Tag Archives: science fantasy

Tuesday Tickle: Culture Shift

I love characters that are enthusiastic about their jobs, especially when it’s areas that most people wouldn’t find interesting. These guys are a lot of fun, simply because they are absolutely fascinated by what they do for a living. No wonder they got chosen for the primary contact team with a new alien race… Vance (the first speaker) is a xenoanthropolgist, Ken is a botanist.

“We’ve arrived just before a period of religious observation. I don’t quite understand the whole concept, but there will be representatives from all the different canajun here. There’s a competitive aspect to it, too. Some sort of goal, or prize, that they all compete for. I can’t get anyone to slow down long enough to explain it all to me, though.”

“That’s gotta be driving you crazy. Crazier.”

“Funny man.” Vance craned his neck to watch the crowd as they laid out what looked like a series of concentric circles surrounding the low pile of wood. “Come on, let’s go up on the hill where I can get a better vantage.” He picked up his equipment and started the trudge back up the hill.

The heavier gravity took its toll before he got to the top. His recorder felt like it had doubled in weight between the start and the finish, and his feet dragged on the ground. At the top of the amphitheatre, he slumped to the ground with a whooshing sound and lay on his back for a minute to catch his breath.

Ken flopped down beside him and brushed his fingers through the ground cover. His eyebrows twitched and he pulled out a sample bag.

Vance propped himself up on his elbows and laughed. “Don’t you already have samples of all this stuff?”

“I don’t recognize this one.” Ken plucked a couple of long, toothed leaves from one plant, then dug into the soil to pull another one in its entirety. “This will do for genetic sampling. I’ll have to come back later and try for enough to transplant in the isolation greenhouse.”

“Next thing, you’re going to be telling us all we have to sleep in the corridors, so you have room for all your plants.”

“Great idea! I’ll let the captain know in tomorrow’s dispatch.”

“Har har.” Vance pushed himself upright, and reached for the video recorder. “Glad I don’t have to lug the other over to its location too. The gravity is killing me.”

“Think of all the muscles you’ll grow.”

“I wish they’d grown in the gym on the way over here.”


Tuesday Tickle: The Payne Principle (Working Title)

This is the start of a new science fantasy series that I’m toying with. It’s post-apocalyptic, with shifters and dragons (who are not the shifters) and a new branch of the military. and is taking way more research than I expected. I think you can look for this one next year, late summer or fall I hope. And it kind of depends on whether I can come up with a title that’s a lot less cheesy than up above. Because I really don’t want it to come out with that one. 🙂

“Private Miller?” The corpsman’s voice held only the faintest quiver.

“You don’t need to be scared of me,” Riley said.

“I’m not scared.”

“That’s good. I’m terrified myself.” As jokes went, it sucked, but it seemed to break the tension. After all, he couldn’t be that dangerous, if he was still cracking jokes, right?

The corpsman washed him with rapid efficiency and held the jug for him to piss into. There was little enough to come out, since he hadn’t been able to keep anything, even water, down for—he didn’t know how long. It felt like forever. He’d moved well beyond being thirsty a while ago.

His vision was going weird again.

Please, not another seizure.

The corpsman was tucking a clean blanket around him when it hit, but this one was different. His muscles snapped tight so quickly he literally bounced off the mattress. This time, they didn’t stay tight. Instead, he flailed on the floor, barely aware of the leather sleeve breaking and his IV tearing out of his vein, streaming blood tainted fluids everywhere. He didn’t hear the corpsman screaming over the sound of his own muscles and bones as they tore themselves apart.

He did feel the bite of the tranquilizer darts. And they made something inside him very angry.