Category Archives: Earths in Space

Free days ahead for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve!

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverGet your Kindles ready. The Earths in Space vol. 2: We Must Evolve e-book will be free on Amazon for the first time ever from April 7 through April 10.

In case you missed it, here’s the back-cover blurb:

Life can evolve. Amena saw the evidence on an ancient Earth. It wasn’t pleasant evidence, and it wasn’t evolution into sentient life, but she saw evidence.

So okay, she accepts that no little green men exist on alien worlds, but maybe one of these other Earths holds evolved humanity.

Evolution faces a powerful obstacle, however — humanity itself.

Volume 2: We Must Evolve begins with the discovery of a mysterious ark full of refugees caught in orbit over Pluto…

Wait, an ark full of refugees…?

Well, that’s one Earth that’s not evolving. But another could be doing better. It’s possible, Amena keeps telling herself…

Continuing the action-packed Earths in Space series, We Must Evolve features a novel-length journey told in four novellas — “The Pluto Factor,” “Worlds to Save,” “The New World,” and “On Hold.”

If you’ve never read the first Earths in Space … well, I’m just sorely disappointed in you. But being the forgiving soul that I am, I’ve structured the sequel so it can stand on its own even as it builds upon previous events.

So, starting bright and early April 7, indulge in some free reading, why don’t you?

Have fun.

Celebrate Halloween with Rip, Serissa, and assorted ghosts…for free

RIP-V1-final.jpgBoo! RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death is having its first-ever free promotion Oct. 25 through Oct. 28. Sure, the original novelette was a free standalone ebook for a while, but that’s gone and only this set of four novelettes and a short story remains.

Just in time for Halloween. The perfect time to read about a young guy beating up ghosts.

Also, Earths in Space vol. 2: We Must Evolve will embark on my maiden voyage into the world of Kindle Countdown Deals Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, so keep an eye out for that.

And while I’m giving things away for free or nearly free, I’ll continue working on Terrific. Once I finish that novel, I’ll return to the paranormal world of RIP for two more volumes, circle back around for a third Earths in Space, and…well, that’s as far ahead as I can think right now.

So…have fun reading.

Kids need Terrific role models

Kids need role models, and adults sometimes need role models on how to be role models.

This, of course, brings me to superheroes. Too many of today’s costumed crimefighters tend to fall short in this regard. Even Superman has stumbled—I would not recommend kids emulate the version of Supes we see in the recent Man of Steel movie.

While I was a member of the Comics Experience workshop (which I highly recommend for all aspiring comics pros), I was working on scripts for a superhero series that would be perfectly appropriate for ages 9 and up. Along the way, the notion crept into my mind that this should be a novel, and while it should remain appropriate for younger readers, it should be for adults who have little ones in their lives. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, etc., you may feel you have to be near-perfect in the eyes of these children…even though you’re not, and you may even have a whole other life that occurs out of their view (parents’ jobs, teachers’ own family lives and hobbies).

This novel will be called Terrific, and it will feature the greatest superhero of its world—Mighty-Woman. And at the start, she has also been the world’s only superhero for the past several years, though she did start as part of a team. Things just went…wrong.

I had a full draft written, and then I attended the Taliesin Nexus Calliope Workshop for Fiction and Non-Fiction Authors last weekend and received excellent feedback, which I’m now implementing in a rewrite. The first draft was entertaining, and I’m excited to make it even better.

Terrific will be my next book and first full-length novel. Next on the docket will be volumes 2 and 3 of RIP, which will continue the established format of episodic novelettes that build on each other. That series is like my Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but with very human ghosts. Then I’ll return to Earths in Space for a third volume of fun, somewhat pulpy sci-fi action/adventure as my team of explorers continues to visit alternate Earths across the universe.

Superheroes, ghosts, and space travel—I’ll be busy, and I’ll be having fun.

In the meantime, RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death has joined Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free. If that goes well, Earths in Space may follow suit.

Now, time to work on Terrific

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #5

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverEarths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

Let’s have another excerpt, shall we? We shall…

*****

“Good evening, Amena.”

Amena glanced at her before returning her gaze to the moon. “Hey, darling. Sleeping troubles?”

The way she said “darling” with the dropped g … No, it was probably nothing, Quin assured herself. Mere fanciful wishing.

“You could say. My apologies if I’m intruding.”

“You’re intruding on nothing. No worries.”

The “nothing” in this context implied a vacant mind, a person possessed of no deeper thought than her own social standing. But for all her enigmatic nature, Quin was sure of one thing: Amena was the least shallow person she had ever met. “When you look to the sky, what is it you see?”

The question earned Amena’s full attention, and she seemed delighted to respond. “The electromagnetic spectrum. Some of it, anyway. Have you heard of—”

“It sounds intriguing, but I must confess to ignorance on the subject.”

“It’s okay. Word just hasn’t gotten around yet. Anyway, basically, the electromagnetic spectrum is—it has to do with these wavelengths, a whole range of wavelengths.” Her hand swam through the air, bobbing up and down at regular intervals. “The widest could be as big as the universe, potentially, while at the other end, they get as small as the tiniest building blocks of the ittiest bittiest little thing.” Her arms continued to gesture, spreading far apart and swiftly pinching tight together, and then her hands just sort of rolled forward with her speech, as if necessary to siphon off her excess enthusiasm. “Within that, there’s this sliver of a sliver we call visible light. This whole huge spectrum—universe-level huge—and our eyes only pick up a sliver. We’re missing out on a lot.”

Quin looked at the bright moon, wondering what else bounced off it.

Amena’s arms drifted to her sides, and she sounded almost melancholy. “There’s so much more going on than we’ll ever see.”

*****

Want more?

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #4

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook is available, and so is the paperback edition. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

So…excerpt? Yes, time for another excerpt…

*****

Amena materialized in Renaissance Italy—which wasn’t actually Renaissance Italy, but it sure bore a striking resemblance. It pretty much matched how she pictured it. Smelled even worse, though, but maybe the architecture would stun her nose after it finished stunning her eyeballs. As she clung to the shadow of a tight alley, she wondered if any of these ornate buildings could boast interior artwork on par with that of the Sistine Chapel.

Well. That was a lovely half-second during which she could forget her present company and situation.

“What do you see?” Sharp asked.

“More than you, I’d wager, but I’m sure you’ll tell me the correct answer.”

“Look at the natives.”

Yeah, she got where he was going with this. The street was full of men. From her inconspicuous hideaway, Amena listened to snippets of conversation as they passed. They conducted business, discussed philosophy, debated a new mathematical theorem, and so on. All very interesting, but the tableau felt incomplete.

“Where do you suppose the women are?” Sharp asked. “Perhaps the kitchens? Nurseries? Imagine if you were born here.”

“That is a terrible waste. Yes. That’s a shame—that and so much else. There’s a lot more wrong here than you’d ever notice. These people—the ones alive right now—they’ll never explore outer space. They’ll never even reach the moon. Their descendants will create such wonderful art these folks’ll never get a chance to appreciate. They’ll achieve scientific discoveries that would astound any one of them, that would seem so magical—but these people will never know. Yeah, it stinks that it takes so long to grow a civilization, but the payoff’s amazing. These guys might be too stupid to treat their women as people, but each generation will get a little smarter until that’s corrected.”

“They won’t, because I’m about to kill them.” Sharp tapped his badge. “Location Beta.”

*****

Want more?

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #3

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverLaunch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition already went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you. 

This latest excerpt allows me to bring up an extra-special point. An uncommon feature of the Earths in Space series is that it stars an asexual leading lady. Asexuality is the least common of sexual orientations. The description applies to maybe 1 percent of the population. But it’s real. Some people simply don’t experience sexual attraction, and that’s fine. To learn more about asexuality, check out the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, or just Google it.

This sci-fi story is not about asexuality, and it’s not even explicitly stated. Amena’s asexuality is vaguely hinted at in Vol. 1, but it becomes a bit more obvious in Vol. 2, as you’ll see below…

*****

“He actually can get pretty industrious sometimes,” Jem said.

Amena wondered if “industrious” was a euphemism. It didn’t sound like one, but a lot of euphemisms tended to take her by surprise.

That kiss was ingrained in Amena’s mind. It nauseated her on a number of levels, the age difference being a big one, but even worse was the notion that this bright—well, sometimes bright—beautiful and strong girl who was just barely old enough to drink would choose to spend such quality time with a slovenly wealthy man prone to erratic behavior. Jem was no gold digger. Outside of the salary she drew from this work, she never spent any of his money. The two of them just kind of clung to each other for unfathomable reasons. Amena understood precious little about it, but she was pretty darn sure it wasn’t healthy.

“Jem, let’s talk girl-to-girl.”

“I guess we would have to.”

“Huh?” Smirking? Why was Jem smirking at her?

“You can’t really talk woman-to-woman, can you?” Continue reading

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #2

Launch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition already went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you. The following excerpt spoils nothing about Vol. 1.

*****

The vice president destroyed civilization, but he didn’t mean to. He simply neglected to seal his containment suit properly. Oh, and the whole initiative kind of was his idea in the first place.

Zanna Fuentes was his deputy press secretary, but now she had a new job—ambassador to the next Earth.

She stared at the massive vessel that would bring her there, along with nearly five hundred other survivors. It sat in the cavernous bunker beneath the Department of Scientific Advancement, where a bunch of paranoids had constructed it in secret a decade earlier. The body was an obese cylinder capped by hemispheres on both ends. The technicians dotted the grainy yellow hull as little more than specks from Zanna’s vantage point in the observation room.

That thing was going to be her home for many thousands of years. It was her future, her entire civilization’s future. Continue reading

Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #1

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverLaunch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! The ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition just went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you.

So let’s kick things off with an excerpt. Then, for an even grander time, I’ll post other excerpts throughout the week.

Here we go, but be warned — this snippet includes some spoilers for Vol. 1…

*****

Evolution was a real thing. Amena Wharry knew this for a fact. She had witnessed it in action on an Earth that no longer existed. That giant swimming eyeball was forever etched in her memory. She saw it, felt its slimy tentacles as they ensnared her, and she had regrettably killed the poor thing, though she never learned what species it had descended from. Did a race of giant eyeballs already exist deep within her Earth’s oceans? But those snakes were clearly evolved, the way they stretched their mouths unnaturally wide. Then again, that could’ve been a species of snake that had remained hidden in rainforests or was driven to extinction long ago, and those little dinosaurs might never have gone extinct over there in the first place…

The slender redhead swiped her paintbrush across a side wall in The Patrick Henry’s control room. The dull metal got old on day one, and she finally found time to rectify the horrid situation—rectify it as much as her limited artistic talents allowed. Intricate murals were beyond her abilities, and she didn’t have that much time anyway, but she could slap assorted streaks of color up and down the walls. She preferred detailed images that merited close inspection—the sort of work she’d find in art museums’ historical wings—but she settled on abstract expressionism. It was color. It broke the monotony, stimulated the brain even.

Surely people were capable of evolution. If those animals could evolve on that ancient Earth, then humanity likely had the same potential. They just never got the chance there. That civilization died young, lasted for a teensy fraction of the planet’s ten billion years. But maybe on some other Earth…

*****

Preordering is fun, by the way…

Hello, Wattpad!

I joined Wattpad today. It’s a lovely website where writers can post sample chapters and work-in-progress excerpts…and readers can enjoy them for free.

Sounded like a winner to me.

I’ve posted the beginning of the upcoming, not-yet-fully-edited Earths in Space vol. 2: We Must Evolve:

Of course, if you still haven’t read Earths in Space vol. 1: Where Are the Little Green Men?, its beginning is on there, too:

And of course, my Wattpad page wouldn’t be complete without “Touch,” the first novelette in RIP vol. 1: Choices After Death:

So, yes, I hereby tease you with free book beginnings.

The pre-order page is live for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverWhat’s this? A Kindle pre-order page for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve?

Why, yes, it is! And the pre-order page will turn into an order page on January 30, 2015.

Since it’s a pre-order page, preview content isn’t yet available. However, if you explore the hashtag #EIS2 on Twitter, you’ll find all sorts of mini-snippets I tweeted during the editing process. Additionally, I had posted a handful of work-in-progress excerpts on this website. You can find them by clicking on the “Earths in Space” category. I’ll be sure to add more over the next few months.

Meanwhile, the 116,000-word manuscript is currently in the hands (or at least computer) of editor Todd Barselow, who will no doubt help me find those all-important last-minute tweaks to take the book to the next level before its launch.

Evolution is a slow process, but it’s finally coming. Until then, you’ve got some time to catch up on Volume 1. (Many thanks to all who’ve read it!)