Today I thought I'd give you a sneak peek by sharing an excerpt from Daiker's Children, a post-apocalyptic tale with a science fiction twist.
After I exited The Facility, rejecting the offer of a replicated hometown and safety, I spent three days clawing my way around or over the wreckage of cars, fallen buildings, and decaying bodies. It was exhausting. I made slow progress along the road that once fed the city with cars, like blood trickling through clogged arteries instead of the constant thrum of fast moving vehicles. The smell of death was overpowering, but hour-by-hour the aliens cleared more and more bodies, debris, and dust from the air. Even when I tried to sleep, they continued – their strange machines hovering above the ground vaporising everything dead, damaged, or toxic in their path. By the third day, the road was nearly cleared, and I reached the centre of Exeter.
I’d not seen one living soul and began to believe I was utterly on my own. Had no one else survived and rejected the aliens’ help? I buried the thought under a tonne of other unanswered questions.
I planned to aim for my brother’s house. After all, Trevor and I had been heading there before the blasts. It was a calculated risk – if Trevor was alive and not in The Facility, he could have headed for home. Home was a three-hour journey, and that was by car. My brother’s house was closer. So I had to believe he’d know I’d decide to reach the nearest place I knew first. I didn’t dare consider the possibility he was inside a hometown, perhaps living with my facsimile. I struck that thought from consciousness the moment it entered. I refused to acknowledge it.
To gain a vantage point of eastern Exeter, I scaled several floors of an office building that miraculously still stood. I soon found there was no point heading for my brother’s. His suburb was gone. Obliterated. Nothing remained but empty scorched land. An icy chill ran through my veins as I looked out at the once great city of Exeter. I stifled a sob. If my brother had been home when the blasts hit – and why would he leave on the morning he awaited my arrival? – he was dead.
I ran to the other side of the building and gazed westward. Some of the city’s business district still stood, but alien machines were stripping it bare as I watched. Everything was being removed. Not cleaned or sprayed or anything I’d expect to see. Was this their idea of decontamination and stabilisation? Did everything manmade have to go? What would be left for those of us left behind? Those who chose to remain?
Then I saw the children. A group huddled together at the edge of a department store entrance – some no more than a few years old. I counted seven altogether but reasoned there could be more. They looked terrified. I didn’t understand why they were at the store alone or why the aliens hadn’t rescued them, but my mission changed that second. Trevor would have to wait.
Yesterday saw the long-awaited publication of Tara Tyler's Pop Travel. Congratulations, Tara!
Pop Travel is sci fi noir, a cat and mouse game where the hard-boiled detective is chased across the world, “popping” with teleportation, which has a deadly flaw he is determined to expose.
Private Investigator J. L. Cooper always knew pop travel laser teleportation was too good to be true. Finding video proof of a disintegrating traveler is the stomach turning “I told you so.”
Cooper can’t broadcast the video on the nosy, government monitored Qnet, so he digs around, revealing more suspicious traveler disappearances, the death of his client, and threats to his political little brother, who is in jeopardy of turning to dust anyway for disregarding Cooper’s warnings not to pop. Cooper has to do everything himself.
To stop the disappearances and save his brother he must shut down the ruthless mega corp Pop Travel International (PTI). And that means convincing Hasan Rakhi, the celebrity Creator of pop travel, to publicly admit the deadly flaw. No problem. Under constant surveillance, Cooper will have to be unpredictable, facing his fear of popping to crash a party at Hasan’s well-fortified plantation compound. Yes, the laser fences are real. As long as he survives his next pop, Cooper won’t let anything distract him from getting the job done. Not the android security guards, who aren’t as bright as they look, or even Southern Comfort in a purple dress, Geri Harper (an undercover Agent).
Nothing Coop can’t handle.
Tara will be joining me as my July 17th Speculative Fiction Writer guest. Don't forget to 'Pop' by!
Finally, Alex J. Cavanaugh revealed the trailer for a book I'm desperate to get my hands on, CassaStorm (I'll have to be patience and wait for the official release date). Here's the stunning trailer:
That's it for today. Don't forget to call back on Wednesday, when Gary Val Tenuta will be this week's Speculative Fiction Writer and I'll be discussing how no author can go it alone for this month's Indie Life post.