Join Me 9 Nov 2019 in Norwich, CT, for Book Fiend Reader’s Fest!

(they’re letting me out. over night. be afraid. be very, very afraid.)

Yes, it’s true, on 9 Nov 2019 I’ll be joining a host of other authors in Norwich, CT, for the 2019 Book Fiend Reader’s Fest.

 
I’ll be on the Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads panel discussing real-world fantasy with Kristen Ward, Mark Dursin and Beth Bernobich.

I’ll also be signing books. Hopefully you’ll buy them.

I may also do something else exciting.

Come and find out.

You can get tickets by contacting oddballnewtstuff @ yahoo.com

Striders

Sometimes smart women get stuck with dumb men. But not for long.

As I mentioned in The Raping of Cyrynda Strong, in the early 1990s I wrote a triptych of stories in which women took the lead and not always to their benefit. Although not part of the triptych, my success with Cymodoce, spurred me into give a female lead/POV a whirl.

The first story was Rachel, Above the Clouds, While Flying (and was recently published in Across the Margin). The Raping of Cyrynda Strong came next and this story, “Striders”, came last. I can’t tell if it still needs some polish.

Let me know what you think, and thanks.


Striders

 
Gladys stopped in the doorway between the comm and the ship’s claustrophobic living-room. She could see Dobrynin shuffling on his roll-bed and balanced herself in mid stride, the toe of one slipper not quite touching the floor, her tiny figure framed by the comm’s instrument lighting.

Dobrynin sat up and scratched his beard and gut. “Where’d’you go?”

“I…I had to go to the john.”

“You didn’t fuck anything up, did you?”

Alarms sounded.

“What in hell?” He glanced at her and rose. Instinctively she backed away as he hurried into the comm. “Coil chamber integrity, zero. Stabilization manifolds point-ten and dropping. Life-support viability,” Dobrynin toggled a switch which flipped the readout back and forth, “recycling heap and atmospheric plant, both failing. Well, Gladys, not even you could have done this.”

She sighed and her shoulders relaxed.

Dobrynin studied the instruments one more time. “It looks like we’re going down.”

Slowly the stars came back into view and the Venturer shook as the jump drive indicator lights died.

Gladys called up the maps and arranged them according to the emerging star patterns.

“Don’t touch that.” He slapped her hand away from the interface panel as he studied the maps for a landing site. “Emerson’s Planet or Nemel. Some choice.”.

She peered over his shoulder. “Nemel’s closer to trade routes this time of year.”

“I am trying to think.”

“Sorry.”

“We’ll go to Emerson’s Planet. It’s got breathable air and fresh water according to the map. It shows green, so there’s got to be vegetation down there, too. Computer, estimate time before system failure.”

A synthetic female voice replied, “15.7.25.”

He touched the planet’s image on the map. “Locate landing site on selected body.”

A panel lit up to Dobrynin’s right. The female voice said, “Working.”

Dobrynin moved his feet to the servos. They responded with little effort. “Good. At least we won’t crash.” He punched in a descending spiral orbit on the flight control computers, letting the planet pull them in until the computer came back with some findings.

“Landing site found,” the computer said a minute later. A series of crosshairs and circles formed on the map.

“Auto pilot,” Dobrynin said. The servos went limp as the computer assumed responsibility for the descent. Dobrynin went into the storage bay to check food, power, and weapons. Gladys followed him in. “I don’t want you in here, Gladys.”

She nodded, crossed her arms tightly over her chest and walked back to the comm.

An hour later they were on the ground. Dobrynin sent up a Caster then went back to finish checking on their supplies. Within a few minutes the Caster flew over a group of grazing quadrupedal creatures.

Gladys stood alone and observed the creatures in the Caster’s monitor. “Hmm. Morbid thorax and abdomen, at least by earth-standards. Hirsute, rounded mandibular structure, prehensile proboscis and osculates, bi-aural and ocular, apparently herbivores, three-hundred kilo by two-point-seven meter average.”

She flipped the Caster from automatic to manual and gently nudged the joystick.

The Caster flew lower and the creatures broke into a run. “Unguligrade perissodactyl tylopods, evolved for extended trotting and moving in 1-2,3-4 rhythm.”

Dobrynin came up behind her quietly. His hand snapped forward and crushed hers around the joystick, ramming it forward so that the Caster flew among the creatures, knocking some over and scything through the hides of others with its blades.


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Ophelia and Arabeth

You can eat. But not you. Or you. Or you.

It’s always a delight when friends get together and dine.

Arabeth, one of our more recent foxen, recently graced us by accepting our dinner invitation. She was shortly joined by Ophelia, one of our longtime resident opossum.

It’s wonderful (and wise) that two such different beasties commingle so easily.

You’ll notice Arabeth’s concern isn’t Ophelia, it is us.

Humans, you know…

I’ve lived among them many years. Years longer than an individual fox or opossum could. I still don’t understand them.

Given a full table, given more food than they could comfortable eat, some humans will keep others away, forcefully if need be. They won’t even offer the remains to those who are recognizably hungry.

A table so full you can’t possibly eat it all, so plentiful you have no need to store it, and you won’t share?

No wonder The Old Ones are cautious.

 

The Goatmen of Aguirra Serialized on Piker Press

Journey to a distant planet… find home

Sand Pilarski, the genius Managing Editor of The Piker Press, is serializing The Goatmen of Aguirra starting as this week’s cover story and running for the next seven.

I am thrilled, and thanks to Sand and The Piker Press for accepting this novella.

 
For those unfamiliar with the story…
The Goatmen of Aguirra is based on my experiences as a cultural anthropologist working with aboriginal societies. I wrote it side by side with The Augmented Man back in the early 1990s. I sent it to a few markets. One editor requested several edits and finally rejected it with “I think I’ve done more damage with my suggestions than helped it.”

Yeah. Well. Thanks.

In the end, nobody bought it so I shelved it.

In 2015 I gave up a business I grew from my basement to having offices in the US, Canada, and the EU. Susan (wife/partner/Princess) said, “I’ve never seen you happier than when you’re writing your fiction, so I want you to do that for the rest of your life.”

It’s wonderful when the one true love of your life knows what you love in your life, isn’t it?

I included The Goatmen of Aguirra in my self-published anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, which’s received good reviews so far.

I decided to send The Goatmen of Aguirra around again. But now it had a blackmark – “previously published.”

I saw The Piker Press and thought, sure, why not. But I started with an email entitled “Querying before submitting” and gave a two paragraph synopsis. Sand wrote back

Yes, I’d like to see it very much. Please send it along, and give me a couple days to read through.

I sent it. She wrote back

What a captivating and thought-provoking story! Once I sarted reading, I couldn’t stop. Every interruption seemed like a catastrophe.

And The Goatmen of Aguirra saw print in a recognized market earlier this week.

Remember what I wrote in 30 Years to Publication?

Yeah, I’m feeling good.

Take a read. Let Sand and me know what you think. ‘Preciate it.

Discover new local authors! – Especially Joseph Carrabis! – in Concord NH Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, 6 p.m.

He loves being discovered!

Visit Gibson’s Bookstore to hear from a group of local authors, drawn from a wide range of genres. This evening we’ve got jazz mystery, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic tales!

Gibson’s Bookstore
Tuesday 12 November 2019 6-9pmET
45 South Main Street
Concord, NH 03301

 
Joseph Carrabis presents The Augmented Man, a sci-fi novel asking the question, what do you do with a deadly weapon when it’s no longer needed?

Nicholas Trailer is the last of The Augmented Men, beings created first by society and completed by a political group the public can’t even imagine exists. Captain James Donaldson takes severely abused and traumatized children and modifies them into monsters capable of the most horrifying deeds without feeling any remorse or regret.

But the horrors of war never stay on the battlefield. They always come home.