Tag Archive: Horse Power


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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.)

This week it’s Horse Power again,  FREE on Amazon for possibly the last time. I put it up to experiment with Kindle Direct; now I’m planning to try it with CreateSpace.

This snippet is a continuation from two weeks ago.

 

NGC2074 HubbleTimi pushed another cow — the female silkies were cows, Roi reminded himself, while the males were bulls — into the squeeze chute and busied himself under her tail.  “The pregnant cows go in a field by themselves; those that aren’t go back into a bull’s herd.”

“I could do that, if you like,” Roi offered.

Timi had always been prickly about Roi’s use of esper abilities, but the twenty-two years since they’d seen each other must have made a difference.  “Thought you’d never ask,” he grinned.

Roi’s eyebrows raised.  “Thought you might jump down my throat if I suggested it,” he replied.  “That one’s pregnant, a few days post-implantation — where do you want her?”

About Horse Power: Roi is now the acknowledged heir to Lai, kept busy learning to be a member of the Inner council. Flame and Penny are still with him after their trip on Falaron, but Amber and Timi have become colonists on Horizon, a world Terraformed for stock rearing. It’s an idyllic planet, but the colonizing company has set things up in such a way that the colonists have a difficult time avoiding debt slavery.

Roi is sent to investigate the problem, but it appears that the colonizing company’s actions however immoral, are legal. All it seems he can do is see that Timi and Amber’s children at least have the pets they crave. But a few things have been forgotten over the centuries, and those “pets” may have a great influence on Horizon’s future.

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It’s Sunday, and time for authors to post snippets of their work. Click on the logos above and below this entry for the other authors.

Today it’s Horse Power (FREE again today on Amazon Kindle.) If you like it, I’d really appreciate a review. This is a little later in the story, after they’ve reached the ranch and Roi is talking with Amber’s husband, Timi.

 

Omega Swan: Hubble“So how did you stop them?” Timi asked a couple of hours later.

Roi, seated on top of a molded fence panel, swung his legs as he answered.  “Countered the ‘something back there’s going to eat us’ and emphasized how tasty the grass looked.  Tricky part was applying it as a wave from the rear of the herd, instead of all at once.  Timi, what exactly are you doing?”

“Pregnancy testing,” Timi replied.  His face and hair were shaded by the broad-brimmed hat he wore, but the black curls that had escaped were streaked with white and the face that had once been black silk stretched over the fine bone structure was wrinkled around the eyes and mouth.  He wasn’t old, yet, but he was certainly heading in that direction.

Roi is now the acknowledged heir to Lai, kept busy learning to be a member of the Inner council. Flame and Penny are still with him after their trip on Falaron, but Amber and Timi have become colonists on Horizon, a world Terraformed for stock rearing. It’s an idyllic planet, but the colonizing company has set things up in such a way that the colonists have a difficult time avoiding debt slavery.

Roi is sent to investigate the problem, but it appears that the colonizing company’s actions however immoral, are legal. All it seems he can do is see that Timi and Amber’s children at least have the pets they crave. But a few things have been forgotten over the centuries, and those “pets” may have a great influence on Horizon’s future.

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Welcome to WeWriWa (click on the logo above) and Snippet Sunday (click on the logo below.) It’s time again for 8 sentences from one of my works, and not just mine: there are a number of writers on each list. This weekend Horse Power is free, so I decided to continue the stampede and bicycle, putting in bits (in order but not necessarily contiguous) until the problem is clear. Oh, and did I say the story is free today on Amazon? Grab a copy, and consider a review!

Horse Power cover“That,” [Amber] told [Roi], “is probably the exploitation the Council heard about.  Only I suspect it’s perfectly legal.  The Company controls most of the shipping, and they only bring in things they can sell for Confederation credits, not for the barter we normally use.  The only herding vehicles they import use fossil fuel.  I suppose they could be modified to run on alcohol, but the manufacture or importation of alcohol is illegal.  That leaves us totally dependent on imports of fossil fuel.  This is a terraformed planet.  There isn’t any fossil fuel, beyond some methane clathrates that we don’t have the equipment to mine.”

News: I now know that this chemo leaves me feeling only a little off for the day after, and then flattens me for the next four days.  This is day 3 of round 2, so don’t expect much in comments). I’ve pretty well lost my hair. But its bearable (if enervating) for the second and third week of a cycle. I have the editing on Rescue Operation finished, though I still need to stitch the short chapters together and do some global search and replace changes to keep the spelling consistent.. Anyone interested in a beta read?

Final question: I’ve always been very conservative about hair color. Should I try a wig in a completely new color while I’m bald? Or maybe even a photo gallery of various styles?

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Horse Power cover

(It’s FREE next weekend, June 15-16, at Amazon.)

I put “Horse Power” on Kindle primarily in order to learn how to do it. It turned out to be surprisingly easy, at least for a book which is primarily text.

The first step is to edit your work. Fully. Carefully. This is a sample of your work, and you want it to attract readers.

“Horse Power” had an additional function. It is a bridge, set 20 years after the end of Tourist Trap and relating an important incident in the history of the planet, Horizon, which is central to the trilogy I am now writing. As such, its primary function is to introduce the two books I have published, Homecoming and Tourist Trap, and provide the opening of the trilogy.

Horizon in the trilogy is a planet on which horse and dogs are critical to the stock-rearing economy. The planet has no fossil fuels, and in the wider world of the colonizing company’s owners, horses and dogs were merely luxuries. Stock was to be handled by imported vehicles, powered by fossil fuels imported at high prices. Horse Power was written to explain the transformation.

But it’s only a short story, and one on which I never expected to make any money. I’d give it away happily if it led to interest in Homecoming and Tourist Trap, which explore the earlier relationships among Roi, Amber and Timi. It was a natural to learn how to use Kindle Direct publishing, and the $.99 minimum price and the KDP Select Program, with 5 days free each 3 months, seemed well-suited to my needs. Eventually I want to take it off KDP Select and put it up on Smashwords as well as getting a few hard copies using CreateSpace, but the Kindle Direct program looked like the easiest place to start.

Once I had the edited story, the next step was to write the front matter, the short summaries of Homecoming and Tourist Trap explaining the background of the story, a short teaser for the trilogy, and create a table of contents which would link to each section. This was all done in Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, using standard Word features such as bookmarks and hyperlinking. When I was sure everything worked, I “printed” the file as a PDF.

I then made the following metadata file, so that I could cut and paste into the Amazon metadata page:

Title: Horse Power

Description: Rumors have reached the Inner Council of the Jarnian Confederation that the Horizon Company is illegally exploiting the colonists. Roi has been sent to find out what’s happening, and he asks his old friends, colonists Timi and Amber, for help. But the Company’s behavior is legal, if immoral. Can the three find a solution to the problem?

Contributors: Sue Ann Bowling

Language: English

Publication date: leave blank

Publisher: Sue Ann Bowling

ISBN none

Categories: science fiction, animals?

Keywords:

Horses, Dogs, Science Fiction, Jarnian Confederation, Fiction, Colonization, Space travel, Debt slavery

DRM no

Cover? I’d seen some work I liked on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday blog hop, and I contacted the artist (Tomomi.ink.) She worked with me to create the cover for Horse Power at a very reasonable price.

With all complete, I filled out the metadata page and uploaded the PDF and the cover. Somewhat to my surprise the book, including the linked table of contents, worked fine on all of the viewers on the testing page, with one exception. I had bookmarked the centered section heads and table of contents title (which must be given the name toc.) As a result, whenever I used the “go to table of contents” or linked to a section from the table of contents, the centering of the title disappeared. I know enough HTML to suspect that the way I bookmarked did not nest the tags correctly. When I next do a revision I will put the bookmarks on the line before the centered titles. It would help I I could figure out how to remove an existing bookmark in Word; I may have to remove and retype part of the text.

I’ll be taking it off KDP Select once I learn other publishing options, but for the moment I still have five free days for this three-month period, and two of them are scheduled for the coming weekend: June 15 and 16. Download a free copy and play with the index and go to index functions, and watch how the centering of the section heads changes as you jump to them as opposed to scrolling to them. Minor, but something I will correct eventually.

Homecoming coverAmber is a character in all three of my published books: Homecoming, Tourist Trap and Horse Power. She is blond, blue-eyed, and pretty, but has a tendency to put on weight. This is how she might have told her story early in Homecoming, when she was still a pre-teen.

Amber is what my parents named me, but of course now I have to answer to whatever my owner calls me. I’m not sure why, because we didn’t even have slavery at home. Home. Where is my home? I don’t know. I can’t even remember the name of my planet.

I do know that I was in school when they came, because I remember how pleased I was at figuring out what multiplication meant. After that things got blurry and when they unblurred again, I was being sold at a slave auction. I was sold again several times, and I think put on another spaceship. This time my new owner asked a lot of questions, and when I said I’d had dancing lessons he sold me again, to a trainer of dancers.

That wasn’t too bad except for the slave collar, but I’d learned by then to do what I was told—fast. Those things hurt and I wasn’t going to give the trainer any excuse to use it! But that was where I met the others.

Timi first. He was a captive, like me, maybe a year older. He was determined not to give in to the collar, and he got into an awfully lot of trouble. He was a terrific dancer when he was cooperating, though. Then a little later Snowy and Flame showed up. They’re about the same age as Timi.

Mostly the slave-breds didn’t want much to do with the captives, and us captives felt the same way about them. Snowy and Flame were both slave-bred, but I noticed right away how they danced as a team. They were good! I think they were there for polishing, but Snowy was watching the rest of us, too. One day he came over and asked me if I’d like to try dancing with them. “I’ve got an idea for a dance for four people,” he said, “and I think it’d be a good one for you. If we can find another boy it might even get us a better owner.”

“Timi’s very good if you can get him to work with you,” I said, and he nodded.

“I’ll see if I can talk him around.”

Well, he did, and after a month of practicing when the trainer was busy elsewhere, we performed our dance when he was watching. Snowy was really good at making up dances, and I think the trainer was impressed. Anyway he sold us as a group, which was what Snowy was after. Our new owner wasn’t exactly what Snowy was looking for, though, and he really watched the guests we were made to dance for. I think he engineered the next sale, without either of the owners realizing it.

So the four of us came to belong to Derik. He’s nice enough, though he has an absolutely rotten overseer. I’m really worried right now, though. Snowy’s sick, and Derik took him away and told us not to worry. Timi’s kind of taken over the leadership, but he can’t make dances like Snowy could. How much longer are we going to be able to stay together? And where’s Snowy?

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time. Today I’m adding an extra A: Thanks to Arlee Bird, who started this whole A to Z thing.

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Horse Power coverI’m taking a week’s break from War’s End to give a snippet from Horse Power, which is free on Amazon this weekend. Horse Power fills an important gap in the history of Coralie’s planet, Horizon, and tells of how dogs like Bounce became a part of Horizon culture. The book is free March 16, 17 and 18, and I’d love reviews. Just click on the cover.

The sun, less than an hour now from setting, was reddening as it sank. Silkies, their backs no higher than Roi’s chest, cast blue shadows half a dozen armspans long, their recently shorn white coats reddish in the dust they stirred up. The sheared hair could be spun into a luxury fabric prized throughout the Confederation, the skins, with or without the fleece, tanned into an extraordinarily light, supple leather likewise classed as a luxury item, and while Roi himself tended to eat whatever was placed in front of him, he knew enough gourmets to recognize that certain cuts of silkie meat were sought after by the finest chefs of the occupied planets. “Profitable beasts,” he commented.

Timi snorted. “They should be,” he agreed. “Trouble is, the colonization agreement gives the Company the power to set whatever price they want for silkie products. And they set it low enough, and that of the imported fossil fuels high enough, that most of the colonists aren’t even breaking even.”

Horizon’s a terraformed planet, with no history of life to produce deposits of fossil fuels, and the Company has pretty well legislated out the use of other forms of portable energy.

Next week I’ll be back with Coralie and the other castaways.

Do check out the other snippets posted today, through either Weekend Writing Warriors or Snippet Sunday. We all like comments, but you can enjoy without commenting if you choose.

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Year 5 Day 133

Jungle, MorguefileI haven’t gone mapping every day, but today I found what I think is a huge river delta, as large as the one I found when I found the tideless sea. It’s not at all the same, though. The earlier delta was in a desert climate, the only water being the river itself. Vegetation was mostly plants that grew well with flooded roots, and generally not very tall within the delta itself, and limited to palms and other desert vegetation back from the delta islands.

This delta is rain forest, and from the air looks very much like any other rain forest: green, green, green. Different tree heights, different shades of green, but all green. The narrower watercourses are barely visible from the air, but they are there.

Even more exciting, I followed the outer coast for quite a distance to see how large the delta was, and I think the coast finally swings south beyond it. The delta seems to form a bump—quite a large bump—in a corner where the coast goes from trending east to trending south. I teleported to where I found the ocean off a desert coast far to the south, and this is indeed close to the same longitude. My map is beginning to show the shape of this continent.

WildDog is fascinating to watch, but I am reminded of my first impressions of Patches: destructive, messy, sharp teeth, good at getting over, around, or through barriers, and adorable. Except that Patches got over her messy stage much faster than WildDog (assuming he gets over it) and he is getting steadily more destructive. I have to admit his teeth aren’t quite as sharp as Patches’s were. Meerlat says he is a normal baby; Songbird and Giraffe are quite besotted with him. I am still wondering how he will interact with others of his species.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional Journal of a fictional human-like alien stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. His story is part of the back story of the Jarnian Confederation where Homecoming, Tourist Trap and Horse Power are set. You can read the whole Journal to date on my author site. Speaking of which, Horse Power will be free for three days on Amazon, starting midnight Pacific time March 16 (Saturday.)

Quotes from Anne McCaffrey

These quotes were tweeted from @sueannbowling over the last week. The first six quotations are from All the Weyrs of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey.

cover, All the Weyrs of Pern“Who has ever controlled rumor?” Robinton to Lessa, after which he points out that while he has spread rumors, he has never been able to control how they turn out.

“Food was so often a sovereign remedy.” Lessa’s thoughts when the feasting starts after Impression, helping to console the unsuccessful candidates.

“People don’t change. React first, think later, regret at leisure.” Seball, telling Menolly what he has learned from Aivas’ historical records.

“We’re dealing with fearful men, and they’re more dangerous.” Seball’s comment when they realize that the Abominators might go so far as to kidnap Master Robinton.

“There is always an alternative course of action.” Aivas, after the silicone fluid has allowed the Waldo glove to be used and Manotti asks what they would have done if it didn’t work.

“The most important piece of equipment in the laboratory is your brain.” Aivas, speaking to those who are dissecting Thread.

“I just hope it’s still a happy place for our children when they’re grown.” Bowling, “Horse Power.” Amber is worrying about the way the Horizon Company seems to be forcing the colonists into debt slavery.

Horse Power coverA bit of a change today, as I’m not posting from War’s End. (I’ll return to it next week.) This is from a short story I’ve just uploaded to Amazon Select and it does tie in with War’s End as a remote prequel. Coralie is from Horizon, the planet on which the action of “Horse Power” takes place, and she’s a descendant (about 8 generations on) of Timi and Amber. Roi, who does not age, is her husband and Audi’s, though Coralie is new to the family and still not quite sure how she feels about Audi. (For that matter Kelty was one of Roi’s rescued children and Ginger is torn between Roi and Roi’s other medical assistant, Mark.)

Here a much younger Roi is checking out a rumor that the colonizing company on Horizon is maneuvering the colonists into debt slavery, and his old friends Timi and Amber, now among the colonists, have put him up for the night in one of their children’s rooms. This is the next morning, edited a little to get to six sentences. Roi is the first speaker.

“Between the birds, the worms and the spiders the children obviously like animals. Is there a reason they don’t have more conventional pets?”

“Spiders?” Amber moaned. “I didn’t know about those.”

Probably just as well he hadn’t mentioned the snake that had been in bed with him this morning, Roi thought. It had been a perfectly friendly little grass snake, but he doubted that Amber would see it that way.

“Horse Power” is priced at $.99, but it’s free today. Pick up a copy, and I’d love reviews. Just click on the book cover to get there.

Incidentally, I finally talked iUniverse into dropping the ebook prices on Homecoming and Tourist Trap to $4.99 each. If Amazon and Barnes & Noble haven’t dropped theirs yet, they should soon.

Now, on to the rest of the Six Sentence Sunday snippets!Six Sentence Sunday logo

Well, I did it.

HORSE POWER Working A 2aI just clicked the “save and publish” button on Amazon Direct for my short story, “Horse Power.” It should be available for purchase at $.99 by this evening — I’ll update and link the cover to Amazon when it goes live. Update 10 pm: it’s live at Amazon.

I firmly believe that e-books should be less expensive than mass-market paperbacks, especially for new authors. I’ve been fighting with iUniverse on this (they want to price e-books at $9.99) and finally got Homecoming and Tourist Trap down to $4.99 each in e-book form at their site. The e-books should be even less at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but it will probably take a while. (If they don’t show a lower price by the end of the month, complain to them.) Meanwhile, I have a story between the end of Tourist Trap and the start of the trilogy I’m editing now, so why not get it out, and learn to use Amazon direct at the same time? Thus “Horse Power.”

If you’ve read Tourist Trap, you may have wondered what happened to Timi and Amber after the end of that book, and this is their story, 22 years later. To quote from the blurb I’ve put up, “Rumors have reached the Inner Council of the Jarnian Confederation that the Horizon Company is illegally exploiting the colonists. Roi has been sent to find out what’s happening, and he asks his old friends, colonists Timi and Amber, for help. But the Company’s behavior is legal, if immoral. Can the three find a solution to the problem?”

The trilogy will be about a future war between the Confederation and Horizon, and the events in this story will be pivotal to that future, innocent as they seem at the time.

The cover, which I’m showing here for the first time (Ta-da! Cover reveal!) was done by Tomomi.ink. Like it? I do!

P.S: I’d love reviews on any of my books — especially if you like them!