole. I’m the Station Director, Doctor Julie Herrin, and this is a very special broadcast.”

Spreading her arms, Julie stated, “I’m talking to you from what in the station specs is referred to as ‘the common area,’ but here at Armstrong we call it The Bunker.” She shrugged and explained, “The name was here before I was, so don’t ask me why. Anyway, this is where we usually make our media presentations, but it’s also where most of us eat, play games, and watch movies every Tuesday and Friday night. And today, thanks to you, it’s becoming even more.

“About twelve hours ago, one of our resupply shuttles landed with a special package from the Lunar Auxiliary. For those of you watching this video who don’t know about the Lunar Auxiliary, they are a private group on Earth who raise money to ship various items to us here on the moon. Things like treat baskets each Halloween and knitted socks for all the staff up here … which I probably shouldn’t have brought up because I’m not wearing mine today.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Julie saw several of the staff laughing silently as they showed off their socks. She clenched her jaw for a second, before continuing, “But the reason for today’s video is this.” She held up the package: a thick plastic tube about a meter long. The tube had already been opened, so Julie only had to slide the top up off the contents.

***

If you are at all curious, you can find “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” on Kindle.

Jumping into Patreon

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags , , on October 28, 2014 by oneoveralpha

So several months ago I heard of this Patreon site where creators of videos, comics, stories, or whatever can raise funds with the help of patrons. I thought it was a great idea, but I wasn’t too sure how well it would work for someone like me. But after thinking about, I decided to join.

My first project I’ll be working on is to write twelve, short science fiction stories of a few thousand words at least. These stories will be set in twelve “locations” in the solar system, the sun (well, near the sun), Mercury, Venus, Earth/moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud. My plan is to write a story a month, and at the end of the year I’ll polish up the stories and publish them as a Kindle ebook. Anyone who finds this interesting, and especially those who’d like to help out financially, should check out my Patreon Profile.

My original plan was to write the first story or two, and then start posting them in January. But recently I’ve been trying to force myself to write more, so I decided to start a few months early. The first story, set near the sun with the working title “Cleansing Fire,” should (I’ll say 95% likelihood) be up sometime in November. Right now I’d say it’s about a third done, but I hope by giving myself a deadline I’ll get around to finishing it. We’ll just have to see.

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on August 20, 2014 by The Prince of Pithy

BigcloudyA couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of putting out minianthologies – collections of five to ten stories – on Kindle as a way to use up some of my stories and to let people know I exist.  Well, I have just put out my latest minianthology – “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories.” It contains five stories set upon the moon.  The blurb I have for it is as follows:

Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, create farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five short stories set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there. 

 I hope you’ll check it out, and if it strikes your fancy you can download it for only $0.99.  I hope you’ll enjoy.

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The story behind this minianthology is somewhat long.  Part of the idea behind my minianthologies is to show people a sampling of my writing, but I also like to group similar stories.  When I realized I had several stories set on the moon, it was natural to put them together.  A couple of these were published before – I’ve revised them for this – but I also wanted a couple new stories.  I had one story that involved time travel, and I haven’t figured out how to make it work.  So I would start working on this collection, only to get stuck on this story, set it aside to let my creative juices flow, only to then get caught up in some other project.  It was probably almost two years ago that I started this project, but I didn’t really get anywhere with it until about four months ago.

About four months ago was when I learned my story “The Reluctant Host” would appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? which would be published now.  (See my previous blog post.)  You know what would be good, I thought?  If I had a Kindle book come out at the same time to get some of that chicken soup splashover

Of my dozen or so projects, “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” was the closest to being finished, so I set out to finish it.  One problem was this time travel story I couldn’t make work.  Fortunately, I had recently come up with a new story idea also set upon the moon, “Putting Down Roots.” Since I could finish that story, and since the other stories in the collection were more grounded scifi (no warp drive or aliens) the time travel story kind of stood out.  So I swapped the stories and set to work finishing it.

I was making steady progress, when in early July I smacked my forehead because I had missed something.  July 20 marked the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.  What better time to put out a collection of stories set on the moon?  I debated for a bit if I should change my publication plans, but I couldn’t finish it in time.

As it turns out, this later publication date may actually be better.  One thing am really passionate about is setting up a permanent human presence in space, such as at a moon base.  If I had published this a month ago, it probably would have been lost in all the hoopla for Apollo 11, which I believe all faded into obscurity on July 21st.  But with this ebook coming out a month later, it can help advance my goal of moon bases in my lifetime by showing people the moon isn’t just something to get excited about on big anniversaries. 

At least, that’s what I tell myself to keep from smashing my forehead for missing such an obvious connection.

Grab my Kindle story “Lonely Phoenix” for free!

Posted in eBook, Scifi, Spaceflight, Stories with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2014 by The Prince of Pithy

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This weekend, Friday the 18th through Sunday the 20th, you’ll be able to download my scifi story “Lonely Phoenix” for free. The story is set onboard an interstellar colony ship in its centuries long voyage to a new star. And it involves a … vampire? Well, not like any vampire you know about, that’s just the closest word we have for what he is.

To find out more, you’ll have to download, which you can do all for the price of a click.