Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Working through the final act of the fourth Dirk Beretta story, which has been sitting on my hard drive for months, unfinished. I’m beginning to think I should expand it from novella length (currently it’s about 20,000 words) into a full novel, but I’ll have to think about it; not sure how it would fit into the rest of the series if I did.

Another one up, on Cora Buhlert’s site:


Endangered Species cover

The last of the original Dirk Beretta stories is now available on Amazon. The first of the new stories, and the fourth in the series as a whole, is about 3/4 done and up to novella length this time.

A hundred light-year quarantine zone protects the primitive jungle tribes of the Platypus Planet from unauthorized interference. But not from BastadoCorp acquiring mining rights through bribery and fraud.

When Dirk Beretta’s girlfriend tells him to get off the couch and look for a job, he finds the perfect opportunity, thousands of light years from her, with free guns and beer, as security chief for the mines.

But no-one told him what happened to the previous security chief, or that the Platypoids would rather die fighting than see their land defiled.

Should he follow his new boss’ orders, and nuke the jungle until it glows… or save the furry native girl with the leather bikini, and risk a messy death in Bastado’s grinding machines?

A 12,000 word science fiction novelette.

Brief interview over at:


Death To Democracy cover

No, not a call to arms, but the second of the Dirk Beretta short stories. I’ve revised it to fix a few things that bugged me, and make it more Createspace-compatible, and released it today on Amazon. I’ll probably make it free when I re-release the third story in the series.

After Dirk Beretta saves the Winterbotham Nachos heiress from a fate worse than death in the Space Weasel kibble factories, a romantic cruise around the galaxy with her looks like a well-earned rest.

But Royalist revolutionaries on the Planet Of The Squid have other ideas. When they hatch a plan to replace the democratic government with moronic monarchy, Dirk Beretta faces a difficult choice: can he kill his new drinking buddy to save democracy?


Space Weasels cover

First of the revamped Dirk Beretta stories should be out on Amazon shortly. I’ve changed a few things that always bugged me, and added a completely new blurb and cover which better represent the story. I should be uploading the other two before Christmas, and hopefully the fourth story will be out in January.

Currently free until the end of Monday, so grab it while you can.

Vicious, congenitally bureaucratic, and proud of their resplendent flame-red uniforms which give them a five minute life expectancy in combat, the Flaming Space Weasels wiped out most of Dirk Beretta’s fellow space marines at the battle of Din Bin Foo… then served them for lunch with a nice Merlot.

In the aftermath, Dirk quits his job as poster boy for the Space Marines, to drown his sorrow in cheap booze and cheaper women. But when a gang of pirate Weasels come hunting fresh meat for the kibble factories, his brand of pig-headed determination and excessive violence may offer the chance for redemption… and revenge.

A 7,000 word science fiction short story.

I was going to write the third short story in the Area 52 universe, but I think now I’m going to just reissue them reformatted to match the rest, and expand those two into a novel.

Edit: actually, reformatting ended up with revising too, but there’s not much difference between the first and second editions of the first story. Mostly tweaks around the edges and formatting issues.

I finally watched this old British fake documentary from the 1970s, telling a story of the coming global catastrophe which had lead governments to build a base on Mars to sustain some members of the human race. It’s been a stable of wacky conspiracy theories for years, even though it was admitted as fake at the time.

I don’t remember seeing it on TV when first shown, it was probably too late in the evening for my parents to let me stay up to see it. I can see how the ‘low information’ viewers could well have been fooled. It looks like a real documentary of that era, and goes to some lengths to make the footage look real, but the use of actors rather spoiled it for me; I’m sure I’ve seen the lady in the first scene in other shows, and Shane Rimmer from Thunderbirds and other Gerry Anderson shows plays a major part as an Apollo astronaut who never existed. At least, in this one, he got Miss Norwich as his buxom blonde wife.

Not something I’d pay a lot of money for, but an interesting historical artefact for a few bucks from Amazon.

Astronaut gone fishing

New, Improved Cover

The One That Got Away is back in its new, improved version. It’s about 800 words longer, with a new cover and blurb, and a Createspace version.


The e-book will be free on Friday and over the weekend, for Halloween.

1. Sold more than 50 books on Amazon.
2. Sold more than 25 books on Amazon in a single day.
3. Sold more than 50 copies of one book on Amazon.
4. Broke the 10,000 ranking on a single book (8.161 was the highest I saw, but Author Central claims it hit 7,437).

Fade To Grey at 8,161.

5. Broke the 500 ranking for science fiction authors (377 was the highest I saw).

Author Rank

6. Hit three subcategory top 100 lists simultaneously.

#17 in First Contact

7. Probably made more than $100, but I’ll have to wait until the sales numbers come in.

I need to write more :). Now I’m owed more than $100, I also need to get an IRS tax ID sorted out so I can actually have them pay me.

In honour of these breakthroughs, Petrina is free again this weekend.

I sold more than 25 books in one day for the first time, and Fade To Grey was up around rank 10,000 on for the first time. It probably went above 10,000, but I didn’t see it while it was there.

Nice to see when I got home from my day job.

Thanks to everyone who bought them, I hope you like them.

Fade To Grey is now out on Createspace, too:

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so Fade To Grey should be free on Amazon for all three days.

Spider bot and derelict city


Phew, the first draft is finally done. I was rather shocked when I checked file dates and realised that I began writing it in March 2012, and I’ve taken nearly two years to finish a 15,000 word story. I’ve written more words of the story in the last two weeks than the previous eighteen months.

Anyway, I’ll be editing tomorrow and uploading next week. The plan is to make it free next weekend.

Edit: Uploading now, but it will need a final copy-edit before I can release it.

I was hoping to get the new story out this week, but it’s nearing novella size and by the time I’ve finished the final chapter and copy-edited the story it won’t be ready in time to make free this weekend. So looks like it will be out next week instead.

Astronaut gone fishing

New, Improved Cover

The One That Got Away is going to temporarily disappear soon. I’ve wanted to revamp it for some time, and I’m going to delete the old version and release another that’s about a thousand words longer, with a new cover and other improvements.

There’ll also be a Createspace version, which the existing story was just too short to justify.

In addition, I plan to rationalise my pen names, and move their books over to this name. I originally tried to split story types by different names, but they’ve ended up similar enough that I see little point to keeping them separate and lots of benefits to bringing them back together.

Here’s an interesting site. Enter an Amazon ASIN book ID, and it shows which books are linked to that book. For example:

Final Contact
Welcome To The Future

As you can see, currently those books are linked to a bunch of others, but none of them are linked back to mine. The interesting part is that some of the same books appear in each.

Spider bot and derelict city


Got a first pass at a cover for the next short in The Future universe, now I just need to finish the story. It’s been rolling around on my hard drive (ok, SSD) for the best part of a year, so hopefully this will be an incentive to get it done.

Currently just over 7,000 words and probably another 5,000 to go.

Edit: now 8,000 words.

This actually came about because of a 90% off deal on credits at 100 pictures for $99, and a further 10% discount if you use a WPEXPLORER coupon. So about $0.90 per image instead of the usual price.

Depositphotos deal

The link is still valid for a couple of days, so get it while you can.