Monthly Archives: April 2009

Teaser Tuesday

I blame Kristin for posting a teaser from her NaNo project last week. If she can get momentarily sidetracked by another project, then why can’t I?

Since college, I’ve been tinkering with three different series–one was the superhero series I posted a teaser from last time, a second is a sword and sorcery series, and the third is a sci-fi adventure series.  On some level, I’m always thinking about each of these, and it doesn’t take much–a movie, a TV show, a book–to send me off on a creative tangent.

Anyways…the other day I must have seen or heard something, because these characters started talking to me again.  And they are pushy.  And armed.

For the longest time the only sounds Cooper could hear were the beating of his own heart and the hissing of the surviving reptiles just around the bend in the corridor. He and his crew had fallen back to the side corridor that allowed access to the stasis chamber and Cooper had taken up position outside the hatchway while Laura and the others headed back through the chamber in an attempt to reach the Jamestown’s airlock undetected. Cooper knelt there, clutching his pulse blaster in one hand and holding Shaard’s grenade belt in the other. He checked his wrist-chrono. Laura and the others should be on the far side of the stasis chamber by now.

His comlink beeped twice. He threw the grenade belt over his shoulder and fished for the device in his pocket. “Go,” he said.

“We’re at the opposite end of the corridor,” Laura reported. “I can see the airlock hatch from here.”

“Okay,” Cooper said. “I’m going to send a little present around the corner in sixty seconds. Be ready to hustle.”

Returning the comlink to his pocket, Cooper picked up the grenade belt. He grabbed one of the thick cylinders and pressed the arming switch. The fuse indicator flashed green, then yellow, then red and the detonator began to beep steadily. He counted to ten and rolled the shock grenade around the corner. He could hear the creatures hissing and wreathing with excitement at the arrival of a possibly tasty new treat. Their tails sliced through the air, whipping against the bulkheads; their claws clattered against the deck plates. Cooper just hoped that he had gotten the grenade close enough to take out as many of the monsters as possible.

“Three…two…one.”

The entire corridor shook with the force of the explosion as an invisible wall of force and heat slammed into Cooper’s chest, throwing him back and knocking the breath from his lungs. Through the ringing in his ears, he could hear several of the creatures shrieking in agony. The smell of scorched metal mixed with charred flesh bit at his nostrils and a cloud of fine debris stung his eyes. Blaster in hand, he charged around the corner. Most of the creatures were lying scattered in the corridor, dead or dying. Cooper could hear some of them gurgling as blood and other fluids filled their lungs. Further down the corridor, Laura stood by the open airlock, waving him on. He made for the airlock, trying his best to sidestep the puddles of blood and gore collecting on the deck. Just to be on the safe side, Cooper squeezed off a quick shot into each creature he passed.

“How do you like my plan now?” he asked when he reached the hatch.

Laura just rolled her eyes. “Brag later,” she said. “I really don’t want to be here any more.” She disappeared into the airlock.

Cooper holstered his pulse blaster and started through the hatch when his boot caught on something. He looked down and saw a slender purple cable coiled around his ankle. As he tried to tug his foot free, the cable glistened under the overhead lighting with a metallic iridescence. He felt the hooked talons sink into his stomach before he heard the high-pitched shriek.

“Sonuva—” The warmth of his own blood was spreading across the front of his shirt and down his trousers. Cooper’s elbow instinctively shot back, connecting with the tight, muscled body of one of the creatures. He could smell its foul, fetid breath when it hissed in his ear.

The last thing Cooper felt before everything went black was a mouthful of needle-like teeth sinking into the flesh of his shoulder.

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I Don't Care What You Say, I'm Excited

I really liked The Da Vinci Code.  I also liked Angels & Demons.  (Actually, I think Angels & Demons is the better of the two.)  So, I was pretty excited when I heard that Dan Brown’s third Robert Langdon book, The Lost Symbol, is going to be published in September.

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I’ll be the first to admit that neither of these books are well-written.  But, they’re fun and sometimes that’s all I want.  Brown’s two Langdon books are also way better than his other novels, which read like they were pulled, half-finished, out of Michael Crichton’s garbage.

It should be noted that within moments of reading about this yesterday, I received emails from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble asking me if I would like to pre-order Brown’s forthcoming novel.  Oh Internet, you know me so well.

Help Me Do the Right Thing…

…you know you want to!

I signed up for the 2009 AIDS Walk New York on May 17.

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If you want to sponsor me, you can make a donation here.

Teaser Tuesday

After a bunch of folks have started posting teasers of their WIPs, I figured I’d throw my hat into the Teaser Tuesday ring.  Since this is my first stab at posting a teaser, I’m not sure how much background I should provide.  I’ll just say this is from an early chapter of my current untitled WIP, which is (theoretically) the first book in a series of superhero novels:

The force of the blast had thrown Douglas clear across the cluttered basement, where he landed amid a stack of musty old cardboard boxes.  He was soaked from head to toe.  His shirt clung to his body and water ran in tiny rivulets down his face, stinging his eyes.  Droplets clung to the lenses of his wire frame glasses.

Now he understood why they used to use water cannons as crowd control.  You put enough pressure behind it, and water could hit you like a speeding bus.  Not that Douglas had ever been hit by a speeding bus; but, after today, he was pretty sure he knew what it would feel like.

“Why did you come here?”

Douglas blinked, trying to focus on the source of the voice.  His head was still a little foggy after slamming into the boxes at several feet per second.  The specks and streaks on his glasses didn’t help.

Byron.  Felix Byron.  Right, now he remembered.  That creepy son of a bitch blindsided him as soon as he got to the bottom of the stairs.

That single recollection seemed to flip a switch and Douglas’ vision came into sharp focus.  The figure standing over him was of average height and build.  His black hair hung in a long, greasy mane that just about reached his shoulders.  He studied Douglas with dark, heavy-lidded eyes set into a face that could have been considered attractive if it wasn’t covered in grime and stubble.

“You’ve got to stop, Byron,” Douglas said, not noticing until just than that his breathing was still somewhat labored.  “You’ve been a bad boy.  And you have to stop.”  He almost added “Because you’re ruining it for the rest of us”, but decided maybe now wasn’t the best time to be snarky.

Byron chuckled.  Actually chuckled, but without the slightest emotion-neither mirth nor malice.  If it had been a maniacal chuckle that wouldn’t have been so bad.  But, a cold and emotionless chuckle was just…wrong.

Byron tilted his head to one side and studied Douglas.  His eyes moved quizzically, the way you look at something right before you rip it open to see how it works.  “And who’s gonna stop me?” he asked, coolly.  “You?”

Deciding it was time to cut a slightly more dashing figure, Douglas extricated himself from his nest of soggy cardboard and got–rather shakily, he had to admit–to his feet.  “If I have to.”

Again that chuckle.  “Unlikely.”  Byron’s right arm snapped out, the palm facing Douglas, and a jet of water erupted forth.

Not again, Douglas thought, as the near-solid stream of rushing liquid hit him square in the face.  His nostrils burned as the water forced itself up his nose and down his throat.  He coughed and gagged as the continuous torrent of water started to fill his lungs.