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.

22 May 2015

SFFS: A Snippet From ALL GOOD THINGS

Whew! It's been four whole months since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. But since SFFS is turning four years old this week, I figured I'd get moving and post something.

But what?

I don't have a new novel out yet, my upcoming short story collection The Dirty Dozen is nearly ready, but most of the stories I've already covered in past snippets. I've done several snippets from my latest novella Fallen (shameless cover art plug) already...and if you haven't picked it or my other novella Seeker up, both are available this weekend for free on your Kindle.



Well, I did just finish the first round of edits on my latest Aston "series" novel. It's also gone through yet another title change (from Resurrection to Life and Death and now I'm contemplating using a new title, All Good Things).

So, while trying not to duplicate any snippets from the past versions, I've come up with the following for your enjoyment:
“How do I know you have enough of this supposed death cure to bring her back?”

Elijah rattled a tiny chain around his neck as he pulled out a small medical dispenser. “It’s right here.”

“That could be anything. Show me it works, on her.”

He laughed, loud, a painful beating upon my ears. “Nice try, but you know the deal. You help us, and we bring her back.”

I focused on Leah’s face, imagining her smile once more, trying to remember her voice as she conveyed her desire to leave the twins. The decision to make was clear; I had no choice.

“So, what do you say? One more mission, to bring her back to life?”

I placed my head on the clear plastic, knowing that I was selling out to the devil on this one. I had to, for her sake as well as my own. “I’ll do it.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be able to get through subsequent rounds of edits in the near future, so that I can have the whole thing ready for public consumption before long...

18 April 2015

Insomnia Time

Just sitting around on a way-too-early Saturday morning...going to be heading to an event here in a few hours. Noticed it's been around three months since my last post, so figured I'd post a small update.

I have editing I could be doing on my latest Aston novel, but I really don't feel like it. I find myself constantly thinking, why bother?

I have a short story collection all loaded up for release, just waiting on me to determine what cover art I should ask for, but I really don't feel like messing with that either. Again, why bother?

Truly, my motivation and desire for writing anything has disappeared.

I have folks in my circles who have suggested that I try to write something in another genre (since most of work has been for the Aston stories). I've sat down and attempted to brainstorm other stories I could write, and again, the motivation and desire just isn't there.

Maybe this is what the end feels like?

16 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet From FALLEN (now published)

Well, even though I posted a snippet from a first draft short story last week, I decided to take it a different direction for this week's Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

As I mentioned last week, my new Aston novella Fallen is now available for your Kindle devices (or with the Kindle app). Thanks to the always-amazing TK Toppin for the awesome cover art. The paperback copy is currently in process, so I'm hoping to have that one available for an upcoming convention in February. Stay tuned!



So, even though Fallen has had several snippets posted here in the past, all of those were draft copies. I'm going to go ahead and post one that I haven't posted before (I hope), and this from the final published edition. So, enjoy this snippet from my new Aston novella Fallen for your enjoyment:

She took the first bowl, grabbing a long cylindrical wooden pin from a nearby shelf. Then she smashed the sweet Roiyo into a liquid pulp, tossing the powder and the flowers into the concoction, working it over like a mad woman. Although I smelled the sweet Roiyo at first, the aroma was quickly overpowered by the flower and powder. I crinkled my nose at the foul, bitter odor.

Her father smiled at my reaction. “Not to worry, my daughter is highly skilled in the healing arts. It may not seem the most pleasant, but it will get the job done.”

“I hope so,” I told him.

Eve ignored us both, concentrating fully on blending the light gray mixture before her. Only when it formed up into a smooth and creamy paste did she set it on the table. Then, she turned to me with a stern tone on her lips. “Off with your clothes.”

Oh my!!! What has Aston gotten himself into now?

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle next week...

09 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet from "Ridealong"

Whew! It's been forever since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday and with the new year, I figured it was time.

Since last we saw ol' Aston in the SFFS gauntlet, he's been a busy boy. His new novel Life and Death is finished (at least the first draft), his short story collection The Dirty Dozen is all ready pending completion of the cover art, and his novella Fallen is coming out soon (update: it's now available). See its beautiful cover art?


However, here's the issue...I've already posted snippets from almost all of those (even if Life and Death was previously titled Resurrection...links above take you to them)!

Heck, Fallen itself had several snippets over several months in 2013 (yikes!):

SFFS: Snippet 1
SFFS: Snippet 2
SFFS: Snippet 3
SFFS: Snippet 4
SFFS: Snippet 5
SFFS: Snippet 6
SFFS: Snippet 7

So, what's an author to do?

Well, go to the new WIP file, of course.

So, here, hot off the first draft presses, is a snippet from my new Aston short "Ridealong" for your enjoyment:

It had been quite a while since I’d seen Diedra Caine in the flesh. There was no mistaking the chocolate-skinned woman as she approached my ship in her business attire, a dark gray jacket and skirt, with a pale blouse. Around her neck, small golden heart dangled on a chain.

I stepped off the hatch’s staircase onto the black landing pad as she approached. She smiled slightly, a few lines appearing on her smooth face framed by short, dark curls. She’d progressed beyond simple handshakes and gave me a hug. “Aston, it’s been too long.”

I smirked, deciding not to delve into the fact she could have contacted me at any time to set up another job. “Yes, it has.”

She kissed me on both cheeks, which I thought was odd, but went with it. Turning, she motioned with her index finger. “Follow me. We have some cargo to pick up.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle for a few more installments in the coming weeks...