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Weekend Writing Warriors / #8Sunday 2017-10-22

 

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Welcome to my post for the #8Sunday Hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors.

Authors participating in the #8Sunday Hop post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Authors and readers can offer opinions, critiques, and support.

This is my first time participating in #8Sunday, and picking an excerpt to share was super stressful! I usually don't share excerpts from WIPs (works in progress) and unpublished works, but I wanted to share a bit from this recently completely short sci-fi fantasy (SFF) story, "Before the Evolution Comes the Smoke". It's one of my favorites to date, and it's currently out on submittion, looking for a home.

EXCERPT:

 

BEFORE THE EVOLUTION COMES THE SMOKE

Magda clutched the red satchel to her chest, trying not to breathe in too deeply the stench of hard pressed bodies and vomit. If only she’d had the money to book a private transport to Orbital Station Six instead of using the public courtesy shuttle.

She breathed as shallowly as she could through her mouth as she looked around at the dozen or so other pinched and nervous faces, all apparently as overawed as she to be on their way to meet the witch face to face. From somewhere toward the back of the transport, the sound of retching continued.

When she’d booked the ticket from Iada and indicated she needed to rendezvous with the Orbital Station Six shuttle, the chat bot had typed back, “Pardon?” She’d never seen a technical script express surprise before. It had transferred her to a video chat with a human agent, who had raised an eyebrow, speculation reflected in his dark eyes as the last of the credits in her account counted down, one by one, as they transferred to the travel agency.

When they’d checked her in at the transfer station and when she’d boarded the transport, the attendants all looked at her the same way. Surprise. Speculation. Doubt. They’d all looked at her with the same question: Why her? Why her wish? Of all the millions of petitions directed at Piscinarius, why had the great wizard of the deep chosen to grant her an audience?

 I love this story because it fulfills a long-standing wish I've had to write a story that combines witches, magic, and space/science fiction.The title of the story is taken from an InspiroBot-generated motivational saying; the story features two AIs (artificial intelligence), and I spent a lot of time generating sayings on InspiroBot to get the rhythm and feel for how AIs talk (because I cannot achieve that level of crazy-awesome by myself without some training). I hope the story finds a home soon so all of you can read it!

If you'd like to visit all of the other #8Sunday participating sites, vist Weekend Writing Warriors to see the list and links to all the sites.

If you're interested in learning more about my work, check out my Afterlife series or some of my published short stories:

If you haven't read the first book, Hereafter, good news! The e-book version is free for Kindle Unlimited readers and only $0.99 on Amazon through October 29th for non-KU members. So grab a copy today (please note: the link below is an Amazon Affiliate link)!

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore.

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Terri Bruce Author Pic Secondary

TERRI BRUCE writes strange, hard to classify science fiction and fantasy stories from New England where she lives with her husband and assorted cats. If you like the works of Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, and China Mieville, then be sure to check out her work. The first three books of her contemporary fantasy AFTERLIFE series are available in e-book, paperback, and audio book wherever books are sold.


 

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Comments  

0 # Diane Burton 2017-10-24 02:46
Welcome from another s/f writer. Your 1st sentence utilized the senses in a big way. Good job. I hope we see more of this story.
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0 # Caitlin Stern 2017-10-23 21:03
Welcome to WriWa! And good luck!

You've captured the gross overcrowded conditions very well, and hooked me with a lot of questions about what's going to happen next.
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0 # Hywela Lyn 2017-10-23 20:19
Welcome to WWW and like Ed says, it's nice to have another SF writer here. I enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading more of this story. Good luck with getting it published
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0 # Charmaine Gordon 2017-10-23 12:30
Fascinating tale , Terri. I haven't read anything like that before.
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0 # ARHuelsenbeck 2017-10-22 20:38
Welcome to the Warriors! I already like your heroine, because my mother's name was Magda (Magdalena).
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 02:53
Quoting ARHuelsenbeck:
Welcome to the Warriors! I already like your heroine, because my mother's name was Magda (Magdalena).


Oh, that's awesome! I don't know where the name came from - just popped into my head. I went back and forth on it; I wasn't sure Magda fit with a sci-fi story but the name just stuck and fit the character so I kept it :-)
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0 # Alexis Duran 2017-10-22 16:05
Welcome to WWW! All the sensory details add to the mystery and tension in this scene. Great snippet!
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 02:54
Quoting Alexis Duran:
Welcome to WWW! All the sensory details add to the mystery and tension in this scene. Great snippet!


Thank you! Adding sensory stuff is one of the things I spend a lot of time working on because it doesn't come naturally to me; I'm so happy to hear that I'm improving! :-)
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0 # Veronica Scott 2017-10-22 15:47
Welcome to the Weekend Warriors! Enjoyed the snippet, a lot of very intriguing plot points there.
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 03:01
Quoting Veronica Scott:
Welcome to the Weekend Warriors! Enjoyed the snippet, a lot of very intriguing plot points there.


Thanks Veronica! I'm excited to be part of the hop - looking forward to learning more about all of you!
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0 # Jenna Jaxon 2017-10-22 15:05
For some reason I was strongly reminded of The Wizard of Oz! Of Dorothy going, with some difficulty, to see the wizard. I do want to know more--especially why!
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 02:57
Quoting Jenna Jaxon:
For some reason I was strongly reminded of The Wizard of Oz! Of Dorothy going, with some difficulty, to see the wizard. I do want to know more--especially why!


Oh, that's a high compliment, indeed, because I LOVE the Wizard of Oz! This story is definitely a bit like the Wizard of Oz because Magda is going to ask the "wizard" for a wish. Only... things don't turn out quite like she expected. :-)
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0 # Ed Hoornaert 2017-10-22 14:04
Cool setup. I don't know if this is the opening of your story, but I know it would make a strong hook.

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors -- always glad to have another sci fi writing on board. We're a pretty friendly bunch once you get to know us. One thing to be aware of: the moderators mean it when they say 8 to 10 sentences only.
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 02:51
Quoting Ed Hoornaert:
Cool setup. I don't know if this is the opening of your story, but I know it would make a strong hook.

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors -- always glad to have another sci fi writing on board. We're a pretty friendly bunch once you get to know us. One thing to be aware of: the moderators mean it when they say 8 to 10 sentences only.


Thanks for stopping by Ed! This snippet is only 10 sentences, so I think I'm safe, but thanks for the heads up :-)
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0 # Teresa Cypher 2017-10-22 05:34
Nice opening! I am intrigued. I hope you find a home for this, Terri!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!
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0 # Terri B. 2017-10-23 02:51
Quoting Teresa Cypher:
Nice opening! I am intrigued. I hope you find a home for this, Terri!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!


Thanks so much! I'm excited to have found this hop and look forward to seeing what everyone else is working on!
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