Time Shadows: Second Nature

Time Shadows-Second NatureCongratulations to writer pal, Stuart S. Roth on the release of his latest Doctor Who story, “The Siege of Orléans” in Pseudoscope Publishing’s Doctor Who anthology, TIME SHADOWS: SECOND NATURE

The anthology features 23 stories with a foreword by John Peel. All proceeds from the sale of Pseudoscope’s Doctor Who anthologies are donated to CODE, Canada’s leading international development agency focused on advancing literacy and education in some of the world’s underserved regions.

Time Shadows Anniversary Edition

Stuart’s first published Doctor Who tale, “Circular Logic,” can be found in Pseudoscope’s original Doctor Who anthology, TIME SHADOWS. The Anniversary Edition features 25 stories, 12 illustrations, a foreword by Gary Russell, and in-depth author interviews.

 

Book Review: Great Science Fiction Stories edited by Cordelia Titcomb Smith

Great SF StoriesWith few exceptions, most of my 2017 reading consisted of classic SF and speculative fiction primarily from Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke with a dash of Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, A.E. Van Vogt, and H.G. Wells.

It stands to reason that if you read enough vintage genre anthologies, some will overlap and offer one or two stories in common. Such was the case with Great Science Fiction Stories compiled by Cordelia Titcomb Smith.

In  this case, I had previously read “The Stolen Bacillus” by H.G. Wells (about an anarchist who pilfers a vial of cholera bacillus from a bacteriologist, initiating a frantic taxi chase through London) and “History Lesson” by Arthur C. Clarke (after an ice age has wiped out humanity, Venusians land on Earth and discover artifacts of our civilization, including a strip of film that they believe accurately depicts human culture).

It was a pleasure to finally read Isaac Asimov’s legendary short story, “Nightfall,” wherein a civilization that lives in constant daylight provided by three suns nervously anticipates an eclipse that will shroud their planet in complete darkness for the first time in 500 years… and possibly throw society into madness.

When the Martian crown jewels are stolen from a robotic space craft sent from Earth to Phobos, Inspector Gregg questions everyone involved. Before the case explodes into an interstellar scandal, Gregg travels to Mars to request the help of Martian’s famous private detective, Syaloch, in Poul Anderson’s “The Martian
Crown Jewels.”

In “The Sands of Time,” P. Schuyler Miller channels H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When a young man named Donovan presents a paleontologist with photographic and physical evidence of his
encounter with dinosaurs, the scientist rebuffs him—until Donovan asks for his help in launching his one-man time machine back to rescue an alien woman he encountered in a prehistoric age.

Money is no barrier when a wealthy businessman decides to be the first man in space. He hires engineers to construct a vessel, but they still require a propulsion system. The businessman takes out ads in
newspapers offering millions to anyone who can design and create a means of propelling the vessel beyond Earth’s atmosphere. After being presented with proposals from the ludicrous to the insane, the
businessman meets an unassuming young man who might just have the answer… but he wants more than money. We find out what that is in Nelson Bond’s “Vital Factor.”

In a future where city streets are massive conveyor belts that transport people and vehicles at varying speeds, the mechanics decide to strike under the leadership of Deputy Chief Engineer Van Kleeck. To emphasize their power and ensure their demands are met, they stop the machinery beneath one of the streets—with fatal consequences. It’s up to Chief Engineer Larry Gaines to negotiate with Van Kleeck, because as Robert Heinlein tell us, “The Roads Must Roll.”

A teacher rethinks her decision to quit the profession, but the only available position is in a one-room schoolhouse in a remote rural town called Bendo where the reclusive inhabitants have no sense of humor and no interest in music or art. It is not long before the teacher uncovers the astounding otherworldly secrets of Bendo and the dark history that forced them into seclusion in this beautifully crafted tale called “Pottage” by Zenna Henderson.

Jules Verne provides a brief glimpse into man’s first attempt to reach the moon as three men volunteer to venture “Into Space” inside a giant aluminum capsule shot from a 900-foot gun. Although they survive the shock of launch and enjoy a view of Earth from beyond the atmosphere, it’s unclear whether they survived
the journey—or how they plan to return.

A new star appears in the vicinity of Neptune, disrupting the planet’s orbit. As this new star’s light intensifies in the sky each day—blotting out the moon and rivaling the sun—it isn’t long before astronomers
realize that it’s on a direct course for Earth in “The Star” by H.G. Wells.

A 13-year-old student named Timothy is sent to school psychologist Dr. Welles. At first, it’s clear that Timothy is nervous,  uncommunicative, and possibly holding something back. As trust grows between the young man and his counselor, it becomes apparent that the boy is a prodigy… and he may not be alone in Wilmar H. Shiras’s “In Hiding.”

Overall, this was an entertaining anthology with tales from writers I had not heard of previously (Zenna Henderson, Wilmar Shiras, P. Schuyler Miller, and Nelson Bond). My favorites included “Nightfall,” “Pottage,” “The Martian Crown Jewels,” and “The Roads Must Roll.”

Celebrating Milestones…

2018 marks two milestones for two of my favorite annual science fiction conventions in Hunt Valley, Maryland and the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, my second favorite Trek series.

Next month, Farpoint celebrates its 25th anniversary with celebrity guests Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Orphan Black, Eureka, Timeless), Nana Visitor (Deep Space Nine), Nora McLellan (Killjoys), and Hugo award-winning author Timothy Zahn.

Additional writer guests include Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Howard Weinstein, Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, David Mack, Keith RA DeCandido, Heather Hutsell, Dave Galanter, Steven H. Wilson, Mary Fan, Phil Giunta (hey, that’s me!) and more…

In July, Shore Leave celebrates 40 years with the return of William Shatner as well as Deep Space Nine cast members Chase Masterson and Aron Eisenberg. From Dark Matter, Melissa O’Neil and Alex Mallari, Jr. will also join us.

Writer guests include many of the same from Farpoint including Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Howard Weinstein, Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, David Mack, Keith RA DeCandido, Heather Hutsell, Steven H. Wilson, Mary Fan, Dave Galanter, Phil Giunta (hey, that’s me again!) as well as Dayton Ward, Lorraine Anderson, Scott Pearson and more.

So far, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year! Keep an eye on my Upcoming Events page for updates on these and other conventions and author events.

Free Stories on Wattpad

If you’re unfamiliar with Wattpad, it is a website where writers post stories of all lengths and genres for your free reading pleasure.

I currently have four complete speculative fiction short stories posted there as samples from the first two volumes of my Middle of Eternity anthology series.

In the coming weeks, I will post one or two new stories. For now, happy reading!