July 26, 2016

Book Review: The Nebula Awards Showcase 2016

On sale now.

Ready for some of the very best in science fiction? Every year since 1966, the Nebula Awards recognize the best of the best in all that is speculative fiction. It’s a tough call, sure, boiling and distilling down the field from all of the diverse and excellent sci-fi prose that’s out there. But the Nebula Awards compilation is always a rewarding and exhilarating read. [Read more...]

A Peek at Our New Tale, ‘Peak Season’

On Sale Now!

We couldn’t resist. Our latest science fiction tale is live and available on Amazon.com, and we thought this weekend that we’d harken back a bit and offer readers the first 1000 words free. You can read Peak Season and other original scifi tales by your’s truly in their entirety.

 

Peak Season

By

David A. Dickinson

 

I never thought that I’d find my most interesting and life-changing assignment as a new hotel manager in the backwater town Carbondale, Illinois. [Read more...]

The 2015 Nebula Awards Showcase

On sale now…

Looking for the very best in science fiction? Along with the Hugos, the Nebulas honor the very best of the best in sci-fi without the -y’s. Reviewing the Nebula awards has become a sort of institution here at Astroguyz as well, and serves as a great way to not only digest the finest of the genre, but gives us a great scope of all the cutting edge stuff. [Read more...]

Review: Vigilantes by Kristine Katherine Rusch

On sale now…

Ready for some legal action of astronomical proportions? This week, as part of our campaign to wrap up some of the review books we received last summer after our return back to Florida from our great American road trip, we’re reviewing Vigilantes out from WMG Publishing by prolific author Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This is a novel set in her Retrieval Artist universe, and book six in the eight part Anniversary Day saga. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Syzygy Gambit Part 6

On sale now.

Here it is, the action-packed conclusion to our third tale set in the solar winds universe. Don’t forget to start back on chapter one, or you can read The Syzygy Gambit and other original tales by yours truly at our Amazon author page.

And stay tuned for a special announcement at the end…

 

Solar Winds: The Syzygy Gambit

Chapter 6

by

David Dickinson

 

In the main projector dish, the several hundred pound charge of high explosive placed by Pell a few moments before promptly detonated. The blast was brief, but enough to rattle the entire complex through the forest of transmitter dishes, which fell like dominoes. The deep space network, effectively the eyes and ears of the Terran Legion, was down. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Syzygy Gambit Part 5

On sale now!

Ready to tear the solar system asunder? Can’t make it to Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Here’s our latest free fiction Friday offering from 2222 AD and the Solar Winds universe.  Don’t forget, you can read this tale and other original works of fiction in their entirety, and be sure to start from part one.

 

Solar Winds: The Syzygy Gambit

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 5

 

The Armageddon on Tap was pointed back with its stern sunward and was now parked at the Terra-Luna system’s far L2 Lagrange point. The repaired sunshield was now deployed, giving Karl and the Shrink a small shaded micro-environment in which to operate. They both moved slowly forward, despite their bulky spacesuits. Valkyrie and V.I.C.A.R. were visible through the cabin’s plexi-glass viewport. The large, nickel-iron asteroid seemed suspended above them in the ship’s capture cradle. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Syzygy Gambit Part 4

On sale now!

Dear Solar Winds fans… here’s this week’s installment, another extended helping of space opera action and adventure. Like what you read? be sure to start back at part 1, or read the entire story and other original tales by yours truly.

 

Solar Winds: The Syzygy Gambit Part 4

by

David

Dickinson

 

Andrea watched Mars recede in their aft view until it was once again a tiny glowing orange ember. Now there was nothing to do but prepare for the three-week trip to Earth’s Moon. She knew that this roundabout transit would drastically reduce the critical time they needed on Luna to prepare for the assault. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Syzygy Gambit Part 3

On sale now!

It’s out!

We’re pleased to announce that our third installment of the Solar Winds saga, The Syzygy Gambit is published and available, along with other original sci-fi tales by yours truly. This week, we thought we’d step things up a notch, and give fans a larger excerpt/serving than usual, so we can wrap up the tale by the end of 2015.

And don’t forget to start back on chapter 1!

 

Solar Winds: The Syzygy Gambit

Part 3

by

David Dickinson

 

Two figures moved through the dust-laden swirl. They seemed to be inspecting her encampment. It’s a Legion patrol if they’re paired up, she thought. She bit her lip as she remembered the military patrols that wandered Saganopolis central square where she grew up. They acted as if they owned the very soil of Mars itself. They had an open disdain for the “colonials” as they sneeringly called them, and would often leer at Andrea as she made her way to school. Many of the ones stationed on Mars, she knew, were Legion criminals, men who would probably get shipped off to the prison on Mercury Prime if they spent an afternoon on Earth. She knew from talking with Karl that this wasn’t a mistake: the worst were always posted on Mars. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Syzygy Gambit Part 2

Out soon… (Image credit: NASA)

Here it tis… a continued sneak peek at the upcoming Solar Winds tale, due for publication in the next week. Don’t forget, start back on last week’s chapter 1, and read the first two Solar Winds stories and other original tales of sci-fi by yours truly.

 

Solar Winds: The Syzygy Gambit

Part 2

by

David Dickinson

 

Andrea topped a small rise, puffing a bit under the Martian gravity. She stopped to survey the twilight landscape around her and make some sense of her bearings. “I’ve been cooped up on a space tub too long,” she said to herself, as she panted and rubbed her burning calves. What would Terran gravity feel like now? Her suit and supplies would allow her to survive about a week unsupported in the Martian desert. “Thank Jove for super-compressed O2,” she said, laughing. She knew she would have to make good time tonight, and then pitch camp by dawn. Hopefully, she would only have to overnight in the Martian desert. Unless the Terran Legion has found our friends first, and created a new Martian crater, she grimaced. She knew that the closest Martian settlement was over 500 klicks away in the wrong direction.

Blinking, she thought she caught the glimmer of metal in the twilight. Wreckage? The snaking sands were uncovering things all of the time. Anyway, it was on her path, and it seemed like as good a fixed point to walk towards as any. Cinching up her pack hard against her shoulders, Andrea trotted off down the slope.

The Commandant pulled the thought-node from his skull and glared out the view plaz towards the lunar disk that always hung stationary from this Lagrange point station between Terra and Luna. He had decided early on in this posting at Terran Legion Headquarters that he hated the eternal waxing and waning of the lunar cycles. He preferred the dark depths of space. Next cycle’s lunar eclipse would provide a welcome respite, with a brief, cold slide into the shadows.

The door to his office slid open and a young Lieutenant drifted through. An augee, he thought. Most Terrans had been either mechanically or genetically altered, or both. Few were whole anymore, except maybe some religious fanatics on the lunar far side. And we’ll take care of them soon enough, the Commandant thought.

“Dispatch from Martian Central, sir; it’s on a priority alpha grid,”she reported smartly. This girl’s augmentation, like his own, didn’t show. Still, he sensed her Legion ID on the neural grid, and he noted that those amber cat eyes weren’t the product of blind natural selection.

“Connect me to the down link,” he barked, plugging the thought-node back in. I’ll ferret her out on sex grid later, he thought. Instantly, images from Martian orbit flooded his cyber-nodes. He saw the sleek, one-person spacecraft dive for the Martian surface. The Cartel! He ran a neural cross-check. It was identical to the one that had escaped from Titan and another pair that had wreaked so much havoc on Ganymede. He currently had half of the Legion battle fleet scouring the outer solar system searching for these scum. They wouldn’t dare step foot into the inner system! The craft bared a striking resemblance to the set Holderson claimed were stolen some months back. Holderson was still out of communication on Amalthea. What, by Jove, does he do there?

A consciousness bore through the grid towards him. It was the Lieutenant. “We still have our agent on the inside,” she said. “Shall I contact her?”

“Standby,” the commandant called out. He didn’t feel like discussing their sleeper agent’s status once again, especially with a subordinate. “I want the whole band of bastards this time.”

He looked out at the slimming disk of the Moon. This was going to be fun.

Phobos had risen in the east, not that the tiny moon provided Andrea with much illumination in the Martian night. Andrea thought she could just make out its distorted potato of a phase as it drifted across the sky. She mostly relied on her infra-ocular to navigate through the darkness. The wreckage was in front of her. One exposed panel revealed a yellow hammer and sickle against a red background. An old lander, no doubt, sent by one of the old nation states. She dimly remembered The History of Early Earth Space Exploration from school. China? Russia? It looked as if the lander had come in too shallow and busted up on a large boulder. She wistfully remembered hiking out as a girl and discovering the crash site of the old Beagle 2 lander. The solar system seemed strewn with human wreckage. Hopefully, she thought, Cartel craft won’t be added to the pile. Still, Martian archaeologists would be fascinated by her find. Too bad I can’t tell them, she thought as she unpacked her shelter. But the damaged craft would make an excellent wind break for the night.

Andrea awoke with a start. The sandstorm had picked up to a slow hum against her visor plate. She scanned out beyond the strewn wreckage of the lander. Her visibility, even with the infra-ocular, was down to mere yards. It was easy to get disoriented out here in the drab Martian desert. Her heart beat faster as she remembered being lost as a young girl in a sandstorm on the great Isidis Planitia plains. Zack had kept her from going mad that night. Now she was totally alone, her soft life lay bare before the onslaught of Mars.

Mustn’t panic… she knew she was done for if she lost it out here now. A flick of her visor, a push of her decompression safety latch, and it could all be over. She shuddered to think of an early lost Terran colony where many were found later to have done just that. Bodies were unearthed decades afterward, perfectly desiccated by the near vacuum that passed as the tenuous Martian atmosphere.

But a certain breed of stubbornness refused to let her go out that way. This environment might have been alien to the first Earth-born settlers, but she had practically grown up living in spacesuits and airlocks. She knew that if she had to, she could dig in deep and huddle beside this wreckage until her air gave out days later.

Still…she thought she sensed motion in the storm. Andrea slowly worked her way out beyond her makeshift camp. There seemed to be a definite purposefulness in the grayish-brown swirl. Legion? It wasn’t entirely impossible that they tracked her here from Amalthea, although she was pretty certain that they had nailed that probe in orbit. It was much more likely that the Martian Underground had double-crossed them. Andrea unclipped her maser pistol. Had Karl and the others been captured? It was certainly possible. V.I.C.A.R. was the only Cartel member she had had contact with, and he may have been reprogrammed. Don’t panic…

An alarm went off in her helmet headset. Andrea instinctively hit the dirt. Someone’s scanning me! Andrea peered over the rock outcropping and saw the lumbering form of a long-range sand creeper moving past the wreckage. Andrea hoped the metallic body of the lander would mask her signature. She didn’t doubt that she would find a Legion emblem on the crawler’s hull.

To be continued…

Be sure to follow the Solar Winds saga and other original tales of science fiction by Dave Dickinson.

Review: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

In theaters now…

The circle and the saga are now complete.

This week, as consumers of turkey and Black Friday sales take to the malls, we thought we’d add our two cents on the completion of The Hunger Games film franchise. We’ve been a fan of the saga since seeing and reviewing the first film, and the wife and I actually went on to read and review the second and third books prior to the release of the movies. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: More Fantastic Tales to Come

A look at a possible cover that never was…

(photo by author).

Well, we’ve caught up with the story pipeline this year, featruing science fiction stories we’ve published thus far. Publishing a free chapter a week has been a good ‘kick in the pants,’ inspiring us to write more to keep up with the demand. Here’s a look at the stories we’ve offered up thus far since the project began in early 2015: [Read more...]

Review: The Peyti Crisis by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale now…

Things are heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe.

We just finished Book Five in the Anniversary Day Saga, entitled The Peyti Crisis. Out earlier this year courtesy of WMG Publishing, this eight part series by prolific author Kristine Kathryn Rusch follows a surprise attack on Earth’s Moon and the confusion and mystery that follows.

You can read our reviews of Book 2 (Blowback), Book 3 (A Murder of Clones) and Book 4 (Search and Recovery) as well. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 9

On sale now…

And here it is: the conclusion to our original story A Standard of Deviation. And here’s our weekly spiel to A).Start back on chapter 1, B). Read the story in its entirety, and C). Read others like it as well.

This also brings us to the end of every story we’ve written and published thus far… we’ve got another Solar Winds tale in the works, but first, a question: do you want to continue seeing these Friday freebies? If so, leave us a comment on this or any other story, and a review on Amazon of any of our tales would be great!

 

A Standard of Deviation

by David Dickinson

Chapter 9

What would become my final stop on this run was a world that I looked forward to most of all; the Van Takcrafans of Navi Prime. They were almost frighteningly advanced. How these sentient flying spider-snakes hadn’t stumbled upon quantum transport technology is a small wonder in of itself. Stranded in this remote corner of the Milky Way, they had instead enshrouded their host star in an enormous Dyson Sphere to capture every available erg of energy it produced.  [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 8

On sale now…

It’s a rough job, being a quantum courier these days… Here’s the long (well since last Friday, at least!) anticipated penultimate Chapter 8 for A Standard of Deviation. If you’re new to the saga, be sure to start back on chapter 1, and you can read A Standard of Deviation and other thrilling and original tales of science fiction by yours truly in their entirety.

 

A Standard of Deviation

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 8

“Human contact with the Hivers (a local term for the Burnham’s Wasps) has stripped Terra of her cosmos-given rights…” Their leader would say in issued statements. He would go on for hours about how they could “decimate the system” (his own words) if their demands weren’t met. I could tell that they had no clue what to do with the Standard now that they had captured it, and were frightened by the imminent reply from the Confederation and what would probably be their last stand. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 6

On sale now…

Has the Universe got you down? Reality is certainly crashing down hard around our main protagonist this week… remember through, we all have the means to shake the game up a bit, in our very own special way. If you’re new to the tale, be sure to start back on Chapter 1. Or hey, you can read A Standard of Deviation and other original tales of sci-fi by yours truly in their entirety as well.

Anyways, onward to Chapter 6:

A Standard of Deviation

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 6

But that would mean that our monopoly on galactic trade would also be over.

I finally got a chance to sit down and read Lila’s message the night before departure from the system. I was back on the Lagrange point station which would serve as our departure area to the portal where I would pick up the Quantum Standard and head to the next system on the run. I had notes from our surface survey to organize, and I plugged in Lila’s transmission as the station slid into the shadow of the dead world. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 5

On sale now!

Things are not what they seem this week, as our heroine realizes that a human enforced Pax Galactica has exacted a heavy and terrible price on the alien civilizations of the Outer Rim. Let’s jump right in the Chapter 5 for this week, and be sure to let us know what you think of these tales. And don’t forget to start back on chapter one,  and you can read A Standard of Deviation and other original tales of science fiction in their entirety.

 

A Standard of Deviation

by

David A. Dickinson

 

As the transport headed through the portal I told myself that I would lodge a formal complaint with the High Consul once I returned to New Seattle, maybe even document and protest the destruction of Humboldt’s Leviathans. But I knew deep down they were a doomed species, and that protests were only how some people justified the guilt they felt over what we call Civilization. Humanity would press on, selected to succeed by the cosmos, until we either ‘owned all the jellybeans’ as Lila would say, or we finally met our match… [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 4

On sale now…

Uneasy is the state of the human-enforced Pax Galactica, as our chief protagonist and quantum-hopping Librarian 3rd Class turned courier is finding out. This week, we invite you to meet the gas giant-dwelling Leviathans and hear of their plight. Can’t wait for weekly installments? You can read (and rate!) A Standard of Deviation and other original sci-fi tales in their entirety as well, as don’t forget to start back on Chapter 1.

Also, let know what you think of this latest universe where humans are privy to instantaneous travel and leverage it to their own advantage… we’ve got a few other tales in the ol’ brain brewing that are set in the Standard Universe…

 

A Standard of Deviation

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 4

 

A Leviathan that I’d named Arthur pulled up next to my skimmer as I neared the atmospheric capital. The Leviathan language was transmitted via low frequency pulses that I had played no small part in translating on previous visits. I could spot Arthur by how his internal organs flickered with recognition on my approach. How weird we must seem to them, tiny ape-like creatures inhabiting the skins of cold rocky worlds. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 3

On sale now!

And the tale continues. Let’s jump right into it this week, with as little fanfare as possible. Remember, you can read A Standard of Deviation and other original tales of science fiction by yours truly, and remember to start back with Chapter 1.

 

A Standard of Deviation

by

David Dickinson

 

I even felt a little guilty as I made the first jump of any update run. Secretly, I always looked forward to traveling as a way to kick myself out of the chronic workaholic rut. It’s selfish, I know… but the guise of ‘work’ gives me the perfect excuse to do what I love. I can escape and see some of these alien species, in person. Not many folks beyond the Terran military and the merchant class ever get to do that. Ambassadors and researchers like me were clumped into the less than one percent of “all others” that have ever jumped out this far along the Galactic Rim. Most folks on the Local Group worlds go their entire lives never encountering an alien species that might upset their idea of ‘normal’ beyond what you might see on a holo-vid or in a local planet-side zoo. I’ve always been glad that Lila has never asked to drag me to the zoo on New Seattle. Perhaps she just knows me that well. [Read more...]