YES, THIS IS A LATE WEDNESDAY PROMO POST AND VIGNETTES. IT’S NOT ATH THAT’S GLITCHING. IT’S THE WORLD THAT IS GLITCHING. WHAT? YOU’VE BEEN ASLEEP SINCE MARCH 2020? DO NOT PANIC, THOUGH. HERE AT ACCORDING TO HOYT WE NEVER PANIC. WE MEANT TO SET OUR HAIR ON FIRE. IN THE CALMEST MANNER POSSIBLE. ALSO, SHUT UP. PLEASE REBOOT THE UNIVERSE, ADD CHEESE AND TRY AGAIN.
If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*
FROM ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel.
In this definitive account of the quest to establish a human presence in lifeless outer space, award-winning space historian Robert Zimmerman reveals the great global gamesmanship between Soviet and American political leaders that drove the space efforts of both following the Apollo lunar landings in the 1960s and 1970s.
Beaten to the Moon by their Cold War enemies, the Russians were intent on being first to the planets. They knew that to reach other worlds they needed to learn how to build interplanetary spaceships, and believed that manned space stations held the greatest promise for making that possible. Thus, from the very moment they realized they had lost the race to the Moon, the Soviet government worked feverishly to build a viable space station program — one that would dwarf the American efforts and allow the Russians to claim the vast territories of space as their own.
Like the race between the tortoise and the hare, the ponderously bureaucratic Soviet Union actually managed to overtake the United States in this space station race. Their efforts — sometimes resulting in terrifying near death exploits — not only put them far ahead of NASA, it also served to reshape their own society, helping to change it from a communist dictatorship to a freer and more capitalist society.
At the same time, the American space program at NASA was also evolving, but not for the better. In fact, in many ways the two programs — and nations — were slowly but inexorably trading places.
Drawing on his vast store of knowledge about space travel and modern history, as well as hundreds of interviews with cosmonauts, astronauts, and scientists, Zimmerman has superbly captured the exciting story of space travel in the last half of the twentieth century. “Leaving Earth” tells that story, and is required reading for space and history enthusiasts alike who wish to understand the context of the space exploration renaissance taking place now, in the twenty-first century.
FROM ERIC TESTERMAN: Enter Prehistoric.
After retiring from outlawing, Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith just wanted to be left alone in Wyoming with his guns and regrets.
But then he discovered an entrance to a lost world, a place full of grand adventure, as well as spectacular dangers from both prehistoric dinosaurs and a race of savage apes intent on conquest.
Now, a new fort has been established on the other side, and a strange civilization of humans and dinosaurs have been located. The people are descendants from another time, long trapped in prehistory, and with them a fragile alliance is created.
But will it be enough as Jed faces vengeance from enemies both new and old?
Will his savagery and cunning keep him and his love alive?
Or will they die, on a mountain of fired brass, amidst the guttural bellows of barbaric apes and roars of monstrous dinosaurs?
Jed doesn’t know, but he’s always willing to shoot first and figure out the rest afterwards.
FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: Fractional Ownership
When his company demands either a move to Mars or the loss of his job,
perpetual plaintiff Lewis Ostrow finds he can’t even get a ticket to
the world without lawyers.
A short story.
FROM C. V. WALTER: The Bear and The Bees
Aoife has always known her family was cursed to ward the gates between the worlds. As curses go, hiking up in the mountains and doing a ritual four times a year to keep the gates closed wasn’t a bad one… especially when she wanted to get away from the reminders of Garrett walking out on her and never coming back.
But things are worse than they seem; Garrett’s disappearance was the result of a curse from forces allying to unseal the gates, and trying to use his bear-form as a pawn to kill her. Even after Aoife breaks the geas on him, there are still far too many curses and enemies loose, and something infernal on the other side of the gate that is about to break through…
It’s going to be a race against time to reseal the gate on Solstice night, but don’t bet against a bear and his honey!
FROM JULIE PASCAL: Traditional by Accident
Can you say yes, if it’s impossible to say no?The encroaching Solaran empire has gobbled up Svana’s world. Svana fled her planet with the first wave of refugees, swept up with members of a different clan. Space is vast and she finds herself on a space station, alone, waiting hopelessly for her own family to arrive to save her. Thomas is from her world and similarly adrift. He offers to save her, and it’s an offer that Svana can’t refuse, but that doesn’t mean that letting him save her is the right thing to do.
Unless, perhaps, they can somehow save each other.
Robert Zubrin: “Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.”
The human race is about to go to the stars. Big rockets are being built, and nations and private citizens worldwide are planning the first permanent settlements in space.
When we get there, will we know what to do to make those first colonies just and prosperous places for all humans?
Conscious Choice answers this question, by telling a riveting and accurate history of the first century of British settlement in North America. That was when those settlers were building their own new colonies, and had to decide whether to include slaves from Africa.
In New England slavery was vigorously rejected. The Puritans wanted nothing to do with this institution, desiring instead to form a society of free religious families, a society that became the foundation of the United States of American, dedicated to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
In Virginia however slavery was gladly embraced, resulting in a corrupt social order built on power, rule, and oppression.
Why the New England citizens were able to reject slavery, and Virginians were not, is the story that Conscious Choice tells, a story with direct implications for all human societies, whether they are here on Earth or on the farflung planets across the universe.
FROM DAVID BURKHEAD: The Ships of Elemak.
The kingdom of Aerioch has fallen. Only Kreg and his newfound friends remain. And while the fearsome changeling armies are no more, the task of rebuilding Aerioch remains daunting. They must first escape the land of Chanakra and somehow cross the sea of Elemak.
It is then, when their troubles will really begin.
FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Sabercat.
Despite his rich-kid roots, Tommy Reilly is struggling to make it as a freighter captain. Despite a universe of possibilities, he finds himself running afoul of both pirates and corrupt bureaucrats who seem determined to get in his way at every point. It’s like karma for his bullying past is smacking him in the back of the head.
All of that changes when a figure from his past asks for his help.
Now he’s finding himself at odds with a greedy and overly ambitious business owner who has government backing who happens to be the same man who impounded the very load he needs on his ship. The fact that the load is only the first step in securing information that could bring down the status quo might have something to do with that, however.
Tommy and his crew of misfit rejects have to use skills most of them would rather forget to secure their load, all with eyes watching them everywhere.
FROM RICH RYDER: Dropship City Lovers.
Deion staked his future on discarding his past on the way to orbit… but leaving behind love and community isn’t as easy as he thought it’d be.
After 3 years away, he told himself he was just passing through the Dropship Yard, a community cobbled together from old disposable shipping containers, in order to visit friends and family… and retrieve the one man he couldn’t leave behind.
When old secrets and new revelations threaten, Deion must choose between love and duty. Can he have the man he loves and the career he’s sacrificed everything else for?
This M/M Romance Novella is a stand-alone story with a very happy HEA.
(AND YES, IT’S INCREDIBLY AWKWARD SELF-PROMO. GIVE ME A BREAK, IT’S LAUNCH WEEK!)
FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Other Rhodes
Lily Gilden has a half-crazed cyborg in her airlock who thinks he’s Nick Rhodes,
a fictional 20th Century detective. If she doesn’t report him for destruction,
she’s guilty of a capital crime.
But with her husband missing, she’ll use every clue the cyborg holds,
and his detective abilities, to solve the crime her husband was investigating
when he disappeared.
With the help of a journalist who is more than he seems,
Lily will risk everything to plunge into the interstellar underworld
and bring the love of her life home!
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: AQUATIC