April 29, 2017

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 6

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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

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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

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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

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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...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 2

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Ready for more quantum entanglement galaxy hopping adventure? The let’s jump right in to Chapter 2. Remember to start back with last week’s Chapter 1 of A Standard of Deviation, and you can read the story in its entirety, and other original tales of sci-fi by yours truly as well.

 

A Standard of Deviation

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 2

 

And that’s where I come in. Couriers like me bring the Standard around, the engineers read it, and the primacy of Earth’s exploitation of the galaxy stays intact. I might even discover a fascinating (to me, anyway) new tale of mythology or artistic flourish from a forgotten race, and I always make sure to take and bring back a picture of the host star of New Seattle for Lila. That is, if I can manage to find it in the sky for her. [Read more...]

Book Review: Alchemy & Steam edited by Kerrie L. Hughes

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Been to a major ‘Con lately? Then you’ll note that the Steampunk genre is alive and well, in the form of retro costumes straight out of the 19th century, replete with high tech gear including cybernetic implants, targeting monocles and the like.

Fans love to party like it’s an alternative reality 1899, that’s for sure.  This week’s review takes the concept a step further, and invites 13 fresh new speculative fiction writers to imagine brave new universes. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: A Standard of Deviation Part 1

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Hooray… Friday… and here’s your weekly dose of free sci-fi from yours truly. This week, we’re starting in on a brand new tale in an exciting universe. This one’s got it all; an imperial Earth, killer Von Neumann robots, intelligent gasbags, and swashbuckling librarians (3rd Class, thank you very much). If you can’t wait for next week’s installment, you can read A Standard of Deviation and other works of original scifi in their entirety.

On with this week’s exciting new tale…

A Standard of Deviation

By

David A. Dickinson

Chapter I

 

Sometimes, the strangest ideas in the universe can sprout from the humblest of seeds. My grandfather once told me that kernel of wisdom when I was a little girl as we both watched a Spican Nematode I was raising sprout from its host and take wing. That was long before I had moved to New Seattle and taken up residence and a new job with my life partner, Lila. Of course, this was also before she told me of the rare and inoperable form of brain cancer that was lurking inside her brain stem… Lila was like that, never wanting me to make an undue fuss over her. [Read more...]

Review: Search and Recovery by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Things are heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe.  We recently completed book four in the eight book Anniversary Day saga by Kristine Kathryn Rusch as part of our ongoing campaign to catch up with the growing pile of review books that have stacked up while we were on a one year sabbatical.

The Anniversary Day saga follows the aftermath of a massive attack on human colonies on Earth’s Moon and the efforts to uncover just who was behind them. Fans of the series and this space will recall our reviews of Book 2: Blowback and Book 3: A Murder of Clones. We’ve also reviewed The Enemy Within by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, as well as one of our all time faves, the Diving into the Wreck saga. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday-Helium Party: Part 6

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And here’s the long anticipated conclusion to our on-going tale Helium Party. And as always, you know the drill: be sure to start back with Chapter 1, or you can just read Helium Party and other great tales of Sci-fi in their entirety.

On to the conclusion!

Helium Party

by

Dave Dickinson

Chapter 6

“Get ready with those countermeasures, kid…”

I grabbed the trigger and toggled the switch marked “E/O CHAFF”. Several inbound guided flechette rounds were already zipping by our vessels, with the intent of slicing open our thin hulls.

“Now!”

I could hear the calliope music playing over the comm system as the dispensers emptied in rapid succession. If this was Lanky’s bizarre idea of combat music, it seemed to be working. The clouds of metal fiber would temporarily confuse the rounds as they sliced away at empty space. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 5

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Here it tis… our weekly healthy serving of free science fiction for you, the discerning public. Be sure to start back on chapter 1, and you can read Helium Party and other tales of original sci-fi by yours truly.

But now, let’s join our intrepid gang The Citizens of Silliness in orbit around Jupiter:

Helium Party

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 5

“Lanky, Tinker, standby to deploy those catcher pods…”

I watched the console as a beacon lit up ahead. Of course, the outline of the flashing indicator was in the obligatory clown-head shape.

“You’ve got full helium bladders to pick up!” I exclaimed.

“You’re a smart one, there, Toots,” Crunchy replied. “Think we’d go home empty handed?” “We drop ‘em, and we pick em up.” [Read more...]

Book Review: Recycled Pulp edited by John Helfers

On sale in September 2015!

Remember the pulp novelettes of yore?

Named for the woodsy, low cost paper they were printed on, dime store pulp novels were an integral part of many readers’ childhoods. They were formulaic, sure, but we always knew the tales within would deliver.

The folks at Fiction River recently challenged authors to concoct some pulp tales of their own, and the results were far from rigid or predictable. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 4

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Rogue clowns in space hungry for helium, what’s not to love? Here’s this week’s latest installment chronicling the further adventures of the Sons of Silliness. Be sure to start back on chapter 1, and read Helium Party and other works of original fiction by yours truly.

Helium Party

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 4

The vessel was tiny, a nod to the clown cars of yore. It came complete with an oversized windup key that served as the ignition for the anti-matter cascade, which seemed to always be Lanky’s job to get out and crank. The first Gemini astronauts probably had more space in their cramped capsule. The crew consisted of four, with Crunchy, Lanky, Tinker and I crammed into the good ship Laughing Stock. Of course, Crunchy was initially against my accompanying them, until I mentioned my skills handling a gas-giant skimmer as a kid growing up on Mimas. Plus, he’d softened a bit over time to the ‘get your poignant plight out to the people’ angle. I also knew that The Terran Solar News Miner was paying the Citizens handsomely for my service. I agreed not to disclose any tactical secrets, and we were off on an illicit hunt to smuggle in more helium. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday-Helium Party Part 3

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Here it ’tis; our weekly installment of rogue Space Clowns, doing what rogue Space Clowns do. Be sure to start back on chapter 1 if you’re new to the story, or read Helium Party and other original tales of science fiction in their entirety.

Helium Party

by

David Dickisnon

Chapter 3

I crept towards the fray. The battle scene before me was truly epic, if not slightly hilarious. Pies flew, both toxic and explosive. Bad puns and gags were exchanged. I knew that it was only a matter of time before the battle would devolve into cutlery throwing and hand-to-hand-buzzer combat. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 2

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Those crazy space clowns at the Sons of Silliness are at it again, in a solar system spanning tale of mis-adventure. Welcome to chapter 2 of our Free Fiction Friday offering of Helium Party. Be sure to start back on chapter 1, or you can simply read the tale and others like it in their entirety.

Helium Party

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 2

“The story’s always first, you know how it is,” I replied, and let it hang at that. You know how it is with us fearless-girl-reporter types.

“Yeah, we know alright…”

I would sometimes try to appeal to their sense of “clownish pride,” asking them how they always seem to come through for their clients with even the most outlandish requests and parties, but to no avail. I knew that the central clubhouse storage depot had to hold the answer. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Helium Party Part 1

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This week, we thought we’d start in with some lighter helium-laced fare with our tale of space hi-jinks, Helium Party. Hey, it’s got  rogue gangs of space clowns, what’s not to love? Plus, we may very will be revisiting the universe of the Citizens of Silliness again, the story was that much fun to write. Remember, you can read Helium Party and other original tales of science fiction by yours truly in their entirety as well.

Helium Party

By

David Dickinson

Chapter 1

 

I knew, as Jupiter filled up our view and scuds of methane clouds whizzed by, that this was a bad idea.

“Just have those scoops ready to deploy when I tell ya’ to, Kid…” Crunchy called out from the pilot’s seat. How the three of us had fit into the tiny cabin of the Laughing Stock I have no idea. I’d done exposés on technology cults in the Oort Cloud and had taken audiences on a hard-nosed look at crime bosses of the Flying Venusian underworld, but never did I fear for my life quite like I did just now. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 7

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And here it is; the final installment of our second book of the Solar Winds series. Be sure to start back on Chapter 1, or better yet, start back with chapter 1 book 1: Scorpius Cell. Or, you can read em all and other original works of scifi in their entirety by yours truly.

Solar Winds: The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 7

“Ah, your beauty can only add to the drab setting here. I told them you were an absolute celestial angel when they questioned me, you know. Why the media doesn’t play that up is beyond…”

“How did you find our base?” Andrea cut in. She resisted every urge to cup her newly injured shoulder in front of him. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 6

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And here it is: the penultimate chapter to part two of our solar system-spanning tale. Be sure to start back with story one chapter one, or read ‘em all and more original tales online.

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 6

Once she was safely out of sight, a hooded man at the bar stood up to depart in the opposite direction.  He was heavily augmented, so much so that it was hard to tell where the machine ended and the man began.  Nano-robots coursed through his veins.  Already, data recorded by his ocular implants was being transferred and analyzed by his contractors.  They would be pleased. All that remained now, he decided, was to kill the provider, then hunt for the girl.  He prided himself on carrying out a clean act. It was, after all, why they kept coming back for his services. [Read more...]

Colonists Launch Pluto One Project as Historic Flyby Nears

Pluto or bust? Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

As Pluto grows ever-sharper in the view of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, so does humankind’s longing to explore the ‘other Red Planet.’

Now, a Florida-based organization calling itself Pluto One is looking to do just that. [Read more...]