Microfiction #writephoto: Obelisk

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt.

obelisk

 

It was the first thing they saw when the sun rose. It was the last thing they saw when they left. Their forebears had built it, an impregnable structure with a message it seemed only they could decipher.

For millennia, humanity had broken against this cliff, scratched and scraped at the smooth material of the obelisk, pored and scratched their heads over its inscriptions. Now they were gone; it was too late to save them. They had come so close to enlightenment, but wave after wave of senseless violence and hatred had consumed the feeble flicker.

With one last, sorrowful look back at the beacon of hope as it glittered in the evening light, they left it to the waves and the sunset and continued their journey to visit the other beacons scattered throughout the universe.

Microfiction #Three line tales: Sweetness and light

A little something for Sonya’s weekly photo prompt.

Photo ©Baher Khairy via Unsplash

tltweek44

Stacked high, humanity covers the planet, absorbing fat and sugar directly through feeders.

Reduced to saccharine coloured mouths, sluggish tongues and a single sense, we show our flavour preferences in the candy colours of our skin.

When our bright colour fades and we crumble into hydrolysed sucrose that drifts into a sugar-coated afterlife where the souls of long extinct sparrows and garden birds are waiting to take their final revenge.

 

A treat for fans of realistic, gritty dystopia

Big news for fans of Kate Wrath’s books—the third in the series, Eden, is released today. From Outpost Three, down the Mississippi, Eden has reached her journey’s end. Or has she?

Announcing the release of the third book in the E series, Eden, by Kate Wrath:

Cover of Eden

THE THIRD BOOK IN THE E SERIES

Both friends and enemies are keen to get their hands on the information inside Eden’s head—information that could take down the Sentries and change the world. But there are costs that no one realized, and Eden’s not so sure she’s willing to pay them. Refusing to do so could create dangerous problems within the tribe she’s only just come back to.

Eden has her own agenda for learning Lily’s secrets. With hope refusing to die, she’s spurred forward by memories of Oscar and thoughts of finding him again. But Lily’s hold on her is greater than she knows, compelling her to chase after strange clues and confusing visions. With love and longing weighing on her, Eden must determine the reality of her fractured identity in order to decide which path to take. The choices she makes could tear her away from Jonas and Apollon, from everything she’s ever known.

Eden’s future will not be determined solely by choices. Fate has her own cards to play, and they just might take the game.


A few words from Kate….

lint-711890_640Writing Eden was such a joy. I’m deep into this series now, and the main characters are familiar friends. I loved exploring their relationships even further, and also having the chance to bounce them off of new characters in a new setting. Bringing my dystopian world into a tropical climate was also fun, and I especially loved all the intricacies of the new city and the adventure of exploring and coming to understand it along with Eden, Apollon, and Jonas.

The story of the Sentries continues—how my characters have come to pit themselves against the unfeeling robots that enforce order within the dystopian world. But as always, the story is about people. Sure, giant killer robots are exciting, dystopian societies are intriguing, but none of it means anything without the human factor. So the story of The E Series is always about human relationships and how they affect the events. It’s about who we are as people, and how our weaknesses, our strengths, and our deepest desires control the course of human history.

I hope you find a little of yourself inside my stories.


An excerpt from Eden:

It seems unfair that everything I learn only makes me more confused. How do you reconcile these things? The world you knew—the world torn to pieces and reconstructed in a different shape. The self you knew, the torn self. What other things can we rip to pieces? What else can we destroy and recreate? This question weighs on me at so many levels. I’ve lost my place. I don’t know where to begin or end. I don’t even know what I want out of it all.

Morning is stretching through the window, yawning its light-filled mouth. Jonas rolls over onto his side and looks at me. Smiles gently. Touches my cheek. But it’s that smile like Poor thing. She’s so lost. And I am. How is he not lost? How did I whisper these revelations to him in the darkness, and by light, he’s the one who seems fine?

I push his hand away, close my eyes, and roll onto my back. My shirt sticks to my side, sweaty from being beneath me. I imagine drifts of snow, crisp air. My visible breath, like smoke from a fire. I never liked the cold, when I had it. Now I don’t like the heat either. I can’t even make up my mind about that.

Deep breaths. Ninety-nine. Ninety-eight. Ninety-seven. The numbers fall away, and I focus deep within myself. What do I want, when it comes down to it? A fraction of a dream interrupts my soul-searching. A flash of an alligator. It’s that damned alligator again. What the hell?

“Are you OK?” Jonas asks softly, and sighs when I don’t respond. He rolls over and gets up.

I cling to the reptilian vision. A flash of scaly green skin and the unsettling curve of a toothy smile. And nothing. Absolutely nothing. I sigh, too, but I don’t open my eyes. I frown and focus again. Deeper. What really matters?

There’s an easy answer. It’s been there all along. I want to find Oscar. Until I do, I won’t ever really be OK. I’ve been putting it off, wrapped up in so many insignificant things. Worried about pretending to be someone else—why? Worried about Jonas, and some incomprehensible future where Sentries don’t exist.

I have one thing I can hold onto. I fix it in my heart. I’m not going to let this go. Whatever I don’t know, whatever I may not understand, Oscar is real. Oscar matters. And right at this moment, he could be suffering, could be in danger. And I’m sitting around on my ass doing nothing to find him. Vacation. Over.

I open my eyes and climb out of bed. Jonas is in the kitchen, taking out his frustrations on an orange. Slicing it vehemently. I walk to his side and watch as he grabs another and attacks it like he’s cutting its throat. Then I squint at his face. “Are you mad at me?”

He glances at me, and there is definitely anger in his eyes. “No,” he says. “I’m just mad.”

I wait for a moment to see if he means to elaborate, but he doesn’t. So I guess I was wrong that he’s OK. “Do you want to talk about it?”

He stops suddenly and his eyes slice into me. He hesitates, obviously restraining himself. Jonas is always so restrained. Finally, he lets out a long breath and turns back to the orange, more gently. “We have to do this. We have to take them down.”

“…The Sentries?”

His jaw tightens when I say the word. He answers in a level but deadly voice. “Yes.”

I know that look of grim determination. I know how Jonas is when he makes up his mind. Cards begin to fall into place in my mind, a deck that tells our future. I see the beginning of the path. But I’m not sure I want to take it. Too many questions, not enough answers. I have only one answer, and for now, I’m sticking to it.

 

You can purchase Eden on Amazon.


About the Author:

Kate WrathKate Wrath lives in the Southwestern US. Much like other authors, she has both a [family] and a [pet].

[family = three crazy-but-lovable, exceedingly adorable people with longer eyelashes and better sense of humor than Kate]

[pet = lovable-but-crazy giant German Shepherd who seems to be able to read, but pretends not to understand when something is required of him]

Kate is the author of the E series: E (Book #1), Evolution (Book #2), Eden (Book #3, June 13, 2015), and Jason and Lily (prequel, July 23, 2015). She has also written two fantasy novels that are soon to be released.

Kate believes in literature as an art form, world peace, and animal rights, but aspires to write total trash that is full of senseless violence, with characters who eat house pets.

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Book review: Thumb

Thumb is like nothing I’ve read before, and I absolutely loved it. If this is steampunk, I’m a convert, but if you are already a fan, don’t expect steam-powered horses and musketeers taking potshots at airships. The atmosphere is more like the original Star Trek series, complete with polystyrene scenery and murky colour, but instead of being set in a studio, the playground is an immense dull orange wasteland littered with waste building materials, stretching thousands and thousands of miles, punctuated by wormholes stretching back millions and millions of years. This immensity is broken by man-made monuments that soar high above the clouds, secured and protected by chains and gun installations of colossal proportions, but higher, bigger, more colossal than anything imaginable is God. Or rather God’s body. For this wasteland strewn with rubbish is the table on which God is slowly but surely being constructed.

Into this vastness, in the shadow of God’s left thumb, John Collick has set his handful of characters. Each is a brilliantly-drawn, real human being, Max and Abby are both tough and hard-bitten, funny and a bit gauche, with enough of the little child searching for a lost affection to be terribly endearing. Even when the story veers from Indiana Jones type adventure to surreal horror, it never loses its tenderness and humour. The not so endearing characters are true products of an immense, impersonal world, cold and relentless as machines.

In this flat singularity, rolled out in space like a giant workbench, there seems to be nothing but machines. And, of course, God. Ever-present, too colossal to see, the carcass of God fills the world, the atmosphere and beyond. After a million years of work, God is almost complete; all he needs is his mind. The construction of God’s mind though, is proving a far more hazardous enterprise than all the rest, and not everything in the universe is happy about the idea of God’s completion.

Max and Abby find themselves at the centre of one of the most original concepts I have ever read in a fantasy story: protecting the creatures who each possess a part of God’s mind, from the villains, human and alien, who want to destroy them. To say any more would spoil the story.
This is a remarkably creative piece of writing, highly recommended to anyone who enjoys sci-fi/fantasy, steampunk, or 1960s TV space operas.

Thumb, by John Guy Collick
http://www.amazon.com/Thumb-The-Book-Colossus-ebook/dp/B00CHSGJB2