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Aeroquest… Adagio 5

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Adagio 5 – Psion Society

     Now, I told you before that I wasn’t a Psion myself.  I, Professor Googol Marou, expert on practically everything, must rely on testimony and speculation to tell you about the Psions themselves.  Strange people they are, with unnatural powers.  Oooh!  Spooky!  It’s little wonder the Galtorr Imperium was so deathly afraid of them.  Still, I suspect that Grand Admiral Brona Tang of the Imperium was himself a Psion, him and all of his clones.  So, I believe that the Imperium only feared Psions they couldn’t control.  It turns out that Ged and Ham were not the only ones to seek escape from persecution of Psions by leaping outside of known space.  It seems it had been going on for so long that an entire Psion Empire had blossomed in the stars just beyond the Imperial Border.

Of the nine billion people living on the planet Don’t Go Here, only a handful were Psions.  The few I came to know well seemed to originate from the cavern-world beneath the surface of the planet that bore more than two thirds of the dense population of the planet.

Most of the Psions in our galaxy lived on the worlds of Zanatas and Zarane in the Phoebus IV Star System.  It was a good 40 light years beyond Don’t Go Here in the Unknown Regions.  It took at least 10 Jumps in space to get there with a good starship, and the Don’t Go Hereians had no ships at all.  The Psion Colony Worlds were Tfriash, Kvarii VI, and Rhaskoo.  All three worlds were many light years further away.  You may have noticed that they are also hard to say.  They seemed to have a thing for names with too few vowels in them. Kinda like Poles and Czechs, I suppose.

So the fact that Don’t Go Here had a Psion Master living on it was nothing short of a miracle.  The thing is, though, that Tkriashav was himself capable of telepathy, teleportation, and clairvoyance.  He had been anticipating Ged Aero’s arrival on Don’t Go Here since well before he found himself marooned upon the planet.

I like Tkriashav.  I count him as a friend of mine.  But I find him creepy in many ways.  It is very unsettling to be around someone who can, in a sudden flash of insight, at any moment reveal to you the manner and place of your death.  Oooh!  Spooky again!  Some things I really wish I didn’t know.

Tkriashav had been the mentor and teacher of several Psions as he lived on the planet Don’t Go Here.  He had brought his sister’s family along on the space voyage that had resulted in his being marooned on the planet.  Young Friashquazatl, Freddie they called him, was a shape-changer like Ged.  He was Tkriashav’s nephew and Tkriashav had raised him since he was an infant, teaching him to control his power.

Tara Salongi, the beautiful girl who saved Ged’s life the first time he completely transformed into another species, was a gifted telepath.  Tkriashav had taught her how to use her mind power to heal and to help.  She was probably the one student he was proudest of.  Bam-Bam Salongi’s only daughter was destined to be one of the most important Psions in the history of known space.  That should raise some tremendous expectations in your humble imaginations.

The Psions themselves were only about two percent of the population of their own empire, but their planets were fertile and heavily populated.  A large number of people with mind powers were available there to accomplish things that ordinary people could only dream of doing.  Therefore, one has to conclude that Ged Aero was not only the right man on the right planet at the right time, but gifted with the right powers and teaching skills as well.  Teaching skills, you say?  Yes, he was a scout, a hunter, a spacer, and a psion before he met Tkriashav.  But after meeting him, he became the most important teacher in all of known space.



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Really? …Fairies?

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I have always thought of myself as a science fiction writer.  I admit that in 2006 I realized that my province was not serious science fiction, but rather humor-driven science fiction.

In 2015 I wrote Magical Miss Morgan, a novel about being a teacher, but basically also a fairy tale.  So, I guess, with fairies invading my fiction and magically taking over at least half the stories they are part of, I am turning into a fantasy humorist rather than a straight science fiction writer.

I am at the moment re-reading my novel Magical Miss Morgan for now that it has reached publication in 2018.  I am experiencing all the cringes and all the “oh, no!’s” of being a writer in print.  You end up thinking, “How could I have been so stupid as to write THAT?” way more often than is good for your continued mental well-being.  But I am also still tickled by and laughing at the best jokes and funnies in the novel, at least enough to know it is (however self-delusional it is to say this) still a good book.


But that book is not the end of the fairy invasion.  Oh, no.  In 2016 I wrote the book Recipes for Gingerbread Children.  This book was not only about an old German woman and holocaust survivor who is a very good teller of fairy tales, but also about the fairies of Tellosia who live nearby and invisibly attend to her constantly.  She even creates for them a whole race of magical gingerbread men fairies.

This book is currently a part of the Inkitt novel contest and is available to read for free on their site this month.  Here is the link; Recipes for Gingerbread Children.  You can actually read the whole thing, and hopefully review it to help me get the needed buzz to get it published through Inkitt.

So, why fairies?  I have to admit… I don’t know.  I think I have been be-spelled, bewitched, and serious glammered with pixie dust.

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Aeroquest… Canto 16

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Canto 16 – Tkriashav

At Tara’s house Ged made the attempt to regain his former self.  He’d never completely transformed before into such an inhuman creature, at least not so completely at the cellular level, and he wasn’t entirely sure how to turn back into his old self.  It was a struggle to keep a human mind distinct from the saurian mind he now possessed.  Holding onto his real self for dear life, he found an empty room in the synthetic rock house and lay down in the middle of the floor.  He began to quake and shiver.  Scaly skin peeled away and piles of flesh sloughed off.  He reshaped bone and muscle.  When he was finished, the flesh he had shed was all around him, a pile of slowly evaporating green ooze.  He himself couldn’t do anything but lay on the floor, an emaciated sculpture of his former self.  He had no energy or willpower left.

Tara and Ham found him there after an hour.

“Ged!” cried Ham.  “Are you all right?”

“He’s dying,” said Tara, fingers to Ged’s forehead and eyes closed.  “He has to have food to replace the body mass he’s lost in transforming.  His mind is also a mess.”

“What food do we have for him?”  Ham had brought no supplies with him on this masquerade, after all, he didn’t have pockets, and Ged could see him panicking again like he always did as a child.

“Don’t worry.  I have a pigosaurus in a pen out back.  Go tell my father, Bam-Bam, to butcher it, and then you bring all the edible parts up here.  I’ll have his mind straightened out by then.”

Ham was pale.  He nodded and then took off like an arrow shot out of a bow.

“Psions have to work together,” Tara said soothingly to Ged.  “I’m going to enter your mind.  I have the power to help you with the kind of thinking a shape-changer has to do.   I can restore the human thought patterns you lost your hold on.  Don’t worry, I’ve done this before.”

Ged couldn’t speak, but he knew this girl could read minds.  He tried thinking hard at her.  <“Have you met my kind before?”>

“Yes,” she said, answering the thought.  “Xavier has asked me to orient one other shape-changer.  He was a lot younger than you, though, and not so traumatized by the change.  I’m going to have to use a risky method on you.  While I’m inside your head, we need to be making love.  Body to body contact with a release of endorphins are both needed.”

<“I can’t do that!  You’re just a young girl.  It’s immoral, and I’m a moral man!”>

“You could die, and I’m not giving you any choice.  Don’t worry, it won’t hurt a bit.”

Her leopard-skins dropped to the floor and for the next half hour Ged was in a dreamy sort of paradise.  Tara was in his head while he was inside… well, you know.  His exhausted state changed into a feeling of pure euphoria.

When Ham got back with the meat, Ged was sitting up, ready to wolf the food down ravenously.  He finished a meal large enough for five men, his normal shape returning with a few raptor muscles left over in his legs and chest.  Tara had to eat heartily also.

“Ged, you had me worried!” Ham said.  “But now you look better than ever.”

“I feel better than ever.”  Ged turned to Tara.  “What we did, uh… I apologize.  I will never forgive myself.”

“Why?” said Tara innocently.  “It was only done to help you.”

“It was just wrong,” said Ged woefully.

“I was surprised to find that you are still so pure after all these years.  I think it’s sweet to be so shy and dedicated to your moral beliefs.”

“You mean,” said Ged, blushing, “you weren’t the same as me, innocent in that way?”

“Not in the way you think of it.  But don’t despair, love.  Your spirit is still as bright and pure as it was before.  You just have a small part of me in your head now.  We will always be a part of each other from now on, and marriage and family have nothing to do with it.  It is more of a spiritual connection.  In times of great stress, you can probably call out to me mentally, and I will hear.”

“I don’t understand.”

Suddenly a cloud of sulphurous smoke filled the room.  With a strange popping sound, a man appeared.  He looked like Mephistopheles in a turban.  He had slanted eyes and a devilish Van Dyke goatee.  He bowed to the three of them regally.

“Ah, I am honored to make the acquaintance of Ged Aero, the White Spider reborn.  I am Xavier Tkriashav, the Master of the Secret Society of Psions.”

“What?  Who…?” sputtered Ged.

“Where?  How?” sputtered Ham.

“Welcome, Master,” said Tara, still not dressed.  She got up off the floor and gave the man a hug and kiss.  Ged couldn’t help but think he knew a darned sight more about this situation and this man than he wanted to.  The strange fellow was already inside his head like an unwelcome flea, sucking at the marrow of his mind.


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A Perfect Old Book… The Distant Hours


This book, purchased for two dollars off the sale cart at Half-Price Books, was one of the most pleasant surprises I have ever had in my reading life. I knew when I picked it up that it was not a perfect fit for me. It is a Gothic romance tragedy, possible even in a black-and-white-movie sense a horror story. It is a story for women, written by a woman, and all the most important characters, except the man who is murdered, are women. It is definitely not a story for crotchety old men like me, even though the Mud-man is a classic Gothic horror tale monster.  I can relate to that.

But I will not give away any of the convoluted plot. No spoilers here. For it is not the plot that makes this a truly great read. It is the language, the beautiful, insightful, passionate language that links my very soul to the souls of the characters in this story. Three elderly sisters live in a rotting old English castle that once belonged to their father, a famous author who created the novel The True History of the Mud Man. A much younger woman comes along and discovers she has a secret relationship to the castle through her mother who was sent to live in the castle as a child during the London Blitz in World War Two. The characters are so well developed, you can see them breathe. They are real people in a way that real people, especially mysterious real people, always present you with a mystery to be solved. Who are they really? What did they actually do? Which part of what they said to you is true? And which are the lies? And there was a murder? It happened in the past? We didn’t even know he was missing. Where is he now? And what did a monster character in a beloved old book have to do with it? Okay, I promised you no answers to any of those questions. But if you feel already like you simply have to know, well, that’s the magic in this story. You will fall in love with Edie Burchill and her mother. And also the Blythe sisters, Percy, Saffy, and Juniper. And the story will leave you devastated, the way it did me. Test me and see if I’m merely telling hoo-haws. You will not regret it.

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Writing Myself To Life

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I have been working on my novel The Baby Werewolf, and I am now in the final phase, working on the climax and crisis point.  And I surprised myself.  The killer monologues to the main characters who have now become his intended next victims.  I have played this out over and over in the twenty-two years I have been writing this book.  Last night, for the first time ever, the hero character laughs in this scene instead of the cringing fear that had always been there before.

How is such a thing possible?  What changed?  I have been writing and rewriting this story since 1996.  But it goes much deeper and darker than that.  This story went on my have-to-write list in 1966 when an older, stronger boy who lived near my home trapped me in a place out-of-sight of others and stripped me, gaining some horrible kind of pleasure by inflicting pain on my private parts.  Recovery from that has taken half a century.  The recovery itself probably explains why I struggled so long to pull this story together in a finished form.


There are things about my writing life that are undeniable.  First of all, I have to write.  There is really no other choice for me.  My mind will never know rest or peace without being able to spin out the paragraphs and essays and stories that make it possible to know those things.  Nothing is real if I can’t write it out.  Secondly, I am a humorist.  If I can never be funny at all, can never write a joke, then I will descend into madness.  My sense of humor not only shields me and serves as my suit of armor, it heals me when I suffer psychic wounds.  This book is a horror story, but like many of the best horror stories, it relies on humor to drive every scene and knit the plot together.  And it was a breakthrough for me to have the hero character laugh instead of cringe in the critical scene.  It allows me to live again.  And love again.  And the real monster that caused this book to be, is now forgiven.  The world continues to turn.  The picture is now complete.  And soon, the novel will be too.


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Aeroquest… Canto 15

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Canto 15 – Beautiful Fur Bikini

Ham and the blue Princess rode into Bedrock proper on the back of their velociraptor.  Ged not only looked exactly like the dinosaur, he moved and sounded just as it would.  The illusion was perfect.

Bedrock was teeming with unusual activity.  Everywhere young people were engaged in buying and trading all sorts of goods, most of which were animals, and all of those were reptiles.  Young ladies of fashion were buying bright-colored snakes to drape around their necks.  Little monkey-like lizards called Compies were being sold as pets and as remote holo-television controls.  People were buying fake plasticized furs of all colors for purposes of all sorts.

“Hello, citizen,” said an apparent policeman in a blue fur with gold insignias.  “Isn’t that Dino6476 you’re riding?  Where’s Fred3576?”

“Oh, he’s my cousin,” lied Ham quickly.  “He loaned me Dino2466 for the day.”

“Oh?” said the officer suspiciously.  “That foul-tempered beast always used to eat anyone who tried to ride him but Freddie!”

“Oh, ha-ha,” Ham laughed nervously, “I have a way with animals.”

“…And how about the girl Smurf and the blue brat?  You know it’s against the law to bring them into this part of town.  They have their own ghetto to live in!”

“Oh!  Is that so?  I don’t think I like that small-minded attitude.”  Ham bristled.  He wasn’t in love with the Princess or anything, but he wasn’t going to stand for that sort of rot.

The policeman drew out a large, silly-looking rock caster and aimed it at Ham.

“What!  Is that supposed to scare me?”

Suddenly Ham heard a girl’s voice in his head.  <“You are very brave, but don’t force the race issue here.  I will help you find the ones you seek.  I saw Trav Dalgoda, and there’s one I know who will be a far greater help to you than Goofy!”>

“Who are you?” Ham asked of the air around him.

“My name is Cary Granite,” said the policeman, “And you are under arrest!”


Suddenly a beautiful young girl, maybe sixteen years of age, came out of the crowd and approached Officer Granite.

“Don’t shoot!” she cried.  Ham noticed how pretty she was in her leopard-skin bikini.  “He really is Freddie’s cousin.  I can vouch for him.  The Smurf girl is his slave, and he forgot about the law in this part of town.”

The officer smiled and nodded.  “Of course, Tara, whatever you say.”

The officer put away his hand-held catapult and wandered off as if he’d forgotten all about it already.

“Thanks, Tara,” said Ham.  “Why did you lie for me?  And how did you know about Goofy?”

The pretty young brunette with barely any clothes on smiled up at the handsome young man with barely any clothes on riding on the back of a carnivore.

“I’m a telepath, Ham.  My name is Tara Salongi, and I’m a Psion like your brother Ged.”  She nodded toward the velociraptor with the unusually intelligent gaze.

Ham’s mouth dropped open.

“Come with me.  I can introduce you to the Psion Master of Don’t Go Here.  He’s been waiting for you four to show up for five years.  He can teach Ged how to use his power.  He can even help the little boy.”  She pointed at the naked blue child riding in between Ham and the Princess.

“I don’t understand.  How did you know all about us?”

“Master Tkriashav is Clairvoyant.  He can look into the future!”

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Stupid Stuff I Think And Do

Gingerbread Children 22

Last night I spent a couple of hours avoiding washing the dishes that piled up in the sink for the weekend by submitting my rough draft novel Recipes for Gingerbread Children to the Inkitt free novel contest.   I am pretty sure that was a stupid thing to do.  I created the above cover to complete the submission.  I had previously decided by researching Inkitt that it was probably a bad idea to go for this kind of publishing scheme.  I cannot afford another vanity press price.  I can only manage free publishing opportunities.  I am probably better off publishing through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

The novel is not entirely a stand-alone.  It is the companion story to The Baby Werewolf whose climax I am working on last week and this week.  It wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t a pile of irresistible weird stuff left over from the creation of The Baby Werewolf and Superchicken.   It is full of fairy tales, “real” fairies created by fairy tales, Nazis, teenage nudist girls, and a sweet old German lady who managed to survive the holocaust.

The contest will only have four winners this month, and I did not submit it until four days before the end of the month.  Snowball’s chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks, right? I cannot afford to pay them to publish it.  So if it doesn’t win, I tell them no.

I mistakenly believe I am a good writer and story-teller.  But that may be a totally delusional belief.  I am not any good at the publishing and promoting game.  I am forced to trust to luck, and am probably the unluckiest goober who ever lived.

And while I was tackling the crisis point of my horror novel last week, my Republican friends and family, rabid Trump supporters all, were on my case in social media about why I, as a former teacher, wasn’t completely on their side about making teachers with guns a line of defense against future school shootings.  I have to be careful what I say and support, because a single wrong word can blow up my friends on Facebook with an incendiary display of name-calling, Fox News facts (which are pretty far removed from true facts), accusations, recriminations, and crying about my stupidity.  And through it all, I am not totally convinced that the stupidity is all on my side of the word war.

So, we shall wait and see.  I did a stupid thing.  I said some stupid stuff. I have risked a lot on the current direction of the wind. And soon I will know if my stupidity has scuttled me, and I come crashing down in my sailboat to bottom of the sea… or if I am somehow right, and allowed, for now, to sail onward.

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