“Ice” by James Pyles is Now Available

ice
If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

Admittedly, I’ve tried to sell this story in various forms for quite some time without any luck. I even asked a friend for help, thinking maybe he could suggest the proper venue. However, it didn’t take.

So I thought of self-publishing it. Here it is: Ice by James Pyles. No anthologies, no indie publishers, this one is all mine.

Good thing, too. When I went over my submitted story, I found horrible errors I never saw before. I took weeks just reading and re-reading “Ice” until I finally got it to the point where I thought it was ready (I’ll write a separate blog post about my first experience with Kindle Digital Publishing (KDP) by the by).

Here’s the synopsis I wrote for Amazon:

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My Novella “Time’s Abyss” Has Four 5-Star Ratings at Goodreads

time's abyss

Promotional image of the cover for “Time’s Abyss.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

My premiere science fiction novella Time’s Abyss now has four 5-star ratings on Goodreads. You can also find it in digital or hardcopy form at Amazon and any of your favorite online booksellers.

So far the Goodreads and Amazon ratings are excellent. Don’t miss out on this terrific SciFi, time travel, alternate universe adventure.

Just to give you a taste, here’s another brief excerpt:

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Advanced Review of my novella “Time’s Abyss”

time's abyss

Promotional image for “Time’s Abyss.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

As my regular readers know, my first science fiction novella Time’s Abyss becomes available exactly one week from today (can be pre-ordered right now). Here’s the Amazon “blurb:”

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“Time’s Abyss” Comes Out Next Month!

time's abyss

Promotional image for “Time’s Abyss.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Last April, I announced that my novella Time’s Abyss was available for pre-order at Amazon for delivery to your Kindle device on October 15, 2021. That’s just a hair under six weeks now as I write this, and I’m really excited (you can find more links at books2read).

With a word count of over 29,000, this will be my longest published piece. Believe it or not, it can be difficult to sustain a set of characters and a common storyline past “short story” limits, at least for me, so this is a real accomplishment. Sadly, a long-time (in real life) friend of mine who was one of my biggest fans won’t be able to read it. He succumbed to ALS after many years of struggle.

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Excerpt from My Untitled WIP Novella

raptor

Novaraptor – image found at multiple sources

I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my two days off, and as of today, submitted two pieces to different anthologies. My WIP (one of them) right now is a Novella between 20,000 and 40,000 words long. I’m in Heaven, well, sort of. I’m around the 13,600 mark for the first draft and hoping I can tell a story that makes sense. My normal tale is anywhere between 3,000 and 7,500 words in length.

Decided that since I’ve been posting mainly book reviews and self promotional stuff lately, and too little of my actual writing, that I’d share this Novella length WIP, well, a small part of it. Keep in mind, you’re coming in late in the game, so a lot of the character and situational details have already been covered.

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From the Rejection Roster: Excerpt from “Sharing Destiny”

planet

Image: hongkiat.com

Fresh round of rejections came in yesterday and my SciFi short story “Sharing Destiny” was among them. I’ve submitted this story to various publishers a number of times and so far, no one has found it worthy of seeing the light of day. It actually began life as one of those song/lyrics challenges. It’s a love story with a strange twist. Here’s a scene near the tale’s climax. Let me know what you think.

She stared down at him. Isaac was sitting on the floor on his legs, face buried in his hands, weeping like a hysterical child, and over what? The fact that she would save the human race from extinction? He had engineered his betrayal of her, and of the Earth, for decades. It was all a lie. Every “I love you,” every night in bed together, their wedding vows; they were all lies.

He had almost destroyed her and the planet, but she still couldn’t begin to understand why.

“You cold-blooded bastard.”

He didn’t bother to correct her, to say that Saurians were warm-blooded like mammals, not like the reptiles people assumed they were. Then again, that’s probably not what she’d meant.

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From the Rejection Roster: Excerpt from “Ice”

ice

© National Geographic – projection of South America if all Earth’s ice had melted.

I’ve been doing a lot of marketing, progress updates, and reviews lately but not so much fiction writing on this blog. The reason is that I’m scrambling between writing the second draft of my first novel and writing and submitting short stories, hopefully faster than they are rejected.

Yes, I’m human, so having one of my tales not make the cut stings a bit, even though it’s totally anticipated and “normal.”

I still don’t like it.

So I decided to regularly (not sure how regularly yet) post a passage from one of my rejected missives that is temporarily out of play for your enjoyment and consideration. Naturally, the excerpt isn’t the story, but maybe it will be enough of a hint to tell you if anything is a bit “off” about it or if you can suggest improvements.

Therefore, without further ado, this short preview from my short story “Ice.”

“You mean to do this, then?” Afternoon of the next day, both the Captain and his First Mate stood on the dock listening to Eralia shout orders from the Star’s main deck, and watching longshoremen bring crates, barrels, and nets of supplies on palates and mule-drawn wagons, loading them aboard and down into the holds.

“In all of our days together, you’ve always followed where I’ve led. Why question me now?” Yong turned to Andrada who was still looking at the ship, the bustle of the crew, the same men and women doing the same work they’ve always done, but for the Mindanao native, it was as if this would be their last voyage.

“A man, a seasoned sailor, killed himself just because he knew we were coming to see him. It bothers me.”

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Film review of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)

jwfk

Promotional poster for the 2018 film “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

I’ve seen the original Jurassic World (2015) once, as well as all of the other “Jurassic” movies on various occasions, and when I saw the DVD for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) at my local public library, I couldn’t resist. I enjoyed Chris Pratt’s and Bryce Dallas Howard’s work in the first film, and was hoping they could “do magic” again. They didn’t disappoint.

In some ways, this movie pulled from the very first Jurassic Park (1993), particularly with Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Ian Malcolm, and mentioning how Hammond (Richard Attenborough) started the whole project (twenty-five years ago, my how time flies), although the eccentric genius in this movie is a wheelchair bound Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell).

At the end of the previous film, people had to leave the island of Isla Nublar because all of the dinosaurs had escaped and were killing everyone. Now, amid a secret plot to use the surviving dinosaurs and their DNA for nefarious purposes, Claire Dearing (Howard) must convince Owen Grady (Pratt) to join a small team of experts in their attempt to evacuate the island of the animals, since its long dormant volcano has decided to inconveniently come back to life.

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The Girl Who Could Do Anything

clouds and sky

© Sue Vincent

“Come on, Grandpa. Over here.” Three-and-a-half year old Jillie ran ahead of sixty-three year old Robert, who was starting to feel the icy talons of fear clutch his heart as his migraine interfered with his control.

“Coming, Angel.” Wiping moisture off of his forehead and locks of long, graying hair, he knew the migraine would not let him tolerate trying to run, but he walked as fast as he could, blue jeans and boots catching in the cheat grass, sweat clinging to his checkered flannel shirt and denim jacket. If she should stray too far ahead while he couldn’t concentrate, there’s no telling what would happen.

The blond child, dressed for the winter weather in dark blue jeans, a snug, long-sleeved shirt, and her favorite turquoise jacket with Elsa and Anna on it, dashed forward toward a copse of trees. Sunlight was streaming through a partially cloudy sky, rendering the barren branches of the tall maples ahead in silhouette.

She and her older brother Tyler had stayed overnight at Robert and Maggie’s house, and while his wife and grandson were making pancakes for their breakfast, he had taken the always active, rambunctious toddler into the field out back to run off some energy. Unfortunately, the migraine struck suddenly, and as the light around him haloed and nausea swept through his gut, he knew it was too late to get her back home.

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Castaway on Piller Island

eggs

© MorgueFile 1416928925r3kcx

Nelson Lawrence Simon had been living the dream, sailing around the world in his 36 foot sloop until his rudder chain broke during a storm. The spare, which he thought he’d packed so carefully, had been exposed to four months of salt and moisture and had rusted.

Current washed him up on the north shore of an island, Piller, according to his charts. There was some sort of electrical interference that was jamming his radio, but he saw structures in the distance, so maybe someone lived here.

Simon was halfway up what looked to be an abandoned trail when he spotted the nest. He brought provisions with him, but it had been a long time since he had fresh eggs.

“Damn. Too late.” He watched as the first of the eggs broke open, but wasn’t prepared for the emergence of the occupant.

“What? I thought alligators laid eggs closer to water.”

As a shadow fell over him from behind, he realized it wasn’t an alligator. He turned and had just enough time to recognize a velociraptor from those “Jurassic” movies before he was messily devoured, well mostly. The rest of him would feed her hungry brood.

I wrote this for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 195.

I saw the eggs and was crestfallen, because I didn’t want to write about bird eggs. Then I decided to leverage my series of stories based on The Kaala Experiment, a time travel device that’s gone wrong and brought a whole bunch of dinosaurs forward to the present on an island in the South Pacific. Nelson Lawrence Simon never had a chance.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Roger’s link up still needs a lot of love, so please consider contributing a story. Thanks.