Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I Shall Return




My computer has died. God rest her soul. I have purchased another but since I live on the dangerous edge of nowhere, it will be a few days before I can expect delivery. Like the good General said, "I shall return."

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Little Bit of Xylanthia (Goes a Long Ways)

This is a bit taken from the first chapter of Xylanthia. About 400 years from our present time, faster than light starships are used to explore the universe. Corporate conglomerates run the Earth and off-planet exploration offers riches and adventure as well as an abundance of danger.

They say the older you get, the faster time flies. Of course, it just seems that way. To Mackenzie, it was as though life had just begun: a dream job, a move to the city, training sessions, new friends. Within a week, home and hearth was far away and insignificant. She didn't miss it at all.

There was good reason for the easy adaptation. Like the other initiates, Mac was given a neuro-treatment that smoothed out the rough places in her memories. The procedure was part of the program for all "traveling" company initiates. "Traveling" being an insider's reference to the class of Braithwaite employees who volunteered for deep space operations.

It was Mac's life ambition to travel to other worlds. Trained in chemistry and biophysics and laboratory procedures, she proudly called herself a scientist; a junior scientist, to be sure, but a woman of science, rationale, and reason. Her parents, never once thinking their daughter would actually be hired by one of the mega-corps, encouraged her dreams and their support was revealed in Mac's good marks in school and, other than one small incident, a sparkling conduct record.

To their utter consternation, Mac was selected by Braithwaite from the yearly field of recruits. Everyone wanted to work for one of the mega-corps and why not? A job with one of the big boys and one was set for life. Which was fine, but Mac wanted to travel off-planet, which meant Faster-Than-Light travel over long distances. Neither of Mac's parents were physicists but they knew if Mac went "out there," by the time she returned they would likely be dead and gone. They would never see their daughter again.

Mac loved her parents but in all honesty, they were victims of modern society and had divorced, re-married, divorced again until the whole idea of family came to be a hassle. Early on, Mac knew she could leave it all behind.

Her neuro-scan revealed nuances about Mac's psychology and provided a map for enhancement. Space voyagers had to be calm, steady, and physically fit. Removing traumatic memory helped to attain the desired state of mind. Afterwards, Mac felt wonderful, but she could no longer remember what her brother looked like. She had a relationship with a boy her first year in college, but she could not remember his face either or his name. The neurologists also took away the memory of a broken arm from falling out of a tree when Mac was six. Things like that. The memories turned out to be just like her thoughts of home: she did not miss them at all.

She loved the city but an accelerated training schedule called for her transfer to one of the great orbital platforms where she trained and attended classes. She was told she was selected specifically to support the survey mission to Sirius, to a moon in orbit around the great gas giant Xylanthia where her talents as a bio-surveyor were required. Turns out the place was crazy with wildlife.

The mission was already established and needed more personnel to help catalog all the new species. And so it was to be Mac and another young woman, Tyra Yasmin, who would be put into suspended animation and sent the six light years to the binary system via a fully automated starship.

Tyra's background was similar to Mac's. She was a new company employee and the rumor mill claimed she was brilliant and destined for big things. Tyra made Mac uncomfortable on the shuttle ride into orbit by staring so long that Mac finally asked, “Can I help you?”

Tyra shook her head, said no, and turned away.

Well, thought Mac, women were like that. We size up one another according to strengths and weaknesses. Tyra was fit, larger than Mac, and had a brilliant resume. It was likely she was looking to become the dominant female on this trip. Mac sighed. There’s one in every crowd.

***

You can pick up a digital copy of Xylanthia at Smashwords, or Amazon, or Apple iBooks. Barnes & Noble sells it online too.

Xylanthia is science fiction, action-adventure and the first book of a trilogy, entitled The Xylanthian Chronicles. The 2nd and 3rd books are, respectively, Return to Xylanthia, and The Galactic Center.

Thomas Stone author page on Amazon.
Official Thomas C. Stone interweb landing site.

"Some people say I'm crazy. Sometimes they're right. I used to be a prince, I used to be a king, I used to be clever, I used to wear a ring..."


"The Xylanthian Trilogy is extraordinary... a wonderful reading experience. Thoughtful."

"Transcendental science fiction. Quite simply, the best 21st century sci-fi tale to date."

"Loved every page. Mac Maquire is the shit!"

Thursday, March 21, 2019

OMG, It's On! They're Here!


They appear to be abducting beings of higher consciousness before wiping out the human race!
We're doomed!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Bienvenidos, Wilkommen, Bonjour and So On...

Jimmy Startled
Hey now, friends and neighbors, welcome to Look At My Thumb. TommyBoy and I created this place as a respite from the daily grind of fighting the culture wars. We wanted to make a blog that would offer gentle entertainment instead of our usual hammering and yammering on about social and political corruption. So, don't expect heavy conversation here. Our goal is to be more artsy and provide TommyBoy a place to sell books, which, BTW, if you haven't been following him as a fiction writer, you're really missing out. Reading for pleasure seems to be fading from our culture, but TommyBoy is trying to change that. If you get a chance, purchase one of his books -- heck, purchase all of them, the ebooks are inexpensive. He's a great storyteller and any one of his books is worth the time. Personally, I like the one entitled Smolif, but the Xylanthia trilogy is epic (and a long reading experience).

If you're searching for more heady topics (political & cultural commentary), surf over to startledawake.blogspot.com.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Heroes


Your Choice

Click to enlarge.
To my surprise, some people would rather be Han Solo than Captain Kirk. Others said they would rather be this guy with the perfect mustache:

Oh, and the Dude abides.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Here Comes Viking Privilege

"O-din, O-din, send the wind and turn the tide..."

Tell me what movie the line comes from and I will send you a PDF of my latest, as yet unreleased novel, Sandy Pearl and the Blades. It's only the best damn book you'll ever read. The first person to get it right is a bloody genius.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Always be yourself unless, of course, you can be Captain Kirk.