Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Drabble Wednesday: Silent Stars and Skies

Today on Drabble Wednesday look to the sky...





Instant Nightmare

Help me!
Someone, anyone! I can see you. Down there on the street. Look up! Someone look up!
A downdraft blew across the sidewalk stirring dust. A man clamped a hand on his hat and a child jumped over a gusting newspaper. He was rebuked by his mother.
Help me! Don’t let them take me! Do something!
Another flurry of wind blustered over the gathered crowd.
Please do something! Help me! Save me!
They all stared at the body. One whispered, “He just collapsed. So sudden.”
While above it all, black winged creatures dragged the man’s soul higher and higher...

~*~





Dream a Little Dream

I used to stare into the night sky, and wish upon the stars.
I imagined the day I would fly into space, when I would soar among those pinpricks of heavenly light, exploring. My goal was to glimpse new suns, set my foot upon the dust and dirt of unfamiliar landscapes. I dreamt of discovery, delving into the mysterious beauty and strange alien existence of the universe.
I used to stare into the night sky, and wish upon the stars.
Before I knew what was out there.
Before they came to our planet.
Before we became their new feeding ground.

~*~





Mission Alpha

“Twinkle, twinkle little star
Above our world, so near, so far
Like a time bomb in the sky
Boom, boom, and now we die.”
First Engineer ZYF779 scowled, or as close to the expression as an android could approximate. “Stop being so morbid. The Sunstar Station hasn’t gone critical yet. We can fix the reactor before it detonates.”
Second Engineer THX732 turned away from the transport window. “Yes. This time. But you know the moon colony is living on borrowed time without an upgrade.”
“Well, that’s not going to happen. We’ve been abandoned by Earth Command.”
“Twinkle, twinkle little star.” 





© A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved



Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Drabble Wednesday: A Strange New Year

Today, on this first Drabble Wednesday of 2017, I bring odd tales of the old year passing into the new...



  
Breakdown

“You just had to take the scenic route! On our end of the year holiday! And now the engine’s failed! And we’re stuck in some backwater nowheresville!”
“How was I to know? The engine was working just fine until, well, five minutes ago.”
“It was working just fine... How many times have I heard that?” Lips turned into a pouty sneer. “How long until mechanical assistance shows up?”
“They said about an hour, depending on their hyper-drive.”
“What! An hour stuck above this dreg of a planet called Earth? What could be worse?”
“Stuck over the spice mines of Kessel?”

~*~





Tales of Time

Father Time and Baby New Year, such quaint images of the one year passing to the next. Iconic representation of endings and beginnings.
Not true, of course.
The truth is far less... simplistic.
The Keeper of Time is more than an old man with a scythe and an hourglass. I am millennia and a millisecond breathing in infinite universes. I change the fabric of existence, snuff heartbeats with a flick of my finger. Each year I grasp life and death in my hands, and inevitably some of you will pass me on my long road.
Will this be your year?

~*~





The Heralding

They say the new year will be better.
They’re not paying attention.
Good.
We like it that way.
The signs are there, but humans are blind to our foul taint. Our coming does peculiar things to a world. Strange climate oddities, increased deaths, unnatural anger and aggression.
And hate.
We love the hate. It feeds us.
We will be strong on this world. We will feast on this world.
Consume it whole and leave nothing but an ashen corpse.
It won’t be long now.
The dead will rise from their graves, and the darklings will live.
Be seeing you soon...






© A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Book Spotlight: The Glass Thief




Today I have a wonderful book spotlighted, the new fantasy novel, The Glass Thief by Jon Ryers. There's also an excerpt, and a mini interview with the author. Enjoy!


The Glass Thief by Jon Ryers




A debt is owed.

Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s enemies.

Living amongst the townsfolk and gaining the trust of those in charge, Del quickly discovers they know more than they’re letting on, and that perhaps the relic truly does exist. Upon discovering their ultimate secret, he realizes winning his own life back could come at the cost of everyone else losing theirs.


The Glass Thief is available on Amazon and Kobo





Excerpt:


CHAPTER XXI:

If you could describe Uri’s home with a few words, it’d be sterile, bare and spartan. Almost militant. It reminded Del of the early days, back when he’d steal glass from the barracks and keeps of human kingdoms before the Glass Wars diminished their numbers and put the faen into power.
Nothing was out of place here. His clothes were organized into two sections: patrol Uri and magistrate Uri. Light armour and leather on the left and garish robes and ceremonial trinkets on the right. No Glass Crown.
A mouse would be hard-pressed to find a crumb of food in the kitchen. The floors were scrubbed, the table clean and polished, and the scent of citrus lingered in the air. No Glass Crown.
Upstairs was, as expected, equally tidy. Saria’s bedroom would seem chaotic compared to the order of Uri’s, and all she had was a bed and a book of poems. The sheets were pressed and fitted tight around a bed that’d hold no more than a single person. If Uri had anything going on with Renny, it sure as hell wasn’t going on here. Perhaps they rolled around on the floured floor of her bakery. An image both amusing and disturbing. No Glass Crown.
Del returned to the kitchen and grabbed a glass along with the bottle of wine beside it. He pulled the cork out with his teeth, spit it onto the floor and filled the glass, putting his feet up on the table. A small consolation for a fruitless search, but a deserved one nonetheless. He had after all saved Uri’s life.



Mini Interview With Jon Ryers



Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself.

My name is John Ryers and I write predominantly dark fantasy. I have written a few short stories in YA and Sci-Fi genres as well. I live in Ontario, Canada with my wife and twin daughters, and work as a graphic designer to pay the bills.

How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I knew I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. I wrote my first story at aged six (complete with amazing (not really) crayon illustrations). It was about my hamster and his inevitable death, and so I’m entirely surprised my favourite genre to write is dark fantasy.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favourite author is John Green. It’s his style of writing that I felt a connection to and his books helped me find my own narrative voice. For a while I was floundering with a lack of style and voice and it was through reading his novel A Fault In Our Stars that everything seemed to click for me, despite him not writing anything remotely close to dark fantasy.

What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?

My genre is Dark Fantasy, and I’ve been told I could classify it under the sub-genre of Heist/Swashbuckling Fantasy. I think my narrative style makes it a little different than the usual dark fantasy tales. It is set in the middle ages but I use anachronistic language that borders on contemporary, and I also implement technology that didn’t exist during that time period such as magical firearms and a steam-powered suit of armour in one particular scene.

What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?

I think I pulled the inspiration for The Glass Thief from my own past, in that, I was a very different person a decade ago than I am today. A lesser person so to speak. The Glass Thief is a story about betrayal and redemption, and I wanted to write a story that showed no matter what your past entailed, you always have the power to set things right, if you truly want to.


You can find out more about the author at these sites:

Twitter: @johnryers
Instagram: @johnryers




ABOUT JOHN RYERS

John is a graphic designer by day, and graphic designer by night (depending on the client), but most importantly, he's a writer at heart. His dreams include writing for a living, experiencing virtual reality on a Matrix-esque level, and flying unaided (or possibly via really sweet jetpack).

John writes all genres but prefers Dark Fantasy over most anything else. This is due in part to the fact that he likes it the best, and because it's awesome.

John prefers blue cheese over cheddar, cats over dogs, and will attempt to answer any question with sarcasm whether appropriate or not.

He completed his first novel The Glass Thief in 2017 and you should buy it. Or don't. He's not the boss of you.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Book Spotlight: All Lesser Means

Today I am spotlighting the sci-fi political thriller, All Lesser Means by JA Pipes. Enjoy!


All Lesser Means by JA Pipes



Jason Bailey needs money. Paying to overthrow the government isn’t cheap. Especially when the revolution is still 30 years away. In his first job out of college, Jason is working alone one night when he receives a message… from the future. A message that will turn his life upside down.

The future is bleak, the economy is a shambles, and millions are suffering. Jason’s compassion for people he has never met draws him into a conspiracy to bankroll a secret army that will overthrow that government. Things go much deeper than Jason anticipated and his investments soon draw the attention of the FBI.

Veteran agent and internet cop Frank McIntyre is drafted into a top secret government operation to find Jason, with orders to stop him or face the consequences. The chase is on. Jason must hide the money, and himself, in a cat and mouse game that ends in revolution.




All Lesser Means is available on Amazon



Author Bio:





JA Pipes is a self-proclaimed politics junkie, anarchist podcaster, and blogger. He has traveled the world from Uluru to Istanbul. He has dug up dinosaurs in the badlands of Montana. He served in the United States Marine Corps during Desert Storm. He holds degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Missouri. He is currently an engineer for the world’s largest aerospace company. Mr. Pipes resides in St. Louis with his wife and two children.



Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Exploration

Today, on Drabble Wednesday we go exploring... into space, through dimensions and below the ocean’s surface.




To Boldly Go...

A voice reverberated through the crowd of eager scientists at NASA Mission Control.
“Discovery One has passed out of the solar system. The exploration probe is transmitting. We are receiving video communication. We will soon see what is beyond...” Abruptly the screen filled with static as the probe’s transmission ended.
“Communication is down! I repeat communication is down! We’ve lost Discovery One!”

Outside the solar system, charred pieces of metal, the remains of the ill-fated Discovery One, floated past a black, cylindrical security drone. Just one of millions patrolling the galactic quarantine perimeter of hazardous species 4BZ112~THX, native designation: human.

~*~




Quantum Phenomenon

Curiosity.
A strange, essential human trait, but a dangerous one. At least I’ve found it so, for it led me here to a rather sizable predicament.
I’m a scientist, and you may imagine curiosity is my stock in trade. My field of study is quantum mechanics, and recently I made a breakthrough.
I found a method to generate interdimensional doorways.
Hence my current problem.
It was that last one, you see, the last door I opened. The one that led to Hell. Now I have demons trapped in the closet, and I don’t think the lock will hold much longer.

~*~





Under the Sea

They said I was mad!
They were probably right. I may indeed be quite insane. If my colleagues had been smarter, they would’ve locked me away in some deep hole and thrown away the key.
For, I found it.
Years of painstaking research, of ridicule, laughter, but I located the coordinates. I discovered the position where the city lies beneath the waves. Where He waits dreaming.
But today He shall awake.
I will pierce the black seas of infinity and rouse the beast.
He shall rise and return to this world.
The Old Gods will walk the earth once more.






© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved




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