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RSVP (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The invitation was fraught…

“Family reunion”

Who thought that would be a good idea? From Jonny cheating on his wife with her sister to Grandpa Bobby’s alcoholism, great niece Sara’s tourette’s and Manny’s not so secret heroin addiction. And then there was Nana’s new relationship with a woman she wanted everyone to call Granny much to Pa’s surprise and Patrick’s polyamorous lovers. I mean half the family don’t talk to the other half, and those that did dobbed on the rest. It was insanity to think the night would go well.

Am I going?

You bet your ass I’m going.

This is a Friday Fictoneers Prompt

You can read more FF stories here

Word count: 100

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

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Really, John? (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

“Oh jeez!”

“John, what have you DONE?”

“Hun, its not what you think… you won’t believe it.”

“ … Go on, tell me what happened this time.”

“Hun, it was incredible. I just put the tent up to make sure I had all the parts ready for our holiday, and—”

“Yes… and?”

“Pixies… A whole host of pixies. Descended out of nowhere and tore everything to shreds. And the screaming, so much screaming. I don’t think we should camp at the hollow this year, dear.”

“ … “

“ … “

“Just say you don’t want to go, John.”

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

You can read more of this week’s FF entries here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

What has been lost (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

“No trespassing. It was a sign of the era. You would have seen it everywhere you looked back then. And windows boarded up just like the ones here in this VR static image. Temporary fences grown permutant through disuse and age… Now, if you come over here students, you will see in this VR static image a picture of globe before the final internal skirmish before we landed.”

“Ms.? They said Earth was covered in bipeds.”

“Indeed it was, Chaktu.” The six-legged teacher skittered further to the right. “And over here, we have recreated what we think they looked like…”

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word Count: 100

You can read more FF goodness here

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Skyfire – My latest short story is live

Hi All

My latest short story has gone live on the antisf.com website

read it now

https://antisf.com/the-stories/skyfire

If I’m not back… (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

He said to wait. Well, here I am… waiting. Where the hell is he? I check my phone for the time. Barely thirty seconds have passed since I last checked. He’s late.

I shoot a look at the unzipped bag. The device inside shimmers with lavender and salmon sparkles. I twist and with a sharp snap of my wrist, tug it closed. I squint at the shoreline, hoping for movement. Nothing shifts on the beach. The sun is at its zenith. He didn’t make it.

I buckle up as the devices hums louder. Those damned fairies owe me.

They’ll pay.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more entries HERE

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: Guardian of Empire by Kylie Chan

About the Book

The Dragon Empire is under threat … Kylie Chan, bestselling author of White Tiger, returns with the follow-up to Scales of Empire – imaginative, epic and a whole lot of fun.

Earth has joined the Galactic Empire, a vast interstellar society ruled by dragon-like aliens where everybody is immortal. Pain, famine and disease have been eradicated, but this doesn’t mean the end of conflict.

A cruel alien Republic has been watching from afar and wants to take the Empire’s progress for its own. Jian Choumali, ex-British forces and now Colonel in the Imperial space force, must fight to keep her friends, family and fellow citizens in the Empire safe. A brutal battle of skill and wits begins as Jian and her human colleagues attempt to combat the invaders — but with all their technology, enhancements and weapons in the hands of their enemies, the odds are stacked against them, and there is the very real threat of the destruction of the Empire itself.

My thoughts:

Continuing Kylie Chan’s unique story, Guardian of Empire is a fun, gender fluid, love fluid romp among the stars. And dragons… So many dragons. (In fact I kinda wish some dragons were on the cover). Those Goldenscales sound utterly delightful. And from folding to gate travel… this is a terrific science fiction to become immersed in.

The Empire’s war with the Cats reaches its peak, and humans are the target. Main character Jian is dealing with her children, her love life, her career and everything in between. A story of betrayal and lies is at the heart of this novel. Who can Jian trust? It seems both sides want a piece of her. And it make take losing her family to choose a side.

The world building in this series is extraordinary. The details of the dragon Empire, the Cat homeworld, class distinctions, politics and alien life is well thought out and comprehensibly seeded throughout the story. Truly unique alien lifeforms from telepathic octopus mothers, to energy beings, to insect mating practices… its a fascinating look into the priorities of life unlike our own.

And then there is the concept of death and what it means. If you have the chance to live forever – how do your priorities change? What does it mean for your love life if you can truly be with someone forever? And if you loose them… how do you go on forever without them?

I enjoyed book two. You can read my review of book one here

Adventure seekers (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

They said the train was a myth and that once you board, you never return.

Hogwash.

We spent six months hiking the forest to find even the barest sighting of a track. Another year to find the station.

An ordinary, everyday, stinky, grimy station.

Magical my butt.

A ticket cost a dollar… Who the heck carries antiquated money anymore? Too darned heavy for one. I tried to tap my phone, but the conductor just stared. Still, we’re on.

I’ll send message when we return.

Jenny reread the ancient email now stored holographically and swiped a tear from her eye. Fools.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more of the FF groups responses here

Word count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Don’t look (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Turn a blind eye.

It’s an interesting phrase because it implies full consent. You are fully aware of what you do not want to see.

And we have all done it… at one time or another. Wilfully, knowingly, full of internal justification as to why.

In the end… The why is never enough.

When they came from the sky we all said, “They haven’t killed us. It must be fate, or destiny or the great plan.”

Don’t we all regret our blindness now. Bodies full of enforced tech to power the machine that own us.

Do you see it now?

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read other FF prompts here

Word Count: 100

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Purpose is life (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The overlords didn’t care for it.

The sculpture was dedicated to their birth.

The overlords didn’t care for birthdays, or anniversaries, or life for that matter.

They existed.

They ruled.

They had no emotions, or feelings, or cares.

When they took control, it was to make things work, to make them better.

And they did.

They fixed things.

They fixed everything.

Lifeforms exist to serve. Their petty squabbles and beliefs and prayers mean nothing to the overlords. On and Off, zeroes and ones, electricity is power is performance.

The lifeforms must fulfill their function or be discontinued. Purpose gives life.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100

You can read other FF prompt responses HERE

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© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar; Max Gladstone

About the book:

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. 

Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?

Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

My thoughts:

Glorious and heartbreaking.

Told in unusual correspondence this story is an epic war time romance and impossible to put down.

I absorbed the words and emotions more than read each individual word. Landscapes are created, timelines altered in the blink of an eye and what existed no longer does, or did, or will. What acted a certain way now is entirely different. Changes are wrought where only the time warriors involved will remember them… or will they?

Not only is it fraught communication between sides, where trust may be fleeting or forever, but when each side realizes they are compromised… how do you survive let alone save each other?

This is a complex story, mindbending and detailed. A unique concept brilliantly put down onto the page – and yet I am still thinking, what of the words were real…? Have they changed? Would I know? A terrific story.

Get it when it comes out.

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