I am a world-renowned field mechanic. You might not have heard of me, not yet at least, but I’m the best in the business at what I do. Any terrain in the world—I’ll keep your expedition on the move. I grew up on a small, isolated Scottish island, so naturally I couldn’t wait to get out and see the world. Everyone said I couldn’t do it, my own father even said so, but I’ve proven them wrong. I’ll keep proving them wrong.
Recently I’ve been hired by a secretive billionaire who claims to have invented time travel and requires my services. First man to set foot in another time? To walk around in the time of the dinosaurs? Now, that has a nice ring to it.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths? Well, we’ve already covered that I’m a fearless explorer and a master mechanic, but what are the qualities that drive those? Determination—you don’t get as far as I have by giving up when the going gets tough—and sheer, unfiltered bravery. Some have called it stupidity, but what do they know?
Weaknesses? Now, this is just between us, right? I have a reputation to uphold, after all. I can’t read especially well. I know now that I’m dyslexic, but as a child, my peers had another name for me—stupid. I guess you could say that gave me some self-doubt and maybe I over-compensate, but when a teacher tells a young boy that he’ll never succeed in life, that sticks with him. I’ll show them they were wrong about me. I’ll show them all.
Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
As far as my personal life goes, I’ve always been somewhat of a loner. The closest I have to a friend is my buddy Ed. If I’m being honest though, I think he holds me back. He means well, but I can’t always play it safe—I’m more ambitious than that.
Neil Armstrong is my inspiration. The first man to walk on the moon—that will always be incredible. I mean, can you imagine? He was a hero, a rock star. I used to stare up at them moon and then back down at the muddy old farm of my youth. God, how I wished to be up there instead. I want to do what he did. I want to be the first.
Despite my grand ambitions, I do have some humbler pursuits. When I do have some down time I like to unwind with my trusty VW Beetle. It’s a simple machine, but it helps me to relax. I could take the whole thing apart and rebuild it in a couple of hours which is oddly therapeutic—as is the burble of its flat-four boxer engine.
What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?
To be a hero is to be successful. Most people’s heroes are so because they’re the best at what they do. They’ve reached the top, they are rich, famous, and respected. They’ve made it.
What do you think of your ‘creator’?
He’s pretty unambitious, really. Writing a book? It’s been done—nothing special. I bet it doesn’t even get made into a movie. Come back to me when he’s spent three months in Antarctica.
Give us your favourite piece of advice:
Never back down, never quit, never wait for tomorrow. Success doesn’t wait for anyone, you have to take your chances, no matter the cost.
Hello, my name is CT Phipps and I am the author of SPACE ACADEMY DROPOUTS. I am a science fiction and fantasy author who has written the Supervillainy Saga, Agent G, Lucifer’s Star, and Cthulhu Armageddon among others.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short):
SPACE ACADEMY DROPOUTS is a humorous space opera taking place a couple of centuries in the future when humanity has been contacted by aliens and taken to the stars. We’re kind of the Belgium of the galaxy, though, and not everyone is happy about that.
After Vance drops out of Space Academy, he ends up getting dragooned into their secret service and put on a suicide mission to recover sun destroying weapons. What’s worse is his crew is a bunch of misfits that he has to ride herd on. Vance wonders why they’re putting such an oddball collection together to do such an important mission but time is running out to solve the mystery.
When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?
I have always been a huge Star Trek, Mass Effect, Babylon Five, and other space opera scifi fan. Space Academy Dropouts is an extended homage to those franchises. I have been writing since college but only started to get good at it around 2015 or so. That’s when my first published works started happening.
What writing plans do you have for the future?
In addition to Space Academy Dropouts, I have the book Daughter of the Cyber Dragons coming out. It’s a cyberpunk street adventure that I think people will absolutely love. It stars Keiko “Kei” Springs who is a Rider, a mercenary courier, who is working in the arcology of New Los Angeles. Well, suffice to say, her latest job proves to be quite a bit more complicated than she expected it to be and she ends up teamed up with a crew of misfits that don’t know who to trust.
What do you like to read?
I’m a science fiction, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and superhero fan. Which, coincidentally, is a lot of what I like to write. I love writers like Anna Mocikat, SC Jensen, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, David Niall Wilson, and others.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?
Don’t take the advice of people who promise you the moon marketing wise. There’s a lot of scammers out there.
Author bio and book synopsis
C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on “The United Federation of Charles” (http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/).
He’s the author of Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer’s Star, Straight Outta Fangton, and The Supervillainy Saga.
“Boldly going because they’re completely lost.”
The newly renamed Vance Turbo has sabotaged his own career at Space Fleet Academy due to a desire to atone for training accident. Unfortunately, his actions result in him getting press-ganged into an expendable crew of misfits recruited by a legendary starship captain. Their mission? To recover a collection of lost sun-destroying missiles that could restart a galactic war. Unfortunately, Vance is smart enough to know something is wrong with this picture. After all, no sane person would recruit this crew to save the universe.
SPACE ACADEMY DROPOUTS is an all-new series from the hilarious duo of C.T. Phipps (Supervillainy Saga, Agent G) and Michael Suttkus (I Was a Teenage Weredeer, Lucifer’s Star) that lampoons the space opera as well as military science fiction genres.
Main character description (short): Vance Turbo (real name: Vannevar Tagashi) is a highly capable senior at Space Academy. However, he has gotten himself close to being thrown out and decides to blackmail his way into dropping out instead. He is snarky, irreverent, and highly capable in his field but very inexperienced.
Vance Turbo finds himself dragooned into serving the secret service of the galaxy-spanning Community after he drops out of Space Academy under suspicious circumstances. Put in the worst crew in the galaxy, there’s something very strange about them being used for a mission that’s vital to the safety of the universe. Will he figure out what’s really going on? Can he survive with his ridiculous crew? Will they save everyone or doom us all?
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
“Cadet Vannevar James Tagawa—” the lion-faced alien said, sitting behind the desk in front of me. He had six arms and all of them fit in a snug red uniform with a silver badge on the right lapel that signified him as the Commandant of the Academy.
“Correction, sir,” I replied, smoothly. “I’ve had my name legally changed to Vance Turbo.”
The Commandant, whose name was a series of roars I couldn’t pronounce, stared at me. “No one calls you that. We’re also here to formally kick you out of the Academy.”
“I’m hoping to persuade you otherwise,” I said, smiling broadly.
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?
It is snarky, hilarious, and action-packed. I think if you love Star Trek, Mass Effect, Star Wars, or anything like them then you’ll love this.
All he wants is to live in peace, away from the ignorance of his village, to outrun the raging ghost which haunts him.
But a hidden evil seeks to harness his fury.
Accused of murder, hunted by ruthless soldiers, Brohr delves the way of the Skald, unlocking forbidden blood magic as he unearths terrible family secrets.
When the red moon is broken, and all is lost, it’s up to Brohr to lead a rebellion, or face the end of the world!
An epic blend of norse fantasy and grimdark sci-fi!
Praise for the Dreadbound Ode…
“Rich in detail, bringing his tale to life with a foreboding atmosphere and characters that are intense. Good dialogue, rapid-fire action scenes, explosive magic and wicked political machinations.” -Tome Tender
“This is extremely well-written grimdark and if you like your fantasy and sci-fi gritty…this is a book you should pick up.” -Booknest
“The Weeping Sigil never stops. It has a relentless forward motion. It’s painful, and its glorious, and there are twists and turns that I never saw coming. It made my heart pound and yes, there was even a tear or two.” – Sarah Chorn, author of Seraphina’s Lament
“Perfect for grimdark fans.” -Grimdark Magazine
“[The Weeping Sigil] took everything that I had loved from The Skald’s Black Verse and lifted it to a whole other level, and I for one can’t wait to see what Jordan Loyal Short will do next. This is a fantastic book, great for anyone who enjoys a delectable mix of fantasy and science fiction, with a good dash of grimdark.” – Beneath a Thousand Skies
“I love the cultures, the magic system, the spaceships and the interplanetary communication. There’s lots of action and peril. It’s a great book! I’d very much recommend it.” – Lee Conley, author of the Dead Sagas
Adrift in the void, Henrik’s rescue is only a prelude to slavery.
But his new life on Tyria is not at all what he expected. When the illustrious House of Quoll purchases him, Henrik finds himself living in the home of his old enemy, Prefect Brasca Quoll. Desperate to hide the truth of his last days on Heimir, Henrik dives into the murderous game of Tyrianite politics. Devastated by the catastrophe on the Norn homeworld, the Federation teeters on the brink of civil war.
While the Shining Ones maneuver their champions for the final confrontation, Henrik’s fevered visions unveil the scope of Moriigo’s nightmarish rebellion.
Aboard a stolen voidcraft, Brohr and Lyssa hurtle into the depths of the starry abyss, on a desperate exodus in search of safe haven. But the outer reaches of the system are full of strange worlds, haunted ruins, and bizarre cults.
As anarchy grips the streets of Tyria, Henrik vows to reveal the true peril facing the Federation: Moriigo’s return! While rival electors, assassins, and federal inquisitors plot the downfall of House Quoll, Henrik must bind himself to the future of his onetime enemies, lest the horrors of his prophetic visions come to pass!
Jordan Loyal Short is an author of epic fantasy. His first novel, The Skald’s Black Verse, is a dark and beautiful story about families, cultures, and beliefs at war with themselves. The protagonist, Brohr, must navigate the tangled loyalties and unforgiving biases of a planet conquered by invaders from another world. Using black magic, and the bizarre bond he shares with his stillborn brother’s spirit, Brohr unravels the truth about himself and an eon spanning war that has reached its end game.
Jordan has worked in a variety of industries, as a web developer, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.
Main character description (short). Troy is Battlemaster for a clan of humans and vampires. He works with the Clan Leader, Vlad, to ensure safety of the entire clan during battles and negotiations.
Synopsis: A clan of vampires and humans is lost in the dimensions due to a failed experiment. They must fight other clans and mad scientists before they are able to control their travel and head for their home dimension.
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
Vlad stood there in all his magnificence, his power emanating all the way to
where I lay on the table. Dmetri and Vlad both looked surprised at the presence of the
other. Vlad spoke, a shock startling me at his words. “Dmetri, I was wondering when we
would meet you. What are you doing with a member of my clan?”
Dmetri’s grin returned. “Stealing him,” he responded and turned all his vampiric
attention toward Vlad.
As he released me I wrenched the injector out of my arm and flung myself from
the table scrambling to the farthest corner from the arguing clan leaders ignoring the
pain it caused.
“It’s good to see you, Vlad. Although I guess I should have expected it,
considering I have your son here.” He paused before continuing on. “He is your son,
isn’t he? Although it’s rather odd. I killed you both some time ago.”
Vlad started with surprise at Dmetri’s words but recovered to respond. “I am a
different Vlad. I am sure my — son — has told you what has happened.”
A shock thudded through me as Vlad confirmed what Dmetri had just said.
“Yes, he did. I didn’t believe him at first, but seeing you here like this makes me
realise he was telling the truth. Your envoy from years ago was enjoyable, by the way.”
“I have not sent any envoys to you. I am not interested in getting involved in your
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? People should read this book because it is full of life and is an entertaining delight that will allow people time away from the worries of life.
Eira is a survivor hell-bent on saving her unborn child from the evil King Lorcan, but the further along her pregnancy, the deeper Eira spirals into madness. Her body, for no apparent reason is shutting down. Out of sheer will and determination, Eira fights not only the enemies within but all those that would do her and her baby harm.
Brief Excerpt 250 words:
What if losing yourself meant you were erased from existence? Your essence overridden with no one the wiser?
Ylva the She Wolf – a parasitic artificial intelligence trapped for years in a box yearns for a human host to become alive again.
Eira, a fiery human prisoner, will do anything to escape the clutches of the evil ruler Lorcan and fulfill an old prophecy told about her unborn child.
The power of three wolves unite the two in a battle for supremacy to restore those living underground to the surface. Their inner war rages as they fight for dominion of the frozen wasteland that is now Earth.
Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?
The 100 meets Divergent. It’s an action-packed mash up of tribal history and artificial intelligence that leads the reader on a gripping adventure of twists and turns. Discover a strange new post-apocalyptic world in a book that is compelling, unpredictable, and digs beneath the surface of what it means to be human. https://amzn.to/3L8mXwS
Tell us about yourself: I was born in 2080, an unregistered Enhanced Human, and immediately placed with my foster (later adoptive) parents. I had the great good fortune to live next to Aiyana Cassidy and her family; we were friends from the time we were old enough to know what one was. After school I went to the California Confederacy and got into sensies – you’d call them movies. I was recruited by a company called OutLook and learned how to be a courier and, later, an assassin. Aiyana and I reconnected in 2112, but I never expected to save her life at our own wedding! After that, life got interesting. As of today, Aiyana and I have been married for eleven years. Between us we’re mothers to four children, and I spend most of my time in my role of Admiral in charge of Exploration for the Terran Federation (which Aiyana and I co-founded). Aiyana? She’s captain of the TFS Constitution, my flagship.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? I hate waiting. I have, like, zero patience. None. You can ask Cass – sorry, that’s what I call Aiyana – and she’ll tell you I’ve been like this all my life. On the other hand, this can be useful when negotiating, because I don’t have tolerance for the great diplomatic dance and tend to kick my way through things rather than patiently nibble at them. It might annoy people but it gets things done! As for strengths, well, I’ve learned how to ask, up front, for just about anything. “If I don’t ask, you can’t say yes.” I said that to the President of Titan, but it’s served me well for twenty-odd years.
Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc). Well, I think you have the idea that Cass is pretty important to me. But let’s say this: the Terran Federation. This is the star nation my wife and I established with the purpose of dragging humanity out of the solar system and into the stars. We never intended to become a star nation, but circumstances forced our hand. The Artemis Colony, the Lunar colony that was – will be, from your perspective – founded in 2025? They didn’t take kindly to the idea that anyone else might challenge their supremacy in space, so they tried to kill us. Didn’t work. We’re still here, they’re gone. Second thing? The idea that all sentient beings have to be equal. See, I think I mentioned I was an unregistered Enhanced Human. This wouldn’t have been a big deal, as there isn’t any way short of genetic testing to distinguish an EH from anyone else. But there were laws on the books which delegated EH to second-class citizen status, at best, and little more than chattel, at worst. Artemis dug up the old records and tried to have my very humanity stripped away, all legal and proper. I fought back, and prevailed, and since then I’ve been passionate about promoting equality for all: humans no matter their genes, AI’s, treecats – if you’re sentient, and join the Terran Federation, you’re equal to anyone. Third thing is Aiyana’s invention. Okay, so she didn’t really “invent” it, but she perfected it. See, the idea of teleportation has fascinated humanity since that old TV show aired (and I love your pop culture! I can’t get enough!). By my time, we know how to do it: it required a quantum scan. The problem is you only have one chance to do a quantum scan, because the act of scanning destroys the object being scanned, and none of the optics were precise enough to give an accurate scan. That’s where Cass came in. She figured out the optics (and please don’t make me explain it, I don’t have the math! She’s the genius in the family.). The problem was she figured it out on company time, and the company she worked for was heavily invested in the transportation industry as it was. Whoops. But without this? None of what we’ve done would have happened.
What does ‘heroism’ mean to you? Odd you should ask this. I had reason to consider it, carefully, not too long ago. This is how my biographer wrote it out in Triumph’s Ashes (and he got it pretty close to right, because it was important):
“Oh, Hades no,” Kendra said, turning as far as she could. “No way.”
“We have to save our daughters, Kendra,” said Cass, already tapping at the controls. “And the treecats. We can’t allow the first envoys from another star be killed because of a, a bully!”
Kendra bit back a hot retort.
She didn’t want to die.
She didn’t want Cass to die.
What happened to, “Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor?”
Pretty words, but words meant less than nothing if they weren’t backed by actions.
Would their daughters understand? Certainly not now, no matter how smart they were, how mature they sometimes seemed. Maybe someday, if everything succeeded, if the spark she’d lit continued to grow, maybe they would. Maybe they’d be proud of their mothers and, while regretting their sacrifice, recognize the necessity.
And the thought of her daughters dying? It would kill her just as dead.
At least they’d live.
They’d inherit the Trust, and everything which went with it.
Davie would watch over Starfleet. Tamara, Autumn, and Kyra would guide the Federation. And all of their aunts – Mikki, Alley, Kiri, LJ, and more – would ensure the girls grew up loved.
In the final analysis, it was an easy decision.
“Already halfway there.” Kendra could hear the tears. Funny. Her tears were silent. Weren’t they?
“Don’t blow us up before we get in position.”
What do you think of your ‘creator’? Mendel Genetic Laboratory? Oh, you mean Adam. He does a pretty good job, all things considered. The issue is I have all these great stories to tell, and he’s perfectly willing to write them all down, but he won’t put in all the details! He goes on about muddying the timeline and spoilers. And then I get flack from Cass, because she doesn’t want me to break the timeline again – and it was really a small break, not even a break, just a little ding! – and I can’t tell you guys this or that thing, and pretty soon the stories come out looking nothing like they actually happened! But he does manage to capture the spirit and flavour of my stories, so I can’t complain too much. And hey, he’s arranged things so I have my own FB account and email and he even lets me write the introductions to chapter posts, so I get to have my say.
Give us your favourite piece of advice: I think I already gave it. “If I don’t ask you, you can’t say yes.” Going into any situation, what’s the worst anyone can say in response? “No.” Which is the same response you’d get by not asking in the first place. So always, always ask!
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): J A Duxbury has been writing since primary school as a kid and has ventured outside science fiction to create a refreshing take on a popular genre.
She is interested in a wide variety of music, having studied the piano at an early age and paints land and sea scapes and is planning to expand to city scapes soon.
Julie shares 2 cats with Stu and their plan is to take the cats on a very long road trip around Australia.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short) I have 2:
Dark Dimensions – a clan of vampires and humans is lost in dimensions due to a scientific experiment going wrong.
Heart of Deception – a world-class thief is blackmailed into participating in a clandestine operation for a Crown Prince and then is blackmailed into stealing from the Crown. He must race race home with the prize before everything falls apart.
When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? I began around 10 years old and my inspiration came from other authors and TV shows.
What writing plans do you have for the future? Keep writing and getting as many books out there as possible.
What do you like to read? I choose science fiction and fantasy but have been known to read mysteries and crime.
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure? Keep writing. never stop.
Author bio and book synopsis
I have been writing since I was ten but had a hiatus for about 20 years before writing a spate of fan fiction and finally getting back into writing. My chosen genre is science fiction, but I do write from my dreams so my genre can be anything.
The dimensions are full of danger and Troy and his family must deal with those dangers when they come across them. They include power-hungry Clan Leaders, battles between other clans and a mad scientist. eventually coming to control their mad dash through the dimensions.
Heart of Deception
Marek can get into just about any locked compartment, building, room. But when he answers a dare to steal from the Royal Family, he must decide whether it’s a trap or not. Marek’s world is turned upside down when he agrees to work with the Royal Family, not realising that failure means an end to a small island country.
Which book/world do you live in? Dark Dimensions (published) and Dark Reign (to be published)
Tell us about yourself:
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? According to my father, my greatest strength is my compassion. I’d like to say it’s my positiveness. Sometimes I get too compassionate so, I feel it turns into a weakness.
Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc). Pril is the love of my life, my queen, the Ruling Council is important and the Torkandisch/Lavenledun Agreement is the most important document to me.
What does ‘heroism’ mean to you? Being able to defend your people peacefully before resorting to violence.
What do you think of your ‘creator’? I think she’s still got something to learn about her characters.
Give us your favourite piece of advice: Always keep an open mind. Think the best of everyone until they prove otherwise.
Authors: Barbara G Tarn, Marcelle Dube, Kriz Katzen, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, Maggie Lynch, Annie Reed, Kari Kilgore, Kris Austen Radcliffe
Synopsis: The 2021 Visions of the Future Bundle, curated by Dean Wesley Smith:
Back almost two years ago, in February 2020, just before the pandemic started, I did a StoryBundle with the title Visions of the Future. Thankfully, nothing about the last two years was in that bundle of great novels and stories. I don’t think many people, including the best science fiction writers, saw any of this coming in the way it did.
So now I get a chance to find writers to look into the future again, only on the downward side of the pandemic. And there is all kinds of science fiction in these books, from galaxy-spanning space opera to generation ships to near future science fiction. And yes, this time even one that looks at a world after pandemics. In my opinion, we need them all. These visions are science fiction in nature, looking out into the possibilities of the future.