Tag Archives: Distant Horizon Universe

Thoughts on Writing – Flash Fiction – “Into the Dark”

A while back I posted a couple flash fiction pieces based on the prompt, “Unicorn.”

Today, after a group meeting regarding flash fiction, Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch (A flash fiction writing community), gave us the prompt, “Into the Dark.”

For the purpose of these prompts, flash fiction is fiction with an exact count of 99 words.

I decided to write two variations. One that is unrelated to my other stories and is “lighter” in tone. The other is based on the events of Spirits of a Glitch / Fractured Skies, and is darker in tone.

Isaac also wrote a flash fiction piece. Since he doesn’t have a blog, I’m posting it for him here.

Enjoy. 😀

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“Freedom in the Darkness”

by Stephanie Flint

(Contemporary / Portal Fantasy)

Locust trees stand fast in the brambly forest before her, their long thorns defying the night wind, a forest dark with promising secrets. The steel gray sky flashes light. Flocks of swirling birds race the wind, specks of coal dust against the embers of clouds.

She wraps her arms tight around her sundress. One hesitant step after another, closer to the forest. The chilly wind raises gooseflesh along her bare neck.

A glance behind, to safety.

Thunder growls behind a distant farmstead. Cows shuffle close to the chicken coop.

They have safety, but her freedom lies in the darkness.

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“Stalling”

by Stephanie Flint

(Based on the events of Spirits of a Glitch / Fractured Skies)

The agent holds his rifle close. Sweat trickles from his forehead, dripping into his eyes. Quick blinks. Fear… he senses danger around the corner. The seething, burning wrongness presses against his powers, then pulls.

Pulls at his spirit, his life…

Angry spirits, thirsting for revenge.

He swallows hard. The looming hall twists before him, his terror spinning familiar architecture into an uncertain whirl of rich rugs, steel doors, and clockwork lamps.

Clockwork lamps tick, tick, ticking until the generator stalls.

The hall goes dark.

Burning voices whisper in his head with cold, eager glee.

We are Legion… join us.

*

“Day of the Hawk”

by Isaac Flint

His nose fell to the ground, his whiskers twitched, his pupils constricted. He’d stayed out too late. The sun was out; the Hawk was out. His heart raced. He took to his feet across the garden.

A swoosh in the wind, his ears perked, he dodged around a stone, slid under a vine, splashed in a puddle.

The wind brought the scent of sundried feathers. He thought of pups, he thought of his mate. He was glad they were not in the sun. They were safe, deep down in the burrow, where he would soon go, into the dark.

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I hope you enjoyed this post. Though we were a bit late for the Carrot Ranch “Into the Dark” prompt, if you want to participate in their weekly posts, head over to Carrot Ranch. 🙂

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Fractured Skies Ebook Pre-orders are now live!

Woot! Exciting news! *And a happy dance.*

Almost two years after the release of Distant Horizon, the second book in the series is now slated to release on October 9th of this year…

That is, Fractured Skies is now available for pre-order as an ebook, and will soon be available for purchase! 😀

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Fractured Skies

YA Sci-Fi Dystopian Thriller

Fractured Skies

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Here’s a look at the blurb:

Not all monsters are beasts.

The government’s secret transformation of beasts—subhuman creatures made from humans with powers—means that the Community’s utopian ideals of safety and security are lies.

Thanks to a high-ranking telepath, nineteen-year-old Jenna Nickleson knows what it’s like to go through one of those transformations. During a mission for the rebellion, the telepath cursed her with false “memory seeds” that attack her mind with horrifying visions of being turned into a beast.

If Jenna ever wants to see the Community be secure, she needs to figure out how to end the transformations, remove the government making her cherished Community a front for a nightmare, and get those memory seeds out of her head before she loses herself.

And here’s an excerpt! 😀

I stepped over Quin’s legs into the other room. He still stared at the wall, his expression blank. I bit my lip, and then slid down next to him. “Hey.”

“Done eavesdropping?”

I stared at him. He hadn’t moved an inch, save to speak. His hands were clasped over his knees, his chin tilted toward the glass window in the ceiling. His black hair was cropped less than half an inch from his ears in a Community-oriented hairstyle, though he wasn’t Community. He had a rounded face, a smooth, beardless chin, and a lean form. His tunic hugged his chest, but gave his arms space for movement.

“You heard me?” I wrapped my vines close. This guy could easily beat me in a fight. Hopefully Pops was right to trust him.

“Didn’t hear you,” he corrected me, still staring at the window. Aside from the reflection of that creepy blue light, there was nothing of interest outside. “You walked by, but once you went to the other room, they didn’t acknowledge your presence. I figured you were trying not to be seen.”

“Um…” I closed my mouth, not really sure what to say. “Does it… I mean—”

A small smile formed at the edge of his lips. “I’m not mad at you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“She’s your partner, so I didn’t know—”

He snorted, still staring at that confounded window. “She’s my sister, and I’m a mercenary. Mercenaries eavesdrop.”

“I’m not a mercenary,” I protested, vines quivering with annoyance. Months ago, they responded to my thoughts at a snail’s pace. Now they responded to all my thoughts.
“I didn’t say you were.”

I scowled. “You implied it.”

“No. I meant only that if I eavesdrop, I should not be angry when others eavesdrop.”

I blinked. Someone who worked for the Camaraderie who talked sense? “Who are you?”

His smile widened. “My name’s Quin. I’m a mercenary.”

“Why?” I asked. “If it hurts people—”

“We need influence to survive.” He stretched out his legs. “For influence, which equates to power, we need money.”

At least he and Private Eye had their stories straight, though I didn’t think Private Eye had been staring so insistently at a window. I pulled my knees to my chest. “What’s so great about power?”

“There’s safety with power. A sense of security, of being someone.”

“The Community is safe, and it doesn’t have power,” I retorted automatically. But with the dead rioters above us and the students being sent to beastie plants, I couldn’t say that. Not really.

“You don’t seem so certain.” Quin held my eyes with his. I swallowed hard. If he wanted power, he had it then. With his enhanced persuasion ability, I couldn’t look away if I wanted to.

“How? How do they have power?” I squeezed my knees tight. This was unnerving. He’d had a staring contest with a window, and though windows didn’t normally blink, I didn’t think the window won.

“The Camaraderie of Evil is power. They hand their power directly to E-Leadership, where it is passed to the Community. Almost everyone in the Community does what they are told, because that’s what is best. It’s a long chain, like a marionette holding a puppet, but nonetheless, it is power.”

That was it—why his expression held such authority. He was telling the truth he knew; a truth I didn’t want to admit existed.

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Click the link to your favorite retailer below and pre-order Fractured Skies today! 😀

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Spirits of a Glitch – Launch Day

Woot! Spirits of a Glitch is now available! 😀

This is the final book in Tim’s story, following what happens when a second terrifying airship made from shapeshifters and technology is created… only this one isn’t as obedient as the first.

With Spirits of a Glitch, the Glitch Saga is now complete, I’m off to work on other books in the Distant Horizon Universe. But, seeing as how those books still need editing before I can release them, why not check out Tim’s story in the meantime?

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Upper YA Science Fiction

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Spirits of a Glitch - Book Cover

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“We are legion. But you, Master Zaytsev, are only one…”

Nineteen-year-old council member, Tim Zaytsev, is tasked with removing glitches from the council’s newest living airship, the CLS Manticore. Like its predecessor, the Manticore is formed from living shapeshifters. Their minds were wiped and their memories erased, but the occasional “ghost” of their personalities remain.

Removing the “ghosts” should be simple after dealing with the first vessel. But the task descends into madness when the Manticore traps Tim within its fleshy walls and attempts to force him to join the shapeshifters who made the merge.

Determined to undermine the ship’s dangerous, telepathic games and convince the other council members that the ship is manipulating them, Tim must summon a courage he’s never had, the courage to stay and fight. But doing so would force him to confront the vessel alone—a path that can only end in his destruction.

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Buy now!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Haven’t read the first book yet? Sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter to read the first book, Whispers in the Code, for free!

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Enjoy! 😀

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Ghost of a Memory – Launch Day!

Hey, everybody! Today’s the launch day for Ghost of a Memory! 😀

Ghost of a Memory is the second book in The Glitch Saga, and continues the story of Tim Zaytsev as he attempts to reprogram a living airship made from shapeshifters. But the glitches are getting worse, and the Legion Spore’s rogue personality is threatening Tim’s sanity with a series of nightmares that are more real than Tim wants to believe.

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Ghost of a Memory

Upper YA Science Fiction

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Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Some ghosts refuse to be forgotten.

Nineteen-year-old council member, Tim Zaytsev, oversees the Legion Spore—a living airship made from shapeshifters. He’s tasked with removing glitches, fragments of the shapeshifters’ memories that reside as “ghosts” in the ship’s code.

But as he removes each glitch, the ship shows an alarming trend toward developing its own personality. It clearly prefers to work with Tim instead of his superiors, and its haunting dreams invade Tim’s sleep, filling his mind with false memories of an affair with the alluring Lady Black, a council member known for her seductive advances. As the dreams intensify, he can’t even look at his loving girlfriend without remembering Lady Black’s touch.

Determined to perform his duties to the council while remaining faithful, Tim searches for the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality. But as the dreams descend into nightmares, Tim begins to suspect they aren’t random glitches; they’re warnings from the “ghost” of Lady Black’s lover.

To ensure a lifetime with the woman he loves, Tim must find the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality before the vessel usurps his mind, trapping him like all the other “ghosts” in the code.

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Purchase Today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

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Haven’t read the first book yet? Sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter to read the first book, Whispers in the Code, for free!

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Enjoy! 🙂

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Ghost of a Memory – Available for Pre-order!

So, I don’t think I’ve shown you guys the book cover for Ghost of a Memory yet (unless you happen to be subscribed to the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter). But Isaac and I are happy to announce that the next book of the Glitch Saga is now available for pre-order! Ghost of a Memory will be published on February 26th,  so you don’t have to wait long before you can find out what happens next. It’s as fast-paced (if not more so) than Whispers in the Code, and you’ll get to read more about the illusive Lady Black, as well as the haunting Legion Spore.

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Ghost of a Memory

Available February 26th, 2018

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Some ghosts refuse to be forgotten.

Nineteen-year-old council member, Tim Zaytsev, oversees the Legion Spore—a living airship made from shapeshifters. He’s tasked with removing glitches, fragments of the shapeshifters’ memories that reside as “ghosts” in the ship’s code.

But as he removes each glitch, the ship shows an alarming trend toward developing its own personality. It clearly prefers to work with Tim instead of his superiors, and its haunting dreams invade Tim’s sleep, filling his mind with false memories of an affair with the alluring Lady Black, a council member known for her seductive advances. As the dreams intensify, he can’t even look at his loving girlfriend without remembering Lady Black’s touch.

Determined to perform his duties to the council while remaining faithful, Tim searches for the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality. But as the dreams descend into nightmares, Tim begins to suspect they aren’t random glitches; they’re warnings from the “ghost” of Lady Black’s lover.

To ensure a lifetime with the woman he loves, Tim must find the source of the Legion Spore’s rogue personality before the vessel usurps his mind, trapping him like all the other “ghosts” in the code.

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Pre-order Today!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | BN.com | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Goodreads

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Haven’t read the first book yet? Sign up for the Distant Horizon Universe newsletter to read Whispers in the Code for free!

* * *

Enjoy! 🙂

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