Speculative Fiction — Science Fiction and Steampunk Books

spec fic

From the beginning … persecuted believers fleeing to space, through the corruption of the once godly empire, to the preservation of the future when all seems black.

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Empire Saga

All six books set in the Empire Saga Universe combined in one volume. John Winthrop and his family need a refuge from religious persecution. Jonathan Edwards and his sabotaged lunar mining operation need people they can trust. Can they work together to restore a critical Earth resource and forge a godly settlement? Follow a desperate couple fighting isolation and equipment malfunction to pilot a gas-collecting balloon ship to the outer planets. When the Sojourner’s life support fails, Joan Cohen has to represent her people to fix the problems and restore this critical means of meeting the Space Empire’s desperate need for resources. She is unsure whether Tony Lewis will be a help or a hindrance. Michael, crown prince of the Space Empire hopes to save his people from external attack with an internal rebellion and a battle cruiser like no other. His plans are shaken by a forbidden romance, political turmoil, and the discovery of Earth’s Fourth Empire. Michael and his best friend Randolph might save or shatter the Space Empire’s last hope for the future as they face sexual temptation, political intrigue, and a father-son conflict of imperial proportions..

Michael’s crystals had their fire change from red to blue to green and back to red again. With each change the fire grew weaker.
“Discovery to Earthpost Q.”
“Earthpost Q.”
“Your father’s quit waiting on the Lord. The Occidental outpost has twelve SSTs assembling a particle beam gun. It’s Imperial, Michael. Your father set us up. I don’t have a chance.”
“Is it operational?”
“Yes, but it’s not fully charged yet.”
“Destroy it.”
“I’m by myself. The only way I can fly and fire at the same time is to route the fire control through the forward directional sensors.”
“Do it.”
“I’ll kill everyone down there. There’s over a thousand people there, mostly women and children.”

Amazon  http://authl.it/1hv?d

Smashwords ebook http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/89101

The Empire Saga is also available as 6 separate shorter works.

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City on a Hill

John and Ann Winthrop just need a place where their family can be free of religious persecution. The New Hope wilderness settlement starts to look like a vain hope as winter approaches, their supplies run low, and a group of suits arrive in a helicopter.

Jon Edwards tries to moderate the demands of his Lunar Mining Colony co-workers, but strikes and sabotage have made him skeptical that anyone, much less a bunch of amateurs chosen by the Company back on Earth, can replace the “real” miners and restore the crippled plant to full production.
The Earth has to trust LMC for supplies only the Moon can provide. John Winthrop has to trust God that this is the refuge his family seeks. Jon Edwards has to trust that these religious nuts can do the job, even the women and kids, when each time they seem to make a little progress, disaster strikes. Not to mention, they’re running out of air.

More than a dozen men worked on the 50,000-kilo shuttle in the lower shuttle bay. The main bay was almost undamaged, but the batteries had been stripped or jumped, causing extensive electrical damage. All of the smaller shuttles were operational, but the largest shuttle, since it had the most powerful electrical system, had been cannibalized the most.
“If we can get this shuttle up and running,” said Jon Newton, “we’ll be ready to start shipping when the last of the products are packaged. You sure your ladies’ aid society can get those vegetables packaged in time?”
“I have complete faith in them,” said John Winthrop. “They’ll be ready when we are. Just one more –”
Winthrop collapsed, scattering tools. Several men ran over to him.
“Get the doctor!” shouted Mike, the first man to reach him.

Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1hy?d

Smashwords ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/149340

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Sojourner (free short story, prequel to Nehemiah LLC)

Mark and Michelle sank everything they had, everything friends and family could invest, in the giant Sojourner gas-collection balloon ship. Now it was a simple matter of surviving to suction a full load of Methane from Titan. Massive gas storms, a tiny life pod that might not keep them from freezing, and the looming shadow of government seizure of ship and cargo “for the greater good” might interfere with their sleep even more than equipment failure, loneliness, and sleep deprivation.

“Thirty seconds until the close of this window,” said the computer.
“I don’t like the idea of just the two of us going down there, cut off from everyone,” repeated Michele.
“That’s the price of being the first,” said Mark. “Besides, it really doesn’t make any difference. Radio communication is almost four hours round trip.”
“I don’t want to run into something and not even be able to warn anyone else,” said Michele. “If we’re going to die, I want our deaths to mean something.”
“This isn’t a suicide run, Michele. We’re not just running away from our debts. We’re going to pick up this load of methane and go home. And we could send a message capsule back with complete records in a worst possible case scenario.”
“I’m sure the owners of the Cortez and the El Dorado felt the same way,” Michele countered.
“The window is closed,” said the computer.

Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1hu?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/166091

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Nehemiah, LLC (a full-length novel set in the Empire Saga universe. Chronologically it takes place after Sojourner)

Book Three in the Space Empire Saga

Joan Cohen’s people have thrived beneath Mars’ turbulent surface by turning sandblasted caverns into cozy living areas, parkways and farms. The Nehemiah LLC group is both a strongly-knit, deeply faith-driven community and a team of life support experts. Anthony Lewis is a quirky engineer, an outsider with a million questions about schedules, deadlines, and why Joan does what she does. Can they overcome their differences long enough to save their Space Empire from a crippling shortage of resources? The gas-collecting balloon ship Sojourner lies dead in space, its life support inexplicably frozen. One lost repair ship means searching a vast maze of tubing. A single failed component planetside can halt dozens of projects and jeopardize the countdown to a critical launch window.

“So we can move people in in three or four days?” asked Anthony.
“Well, after we finish sandblasting…” said Joan.
“So this is sandblasting?” asked Anthony.
“Well, he can say something besides ‘How long will this take?'” said Joan. “After the sandblasting is finished, however long that takes, then the room is sprayed with foam insulation. The foam stabilizes the temperature and seals the room from air leaks. It also protects the room from minor vibration. At that point the people who build the room come in with plumbing, electrical, temperature control, walls, air quality and pressure. The next day after they are finished the furniture moves in, and then the people. So, it’s a minimum of a week. It’s more if you leave because there is no one else to operate your sandblaster. Then we train them how to build more rooms and we go on to something else.”
“Like what?” asked Anthony.
“You spend your entire life dreaming up ways to give other people work,” said Joan. “Stick around and do some of the work yourself. Let me give you a list. We could do more sandblasting. There are at least a hundred projects that need enlargement. If that’s not to your taste, we could fill with foam insulation, finish rooms, weld, install furniture, work on making the roof of the production area open to the surface, enlarge the life support systems to cover the new area, synthesize more air and water, transport materials … ”
“I really like one thing you said,” interrupted Anthony. “That’s the ‘we could’ part.”

Amazon print edition and ebook: http://authl.it/1hs?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/262568

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Empire One: Humiliation (free first book in the Space  Empire Tril0gy)

Book One in The Space Empire Trilogy —

Michael, prince of the Space Empire, finds his father the king has confiscated his battleship and banished him and his best friend Randolph to the Earth for a summer of camp meetings. They are labeled as Camp leader Jonathan Edwards’ “Bad Men” and sit through service after service of preaching, Michael can’t just “wait on the Lord”. His father has done that too long, and perhaps put the whole Empire in jeopardy.
Randolph finds God’s Word sinking into his heart. Even the lovely Aidan Harkins can’t tempt him for long. Unlike Michael, he knows royal intrigues and rash actions can drown out the wise counsel they need to heed. While Randolph struggles to balance love and duty, a desperate attempt to restore the rebellion’s charismatic leader collides with the moment when the king stops waiting on the Lord.

“Do you promise that you will never breathe a word of that message to anyone?” Michael asked.
“Look, I already told you that I promised that stranger that I wouldn’t tell anyone else and I meant it. When I give my word, I keep it.”
Michael took Aidan by the shoulders, held her at arm’s length, and looked straight at her. “You have no idea how important your message is. No idea at all. I have no idea who you are. If the wrong person hears this, thousands of people will die.”
She laughed. “Because of that little message?”
“I should kill you right here.”
“You couldn’t kill anyone.”
“I already have.”
“Michael!” Randolph didn’t trust him. “Aidan, believe him.”

Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1ht?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168090

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Empire 2: Repentance

Aidan, Michael and Randolph’s unintended traveling companion, is losing blood fast. A golf cart isn’t the best getaway vehicle in the dense wilderness but their spacebound options are destroyed or gone. IS Aidan’s safe haven really safe at all?

Lorelei wants an alliance between Earth’s underground, secularist Fourth Empire and Michael’s people. She says she only wants a Peace Child, but will it be another push toward war? Who will win the race to find the lost pilot? Those who truly seek peace, or those who merely seek control?

“Daystar, how long until lift-off?”
“One minute, forty-seven seconds.”
Michael hit the arm of his chair. “Aidan, I’ll feed the source of that shot into your portside MFD. It will give you a clear picture. If you have an unobstructed shot, use the microwave; if not, use a sonic torpedo.”
“I can’t do it,” Aidan sobbed.
“Daystar to Ebenezer. We have a casualty, one of the Earth women.”
“Which one?”
“The blond.”
“How bad?”
“Very bad. She probably won’t make it.”
Michael whirled on Aidan. “Fire! They’ll kill every one of them. Fire!”
Without attempting to control her sobbing, Aidan locked a sonic torpedo on the center of the portside MFD. She fired and the forest exploded with human blood. She screamed.

Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1hw?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168106

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Empire 3: Sanctification

Michael tries to draw away from the rebellion, but his former followers risked everything to get this far and have no faith in the reconciliation between the Space Empire’s king and the crown prince. Lorelei might have find an irresistible lure to secure unity between her secularist people and Michael’s. Randolph and Aidan struggle for permission to marry but meeting the council’s demands is a frustrating way to further a romance. Michael makes a desperate gamble to secure his father’s safety. Cardinal Richelieu claims he only wishes to mediate while intrigues and intelligence reveal that time is running out for peace.

“The renegade Imperialist who kidnapped and murdered the Earth girl Annette Cunningham, has impregnated another Earth girl and set my aircraft on fire,” spoke Cardinal Richelieu, calmly and convincingly into the camera. “We came to help and he destroyed my aircraft without any regard for human life. He had no idea that it was unoccupied when he set it on fire.
“He is possibly responsible for the death of more Earthmen, but we do not know. He should be captured and tried according to our laws for crimes committed while on Earth. God has entrusted civil governments with the responsibility of passing judgment on crimes and carrying out sentence.
“We pray that this man of sin acted independently. While the government he represents is in rebellion against the Will of God expressed in the Holy Mother Church, we pray that this man’s sin will not be laid to their charge. The Scriptures say that each man will die for his own sins, and that whosoever sheds man’s blood — that is murder, shall by man have his own blood shed — that is capital punishment.”

Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1hx?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168109

A series to repurpose classic Victorian characters, extol “what if” steam and gear tech, and explore issues that touch us today — human trafficking, social upset, class envy and the need for courage, unselfishness, and co-operation to fight evil.

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A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist (Book one in the Alexander Legacy Steampunk Literary Tribute series)

Florizel of Bohemia tries to live a quiet life as a London tobacconist. The mysterious gypsy beauty who invites him to a late-night meeting in the Bronze Cascade Hotel seems desperate for his help, but what can be a life-or-death matter to a socialite singer? An eccentric little inventor, calling himself by the absurd name of Oliver Twist, comes to collect him in a curious old mail coach. It only becomes an airship after it’s too late for Florizel to disembark.

How can a former street orphan, a Texas Cowgirl who rode a Giant Catfish across the Atlantic, a world-traveling abolitionist bearing “the Flail of God”, a quiet country clergyman, a jungle tracker, and a Chinese merchant, track down a shadowy slave master who trains pickpocket slashers and fills freighter holds with human cargo bound for ports around the Empire? A poison maiden gives Florizel a kiss and an ominous warning: “Some ruler will rise and take the throne of a true Empire where the sun never sets and where the people will never be free.”

“He’s going to ram Twist’s ship,” Kera breathed. “They’ll both crash into the house and Mrs. Rose just might have her bomb going off.”
I ran along the edge of the roof as if I were looking for a shot. But I already knew my pistol was empty, useless, and the guard was trying to get around another gable to get a clear shot while staying behind cover. I had come to a conclusion a moment earlier that I dared not say out loud lest I be grabbed and thrown down on the roof by both women, but I knew what I had to do.
Just as the spy craft hove around the corner of the house, only a few feet away from the airship, I launched myself off the roof. The smaller ship disappeared and my heart leaped in panic at the thought of being sliced into quarters by the tail rotor. But my fingertips caught hold of a solid object. I found the fuselage of the spy ship and wrapped my legs around it. The thing slewed and spun and began to fall tail-first toward the green lawn.

Amazon print edition and ebook: http://authl.it/1hz?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272615

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Illustrated version (Please click on the “Images” link at the top of the blog to see samples of the illustrations.)

 Amazon ebook: http://authl.it/1i1?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/275330

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The Pinocchio Factor (Book two in the Alexander Legacy Steampunk Literary Tribute series)

Can Oliver Twist trust Spring-heeled Jack when disaster follows him around? Masks conceal more than the faces of the wealthy and powerful at London costume balls and absinthe parties in a Swiss Manor. The Legacy Company’s protective care can’t keep PM candidate Trevor Newsome from disappearing just days before the election, but they can’t search for him from the London Lockup. The trip to Switzerland is for a funeral, not for a wedding.

What lies are really concealed beneath the long-nosed mask of Pinocchio? Who holds the secret of regeneration? Could the Modern Prometheus actually be a woman? When Long John Silver arrives, Oliver has to do some fast thinking to protect more than just his own life from the pirate who says he only cares about rescuing his daughter.

“Twist! Look out!” I spun and swung wildly as the crack of a Colt revolver split the air. Sluefoot Sue had both her firearms out and was shooting at something below me. To my astonishment tentacles rose out of the Thames and wrapped themselves around the Catfish. Each time one of Sue’s bullets struck them they disappeared under the water again, but when she paused to reload they re-emerged and began to reach for me, climbing the Catfish sub. I hastily winched myself over toward the dock but a tentacle grabbed hold of my leg just as I started to set myself down. It flung me down on the dock and started dragging me to the edge.
“Hey, boss lady!” Dobbs, Sue’s assistant, hollered out from inside the workshop. I was just able to see a pump-action shotgun cartwheel through the air and land in Sue’s gloved hands. Just before it began to blast me deaf, I realized that it was in fact no ordinary shotgun, rather had some sort of gattling action, and a bit more. I hoped I would get a better look at it rather than end up 20,000 leagues under in some sea monster’s maw.

Amazon: http://authl.it/1i0?d

Smashwords ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312118

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Black Crow’s Blessing — a Novella set in the Alexander Legacy Universe, and a prequel to book 3, The Most Dangerous Game.

A horse thief changes Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue’s lives forever. In the village of the People of the Crack, Sue discovers a startling forgotten lore and helps them reclaim their ancient gear and steam technology. A shaman claims only he knows the true identity of the Father of the People and can decide the fate of these strangers.  A child may hold the key to freeing her people from evil.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Crows-Blessing-Alexander-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B00LK499TS

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/455112

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Come see what a ten-year-old mystery means to Sluefoot Sue’s modern hunt for the most deadly prey of all. The fight for women’s suffrage is the tip of the iceberg of complete social upset. Sue’s lived with love and respect all her life. She’s not sure how to handle women who have found life cruel and unfair from the beginning. But she suspects a private girls’ school may do more than teach social graces. She fears the consequences of meeting a bitter foster child and a dangerously misguided father. Can they stop Sue’s quest for a power source that may take her to the moon … but might not get her home again?

Amazon world link: myBook.to/Most-Dangerous-Game-Alex-Legacy-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/549154

An allegorical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a clockpunk twist

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Russet faithfully follows her grandmother’s clockwork path through the dangerous woods and tries to heed her warnings about the deadly Ravagers. The Benefactress and the Songster prepare their apprentices for the LastNight Festival. Russet encounters an unlikely rescuer and discovers a dying race. She is ordered to stop her childhood friend Gareth from rebelling or pay a terrible price. People are disappearing from her village. A lost race of shining teachers might be their only hope … but will they have to go through with the Song and the Dance to save their village?

Amazon world link: myBook.to/Acolytes-education

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/548827

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