The book comprises a collection of some 14 fast paced, action packed science fiction and science fantasy short stories.
In “Task Force to Earth XXX” heli-carrier forces from an Earth dominated by Greater Britain are able to re-enter a parallel Earth for the first time in the 30 years since that alternate reality was subjected to alien invasion. “Trathh – Return to Empire” continues the Trathh story arc as the mighty Trathh returns to his part of the Universe to find the oppressive Empire in the midst of a life and death struggle against an even more malevolent enemy.
“Daughter of the High Lords”, pits the High Lord race and the Brell super power empire against the Coordinator of All Realities as Garthhe an enigmatic entity from an equally enigmatic race seeks to rescue, Raechelle, daughter of the High Lords. In “The Search for Humanity” the far flung human race disappears without explanation from the upper reaches of time. By law the fearsome Xelk in “Human Hunter” should not be plying their trade on Earth. Should they?
In Broolt the Universe’s most formidable star trooper is confronted with an Asgard gutted and somehow transported to the other side of the Universe. While in “Grief Counselors” a new firm has something quite different to offer.
Also in “Reality Check” alternate reality travelers coming home must make sure they are returning to the right reality. In “Past his used by Date” older people who have passed their actuarial expectation of life are reported to authorities by watchful neighbors. In “Search Mission” the survivors of an ancient starship crash are a bit coy about being found. And much more.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A long time interest in science fiction and science fantasy books and movies and a desire to give something back to the genre.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
One or two were loosely based on people I once knew and respected. Some were very loosely based on existing characters though the final product was vastly different. Some came out of a skill set, power level and/or other characteristics relevant to the plot and the character built around that. Often I dream up a new character while on very long walks.
Soldier of the Rorne
Just outside Canberra, Australia
The human form male entity was kneeling by the roadside looking disoriented. Dressed in a metallic blue-grey semi military style outfit with some unfathomable attachments.
“Are you all all right?” enquired Rachel stopping her SUV.
He hesitated as if gathering his thoughts. Then spoke slowly as if unfamiliar with the language he used.
“Thank you for your kindness, I have some memory loss, but this is normal in my circumstances. It will return as I rest for a while. The journey always takes it out of you but I see that I am where I should be.”
Rachel knew immediately that he was not “from around here” or anywhere else that she had heard of or probably could even imagine. Still she offered him a room for a few days at her nearby farmhouse and decided to let him tell his story in his own time. If he chose to.
Rachel enquired as to his name but he seemed unable to provide an answer even struggling with the concept.
Before resting at Rachel’s home he withdrew a piece of instrumentation – pulsating light tracers left it in several different directions then converged above a large shed at the edge of Rachel’s property.
These are the coordinates, this is the place,” he said pointing to the shed. Have you ever witnessed anything unusual here?”
Rachel’s mind raced. She recalled stories of strange happenings decades ago as told by her grandfather.
* * *
The “man” spent more than two weeks at Rachel’s home then the sole reason for his being here crystallized.
As the dimensional aperture above Rachel’s shed appeared she saw the fearsome Xyylk gathering to cross over. They were too horrific for her mind to fully process and she “saw” instead what was only a filtered approximation.
The “man’s” task was to stop them gaining any kind of beachhead. To defeat them right at the dimensional interface. He did so destroying the dimensional aperture in the process. At the cost of his own life.
The destruction of the interdimensional aperture had a finality about it.
Rachel realized that he had come here to die for a world he hardly knew. She knew a sadness out of all proportion to the length of his stay here. He did not even have a name but explained that he was a soldier of a race known as the Rorne. Soldier 13849734.
She was grateful that she had been able to show him some kindness during his short stay and to tell him a little of our world.
* * *
Rachel and her daughter were at the modest grave site when the alien came.
It had been years but she immediately recognized the metallic blue grey semi-military uniform. Then as he came closer she saw that he had his father’s eyes.
“The war with the Xyylk is over,” he said “we, the Rorne, have won.” He did not say this in any triumphal way and chose not to elaborate on what had been the Multiverse’s most horrific war. Simply stating “I have come to see where my father died.”
Rachel wondered if the alien would be bitter. That his father had died so far from home. For a world of which the son probably knew nothing. She was wrong – if his father could die for a world he could certainly learn as much about it as possible. As he had done.
“The authorities here do not know of your father and what happened here,” said Rachel sympathetically “we kept things simple and avoided complications.”
“Dad would have wanted it that way,” came the reply “he is remembered where it counts.”
And in our hearts too Rachel thought.
There was silence for a long time.
“Will you be taking his remains with you,” Rachel enquired somberly.
“No we do not do that,” came the reply “Rorne soldiers are buried on the world where they die. It is our way”
Inwardly Rachel breathed a sigh of relief.
“This is your half sister,” she said quietly.
“I know, I can feel it,” the third generation soldier of the Rorne embraced his half sibling. Rachel smiled.
“We gave your father a name,” she said, tears welling in her eyes “an Earth name “Orin” you can see it on the small grave stone along with his soldier number.”
The son of soldier of the Rorne 13849734 (aka Orin) smiled.
“Thank you, he said quietly.
I’ve written more than 120 speculative fiction short stories in the 7 years I have been writing speculative fiction. Some of these have been published in the six collections of short stories and two novellas I have written all of which are on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/David-Scholes/e/B002D657LQ
Currently I am working on another collection of short speculative fiction stories for publication later this year.
I have been a regular contributor to both the Antipodean SF and the Beam Me Up Pod cast sites and have also been published on a variety of other sci-fi sites such as Bewildering Stories, 365 Tomorrows, and Farther Stars Than These.
I have written two story arcs: the 12 part Alien Hunter series for the then Golden Visions magazine (in 2011/12) (which was the basis for my subsequent Alien Hunter, Star Trooper novella) and the Trathh story arc for the Beam Me Up Pod Cast site (in 2012/13). Currently I’m writing a Human Hunter story arc also for the Beam Me Up Pod Cast site.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!