Tag Archive | Science fiction

Life, and Other Dreams by Richard Dee

Life, and Other Dreams

 

42948389Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.

In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.

Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.

When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.

Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?

Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

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My Review:

I enjoyed this fascinating story by Richard Dee.

Rick’s life on earth is tedious and mundane, until he takes an untested medication for insomnia and starts to have vivid dreams of a ‘future’ life, on another planet.

In contrast to Rick’s daily grind, Dan’s days with his wife, Vanessa, exploring Ecias, are filled with action and excitement.

However lucid, a dream is just a dream, until Rick meets Esther Phay, and the coincidences mount up. Dan being accused of murder on Ecias and Rick’s wife accusing him of having an affair, leave Rick wondering what’s real.

The main characters were well fleshed out, and the world building was excellent. I could see the flora and fauna, and the wonderful scenery of Ecias.

Which life is real and which is the dream? Or are they both real? I need to know. With the cliffhanger ending, I’ll definitely be reading the second book of this two-part story.

 

Author Bio:

Author 1200Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon. He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, working as a Marine Insurance Surveyor and as Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.

Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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The conversation made me realise just how little we actually knew about Ecias. We had mapped the planet from space and by drone, built a road but actually explored less than one per cent of it.

~Life, and Other Dreams by Richard Dee

 

A Stranger on the Train by Karen J Mossman

Originally posted on The Magic of Stories -October 20, 2018

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Jenna heard the song on the radio and the sweet rawness of the words transported her back two years when she met a stranger on a train.

She was travelling to London to visit Aunt Ivy and running late. She pulled open a carriage door just as the whistle blew. Too late, she realised she was in a first-class compartment and there was a lone occupant inside. He looked up with surprise. “Sorry,” she said, not meaning to invade his privacy. The train lurched forward throwing her into the seat and almost into his lap. “I’m so sorry,” she said again.

He was very handsome with the deepest brown eyes she had ever seen.

“It’s okay, as you’re here,” he said. She hadn’t expected to hear an American voice in the heart of England.

Jenna sat down in the seat opposite. The train carriage was small. Outside it was hot and clammy and not a day for travelling. The open window made little difference to the humidity and trying to draw him into a conversation was proving difficult. Giving up, Jenna settled back to rest and fell asleep.

Waking up, she found the train stationery and Nino, as she later learnt, was nowhere in sight. Pulling out a magazine she read the problem page and was part way through someone’s acne breakout when he opened the door. He looked like an Adonis dressed black.

“Hi,” he drawled. “It’s so damned hot in here, I thought we could use a drink.” He was carrying two cans of cola.

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Just what I needed.”
“I don’t think the British have heard of air conditioning,” he said as he sat down he pulled the ring off the can.

“Well this weather is unusual,” she replied taking in his square solid chin and small nose. Those deep-set eyes set her heart racing when he looked at her.

“Sure as hell is,” he said taking a long swig.

“Are you on holiday?” she asked.

“I’m working. You?”

“I’m visiting my aunt. I erm…” For a moment she contemplated telling him and then thought, what the heck, he was just a stranger. “I’m escaping a broken romance and my aunt says she has just the remedy for a broken heart.”

For the first time Nino looked interested. “Why would anyone break your heart, honey?”

His eyes softened and the way he called her honey made her pulse quicken.

“Because Pete found someone else who was more exciting and prettier than me, the bastard. We’d only been together two years.” She shrugged. She still couldn’t believe she had meant so little to him. Feeling the familiar lump in her throat, she grinned as if she had said something funny.

“I’m sorry,” he replied sympathetically.

“So,” she said with exaggerated brightness. “My aunt is going to take me out and has promised me a good time. In fact,” she knew she was babbling now, “tomorrow she’s taking me to a concert at the Lords Hall.”

Nino raised his eyebrows, “Lord’s Hall, no kidding?”

“Yeah, you know it?”

“I’m going too.”

“Well, that’s a coincidence! I’ve never heard of the singer which isn’t surprising as my aunt has weird taste in music sometimes but hey, if it gets me out…”

“Sure does. And you never know you might enjoy it.”

“Yeah, bloody singing Eyetie who probably thinks he’s God’s gift to women.” Nino looked amused. “He’s got a foreign sounding name, so I hope he sings in English.”

“He does. His name’s Santario and he’s all right.”

“Thank goodness for that. We have front row seats, so I can hardly sneak out if he is rubbish!”

The journey flew by as they chatted, and Jenna felt a fleeting disappointment when he didn’t suggest they meet up at the concert.

***

Surprisingly, Lord’s Hall was packed. Jenna wondered how so many people had heard of him when she hadn’t.

“You’ll love him, I promise.” Aunt Ivy gushed at Jenna’s scepticism.

“Ladies and Gentlemen.” A disembodied voice announced as the show began. “Please welcome on stage Mr Nino Santario!”

The auditorium erupted into a standing applause as the singer appeared. The only person still seated and not clapping was Jenna. Shocked, she stared at the stranger from the train.

He was wearing all black again, jeans, tee-shirt and a leather jacket with tassels that swayed as he moved. He had talent and Jenna was soon up with the rest of them applauding, dancing and enjoying the performance.

Back in the present, the song on the radio ended. Jenna let the memories wash over her. After three encores, she and Aunt Ivy had been invited back stage. Everyone was vying for his attention, but he only had eyes for her.

Later they had dinner, Aunt Ivy smiled, declining his offer to join them, she had to go home and feed the cat. She didn’t have a cat. After they had eaten Nino asked if she had ever been to a casino, she hadn’t, and it was a great experience.

For his next concert, Jenna had sat in the wings and he was even better close up, especially when every time he came off stage, he kissed her!

She followed him around various interviews and photo shoots. She was even with him when he recorded the songs for his debut album.

Everyone treated him like royalty. They all believed this up-and-coming star would be the next big thing. They treated him with such reverence that even he thought he was royalty at times.

Jenna remembered one radio interview where she sat facing Nino, but behind the interviewer. She decided to give him direction

“And when did you discover you could sing?” asked the man.

Jenna rocked her arms and Nino said. “When I was a baby.”

“Really? That young?”

Jenna put her fingers to her eyes pretending to wipe away the tears and Nino said: “I used to cry in tune.”

“Really?” he said again appearing to believe every word.

Nino looked at Jenna who put her hands together in prayer. “I used to cry in church.” She shook her head and Nino said, “I mean sing, I used to sing in church.”

The man nodded, “When you were older, of course?” She held up her fingers and Nino said, “Three, when I was three.”

They had laughed so much and as more interviews came, it got sillier. Jenna tried to put him off whenever he was trying to be too serious.

One day, things went too far, and they ordered Jenna out of the recording studio. Nino was up in arms and walked out too. Everyone was in a flurry about wasted recording time and who was footing the bill.

One night in the hotel room after they had laughed about the day’s antics, Nino said. “I love you, Jen.”

She caught her breath, “But you don’t even know me.”

“Honey, I’ve had the best time. That Pete must have been mad.” He kissed her neck and her skin turned to fire. “I knew you were different the moment you walked onto the train.”

“You mean fell on,” she laughed. “And, you didn’t really want to talk.”

His kisses travelling down her shoulders and she groaned.

“I just wanted to look at you,” he said, his hot breath caressing her.

Sighing and unable to resist him anymore, she found his mouth and drew him in. “Oh Nino, Nino,” she cried, wanting him more than ever.

Picking her up, Nino carried her to the bed where they fell into each other’s arms. Making love to him was an amazing experience, and she didn’t know it then, but it was to be the last time.

***

Now, Jenna stared out of the kitchen window. Their relationship really had been that good. The song faded, and the DJ said, “Nino Santario there, with Broken Dreams, dedicated, he says, to a girl he loved and lost.”

Jenna’s legs went weak, as she felt for the chair. Her heart was still broken for what she’d lost. After all this time, he still loved her!

“And if you want to catch Nino, he will be in Manchester on the 8th and 9th next month. Next we have….”

“Poor Nino,” she whispered out loud. Their affair was all too brief. He had kissed her and said he would see her later. She left his hotel and never saw him again. Later she realised she hadn’t told him anything about herself. All he knew was her first name and that wasn’t even her given name.

Going into town was a daunting task. The bus driver called out her stop and she disembarked. It wasn’t difficult finding where he was staying.

“Can I help you Miss?” a voice beside her asked.

She jumped and turned to him, “Is this The Imperial?”

“It is. Shall I escort you to reception?”

“If you don’t mind,” she said, mounting the steps with him.

“May I help you?” asked the girl at reception as Jenna approached.

“I believe Mr Santario is staying here?” Her heart was pounding making her sound breathless.

“I’m sorry but I can’t give out that information.”

“I’m an old friend of his, you see. Will you to pass this note to him? Would you do that?”

“Well I…”

“I assure you I’m not some crazy fan trying to get near him.”

“Well, all right then, but it doesn’t mean he is staying here.”

Jenna smiled. “I understand. I’ll just wait, is there a seat?”

“Yes, I’ll show you.”

Jenna waited for what seemed like an eternity, her heart thumping wildly. She formed the words in her mind. “Aunt Ivy and I were in a car crash, she died, and it left me like this.”

Then she heard his voice call her name and could imagine his face. She picked up her white stick and went to him.

The end

 

MagicofStories

 

This story is taken from Karen’s book The Magic of Stories. It contains a collection of short stories and poetry. Karen is a multi genre author and this book is divided up into different categories, from romance to paranormal, from stories in poetry to short five-line tails.

The Hobbes Family by Dan O’Brien

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Title: The Hobbes Family
Author: Dan O’Brien
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy513Iyi8PQTL

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

Get it today on Kindle!

 

Excerpt:As Michael looked out the broken window of the convenience store, he grimaced. The tall blue oaks that surrounded the building on two sides were dusted with frost; the ground was an amalgam of crystal sheets broken only by brave stalks of undergrowth that dared the frigid touch of the gales. The building wouldn’t serve as a long-term solution. However, it would be useful until the weather broke.

The trek out of the suburban areas began in the family Subaru. Highway 99 was so overrun with smoldering and abandoned vehicles that the Hobbes family was forced to make the remainder of the trek on foot. The winter months proved disastrous. Often, the snow levels came down into the valley for a day, sprinkling unsuspecting areas with brief, beautiful moments of frozen precipitation.

This was different.

A storm settled in the valley, trapped and angry.

When the sun managed to peek through the clouds above, it almost felt bearable. But the great star was soon obfuscated behind a gray wall once more, bloated and teeming with fury as a fresh zephyr of snow and blinding particulates dragged the valley.

Michael looked over at his wife. Susanna’s high cheekbones were prominent and the sallowness of her cheeks from periodic starvation saddened Michael as much as he was capable.

He hadn’t fared much better.
His beard grew in with dark clumps and gray patches; his bedraggled hair was curly in places despite its length. Were it on purpose, he imagined Susanna running her long fingers through it and calling it cute.

The store weathered the apocalypse.

Shelves remained intact for the most part, though they were barren fields. Coolers were popped open. Overturned cans, smashed and left for dead, littered the floor.

This was someone else’s last stand.  

 

The Author:

danobrienDan O’Brien has over 50 publications to his name––including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012.

Before starting Amalgam Consulting, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine.

You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website. Follow him on Twitter.

 

 

 
Books by Dan O’Brien
Bitten
Dawn
The Little Artisan
Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and the Loose Change Collection Agency

Great Summer Reads 2018 Countdown Blitz: Day 8

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The Seeds of Dissolution by William C. Tracy

 

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On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

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Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten diverse alien cultures—where he meets two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

Sam is surrounded by aliens, both strange and familiar. Soon, he meets sister and brother twins, also new to the Nether, who support him during his anxiety attacks. Sam finds he is attracted to both of them, and does not want to choose.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.

Amazon

 

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William C Tracy Author PhotoWilliam C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer.

In his spare time, he wrangles three cats. He and his wife enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

Website • FacebookTwitter

 
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Top Ten List:

10 fun facts about myself:

  1. I am trained in violin and fiddle

  2.  I’ve written nine books

  3. I’ve practiced Wado-Ryu karate for fifteen years

  4. I’ve designed and operated heavy construction equipment

  5. Two things in this list are false

  6.  I can juggle five objects at a time

  7. I’m a direct descendant of William de Tracy, one of Thomas a Becket’s four assassins

  8. My mother went to school with Robert Jordan’s wife

  9. I own a cast of my grandfather’s teeth

  10. I’ve visited eighteen countries

Answers:
False: #7 (probably) and #5 (because #7 is the only falsehood, which means #4 is false, but that means it’s true, which then means *head explodes*). #6 is technically true, though not for very long.

 
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Great Summer Reads 2018 Countdown Blitz: Day 5

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Courage by Lauren H Salisbury

(The Legacy Chronicles Book 1)

 

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Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son’s life?

Courage Kindle

Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day.

When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.

Courage is a science fiction retelling of the Biblical story of Moses’s birth. It has strong, quirky characters, strange alien worlds, and a gripping plot with a twist on the original.

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Facebok PhotoLauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England.

She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.

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Top Ten Lists:

Ten Fun Facts

  1. I love making my own greeting cards and sometimes sell them at Christmas.

  2. I’m allergic to lots of things, including my own hair.

  3.  I have an MA in education with a focus on games in English.

  4. I lived in Beirut, Lebanon for a year and southern Spain for six months. I still speak some Arabic but only a little Spanish.

  5.  I play Minecraft at the weekends with my nieces in Canada, and we’re going to build the settlement and space cruiser from my novel, Courage, in one of our shared realms.

  6.  I know how to professionally frame pictures and once spent a summer working in an art gallery.

  7.  I’ve learned to walk twice as an adult. Once after dislocating my knee and tearing the ligaments, and once after a long-term illness that left my muscles partially wasted.

  8.  I donated my hair to the Princess Trust a year ago and plan to do so again.

  9. My young nieces invented lots of the animals and plants for my stories, including vevom (chicken-like creatures with eight tentacles instead of legs).

  10. I like to renovate old houses, and I’m about to find my fourth.

 

Ten Favourite Things

  1. Reading. I can read for hours without noticing night falling.

  2. Evaporated milk. Every baked dessert tastes better with evap, except possibly cheesecake.

  3.  My tablespoon. I love cooking and baking, but I never weigh anything on scales. I’ve used the same spoon for years and know how to measure every ingredient using it. Besides, it has a comfy handle.

  4.  Messenger. It’s how I communicate with family living in Canada.

  5.  My fleecy grey jumper. It’s warm and soft—perfect.

  6.  Dry humour.

  7. Firefly. I love the mash-up between outer space and old west, English and Chinese. The main characters’ sense of wit helps too.

  8. Long showers to wake me up and get my brain working.

  9. Coming up with new twists for my series; hidden links between characters are my absolute favourite.

  10. Designing a new card. I love to make my own.

 

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Fools Of Parody by Scott Moses

Fools Of Parody

 

Aliens, Dolphins and the human race – what could go wrong?

31649376_10216044094204787_7170055108732911616_nGiven the choice to wipe-out humanity and turn the world over to Earth’s higher life forms or give humans one last chance, what would you do?

Aliens Anu and Matrona are pissed. Since their last visit to Earth 2000 years ago the world is more intent on destroying itself than ever before. Teaching seven ordinary people the tools to save their world they give humanity nine months to clean up their act. There will be opposition but good must prevail over evil or else! Can the human race learn to love each other and appreciate life? Or will dolphins become the predominant life on Earth?

Amazon • Books2Read

Excerpt:

Hundreds continued to arrive into the sacred grounds each day. Communities of like-minded pilgrims sprang up sharing their tents and food with anyone who asked.

Cable channels catering to science and science-fiction lovers canceled their programs in favor of broadcasting 24-7 from the site. Interviews with scientists, authors, spectators, and former abductees interspersed the actionless action. The continuous TV coverage kept many would-be trekkers at home.

Two of the more memorable interviews happened at the beginning of the week. The first occurred when a reporter spotted the owner of a national fast food chain. A social network video of him and his family killing an elephant while on safari in Africa elevated him to a loathed anti-hero. Asked why he was there, the owner replied, “God made man superior to all other life. Plus, I got some bad press when I killed that dumb animal. Let’s see what they think of me when I kill these space people.”

The second came when a local TV station interviewed Miss Twyla Faye Barrow of Van Buren, Missouri about details of her abduction. An over-sized woman with bright, multi-colored makeup and a good humored smile recounted her story. She ended with a plea to the aliens. “If you can hear me, please let me know what you used for the anal probe. I have not found anything on earth that comes close and I would like to manufacture them here. Of course, I’ll split the royalties with you, say 20 percent?”

Traditional news stations battled for the best positions to view the gleaming space vehicle. Finance TV told their viewers 100 different ways they could make money from the event. By the end of the week, the State of Kansas made U.S. Route 281 a toll road between the city of Lebanon and the landing spot. Proclaiming the ship a state landmark, they charged fees for entering and camping in the park.

Interest among TV viewers started to decline. Stations devised new ways to keep their audiences interested, but the lack of action made the broadcasts as exciting as airline food. Losing viewers by the score, the news outlets had to think of ways to keep the interest before their ratings dropped further and exploded on the sidewalk like a bag of soup thrown from the Empire State Building. As one producer put it, “It ain’t doing nothing. It just fuckin’ sits there.”

The media’s long-time solution of making stuff up and presenting their fecal matter as truth served them well. Throwing their crap into a yard spreader known as “the news,” they continued to fertilize the seeds of fear and ignorance continuing their quest of splitting the world into separate but equal hate groups.SM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Pre-order the Ebook of Fools Of Parody for 99 cents.
Order before Friday and join the Fools Of Parody Release Party – you could win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

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Author Bio:

27781330_10215303502090447_493375454_nThe Laughing Warrior, Scott Moses is the author of the reviewer acclaimed novel “Between Truth and Eternity”.

His turn-ons include taking long hikes with his dogs, jello wrestling, and homemade chilli. Turn-offs include mean people and driving behind someone with their blinker on for five miles.

He lives among the majesty and clean air of the San Francisco Peaks.

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14192123_291374887905084_8934348183651967026_nKKantas AuthorAssist