Memories from the Road

Last Friday, the IP lawyer who runs ThePassiveVoice.com posted pictures from a recent trip to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. They brought back a lot of memories. For several years in the late 1980s-1990s, the Red family spent the first two seeks of summer driving around the US and Canadian west. One of those years we focused on the Colorado Plateau, including the bits on the edges like Capitol Reef. Keep in mind, this was before mountain bikes led to an explosion in the number of people visiting places like Arches, Bryce, Zion, and other parks in Utah’s Color Country. It was also before many vehicles aside from pick-ups and Jeeps(TM) had real four-wheel drive. Mom had a Fore-Runner, one of the first in Amarillo, and at the time it had the highest clearance of stock vehicles. And boy did we make use of it! Continue reading

Repost: Summer Reading Stack Low?

The Indie Author Summer Sale Continues Through Today.

Ed. Thank you for your support!

Pixie Noir

By Cedar Sanderson

$0.99 from May 27-30

You can’t keep a tough Pixie down…

Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…

Memories of the Abyss

By Cedar Sanderson

Free from May 27-30

Violet is trapped in the prison of her own mind. Her body is dwelling in the insane asylum, but when her friend Walter is killed, she must make a decision to avenge his death, or stay safely locked in her own broken soul. He’d drawn her out of her shell, and she finds she still has honor left… But will anyone believe the crazy woman?

Stardogs

By Dave Freer

On sale for $2.99

The Interstellar Empire of Man was built on the enslavement of the gentle Stardogs, companions and Theta-space transporters of the vanished Denaari Dominion. But the Stardogs that humans found can’t go home to breed, and are slowly dying out.

As the ruthless Empire collapses from its rotten core outward, an Imperial barge is trapped on top of a dying Stardog when an attempted hijacking and assassination go horribly wrong. Trying to save its human cargo, the Stardog flees to the last place anyone expected – the long-lost Denaari motherworld.

Crawling from the crash are the Leaguesmen who control the Stardogs’ pilots by fear and force, and plan to assassinate Princess Shari, the criminal Yak gang, who want to kill everyone and take control of a rare Stardog for their own, and an entourage riddled with plots, poisons, and treason. But Shari and her assassin-bodyguard have plans of their own…  Continue reading

. . . Where Poppies Blow

Between white crosses, row on row

That mark our place. And in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

‘Scarce heard amidst the guns below.

—From “In Flanders Fields”  John McCrae

 

Today Memorial Day falls on Memorial Day. I suspect most people don’t remember that the last Monday in May is not the date of Memorial Day, but the observance. May 30 is officially Memorial Day. It started as an attempt to encourage reconciliation between various factions left following the United States’ Civil War/War Between the States. After WWI it became America’s version of Remembrance Day. Later, when federal three-day weekends became “a thing,” it shifted from a fixed date to the last Monday in May. Some people still observe both, taking the Monday as a holiday and attending public ceremonies, and holding personal observances on the 30th. Continue reading

Lux Aeterna

I was helping break in, audition a potential choir director recently. He’d brought his own music to inflict audition with, including a movement from the Faure Requiem, the “Agnus Dei.” It is a good choice, because it includes foreign language, tempo changes, mood changes, and is just hard enough that the choir should pay attention. Once you get past the “Lamb of G-d who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy” text, it shifts to the “Lux Aeterna.” Which sent my mind wandering down musical rabbit tracks about light and music. Continue reading

Summer Reading Stack Low?

The Indie Author Summer Sale!

Pixie Noir

By Cedar Sanderson

$0.99 from May 27-30

You can’t keep a tough Pixie down…

Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…

Memories of the Abyss

By Cedar Sanderson

Free from May 27-30

Violet is trapped in the prison of her own mind. Her body is dwelling in the insane asylum, but when her friend Walter is killed, she must make a decision to avenge his death, or stay safely locked in her own broken soul. He’d drawn her out of her shell, and she finds she still has honor left… But will anyone believe the crazy woman?

Stardogs

By Dave Freer

On sale for $2.99

The Interstellar Empire of Man was built on the enslavement of the gentle Stardogs, companions and Theta-space transporters of the vanished Denaari Dominion. But the Stardogs that humans found can’t go home to breed, and are slowly dying out.

As the ruthless Empire collapses from its rotten core outward, an Imperial barge is trapped on top of a dying Stardog when an attempted hijacking and assassination go horribly wrong. Trying to save its human cargo, the Stardog flees to the last place anyone expected – the long-lost Denaari motherworld.

Crawling from the crash are the Leaguesmen who control the Stardogs’ pilots by fear and force, and plan to assassinate Princess Shari, the criminal Yak gang, who want to kill everyone and take control of a rare Stardog for their own, and an entourage riddled with plots, poisons, and treason. But Shari and her assassin-bodyguard have plans of their own…  Continue reading

Saturday Story: Fountains of Mercy: Part Nine

The soon-to-be named city has reached the breaking point as Company and colonists collide.

 

That evening, Pete lay back in his reclining seat at the apartment and wondered what would come next. Cynthia had gone out to a music performance, leaving Pete to reheat food and consider the next disaster looming just over the horizon. Thinking about Arturo’s news made him shiver all over again, with fear and anger both. People from ColLandPlat, the enormous sprawling hub of the planetary administration, spaceports, and home to hundreds of thousands of improved settlers, had begun raiding the outlying settlements. “Sometimes the sub-setters take food and clothes, other times furnishings and cookware, although no one knows what they do with those. Probably sell them as scrap or just dump them somewhere, or use them as weapons. They harass the livestock and have even killed a few of the farmers, roughed up more. And security won’t stop them. They say the farmers need to be faster calling them in, because they can’t station security people everywhere.” Arturo’s fists had clenched. “And the Mennonites at least won’t fight back.”

Pete could barely process the idea. Why would someone not defend themselves when their lives were in danger? Arturo had tried to explain, but Pete still had trouble wrapping his mind around it. “They use an old, pre-Unification Bible, and they have Scriptures that say you need to forgive your enemies and not to hurt people. Apparently some translations take it to the point that you should not defend your physical person or property.”

I like your Holy Writ better, Lord, Pete thought. No wonder they’re so shy, if they’re pre-Unification Christians. Talk about an endangered species! Or so everyone said, and Pete didn’t doubt the conventional wisdom and Church teaching. Yes, we’re supposed to be forgiving, but the prophet Jesus never said we should let people kill us without trying to at least protect our wives and children. And the threat of death by starvation counts as an attack in my book. And in exchange for their freedom to live in the old ways and worship as they choose, as part of their transportation contract, people at the Heritage Centers couldn’t draw on any subsistence assistance except in emergencies. Apparently the Company didn’t think having the winter food supply threatened and crops and livestock ruined counted as an emergency. The veins in Pete’s temples throbbed. Continue reading