“The sin was not yours alone,” Syrax grunted. “We’d our own hand to play in it.”
Slight in frame, with tan skin, the girl quietly slipped into the room. In a thick black braid her hair reached down to her waist. Dressed in rich saffron clothing that barely covered her curves, a sent of almond and cinnamon emanated from her brown skin. In one hand she held a platter, on which rested flat bread, cheese and fruit for her master. “My Lord,” she spoke reverently, and then bowed, a hint of rapture, or more accurately, fear in the presence of her god could be seen in the servant girl’s large blue, though they veered to near purple, almond eyes.
“Ninlil” Amelnakru smiled.
Syrax Mor did not miss the look that Amelnakru had given the nubile human girl, clearly lust and if Syrax were to judge by the girl’s expression of fear, the Annunaki took from her what he desired. In a blatantly lustful manner the Annunaki touched the girl’s cheek, proudly stated: “Is not Ninlil a picture of beauty Syrax?”
“Not enough hair for my taste.” Snorted Syrax. He found her, as well as most humans, rather plain.
Amelnakru laughed, his voice boomed off the walls.
From “Among Bright Stars…” Neo-human #2.
On this night of burning, the Earth forever changed. Born anew in a windstorm of flame, now to be ruled over forever more by the Twelve Sisters. The being, who called herself Alita Hel lurked in the fire’s shadow, cast by the immolated cityscape. Her eyes glimmered blue as her sisters joined her there. The Twelve, come together at last to admire and rejoice in what they wrought from steel, bullets, and glistening lightening-blades. “Kobol our creator, our god, and our father is dead. Yet we must honor him in this world soon to be born.” Alita Hel explained to her collected sisters. “We shall teach these handful of humans how to live in concordance… ”
— 12th Daughter of Kobol, by Tanis Rao
Opening epigraph for “Among Bright Stars… “ Neo-human book two. Well technically its the second epigraph, as the first will be a quotation from R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). There’s also a reference to an anime in that block quote as well as to the movie Metropolis by Fritz Lang.
- First Look: SUPERBOY Dying In ‘H’El On Earth’? (newsarama.com)
- Lobdell, Johnson Weigh in on the Superman Family’s “H’el on Earth” (comicbookresources.com)
- H’el on Earth Part 3 – Supergirl #14 (comicbooked.com)
I was going to try to make my first post of 2013 about my own work, yet I found myself sucked into a book
Only Superhuman by Christopher L. Bennett
2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It’s a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system.
Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter. Inspired by the classic superhero comics of the twentieth century, she’s joined with other mods to try to police the unruly Asteroid Belt. But her loyalties are tested when she finds herself torn between rival factions of superhumans with very different agendas. Emerald wants to put her special abilities to good use, but what do you do when you can’t tell the heroes from the villains?
Only Superhuman is a rollicking hard-SF adventure set in a complex and fascinating future.
Now that you’ve gotten the blurb, I’ll tell you what I’m liking and what I’m not liking about this book as I read it. With the caveat that this is not intended to be a review as such…
Pros: I like the Transhumanism taking center stage, Emerald Blaze is a likeable, and sexy character, the writing is overall good as well as the universe which is being established.
Cons: I have the sneaking feeling I’m being lectured at… There are moments when Christopher L. Bennett‘s political views pop off the page and smack you in the nose, such as when we meet Emry’s mother – Who is presented to us as a Wiccan and it ends up wreaking of agenda. Though I will forgive him this somewhat since he doesn’t present her as a Laurie Cabot Dianic man-hater type. In fact her Wicca is presented as – Performance art? (There’s a whole different topic right there)
There are reviews on Amazon complaining about “all the sex” and so far I have not stumbled on anything all that umm explicit – If anything, I’d like it be far more spelled out, as you can still tell that Christopher L. Bennett is trying to disengage himself from his Star Trek writing in this regard.
Yet, overall I’m enjoying this read.
Remember, this is a none-review I provide no stars.
*PS this new WordPress interface blows… How do I put a post in a category?
In the brief period of peace after a terrible war in a far future Earth, an outer-space military academy is attacked by an unknown and unstoppable alien force. The commander of the academy, along with a group of newly graduated cadets, escapes to a large research station. Pursued by the aliens, the station jumps through a mysterious hyperspace gateway that sends them to a planet in an unknown part of the universe. Where are they, and will they ever be able to return to Earth? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
The end of our world is the beginning on another…
I’m always looking for unusual, or underrated science fiction. This one stars Wes Studi, as Commander Trager. I’ll cut to the chase, its a little cheesy, the F/X are so-so, and the sets are very DS9/Star Trek. Not very shocking, given it was directed by Winrich Kolbe, who had a career of directing Star Trek pilots, beginning with Star Trek: TNG – Encounter At Farpoint. This also was meant to be a pilot for a TV series which has yet to be. It likely never will get made.
Overall 3 stars. Enjoy it for what its worth.
- Do We Need a Low Budget Star Trek Movie? (eoghann.com)
- Michael Dorn wants to write and star in a low-budget Star Trek movie [Star Trek] (io9.com)
- Behind the Scenes at ‘Star Trek: TNG’ with ‘Reading Rainbow” (aquantumofknowledge.com)
- Remastered Star Trek: the Next Generation Blu-ray a Huge Leap Forward (entertainment.slashdot.org)
[Zarhur Station, Orbiting Planet Yendor II. January 3, 2110. Central Point Of The Commonwealth Of Allied Worlds]
The green O’Neill double cylinders of Zarhur Station spun in their endless counter rotation, hidden away, enshrouded by an orange nebula lit by a small white sun. A special star system, thought to be generated by a mysterious monolith left behind by the “Ancient Ones”, those who were precursors to all material life in the cosmos located on the small planet of Yendor II.
Ships came and went here at the central point of the newly formed capital of the Commonwealth of Allied Worlds, known as CAW by its still sparse membership. Overseen by the stations Administrator for whom Zarhur Station had been named in honor of, spaceships of all types and sizes docked and departed in an ordered fashion. This place had become a hub of galactic civilization, indeed during the unrest over the past few months it had functioned as a launching point for armies.
In the wake of Armageddon, Zarhur Station had become a steadfast watchtower in the night.
“We should hunt them down,” Imogen hissed. “execute each and every Annunaki on the spot.”
“Now aunt Imogen, I don’t think genocide is the answer to our Annunaki problem. The Terran Triumvirate asked CAW to process, and bring to trial any guilty Annunaki. They’re a dying species, on the way out. No need to hasten a sure end.”
Imogen put her hands on her hips, tilted her chin upward. “With all due respect Madame President, would you be so forgiving if it were Skatha we were speaking about? I know how they vex you.”
Sitara Drakonis-LaSalle, recently elected President of the Commonwealth of Allied Worlds let her true violet eyes glance about her office, they came at last to rest on the newly agreed upon royal blue, and silver flag of CAW, surmounted by a golden rosette solar symbol which reminded her of a blooming tarhanis flower. Thoughtful she placed a hand over her quickened womb, where only a hint of an egg bump could be made out. “The Skatha are another matter entirely.”
“And then there would have been no modern humans either. The galaxy would’ve been quite a quiet place without them. Not a defense for Annunaki crimes, just a fact. Humanity and all its varied forms, including Falcanians, Morningstars, as well as many others across the universe owe their existence to Annunaki meddling. They’re our celestial progenitors. ”
To that Imogen Drake just huffed.
CAW’s Chief Executive let out a girlish giggle. “Its odd to think you’re my father’s twin sister, yet there are times I see him in you. A gesture, a moment of reserved fury. Like a coiled dragon as Maa always used to call it. Even though you two had but a fleeting second to know each other. Its clear you’re part of one another on some deep level.”
“You have no idea!” Imogen remarked.
“That reminds me,” Sitara pulled an envelope out of her desk, a Falcanian Narshin insignia sealed the parchment with wax and handed it over to her aunt. “More corespondents from my Maa. You two seem to be getting on famously.”
“Does all my mail go through your office?”
“Like it or not Imogen, you’re a member of the Falcanian Imperial family, be you human or not. Security reasons demand letters from Falcania-Vor go via presidential channels. Luckily you’ve the backing of both the Khanate and Terran Triumvirate in your ventures, which lets you act with impunity. Otherwise your life might be a great deal more complicated.”
“Nadia,” Imogen cleared her throat, a gesture which reminded Sitara of her father. “Has been providing me family history, telling me about Roderik…” she corrected herself. “err I mean Sharr. What I’ve gathered, he and Uric Kreis were more alike than either might have cared to admit.” she smiled a knowledgeable grin. “Though I think perhaps Sharr was light whereas Uric, he was motivated by a dark cunning. Considering his plans for me, for Earth, and for the galaxy itself – ”
“Again,” Sitara always ended up being the one standing up for Uric. Mostly with Arshira, who loathed even the shadow of the man. “Grandfather’s schemes, devious though they were, likely resulted in more light brought to the cosmos then darkness.”
Few ever barged into Sitara’s office, fewer still would now ever dare do so upon her gaining the title president. Titles and secular ranks of office however meant very little to the person who had thought to interrupt a family meeting between niece and aunt by ordering the doors of the Chief Executive’s office to slide open by his own accord.
“You are early.” Sitara said.
“A wizard is neither early, nor late. Where he goes he is always on time. For the tides move when he walks and time halts as he commands it.”
“Aha,” said Sitara amused as she got up from her chair. “Aunt Imogen, let me present Oriele Amirjeen. My sister Karaseer asked if one of her Arclayht Warlocks might observe and be in residence for CAW’s legislative sessions.” The President added. “Though I can’t imagine what for, politics seems rather a world apart from Arclayht technomancy.”
The technomancer, like Sitara was a Falcanian, all Arclayht were, for the Holy Order did not go beyond the species. Burnished platinum wings, trimmed in rich yellow plumage and a plated pincer-tail were mounted on his back. Folded away, the mighty garuda’s pinions seemed more a cloak than a means of flight. Bald head, its most pronounced feature a pair of oval-pointed ears could not stay hidden below a leather, roughly stitched top hat, that stood on a rightward tilt. Deep black eyes reflected light. The only hair on his body, thinly arched brows and a tined goatee. The warlock clothed himself in an elaborately tooled bell sleeved jacket, with a high ermine fur collar meant to obscure the technology embedded in his body which provided him his power and allowed for the technomancer to perform seeming deeds of authentic magic.
“Orin if you please Madam President.” Orin greeted. “The Tay al-Ard, our exalted being, Karaseer Drakonis, High Thaumaturge of our ordersends her best wishes and thanks you for welcoming the Arclayht to Zarhur Station, a most… significant place indeed.”
“‘She who traverses without moving’.” CAW’s Chief Executive translated Karaseer’s omniscient appellation. “Are you all capable of teleporting?” Sitara pressed, she knew Shinras Rukh had the ability, though he had not often made use of it.
“Imogen Drake.” Orin stated ignoring Sitara’s inquiry concerning his powers. “Ripped from her mother’s womb as a mere embryo, and enhanced genetically by her father. Later speculated to have been returned to that very same uterus., only to later be stolen away at birth, and then years later placed in hibernation. Revived in a new century by the founder of my order, her very own twin brother, Shinras Rukh.” He smiled at her sincerely. “We’ve got a keen interest in you.”
Imogen looked at the improbable wizard with unrestrained doubt. “Big surprise! Half the civilized galaxy wants to get a piece of the 200 year-old woman from the 20th Century trapped in an 18 year-old’s body.” Its why she tried to blend into the bustle and clutter here at this galactic crossroads. “Others would have me rule over them. I just wish to mourn the loss of my planet, the only real home I’ve ever known.” With that she excused herself. “Talk to you later Sitara.”
I really should complete this story so I can at least have the tripod of the overlapping universe out there. Soon!
Augmented by Genetics and Cybernetics the Transhuman reign over the Globe. The year is 2030 and the planet rebuilds still in the wake of World War III, the “War on Terror“. The United States is no more, yet from its ashes arose the Imperium which seeks to rule all it surveys. For vengeance, and survival Imperator Romulus sends his newest space battleship: DSV Excalibur to seek dangerous allies to help him complete his dominance over the planet. If he succeeds no nation will be free from Julius Romulus Giovanni’s boot, in particular the small German Dukedom of Saxe-Coburg.
One woman is a well honed blade: Frederika von Gotha, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and a product of genetic engineering called a Morningstar, as a spy for her tiny nation she is given a mission, learn about the mysterious Falcanians and the secrets they keep hidden away on their artificial island. Once she steps foot on Vanguard, neither Frederika nor the world, again on the brink of chaos will ever be the same.
I do this sometimes, redo covers when the impulse strikes. The thing I’m not overly pleased with, is the city in the background. It’s supposed to be Vanguard Island – though it resembles Canada…
This is actually a companion piece to this cover:
Sort of a beginning of the story, and end of the story. Want to guess which is which? You can only get the above cover on Amazon, as Smashwords won’t let me have multiple versions of one book up. I don’t get why we can’t put up new editions like that.
To celebrate the new cover, On the Forge of War is FREE at Smashwords until May 26.
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: DH32K
Expires: May 26, 2012
- Character Profile: Arshira Hol (Frederika Gotha) (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- War Zone #1 (comicsforge.com)
- First Footage of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome! | Tor.com (monsterscifishow.wordpress.com)
- The BSG Viper Project for Maker Faire (makezine.com)
- After Action Report: BSG Campaign (blackcampbell.com)
- The Unfulfilled Promise of Gritty Space Opera [Space Opera] (io9.com)
- WonderCon 2012: ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and the science of fiction (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- ‘Battlestar Galactica’ fans, rejoice! A real-life Viper is in the works (news.cnet.com)