As refugees in a vast sprawling empire, mankind must find and fight for a new homeland after Earth’s destruction. Plains of Exodus chronicles this epic struggle.
Mankind’s first contact with an extraterrestrial species didn’t exactly go well. The inadvertent destruction of the Earth saw a call go out to the vast and ancient empire for help. Despite the quick response to this plea for aid, the remnants of humanity find themselves refugees in an overcrowded galaxy and at the mercy of an empire whose existence predates mankind’s own existence.
Unwanted and unwelcome, humanity languishes in a dozen massive colony ships around an energy poor star.
As a young smuggler Jonah Mctier is one of those fortunate few who has access to this millennia old realm, and it is he who after fleeing a triad of imperial cruisers discovers the answer to mankind’s dilemma.
In desperation Jonah finds refuge in a parsecs deep dust cloud where he discovers not only a habitable and empty planetary system but one of the most sought after resources in the Milky Way: a spatial conduit. Except this is no ordinary conduit.
Exploitation of this unique and unknown type of spatial gateway offers an alternative to the slow but inevitable descent into extinction for the children of Adam. Key to this bright future is the need to keep their phenomenal find a secret from the resource hungry empire who would take this discovery for themselves and themselves alone.
To complicate matters Jonah discovers that there is more than one of these gateways, and for humanity to be successful in their quest mankind must hold and eventually destroy all of these rare portals.
Jonah didn’t know old Earth, didn’t have parents who grieved for such a loss, and his only real desire at this point in his life was to join his friends on Wild-deck to drink that sphere of dark beer so dearly bought for his birthday.
Well, he’d seen the stars for the first time. It had been worth missing the party, and besides he had received a much better gift that day than just a bellyful of beer and a hangover—he had found Sontule.
Five years had passed since Sontule had come into his possession, and that irascible deckmaster had passed away a couple of years ago. Yes, it was definitely strange how fortune graced some while leaving others untouched. Some had gained fame and ease, what ease could be found on the colony ships, by their looks or skill at amusement—something the holocasts demanded.
That hadn’t been Jonah’s gateway out of poverty. Oh yeah, he was tall enough, and had the blond hair and blue eyes of some long ago Germanic ancestry, but contrary to popular belief the entertainment industry required more than just good looks.
No, his fortune had come from luck and luck only, but this was something he wasn’t going to complain about.
Only half-conscious, his mind skirled about the past—slipping randomly from memories of Sontule’s discovery to life on Alterhome.
The great colony ship was home to over twenty thousand inhabitants. It’s design allowed for half of this, but mankind had seen almost a century in an alien ship whose designers had provided temporary accommodation for considerably less souls and for a limited amount of time.
Alterhome and its eleven siblings had housed what was left of the human race for nearly a century since the exodus, and to this day much of its vast exterior remained unmapped and according to the old deckmaster in dire need of maintenance from those young colonists under her fleshless hand.
Jonah wasn’t the first to discover a ship hidden or forgotten on one of the colony ships. There had been others—not many by any means—, but Jonah’s rare find had been the first in nearly a quarter century.
Then, as if finding the alien craft wasn’t lucky enough, it became clear that the ship was of Abellian design. The Abellians had been extinct for almost fifty thousand years, but their craftsmanship was still valued and much sought after throughout the empire.
The salvage rights had gone to him, of course, and this legal procedure had seen him evolve from faceless nobody to smuggler, one of the envied few who could leave the overcrowded and hopeless life dictated by the colony ships.
This transition from unknown to smuggler seemed to happen overnight—a modern day Cinderella story where it had been his, Jonah Mactier’s, graceful foot which had fitted the glass slipper.
Progression from slipper to castle to happily ever after had not gone quite as smoothly for him. Finding one of these abandoned or forgotten craft meant leaving his old life behind—something he didn’t mind one bit.
Jonah wasn’t stupid. He knew his life was never going to be the same again, but what caught him off-balance was the enormous amount of attention suddenly focused on him—some desired and some most definitely not.
Those who brokered power on Alterhome wanted him to join them, and their suit had been powerful and compelling, as well as being heavily laced with the poison of guilt and duty owed. Others had just wanted his ship, preferably without him, and they were quite willing to use any means necessary to get the Abellian vessel. Those had been the beginnings of exciting times.
November 19 – December 1, 2018
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About Robert J. Burnett
After crisscrossing the country on more than one occasion, Robert J. Burnett and his wife Louise are currently living in northern British Colombia where they hope each day that they won’t be burnt up in the massive fires ravaging the province. Coming a close second to these fears are the worries about being eaten by bears. Mosquitoes scare him too.
Rob’s favourite religion is Christianity, but he’s never met a druid or a pagan he didn’t like. That said, he doesn’t like them if they’re smelly. Same with bears.
His fondest wish is to be abducted by aliens and taken to their home-world where he will miraculously return to his mid-twenties and be given super powers.
His music likes could be said to be a bit eclectic, ranging from classical to Celtic, especially those composed by non-smelly druids or pagans.
Voted in high school as most likely to lose all his teeth before sixty, he can proudly state that this has not happened as he still retains twelve. It is this ferocious smile, he believes, that scare off most bears.
Today he lives a productive life of non-work, listening to Ancient Astronaut and Hangar 51 shows, a hobby he has cultivated in his expectation of being abducted and taken off-planet. At least he won’t lose his job for failing to show up for work.
As a father to four sons, Rob fervently hopes that all his children will breed and produce offspring who in their turn will support him in his dotage.
Thanks to nanochips implanted in human brains, the world is at peace in 2055. But not everyone likes having their emotions controlled, or their religion suppressed.
Eighteen-year-old Raissa embarks upon a perilous mission to free the world, just days before the release of nanochip Version 7, which will broadcast every citizen’s thoughts to the Collective.
The countdown has started, and Raissa must make choices that jeopardize the lives of billions, including the only boy she has ever loved.
Note: Some discussion of technology, some “techno-speak”; clean, no sex or swearing; some non-graphic violence, a tiny bit of graphic violence.
About the Author
Scott Cramer has optioned two screenplays, written for national magazines, and authored four novels: EDEN CHIP and the TOUCAN TRILOGY (Night of the Purple Moon, Colony East & Generation M). Scott and his wife reside outside Lowell, Massachusetts.
From Seb Doubinsky, author of The Song of Synth, The Babylonian Trilogy, White City, Absinth, Omega Gray, and Suan Ming, comes his highly anticipated next installment in the City-States Cycle. Missing Signal—a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a government conspiracy? Agent Terrence Kovacs has worked for the New Petersburg Counter-Intel Department propagating fake UFO stories for so long that even he has a hard time separating fact from fiction. Especially when he’s approached by a beautiful woman named Vita, who claims she’s been sent from another planet to liberate Earth.
Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.
Alliance fleet officer Robert Sheppard and his crew aboard the Phoenix have a sworn duty to uphold order in the universe. Even when that duty means they have to put their lives on the line, each individual is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Alliance of Worlds. In his latest adventure, Sheppard may have to do just that. He is facing dangerous new enemies with advanced technology, weaponry, and intelligence. It may just be his most deadly adventure yet!
When Sheppard is asked for help by his new allies, the Talcon, he can hardly refuse. From their planet-sized spaceship, the Talcon Starcity, the alien race is looking to establish colonies in the Milky Way. Their impressive technology forces most other planets and organizations to play nicely.
The Talcon have a problem that they think Sheppard can solve. Animals from Starcity are going missing. It seems like such a simple mystery, but the solution to the puzzle will take Sheppard across space and into the hands of a strange new entity. Despite his many years working for the Alliance of Worlds, there is still much Sheppard doesn’t know about the universe and its many species. He’ll soon discover some hard truths!
About the Author
Gary Caplan was born in Philadelphia and earned three bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, later earning M.D. and M.P.H. degrees. He serves as a Colonel and preventive medicine officer in the reserves and has published articles in medical journals. Caplan became interested in reading science fiction and fantasy books as a young man and, after practicing medicine for several years, began to write his own fiction. At first strictly a hobby, his writing flourished and he decided to publish both a science fiction and sword and sorcery novels in his spare time.
It’s 2143. In the aftermath of wars, plagues and environmental breakdown, there’s growing hope. Thanks to extensive brain implants, space cadet Dom enjoys a perfect memory. He and girlfriend Astra practice telepathy and attain new heights.
Lucas, Dom’s benefactor and parent clone, is a diseased convict now returned from Martian exile. Dom’s brain implants offer Lucas the chance for a life-saving mind merger, and he intends to make that happen.
“The novel is in turn thrilling and thought-provoking, and has the makings of a powerful sci-fi franchise.”–Foreword Reviews (Clarion Review, 5 stars)
“captivating, relentlessly paced…this novel should more than satisfy anyone who enjoys cerebral sci-fi.”–Blueink Review (starred review)
Dec. 16, 2143
There were forty-five of us transports crammed into the space bus, and even though everyone was sedated, the two and a half day trip was arduous.
After we docked there was a slight shaking. Our capsule shot backward, and stopped. With a hissing of air, the door slid open. “Welcome to Mir,” a man’s voice said. “Everybody out.”
The artificial gravity here was less than the moon’s; I got up without much difficulty. Two uniformed guards checked us off as we came out. “You’re Dominic Tessier,” one said crisply, when she touched my ID tag with a scanner.
My legs uncertain, I stepped onto a moving sidewalk that took us through a tunnel. In a few minutes the passageway curved, and the main terminus area of the space station came into view. I held tight to the railing and stared. The people here arrived and departed from all over the solar system: personnel from the space ships, businessmen, and new-world workers. Some, while roughly dressed, had a special swagger. I thought they might be prospectors. Then a group of T-men walked through in unisex suits and skull caps. Although silent, their expressions and gestures showed communication. Thanks to their brain implants, they were telepathic.
Only a few months earlier, I’d been a student at the Space Training Academy. My brain was being transformed through implants, and I looked forward myself, to a career in space as a T-man administrator. An awful injustice had been done to me, and my dreams were trashed. Yet I felt no regret, resentment, or any emotion at all. A silver bracelet around my wrist created a chemically-induced docility, more powerful than chains.
Our guards took us along a walkway above a large, brightly lit loading dock. Through the side-mesh I could see the Stellar Blossom. The ship’s blue hull seemed to stretch on forever; it dwarfed the men gathered to service her.
Ahead was a short, balding man I remembered from my time in jail. “Phil,” I called, catching up to him.
He turned to me without surprise. “Hello, Dom,” he said in the slow speech of the bracelet wearers. He pointed up the dock to a line of people entering the ship under a bright yellow canopy. “Did you notice? Some are women.”
“Passengers,” I said. “A different world.”
About the Author
A University of Chicago graduate in English, William Alan Thomas has been a civil servant, fisherman, and first aid attendant, among many other things. He’s written most of his life, and today his two main series, thriller and sci-fi, are well underway.