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17 November 2012 @ 11:20 pm
Gimme my rocker at the Old Spacers Home  
The Old Spacemen's Home is a running gag in the Brian Dailey Han Solo novels. And today I feel fairly ready for one. I'm 45...closer to retirement than college.

But since it is my birthday (for another hour yet) and because I was a lazybones today,
let me offer out the usual presents, in the best hobbit fashion.

Leave the title and your email in the screened comments and I will send you the ebook of your choice. Kerlak editions and Zombiality are print only.


And a sample of my current works!

Cliff Cody

Lieutenant Cliff Cody of the Space Exploration Rangers had always expected being stripped mostly naked on galaxy-wide holo-feed would be a great deal more fun. Instead, he stood on the portico of the Ranger headquarters on Terra, feeling his fair face turn as scarlet as the piping on his trousers while the Ranger High Command stripped the braid and insignia and buttons from his deep blue uniform. He kept his face blank, strong and proud, every inch a Ranger, even in disgrace.

Two years. He'd been a Ranger two years and was looking to make a swift climb up the ranks. The Pride of the Rangers, the holos called him. Legendary, after six amazingly successful missions, and the wet-dream of every spaceport boy from Terra to the Seventh World. Now, he was being cashiered.

The ceremonial sabers cut along his jacket sleeves and shoulders and then down his trouser legs, leaving him standing in only the regulation underwear and his boots. The boots came next and Cliff flinched. He liked those boots, they were perfectly broken in. The men beside him shackled his ankles and wrists.

“Cliff Cody, for your crimes against the Code of the Ranges and against the citizens of Terra and the Seven Worlds, we sentence you to life on Zeta Chi, the agricultural penal colony. No parole possible. Your name will be stricken from the Roll of the Rangers and your deeds expunged. There will be none to remember you.”

Two of his former classmates marched Cliff aboard the shuttle on the lawn. The cameras went away as the hatch closed. He held his head in his chained hands and waited for lift-off. With his face covered, he smiled.

Everything was going perfectly to plan

From the untitled serial:

Donall kept a steady beat on the bodhran as he danced in a circle, some of the steps borrowed from native dancers, some traditional from his people and some he made up on the spot. The rubes wouldn't know the difference. He lifted his blue-streaked face and gave a long ululation at the sun, and kept moving. The locals gathered around the medicine wagon, just like always.

Just like always. Dancing at noon and two and four, convincing the folks they were seeing a real Wild Irish Boy, Captured Off the Coast of Dungloe, Living in the Fashion of the Ancients, instead of a half-naked blue-painted son of an Ohio canal boatman. Backing up the Doc's play to sell more of the patent medicine that was their livelihood. Washing off the paint and driving the steam-powered medicine wagon while the Doc tinkered with the works. It was a living.

He dodged a penny someone threw and pointed the tipper in his hand to the small three-legged cauldron on the ground and never missed a step. Common enough. Some young tough trying to impress his girl by making the dancer lose his beat. More coins showered into the pot.

Dr. Phineas Featherstone's Amazing Restorative Tonic was his business, and if dancing wearing nothing but a skirt so short it showed his knees was the way to sell more, he would dance. The Doc could call it a kilt and rattle on about the traditional dress of the Celtic peoples, but for Donall it was a skirt. The only ties he had to Ireland were his Da's stories, his name and a few words of the language that the Doc had taught him.

The ladies frankly stared at his bare chest, painted with blue spirals, and his bare legs, striped in blue. The men looked on contemptuously, but one tall man in the back, all blond hair and sharp cheek bones, gave Domhnhall a hungry look that made him feel almost naked. He knew that look well enough and knew it meant an extra five dollars in the Doc's money box, as well as extra work for him. The crowd was about as big as it would be getting for a two o'clock show.

He gave another ululation and wound down his dance with a flourish. He made a pass with the tipper and said the few words of Irish Gaelic he knew, like a magician repeating magical words. In the thickest Irish brogue he had, the one patterned off his Da after a few drinks, he announced, “Blessings upon all your heads this fine day for joining us at Dr. Featherstone's! And now, the Doctor himself, himself!” He hated the redundancy, but the Doc claimed it was authentic.