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Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 10

The autolutes began to play. Their notes rippled through the viscous floral air and soon became an indiscernible warbling drone. The canopy began to shake as if a strong wind was pushing on it and there were several sharp cracks above. Shards of wood rained down, followed immediately by the shadowy forms of six Lantern Hawks. The creatures clove the stagnant air and glided about the village with wings outspread and locked in place. One by one, they swung towards the suspended Lampflower and fell into a circular pattern around it.

Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 3

He surfaced in a large room with a low ceiling. It was lit warmly, though he saw no visible source of illumination. The walls were pale and smooth, and a rug of tightly knit blue and green fibers covered the floor. A small desk with a cushion to kneel on looked out the sole window onto a tangle of branches and leaves. A slim, fragile door without a handle led into the only other room. The Admiral sat on a chair made of woven reeds, watching the Officer with a wide, toothy grin. In the close, welcoming light of his quarters, his eyes were brilliant pebbles.

Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 2

The earth was dark-brown, almost black, and smooth as a tightly drawn canvas. Narrow furrows were etched into the ground, forming giant looping spirals. Wooden buildings several stories high circled the area. Though they were built on stilts, they nevertheless curved upwards into top-heavy bungalows. Elaborate scrollwork decorated the facades, the roofs were thatched with light-green filaments, and brightly colored banners streamed from randomly protruding nodules on each.

Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 1

An idle wind blew across the lake. A giant infernal sun gazed overhead through a gap in the tree canopy, tracing the roving swells in metallic red. On the banks sat a lone man watching the ebb and flow of all around him. The water, the wide leaves of the trees, the grass and the reeds all moved to the same unsteady meter. In the distance he thought he heard the musical plucking of strings, but he couldn’t be sure.

First Light

This is a synopsis and sample chapter of my book "First Light"


A story of hope in a grey world.

On the harsh militant world of Sindorus, where even colours are considered sinful, three people living very separate lives are about to have those lives change forever. As deceptions are torn away, and ancient secrets brought to light, they each must struggle to find the missing pieces to the puzzle...answers that will unlock their true destiny.

Paul B. Hartzog's picture

Forrest J Ackerman, writer-editor who coined 'sci-fi,' dies at 92

Forrest J Ackerman, who influenced a generation of young horror movie fans with Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and spent a lifetime amassing what has been called the world's largest personal collection of science fiction and fantasy memorabilia, has died. He was 92.

Ackerman, a writer, editor and literary agent who has been credited with coining the term "sci-fi" in the 1950s, died Thursday of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles, said John Sasser, a friend who is making a documentary on Ackerman.,0,71791...


Wrote this one when I was about 16 . . . And it shows.

The Magmatic Fear 2

At his personal quarters he sought relaxation among the project’s latest technical evaluations. This sheaf of neutered virgin white documents, firm and reassuring as an ax handle in his grasp, expertly belied the true reality of the past week’s events. Nowhere in its sterile language was any hint of a billion dollars in unforeseen expense, nor a whisper of the pending class action lawsuit from the displaced natives and their slick east coast civil liberties lawyer.

The Magmatic Fear 1

The Magmatic Fear

The only thing on his mind as he finished the final equipment check was a hot meal and a Marlborough 100. Then he heard a lilting oath on the wind followed by a short burst of laughter and his dreams evaporated. Sure enough, there was his boss Freddy Davis charging up the hill inside a greyish cloud of dust; the wind strove desperately to unseat the tan cowboy hat from his head and reveal the pasty bald scalp beneath, but nothing could overcome the force of his hand on the brim.

Paul B. Hartzog's picture

SF Novelists Blog

SF Novelists is a new group blog by dozens of science fiction novelists, where they're talking about the work of being an sf writer -- the nitty gritty of writing, managing your career, and all the minutae of life in a very strange trade indeed. The contributor list is incredibly impressive, too.

Massively multiwriter SF novelists' group blog