Category: Six Sentence Sunday

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for links to other participants) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below.) I am still posting from the beginning of Rescue Operation, and this is a direct follow-on from last week. Roi is the first speaker.


Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372)
“Oh, no,” he gasped aloud. “He can’t be that stupid. The Council can’t be. Is he trying to start a revolution?”

Lelani, the oldest of his three wives, hardly lifted her wrinkled face from the wire and beads that would become a new hair ornament, but Keishala turned toward him, lowering the musical score she had been studying. “Roi,” she said, “it can’t be that bad. You’ve only been gone for a month. And Zhaim’s competent enough, even if you don’t like him.”


But none of them except Roi know yet what Zhaim has done.

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

I am still quoting from Rescue Operation, this time from Roi’s POV after his return from solving the problem of the planet convinced its health problems were an attack by others.


Close-Up of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula

Roi Laian stretched, feeling the interface lounge accommodate to his motion and gently massage his body as he shifted position. He opened his eyes, briefly interrupting the computer’s download to his brain as he absorbed what he’d already received. Plenty of decisions he wouldn’t have made if he had been here, but nothing really disastrous. Still, it was good to be back.

He glanced out the window wall of his office, taking in the rolling pastureland dotted with grazing horses. Swim, ride, or work out in the controlled-gravity gym? After he’d checked out the situations Zhaim had indicated were resolved, Roi decided, and reactivated the full computer connection.

The Horizon situation first, he decided, but he was only a few minutes into that when he jerked upright on the lounge.


I don’t think he’s favorably impressed by Zhaim’s solution.

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It’s time for another snippet from Rescue Operation, the end of the Council meeting deciding what to do about Horizon. For links to snippets from other authors click on the logo above for Weekend Writing Warriors, or on the logo below for Snippet Sunday. Sorry I didn’t get around tyo everyone last week, but I was away at a family reunion.


Bow Shock Near Young Star LL Ori

Two more of the swing voters spoke, again in reluctant agreement. Good, if any were using CP, his blocking was effective. Even he, poor as his CP was, knew that Horizon would not respond to the bluff—but it wouldn’t be a bluff. Zhaim already had slavers on the ground.

“I’m against it,” Dax growled—but then he rarely used mind-touch. Afraid his feelings would be read.

“Shall we vote?” Zhaim asked, but he already knew the result. Eleven to nine in favor of slaving on Horizon, and there was no way Roi would be able to get the seventeen votes needed for a reconsideration, however much he might love the planet.

And Roi is off planet, out of touch, and doesn’t yet know anything about this. Next week I’ll jump to his reaction when he does return.


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Enjoy meeting new authors and trying snippets of their work? Click on the logo above to find the links to others from the Weekend Writing Warrior signup list, and on the logo below for Snippet Sunday.

I’m posting again from Rescue Operation, continuing from last time, when Zhaim suggested slaving to collect dues from Horizon, which has threatened to leave the Confederation. We’re still in Zhaim’s point of view.

Hubble Interacting Galaxy IC 1623

Besides, it’s really just a threat. With that over their heads, they’ll find a way to pay their share. I know them. After all, I’ve been Guardian there for almost fifty years.

Well, if it’s only a threat …. That was Ramil, one of the swing votes he’d been plying with worries about the possible spreading influence of Horizon’s not paying its dues.

Ania nodded. Sometimes children have to be threatened for their own good.

Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be that simple.

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Sunday again, and snippets from works in progress, awaiting publication, or published. For links to other authors on Weekend Writing Warriors click the logo above; for Snippet Sunday click the logo below.

I am continuing with Rescue Operation, on its final revision (I hope.) This is the start of a new scene, at a council meeting a few days after the one I’ve posted.

Star-Forming Region S106


“You’ve got to be kidding!” Zhaim pulled out of the interface enough to see Mako’s face as the councilor spoke aloud in shock, and smothered any feelings of triumph the others might catch.

I wish I could find another option, Zhaim thought at the others, but the citizens of Horizon are absolutely refusing to pay their dues. Haven’t we all agreed that planets of the Confederation must pay for the protection and interplanetary problem-solving we offer? We can’t let them refuse to pay their share; it’s an invitation to others to refuse. Their population is increasing rapidly—faster than their economy. They can afford to lose a few people as slaves. Breeding stock of the silkies and horses—no, we need to keep the economy going.

The logic of Empire?

I’m experimenting with embedding images, so if it looks a little different from usual, that’s why.

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It’s Sunday, and time for weekend Writing Warrior (click the logo above for links to other snippets) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

I’m still posting from the beginning of Rescue Operation, my almost-ready-to-send-out science fiction novel, and still in Zhaim’s point of view. He has just maneuvered Roi into checking on a situation off-planet that Roi’s medical training should help with. Now he needs to get rid of Roi’s closest allies before the Council finds out that Horizon has voted to leave the Confederation.


No indication Roi felt any preconditional warning, though Zhaim was quite sure he had used CP.

He’d need to get Derik and Kaia on off-planet assignments, too, since they almost always voted with Roi. So long as twenty were present, problems could be resolved by a simple majority vote. Zhaim had ten votes he could count on, though two often sided with Roi at his suggestion—it wouldn’t do for Roi to know how many Zhaim could control. Four more of the councilors were genuine swing voters, but he thought he’d prepared the ground with them.

Two days later, a communications problem threatening to cause a war took Kaia off planet, and three days after that word came of a possible contact with an unknown sentient species. Derik, by far the best xenotelepath among the R’il’noids, was the obvious choice to handle that problem.


Scene break here. Next week we’ll see a later Council meeting, and Zhaim’s “solution.”

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Sunday is time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above for links to other authors) and Sunday Snippets (click on the logo below.) Both offer a wide variety of genres and states of wiring, from rough drafts to published works.

I am starting at the beginning of a work I hope is almost ready for publication, Rescue Operation. We start in the antagonist’s point of view:

Zhaim scowled at his agent’s report. Horizon was preparing to vote itself out of the Confederation? They couldn’t, of course. The fate of Rakal had put an end to that nonsense, and for once his half-brother had done the right thing. But the vote, once its results reached the Inner Council, was bound to bring questions about his competence as planetary Guardian.

Unless he could get them to adopt his own plan first. Did he control enough votes to do that? Wif, who could be counted on to vote with Roi, was away on a medical emergency.

I should say that some of my characters (the R’il’noids) do not age and are carried forward from Homecoming and Tourist Trap, which are set roughly 250 years earlier. Others will be remote descendants of the characters in the earlier books, and some will be entirely new. Rescue Operation is projected to be the first volume of a trilogy.

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 It’s Sunday again, and time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for links to other participants) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below to links to other snippets. This will be the last snippet from the hang gliding scene in Tourist Trap.

The group had been together all morning, and the only thing Roi could find that seemed even remotely suspicious was what seemed a brief hiatus in memory while Timi had been seasoning the thick soup he had made from the first night’s leftovers. There was nothing unusual in that; people did wander off mentally while their bodies continued to work. But they had all slept very soundly last night. Could something or someone have drugged them, working though Timi’s body?

The one thing he was sure of, Roi decided as he withdrew from Timi’s mind, was that while Timi’s body might have been used, Timi himself had no part in the murder attempt. If he reported that he thought the glider had been sabotaged, his father would certainly order a detailed reading of the equipment. Any competent esper would pick up what he had, that Timi had handled the glider. And Timi would be in a very large amount of undeserved trouble.

And this, friends, is the really important decision Roi must make: risk Timi by telling his father, or risk himself by staying quiet. No, I’m not giving the answer, but most of the rest of Tourist Trap depends on his choice.

Next week I’ll start something new, perhaps the opening pages of the book I’m trying to find a publisher for.

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It’s Saturday, and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, a blog hop featuring 200 words or less from published or unpublished works. Click on the logo above to find other participants. This excerpt is from a WIP, tentatively titled Both Sides Now. Doc has just led Roi into a space in the hay bales occupied by a panicky little girl (who’s been raped and has broken her arm) and the woman attending her who is equally, though less obviously, apprehensive of strange men.

“It’s all right,” Roi said, pitching his voice deliberately high and making sure his emotional broadcast had nothing of “male.” “I’m not even going to touch you, except to put my hand on your forehead. You just relax and listen.” He modulated his voice into a singsong as he placed his distorted hand above the child’s eyes.

He’d have had a hard time doing this using the pure Jibeth tradition, with the muscle tension in the face giving him the feedback he needed to adjust his singing. Luckily his empathic sense gave him much of what he needed. It still took close to ten minutes of singing until the little girl was relaxed enough he could add the second component, moving his free hand in a complex pattern to catch her gaze. Finally he was able to move the hand toward her eyes, very slowly, as he sang the command to sleep. Her eyes closed, and her breathing steadied. He looked down at his distorted hands, and grimaced. There was no way he could set the arm himself.

“Keep her that way for a few minutes, can you,” Doc said, and proceeded to straighten and splint the arm.

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It’s Sunday, time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below.) I am continuing with the hang glider scene from Tourist Trap.

“What happened?” Timi was checking Roi’s pulse and breathing as he spoke, his mittens thrown to the ground beside them and his bare hands against Roi’s skin.

Roi had always hated the thought of invading another mind unasked, even in emergency Healing. Derik had insisted he learn the technique of such invasion, assuring him repeatedly that there would be times when it would be necessary for his own safety to know exactly what was in another’s thoughts. This, he thought glumly, looked like being one of those times. Hating himself even as he used Timi’s hands against his face as a focus, he slid into his friend’s mind.

Nothing. Timi had prepared dinner the night before, felt tired and gone to bed early with the rest of the group, and slept soundly all night.

A vacation with his three best friends from slavery and a manhood challenge: Roi is given the graduation present he has dreamed of. Dogsledding, hang gliding, a chance to see Pleistocene animals transplanted to a Terraformed vacation world, horseback riding, sailing … all the sports he has returned to with his recovery from paralysis, and a few new ones to learn.

They’re prepared for danger from weather, wild animals and extreme sports. But none of them realize that Roi’s half brother Zhaim, determined to recover his old position as Lai’s heir, intends to kill them if he can—and he’s decided that the dangers of the trip will make a perfect cover for his schemes.

How long will it take them to realize that the “accidents” they keep running into are more than just accidents?

Tourist Trap, the second novel of the Jarnian Confederation, won first place in science fiction and fiction book of the year in the 2011 Reader Views contest.

Reviewers say:

“Fans of Sue Ann Bowling’s novel Homecoming will not be disappointed with its sequel. Tourist Trap returns the reader to the world of the Jarnian Confederation—to Roi, Lai, Marna, and all of their friends and relations. The author does a stellar job of bringing these characters to life, allowing the reader to not only see their actions but to understand the culture and politics that motivate them. (ForeWord Clarion review; 5 star)

“Tourist Trap” is a great read for anyone that wants motivation and feeling to accompany the action in their sci-fi adventure. Alien beings and super powers are an integral part of Roi’s story but what makes this novel really shine is the heart. Nobody is good or evil just because that’s their assigned role. Just like in real life, everyone has their own motivations and desires, and Bowling does a great job of letting the reader see what it would be like to walk in the shoes of Roi, Xazhar, and even madman Zhaim. (ReaderViews review)

Tourist Trap (iUniverse, 2011) is available from:

iUniverse, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, in dust jacket, trade paper, and e-book formats.

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