The Paperback Version of Beyond the Mist is now on sale!

The createspace link for the paperback is now live.

Amazon link will be up in three to five business days. The amazon link will offer the possibility of free shipping to the same territory, and a free copy of the ebook to go with it, as well as boosting the book’s rating; the createspace link gives me a greater royalty per sale.

I leave it up to the discerning customer to decide which option they prefer.

Stranded

This is the first poem I wrote specifically to submit for publication in a poetry journal. It was refused, so you all get to enjoy it instead, as well as the good people at superversiveSF.

Stranded

Stranded on a pinnacle, surrounded by a throng
Of the vilest creatures known from story, myth or song.
He led them on a merry dance when things got out of hand,
Out here to this lonely peak, amidst this barren land.

His radio is long-since smashed, his ammo’s running low,
His jetpack is all out of charge, discarded in the snow.
He’s improvised and struggled hard to keep the hordes at bay;
With no rocks left, it looks as if he won’t survive the day.

Hiding has proved futile, they smell his sweat and fear,
Their bony claws pierced through his armour, slashing his right ear.
His arms are getting heavy, his eyelids won’t stay up,
He sees bug reinforcements and his head begins to drop.

They cover the horizon, the ground squirms as they swarm,
The only thing that held them back was a great ice storm.
But now the winds are calming, they start their new ascent,
The screech of claws upon bare slate is homing on his scent.

He shivers as he stands again to face the warrior drones,
Debilitating cold and dread both pierce his weary bones.
He pictures all those he bought time to reach a safer place,
From where they could at last find peace and meet a friendly face.

He smiles to think of Sylvia enjoying motherhood,
Raising four kids and a dog beside a sleepy wood.
Jason, Mick and Frank will all be standing in salute,
As his beloved plays a mournful song on her old flute.

They’ll join their voices with the choir that sings a solemn hymn
Beside the lasting monument with which they’ll honour him.
They’ll talk about the good old times, the laughs, the games, the pranks,
Then raise their glasses in a toast to show their debt of thanks.

Then go on to enjoy the lives that he has won for them,
Each moment of sweet liberty more precious than a gem.
Just metres now and one clip left, he adds to the great heap
Of insectoid carcasses that fill the chasm deep.

With no regard for brotherhood, they trample on their own,
Fearlessly and ravenously scale that pile of bone.
His rifle clicks dead one last time, they do not pause or slow,
He catches one last glimpse of sunset’s amber afterglow,

Then all around him falls a flood of piercing metal rain,
Roaring jets and blinding searchlights drive them back again.
Pistons hiss and cargo bay doors open to his right;
Half-thinking this is all a dream, he steps into the light.

They wrap him in a blanket, and soar into the sky,
For the first time in a month his hands and head are dry.
“They’ll nuke the site from orbit as soon as we are clear,
And turn that vicious army to a sterile glassy smear.”

“How did you find me way out here? My radio was gone.”
“This was the seventh mountain range that we’ve explored since dawn.
We’ve scoured half the planetoid, all looking for your heat;
We couldn’t just leave you behind, there’s someone you should meet.”

The lovely face of Sylvia appears on a small screen,
She looks to him as if she’s just been crowned a beauty queen.
“Thank God you’re out, I couldn’t bear the thought that you were lost,
After all you did for us, and what your courage cost.

“I found the letter that you left, I really didn’t know
How much our friendship meant to you, you let so little show.”
“You weren’t supposed to read that, it was only if I didn’t—“
She puts a finger to her lips, he meekly takes the hint.

“You said you hoped I’d find a man that’s faithful, honest, good;
With whom to raise a family, who’d treat me as he should.
I know of one,” She beams a smile so full of joy and life,
Then says the words he’s longed to hear: “I’d love to be your wife!”

Another SuperversiveSF Livestream

There is going to be another superversiveSF roundtable livestream on Saturady at 3pm Eastern time, with guests Kate Paulk, Arlan Andrews and Daddy Warpig discussing among other things the recent Hugo kerfuffle and where we go from here.

Head over to http://superversivesf.com/ tomorrow for a link to the livestream itself.

SuperversiveSF Roundtable 3- Dystopian Fiction

Another SuperversiveSF roundtable discussion is coming up tomorrow (Saturday the 6th of June) at 3pm Eastern time (7pm GMT, 9pm Central European Time), the topic being dystopian fiction in all its forms. If you have any questions that you would like the group to discuss, leave a comment at this page:

http://superversivesf.com/2015/06/03/dystopian-fiction-live-stream-this-saturday-3pm/

A link to the livestream will appear at http://www.superversivesf.com when it goes live, so listen in and hear me (and writers more knowledgeable than me) discuss this fascination with societies gone so horribly wrong.

Second Superversive SF Roundtable Discussion Tomorrow

The second Superversive SF roundtable discussion will be held tomorrow at 3 pm eastern time (7 pm GMT), on the topic of “what makes a good story”, featuring the same group of people as last time, plus some new additions.

If you have any questions you’d like to be discussed, leave a comment at this page:

http://superversivesf.com/2015/05/05/another-superversive-sf-livestream-2/

SuperversiveSF Roundtable Discussion

For those of you unaware, I am a regular contributor over at SuperversiveSF, and this Saturday they will be holding an online roundtable of the contributors via google hangout.

The event will go live at 10.30am EST and will include myself, Jason Rennie, L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, EJ Shumak, Joshua Young, Brian Niemeier, David Hallquist, Peter Sean Bradley and perhaps some others.

Among other topics, we will be discussing the upcoming Hugo awards and Sad Puppies Campaign, who knows what else we’ll get up to…

On Leonard Nimoy’s Passing

Over at SuperversiveSF, I have added my own thoughts to the many eulogies offered to the man who’s most famous role gained almost archetypal status, that of the benevolent Vulcan philosopher Mr. Spock:

For me, Leonard Nimoy always embodied the wise and self-controlled paternal figure, whose gentleness was that of a man who was well aware of his own strength and the damage it can cause, so showed restraint wherever possible, but was always prepared to use that great strength to defend the innocent and stand up to evil wherever it appeared. In that his persona was that of that greatest of ancient figures, the warrior poet, who is not only strong and skilled in the arts of war, but also possesses the moral clarity to know the proper time and place to use those arts for the good of those around him and society as a whole. He also embodied the deep thinker, the guardian to another world of wonder and mystery, into which he would allow us to peer ever so briefly and whet our appetite to begin our own search for truth and wisdom.

Read the rest

Beauty’s Message

To what does purest beauty bear witness in its prime?

What message does it send to us that transcends space and time?

That we are not the pinnacle of all there is to be;

There are higher things than us, a land beyond the sea;

 

That greater things await us than the universe contains,

Sights and joys that will outmeasure all our trials and pains;

Deeper truths and loves than we could dare to dream,

Resplendent life abundant by a holy healing stream.

 

All flowing from the source of all, who we’ll see face to face

Where holiness is merged with love as justice is with grace.

There is our true purpose, there is our true home,

That is why down here on earth our hearts will always roam.