Recently I’ve been working on some projects, and I thought I’d share with you a little more insight into what those projects are.
Moon Books Horror Anthology 5
Since the beginning of the year I’ve been collecting submissions for an anthology of horror short stories on behalf of Moon Books Publishing, an anthology for which I am the editor.
Thus far I have four submissions and the word count total comes to 31962. Naturally I will need almost double that amount before the book can be considered long enough – so if you have any suitable short stories you’d like to submit, please read here for guidelines (keep in mind the genre is horror and there is no payment for accepted submissions). Meanwhile, here are the stories I have picked so far, already edited.
- The Death Poem of Sensei Otoro by Jonathan Maberry
- Normanwood by Anya Louw
- Skinwalker by Cedar J. Lockheart
- Corona Dance by Major Roxbrough
The Song Of The Drillipede
By the time I recently released the third book in Panic! Horror In Space – “Dust” (March 13, 2020) – I was already partway into the fourth book as well. Like “Dust“, book 4 “The Song Of The Drillipede” is a standalone novella following the escapades of Space Fleet Captain Stuart Flane, his best friend and Exo Commander Vic Chapman, and to an increasing degree, Chief Space MD, Dr. Fred Killian.
This fourth book will relate their adventure on a remote subsurface mining facility called Eriksen, where some unusual and terrifying and possibly supernatural activity has been making life hell for the residents. Flane and the crew of the I.S.S. Mercury are called in again – as the Space Fleet’s unofficial ‘ghost busters’ to assist.
What’s a ‘drillipede’ you might wonder – well, it’s a mining machine – highly automated. It digs away at the earth at the front end and feeds the raw ore out a conveyor at the back. The machine will not operate without an operator in the cockpit – except in the context of this story, one does – and mayhem an death ensue. A drillipede moves on hundreds of robotic legs, making a rhythmic clanking, rattling sound which changes according to what the machine is doing at the time – this is called ‘the song of the drillipede’, hence the title.
Underground Movement, Xanadu, Fortitude & The Last Hurrah
These are the next three books in the Quantum Series – books 7, 8, 9 and 10. As I’ve mentioned before, the subject of this new path the story line has taken is a pretty damn dark one – which is why I’ve been taking so long in delivering book #7, which is already about halfway. I beg my reader’s indulgence and their patience with these – I will deliver on their high expectations!
Following on to “High Steaks” (book 6) and “Prodigal Sun” (book 5) which started this extraordinary adventure, “Underground Movement” will relate how the population of Deanna bears up under the jackboot of the fascist revolutionaries who have hijacked the Terran colony away from Earth’s control – for the time being – and detail the rise of the Resistance. “Xanadu”, “Fortitude” and “The Last Hurrah” will cover the tumultuous Deannan Uncivil War up to its conclusion.
Since everything is still in various stages of draft, things are highly fluid in terms of what might go where and in which future title, but rest assured I will keep you appraised of changes as they come about!
Where Darkness Softly Treads
You might recall that I released a standalone novel called “Best Served Cold” (February 12, 2020) a few months back, and that the title sets a background for the Galaxii Series which is set somewhat later on in the same timeline. Similarly, “Where Darkness Softly Treads” is set in the same timeline but doesn’t feature any of the same characters as seen in the three Galaxii series novels, “Blachart“, “Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning“. Likewise I might also decide to include it in the same series as a fourth title, or I might just leave it as a standalone – I will still make up my mind later, once I get closer to finishing the novel.
“Where Darkness Softly Treads” is set on a ‘lost colony’ of Earth, which has been caught in the grips of a destructive civil war for more decades – and the planet’s population has been isolated from Earth and the outside for all that time – and each side of the war has been diligently working on how to obliterate the other. In the midst of all the carnage, the Terrans decide to intervene finally, and rather than just landing in the center of the hundreds of miles-long battlefield between the two warring powers to tell them to “stop it”, the Terrans have decided the best way to bring the war to a speedy end is to assist one side in defeating the other. They do this by sending Space Fleet’s special intelligence forces to deliver advanced weaponry to their favored side of the war.
The story follows a Space Fleet officer who gets wounded and marooned on the surface in an attack by the mutual foe, and a local officer in the military forces, and what happens between them as she works to be rescued.
This is a standalone novel also, which doesn’t fit into any timeline in particular. In a not-too distant future, a corporation rises to the forefront of robotics – their lifelike, convincing simulated actors have already pushed ordinary humans out of Hollywood and the movie industry, and for some it seems ‘the machines really have taken over’.
Life goes on for one undercover cop, who records and witnesses an exchange between a high profile local mobster and someone who might be the CEO of the robotics corporation… her testimony is vital in an upcoming court case – and suddenly, she finds herself under fire. Crooked politicians and cops in her department facilitate attempts on her life, which she manages to thwart. Then the corporation sends an assassin after her – and it looks exactly like her dead wife…
This is a bit of a radical departure for me in several ways. Based on a short story I wrote in 2010 called “Homecoming”, this story is told in the first person AND it’s set exclusively in the world of real living vampires in a fictitious, unspecified modern setting. “Homecoming” won the eBook Diva writing contest in December of the same year, and was also subsequently reprinted in two different anthologies “Autumn Burning”, Oct 7, 2014 (JEA) and “Moon Books Horror Anthology 4”, 2018.
The story focuses on the experiences of Nerissa Morton, a school teacher at a private school in a big city – and there the ordinary mundanity of appearances falls away sharply. Nerissa is a real living vampire, and she’s part of a gigantic underground subculture of people just like her. The school is where their young are educated – and socialized to mix with ‘mundanes’ – what they call non-vampires – without divulging their secret. Things have continued this way for centuries, but at this point in their timeline, not all is well. Dark powers are at work.
I don’t mind telling you that I’ve drawn on everything I’ve got to write this one – and although it isn’t finished yet, it’s going to be something I’ll be very proud of!
As you can tell, I have my hands full! Time and circumstances dictate which project I work on at any given time, but as always, I’ll keep you informed.
Also keep in mind that I still have a sale on! 😉
Take care and have a great week!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.