Category: Science Fiction


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It’s Sunday again, and time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

Today I have another bit from Tourist Trap. Roi has finally managed to get his glider on the ground, and has time to think as he waits for the others to join him.

There were still patches of snow, too small to have been seen from the cliff, hiding in the shade of the thicker tufts of dead grass, and he packed several handfuls around the hot end of the upright.  Shutting off the air supply should help, too, he thought, and he replaced the cover on the power pack compartment.  He must have dropped the power pack.

He couldn’t think of anyone except possibly Zhaim who might have wanted him dead.  And whoever had sabotaged the glider would have touched it, left traces of his personality behind.  Reading objects wasn’t one of his strongest talents, but Derry had told him often enough that his weakness in that aspect of esper work was simple lack of application.  “You don’t like eavesdropping,” his uncle had told him, “and there’s a lot of eavesdropping in reading an object’s history.  But that doesn’t mean it’s a useless skill.”

Blurb for Tourist Trap: 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)

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

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QQ is for quotations, and that is what two of the regular blog hops I belong to are all about: quotations from one’s own work, published or not. Today’s quotation is a continuation of last week’s, also on Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents, and is from my work in progress tentatively titled Both Sides Now. Click on the logo above for information on the blog hop and links to other authors.

Kevi turned his head from side to side, trying to locate the source of the pain, but it was somewhere beyond the walls of hay. He stretched cautiously, testing his body’s responses. No real pain. His back was straight, which was a blessed relief, and while his hands and feet were distorted and tender, they seemed to be there and whole.

He struggled to a sitting position, in the process discovering that he was wearing a kind of long loose shirt, and then swung his feet to the floor. He had to suppress a gasp as he tried to put weight on them—the wounds had closed, but some of the broken bones had healed crooked. A quick inspection of his hands confirmed that they were in even worse shape.

Under normal circumstances, that would be no problem. He was a Healer, and part of his talent lay in his ability to realign and force knitting of even small fragments of bone. But Healing required both esper and empathic abilities, and Zhaim’s first move had been a massive overdose of hiControl. That didn’t affect empathic abilities or shielding, but his esper talents would be non-existent until he could get the antidote—and that was unlikely to be available on Horizon.

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Year 10 Day 10

P

The denser ice, to the north and west of where I first encountered it, is indeed almost continuous, with only narrow (and often fast-closing) lanes of open water. It even looks like snow-covered land, with rough ridges as well as flat plains of ice. There are animals living on top of the ice, too, though most of those I have seen until today were obviously at least in part aquatic, with streamlined bodies, flippers rather than legs, and only a hint of land adaptations. I suspect they live on fish, which in turn live under the ice.

I’ve glimpsed others though. White foxes, for instance, though with the white on white color I’ve not been sure of them. Then today ….

Remember the animals I called bears, on land? Today I saw a white one, slightly more streamlined than the massive brown beasts I saw on land, but with the same powerful jaws and teeth and if possible even larger. And they are swimmers; I saw one swim across one of the lanes of open water, drying itself afterwards by rolling in the snow on the other side. From what I saw they hunt the seals I saw earlier, though the hunt I saw was not very successful. Still, this is not a predator I would want to face in its own environment!

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

Roi has told Penny that he is going to try landing his crippled hang glider on a grassy area he’s spotted, and is telling her how to find a nearby thermal. Penny has the violet glider, Timi the amber. Wind is coming from the east, toward the escarpment they started from.

“And another broken area, looks like an old black lava flow, north of it.  The dark area’s putting up a good thermal, if you want to use it to keep soaring near my landing spot.”  The violet and amber gliders were coming down from the northwest to meet him, and he saw them split apart, the violet wing swinging into the rising column of air while the amber one continued on, passing him on the left and disappearing behind the scarlet wing overhead.

The west edge of the grassy area was ahead, and he turned the wing into the wind for his final approach. He could see and hear the wind rattling last season’s dead grass, now, and smell the new green blades, less than a finger’s length long, poking up through the snow-wet soil.  He pulled his feet free of the streamlined harness and pushed out just a little, killing speed and slowing his drop rate as he allowed his body to rotate to a vertical position.  Then the grass was almost touching his boots and he pushed out hard, stalling the wing and slamming his feet into the ground.

Somehow he managed to crawl out of his support sling before his legs gave way and he sat down on the wonderful, wet, solid ground.

Blurb for Tourist Trap: 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?

Reviewers of Tourist Trap 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)

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

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Click on the logo above to get links to other SFR Brigade snippets. This one is from a WIP, Both Sides Now

KHe was Kevi. Roi knew perfectly well who he really was, but the other name was so deeply set in his first awakening that he knew he himself must have set it there, deeply, before he slept.

Further, he had no idea of where he was or how he had gotten there. That argued that he’d been confident enough of his safety that he’d gone into HealSleep. Which in turn meant that he was no longer in Zhaim’s hands.

So why had he awakened with someone else’s pain ringing in his head?

The scent of hay and grain was heavy in the air, and he lay on something that, while not soft, molded itself to his body and shifted slightly when he moved. He opened his eyes to see stacked hay bales, dim in the light of a rechargeable hand light, and found he was lying on piled sacks of grain, with a sheet tucked around them to make a bed. Fine. How had he come here?

It took a little thinking to recover his rescue from Zhaim’s hands, and Terry. How had he ever forgotten that youngster, even for a moment? Then Mikal and Doc, doing what they could to get his shattered body to safety, even though they had no reason to think of him as anything but an enemy, and finally the explosion of Zhaim’s rage as he found Roi missing. He had a faint memory of trying to tell Terry what to expect, no longer able to keep himself conscious, and then nothing.

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JFor most of the last four years my Friday posts have been taken from Jarn’s Journal, a Journal allegedly recorded roughly 125,000 years ago by a human-like alien named Jarn who was stranded in Africa. So who was Jarn? To what extent is he representative of his species?

Jarn is a R’il’nian. (The apostrophes indicate palataliztion of the preceding consonant.) The R’il’nai are very human-like in external appearance but differ in two important ways. First, they do not age. This does not mean that they are immortal, though life spans of several millennia are not uncommon. It does mean that the females are very infertile and show secondary characteristics associated with childbearing (hip width, breasts) only when approaching fertility, about once a century.

AZJarnSecond, the R’il’nai have a range of mental abilities (telepathy, teleportation, levitation, telekinesis, perception) and emotional abilities (ability to share the emotions and sensory impressions of other beings) though these vary a great deal between individuals. However, they are not very creative, especially regarding artistic creation.

Jarn has been little interested in training these abilities; he has been much more interested in engineering. Specifically, he has been a starship designer. Unfortunately his latest creation left out a few standard safety features, with the result that he crash-landed on Earth during a test flight.

Luckily the escape capsule computer survived the impact, and he is learning to use his mental abilities (which are subject to the conservation of mass-energy and momentum) from the computer.  He has also made contact with our remote ancestors (early sapiens) in Africa, and is occupying himself with exploring the new planet on which he finds himself.

Jarn’s Journal is the very early backstory of the Jarnian Confederation, which is the backdrop for most of my science fiction writing. His story is being transferred to my author site as it is written.

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

Roi has his hang glider flying again, but heat and smoke have convinced him he has an electrical fire in the compensation chip. He’s told Penny of his decision to get on the ground as soon as possible, and she is using her helmet radio to respond.

“I sent Flame and Amber straight to the cabin and told them to get the horses saddled and out here.  I’ll try to circle over you as long as I can to guide them, and Timi will follow you down.”

The ground was closer now, and the air was so warm his parka felt stifling in spite of the wind of his motion.  He felt ahead for thermals, and altered course slightly.  He had no intention of flying any farther than he had to before setting down, so he didn’t want to get into an updraft himself.  But if he set down close to a rising column of air, Penny could use it to stay aloft.

“Penny?” he said.  “There’s a patch of grass ahead, fairly smooth, where I’m putting down.”

Blurb for Tourist Trap: 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.

Tourist Trap coverThey’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?

Reviewers of Tourist Trap 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)

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

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Click on the logo above to find links to other SFR Snippets.

EEversummer is the planet (in Tourist Trap) on which Marna must try to stop a plague. This is her first impression of the planet.

The planet’s name, Marna thought, must have been picked out by a publicity agent.  Everspring would have been more accurate, or Everfall, or perhaps Constancy.  Maybe even Boredom.

The planet, with its rotational axis almost perpendicular to its orbital plane, had no seasons.  The poles were bitterly cold, glaciated wastelands where the sun forever rolled around the horizon.  The equatorial belt was an unchanging steam bath, the permanent home of daily tropical thunderstorms, varied by hurricanes along its poleward borders.  The desert belts, inevitable result of the conflict between the planet’s rotation and its unequal heating by its sun, were broad and sharply defined, with no transition zones where the rains came seasonally.  The temperate zones, between desert and polar ice, were swept year round by equinoctial storms, varied only by occasional droughts.  No monsoons, no seasonal blanket of snow to protect the dormant land, no regular alternation of wet and dry seasons.

All of the settled planets Marna had known or studied—long-lost R’il’n itself, Riya, Central, Falaron, Kovee, Earth—had axial tilts between fifteen and thirty degrees, and a regular progression of seasons.  Those seasons might be subtle in the tropics, but they were present.  And she was beginning to think they were a lot more important than she had ever realized.

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Year 10 Day 6

DDrift Ice!

I saw a little floating ice yesterday, but it was near the end of the day and in rather small pieces. Today ice grew steadily more common as I flew north, until most of the water was covered with flat pans of ice, ice with cracks, ice ridges where two sheets of ice have collided, and a few irregular masses of ice that might have broken off glaciers. From space, as I first saw it, this could well be an ice cap, albeit a floating one.

I’m not sure what shape it is. When I first saw ice, it seemed as much west as north of my flight. Perhaps I should map its extent? It would be easy enough to fly along with the denser pack to my right and the ocean water just visible to my left. I’d have to fly fairly high, but with the warm clothes I have now I could easily enough go high enough to see the edge.

At least as long as the weather stays as good as it was yesterday!

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It’s Sunday again, and time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.)

Roi has the glider flying again, but heat and smoke have convinced him he still has problems.

As the orange roof came around in front of him again, he straightened the glider and headed northeast and down, dropping the nose for maximum speed.

“Roi?”  Penny’s voice was anxious.  “Are you going to make the cabin?”

“No,” he replied, “though I won’t be far from it.  I think I’ve got an electrical fire in the control circuit, and I’m in a bit of a hurry to get on the ground.”  Had he really been wise to get rid of the escort craft?

He heard Penny’s sudden intake of breath before she continued.

This snippet is from Tourist Trap, my second published book.

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)

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

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