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Dust & Rain (Icefire Trilogy vol. 2)

Continued from book 1

Fifteen years ago, a brilliant scientist built a barrier against the dangerous power that radiates from the City of Glass in the southern land, allowing the citizens of Chevakia to live without fear of their lives. Since then, the democracy of Chevakia has prospered, with free-thinking scientists developing steam power and the beginnings of electricity.
But the power, which they call sonorics, controls the weather in Chevakia.
Senator Sadorius han Chevonian is the country’s chief meteorologist. While taking measurements for his job, he is the first to notice a rapid rise of sonorics levels out-of-season. The senate is locked in trivial debate, and to make them listen, he has to take a step he never thought to make.
After the huge explosion of the machine they call the Heart of the City, Loriane has fled the southern land with the sorcerer Tandor, who hovers in and out of consciousness. But while Tandor isn’t speaking, she cannot confirm her fears that he caused the explosion, and that the child she carries has something to do with his twisted plans to seize power from the Eagle Knights who rule the City of Glass.
Just before the explosion, southern queen Jevaithi fled into Chevakia with her young lover Isandor. While they think they’re free of the tyranny of the Eagle Knights, it soon becomes clear something very bad has happened in the City of Glass soon after their escape. Something so bad that it sends waves of sonorics into Chevakia, causing even the Chevakians to flee.
Several streams of refugees are heading for the Chevakian capital. Southerners by train, Chevakians by road, into a city that is tragically unprepared, a country in turmoil with a leader whose support hangs by the merest thread.

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Fire & Ice (Icefire Trilogy vol. 1)

Deep under the City of Glass in the frozen southern land, an age-old machine called the Heart of the City radiates a power which locals call icefire. Most citizens are immune to it, but a few, always born with physical disabilities, can bend it to their will. For fifty years, the ruling Eagle Knights, who fly on the back of giant birds, have killed these Imperfects, fearing the return of the old royal family, who used icefire to cut out people’s hearts, turning them into ghostly servitors.
The old king’s grandson Tandor only sees the good things icefire brought: power and technology now forgotten while the people of the south live in dire poverty. He’s had enough of seeing his fellow kinsfolk slaughtered by ignorant Knights, of Imperfect babies being abandoned on the ice floes to be eaten by wild animals. His grandfather’s diary tells him how to increase the beat of the Heart the first step to making the land glorious once more. Arrogant as he is, he sets the machine in motion. All he needs is an army of Imperfect servitors to control the resulting power.
Isandor is Imperfect, an ex-Knight apprentice, betrayed by his best friend and running for his life.
The queen Jevaithi is Imperfect, living like a prisoner amidst leering Knights, surviving only because the common people would rebel if their beloved queen were harmed.
Both are young and desperate and should be grateful that Tandor wants to rescue them from their hopeless situations. Or so he thinks. The youngsters, however, have no inclination to become heartless ghosts, but while they defy Tandor, the Heart beats, and he alone cannot control its power.

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Writers of the Future Vol. 27
For readers in Australia, I have copies available for A$15, which includes postage anywhere in Australia. If you’re in NZ, add another A$5. Payment is through Paypal. Respond here, or DM on Twitter or Facebook, or email me at patty@capricornica.com if you’d like a copy.

The stories:

The Unreachable Voices of Ghosts – Jeffrey Lyman
Maddy Dune’s Frist and Only Spelling Bee – Patrick O’Sullivan
The Truth, from a Lie of Convenience – Brennan Harvey
In Apprehension, How Like a God – R.P.L. Johnson
An Acolyte of Black Spires – Ryan Harvey
The Dualist – Van Aaron Hughes
Bonehouse – Keffy R.M. Kehrli
This Peaceful State of War – Patty Jansen
Sailing the Sky Sea – Geir Lanesskog
Unfamiliar Territory – Ben Mann
Medic! – Adam Perrin
Vector Victoria – D.A. D’Amico
The Sundial – John Arkwright

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Watcher’s Web

She’s not your ordinary country girl, even though she might look like one. She casts webs of power, reading the feelings of living beings and telling them what to do. Nobody knows what causes it, least of all her. Her name is Jessica, but most people call her ‘freak’.
One fateful day, her ‘web’ connects with a stranger, and stray power causes the plane in which she’s travelling to crash in an alien world. An accident? The more she discovers about the world in which she has landed, the more she doubts it. She is a survivor from an ancient race that once travelled the stars. Her ancestors were powerful and dangerous, and it seems at least two people want her: the man who invades her mind, and the man who’s desperate to help her get back home. But Jessica grew up an Earth girl, and isn’t having any of this. She’ll pander to no one, thank you very much, even if her stubbornness enrages the tyrant race who hold the world in their grip.

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Watcher's Web

Out of Here

This collection contains fantasy and Science Fiction short stories that have all been published previously in venues like the Edge of Propinquity, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Byzarium, M-Brane SF, Realms, and many others.

Table of Contents:

Highway – Infinitas Newsletter
Bigger Fish – Fantastic Wonder Stories Anthology
Black Dragon – The Edge of Propinquity
Mass Extinction – Antipodean SF
Legal Aliens – Semaphore
Little Boy Lost – Midnight Echo
The Ten Days of Madness – Antipodean SF
From the Parrot’s Mouth – Beyond Centauri
Metal Dragon – Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Never on a Birthday – Byzarium
Out of Here – M-Brane SF
Raven’s Call – Realms
Taking back the Words – Ticonderoga Online
The Only One He Ever Feared – Fly in Amber
The Weed Eaters – The Fat Man At The End of the World Anthology
Straight through the Heart – ZineWest
To Look at the Sky – Semaphore SF
The Invisible Fleas of the Galaxy – M-Brane SF

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Out of Here

The Far Horizon

Of all the things ten-year-old Cory Wilson expects to do when he moves to Midway Space Station, saving aliens from humans isn’t one. An important conference is about to start at the station, not usually the sort of thing kids care about, not even when the conference is between humans and aliens, and half your family is alien. However, when bullies tease Cory, he ends up in a prohibited area where he overhears some men planning to plant a bomb at the conference. Because the terrorists hide their messages in computer games, no one believes Cory, not even his father, the station director. Kids at school think he’s crazy, some even think aliens should be bombed. The conference starts, the aliens have brought a very important person, and Cory’s teacher, one of the terrorists, locks Cory in the classroom. Can he get out in time? If he does, will anyone listen?

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The Far Horizon

His Name In Lights

A novelette originally published in the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette.
Daniel and his brother Oscar are half-machine, half-human adapted to space. Part of a commercial venture, they are working on a contract for a government-based institution on the weird and dangerous moon Io. It’s a routine project until an accident puts their lives in danger, and results in a difficult situation between their company and their employer.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Whispering Willows

A short story, a teaser for a novel to be released later.
Friends and family on the farm know that Loesie makes up most of the things she says about magic. So the one time she tells the truth, they don’t believe her.

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Whispering Willows


Stripped bare – a lighthearted guide to getting the best out of writers’ critique groups

Some people consider writing groups to be an essential element in the aspirational fiction writer’s career. These groups, whether face-to-face or online, can be a lot of fun, if you know what to expect and what not to expect. This is a guide to the writer new to writers’ groups by an author who has spent more than six years in a number of different writing communities and has used the experience to kickstart a writing career.

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Stripped bare - a light-hearted guide to getting the most out of writers' critique groups