Sci-Fi Sample – Dalotek Base

moon, base, control room, SPace 1999
Image from Space 1999 TV Series

The doors slid aside and Doctor Forrester followed Colonel Stryker off the lift.

“I am truly impressed, Colonel, with your base. It is absolutely amazing what can be done with enough tax payer dollars!”

The stern faced Colonel just nodded.

“I understand now why you were so adamant that we keep our distance when we set up our own base here on the moon.   And I must say,” he smiled, “that I’m rather surprised that you not only took us in, but have been so open and forthcoming.  I have truly enjoyed this tour.”

Stryker, a head taller than Forrester, trim with a military crew cut and steel gray eyes said, without emotion, “Leaving you there to die when your base was damaged, didn’t seem to be the thing to do, Doctor Forrester.”

“No, I would hope not.  Although, frankly, I would not have been surprised if you had.  But I did expect the lot of us to be squirreled away in some storage room.  This tour was so unexpected!”

“Hmmm…” Nodded Styker.

“Especially since you are obviously not happy about having my team and I here.  But I assure you Colonel, your secrets are safe with me.  I shall never speak of them with anyone.”

“That is quite true, Doctor.”   Continue reading “Sci-Fi Sample – Dalotek Base”

Creativity? Me?

disapproval, thumbs downRecently I’ve been asked by several author/bloggers to submit a guest post about creativity.  At first I balked because when it come to creativity I feel like a gnu among gazelles.  I “hang out” with a lot of novelists but  I am a non-fiction writer.  I’ve tried writing novels – three of them – they all made the rounds of agents without a nibble.  I write well, so I assumed I’m just not creative enough.

But a few people have been kind enough to help me change my mind (a little) on that.  OK, I’m not a novelist, but I’ve always tried to keep my non-fiction from being dry and boring.  My latest book has received some great reviews, I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award, the One Lovely Blog award and Mitchell Allen (one of the most creative bloggers I know) once told me, “You could make a trip to the Post Office entertaining”.  So I hot-glued some flashing Christmas tree lights to a colander, slipped it onto my head as a thinking cap and set to work.

First up was Stuart Nager, AKA The Born Storyteller.  I met Stuart on Twitter and we became friends and co-conspirators when we ended up huddled around the same bonfire on Triberr.  You can read my Guest Post, Creativity and Inspiration on his web site.  Also be sure to drop by his blog, Tale Spinning, to read his excellent short stories.  Stuart is, among other things, a Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Teacher, and Drama Coach.

Next was Sirius Press, Inc.’s Creative Flux blog.

Terre is co-author of The Four Orders, a four-book Sci-Fi/Thriller series that begins with life-altering discoveries and builds momentum towards our society’s self-actualization.  Terre is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator and has recently moved into the fields of Video and Motion Graphics. She holds a degree in History in Art with a minor in English and is a published Art Reviewer. We’ve been communication compadre’s for some time now as we help one another promote our books.

Please pop over and read Training Creativity; it’s a short post and I think you’ll find it entertaining.

I wrote the Mechanics of Creativity as a guest post for another blogger who invited me to guest, then dropped off the face of the Earth and hasn’t been heard from since. So I posted it here in order to keep it in the same timeline as the rest. This article is an analysis of how I came up with Training Creativity.

Star Trek Economics – A Lesson in World Building

Promo photo found on Wikipedia

This morning my wife, Marie, and I were talking economics over breakfast.  This was not the stereotypical husband/wife economics discussion, which usually seems to be about how high the bills are and which one of them is going to sell a kidney to pay those bills.  No, we were actually talking “economics” when out of the blue Marie asks, “And what about those people on Star Trek: they never get paychecks, never pay bills, never have to buy stuff, never get fired.  How do they do that?”

The remainder of this post is a distillation of our discussion of that topic, and it seems relevant to this blog because it is a valuable lesson in world building.   Continue reading “Star Trek Economics – A Lesson in World Building”

Taxing Times for Indie Authors

 Government, taxation, incomeI’ve been looking around for my next book and think I may have come up with an idea.  There are a lot of newbie authors coming onto the scene who are being confronted with the fact that if they enjoy any success at all as an author that fact places them into a new category of the populace by the US Government: Self-employed.

I’m thinking I’ll write a business start-up and a tax penalty avoidance guide aimed specifically at authors.  How would I be qualified to do this since I am not a tax accountant nor do I work for the Small Business Administration?  This is true, but I have been full-time self employed for about 12 years now, part-time self employed for almost 20 years prior to that and I have filed my own family taxes every year (no accountant) and at no time in those 30+ years have I been slapped around by the government for my efforts.  In addition I have written such a guide before.  That one was written for those aiming to become a professional woodworker, was bought by Wood News Magazine for a handsome price and was serialized over ten monthly issues of their magazine, (you may check out [Going Pro as a Woodworker] if you wish) and was quite well received by both the editors and their readers.   Continue reading “Taxing Times for Indie Authors”

Saturday Fun Stuff – Farewell to Cyborg Wars

At this point, the “story” falls back into a set of notes.  This section is fairly coherent, so I will post it as the final offering.  Beyond this point, the file is just a collection of events and ideas, so with this I will wave farewell to this project. If you’ve just stumbled in, you might want to Start at the Beginning

The alarm went out across the quadrant and every ship carrying any type of weapon was sent out to fire upon any Cyborg ship it found. Borga was sterilized, enhancing the stun effect on the remaining Cyborg. In their dormant state, the Cyborg ships were fairly easily destroyed. And many were. But no one knows how many regained sentience and escaped to hide among the stars.  Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff – Farewell to Cyborg Wars”

Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 5 of Cyborg Wars

If you want to Start at the Beginning

My shuttle touches down just as the landing craft are lifting off to return our men to the ship. Those who survived.  High General Gohn is already there, standing at the hatchway as I step out of the shuttle.

“Admiral Mann,” he says with a small, stiff bow.  “It is a pleasure to fight beside you again.  And it was a glorious battle, was it not?”

We lost 43% of our Troopers, and 60% of our ships.  I don’t see anything glorious about that, but Stormers consider dying in battle the height of glory.  “Mmm… Glorious.”

General Gohn laughs and steps aside to let me exit.  Then growls and reaches for his weapon when he sees my guest.

I held out my hand, with out touching him – never try to restrain a Stormer Warrior or you’ll end up dead too.  “Allow me to present,” I say in as cordial a voice as I can manage at the moment, “Wing Commander Ulan.”  The General stands with weapon at ready, lip curled, but stays where he is.  I continued, “Who is grateful…” and I emphasize that last word, much to Ulan’s chagrin, who tries not to, but looks indignant just the same, “for our assistance in this matter.”  Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 5 of Cyborg Wars”

Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 4 of Cyborg Wars

Continuing the Saturday Funnies, here is part four of my on-going Sci-fi tale.  Remember: this is offered just for a bit of fun.  If public opinion is that it holds any promise, I’d be happy to rework it and try it as a short eBook.  If it stinks… well, why waste the time?  If you want to start at the beginning [just click here]


Troopers Kim, Barklay and Rodrigues work quickly as they double check each others gear: body armor strapped on, photon grenades clipped to waist band and on safety, phaser rifles loaded and on safety, extra clips secure, Comm set on and working.   The ship is still at red alert yet the call went out for all ground assault troopers to suit up.   Barklay, the squad leader, notices Kim fidgeting.   It’s Kim’s first active G.A. mission.   Since Kim joined the squad, fresh out of the academy, they had participated in one boarding party against a Birdman ship, and called to stand ready in three other skirmishes, but saw no action in those.

“So, Kim, are you ready for your first taste of true G.A. action?”

Kim grabs his rifle and brandishes it threateningly, “You bet!”

Barklay smiles, “Good man.   Just remember; don’t get close enough they can touch you.    If they inject you, holler for one of us and we’ll off you.   If they get one of us, you do the same for us.”   A look of doubt crossed Kim’s face.  Barklay pressed the point, “Have you ever seen anyone get assimilated? Believe me, it isn’t pretty.   You would be doing me or Rodriguez a favor.”  Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 4 of Cyborg Wars”

Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 3 of Cyborg Wars

Want to Start at the beginning?

cyborg invasion,Our operative’s report included coordinates: coordinates which had been transmitted to the entire Birdman fleet as a rendezvous point.   Something big was about to happen.

There had been quite a debate over whether this report could be trusted.   It could be bait set out by the Birdmen to trap our best ships far from help, but discussion quickly dimmed the luminance of that possibility.

Hastily we pieced together an assault fleet and ordered them to proceed to the coordinates given.   The Executioner, a Dreadnought class battleship, was patrolling in my vicinity and I took command of her as my flag ship.   My fleet was scattered all around the quadrant, a well coordinated, cohesive assault would be nearly impossible, but we would do the best we could.   Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 3 of Cyborg Wars”

Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 2 of Cyborg Wars

Start at the Beginning?

Romulan Warbird, Star Trek, Paramount
via Paramount Studios

Wing Commander Ulan broods in her command chair, listening to the sounds of the war bird around her.   They are the usual unobtrusive sounds of a star ship in flight; the soft whoosh of life support, the small chirps and beeps of computer equipment as it tracks and monitors a billion circuits throughout the ship, hushed voices as her crewmen confer on this matter or that.   And under it all the deep, barely perceptible thrumming of her ship’s engines as they propelled her though space with unimaginable speed.   She has sat, listening, a hundred times before.   It’s a habit she developed when on important missions; listening for any small sign that there was a problem.   It’s silly she knows, the computers would alert her crew of any malfunction.   But still, she liked to feel in control, even while waiting for events to play out.

This mission was especially important.   The wing she now commands consists of every last war bird the Empire could muster.   Cloaked, and traveling at top speed toward a date with destiny.   Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 2 of Cyborg Wars”

Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 1 of Cyborg Wars

Long, long ago in a galaxy far away I used to play a game called VGA Planets.  It was a mult-player, on-line, roll-playing game of space conquest where each player had to build their race’s home planet’s economy and industry then develop space ships, then go and explore and, generally, kick butt to keep other races from over-running them.  If you were good, or lucky, or a little of both you could expand your empire.

I wasn’t especially good at it, but I enjoyed it so much I kept playing.  At one point, I decided to chronicle a game and create a story from it, posting the story for other players to read as the game progressed.

Earlier this morning on Twitter some of us were discussing the way as kids we used to look forward to Saturday morning and cartoons.  That conversation gave me the idea of posting part of that VGA Planets chronicle here each Saturday morning as a bit of fun.

Understand, that this was never slated for publication, it is not polished. It does contain references to and take-offs from most every Sci-Fi series ever made.  All characters are fictitious, so if the Romulan commander reminds you of your Aunt Mable, don’t go trying to sue me.  I never even met your Aunt Mable.  The images used are the artwork of various people I knew at the time and could not possibly remember now.  If anyone wants to complain, I’ll delete them.

Ready?  Here’s part one:  Continue reading “Saturday Fun Stuff: Chapter 1 of Cyborg Wars”