Another Short Story About to be Published in the Anthology…

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This is one of those things I really want to talk about but I can’t give out too many details yet. The publisher hasn’t given me the green light to name names, but one of my short stories has been accepted in an anthology that should become available the weekend after Labor Day (or so).

It’s a tad unusual. The publisher wrote a novel and thus created a universe. He’s writing a sequel to that novel, but in-between the first and the second, he invited various writers to try their/our hand at crafting a short tale in that self-same universe.

So of course I did and it was accepted.

The graphic at the top is a heavily cropped image of the poster for all three books, and while it’s pretty colorful, it (hopefully) reveals nothing.

I will provide you with a bit of an excerpt just to whet your whistle, metaphorically speaking.

Booker stared out the primary port directly in front of him in unimaginable horror. Once he regained consciousness, he had to deal with the utter darkness and a portion of the control panel having collapsed on his leg.

As far as he could tell, nothing was broken, but his air reclaimer was only at 70% efficiency. It took him ten minutes to coax the auxiliary power back to life and 20 more to raise the flash shield covering the main port.

And now he knew. The Earth, his world, everything, all of it was gone. Somehow, he was still on the return arc of his orbit, although it had been extended 10 to 15 percent. The navigational readouts were spotty, so he had to rely on what Astronaut Terrence Wilcutt once called “part science and part Kentucky windage.”

Once he got the flash shield retracted it didn’t matter.

“It can’t be the Earth. That’s impossible. What the hell could have happened?” Book felt like he was looking down on himself, not really feeling anything, but just observing. A small fragment of his mind said he was in severe shock making everything seem unreal.

In spite of the insanity of it all, what once had been the planet Earth was now a burned-out cinder. The globe was darker than ash. City-wide rivers and county-sized lakes of molten lava flowed freely across the entire surface. There was absolutely no sign of an atmosphere. He could read the Moon, a crescent being visible slowly rising above the eastern horizon. The still working radar said it was well over 262,000 miles from the Earth, about 10 percent further away than it was supposed to be.

Book wasn’t sure if his altered course was due to damage to his instruments, what the phenomenon did to his trajectory, or if the orbit of the Earth had been changed.

But with no habitable Earth, there was nowhere to go. He read scattered debris in an extended orbit around the dead planet, with nearly a fifth of it ejected into space. Book supposed some of it must be ISS.

He tried to picture Mike’s face and to imagine his voice but had to stop. Then sweating and trembling he remembered. “Oh Jesus, not Malaika. Not my babies. Oh God no, not them. Don’t take them away from me. Please don’t.”

Hopefully, I’ll have more for you next week.

2 thoughts on “Another Short Story About to be Published in the Anthology…

    • This is actually the second such project I’ve been involved in. In the other, I was personally invited by the publisher to write one or more short stories set in his universe along with other writers he had selected. That one should also be coming out this autumn.

      Liked by 1 person

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