Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Teaser EXPLORER X - ALPHA battle between Aadi and Tacitus

This is a teaser from EXPLORER X – ALPHA.

This teaser takes place during a training simulation where Aadi and his team are undergoing their final challenge. They are competing against each other to win the coveted spot of lead flyer at the first expedition to Mars. They were broken up into teams and Aadi and Eirena are being attacked.

“Eirena! Damien’s coming at you! Turn around! Now!” Aadi warned as he turned in her direction and started running out of the water to try to help her.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Aadi heard Tacitus calmly state before he felt the tight grip of a lasso yoke him and then jerking him back into the water.

He let out a grunt as the suffocating rope tightened on his throat. Aadi fought to think clearly. I have to get this rope off my neck. He let the metal box fall, and the chain was still wrapped around his wrist. He struggled to fight to keep his balance. Then, he wormed his fingers between the rope and his neck and started to stand up as Tacitus stood behind him. Tacitus jerked the rope to force him back down onto his back.

Frustration filled him, and Aadi suddenly got angry. He quickly stood, twisted around, grabbed, and then pulled the rope. It jerked Tacitus within punching distance. He swung the metal box up into his hands against Tacitus’s arm with all his might. Tacitus lost the tight grip he had on the rope and Aadi. Without thought beyond the anger and determination he felt, he pulled the rope out of Tacitus’s hand. Aadi wanted this off his neck.

He put his hands through the loop and yanked the rope from his neck while he held the other end of the lasso in order to use it on Tacitus. Tacitus quickly recovered, and before Aadi could swing the lasso at him, he punched Aadi in the chest. Aadi went into flight and fell on his back in the water.

Aadi felt the cold water splash around his form-fitting helmet, and the sharpness of the impact caused him to see light between his eyes. He fought through the sensation and quickly jumped up to a squat. Determination hit him as the tingling sensation of adrenaline pumped through his blood. He felt a surge of anger as he jumped up to a fighting stance with the metal box in one hand and the rope in another. Aadi thought, I’ve got to bring him down. He knew that Tacitus wouldn’t let up, but neither would he.

Aadi then whipped the rope around to land a smack to Tacitus’s face and ran to slide across the water to build momentum to land a blow to Tacitus’s nose with his hand holding the metal box. He didn’t think but felt the rush of adrenaline before he delivered a failing blow to Tacitus’s nose. Tacitus’s head jerked back with a sharp turn to the side, only to snap back in place as he landed a blow to Aadi’s chest. A large gust of air burst from Aadi’s lungs with the blow as he slid back a few feet from where Tacitus stood. He was too focused on winning to let the sharp, piercing pain of the blow falter him. He wrapped the rope securely around his hand and swung the lasso with precision.

The lasso flew at Tacitus and snaked around his neck. Aadi charged at Tacitus, and with his hand wrapped around the metal box, he punched Tacitus with all the strength that the adrenaline rush gave him. It bought Tacitus to his knees, and Aadi sighed relief as Tacitus was a hard fighter – much harder than he would have ever anticipated.

Tacitus slowly turned his face toward Aadi. Aadi started to prepare to land the fatal blow. Then, Tacitus lifted his hand to catch Aadi’s hand that held the metal supply pack and said “Fun is over… this is mine.”

Tacitus jerked the rope that Aadi held with his left hand and pulled the metal supply pack off Aadi’s other hand, holding it firmly in his hand and with the metal box firmly in place. Tacitus returned Aadi’s look of frustration with a grin and used the metal box to land the fatal blow to his jaw.

Aadi thought, Duck, duck! But it was too late, as he saw darkness and felt a piercing pain on the left side of his head.

Aadi woke up to someone calling his name. “Aadi! Aadi!” Scott said as he shook Aadi’s arm. “Aadi, wake up! Wake up!”

“Ugh, man, my head hurts… bad!” Aadi said. He sat up and bent his knees, then put his hand to his head.

“Uh, Aadi? You do know you are out of the simulation?” Scott said, then put a hand on Aadi’s shoulder.

“You’ve got to be kidding me! Who is Eirena in there fighting? Damien and Tacitus both? She’ll never survive. They’re fighting dirty,” Aadi said and rushed to stand, He took a moment to balance himself on Scott’s shoulder.

“Well, it looks like she only has Damien to deal with. Tacitus is moving toward the last supply pack. However, I think she is still in for quite a battle,” Scott said.

“Aw, man! Why did I come out first? I really wanted to bring Damien down,” Aadi said. He finally got his equilibrium back and could stand on his own.

“Because Tacitus just wants to get it over with. Damien, though, just loves to drag out a fight,” Scott said and patted Aadi on the back. They both left the simulation area to view the big screen to watch the rest of the simulation play out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Okay, I admit it. I am an undercover geek. I love science, and it’s one of the reasons I love writing science fiction. Here are the nerdy facts about myself: I am in the IT field, heck I even teach IT courses occasionally, I write young adult science fiction novels for fun, and I read science journals for fun. Ooops! I’ve been exposed.

It amazes me when I read scientific journals of the leaps and bounds made in technology. One of the teasers I torment my students with is that most techie types that go into the IT field do so with dreams of grandeur. They want to build the next cutting edge technology or other. I personally wanted to go into Artificial Intelligence. However, I never seemed lucky enough to land a job where I actually was involved in a great science challenge like that. In most cases, newbie engineers realize that creating technology of any kind is actually rather boring. It consists of a lot of research, writing, planning, writing, research (oh, am I repeating – well that’s what it requires) before you ever start to create anything useful. So, what did I do? I started to write books about the gadgets and widgets that I had hoped one day to create.


Prosthetics: Did you know that sciencetist have created prototype prosthetics that can actually FEEL?! They can also pick up something as small as a grape? Well, let’s kick it up a notch, and say that the user can control the prosthetic by brain waves. There are current technological advances that prove that this is possible.

Human thoughts can control technology: Did you know that technology exist, that allow human subjects to speak mentally (using brain waves) to computers? Amazing!

Animated Holograms: Did you know that an interactive ecosystem has been made, that allows children to create trees or other objects with their body. Also this technology was utilized to create a giant sea monster in the Tokyo Bay to promote the film, “The Water Horse.” These are forms of Heliodisplay technology that projects video onto the thin air.

Cloning: Let’s not forget this! Currently scientist are working on perfecting the cloning of human embryos for study of stem cells which could lead to curing infertility problems of hosts, and curing other known diseases.

The list goes on and on. Soon as a science fiction writer I will have to push myself further and further to come up with new ideas that can shape the minds of young scientist of the future.

Friday, September 18, 2009

MY GUILTY PLEASURES – Going to the movies

I have several guilty pleasures. Simple things that I just don’t think I would survive if for some reason they were taken away. Okay, here they are; chocolate, writing, traveling and going to the movies.

Before I started promoting my book, we went to the movies every Friday. My husband and I were the head critiques of the movies we viewed and would ask the kids (the time that they would accompany us) their opinions.

This week was the first time I have gone to the movies with my family in months, and I have been suffering because of it. So today, I took off of work, and after I ran all of my errands, I called my husband to play hooky from his job and join me to see the movie 9.

Now, just so you know, I am an easy going movie critic. I go to the movies simply to be entertained. My expectations on plot depend on my expectations of a movie. If it’s Horror, Sci-Fi, Action Adventure or Animated I don’t expect the plot to be strong. Quite frankly for those types of movies, I just want an awesome ride.

My Movie Review of 9

Truthfully I don’t really seek out Tim Burton’s twisted tales. I mistakenly took my scaredy-cat daughter to see Caroline and she was never the same (LOL). This time, I didn’t take her. I took my husband.

Of course it was dark, and there was a story line based on the twisted fate of humanity over machines and saving the human soul. Truth be told I enjoyed it, but I would only give it a lukewarm rating like 2.5 stars. I was disappointed in the ending, and the action was just okay. I really think that they had an opportunity to do so much more for the movie, but to be honest my expectations weren’t that high so I just simply enjoyed being enveloped in this tale.

After that movie, I went home and watched THE MATRIX to get my high action fix for the weekend.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How I, a Sci-Fi Author Build Worlds – My perspective of World Building

World Building ... my way

I once participated in a Sci-Fi critique group, where one of the authors asked about World Building. Our leader never expanded on this topic. When this topic was bought up, I pondered what I did when I build the many worlds I create for my books.

I believe everyone has their own methods. However, here are some of mine that help me throughout the process.


I love to travel, as I have mentioned many times before. Traveling and exposing yourself to different wonders of our world can be a catalyst for the creation of your new world.


If traveling is not possible, or even if it is, take time to study and observe your surroundings. Things that may not seem interesting initially can become an integral part of the world you create. When you are walking, or touring areas take your time, allow your imagination to go beyond the obvious and ask yourself many questions. For example, when I am flying in an airplane, I ask myself, “What if the clouds were black, blue, grey?” What if the sun was white? Or lower to the ground? What if the plants had fingers? Push yourself to expand on the world around you.


I do a lot of research on the internet. Truth be told, I don’t do a lot of reading, I just look at pictures. I tend to look at pictures for a long time, and sit back and see if it fits into my world.

I note what extremes I want my world to have.

I note what rules my world should have.

I note what kind of species could live in that world.

How would a human sustain this environment?

Should I create something artificial in order to allow my humans to live here?


I draw out parts of my world or cut out pictures of places or things that fit in the world I am starting to create.


I tend to create this elaborate world, and then I take out a lot of the microscopic pieces that I believe the reader can fill in. However, I give the backdrop in the world the reader creates. I note the rules for that world, its species, animals and weaknesses.


Research other mythological worlds, and change them, pervert them or and enhance them to fit your characters needs.


Address the main guidepost of your world. How is it powered? Is it advanced? Is it rugged? What’s the climate? What does the land look like? Does it has a sun or moon? Are there animals there? What are the major species?


Note how your character fits into this world? Are they from here? Do they visit? How do they survive? Communicate with the species on this planet?

When I world build it comes natural to me, because I’ve always loved science and like to spend time pondering its wonders. However, taking notes, going exploring, drawing it out, and making DA RULES has helped me greatly in creating the worlds in my novels.