Dragon Zombies of the Kuiper Belt – Opening

The tribes and races of man believe the god Kuiper created the cosmos and the stars. The material left behind became the belt that surrounded the solar system of Trine, protecting it from the fiends of the dark. The god Kuiper supposedly created the Belt, the wall of moving glittering rock seen as a line of white in the Dark. He created dragons, immortal guardians of the belt to protect Trine, cradle and home to the races. It was the dragons who were there to destroy any of the outer dark that found its way through Kuiper’s belt. Dragons are immortal, but immortal doesn’t mean unkillable.

* * * * *

“How long until we get there?” Anvresus growled irritably. “And don’t say soon. I’m tired to death of ‘soon’.” General Anvresus was the overall leader of the expedition, but he knew that their very lives were in the hands of the wizards that kept them safe from the emptiness of the dark. Dressed in a peacock display of aqua, yellow, red, and black, Wizard Secundus Perrin Nott smiled irritatingly at the General.

“We’ll get there … soon enough …”, he said with quiet superiority. “Nordaadan knows her way. We’ve seen it and she knows her destination. She can’t do anything else.”

Nordaadan soared through the Void oblivious to the frayed tempers within her. Her huge ivory wings beat against the aether, their tireless movement propelling her towards the Kuiper belt. The faint light of the stars gave her scales an iridescence at odds with her tattered skin that barely covered her oddly sprung ribs and stomach. In this distorted portion of her body protruded a clear crystal tube rounded on each end. The tube occupied the entire space from her ribs to to her pelvis.

All internal organs were removed excepting the brain and the heart to hold the spells required to animate her corpse. Inside the crystal cylinder were spheres of darker glass where her ‘passengers’ survived safe from the cold of the Void. They rustled about in their crystal pressure hull walking from one greenish sphere to another. All told there were forty men and women who maintained the spells to the brain to coordinate the body and the heart to recycle the air in the crystal and spread magic through the body to allow animation. Also on board were one hundred of the Banoor Empire’s best soldiers. Their destination was the Kuiper’s belt – the rumored protection of the world and Nordaadan’s original lair.

General Anvresus’ scowl deepened.

“How. Long. Willuk.”

The Wizardus sighed dramatically, irritated by the deliberate omission of his title.. He turned with a swirl of his robe and then turned back to face Anvresus. “I don’t know. The dragon’s memories do not count exact bits of time. Those who are keeping the brain know we are close, but how close is measured in draconian considerations, not human.” He paused and presented a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “So, please, stop asking.”

Maybe a revelation?

I got to thinking about light speed and came to perhaps a different conclusion than the accepted norm. As something approaches the speed of light, time slows down around it. The limiting factor might not be speed but time. If you exceed the speed of light, would time stop? Would it reverse itself? I doubt the latter but the first may be possible. There is a speed barrier at the speed of light, much like how there was a barrier to the speed of sound for aircraft flight. I don’t know what it will take to exceed it, but I do believe (without solid science to back me) the speed of light can be exceeded. It make take doing a lot of experimentation with time as the barrier due to the changes occurring in and around an object that approaches light speed.

Review of ‘Choose Your Truth’ by Jo Miles

‘Choose Your Truth’ by Jo Miles is a very dystopian look at ‘market share’ of the viewing public. The story begins with a look inside one of these companies and a meeting on how to decide to regain their lost market share to rival companies and how they are influencing the public with lurid bits of information that may or may not be factual.

The pacing is steady with an undercurrent of insecurity because no one’s job is truly safe unless the market share increases. There is a small group that opposes the large conglomerates of media distribution, but they are too marginalized to be effective at pushing the truth, or are they?

This is well-written and offers a fascinating look at what might be if media actually became the primary source for all information and entertainment. 1984 anyone?

Review of ‘Snail’s Pace’ by Susan McDonough-Wachtman

‘Snail’s Pace’ by Susan McDonough-Wachtman has two interesting adages which define it. The first being ‘Be careful what you wish for because it could come true’ and ‘In any situation, endeavor to keep an open mind’. The first comes true very quickly, and the latter is a constant struggle for the protagonist Susannah Maureen Chambers McKay, as she learns that her new employers are aliens. Not foreigners with a different language but ALIENS, from another world. The governer is intent on having her teach diplomacy to his son and this is where keeping an open mind continues to be a struggle for the heroine. It is a fun thoughtful story nearly devoid of combat which I found to be a refreshing change from the norm. This is a well-crafted thought-provoking story that has lessons that could be used by today’s society. I heartily recommend this book.

Review – The True Son by Vanessa McLaren-Wray

‘The True Son’ by Vanessa McLaren-Wray is definitely a teaser, a short story that directly points to her novel ‘Shadows of Insurrection’. It is also a good short standalone story that sets the stage for your imagination to wonder at the world of Jeska and what else might go on beyond the small glimpse of the life of a purchased ‘son of the king’. The main character is a son purchased from a father who struggled after his wife died to care for his son. In order to provide a better chance in life, he sold the child to the crown as one of a number of similar children who, if they work hard in both physical and mental exercises, could replace the king’s own son as the new king.

The story follows the main character and how he grows and learns to deal with the growing hatred between him and the ‘True’ son of the king. It is well written and the story leaves you right at a point where you ask yourself ‘what happens next’.

Review of ‘A Classic Beginner’s Mistake’ by Philip Brewer

‘A Classic Beginner’s Mistake’ is an interesting title in the sense it’s about a situation that is minor to the story but does encompass the entirety of the story. The main character is a fencer, currently closer to a beginner than a master swordsman. Asking a question prompted by his instructor Odessa Rae Clover, to swordmaster Vergil whom he was reporting to in order to correct a problem, Trevo was told by Vergil that if he wanted the answer he would have to fight for it.

The story is well crafted and detailed enough to help the reader through the action scenes without slowing down the pace. The world and the reason for Trevo’s assignment to well described in a unique setting that adds a detailed background that does an excellent job of supporting and coloring the main story. I enjoyed this story and would recommend for the swordplay and the unique magical realm that the story is centered in.

Review of Dangerous Inspiration by Greg Stone

Dangerous Inspiration is very much a nuanced statement for the title and the novel itself. it describes the situation all the artists that are accepted at the art colony ‘Interlude’ only to be trapped by a Nor’easter storm that traps them in the colony where an exotic series of murders occur. Interestingly, every member of the colony has a situation where violence and/or death occurred in their past life that they may or may not have deliberately taken part in.

The protagonist, Ronan Mezini, also has his own brush with death, being the detective that solved a notorious serial killer case. But there was a scandal involving brutal interrogation techniques in his past that he may or may not have taken part in. All of it combines to create an atmosphere of misdirection where more than one artist could be linked to a murder that occurs.

The writing is a little jerky at the beginning, but smooths out quickly and is very entertaining. The occurrences at the colony are like half-seen through rippled glass. There’s enough description to give you an idea of who and how something happens, but not enough for you to really grasp what the reason was and who might have been involved.

For me, when the group of artists switches location to another hotel, does the story shift to a higher gear. The activity is more sparse, but the dialog and flow more than make up for the shift in perspective. It was my favorite part of the story. The ending felt a little overcomplicated, but the information did connect together logically and the deductions and reveal do allow you to look back and see in the earlier parts where those clues surface.

This is an intriguing and fun read, especially in the second half of the book. I plan on getting a copy to enjoy.

Dragon Zombies of the Kuiper Belt

You have @BraveLittleTeapot to blame for this. She had started talking about wanting to do an anthology, and in my own snarky way, suggested I might think about joining such an endeavor. Well, all the chat on Discord convinced me that it might be fun to see what happens.

The biggest hurdle at the beginning of everything is actually beginning. Therefor, I have begun with this forward so that you can properly praise or otherwise inform the person(s) responsible. I include you @Ryan Southwick and you @Steven Radecki for assisting @BraveLittleTeapot in making me get off my lazy rear and get in gear trying to make a story of the title.

The first obvious choice is what kind of voice will the story have: humor, horror, suspense, etc? The focus on the voice creates the path of the story. I have no idea where it’s going to go yet. All I’ve done is write this forward to give proper due to those who encouraged the generation of the story.

The basis of the writing is Dragons and Horror, so there will be elements of this in the story. I’ve been on a humor kick also, soooo….there might be some of that in the horror and Dragon requirement. That being said, I will take a day to think about ideas then start writing.

As said earlier, the hardest thing about stories is beginning them. Now, let us travel into a different place, where space travel is possible, dragons exist, and the unknown is the greatest fear and question for all sentient species.

We now join the DKS (Dual Kingdoms ship) Herken to see where this story goes.

Here are a few articles adding to the story



Review of ‘One Man’s Trash’ – by Ryan Southwick

One Man’s Trash starts oddly slow. There is a lot of descriptive action going on at the beginning but it’s more like watching the action happen rather than experiencing it with the characters.

This changes once the main characters get onto the station – The Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy. Ryan Southwick does a marvelous job of delicately fleshing out the main characters with thoughtful and engrossing looks at their motivations, the situation they’re in, and whom they meet and interact with on the station. (Spoiler note: ‘Eckle’ is an interesting character.) Their adventure changes direction midway through and launches them into a desperate search to save a new friend. The story is well-crafted and presents a dual-level conflict with one being internal to the characters, and the other being a situation thrust upon them. It is well worth the read.