This week's Speculative Fiction Writer is long-time blogging friend and talented writer, Jeff Beesler. He's just released his fourth novel, Interstellar Dad. Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win an eBook copy.
Hi, Ellie! Thanks for having me! I can’t believe how fast this first month of 2014 has gone. Of course, time would fly when you’re busy getting a book published like I have. I have this goal to get three books published this year, not counting audio book and print editions. With the release of Interstellar Dad, my latest science fiction tale, I’m already a third of the way there in accomplishing my goal.
Essentially, Interstellar Dad is about a guy named Andrew Skyes who desperately wants to be a dad, but can’t have any of his own due to infertility. Because of this, his wife divorces him, and his performance at his job tanks. It doesn’t help that his jeep’s tire deflates and he has to seek help from a tow truck driver named Tucker. Fortunately, there may be a way for Andrew to still have children of his own. Such help may just have to come from an alien race known as the Ph’mleez. What follows next is an excerpt from the book, near the end of chapter 7.
“Fine,” Junos said. “Go ahead and shoot. We won’t stop you.”
“Junos, that is enough! The longer we antagonize them, the more likely something will go wrong,” Univa said. Then to Tucker, she added, “I need you to put that piece of equipment down. Some of it is highly sensitive, given the nature of our mission. If you were to accidentally set it off, it would not end well.”
Univa had no sooner uttered those words than Tucker’s pinky finger pressed down on a button I wasn’t sure he knew was there. The silver glint of the frame became immersed in a greenish glow. Electric sparks rose from the metal baton and shot out in every direction. The alien women immediately took cover. I heard Univa shout Junos’s name, as well as reprimand the head of security with more of those clicks and clacks that made up their dialect.
Tucker grinned at this, apparently unconcerned for the fact that the blaster or whatever it was in his hand had the power to vaporize him. His smile melted into dread, however, as he suddenly threw down the device and cried out in agony.
“Ouch! That got hot in a hurry!” he said, kissing his fingers as if his lips were burn ointment.
I was about to say something to him, but then the device emitted a strange, one-note hum that grew louder the longer it went on. Whatever that thing was, the sound it made gave me the impression that it was powering up. Something told me I didn’t want to ever find out what this contraption did.
“This is what you get for meddling in our affairs, Earth men,” said Junos. “Next time curiosity pecks at your feeble little brains, you may actually want to avoid feeding it.”
“Not our fault you crash-landed on our planet!” Tucker shouted. Even at the top of his lungs, he almost failed to be heard over the screech of the apparatus he had foolishly activated.
Whatever words he uttered next went unheard as the machine let loose with an energy discharge. Unfortunately, with his lack of knowledge about alien technology, he hadn’t realized he had been holding it where the thing would discharge towards him. A burst of radiation shot forth from the metal baton and struck him in the belly, knocking him to the ground. The scream he gave could not break out beyond the scope of the metal baton’s humming, but the way his eyes were shut and his mouth hung open indicated that he had indeed wailed.
For about a minute or two, the same glow from the device enveloped him, preventing me from stepping towards him and offering any assistance. I could only stand by and watch as his body went limp, the energy too much for his body to handle.
But in keeping my attention solely on him, I neglected to watch the metal baton. It wasn’t until I caught a flicker of green energy that I realized my mistake. By the time I turned toward the source, I got a full blast of energy right to my stomach. Suddenly I felt what was left of my lunch swirling around, an unexplainable nausea overtaking me as the room began to spin. In the background, I could hear Univa reprimanding the whole lot of her crew for having let things come to this. The murmur of chatter and arguments disappeared beyond a solid layer of blackness.
So what do you suppose happened to Andrew and Tucker? You’ll have to pick up a copy of Interstellar Dad to find out. Links are available below…unless you happen to be randomly chosen to win a copy of Interstellar Dad by leaving a comment here! I’ll choose the lucky winner sometime on Friday. Good luck!
Thank you, Jeff. Interstellar Dad looks like another enthralling read. As with Optical Osmosis, I adore the cover. That's it for this week. Can you believe it's the end of January already?