Interviewed by Black Hare Press for my novella “Time’s Abyss”

time's abyss

Promotional image for “Time’s Abyss.”

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My first science fiction novella Time’s Abyss is available for pre-order now with delivery to your kindle device October 15, 2021.

It is also available at multiple other vendors. Digital copies will be $3.99 USD, while paperback copies will go for 12.99 USD.

I’ve got 10 ARC copies available on Booksprout but readers MUST be able to leave reviews by the 10th of October. If you’re interested, please let me know ASAP so I can get you connected!

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The Alien Cure

karovy vary

A panorama showing most of the spa/historic section of Karlovy Vary – Photo taken and panorama created by Bobak Ha’Eri – Found at Wikipedia.

“The healing powers of the thermal springs here at Karlovy Vary have been known since the Bronze Age, Vasnev.”

“Oh please don’t mention the Bronze Age, Ross. I have very unpleasant memories from that era.”

“I was there too, you know. However we’re not here for our health.”

“I thought we were supposed to be preparing for a manned excursion to the stars. Why are we in the Czech Republic with a Forerunner scanning device.”

“You should be able to figure that out.”

“Of course, you suspect the health effects of the spa are artificial.”

“Right, just like the red goo used in Forerunner spaceship acceleration couches.”

“Shall we partake then and covertly scan the waters?”

“Let’s. Ashe thinks a Forerunner outpost could be buried underneath the city.”

“Who knows what wonders or terrors are there?”

“But can their technology be accessed in the present or only in the past?”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google Maps image and location as the prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. The healing powers of the spa there have been known since the bronze age and the bronze age always reminds me of my “Time Traders” series which I began last July with The Recruit and is based on a series of novels written by Andre Norton (pseudonym, née Alice Mary Norton).

We last saw Ross Murdock and Vasnev Romanovich in my epilogue to “Key Out of Time” way back at the end of October. I haven’t done anything with this series since then, though it’s still posed for the next “novel,” and I thought I’d dust off Ross and Vasnev and have them investigate the spa in the present. I wonder how many miracles in our world could be attributed to the alien influences of the Forerunners?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

Time is the Longest Distance


Krenim timelines from the two part Star Trek: Voyager episode, “Year of Hell”.

The Present: Project Retrograde

“So, what’s going to happen when you throw the switch, Barnes?”

Colonel John Kellaries was facing Project Retrograde’s senior temporal physicist Antoine Barnes on the floor of the main personnel time gate chamber. Next to him was his Russian counterpart and recent defector Mineyev Duskin.

“Actually, it will be Mr. Lucius and Ms. Huỳnh who will be doing the switch throwing, Colonel. Dr. Duskin and I have devised a specialized start up and operating routine for the gate that will allow us to retrieve our agents, but it will be a dangerous thing.”

“Yes, I’m getting that impression. Just how dangerous?”

“Because of certain…well, quirks in the current nature of how the gates are working, we can only contact our agents by deliberately and simultaneously linking all gates operating in our present and perhaps even gates operating in other time periods.”

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© WeatherStudios

True to his word, Major Vasnev Romanovich of the Russian Ground Forces did not get drunk until well after the debriefing of the Atlantis mission at Project Retrograde’s Arctic base. When Romanovich had been assigned to Retrograde, it had been called an “Operation” and he had been a Major of the Soviet Armed Forces. However, when reality was changed after an unfortunate Time Storm, initiated when Time Gate Technician Louis Aramazd and his team activated the gate in close proximity to a live Forerunner power source, the world he returned to was not the same as the one he left.

U.S. Army Lieutenant Walter Byrd was in operational command of the Folsom time base in Arizona when the Time Storm hit, and all of his people were instantly transported back over 14,000 years in time. Ashe and his team, of which Vasnev was now a member, rescued them, but in returning the survivors and their children to the present after ten years in exile, they created a new timeline, one in which the Soviet Union fell in the late 1980s.

Either way, Romanovich was the Russian liaison to the Retrograde Project and worked as an equal member of Dr. Gordon Ashe’s team of time agents attempting to minimize or eliminate the results of the Time Storm and most importantly, to prevent or reverse the effects of climate change that will likely cause human extinction in a mere half century.

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Prologue: Key Out of Time

comet impact

Found at The Verge

From space, the Earth looked very different from what modern humans would expect today. For one thing, the Panama isthmus did not connect North and South America, allowing direct low-latitude circulation between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There was no Drake Passage separating South America from Antarctica and the Arctic was also more restricted.

It came from space. The object, impacting on or near the coast of what is now called New Jersey. There was an abrupt release of carbon into the atmosphere causing global climate warming at an accelerated rate. It took decades or centuries, not thousands or tens of thousands of years for the planetary temperature to rise 5 to 9 degrees Centigrade or about 9 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

Numerous single-celled ocean bottom organisms became extinct while other surface species moved to the poles in order to survive.

Overall, the climate became wetter, Arctic freshwater concentrations increased, and although there was a general lack of global ice, sea levels still rose due to thermal expansion.

“Dr. Barnes, you’re not saying that this impact over 55 million years ago caused modern climate change. That’s not what you explained to me before.”

“Of course not, Colonel. However it is necessary to…”

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Atlantis Descending

atlantis sinking

Found at

“That’s right. This isn’t the first time Atlantis has been rocked by quakes, there have been three other events in the past two months, but the innkeeper says this series is the most severe.”

Gordon Ashe was reporting to both Captain Owen Redfeld and Lynn Huỳnh aboard the nuclear submarine Nereid and to the extraction team, now on the top of the cliffs near the city of Meropis, Travis Fox and Vasnev Romanovich. It had been four days since Ross Murdock went missing inside the city’s central tower, but intermittent contact with his implanted communicator indicated continued life signs.

Owen here, Gordon. We’ve been seeing heavy shipping traffic here, all outgoing. Every available sailing ship and galley has been packed to overflowing with people leaving the island.”

“Airborne drones report similar activity on the other three islands as well, Gordon.”

“Thanks, Lynn.”

“Gordon, I don’t see why you won’t let Travis and me enter the city, find Murdock, and get you all out of there.”

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Atlantis: The last sunrise by batkya

Now in this island of Atlantis, there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia…But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the substance of the island.

Plato from Timaeus 25

“You’ve done what?” Aiyana Zheutlin knew their next mission would be particularly dangerous and it would be difficult to travel back in time to an island that does not exist in the present, but what Colonel John Kelgarries was telling her sounded insane.

“Given the extraordinary situation we’re presented with, I think it’s the most reasonable solution and the Temporal Research Group, including Dr. Barnes, agrees with me.”

Ashe’s team was meeting with Kelgarries for the pre-mission briefing, however in addition to Antoine Barnes there were two other people seated around the conference table who were not normally present. The first was Thomas Lucius, now the top time gate technician at the Project and sometimes called “the Control Voice”. The second was a Naval Officer who introduced himself as Captain Owen Redfeld.

“Dr. Zheutlin, I would not have authorized this if I didn’t believe it was perfectly safe. True, it is an unorthodox application of our temporal technology, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.”

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Ashurbanipal’s Library

london being nuked

Image: Getty-US ENERGY

Aiyana Kaleya Zheutlin had been reading strange languages for the past three weeks, ever since returning to the present and the arctic base of Operation or rather Project Retrograde and discovering how much of the present they’d changed. Something Kelgarries and the fastidious and annoying Dr. Antoine Barnes had mentioned in their briefing when the six time agents got back caught her interest.

She was pouring over photographs and reports on The British Museum’s collection of clay tablets originally discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard in 1849. The Library of Nineveh’s King Ashurbanipal was a monumentally historic find. It contained important works, all on baked clay tablets, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Law Code of Hammurabi, the former included a non-Biblical account of a great flood like the one in the Book of Genesis.

The Museum’s collections database counted 30,943 tablets in the entire Nineveh library collection. Most were written in cuneiform and a few in other near east languages. However, Aiyana was looking for clues of the use of a previously unknown language in these records.

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My World is Blue



“Travis. Darling, wake up.”

Travis Fox opened his eyes and saw his wife Cassie. “Good morning, beautiful. How…?”

Then he realized he was in the wrong bed. Why was his wife leaning over him instead of lying beside him? He wasn’t at home. He never made it home last night. Wait. How long had he been away from home?

The time gate. He’d gone through with Byrd and the others to help get Holden’s group back home from the past. The Folsom men. The attack. They’d tried to kill him.

“Where am I?”

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The Encounter

time tunnel

Photo used under Creative Commons from light_arted

The temporal field in the alien time gate sparked and cracked for several seconds before anything came through.  Then it appeared, a single Forerunner, an Orange.

“Watch out!” Murdock sounded almost panicked. “It’s a Forerunner weapon.”

It looked like the same race as the Blues. Skin color was a little darker, but everything else was identical. No hair on the exposed head and hands, human enough eyes, flattened nose, more or less a slit for a mouth, lumpy skin texture that looked like an orange peel. It was holding an object Ross recognized as the telepathic weapon the Blue used on him back at the Soviet base in the Ice Age.

Murdock, Ashe, and Zheutlin all reflexively reached for weapons they didn’t possess. Lynn Huỳnh never took agent training, so her response was to freeze.

The tip of the alien object glowed yellow which Murdock knew meant it was activated. He rushed forward to stop the Forerunner before it could paralyze them all.

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