Tag Archives: Science fiction

Pharaoh’s Star – Tour

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Science Fiction, mystery, fantasy
Date Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Chattercreek
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The mystery that unfolds on a dark, eerie back road in upstate New York sends Nick Dowling on a frantic quest to understand his past. What he discovers about himself slowly drives him toward madness. Where does the truth unfold, in mystery or in the dream? Is truth the illusion he can’t embrace? Just who is Nick Dowling?

Excerpt

Suddenly he noticed lights, as if coming from a house. Thinking he might finally be off Fox Hollow Road and onto something that would take him into town, he breathed a sigh of relief. 

“Shit,” he said, as he got closer to the house. “Looks like a frigging dead-end.” 

He slapped his hand on the steering wheel. He decided to knock on the door and ask for directions as he stopped the jeep near the driveway. It was quiet, desolate. He took a deep breath and confronted his fear. “Get hold of yourself, man,” he said. 

Nick stared back at the farmhouse. It was familiar, which was not unusual. At every turn in upstate New York there was a farmhouse. 

“A compelling sight,” he said. 

The house was stately and white. Lace curtains moved with the wind, like the porch swing. He could hear the creak. The house stood against the night in shades of grey, like an old postcard photograph picked up at a flea market. Nick could see bicycles lying on the grass. A dog lifted his head from the porch and stared at him. Nick felt strangely nostalgic. 

He’d assumed years ago that he’d been raised in Phoenicia, New York, because that’s what it said on the hotel register when he checked out of the room he’d awoken in, with no memory at all of how he had gotten there. Phoenicia, New York, was another small town within biking distance. He must have been on a lot of country roads in his childhood, staring at houses just like this one. He never went to Phoenicia, though, it was too frightening to confront a past he couldn’t recall, but he’d insisted on buying a second house in New Kingston after finding the town on a Google search for vacation homes. Had he subliminally chosen to be near Phoenicia? 

He didn’t have any answers, perhaps he never would. Perhaps he didn’t want them. As he stared at the house, it drew him in, engulfing him in a black and white fantasy, like an old film. He couldn’t have any connection at all to this farmhouse. New Kingston wasn’t written on the hotel register. 

Nick stared at the house for several more minutes before the image faded, simply drifted off into the night, leaving behind a phantasmal mist. Nick drifted into the ebbing image, falling into a mindless stupor, as if inebriated. 

“God,” he cried out. “What the hell is happening to me?” 

He struggled to escape the blank plateau into which he had fallen, but he couldn’t. It was as if his thoughts were being gripped by a distant hand. He suddenly felt floated right up to a shadowy shape in the sky. 

“Leave me alone!” he shouted. 

His head fell sharply to his shoulder, an action that seemed to come from somewhere else, another person―another body. 

“Stress can cause people to black out,” Jenna once told him. 

“Yes, of course, that’s it―stress,” Nick whispered. He looked back at the house again. The noise returned, overbearingly loud―the drill into concrete…deafening. 

Quickly switching the radio back on to fight the noise, he thought about screaming out for help. The sound hovered above him, precariously close. 

He turned the radio up louder. Nothing but staticDamn. 

The noise continued…threatening to use its power…devour him. It was directly over his head, so very close. He felt lifted by it, lifted up to someplace far, as far as space. 

“This is madness,” he whispered. “This is impossible.” 

He had spent his entire adulthood distracted by the ordinary pressures of survival. He never considered himself particularly introspective, not much caring to delve into the remnants of feelings hidden beneath the debris of inconsequential information―feelings his wife insisted were vital links to his mental well-being. Nick never questioned his life after waking up in a Chelsea hotel with no past. He walked out into the city and survived. Surviving took up all his time, owned his thoughts. He didn’t need to know the rest, the forgotten past. The only choices he needed to make were the ones he faced in his profession as a circulation vice president for a major New York newspaper. It took twenty years, but he finally had an executive’s salary. 

He didn’t want to know his inner life. The dreams he had over the years had been too disturbing to probe―images of violent anger, blood everywhere he looked, murders he could not explain. 

“My inner life is uneventful and average,” he’d told Jenna when they first met. “I can’t devote much time thinking about it.” 

And then, years later, new torment, new dreams…monsters haunted his sleep, metaphors for himself, he surmised. 

No, Nick did not want to find his past or obsess on any uncomfortable emotions, especially not with his dreams, blood on his hands, a dead child at his feet…a battered woman. 

“Am I insane?” He looked out into the night and shook his head. “Am I?” 

He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. He switched the radio back off and listened for the quiet stillness of night to return, soft and melodic. He listened until all he heard was the wind. 

As he stared back at the old farmhouse tears came into his eyes. He suddenly wanted to leap from the car and run to the front door, as if he belonged there, behind the majesty of its silent repose. 

I’m home. Mom! I’m home, he wanted to shout. 

His eyes blinked as the lights in the farmhouse flickered. He switched the radio back on. He needed the music to ground him, but the static had returned with an irritating repetition. He tried to find a clear station. He was agitated. He wanted to get the hell out of there. He knew that by now the only general store in town would be closed and he’d have to deal with the supermarket for a 

lousy quart of milk. He hated the supermarket: big, cold places…so why the hell can’t I get off this damn road and make it to the goddamn general store? 

“Shit,” he said, switching off the radio altogether. 

The lights from the house flickered again, as if an electrical storm was passing over, but the night was clear. Nick backed the jeep up, deciding he would leave the way he had come in…no need to ask for directions. As his breathing returned to normal, he was grateful for its steady rhythm. He was making rational decisions like his old self. It had all been imagination, just imagination. 

As Nick backed up the jeep, he noticed a man at the window of the old house peering through a torn shade. 

“What the hell happened to the lace?” He whispered as he stared in awe at the tattered blind. He quickly thought of his wife and the look in her large dark eyes as she gave him that half parted smile and suggested therapy. How the hell would he ever explain any of this to her? 

He sat quietly. His eyes drifted back to the house. He looked quickly for the dog. All he saw was a tired old porch―empty…no porch swing. No dog. 

“Shadows playing tricks,” he said. The oblique shape in the sky expanded and lowered itself closer to the Earth.

 

About the Author

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Olivia Hardy Ray is the pen name for Vera Jane Cook, who is the author of Dancing Backward in Paradise, 2007 winner of the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction and an Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence, also in 2007. Dancing Backward in Paradise received a 5 Star Review from ForeWord Clarion. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was a finalist for the ForeWord Clarion Book of the Year Award and the recipient of a five star review from ForeWord Clarion. Where the Wildflowers Grow was her third southern fiction novel and is receiving 5 star reviews from Amazon.com. Her latest southern fiction novel just released is Pleasant Day. Her woman’s fiction novel is Lies a River Deep and the soon to be released ‘Kismet’. Under her pen name she is also the author of Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem, and Pharaoh’s Star. The sequel to Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem is Annabel Horton and the Black Witch of Pau. That novel will be released this summer. Jane, as she is called by friends and family, writes in the genres she loves: southern fiction, women’s fiction, mystery and fantasy paranormal fiction. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her spouse, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her Dachshund, Karly, her Chihuahua, Peanut, and her two pussycats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.
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Science fiction Date Published: January 26, 2019 Dax, low status and a non-conformist, is stuck
Science Fiction, Humorous Science Fiction Date Published: February 2019 A robot possessing unique artificial intelligence
Science Fiction Date Published: May 3rd, 2019 Publisher: Chandra Press If you like the epic
Science Fiction / Steampunk / Fantasy / Fiction Date Published: 7 May 2019 Aubrey Hartman

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War and Money – Book Tour

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Science fiction
Date Published: January 26, 2019
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Dax, low status and a non-conformist, is stuck in the middle of the unending aliens wars. It’s 2187, and Earth has the Katarga trapped on the moon, refusing to allow them to escape. Then there are ongoing threats from the Piltrak and Jurale, which forces Global Command to recruit 15-year-olds like Dax, as soldiers. She never imagined she’d be advanced as a soldier, yet she was hand-picked by gruff Commander Viteri and taken from her parents, never to see them again. She doesn’t want to kill aliens, and suspects there’s more to the wars than keeping the aliens at bay. The problem is, she has to find a way to stay alive long enough to reveal the truth.

Excerpt

How did this happen? I can’t believe I’m strapped into this seat like a prisoner. I’m being sent away to die and if I don’t find a way to escape, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. All I want is to be back home, wrapped up in my blanket like this never happened. But it did, and the stale air in this shuttle is making me sick. The transportation shuttles back home never felt this suffocating. This is the worst day of my life.

Everyone needs to stop staring at me like I’m a pariah. Especially Commander Viteri. Those close-set eyes of his are boring into mine, and I know I should look away, but I won’t. I won’t give him the satisfaction of seeing how scared I am. He told Ma and Da that I’m a non-conformist, well then, how’s this for non-conforming. Go ahead and glare at me, I refuse to flinch.

His hatred is burning into me. He looks at me like I’m nothing, a stupid Single, the only child in my family. But why should that make me less than the Multiples, and who decided that being a Single was a stigma anyway. Ha! He looked away first. Sure it’s because he brought up a projection in front of him, but it still feels like a little victory.

Lenora Averlowes is on my left. I remember her from school, but we were never friends. She’s popular, taller and prettier than me. Even her shiny auburn hair is better than my dull brown. And she’s not a Single. She has a lot of siblings. She hasn’t said a word to me and I know why. I’m nothing to her. I completely forgot that we have the same birthday, but I do remember that she volunteered to be advanced. Hard to forget, because she let everyone at school know, bragging like it made her special and better than those of us who didn’t volunteer.

“Hi, Lenora, I’m not sure if you remember me, but I’m Dax.” I’ll shake her hand and be friends, if she wants to.

Look at her pulling away, repulsed by my offer of friendship. I should have known.

“I know who you are. You’re a Single and your parents are poor. And you talk too much about things you shouldn’t talk about. I don’t want you talking to me.” She turns away.

There are a few chuckles from the other kids, some I know and some I don’t, and a few of them strain against their seat restraints like they want to get further away from me. So much for making friends.

“Orwan!” booms Viteri, staring right at me. He’s out of his seat, holding onto a strap attached to the ceiling. “There’s no talking on the shuttle! You’ve just brought on the first behavior modification.” He touches a small metallic box attached to his belt.

Immediately, there’s a stinging jolt that goes through my feet all the way to my head. Apparently everyone got the same shock because they all jump and cry out as well. My fingers and toes are tingling. Viteri sits again and goes back to scanning through the projection.

Lenora glares at me, her bottom lip trembling. Her voice is barely above a whisper, “I knew you were trouble. Behavior modification before we even get to camp. Who’s ever heard of that? I’m going to be made a Lead at training camp and I’ll make you pay for this.”

The other recruits nod and scowl at me.

How does she know she’ll be a Lead? I thought ranks were given out at the camp, not ahead of time. It doesn’t matter to me though, because I’ll be slated to spend the rest of my life, however long that might be, fighting the Katarga aliens on the moon, unless I can find a way out of this. All Singles go straight to the moon and are never heard from again. Everyone knows that. I wish I never had to turn fifteen and go through my Date of Fate. I wanted to stay home and get a job, not get advanced into the Global Forces.

Soldiering is a world I know nothing about. All I have left are my memories of home. It seems like forever ago, but it was just this morning that I woke up and smelled the wonderful buttery aroma of birthday cake baking. Ma must have saved for weeks to buy eggs. Before it came out of the oven though, Viteri showed up at our door.

That was the moment my life changed. He ordered me out of my bedroom and made me stand against the wall in our tiny living room. He’s so big, he took up most of the room and made Ma and Da look incredibly small with their heads drooped down. That’s something I’ll never forget because they looked defeated. I’ve never seen them like that. Even with us being poor and low status, they always had hope and made the best of things. That hope vanished this morning though and that’s what scared me most.

author photo

I’m a multi-genre fiction writer who was born in Sydney, Australia, but now lives in Central California. With degrees in environmental science and archaeology, I enjoy being out in nature when I’m not glued to my desk writing or researching a new story idea. Writing is a true passion of mine, born from a love of the written word that can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.
Contact Links
Twitter: @sofiadianagabel
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RABT Book Tours & PR
Science Fiction, Humorous Science Fiction Date Published: February 2019 A robot possessing unique artificial intelligence
Science Fiction Date Published: May 3rd, 2019 Publisher: Chandra Press If you like the epic
Science Fiction / Steampunk / Fantasy / Fiction Date Published: 7 May 2019 Aubrey Hartman

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Andre’s Reboot – Blitz

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Science
Fiction, Humorous Science Fiction
Date
Published:
February 2019
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A
robot possessing unique artificial intelligence and human awareness, André 1
tells the story of his creation and “growing up” in his inventor’s family.
Often humorously fumbling in his interactions with people, André analyzes his
experiences, attempting to understand the faults and foibles of human
personality. Accompanied by his girlfriend, Dr.
Margaret 13, a droid physician of his own creation, André achieves a
position as translator and self-appointed mendacity-monitor to the American
President and strives to save humans from themselves.
The
novel is a work of science fiction and social commentary. André is wired to
take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning so as to be able
to analyze human societies without the usual biases and to propose clear-eyed
strategies for saving humanity from the many calamities toward which it
presently appears to be headed.
Excerpt
CHAPTER
ONE
REBOOTING
“WHAT
IS IT, ANDRÉ? YOU’RE vibrating all over.” Dr. Margaret 13 exclaimed. “What’s
happened?”
“They
threw me out, Margaret. They’re about to make
a
horrendous mistake.” I glanced around the White House Infirmary, noting no
humans present. “He had me ejected from the Situation Room. Secret Service
agents forced
me
out.”
“First,
let’s reduce your electromagnetic activity,” she said. She took me by the hand
and led me over to a chair. I sat but was too excited to be still.
“Now
tell me what happened,” she insisted. “Tell me everything, so your circuits
will release the energy.”
“They
are considering a nuclear attack. Nuclear, Margaret! It’s Armageddon if they do
it.” I paused to release a breath of static discharge. “I must act,” I said,
standing up, “but do what?”
Margaret
gently pushed me back down in the chair. “Just sit here for a moment, dear,
while I go get my meter. I want to be sure your servomotor controller is
functioning correctly.”
“But
I have to . . .”
“Hush,
André. I am the doctor. You must be still for a
few
minutes.”
Reluctantly,
I sat back and shook my head. I had no authority. I merely was the President’s
translator, which allowed me no more than a position against the wall in
the
Situation Room. I had determined, however, that I had
a
more valuable duty to perform, which was to offer observations void of
emotion—something I had learned humans could not do. And with this President in
power, my sober views were vital. Never before had I faced a crisis
like
this. What occurred to me—and it was a dangerous circumstance—because of my
dispassionate awareness, I was as responsible, as liable to blame, as anyone
there. I
had
watched the crisis unfold in the Situation Room, and
my
neural network began to heat up as I realized the circumstances were
intolerable.
“You
must listen to me,” I had shouted at them, with my volume up several decibels.
“You cannot win. There is no way to win. We have tried to tell you that for . .
.”
But
it was uncanny how the assembly silenced me at that point with their jeers and
threats. I was ordered out of the room forthwith, and my departure was between
two burly Secret Service men.
“How
am I to combat such foolishness?” I said when Dr. Margaret 13, a creation of my
own hands, my only real companion, returned with her scanner.
“Combat
is a strong word, André 1, I’ve never heard you use it before.” She opened my
chest and carefully touched probes to my voltage regulator. I processed the
idea of combat 378 times.
“I
do not have any active algorithm for violence in my
entire
circuitry,” I said, “except for what may be required
for
self-defense. And yet to prevent the imprudent actions
of
an unquestioning military, a spineless staff, and a reckless
President,
I cannot calculate any alternative.” I paused 4.96 seconds to reconsider.
“You
were programmed for loyalty, duty and respon-sibility,” Margaret said as she
removed the probes and closed my chest. “You have no algorithm to deal with the
present situation. You have no menu of violent responses to activate any
physical aggression. That is why your circuitry is vibrating with heat.”
“I
must modify my behavior programming,” I said. “I cannot sit idly by and let
these humans destroy everything.” I took her hands in mine. “Years ago, when
Dr. Strauss helped me develop self-defense, I installed secret integrated
circuitry in my legs. These IC’s only need to be connected to my CPU. You can
make the connections and then reprogram me, Margaret, so I can I generate
aggressive behavior. I must be made capable of violent force.”
“What
will we be doing, André?” Dr. Margaret 13 asked. “If I reprogram your CPU to
allow for violent action, the process will corrupt your basic behavior
algorithms. And what right does a droid have to act aggressively? Will we
not
be violating the very principles of ethical behavior?”
“Listen,
Margaret,” I said. “We are facing a tremendously serious crisis, not only for
humans but for the Earth itself. We must act immediately.” I sensed my circuits
abuzz as
she
pulled up the schematic diagram of my system and studied it.
“It
could cause a deep disturbance in your processors,” she shook her head. “I
cannot condone such a traumatic operation. No, André, you are programmed to
obey humans and not harm them.”
I
produced the sound of human laughter. “I have been disobeying the President for
months already. Look how often I have contradicted and argued with him. Not
that it’s done any good.”
“And
now you can do no better than violent attack?” She held up her hands to signal
dismay. …
About
the Author

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A
resident of Birmingham, Stephen B. Coleman, Jr. (Steve), a graduate of Indian
Springs School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Duke University and a
Master of Arts in English from the University of Alabama. He is married to the
former Dr. Sumter M. Carmichael, a psychiatrist.  Steve has been a naval officer, a high school
teacher, a businessman, and a commercial real estate broker. After retiring in
2009, he now enjoys sailing, writing, and landscape painting. He has authored
biographies and histories of local interest, magazine articles, novels, and
poetry. His story, “The Meanest Man in Pickens County,” was the first place
(state) winner in the 2013 Hackney Literary Awards for short stories. He has
published two novels: The Navigator: A Perilous Passage, Evasion at Sea and The
Navigator II: Irish Revenge. For more information, please visit his websites:
www.captstevestories.com and www.andretherobot.com
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Links
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RABT Book Tours & PR
Science fiction Date Published: January 26, 2019 Dax, low status and a non-conformist, is stuck
Science Fiction Date Published: May 3rd, 2019 Publisher: Chandra Press If you like the epic
Science Fiction / Steampunk / Fantasy / Fiction Date Published: 7 May 2019 Aubrey Hartman

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SWORLD – BOOK TOUR

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Science
Fiction
Date
Published:
May 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Chandra Press
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If
you like the epic world building of Frank Herbert with the amazing adventure of
Neal Asher, you will love Sworld: The Chronicles of Malick.
Malick,
the genetically modified captain of The Pioneer, and his crew are on a
scientific expedition to the far reaches of the solar system when they received
a highly unusual distress call. What’s more alarming is that no other ship has
ever been out this far. Compelled to investigate, Malick and his team discover
an alien vessel with a mysterious cargo that ultimately leaves them hopelessly
marooned on the unexplored planet Sworld.
Resigned
to their new lives, they begin a journey of discovery into a rich and vibrant
world with new life forms and intelligent species, but also dark mysteries and
perilous danger. An ancient race has turned to violence and aggression and will
stop at nothing until they achieve total domination. Plunged into a quest for
answers and an end to the bloodshed, Malick and the crew must solve the enigmas
of Sworld or perish.
Sworld:
The Chronicles of Malick is a thrilling science fiction adventure with
excellent character development, planet-spanning exploration, epic discovery,
and perilous danger.
Support
independent science fiction presses and pick up your copy today. You’ll be glad
you did!
This
is a must read for any sci-fi fan out there. If you enjoy science fiction in
all its glory, this is the novel for you. – Anthony Avila, blogger and author
of Nightmare Academy
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About
the Author


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The
author spent his childhood in Colorado skiing and riding dirt bikes.  After spending way too much time in college,
he took his engineering degree to the deserts of southern California.   After retiring to the mountains of northwest
to play golf, his wife dared him to write a book.  The rest, as they say, is history.
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Science Fiction Date Published: May 3rd, 2019 Publisher: Chandra Press If you like the epic
Science Fiction, Humorous Science Fiction Date Published: February 2019 A robot possessing unique artificial intelligence
Science Fiction / Steampunk / Fantasy / Fiction Date Published: 7 May 2019 Aubrey Hartman

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The Clockwork Detective – Blitz

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Science
Fiction / Steampunk / Fantasy / Fiction
Date
Published
: 7 May 2019
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Aubrey
Hartman left the Imperial battlefields with a pocketful of medals, a fearsome
reputation, and a clockwork leg. The Imperium diverts her trip home to
investigate the murder of a young druid in a strange town. She is ordered to
not only find the killer but prevent a full-scale war with the dreaded Fae.
Meanwhile, the arrival of a sinister secret policeman threatens to dig up
Aubrey’s own secrets – ones that could ruin her career. It soon becomes clear
that Aubrey has powerful enemies with plans to stop her before she gets
started. Determined to solve the mystery, Aubrey must survive centaurs, thugs,
and a monster of pure destruction.
About
the Author

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R.A.
McCandless has been a writer both professionally and creatively for nearly two
decades.  He was born under a wandering
star that led him to a degree in Communication and English with a focus on
creative writing.  He is the author of
urban fantasies Tears of Heaven and Hell Becomes Her. His short stories have
appeared in numerous anthologies including In Shambles, Gears Gadgets and
Steam, Nine Heroes: Heroic Fantasy, and Holes: An Indie Author Anthology. R.A.
is a 2015 EPIC Award finalist, and winner of the 2014 Preditors and Editors
“Best Science Fiction and Fantasy” Award. He continues to research and write
historical and genre fiction, battle sprinklers, and play with his three boys.
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Steampunk Date Published: November 17, 2017 Publisher: Leonardoverse Books In the tradition of “City of
    Steampunk/Anti-Romance/Gothic Suspense Date Published: February 28, 2017 Publisher: Transmundane Press Commander Raymond Burntwood

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