April 25, 2017

A Peek at Our New Tale, ‘Peak Season’

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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...]

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

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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: A Standard of Deviation Part 7

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Ready to jump back in to our latest saga? Then without further fanfare, here’s chapter 7 of our latest sci-fi tale. Remember, if you’re new to the tale, to start back with chapter 1, and you can read A Standard of Deviation and other tales like it in its entirety online.

A Standard of Deviation

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 7

But such wanton fantasies were to be quickly abandoned in favor of the present. I was wakened early by the sergeant at arms to flashes beyond the port bay window.

“Ma’am,” he called out as he shook me in a calm manner that hid the urgency of the situation. “You’re going to have to depart, immediately. The Scrappers have found the station.” [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 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...]

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...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 5

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Can’t wait ’til next Tuesday for New Horizons’ historic encounter with Pluto? You can explore the future solar system now, with Martian native Andrea Makati and the Zodiac Cartel gang in this week’s installment straight out of the Solar Winds universe. action is heating up, as Andrea heads to Titan and Cronos City. Be sure to start back with chapter 1, or better yet, the first chapter of the first story Scorpius Cell, or better yet read em both and other original tales of scifi in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-the Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 5

The ship proved to be one hell of a mover. Andrea estimated they had covered several million kilometers in just the span of an hour.  She could see Saturn’s phase and orientation change in real time as she watched.  This ship has to have a new anti-matter drive, she thought. Nothing else could power something this compact. I wonder how they contain it? The Professor would love to tear into this rig… [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 4

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Things are heating up in the Saturn system this week, as Andrea discovers that the captured Radium Core is a terrible prize that will bring them more than they bargained for. Be sure to check out this week’s installment, or if your new to the series start back with Chapter 1 of the first story Scorpius Cell or Chapter 1 of The Cloaked Promise or hey, you can read em both in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 4

Sleep did not come easy to her that night.

Curled in her suspensor cocoon, Andrea writhed like a caterpillar unable to transform.  Dreams came in fits and starts, disjointed and tangled. Sleep inducers and dream programmers were prevalent among her college friends, but Andrea categorically rejected them.  Some saw random dreaming as dangerous, but lately, Andrea had come to see reality as the real hazard. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 3

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Here’s our latest and greatest installment straight from our Solar Winds universe.  Andrea and team may have successfully used the Radium core to lure in and capture a small Legion cruiser… but what will they do next? And will her team rally under her leadership? Things are definitely going down in the outer solar system out near Saturn’s orbit, in our solar system spanning adventure. Set in 2222 AD, Solar Winds follows a the adventures of Scorpius Cell and the Zodiac cartel as they navigate perilous worlds on the brink of open rebellion.Think of it as Star Wars meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. Be sure to start back at chapter 1, or read The Cloaked Promise and other tales of science fiction adventure in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 3

Andrea watched out the view port as the newly shielded Radium core was dragged back into the loading bay. This little Kuiper belt asteroid had seen a lot of activity as of late. And things had only gotten stranger and more complicated since the hijack of the Daedalus.  The captured communications officer was still in the medical ward. Andrea had scanned her retinal implant and discovered her name was Lori Stutton from Earth.  [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell Part 6

And here it ’tis, faithful reader… the conclusion of Scorpius Cell and the first of several tales to come from our Solar Winds universe. Be sure to start back on Chapter 1, or read Scorpius Cell and other sci-fi tales in their entirely.

Enjoy!

Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 6

 

The Professor caught a flash out of the corner of his eye. “What the… look out!” he exclaimed, dropping the lift extensions. The pallet drifted to the floor as Karl attempted to turn in his cumbersome suit. Andrea caught him by the helmet and used the accumulated momentum to spin him around, smashing his faceplate against the exposed radium ore. The faceplate shattered, exposing Karl’s face to the ore. The smell of charred flesh permeated the air. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell Part 4

Here’s our weekly  installment of free sci-fi goodness. Our current tale is the first in our ongoing space opera saga set in the Solar Winds universe. Start back with chapter 1, or read Scorpius Cell and other works of science and speculative fiction in their entirety.

Enjoy!

Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell

by David A. Dickinson

Chapter 4

The Professor squeezed his wine out into the cabin and gulped down the inky globules. Laughing, Andrea downed hers in swift swallows, the musky odor rushing to her temples.

“And me without my boots,” she said, kicking up her bare feet.

As the star closed in on them, it grew into a sharp elongated spindle. As they closed the gap between them, portal lights shining, lit from within by an amber glow, became visible. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell Part 2

Here’s your weekly dosage of free science fiction with Solar Winds: Scorpius Cell part 2. Be sure to start back at part 1 here. Let’s get right in to the action transpiring out in orbit ’round Uranus:

Solar Winds: Scorpius Cell

Chapter 2

by David A. Dickinson

Karl sprung out into the clear, firing both his and Andrea’s discarded sonic pistol into the fray. Remembering where the three armed guards had last stood, he carefully selected his shots. The compressed sound waves tore through the air, leveling two surprised soldiers.

“The Armory!”  The Professor shouted.  “Don’t let them secure the Armory!” [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Shadowfall Part 2

Here it is; the continuation of our eclipse-fueled  science fiction tale Shadowfall. And this is just in time for the end of the first eclipse season for 2015. If you’ve ever wondered what sort of eclipses might occur on far-flung worlds, look no further than this tale. But beyond that, Shadowfall also considers just what humans of the far off era might make of such bizarre spectacles. Read more of our original scifi tales as well, and be sure to start at Part 1 for Shadowfall here.

Enjoy!

Shadowfall

Chapter 2

by

David A. Dickinson

Kendra and the others had all heard tales of the Swarmers and how they had entered the inner core solar systems of the Diaspora generations ago, nearly exterminating mankind. They were replicating machines, mindless drones with just a single directive: replicate themselves at the cost of any emerging civilization that stood in their way. Neither Kendra nor any of the others had seen a Swarmer; no one alive had. But evidence of the destruction that they had wrought was still strewn about the star system. Helium fusion generators turned into weapons had managed to save humanity then, but only the Guardians possessed such technology now. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Shadowfall Part 1

As eclipse season one of two continues, so does the eclipse-fueled scifi here at Astroguyz.com. This week, we start in with an original four part tale: What kind of bizarre eclipses might occur on distant worlds? Our latest tale Shadowfall gives eclipse chasing a bizarre — and deadly — twist:

 

Shadowfall

Chapter 2

by David A. Dickinson

 

“C’mon kid,” Kendra heard Merak huff under his breath. “You’ve just gotta make it over this salt pan…”

Kendra knew it was a joke, of course, but she still lacked the will to turn around and slap him.

“What do you mean,” she heard Yeara call out from far in front, not even bothering to look back. “Out there, from behind the next barren salt pan?”

“You guys are just wasting energy,” Garath hollered back to all of them. “I’ll pass your drying skeletons next saros ‘round.”

“A lovely sentiment,” Kendra said under her breath to no one in particular.

She’d tried not to notice the appearance of an occasional skull and rib cage that jutted up from the crust of the desert pavement under her feet. Instead she ran faster, keeping her eyes focused on the distant flat horizon, with its flat grey expanse reaching up to meet the metallic blue sky. All around them, brighter stars and planets burned through, though the bloated red sun was high overhead, trying its best to fry their soft bodies to a crisp. Kendra knew that only the ancient backwards moving moon and their own two feet kept this grim fate from becoming a reality.

“Why don’t they just haul the old bodies off?”  Yera asked, half knowing the answer.

“It’s not worth the effort,” Kendra replied. “No one comes here to this old husk of a world any more. Why would they?”

“Just us,” Merak called out. “We’re the only ones crazy enough to tease hell.”

Kendra tried to ignore the burning in her lungs that stretched down to the very soles of her feet. She felt like someone had struck a match inside of her and was now slowly roasting her from the inside out.

She stuffed the sensation as deep inside of herself as she could. These weren’t her friends anymore. Not if she wanted to survive.  She tried not to think of home, or the lush blue waters of Slonath.

“Folks used to live here, y’know,” Merak said, pulling up along side of her. “Heck, they used to spend fortunes back on old Terra just to witness what’s going on over our heads just now.”

“Folks are crazy,” Yera barely huffed under her breath.

Was she faking it or dropping? Kendra thought to herself. She was so strong back on Grimm’s Planet…

“…and besides, those are just stories parents tell their kids when they don’t want ‘em to grow up and become spacer pilots.”

“The umbra is life,” Garath quoted their instructor, “Stay inside it and live.”

Kendra looked above her as the ghostly white glow of the corona shown down on them. Was that a flash? Was she falling behind? Were they even moving in the right direction? She saw rows of shadow bands race past her, a sure sign that she was on the grim edge of the moon’s shadow as it raced across the ancient and desiccated face of Priea.

She squinted to get a better look at the Elites. Herrick would be there, their trainer from back on Grimm’s Planet.

“They… say… if you run fast enough, you can get ahead of it, and take a ten minute break… before it catches up.” Kendra didn’t want to know who said that, and she forced herself to not even entertain the idea of stopping now.

“Don’t listen to him,” Yeara told her. “We’ll be passing his body burnt to a crisp at marker one.”

“I wonder how long you can really manage to live outside the shadow…” the boy continued, slowing pace. “Maybe they’re lyin’ to us…”

Kendra continued to concentrate and focus straight ahead. “There,” she said. “There’s Herrick.”

She could just see his tall wiry form in the muted light, rhythmically slapping out an intimidating pace. Unlike many of the other Elites, he disdained use of polarizing visors or smart wicking fabrics and preferred instead to run mostly unencumbered.

“And he’s not even augmented,” Yeara once whispered to her in training.

“This is his third Shadowfall,” Kendra said, noting the three diagonal hash marks tattooed on his leg. “He does this for fun.”

In the days leading up to their drop off on this scorched world, Kendra had tried to wrap her mind around what that meant. Fun had been the furthest thing from their minds when Kendra and the hundred-odd eligibles of the Diaspora had signed up to complete their first Shadowfall. They were 16 Terran years old, and some of them came from as far away as the outer Comet Cloud just for a chance to compete. Of course, most of the Diaspora tried to ignore the bleak reality that was Shadowfall. Many thought it was at most a diversion, a nod back to the days of human savagery.

“Most of you won’t make it,” Herrick told them in a flat baritone voice on their very first day.  “In the 30 hours it’ll take to reach the Terminator, most of you will simply fall back beyond the umbra and fry. Others of you may succumb to… other hazards. This isn’t your Mom’s garden tea party on Jangor now.”

Kendra had looked around her on that first training day at the glowing faces of hopefuls. Shadowfall was legend on some worlds, and some trained their whole lives for it. On other worlds, participation was expected; a family rite that bordered on the religious. You could tell the type, kids like Garath with a thousand-yard stare that looked old beyond their years.

And then there were the thrill seekers, those who’d grown tired of the predictability of virtual reality and now seemed bent on taunting the real thing.

Kendra was none of these. She could have declined the chance to run Shadowfall, but like most of the kids on Slonath, she’d thrown herself at a chance to escape the life in the slums that she would face otherwise. Completing a Shadowfall was a threshold, a gateway to a life as a Guardian and a way out of crushing servitude. A Guardian’s word was law, and those of the old Legion Order — like Herrick — were rarely trifled with.

“Less than 1 out of 20 of you will survive Shadowfall,” Herrick had continued during their training. “Few can keep pace with the umbra… and fewer still have the will.”

Kendra remembered looking around her that day in training, at the glowing young faces that drank in Herrick’s every single word. She wondered how many of these eager starlets would jump into the sack with Herrick right then and there, if given the chance.

“The shadow of the moon moves just fast enough during eclipse for you worms to keep up with it… that is, if you can manage to keep and sustain a brisk pace.”

“Why the astronomy lesson?” Merak had whispered to Kendra that day.

“Because I’ll be pissing on your dried bones next Shadowfall if you don’t pay attention,” Herrick shouted at them. “This is a testament to your ability to survive. If the Swarmers come back into this system again, we’re the only thing that can stop ‘em.”

To be continued…

Read Shadowfall and other original science fiction tales by David A. Dickinson.

Free Fiction Friday: Exeligmos Part 1

Welcome to our weekly serving of free and original science fiction here at Astroguyz.com. As the first eclipse season of 2015 draws neigh, we though we’d feature one of our many eclipse inspired tales entitled Exeligmos. What started as one eclipse sci-fi story soon grew into half a dozen, two of which are already completed and an are available online. Exeligmos is an adventure through space and time, and highlights one man’s dangerous obsession and his new-found ability to use a cutting edge technology to push it to the very limit. Enjoy!

Exeligmos

By

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 1

 

I was first bitten by the eclipse bug on October 19th, in the year 3000 AD as reckoned on the Old Calendar. I was eight years old, and my parents thought the trek to the Bolivian Andes might just feed that spark of interest in astronomy they saw in me as I rattled off the names of all 101 of Jupiter’s moons, or recited in discovery order every habitable world in the Local Group. Boy, they had no idea. [Read more...]