Guest post and science speculative fiction short story

Guest post and science speculative fiction short story

My fellow fiction author Nicholas C. Rossis just released a new book of short speculative fiction stories. I have enjoyed his past short story collections (The Power of Six and Honest Fibs) and thought you might too.

He graciously accepted my invitation to share the news and included a sample short story. He also is offering a complimentary copy of his book to any of you who requests it (see the link below). Congratulations on your new book and thank you, Nicholas!

You're in for a Ride: a short science fiction/speculative fiction stories collection | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Read for free with KU or request a free review copy!

By Nicholas C. Rossis

Author Nicholas Rossis

Exciting times, indeed. You’re in for a Ride, my 4th collection of short science/speculative fiction stories is now live on Amazon! Those of you who have read one of my previous works will be familiar with my style. For everyone else, here is the blurb:

A force field stumps a group of intrepid explorers in desperate need of what lies behind it. Two time-travelers discover the dangers of messing with the timeline. And what happens when not one, but two dark prophecies clash head-on?
These are just a few of the stories in You’re in for a Ride, a collection of speculative and science fiction short stories that explore our perception of the world around us. Is there more to the world than we can see, or can our senses deceive us?

“Nicholas Rossis is a master of the craft… I found myself looking forward to coming home so I could dig into the next story. Each story pulls you into its unique little universe and takes you on a ride where the tracks are hidden, and you can’t see the corners up ahead.”
~ Nat Russo

As always, anyone interested in a free review copy can contact me and I’ll be happy to send them one (or to enroll them in my ARC list, of they so wish).

Sample Story: A Crystal Too Far

The sergeant wipes thick beads of sweat from his brow with fingers trembling with exhaustion. “It’s useless, sir. There’s no way we can get to the crystals in time.”
The colony delegate—a member of the royal court, no less—glares at the alien force field separating them from their objective. “And you’re sure there’s no opening?”
“My men have searched every inch of it. There seems to be no way in or out. Just a groove at the top. When we first discovered it, everyone thought we’d cracked it. But it’s sealed. Won’t budge an inch.” His face twitches. “All of our attempts to enter have been in vain.”
“How about making an opening? What have you tried so far?”
“Everything we can think of,” the man says with a resigned sigh. “Chemicals. Brute force. Private Jenkins here even tried chewing through.” He points at a man massaging his swollen jaw.
The delegate spits on the ground. “I don’t need to tell you how badly the colony needs those crystals. You have no idea how low our stockpile is by now. We may not survive the winter without them—and spring is still a long time away.”
The sergeant’s face drops even further. “Yes, sir.” He rubs the back of his head for a few awkward moments. “Your orders?”
The delegate casts him a distressed glance, then starts pacing back and forth, mumbling. He only pauses twice: once to curse at the transparent material that seems to be mocking them, and once to curse at the aliens who have placed it there. The all-powerful creatures who have built their fortress next to the colony, paying no attention to its inhabitants and their needs. The enigmatic neighbors have brought much-needed supplies with them but have steadfastly refused to share—or even acknowledge the colony’s continuous pleas for cooperation.
The first delegation had been ignored. The second, stomped on. Whether on purpose or by accident was the subject of much-heated debate in the colony. Whichever it was, it had led to this ill-advised attempt at thievery.
“Let’s face it, sir,” the sergeant whispers once the man runs out of swearwords, “the creatures have won this round.”
“Impossible,” the man snaps at him. “We have the fiercest arsenals of weapons. We have conquered every corner of this planet. We have brains and brawn. There must be a way.” The delegate stops pacing and whirls around. “What about digging underneath? How far below the ground does the barrier go?”
The sergeant stomps one foot to emphasize the ground’s stiffness. “It stops at the surface, but the ground isn’t the usual soil one might expect. We’ve never seen anything like it. Our diggers’ best estimate is that it’d take us months to break through.”
“By which time the crystals will be gone.” The delegate explodes in a fresh barrage of curses, this time shaking his fist at the soaring barrier. He freezes in the middle of a particularly nasty—and unlikely—accusation involving the alien who had invented those hellish materials, certain members of his family, and a cucumber. His eyes light up. “We lift it.”
The sergeant presses his lips together and examines his hands, rubbing out an invisible smudge from his palm. “Already tried it. No use. We couldn’t move it an inch. Even with our entire colony pushing, it won’t budge.” He discreetly wipes the delegate’s spittle from his cheek as the man starts screaming more obscenities at the obstacle.
Finally, the man hangs his head in defeat and hunches over, placing his hands on his lap. “Who will inform the court?”
The sergeant and a dozen privates behind him all take an involuntary step backward. No one speaks a word.
The delegate looks at them with dark eyes. “Who will inform the court?” he repeats in a low voice. After a moment of awkward silence, he shakes his head and straightens his back. “Very well. You may return to the colony. But we leave behind sentries. As many men as you can spare. Sooner or later, the creatures will need their crystals. I want to know the moment that happens.” A glimmer of hope shines in his eyes. “Maybe they’ll forget to drop the force field. Or they’ll leave an opening unguarded. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll get lucky.”
As the sergeant starts barking orders, the delegate stares with greedy eyes at the amazing sight of a whole mountain of energy crystals, a mere hand’s reach away. “One way or another, we’ll get our hands on you,” he whispers. “That’s a promise.”

***

The old woman reaches for the tea cup and clicks her tongue. “Where is my head?” She turns to the young man sitting opposite to her. “Be a dear and fetch me some sugar, will you, darling? It’s on the kitchen top.”
The man pushes back his chair and stands up. “Of course, Auntie.”
“Be sure to close the lid,” she shouts after him as he walks into the kitchen. “The ants around here have gotten a bit… antsy lately.” She chuckles at her own joke.
“Yes, Auntie,” he shouts from the kitchen. He returns a moment later holding a large glass jar in his hands. “You weren’t lying about those ants. There’s at least a dozen of them on the kitchen top. It almost looks like they’re guarding the sugar cubes.” He pushes the ornate silver tray covering half the table a few inches to the side and places the jar next to the steaming teacups. “You should get an exterminator.”
She gently smacks his hand. “That’s a terrible thing to say. They have as much right to be here as you and me.” She lifts the lid and skillfully picks a cube with a fine silver tong. The sugar cube splashes into the hot tea and immediately starts melting. “As penance, you’ll leave a cube outside for them when you take the jar back,” she says as she lifts the cup and stirs her tea.
The young man chuckles and glances at the kitchen. “Well, that should make a few ants very happy.”


If you enjoyed that, you can read You’re in for a Ride for only 99c for a limited time only or request your review copy for free!

Things happen for a reason

Things happen for a reason

smicov1

My friend Nicholas C. Rossis, author of the recently published children’s book Runaway Smile (which I’m reading) and the Amazon best-selling epic fantasy series, Pearseus, shared this article (and a link to a free copy of the book) I thought might interest you.

Author Nicholas Rossis

I’ve come to realize lately that things happen in their own time. No matter how much I want something, if it’s meant to happen, it will, no effort needed on my part.  Other times, I might want something very much, but no matter how much effort I put into it, it just doesn’t happen – and trust me; this has happened a lot.  Then again, something that I completely ignore might just flourish in front of my eyes, unexpectedly and effortlessly.

Following that, I think about how things have “happened” in my life, leading me to where I am right now.  I studied civil engineering (my dad’s idea of a secure job) and in 1995 I went on to do a PhD in Digital Architecture (the only way for me to link my degree with two of my passions, design and computers).  Hardly a month into the course, a professor asked me out of the blue to make a website for the department, from scratch. He gave me three days to do it; days I spent reading a lot, experimented quite a bit and pulling hair, until I did it, and my first website went live at the end of the 3-day period.

I’ve been working as a web developer for almost 20 years now. I still do, partly because I have to earn a living and partly because I’ve worked so hard to create Istomedia, my company, that I feel like it’s kind of a family member.  Then, a couple of years ago, I realized that I had started losing patience: with clients, projects, designs, programming, the constant need for updating and upgrading and the 6-month life cycle of everything technological.  I turned to writing as a relief, and realized, startled, that it was all I wanted to do.

Every now and again, I wonder whether my studies and everything I have worked for is going to waste.  But I think not: my degree has helped me to study and organize my thoughts.  My PhD taught how to properly research topics, question everything, look for new and different ways to achieve a result.  My work has taught me how to market my book, design its cover, create the ebook file.  Indie publishing requires the same skills: presenting myself and my work to potential clients, networking, promoting my creations, finishing a project within a deadline and a budget etc.

So, at 44, life has brought me where I am. All the things I’ve done, have arguably happened because I need them today.  Which is why I try to practice nowadays what Tao Te Ching calls Wei Wu Wei – actionless action: the art of setting your destination and letting life take you there.  It’s a nice concept, isn’t it?

Runaway_Smile_700

Find free copies of Pearseus: Schism on Goodreads, and Runaway Smile on his blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/childrens-books/

Nicholas lives in Athens, Greece, at a forest’s edge, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all of his books are professionally edited.

For more about Nicholas and his books visit his blog: http://nicholasrossis.me/, Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis, Google+ https://plus.google.com/+NicholasRossis, Facebook: www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis, Amazcon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-C.-Rossis/e/B00FXXIBZA/