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Nothing but a story (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“The last rose is a myth.”

“No. Nah. Come on. It’s real. My ma told me.”

“It’s a kid’s story.”

“You gotta believe.”

“This garden has had no roses since the attack. There is no magic rose to bring the world together under the one true Queen.”

“I tells ya. It’s power of the mind stuff. Ya gotta believe it’s true.

“You’re a fool, there is not—”

“What? Tella, what is it? You’ve gone white. Ghost-like.”

“Ah, nothing. It’s… nothing.”

“What… oh. Is that… ?”

“I’m sure it’s not. I can’t be.”

“Queen Tella, it’s gotta ring to it.”

This is a Friday Fictioneer prompt

You can read more FF 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.

We can only focus on the now (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

It’s just how things are now.

When the tear in space opened up we were so scared that it was the end. This was it. We were going to be sucked in, or irradiated or torn apart. None of that happened. The scientists couldn’t work it out. Rockets went up. They turned satellites. No explanation could be found.

Then the deaths began.

And births.

So many. Unimaginable numbers.

Systems couldn’t cope. Hospitals were not big enough. Cremations were so numerous remains were sent through the mail. So many went unclaimed.

What is the rip?

We can only count the cost.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more of the FF prompt 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.

End of the line (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

Seeing the tracks, broken and rotting, make me curious as to what once traveled them. And why did it stop? Innovation and progress perhaps, or was it just time… endless and inexorable? This planet is no longer occupied. The inhabitants evacuated during the last sector war. I wonder… which side were they on?

An abandoned world is a smuggler’s dream. So many resources, so much time to reap the harvest. I’ll follow the tracks. They’ll lead to a town. That’s where I’ll find the bounty. Food stores. Perhaps water. Or weapons? I’ll keep this place secret. I stake my claim.

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

You can read more of the FF prompt 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.

Review: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

About the Book:

A 12-year-old girl from the housing projects discovers her brother was more than he seemed … And so is she.

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood City low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 12-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal? 

Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s closet. A briefcase meant for her eyes only. There was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside – if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarfs, aliens and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate. 

Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives and are able to easily answer questions like ‘Which two Great Beasts reside in the Atlantic Ocean?’ and ‘How old is Merlin?’ Just getting around the Bureau is a lesson for Amari, with signs like Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it? If all that wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent that is enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari’s talent, when it’s revealed, is illegal. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.  

With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

My Thoughts:

Just get it and read it. Immediately. This is a fabulously glorious magical book.

Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared. Amari, who has been constantly harassed by bullies at her scholarship school, has been kicked out – not her fault – but still, kicked out and doesn’t know what she is going to do next. All she knows is that she wants to find her brother. Then she finds a strange ticking suitcase. The suitcase contains – well – something surprising. And it’s the biggest clue she has to finding Quinton. It’s an invitation to summer school. Her mom, overworked and exhausted, jumps at the chance for Amari.

But this school is like no other. Amari is introduced to wonders aplenty. And learns about a hidden world. A world hidden right in plain sight – yet completely unseen. A world of magic. A world where her brother Quinton was a star Supernatural Agent. If Amari can get pass the trials and become a junior agent, she can finally look into Quinton’s disappearance properly. But there are bullies here too. And amazing new friends. Amari has found a place where she can belong… Until she touches the crystal ball and her powers are revealed.

This is an amazingly inventive world, a fun and glorious main character, and a mystery within a deadly dangerous mystery. There is a dragon, magical enhanced abilities, a hidden festival, talent tryouts, and illusions galore. There is betrayal and love and heartbreak. There is destiny and determination, intelligence and clever tricks. A super fun story. Amari is a hero for all ages. B.B. Alston’s debut is a brilliant novel. If you love Morrigan Crow in Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend then you will simply love Amari and the Night Brothers. Young teens will love it, as will many many adults.

Paper Money (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankivell

They say it is the currency around here.

I’m not sure I understand it, but I’m currently sitting pretty on a shipload. (Ha!) I looked into it after the drunk let the info slip last week. Apparently, it’s all to do with a virus. Not sure how this three-ply dissolving paper relates to an illness though. I hear the virus isn’t even bathroom related. I mean, it would make sense if the illness caused explosive… well, you get the idea. Still, it’s a cheap way to make a buck.

Pockets bulging, I head to my ship. Will mark up tomorrow.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read other FF prompt 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.

New Short Story out: Space Train – AntipodeanSF

https://www.antisf.com/the-stories/space-train

I have a new short story out via Antipodean SF. Read Space Train now!

Review: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow: Nevermoor 3 by Jessica Townsend

About the Book:

Strange things are happening Nevermoor…

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

But a strange illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning its peaceable Wunimals into mindless, vicious unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it is up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and the rest of Nevermoor – in more danger than ever before . . .

My Thoughts:

Oh. Oh yes. If you are already reading this series then I don’t need to convince you to start. Because you will be in love with it already. If you haven’t started this series… What on earth are you doing? The first book of the series is Nevermoor. Get it and read it now!

This is a review of the third book in the series. Hollowpox: The hunt for Morrigan Crow. The story picks up where book two left off. Morrigan, at last, is studying the Wretched Arts and as with everything she has discovered, there is more involved than meets the eye. But bubbling away in the background something horrible, something ghastly, is happening. An illness is spreading throughout the Free State and it is infecting Wunimals, turning them from peaceful and talented citizens to mindless furious creatures unable to control their behaviour, hurting themselves and anyone around them.

Morrigan Crow is such a fabulous main character. Alone and lonely for so long, afraid of her knack and what it means for her and all of Nevermoor, she is at long last feeling accepted and a part of something greater. Her 919 teammates are her family now that the trust exercise is over and the ghastly market has been destroyed. Unit 919 are told the secrets of the Wonderous Society and now that they are in on the secret they are put to work. That’s not all, Morrigan is finally being taught her knack. At long last she is truly happy. There’s a third school and it is all for her! Learning about her knack becomes a bit of an obsession. Her total focus on her studies means less time for her friends, but hey, it’s her studies, focusing on her schoolwork must be good, right? And at last she is learning there might be a good side to being a Wundersmith. She is starting to get her powers under control and everything is going along swimmingly…

Her friendships and relationships are flourishing. Her patron Jupiter North is as caring and wonderful as ever (if very busy and always distracted). The Hotel Deucalian is as bright and madly entertaining as always, though its mood-swings make it suddenly unpredictable when it enters the “Mad Sulk”. The inhabitants are as loving, obsessive, erratic and eccentric as they have ever been, and of course, there is the fabulous Fenestra – the Magnificat – a classic cat who is both protective and standoffish. You don’t want to get on her bad side! (Fen is one of my absolute favourite characters.)

But there is darkness on the horizon. A virus is spreading and it is infecting the glorious Wunimals. Before long all of the Free State is affected, drawing Morrigan out of her studies and into a dangerous world. There must be a way to save her friends. But will the solution she discovers make matters worse for everyone?

This book, this entire series, is like a starburst of primary colours. Every description, word, emotion, location and action simply explodes with colour, light and life. This is a gloriously clever world and it just keeps getting better! Jessica Townsend is a gift to children’s literature. This series is the perfect series to read and share. For yourself and for your children. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

You can read my reviews of book one Nevermoor and book two Wundersmith here.

A happy occasion (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

“These are the worst seats in the world.”

“Now come on, dear. Surely not The Worst. Surely not in the entire world.”

“How long must we wait. My butt is fusing to the wood. There is hardly any cushion. I need to pee. I cannot bare this much longer.”

“Dear, I’m sure it will be soon. Be patient.”

“PATIENT!”

“Dear, please.”

“We’ve been waiting hours.”

“Dear, it has been less than thirty minutes.”

“You are impossible!

“Ah, Mr. Young and Ms. Stevens. Welcome to the Lover’s Nest. Come on through so we can discuss the particulars of your wonderful day.”

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

You can read more of the prompt 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.

First to know (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I happened to be there the day it was announced.

“A signal has been received.”

I wasn’t even meant to be there, not really. My brother needed a lift after the show because his car had been impounded. Long story. It meant I was waiting in the wings when the report came in.

There was a flurry of activity. No doubt about the authenticity apparently. People were shouting, cell phones were ringing, simply bedlam.

I snuck off when it looked like turning into a long night. Outside, I stared up at the night sky and wondered what tomorrow would bring.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more of the FF prompt 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.

Speculation (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

No one knows where they went.

“Band disappears mid-rehearsal” was the headline. The mystery garnered plenty of media attention in the first week but after three the interest waned. I won’t forget. I won’t let it go. My partner is the lead guitarist.

Is, not was. He is out there somewhere and I intend to find him.

The camera footage is non-existent. I’ve managed to get some CCTV from sympathetic businesses and when I study the footage I know why the cops wont investigate further. It’s that flash of light.

I won’t forget. I’ll watch the skies for any sign.

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

You can read more of the wonderful prompt responses for this image here

Word Count: 100

Hey there… Did you hear? My little book of sci-fi short stories is out. If you’ve read White Fire… jump on this one. If you haven’t, well, you just might want to after reading this one. The Good, the Bad and the Undecided. Buy it now.

🙂

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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.

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