Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Tao of Mysti – S. H. Marpel Speculative Fiction

The Tao of Mysti - S. H. Marpel Speculative FictionI’d been left out here, alone. By an oil-burning lamp. In the cold, uncaring desert.

It was my only comfort until dawn.

Just dawn started bringing the earliest glimmer of what I could see with my human eyes, I woke to some snuffling sound near my head.

Opening my eyes, not relishing the hot day coming, I saw the nose of an animal near my face.

“Rise, little one.”

I sat up. And saw eye-to-eye with a female coyote.

She was not young. Scars criss-crossed her front legs. Her eyes showed wrinkles of her experiences. Her udders dried and smaller now, but obvious she had born many litters.

“We have miles to go. Leave your lantern. Carry that dolly if you want. They are hunting us – you and me.”

At that the old mother coyote walked off a pace. And looked back.

She was the only life I could see in this parched desert.

So I followed as she led me to my new home.

Excerpt:

Transcript of opening lecture to nursing students

Hello and welcome to this lecture series.

As students of Rochelle’s Lazurai Nursing School, you occasionally run into the rare spirit-turned-mortal, goddess, and other extreme metaphysical types, I’ve been invited to bring you up to speed on these and others.

Mostly because, I think, that when me and my friends first arrived on earth Earth, we caused a bit of concern as we were all soon being treated in an old saloon by your most senior healers.

The plus-side was that we all recovered. Even though there was – and is – nothing more intoxicating in that saloon of Hami’s than the good looks of those who visit it. And the good food, of course.

(laughter)

What you probably didn’t hear was that there was a mental-metaphysical side to that treatment that had to be addressed so your physical “laying-on-of-hands” could do its wonders.

You see, I was involved in transporting all these wild girls to Earth. One could bend time and space with her organic tesseracts. Another was a trained outer-space killer and assassin, who ‘graduated’ when she terminated her last teacher. The third had actually been a self-aware star. (Yes, the kind that burn radioactive white heat and live for billions of years – not the ones with their name in bronze on Hollywood Boulevard.)

(laughter)

These were just your average, run-of-the-mill girls next door.

(laughter)

Each of these gals got interested in human life on Earth, and I just helped them make the transition.

Meanwhile, I was basically one of the “walking dead” – since no doctor or hospital could cure me, and the only thing keeping me alive and in one piece was my own dogged determination to solve my own puzzle.

So, after I got all these three gals here, they all were involved in an explosion that left them unconscious and nearly dead themselves. I arrived shortly after, just to meet with John – that adorable mystery writer – who I knew could help me figure this out. Yes, he’s got a reputation through the galaxy…

(laughter)

No, but we’ll get into how distant perception works in a later lecture.

What John’s good at, besides digging a story out of you, is connecting the dots. I mean, he writes mysteries for a living, so that’s gonna rub off on you.

That brings up how he got Gaia to bring Akashi out of retirement to make a house call.

Akashi is that god of all knowledge. Kinda like Saturn, but loves stuffed pastry. So Gaia played a trick on John and had him show up with one of Hami’s pastries in his hand…

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hermione Anthology – S. H. Marpel Speculative Fiction

Hermione Anthology - S. H. Marpel Speculative Fiction

Four books collected into this Anthology featuring:

– Hermione

– When Cats Ruled

– A Case of Lost Time

– Enemies & Bookends

– – – –

Hermione:

When a goddess is almost killed by bleeding out – it’s serious.

Good thing they got to me in time, while I was still a cat.

Now my shape-shifting was on hold until I healed.

For the last few centuries or so, I’d been happy as a library cat. But then I got bored, and started helping out with simple missions.

Because of that ambush, I was stuck in a human-shape. At least I wasn’t dead.

But I’d never be able to shift back to my native form without crippling pains up that arm – until I could understand how humans loved – the subject that always left scholars of the ages mystified.

Easy-peasy – for a goddess. …Maybe.

When Cats Ruled:

Two scientists broke time – trying to travel in it. 

If they weren’t so cute, I don’t think I’d be as forgiving.

Still, they have no clue what they just invented.

In these days of overnight express delivery, they could make a fortune. And the same device could deliver ticking bombs to any government building or office building anywhere. Instantaneously.

You’d think these scientists would have learned something after the Manhattan Project. And Nagasaki. And the Twin Towers.

Nope. All these two young knuckleheads were trying to do was to prove the impossible was possible – and get some more funding to do it.

I just can’t tell them that what they were doing was the worst thing in history, I’d have to show them. Or they’d never believe me.

And that’s when it really got involved – and personally dangerous.

A Case of Lost Time:

My true love got us trapped here with my own time machine.

Not really her fault – or I hoped, anyway.

You see, she’s brilliant, powerful – and a shapeshifting cat who rules Ancient Egypt.

That last part doesn’t bother me, as long as she’s human at least part of the time. Otherwise, royal consorts have some benefits, too.

She brought me here with my own machine. And then it disappeared. Stolen. And now we’re marooned. But that doesn’t matter. Because even if none of my science background helps me, my heart just melts anytime she talks to me.

But if we’re going to get back, we’re going to have to do it soon – or I’ll be stuck with her here for the rest of my life.

While she lives on forever. Like she did before.

Enemies & Bookends:

It was either leave these four trapped in ancient times, or risk their lives to save our world in the present.

Helluva choice.

It they died, we’d all be dead soon after.

If we tried anything without them, we’d die just a little later – but still dead.

Because evil doesn’t take opposition lightly – unless it’s overwhelming. And even then, they still put up a good fight.

So: fight and live, or fight and die.

Our secret weapon was among those trapped in time. Something we didn’t know about.

Then or now.

– – – –

Also included: A comprehensive “Book Universes Notes” with a character list, linked book references from the earlier series, and point out (some) easter eggs…

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Enemies & Bookends (Hermione 4) S. H. Marpel

Enemies & Bookends (Hermione 4) S. H. Marpel

It was either leave these four trapped in ancient times, or risk their lives to save our world in the present.

Helluva choice.

It they died, we’d all be dead soon after.

If we tried anything without them, we’d die just a little later – but still dead.

Because evil doesn’t take opposition lightly – unless it’s overwhelming. And even then, they still put up a good fight.

So: fight and live, or fight and die.

Our secret weapon was among those trapped in time. Something we didn’t know about.

Then or now.

Excerpt:

There I was, a half-mile from my palace and on foot.

I’d just discovered that my powers were back. But not inside a half-mile diameter from my own palace.

Fortunately, goddesses can command the random chariot here in Ancient Egypt to carry her back to their palace – even in these days before taxi’s.

Because somehow that localized time-block effect was still in place. I wasn’t going to be able to time-space-shift anywhere inside it to anywhere or any-when I needed to be.

And walking a quarter mile on the uneven streets of this Egyptian capital city – in this heat – wasn’t queenly, or “goddess-like”. Besides, not every chariot driver can say they escorted a goddess back to her palace. Payment enough by itself, but I touched his shoulder and smiled at him as a tip. By his face, it must have seemed like heaven.

My own attendants soon enough realized I was outside and came rushing to me with sun shades, fans, and treats as they found me walking up the steps to my palace. They worked to keep up as I took the steps two at a time – again, not very queenly, but I was in a rush.

At last I made it through my throne room lobby and into the antechamber that held the “blackboard room”.

I took my cue from catching a glimpse of Tess through the open doorway. She was smiling, not bored out of her mind. My news could wait. And needed to wait, if I was going to hear what they’d discovered.

Tess heard my foot-falls and my quiet voice dismissing my servants before entering the “blackboard room”.

She stood and fully turned towards me. “It looks like our boys may have finally figured it out.”

I raised an eyebrow as I stopped to wait for the explanation. The two young men were standing near one wall, each with a piece of chalk in their hand. They only needed white lab coats to be completely in their element. Smiles on their faces showed pride in their work.

Of course, that made my news even worse.

Tess prompted them, perceiving my response as what passed as typical caution for me.

Ernst was first. “The short answer is yes, this inability to move through time is all temporary. The long answer has a ‘but’: we need the machine we built to reverse the effects.”

Tess came over and hugged him, which got a hug in return.

Bart came around from behind this couple. To tell me directly.

“Yes, I did find a way to reverse the effect. The details are pretty technical. Essentially, I had to find an x-factor that was unexplained. And solving for that led me to the conclusion that Tess was right. What she calls ‘simultaneous time’ then balanced the equation.”

Ernst cleared his throat. Bart looked at him. And Ernst nodded, glancing toward me.

Bart shrugged and turned back to me. “My partner-in-crime wants me to skip to the punchline.”

I raised an eyebrow and waited.

“It was you that made the time machine work.”

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