Sunday, May 31, 2015

Short Story: The Dirt Diggers

The Dirt Diggers

by Floyd Looney


The dirty, bare-footed child is dressed in rags, using a stick to dig in the dirt. She is looking for “things”, anything that could be useful or valuable. Something valuable might be a piece of tin or aluminum or anything that can be sold for some small change. She was not the only child out in the fields digging but she was one of the youngest.

The loudspeakers spoke again “Everyone pays their fair share of the burden”

There is something there, the little girl realized. She looks around to make sure none of the older or bigger kids see her react to it. Then she digs all around the object, it seems to be a few inches across and a bit deeper than across. Soon she has pulled it out of the wet ground and started rubbing off the dirt.

The loudspeakers chirped again, it was being especially chatty today “We all give things up for the common good.”

It was an old cup, a mug or coffee cup that was missing a handle, otherwise it seemed to be in good condition. She stood up and ran back to the tarp-covered hovel that was her home. “Mama” she said “Mama, I found something”

The loudspeaker, Mama calls it the lie-speaker spoke again “Obedience is patriotic”

Mama dipped into some muddy water outside in a bucket and shook off as much dirt as she could and took a good look at it. No cracks in the cheap ceramic except for the missing handle. She looked close and could make out the faded wording on the mug. “Worlds #1 Brat” she whispered and smirked.

Egalitarianism is next to Godliness” the chirp from above announced.

“We shall put it with the other things” Mama said and gave the girl a hug “Maybe we can sell it in the town when we go”

The city is where the people with money live, they have cars and helicopters and plenty of food and robot servants. The kids go to school and grown folk have things called jobs. That is where all the important government people lived.

Shared responsibility for shared prosperity, it is the law of the land”

After this the girl was happy to return to her digging. She felt that this was a lucky day.

Sidetracked

from http://cliparts.co
These things happen. I had just helped another author by beta-reading one of their works and I got a great idea for another story. 

Not that I need another story idea, I have tons of those. I always find myself side-tracked to write these other stories down, at least enough of it to remind myself what I was doing. 

If I come across the file in six months, hopefully I can just continue it without having to think about it too much.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Short Story: Frozen Ship

Have you entered the Cult of Me Short Fiction Contest?


By Creator:George Grie (Own work, [1]) [Public domain, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

                   Frozen Ship

 By Floyd Looney
 

 December 31, 1866

94th day. The charting of the southern sea is going well, our maps will become standard for the ships passing to the Pacific on this route. I am proud of the crew, we have pulled through the rough seas and have now found calm seas. A sea calmer than I have ever seen. I have full confidence that we shall arrive in Portsmouth ahead of schedule.

January 2, 1867

96th day. We fired cannons into the empty seas to celebrate the New Year. I passed around some of the last libations in the stores to the crew, solemn in the contemplation of this happy day. I note that tears and singing of sad melodies could be heard for hours after the end of daylight.

January 3, 1876

I gave the order to turn about and make haste for home. The men worked hard as they looked forward to seeing England again!

January 4, 1867

98th day at sea. 98 days ago we left London and it was just a few weeks ago we reached the southern region we are commanded to chart to find a new path to the Pacific. At first the sea was much too rough to consider for routine traffic but the farther south we went I can attest that things did improve. Where we are now the sea is calm,nary a movement has been spotted on the surface for well over a week.

One of the crew seems to have lost his mind during the night and jumped overboard. He was screaming about walking to Tierra del Fuego and how the rest of us were the ones that were mad. It is not an uncommon occurrence that long voyages can make some men crazy. Supplies are running low, morale is falling among the remaining crew, as cold weather is wont to cause.

January 8, 1867

102nd day. The Captain has fallen ill, I - Commander Laury, have taken charge of the ship for the meantime. Reading these logs is distressing, for I fear the Captain must have lost his mind weeks ago. We are surrounded by a desert of ice as far as the eye can see, the ship creaks and pops as it is slowly crushed by the force of the ice. Even firing cannons does not break up this ice. Half the crew have frozen to death, many more are frostbitten in their hands and feet, missing fingers and toes.

Review: Mindguard

Mindguard is a great story. The author builds a great story universe and wonderful characters that you will care about before the end of the book. The POV is from several characters and you will feel some sympathy for all of them, even the ones who turn out bad.

The future of humanity is apparently a very violent place, like its past, and Andrei Cherascu does not flinch from showing that right from the start. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, because I think it deserves it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Works in Progress...

Stories that I am working on bringing to science fiction lovers! Probably in this order too.

"The Fourth" a girl wakes up in an underground chamber and has no past and feels one imperative, to rebuild civilization in the ruins of Earth!

"Kita" Kita is a Kataran, she flunked out of the Space Academy but has been chosen by the Queen to be their planets first Ambassador to Earth!

A reminder that New Arrivals is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

"Swords & Spacesuits" When their ship crashes on Third Arches, an off-limits planet, two men find themselves involved in a society of swords and dragons.

FREE for Kindle Unlimited users!

New Arrivals does not bog one down in details and long narrative descriptions, it moves along fast and easy. Perfect for a weekend read!

 If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, NEW ARRIVALS is free for you!



All hands abandon story!

Sometimes I start a story and it goes nowhere or I totally lose interest in it. This is the beginning of one of those stories. I had called it "Me, You & Zombie" (last save was in Nov 2009)

Emory. Wake up Emory”

Her eyes fluttered open and her baby blues were looking up at me.

How long was I asleep?” she asked, noting the sunlight streaming through the boarded up windows.

Six or seven hours” I said and her eyes widened but I put my hand up. “I stayed up. You were safe, I didn’t see anything all night”.

We were in an abandoned house with the windows and doors boarded up. It had been cleaned out, some of the walls were busted but it was pretty secure. It had some solar panels on top that powered a water pump from a well under the house. So we had water at least.

She stood up and stretched as I messed with my blanket and pretended not to watch. I think she knows I like her but this is not the time or place to discuss these things. She shut the door when she went into the restroom as I lay down and prepared for a little nap.

A little while later I became aware of her moving around the house, the floorboard creaking gave away her position. She was moving into the front room, a place we avoided at night.

It all started about a year ago. People were losing control of themselves, losing the ability to reason and understand. Society began to crumble as it spread across Los Angeles and then to the entire country and now the whole world. The government had finally given up all pretense of operating seven months ago, the country was nothing but anarchy now.

These zombies were only a part of the problem because there were looters, thieves, cults and everything else one could think of out there. It was a dangerous world out there and one would not survive for long by themselves. That is why me and Emory teamed up, circumstances had thrown us together.

Jackson get in here, now!”

I roused myself enough to roll over and get onto my knees. I grabbed the shotgun as I stood up and walked into the front room. She was pointing at the front door. Through the boards nailed over it I could see that the door itself was ripped to shreds. It had been whole, mostly, yesterday. I went back to the bedroom and grabbed her .38 and my 30-30 rifle.

I didn’t hear a thing” I told her and went to inspect the damage through the barricade. Emory unlatched the heavy security shutter we had built covering the window. I could feel fresh air circulate through the room and I stood to follow her. We would hunt food and make sure to defend our perimeter.

When we stepped out onto the wide porch we found there was a dead zombie by the steps, a feral dog was chewing at its neck. She shot the dog. It use to be that she cried after killing something, especially animals, now she didn’t even wince. It has been a hard year.

We would eat the dog if we had to. We’ve done it before.

It would have had to die anyway, it might be carrying an infection. It might spread if it bit someone, nobody really knew how the zombie disease spread.

I had a couple more pages before I abandoned this story. It just sort of bored me. I don't think anything that would have followed would have been in any way original.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Emony - New Arrivals


Emony might be Brad's girlfriend in NEW ARRIVALS and while her part is not large she is definitely not the wallflower you might expect of a 12 year old girl. She has to remind Brad that she grew up in the same colony he did, she had to learn to shoot and hunt the same way he did. She isn't a wimp:

As we watched someone on the right side was hit by a plasma shot and crumpled to the ground and then there was a small explosion on the right side.

“Grenade?” I asked

She didn't listen to me she was homing in. “I got you” she whispered and fired as the man began his movement to throw another grenade. She fired, it wasn't very loud but the air seemed instantly drier.
 One of the invaders crumpled to the ground, the others tried to move away but were caught in the explosion of the dropped grenade.

The colonists began moving forward and the invaders who were left beat a retreat.

“One shot, one kill” she said into her com.

“My thanks” the Swamp Rat replied. “Base, this is Swamp Rat the invaders are falling back towards the colony.”

Lighthouse Keeper - Titan

It is morning but the sky has darkened again.

There was a tap, tap, tap of light rain when I checked to make sure the lighthouse was still working.

Now there is a tap, tap, tap of rain hitting the thin side of the house as there is heavier rain hitting the tin roof of my shack. The occasionally thunder, which I can feel, makes the dog whimper under the table.

I move the paper I am writing on from the left side to the right side of the table, because I know where the roof will leak if the rain keeps up.

I would really like to go home. Sure the generator hasn’t yet given out and the water purifier is not broken, but the view outside, when its clear, has lost all its charm.

I mean, I still like Saturn but I don’t want to live on Titan any more and the methane rains now make me cringe.

Lighthouse Keeper - Titan

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

You can't take it with you (maybe)

Thinking about booking passage on a space Mayflower to a new world? There are a few things you should be aware of.
You can’t bring it with you. Weight restrictions are stringent; you’ll barely be able to bring more than some clothes and a few other items.
Bring tools.
Electronics are useless. There isn’t any electrical infrastructure. We’re talking colonial America-level of technology. If even that, it is quite a primitive place.
You see the level of technology that can be supported is directly proportional to the population.
Now if there were an advanced civilization right next door, this would be a big benefit of course. But the distance between solar systems is vast and the expense of traveling between them is enormous. There will not be any trade of corn or wheat between them; it would make no economic sense. The fact is, unless the colony could produce something very unique and valuable all “trade” would pretty much be the importation of people and tools, one way.
So the fact is, if Planet Cochrane had a population of 100,000 it would pretty much resemble rural agricultural colonial America. The colonists would make their own homes, carve their own tables, stuff feathers into beds, make their own candles, ground their own wheat and churn their own butter.
In the beginning they might have some more advanced technology but the economy does not support mining and processing ore into needed products. It barely supports anything. Those solar powered HAM radio sets can work until a vacuum tube bursts or a wire shorts, then what?
So leave your laptop at home and learn to produce some basic items and bring the tools with you, that is a key to success in the distant colonies. At least until someone develops warp technology and makes it easier and cheap to travel between the stars.
Like the Plymouth colonies life will be very rough, especially for the very first colonists.
Any science fiction story about distant, tough to reach colony worlds will need to take the link between population and technology into account.

$2.99 New Arrivals

I am going to raise the price of New Arrivals to $2.99, just to see what happens. I am also considering removing the story from Smashwords and Google Play and making it exclusive on Amazon.





If I can do that and make it available on Kindle Unlimited, I might be able to see people give it a chance since KU members could do it for free. I am going to find out if NEW ARRIVALS qualifies for that.

So the 99 cent price is going to go bye-bye for at least a bit. The new price should be up late tonight/early tomorrow.

Nothing but Memories... (an extremely short story)

I'll be in deep sleep any second now, I think.

I have been lying here thinking about my family and my life growing up on the plains of Carafen, the gray and red dust between my toes. The giant dredger my father drove that would pick up the dirt and sand and inject bacteria, germs, nitrogen and necessary microbes to make it possible that it would bear life.

My parents spent 15 years in a frozen state to come here and make a miracle happen

Worms were the next step up for the project. I remember when my class visited the worm farms and we all had to learn to feed the worms and prepare them for the soil of Carafen. Some of the girls didn't like getting their hands dirty or messing with icky worms. Their reactions were funny.

Then I remember graduating from the small colonial school, most of us were the kids of scientists and engineers. My first job was to inspect the grassland plains to make sure there were plenty of bugs and other insects to make it sustainable. I remember being there with the class when colonies of the bugs and insects were released, we had cheered.

Making a “clean” world like Carafen into a life-sustaining green world had taken a generation. It took much longer on worlds that were hostile. Carafen was like Earth except it had no life at all. It had been just a muddy little planet before our parents showed up. Now it was green and on its way toward having a healthy eco-system.

That is why I am on a ship to a new world, chosen for terra-forming, it's 11 light-years away. Farther into the interior of the Milky Way. Something is wrong though. I shouldn't be able to keep thinking about my memories. They should have activated the cryo-freeze by now. Was there some problem? I can't open my eyes, of course, what is going on?

Hello? We have a problem? Isn't anyone out there to help? Somebody please help!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Independence - a short story

Independence (Two Democracies Book 0) by Alasdair Shaw is a short story, very short really. It masterfully sets up the events in the upcoming Two Democracies series and introduces the two main characters, and one of them isn't human as far as I can tell.

So why are these two democracies at war? That remains one of the top questions in my mind and I certainly hope it will be answered when book 1 comes out. (it said to be soon!)

Now Entering Transit Space

Just a bit of "Kita" that I added after the inspiration hit. I hadn't thought about how to write about "transit space" in the story. 

Kita smiled and realized this would be her first time in transit space. Kita wondered if she would even notice it.
Then Kita saw the wall and door in front of her stretch away from her a million miles, it looked like the little quarters went on forever. Then the 'event horizon' of this crept closer and she was mesmerized by it.
Then it reached the edge of the pile of pillows and she saw the colorful pillows stretch out across the galaxy. The thought that her pillows were on this end of the galaxy and on the other side at the same time crossed her mind. This was very interesting.
Then it reached her hand holding the glass and he saw the tip stretch away into eternity as if someone had wiped the wet paint on a canvas. Her hand didn't feel any different as she watched it creep past her wrist.
Suddenly it seemed normal again and she looked behind her at the wall she had been leaning against. It was stretched millions of miles behind her. But bit by bit the blur of transit space brought it back to where she was.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Free Short Story - Proper Care & Feeding of a Gort

Proper Care & Feeding of a Gort

By Floyd Looney


Nobody had ever dreamed anything so fantastic. No science fiction writer had ever dared to open their minds to this possibility. It happened nevertheless.

The Instant Launch Drive allowed humans to pop out of normal space and pop back anywhere, even in other galaxies. It was a shocking development. The cost of space travel was now almost nothing and Earth was soon abandoned.

We all got our own planets!

Yep. They deliver mail here and everything, the kids even get picked up by the school bus in the morning. Okay, not morning for everyone since we all live in different time zones on our planets. Some worlds even have two Suns and don’t get to see the dark much. Anyways, it is like a little bit of the suburbs on our own 36 billion acres. Oh and private school, of course, think I’m nuts or something?

No zoning laws and no pesky, evil Home Owners Association!

So there I was. Sitting on 844 West Park, that’s my planets name and its address with the Inter-Galactic Postal Federation. I don’t have any kids and my wife is always working for the Andromeda Christian Association. It’s a busy job but at least she comes home every day, like I have mentioned it’s a short commute.

Well, still I get bored. I am a writer but sometimes there is just nothing to write about, especially when your life is almost perfect. Whose life isn’t perfect these days?

Just doddering around the house one day I found a catalogue, obviously delivered by the punctual postal-bot. It was all about pets! Pets from twenty million worlds, just scanning through it would take lifetimes. This was going to take a while.

After just a few minutes the catalogue blinked, it accessed my bio and told me that my world and my bio suggested I would be perfect for a pet Gort.

A gort? What is a gort? I asked. I consulted the e-catalogue from InterGalactic PetMax Corporation.

Up on the screen popped the picture of possibly the cutest little animal I had ever seen. It had reptilian scales, in reddish and bluish hues on its forehead, six legs and the bottom of its thick tail. On the top of the tail, back and a mane around its neck it had thick orange fur.

Gort

Originally found on Planet 323 Aurora

Sweet natured hybrid of mammal and reptile (as far as can be determined) makes a wonderful pet for those living in temperate climates on blue-green planets.

Like I said I was bored and the video of the people playing with their gorts, they seemed intelligent, had me sold. I sent off my digi-cash and expected that within two days I would be the proud new owner of a baby gort.

I was very excited.

I had no inkling that there might be some kind of problem coming.

Maybe I should have at least done a search on the Inter-Galactic Information Exchange, I suppose. Hindsight is at least 20/20, the old saying goes, but a little foresight at the time would have been helpful.

II

Then one day the doorbell rang and I found a box on the doorstep, out front I saw a postal-bot blink out of regular space and time. I picked up the box, noticing the tiny air recirculation unit blinking away in the green, and carried it inside.

I sat it on the dining room table and pulled off the attached booklet that was titled ‘Proper Care & Feeding of a Gort’. I looked at it a moment and tossed it on the table and tore into opening the box from the top. It wasn’t exactly made of cardboard so I found the hinge and opened it up, finding a very happy-looking baby gort looking up at me.

Hi” I said lifting him up in my hands. “Who is your new daddy?”

Okay, I admit to talking baby talk. The gort was that adorable and he wagged his tail and hopped up and down and tried to lick me. I almost forgot it wasn’t a strange looking dog for a moment before I taught it to play fetch.

As a matter of fact I almost forgot that I hadn’t mentioned a new pet to my wife, I resolved to break it to her when she got home from her job. Meanwhile I had to find the booklet and see what kind of food the gort would eat. I hope it was something we had on this planet.

I opened up the first few pages of Proper Care & Feeding of a Gort and found the table of contents. Scanning down the list I found that there were several categories, but I skipped to the part about feeding baby gorts.

Baby Gort – nutrition

Baby Gorts need proper nourishment to maintain a healthy, normal life. The first thing a baby gort should want as food, upon delivery by us, is vita-biscuits. Vita-Biscuits happen to be the most common food in the universe because it comes standard in survival packs aboard every spaceship ever produced.

Vita-Biscuits, something everyone has, why this could be the beginning of a perfect friendship.

I fed the gort several of them before the wife got home. I had hidden him in another room of the house but the moment she saw my goofy grin she knew something was up. I couldn’t hold it in, I simply told her the whole story. She looked at me as if I had lost my marbles, so I got defensive and laid down the law.

Well, technically, I really am the man in the house. I might have said it in a way that upset my wife because she very quickly had zipped to her mothers’ home world.

Well, I still had my gort, my cute, lovable gort. I knew my wife would come home in a few days, she always came home. She knew I often said stupid things, but she would forgive me like she always did. Besides, if she was gone long enough to get me worried, it’d only take seconds to be knocking on the Mom-in-law’s door.

Anyway, I was busy. I had to give my gort a name. It had to be something that really worked, something new and different. Nothing came to mind. Dang, where did my writing abilities run away to?

Before I had even entered the room where I had secured my gort I knew there was something different going on. I heard gort noises. Multiple gort noises! I entered the room to find four gorts sitting in the floor looking up at me. Cool. Weird.

Those were the first two thoughts that entered my mind. I had no idea at the time how not cool this was at the time and how very very weird this definitely was.

Finding the booklet again I found the ‘table of contents’ again. I turned the pages until I found “reproduction” and read on.

Gort- reproduction

Gorts are an asexual species. This means they can reproduce without sex. That means it takes only one gort to have baby gorts. Gorts of any age can make baby gorts, usually in threes and usually because they are being fed something they should not be eating. The list is very long (see our website for details) but the most common are tulips, strawberries and ice cream.

Ah, after a search of the house I noticed that tulips were missing from the front and side gardens, this probably happened while we were playing fetch. Well this wasn’t that big a problem, I can deal with having four gorts. Four gorts is just four times the cuteness and four times the playing and four times more interesting.

People can be stupid about their pets. Boy, can we ever.

So I took them outside to play and every time I threw a stick they would fall all over each other trying to pick them up. Piled up gorts are very cute, by the way.

The next morning I noticed that the four gorts were a lot bigger than they had been and I found the booklet that had come with the box once more. According to the Proper Care & Feeding of Gorts booklet, scrolling through to page 44 paragraph 7 I found this tidbit.

Full disclosure requires InterGalactic PetMax Corporation to state that on certain planets with very rich soils, the gort can consume the soil itself. In this situation the gorts might grow astoundingly quick, Compound TTaC interacts with the gort metabolism and produces some unpredictable side effects.

Well, that certainly might be something to put near the front don’t you think? It is always possible that it was a very rare occurrence I guess. I doubted they would deliberately hide such information in the footnotes if it was really common.

By the end of the day those four large gorts had become twenty gorts and the babies would certainly be ginormous by tomorrow. This was not going to be easy, I guess I would just lock them up inside to keep them from absorbing from the soil. When my wife said I had made a rash decision without consulting her, she probably had no idea how right she was.

They dug through the floor. When I awoke and looked outside my beautiful landscape was marred by the sight of a herd of gorts. They had gotten huge, they also weren’t too cute any more. They looked like dinosaurs with fur on top and they were apparently eating the dirt. They were literally eating the planet that was my home.

I was very alarmed. The bottom floor of the house had no floor and entire walls were open to the outside. I decided to get on the Information Exchange and find out about gort infestations and how far this might go.

The results made me wish I hadn’t looked.

There were dozens of news articles and websites about planets having to be evacuated and placed in quarantine because of gorts. The InterGalactic Legislative Assembly was considering a ban on their sale and delivery by the InterGalactic Postal Federation.

My wife would not be happy. I skimmed through the Exchange, looking for any way to stop the gorts from destroying my home planet. Finally I found out that their only natural predator were the Eagle Wasps. So I found the original catalogue and looked them up.

They looked vicious. The entry said they hunted in groups and could kill gorts by attacking them with their talons. At that moment one wing of the house collapsed as several gorts ran right through the bottom of it. I was intent, I would order some of these Eagle Wasps and save my home planet and then I would show my wife I could fix my mistakes.

I sent the order. They were three times more expensive than the gort had been. I awoke the next day to find that my second floor bedroom was basically a house on stilts. The herd had more than trebled in size from what I saw, there was no grass in sight anywhere, just rocks and dirt, it looked like a crater.

The Postal-bot paid no attention to the devastation as he dropped off the package. I opened it eagerly after flinging the booklet on top of it. Three sets of eyes looked up at me and one of them made a loud squawking noise. I dumped them out on my bed and they looked around and stretched their wings.

I asked myself how these little things could possibly match or eat one of those big gorts rampaging over my planet? I frantically found the e-booklet and typed in feeding baby Eagle Wasps.

The first thing you should feed a baby Eagle Wasp should you want them to grow into mighty gort hunters is honey and vita-biscuits. Wearily I was able to mix them up into a paste and then I opened the windows, you could hear the lumbering herds, they stretched for miles into the distance.

I noted no growth in the Eagle Wasps before I fell asleep. When I woke up they were gone and I looked out the window. Flying creatures the size of passenger aircraft were swooping down and grabbing the huge orange-purplish gorts in their talons and flying off with them. Somehow there seemed to be six of these flying creatures.

I checked the booklet. Yep, they came from the same planet as the gort and they were also asexual reproducers. Their reproduction rate would depend on the availability of their foodstuff. Well, they had plenty of that. I reckoned the largest of the gorts weighed at least 3 and half tons by now.

The following day I was able to discern that there were somehow gorts and Eagle Wasps covering a big swath of my home planet. The gorts were still growing in size and numbers as were the Eagle Wasps. This was not going well, I needed to find more information if I was going to save the planet.

The InterGalactic Information Exchange soon provided the information I needed, it seems that while Eagle Wasps preyed on gorts they were intelligent enough to allow gorts to reproduce so that their food never ran out. What I needed was Grabweed. Grabweed grew on several worlds and apparently was a giant green vine than snapped up gorts and other prey and grew larger and larger.

1 week later.

I need a fresh approach to solving this problem. Most of the planet was now covered by giant vines and the entire eco-system now consisted of almost nothing but the vines, gorts and Eagle Wasps. That is when I received a message from the InterGalactic Investment Conglomerate, which was almost deleted as junk mail. The subject line is what got me to open it up and read.

Your gort problem can be solved!

Turns out the IGIC owns the IG PetMax Corporation. Funny how that works out, it seems they want to offer me “alien population control measures”. I looked at the list aghast. Everything from poison gas, robot flame throwers to nuclear strikes was stated, with a price. For the premium level, they offered to send an army to take care of them problem.

I’d have to mortgage my planet to afford that. How much would it be worth now anyway in this condition? I’d have to go all out. No half measures this time, being wimpy is just going to make the problem worse.

The next day as tanks and aircraft and armored-clad mercenaries appeared all over the planet I wondered if I could ever explain this to my wife. She had sent messages and I had tried to answer them without letting on what was going on. Apparently she had also gotten the idea that I didn’t want her to come back yet.

I put my face in my palms. How had this happened? How could it have possibly gotten to this point, so out of hand?

I heard explosions and yells. The army was falling back. The officer in charge ran up to me, out of breath.

We have a problem. We’ve destroyed much of the vine using X-Ray bombs but this has caused the Eagle Wasps to mutate. We’re not sure if we can hang on much longer, I need your permission to nuke their nesting sites”.

I nodded and buried my face again. Oh man.

The next day they finally had gotten a handle on the aliens. I still had no idea how to explain to my wife that I had mortgaged the planet, destroyed large portions of it so that it might become uninhabitable.

The payments were going to shackle my great grand kids. Geesh!

If I ever have kids, now that I think about it, which is not a sure thing, face it, at this point.

A few days later it was more or less over. I paid a company to reseed the forests and restock the lakes with fish. At least I could repair part of this continent and rebuild the house. It looked almost normal when my wife finally came home. She was still a little distant but at least we were making progress.

My writing was going better too. I was writing an erotic time traveling war-romance novel, those mercenaries were a big inspiration and dissolved my writers block. If the story sold well, I might even be able to repair the rest of the planet and pay off the mortgage. Maybe.

I hadn’t noticed the cage she carried into the house. It looked nearly identical to the old house, even the furnishing and paint.

Honey what is that?” pointing at the green ferret-looking thing that was staring at me, hungrily.

Isn’t he cute? My mom bought me a pet to cheer me up. I mean I was away for a month, wasn’t I? He’s called a zert”

Oh no!”

The End

Zert: All zerts are born pregnant as their entire species is considered female. The species had a peculiar penchant to destroy and kill anything giving off masculine hormones. They are furry and cute when they are young but within several months they begin their growth spurt and become as large as tigers.


END


You can buy this and 7 other short stories in 8 Short Stories for 99 cents and do not forget you can also buy New Arrivals!






Review: Andy McBean & the War of the Worlds: I liked this book!

I just finished reading Andy McBean & The War of the Worlds. It is a great story, and very suitable for younger readers too. Andy McBean is a kid who survived cancer, his parents are too protective of him now. Everything changes when that big meteor lands on their front lawn, and it turned out to be part of an alien invasion force.

I gave it 5 stars. It is FREE for download at Amazon right now, I don't know how long that will last.

Finished Short Story

I finished the fantasy-genre short story and went to check on submitting it, but they aren't open for them yet. So I will have to wait on that, and it is back to working on "The Fourth", with some additions to "Kita" and other things when the inspiration strikes.

Meanwhile I will be changing the cover for "Short Stories". I guess I was being too clever but apparently it is hard to read the title for a lot of people.

It will probably look like this, but I might make the words "Short Stories" a bigger font too. I don't know if this is hard to read on phones or not.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

One more update

I am one of those people who cannot concentrate on one story until it is done. I bounce around through several, write short stories on the side and things like that. Of course, I also read. I haven't watched any television or played any computer games for weeks until late last night when I watched an episode of "Running Man" out of Korea.

I also started another story which I am over 2,300 words into, probably half-way through. It's going to be a short story for sure and it is out of my genre. I will be submitting that one but if it isn't accepted I will probably submit it to only one magazine before just putting it on Amazon or maybe on this blog for free or something.

I really couldn't get much writing in last night because the storm and possible flooding was a bit distracting. :p

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A very, very short story

I quickly connect the heart to the device. Ba-dump, ba-dump, it is still beating. Good. The electrical stimuli will keep it pumping the same blood over and over until it reaches the destination. I can't believe they used to put the organ on ice for the trip.


The Prime will be pleased with his new lease on life. Can't say the same for the poor stiff we left in the alley- Organ Mandate Team Leader Charlie.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Someone should write this story.


Time Travel Tourism, a booming new industry.


What could possibly go wrong?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Update for Thursday

New Arrivals is not going to be sitting at 99 cents for too much longer.

I haven't decided if it should be $1.99 or $2.99 yet.

I added a chapter to the Work In Progress "The Fourth".

*Sigh* and I also got another great idea for a story that will have to wait until forever to be written.

8 Short Stories is available.

"8 Short Stories" is up on Amazon right now. 99 cents. 8 very short stories you can read in your spare time. I need to go and make sure it is all formatted properly.

Notice how imaginative that title is. lol.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

8 Short Stories e-book will be available shortly

            My collection of 8 short, short stories is about to go live at Amazon! It will be 99 cents. 


If you know anyone who really likes science fiction e-books this is entertaining. Also, you might want to tell them that my other e-book, New Arrivals, won't be at 99 cents forever.



Monday, May 18, 2015

New cover for NEW ARRIVALS

My e-book has a new cover, thanks to Larks & Katydids. They did a phenomenal job in very little time. I hope the new cover design catches some eyes on Amazon and other websites.

Good place for ebook covers

A great and reliable place to find e-book covers is http://larksandkatydids.com/ they have very good priced pre-made covers and are reasonable and pretty quick too.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

One more on the way

Okay, I have 2 stories out at the magazines waiting to be read and evaluated and I have 2 submitted to anthologies. I have one for another anthology that is ready to go, but that one is unpaid. I have several novella-length stories and short stories in progress too. Some of them will be published as e-books.

..

When I was a kid I wrote out a handwritten story, each chapter was 10 pages of notebooks and I ended up writing 100 of these "chapters". Yes, I had 1,000 pages of notebook paper stacked in a paper sack somewhere. It was lost to history, of course, in the process of many moves.

I have been thinking of reviving it, sort of. Writing them in short episodes, each a few pages long and then throwing them on Amazon when I reach 10 "chapters". It'll probably never happen but it is something I daydream about.

Another titles update

I couldn't finish the dark short story I was writing. I have to formulate the big climax before I can write it. Science fiction is easier for me. I just cranked out a 2,300 word short in an hour, although the idea has been in my head all week. I plan to submit it to an Anthology as well.

Might be able to get a better cover for New Arrivals. I will correct a few typos and some other stuff when and if I update the file for that.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Not The Blurb!!

It's a little funny that writers who write great 300-page stories are often so bad at writing blurbs, they even learn to become afraid of the blurb. The blurb is some kind of monster that has come to scare away all their potential readers!

"Not the blurb!!"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dark Stuff


I got the inspiration to write sort of a dark, horror-type story. It should be less than 10K words, and I think I should do while the iron is hot.

He was wearing a dark overcoat, scarf and top hat as he ascended the rickety wooden steps of the run-down house. It was overcast outside and a scattering of rain, there were puddles in the road and walkways to prove it had rained recently.

The man got to the door, he could hear the sound of children paying inside, music too. Since there was doorbell he knocked on the door, the old-fashion way that he preferred. There was something about knuckles rapping on wood that just felt more real.

The door opened an inch and then shut before he had time to adjust to the light flashing into his face and he heard footsteps away from the door. A little girl yelling “Mom! The magician is here!”.

Google Play

I have changed the upload file at Google Play from a .pdf to an .epub. The old one required readers to zoom in and was very annoying. Now they will get a nicely formatted story that fits the page.

Yes. I know I still need a better cover. lol.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

tip

The banner at the top is still in testing. Just an advisory.

Updating

The e-book is now available on Google Play (apparently Apple I-Tunes takes a while because they personally review all submissions). I spent last night and this morning helping another author proofread some of her work, it was a really good story too. I will definitely post a link when it goes on sale.

I also got an idea for a darker story, probably will be called a horror story if it is ever finished. I know someone who could be on that cover. That will be an interesting one to make.

Well back to the keyboard.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Banner Ad

I have added a banner above these posts that highlight ebooks by independent authors! I hope book lovers will give them a try!

Tickety Boo Time

I took a little time off from my main story to write another story, for an anthology. I sure hope they like it.

Tickety Boo Press is doing 2 sci-fi anthologies, one dealing with aliens and one trying to have more realistic (although not real) stories dealing with NASA. The line "Houston, we have a problem" has to be included somewhere.

Well, back to work!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Arrivals now available at I-Tunes (ibooks)

My ebook is now available at I-Tunes on all Apple products (I suppose). It is also available at other websites that sell ebooks such as Kobo, Oyster, Scribd etc.

Only 99 cents!

99 Cents for New Arrivals science fiction e-book

New Arrivals is now 99 cents at Smashwords and Amazon should follow sometime tomorrow. I am hoping to have 2 e-books up there before too much longer. I am probably about halfway through with it at the moment, and then there will be some polishing.

I am working on a cover for that already too. I like what I have so far.


Monday, May 11, 2015

This Morning

Polished up another 1,000 word story this morning that I have no idea what to do with. I might put together a collection of my stories for an e-book, when I proof and finish enough of them. Of course I will have to come up with some sort of cover image, which is the problem for me. I once had some artistic talent, a smidgen, but now I seem to have none.

First Post of Many!

My name is Floyd Looney and I spent my whole life enjoying science fiction and writing stories for myself. I have never thought about publishing anything until very recently. So I have decided to chart my course with this blog.

I have 2 stories submitted to science fiction magazines at this time and I have a story for sale on internet sites Smashwords and Amazon.($1.99)

New Arrivals is a short book about a low-tech colony world facing an invasion, the main character is Brad Black who is 12 years old. Brad, his horse Jones, his girlfriend Emony and the Whiting twins (not really twins) work to save their small colony from the clutches of the newcomers.

Time dilation means that travel from one solar system to another takes years, at least for those not on the ship, for whom it might have only taken months. So long-distance travel is not done for tourism or ordinary trade by any means.

It is short, it's not heavy reading. Suitable for all ages, and up.