Friday, May 22, 2015

Last Zombie Standing Snippet #1

Happy 4th Anniversary to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. This is a great site with some truly remarkable people that I've been lucky to participate in for the past few years. When I saw the post, I wanted to make sure I contributed this week. Here's a short story WIP I've been tinkering with tentatively titled Last Zombie Standing. Special thanks to Laurel Kriegler for starting and running the site and her continued support of its authors. It's definitely appreciated. Hope you enjoy the snippet and make sure you stop over at the main site - SciFiFanSat - to check out all of the fantastic authors contributing this week.

          A man’s voice crackled from the tiny speaker bracketed to the ship.

          “Let’s crack this egg.”
          Dust flared as the landing ramp touched down into the gray sod surrounding the lunar module and the seal of an outside hatch hissed as foreign atmospheres met.  Two explorers stepped down the ramp to the surface, their over-sized suits plodding away from the landing site.
          “Okay cowboys, strip off those helmets.” 
           A second voice, sounding nervous and lacking the authoritative tone of his counterpart, cut into the transmission and said, “Cease..desist…I mean, disregard that order.”
          “This is an authorized only channel,” the first man barked.
          “It’s Kingston,sir, with Research and Development.” 
          “Kingston, get off the mike!”
          “But, general, we don’t know if they can withstand the pressure.”
          “I want those helmets off…now!”
          The two men obediently snapped open the hinges on the necks of their suits, slowly pulling their protective headgear away. The robotic scout following behind captured their movements with a top mounted relay camera. One of the men looked up at the surrounding stars, the decayed flesh pulling away from his cheek bone in the lowered gravity landscape. The other necro-naut watched as his ear floated listlessly in front of his face as he made a clumsy grab for it before it floated out of reach.
          And there you have it - I hope you enjoyed it. I'll try to follow up with this short and post some more snippets from it. As always, comments are appreciated. I'll have a new novel out this September and will post from it closer to the release. Thanks for reading and have a great Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Maxx Fragg - SciFiFanSat - 02/07/15

Another weekend – another Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. A place where writers of fantastical places and people come together to share their stories – one snippet at a time. Don’t believe me – well just click on over to the main site SciFiFanSat and find out for yourself. Got a story of your own? Share some of your own writing and get some feedback along the way.  This week, I’m still sharing from Maxx Fragg, V.P.I. as Maxx and Tane set up the final act before their surprise guest arrives. Flip back and visit my previous posts from Maxx Fragg if you want to stay caught up. Thanks and enjoy.

“Okay, Tane, set up the call.”

Grabbing a black box from his bag, Tane positioned it on the ground next to the stone fireplace.

They both agreed that attention to detail was crucial to pull off jobs but Tane took it to an O.C.D. level at times. Maxx turned to a set of patio doors and the lights of the city below them. Row after row of neon skyscrapers lined the landscape stretching out to the horizon under a dull purple evening sky. The streets below pulsed with endless lines of traffic, diverting and streaming along paved circuit boards, individual bits of data following personal programs. At times, staring into its expanse, it was easy for Maxx to forget it was all fake, a virtual world built out of memory bytes and data chips. Like the advertisements said, within the world of Other Syde, your only limits were your own imagination.

Maxx realized Tane was still fiddling with the cube and snapped, “Anytime this life?”

Tane adjusted it again and stepped back, only to bend down and move it once more. “Ready.”

Maxx’s pulse quickened. His heart thumped against his chest as he braced the modified water cannon against his shoulder, flipping off the safety. Three blue targeting dots zigzagged across the room.

Maxx leaned into the sights and said, “On your call.”

Who’s got their money on what’s answering that call? Telemarketer? Avon lady? Door to door encyclopedia salesman? Stop back next week and follow along. Thanks for reading and please leave a comment along the way – it’s like tipping your literary waiter. Take care and see you in seven.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Maxx Fragg, V.P.I. SFFSat snippet - 01/31/15

Welcome back to another edition of everyone’s favorite weekend read along episode of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. It’s a place where writers of sci-fi and fantasy get to share some of their writing snippets and hopefully a few fans of the genres can check out some cool excerpts. Make sure you make your way over to the main site by clicking here – SciFiFanSat – and enjoy all the site has to offer. You’ll be glad you did. This week I’m continuing to share from my work Maxx Fragg, V.P.I. as Maxx and his partner Tane are setting up to perform an exorcism for a young couple who’ve hired them to extricate an unwanted visitor.

Debbie raised her hand and asked, “Would it be okay if I just darted to the lady’s room first?”

“The process has already started,” Maxx said.

“But…” Debbie persisted.

Maxx secured the detecting rod in his bag and withdrew a long barreled shotgun with a plastic cylinder attached to each side. “You can put your hand down now.”

Pumping the stock, a neon gel flowed through the tubing running the length of the barrel. Maxx hit a button and the liquid energized, bubbling as it flowed the course of the weapon. The couple simultaneously pulled their feet off the floor.

It was time for Maxx to set up the final act.

“You’re entirely safe as long as my partner and I are here,” Maxx said. 

“They’re professionals, babe.” Travis reassured her with a half-hearted smile.

Debbie dug her nails into the couch.

They needed to get through the rest of this job without any more hitches. Debbie was on the verge of crying and Maxx knew Tane’s concentration shattered at the sight of a girl’s tears.

Will they get more than they bargained for? Are Maxx and Tane up to the task? Tune in next week for another round of Sci-Fi snippet goodness and find out. As always, comments are not only welcome but truly appreciated. Enjoy the weekend and see you in seven.

Friday, January 23, 2015

SFFSat Snippet - Maxx Fragg - 01/24/15

Welcome back to another Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday – a place where writers share snippets of their ongoing and published works with the internet community at large. Make sure you stop over at the main site by clicking this link SciFiFanSat to check out all the ultra-cool writing happening over there. This week my contribution is from Maxx Fragg, V.P.I., following Maxx and his partner as they set up to perform an “exorcism” for a young couple who’ve called upon their services. Enjoy!________________________________________________________________________________

Maxx pulled a metal rod from his bag. Standing next to the couple, he flipped a switch on the base, holding it high over his head. The staff hummed and vibrated like a radioactive tuning fork sending palpable energy out into the air around the room. Maxx swung it over Travis and Debbie’s heads and they both instinctively ducked. They were like two kids watching their first fireworks display and Maxx was the guy lighting the wicks. There wasn’t much furniture in the apartment, a sign they hadn’t lived there long, and Maxx read the digital display on the club’s handle.

Satisfied, Maxx brushed his hand over his spiked hair, trying to express some concern. “You’ve definitely got a presence here. Readings are off the charts.”

Pulling a notepad from his tactical vest, he scribbled down some notes. Maxx drew a smiley face with a frown and tears streaming down both cheeks. Underneath his sketch he wrote Travis.

Think the job will go off without any problems. Yeah, me neither. I hope you enjoyed the read and come back next week as things heat up. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. It’s always appreciated. Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2015

#SFFS - Maxx Fragg - 01/17/15

Hi and welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday - a place where authors of their respective genres get together to share snippets of their work and exchange a few comments along the way. Make sure that you stop at the home page and check out the links to all the great writing contributed by a group of really great writers.

Way back when, okay September, I started sharing snippets from my work, Maxx Fragg, V.P.I., and kind of left off after the first one. I'm picking up from there and this week we find Maxx and his partner in the apartment of a young couple who called on them for their unique services.
          “Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea?” Debbie’s hand twitched against her boyfriend’s knee.

Travis brushed his hand through her hair. “We contacted him, honey. They say he’s the best.”

She sighed. “It’s just not what I expected. It’s all so…clinical. They didn’t even draw a pentagram.”

Everyone had their own pre-conceived notions of how to get rid of a ghost. Maxx heard them all, séances, sprinkle salt along the door, burn sage, hire a bunch of meddling kids, craft some pottery together. He’d probably find it all funnier if he actually believed in any of it.

Travis and Debbie wanted to leave as soon as Maxx and his partner arrived at the apartment but Maxx convinced them to stay. There was no showmanship in coming back to a ghost free home based just on his word and some lines arching across a digital readout. No, they needed the full hands on experience and Maxx made sure they had front row seats.
Well - that's this week's snippet - I hope you enjoyed it. As always, comments are not only welcome but eagerly awaited. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Maxx Fragg, V.P.I. SFFSat Snippet - between the shadows and the night...

Hey! I missed the memo! It’s the last weekend of summer and Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday is back and running strong and NO LIMIT SNIPPETS! This week only! What is SciFiFanSat you ask? Well it’s a group of writers and authors who share their ongoing and published works one snippet of ten to fifteen sentences at a time over at the main site – Make sure you stop on over and check out all the great writing posted there! I haven’t posted in a quite some time and I’m looking forward to sharing from my work – Maxx Fragg, V.P.I.  Plagued by the guilt of his brother’s death, Maxx escapes into the ground breaking virtual world known as Other Syde only to find real ghosts haunting that digital plane. Here’s the opening page…or so – enjoy!      

          Tucked between the shadows and the night, in a darkened corner of the room, Maxx Fragg watched the young couple huddled on the couch. They had no idea what he had in store for them.  He almost felt sorry. Almost. He watched as Travis stroked Debbie’s hand, whispering something in her ear. Maxx locked eyes with Debbie as he moved across the apartment. He saw the desperation mixed with fear in her eyes and grinned. He liked it that way. Pulling a pair of black gloves from his belt, Maxx cinched them tight around his wrists. The rush of adrenaline rose up from his chest. This was far from his first job but he still got a thrill. He clicked the lamp off and the room went black.

          Debbie gasped. “Can’t we leave a few lights on?”

          “I prefer to work in the dark. It helps me concentrate,” Maxx said. It really didn’t matter but he felt it intensified the experience.

          “I think I’d rather see what’s coming.” Travis pulled a cushion on his lap, clutching the fabric.

          “Why? You expecting a pillow fight?” Maxx dropped the equipment bag slung over his shoulder. It crashed to the floor next to the couch. 

          Debbie jumped. “What are you going to do with that?”

          “What I’m being paid to do. My job.” Maxx looked across the room at his partner, who shook his head in disapproval. Bending down next to the couch, Maxx slowly unzipped the duffel bag. He was close enough to Debbie to see the goose bumps on her arm rise with each click.

          “I don’t care what it takes. Just get that thing out of my house,” Travis said.

          “Don’t worry. You’ll be ghost free in no time.” Maxx knew his clients needed to believe he could make it better, take away their fears. If only it was that simple. Everyone wanted to name the night, put a label on their fears. He wished someone could shut the door to the monsters in his own closet. 

And there you have it! I hoped you enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback since this is the first time I’ve posted from this work. As always comments are welcome and appreciated.  Enjoy the weekend and see you in seven! (Man, I kinda missed saying that.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Feedback for Welcome to GreenGrass

One of the greatest rewards that an author receives from writing truly is feedback, both from fans and from the community at large.  The feedback that I've received from Welcome to GreenGrass has been tremendously positive and extremely appreciated.  So, thank you to everyone who has commented on the book, stopped by to see me at conventions and signings, sent me an email, or in any other way supported the book.  The writing community really is a tremendous place to hang your hat and I'm glad to be a part of it.

With that, I thought I'd share another review for my book from the folks over at SFReader, one of the Internet's most popular websites for speculative fiction fans.  What a great feeling to see Welcome to GreenGrass on the home page with the likes of Terry Pratchett. It's truly a rush.

Here's the link to the review - check it out! And thanks for reading!!

Welcome to GreenGrass / SFReader Review