28 August 2015

SFFS: Snippet #7 From Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Welcome back, everyone, to another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. As mentioned in prior weeks, my new Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with my snippets from the last several weeks.

First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.




So, here's the next snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
I began to worry that life support may be the next to go, the way things were going. I turned and opened the closet just aft of the cockpit divider, seeing my protection hanging at the back.

“Shall we resume our original course to reach a proper maintenance facility?”

“No, I expect to figure out what’s going on with these system outages.” I pulled out the pressure suit.

As soon as I said the words, the entire ship grew silent. Not just a regular run-of-the-mill silence, but one that told me the re-circulation fans had shut down. No air meant the end of my life was fast approaching.

“Jeanie, what’s wrong with the air?”

“I do not detect any issues with the environmental systems. Perhaps I should purge the system?”

My eyes shot open wide, and I rushed to pull on the pressure suit. Purging would get rid of the clean, breathable air almost immediately, not the long, drawn-out process that came from having no re-circulation system.

“No, do not purge the system. That’s not the issue.”

Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things. Twenty-six chapters are now edited, with only six to go, and then it will be heading off to beta readers to see what they think.

21 August 2015

SFFS: Snippet #6 From Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Welcome back, everyone, to another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. As mentioned in prior weeks, my new Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with my snippets from the last several weeks.

First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.



So, here's the next snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
It seemed rather odd timing for a system failure. I looked around the cockpit, but saw no indication otherwise that the communication system was down. First, Jeanie wasn’t detecting issues that were obvious to anyone who could see, and now she was detecting issues that didn’t seem to be there.

She continued, “Shall I resume our original flight plan?”

“No, I think we should stay right here and get to the bottom of this communication system failure.” That, and I had no inclination to allow Jeanie to take me up to hyperspeed levels. For all I knew, an undetected or commanded failure of the coolant system could turn my ship into a ball of liquid metal.

She fell silent and we remained in normal space with the communication beacon in view, which made me breathe a sigh of relief. Because of those on my planet who had seen sentient machines as a potential threat, Jeanie’s creators had been forced to install obedience code into her software. At least that seemed to still be in place, and she had to do what I said.

“Take us closer to the beacon. Let me know when we’re within range.”

Her voice was cool, calm and collected. “The thruster control system is down.”

Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things. Twenty-one chapters are now edited, and another eleven to go, and then it will be heading off to beta readers to see what they think.

14 August 2015

SFFS: Snippet #5 from Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Welcome back, everyone, to another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. As mentioned in prior weeks, my new Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is now available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with the snippets from the last several weeks.

First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.

(Again note: Most of the stories in this collection were previously available in my various Triple-Shot collections. Dirty Dozen puts them all in one collection, and also provides an opportunity for those folks who would like to pick them up in paperback form...coming soon)


So, here's the next snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
“I just remembered that I needed to ask Tabor something about the next job he has for me.”

“And it can’t wait until we exit out of hyperspace at our original destination?”

“No, it can’t. Depending on his answer, continuing on to our destination may be a futile gesture.”

“Acknowledged,” she told me. “There is an upcoming system that should suffice.”

And before I could even tell her another word, we were dropping back into normal space. I stumbled forward, but fortunately caught myself from hitting the floor, by grabbing onto the doorway to the bridge. Rather than complain about the short notice, I decided to take my good fortune and run with it. I glanced over at the sensor screen along the left side of the cockpit, and saw a symbol that had to be the communication beacon. “Take us closer and I’ll put the message through.”

“I’m detecting failures within the communication system. No message will be able to be sent.”

Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things.

07 August 2015

SFFS: Snippet #4 from Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Welcome back, everyone, to another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. As mentioned in prior weeks, my new Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is now available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with the snippets from the last several weeks.

First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.

(Again note: Most of the stories in this collection were previously available in my various Triple-Shot collections. Dirty Dozen puts them all in one collection, and also provides an opportunity for those folks who would like to pick them up in paperback form...coming soon)


So, here's the next snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
Usually, Jeanie was the most logical computer I’d ever met. Certainly, there were times when she seemed to go past her programming and resembled emotions. But what she just said, it bordered on nagging, something I never remembered her doing before. At least not so directly, and not in what resembled an accusatory tone.

Something was definitely wrong.

“Are we close to our destination?”

“Not at all.”

“Are we close to any systems with a communications beacon?”

“Why are you interested in that answer?”

Now something was majorly amiss. Never before that I could think of had Jeanie ignored my question and tried to evade it. Not this way. She was becoming more and more defiant, and I had to figure out what was wrong.

But she also held my life totally in her electronic hands, because she held control over every single system on-board the ship. And because she had my life, she also had the opportunity to do things to end that life.

Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things.

24 July 2015

SFFS: Snippet #3 from Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Welcome back, everyone, to another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. As mentioned in prior weeks, my new Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is now available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with the snippets from the last several weeks.


First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.


(Again note: Most of the stories in this collection were previously available in my various Triple-Shot collections. Dirty Dozen puts them all in one collection, and also provides an opportunity for those folks who would like to pick them up in paperback form...coming soon)






So, here's the next snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
A set of emergency lights popped on, providing a minimum amount of illumination around the area. I pulled the bottle away from my lips, and called out, “Jeanie?”

“Yes, Aston,” she responded as if nothing had just happened.

“Why did the lights all just go out?”

“I’m not detecting any issues with the lighting system,” she told me in an extra matter-of-factly tone.

Of course not. Why would I have expected anything else? “I’m standing right here, and all of the lights just went out. All I have to see by are these puny emergency lights.”

“You seem to be angry with me,” she commented.

“I’m not angry, just concerned. Things seem to be falling apart on this ship, and you’re not detecting anything wrong. Doesn’t that seem a bit concerning?”

“Are you sure that you aren’t simply hallucinating? You’ve been drinking, after all.”

Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things.

17 July 2015

SFFS: Snippet #2 From Inoculation (a DIRTY DOZEN story)

Second week in a row...this may be a record in recent times for me posting a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. I had my preliminary cover art last week, and this week, my Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen is now available over at Amazon, I figured I'd continue on with the snippet from last week.


First, the blurb:

Join space pirate Aston West in the second collection of short stories from his universe, featuring classic space opera tales by T. M. Hunter. Building on Aston's first collection (Dead or Alive), these stories feature even more wild adventures, unforgettable characters, and exciting plot twists to satisfy your space opera appetite.


(Again note: Most of the stories in this collection were previously available in my various Triple-Shot collections. Dirty Dozen puts them all in one collection, and also provides an opportunity for those folks who would like to pick them up in paperback form...coming soon)





So, here's the snippet, from my short story "Inoculation":
Granted, anything on a ship was bound to wear out, and the viewscreen was original factory equipment. The more troubling part was that Jeanie wasn’t detecting the issue.

I didn’t voice my opinion, but I planned to have everything completely checked out at our next stop. Still, she was no doubt waiting for me to say something, to either confirm or deny her assumption that I didn’t trust her.

“Well, just keep an eye on it.”

“Acknowledged,” she responded, even though I had a suspicion any additional blinking would remain undetected.

I shrugged it off. Other than a fine view of a dark starfield as seen at hyperspeed velocities, I really wasn’t missing much, even if the screen actually did falter.

Perhaps if I kept the issue out of sight, it wouldn’t bother me so much. I grabbed a half-empty bottle of Vladirian liquor from my chair’s side pocket and started for the doorway at the back of my bridge, leading into my living area. Nothing made the time pass quicker than drinking and sleeping, and with my cot in sight along my side wall, I planned to do both. I plopped down on the stiff mattress and began the process of draining the bottle.

Then all of the lights went out, and not by request.
Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy from the link above. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things.

10 July 2015

SFFS - A Snippet from DIRTY DOZEN

Life does tend to get in the way...and even more so when you've been editing. It's been over a month since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. Now that I have my preliminary cover art for the upcoming Aston short story collection Dirty Dozen, I figured I'd pull a snippet from one of the stories within. Be on the lookout for this one to come out on Amazon shortly.

Most of the stories in this collection were previously available in my various Triple-Shot collections. Dirty Dozen puts them all in one collection, and also provides an opportunity for those folks who would like to pick them up in paperback form.





So, I've come up with the following for your enjoyment, from my short story "Inoculation":
“It sure does seem like something,” I told Jeanie.

My ship’s computer responded, “I’m sure it’s nothing, Aston.”

Wrinkling my forehead, I insisted, “This is the second time that viewscreen has blinked since we left our last stop. It has to be something.”

“I’m not detecting any issues with the viewscreen system.”

I hated to dispute the issue. If she’d been a person, it would have been the equivalent of calling her a liar. As it was, it still felt that way, even though she wasn’t programmed with things such as emotions or feelings. Of course, she also wasn’t programmed to falsify information.

But facts were facts, and these glitches in the viewscreen were hard evidence. As long as I’d owned this ship, my screen had never blinked once, let along twice.
Hope you enjoyed it! If so, pick up a copy when it comes out. And not to worry, edits are still going on with my next Aston novel, All Good Things.