2017/09/29

Praxis

There's been a great deal of discussion lately among serious, intelligent people about how to save science fiction. It's an open secret that SF once dominated in print as it now does in film, on television, and in video games. But the concerted efforts of malicious gatekeepers have relegated the former world-bestriding colossus to a literary ghetto.

How do we save SF? My answer is twofold:

  1. Write and publish a high volume of entertaining stories.
  2. Help up-and-coming authors do the same.
Frequent readers already know of my efforts regarding point one. Some may not know that I've devoted significant time and energy this year to editing new authors' books. This endeavor, too, has a dual purpose, viz. a) earning me supplemental income and more importantly b) getting fledgling authors off the bench and into the science fiction-saving game.

It is in this spirit that I'm delighted to announce Praxis, the new blue collar space adventure novel from my friend and client Justin Knight. Available for preorder now!

Praxis - Justin Knight



The most satisfying part of Justin's journey for me has been seeing his writing ability grow in leaps and bounds. I'm humbled to have played a part in fostering his talent. But forget about me. Justin is here to entertain you, and you will be entertained, if this excerpt from Praxis is any indication.

Captain Gursh of the fifth division patrol slowed his fighter down as the prison station came into view. Outside his cockpit, the stars changed from a blur to their natural sight as he activated his communications and held his position.
“Identify yourself or you will be fired on,” barked a voice through his loudspeakers.
“Gursh, fifth division captain. Transmitting my clearance code to you now,” Gursh said as he punched another series of buttons in front of him.
After a delay, a much calmer response came through his loudspeakers. “Received. Welcome to His Majesty’s Prison, Captain, someone will be at the docking bay to greet you.”
“Very well,” Gursh said before shutting down the channel.
He powered his fighter forward and observed the main door of the docking bay open up and the lights turn on. Gursh flew inside and landed the fighter, waiting quietly for the door to close behind him before he opened the cockpit and climbed out. As he stepped onto the cold metal floor of the space station, a larger being than he, and what looked like his assistant, entered the docking area, saluting in front of him. Gursh returned the salute and remained where he stood.
“Captain Gursh, I am the warden of this prison. With me is my second officer, I welcome you and trust your flight here was well?” the warden said.
“It was, thank you,” Gursh replied.
The staff of the prisons, especially the wardens, did not give out their actual names and operated on a code name basis. It was a preventative measure to thwart threats to their families.
“I’ve not been briefed on your visit, so may I enquire what this is about?” the warden asked.
“I’m here to question the recently captured leader of the pirates for information on their activities. Any more than that, I cannot say as it has been deemed classified by command,” Gursh said.
“Very well. I shall take you to an interrogation room and then have him brought in,” the warden said before his second in command opened the door for them.
Gursh nodded and followed them as they walked down a long corridor with many doors, stopping at one just before the end. The warden opened the door and revealed a heavy table with metal cuffs attached to it, a chair either side and a small bulb on the ceiling that lit it all up. Gursh nodded in approval and sat down, the warden and his officer left him for a while and then returned with the pirate leader. Gursh watched him as they sat him down and handcuffed him to the table. It was more than noticeable that without his armour, the pirate looked quite frail and not as fearsome as he once had. After the door closed, Gursh leaned forward and stared into the yellow eyes of the being before him, someone responsible for a lot of deaths over the past galactic cycles.
“Hello, commander Brimak. I assume you are not stupid, so you know why I have come,” Gursh said.
“Oh let me guess, information on my former partners?” the pirate asked.
“To start with. I also want to know where your base of operations is located. This reign of terror you and your partners have conducted over this region of space needs to end,” Gursh said.
“And if I don’t talk?” the pirate asked.
“You do not want to go there. I have been authorised to use whatever means required to make you talk. It is in your best interests to cooperate,” Gursh said.
The pirate remained silent for a moment before smiling at him, Gursh could see his blackened teeth and the long tongue hiding behind them.
“You think you have it all worked out, don’t you?” the pirate teased.
“Oh?”
“I’ve met your type before, captain. I know your type all too well. Don’t think for one moment that I do not know how to work someone like you,” the pirate said.
“Oh do show me. Scum like you always think you have the edge,” Gursh said.
The pirate looked across the table at him, his breathing slow and careful as he stared at Gursh, his eyes trying to bore into his mind.
“I have a different offer to make,” he eventually said.
“You do not make the offers here,” Gursh said.
“Oh, but you will like this one. If you let me leave this prison now, I promise to let you and everyone else here live,” the pirate said.
“Really? How do you plan to-” Gursh began, but stopped. In the corridor outside the room, there was an alarm going off.
The station rumbled a couple of times, it felt like small explosions. As Gursh looked around the room, he realised the pirate was simply sitting still, smiling at him.
“What is going on?” Gursh demanded as he got up.
Another rumble could be felt, much more powerful than the last. The pirate interlocked his long, bony fingers and bared his teeth as he grinned. His long tongue snaked out through a gap in his teeth, flickering before it went back inside.
“I’m expecting company,” he said.
Gursh got up and drew his gun as he walked towards the door before opening it. He looked outside and saw red lights flashing along the wall; an intruder alarm.
“ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL! WE HAVE BEEN BOARDED AND ARE UNDER ATTACK! DEFEND YOURSELVES ANY WAY YOU-” the louder speaker blasted before being cut off.
Suddenly a large group appeared from the docking bay and opened fire on Gursh, forcing him to retreat back into the room. He returned fire, hitting one of the group before returning to cover as a weapon beam missed his head. Gursh could hear gun blasts from the other end of the corridor, the boarding party was obviously a large one and he needed to figure out a way to call for aid. He leaned back out to fire and suddenly felt something hit him on the back of his head. He fell to the floor as another blow rocked his head, his gun scattered off somewhere, leaving him helpless. His vision was spinning as he felt the pirate leader step past him whilst rubbing his wrists. The red light seeming to bounce off his skin as his helpers walked up to him and handed him a weapon. Gursh tried to listen but he couldn’t concentrate.
“What now?”
“We get our weapons…. Get to the base.”
“Need… move now. More are coming.”
“What about him?”
“Not enough time, move!”
Gursh tried to get up but then felt a foot hit his face, and everything went blurry. He forced himself onto his knees and then drew his reserve gun from his belt. He could hear gun fire in the distance, small arms by the sound of it. He got to his feet and stumbled after the pirates, towards the shooting, gripping his head in the hopes of fixing his vision. He eventually found the door to the hanger and opened it. The sound of gun fire increasing dramatically as he saw prison guards firing at the pirates whilst they boarded a hovering ship.
“Take out the engines!” one of the guards shouted as Gursh fired and hit one of the pirates in the back of his leg.
Two of the other pirates shot at him, forcing him into cover as the wounded one was helped on board. Gursh leaned out from cover and shot one of the pirates firing at him, hitting him and knocking him back.
“No!” Gursh said as his pistol power hit empty, the last of the pirates getting inside their ship and the door closing.
As Gursh slapped in a new battery, the main guns of the pirate ship opened fire, shredding the prison guards who were not quick enough to get out of the way. Gursh fired at the cockpit but he might as well of thrown his gun at it, the beam bounced off it and blew out a light on the wall. The ship spun around and then blasted out of the station, disappearing into space. Gursh holstered his gun and walked over to the remains of the guards, picking up a communicator from one of their belts.
“This is captain Gursh. Send for help straight away, contact Bratik as well. He is going to be far from pleased if anyone else informs him of this. Copy this?” Gursh barked.
“Yes captain, right away,” came the reply.
Gursh wobbled for a moment as his vision blurred again. He composed himself, but then lost his temper and punched the metal wall of the corridor, leaving a bloody dent.
Eager to read the rest? Praxis launches on October 6. Preorder your copy now!

6 comments:

  1. Justin
    congrats on your first book! The sample is well done and has hooked me. I'm curious to know what happens next

    xavier

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fandamntastic! How would one go about contacting you to edit some stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "Editing Services" tab in the upper right. However, I'm currently booked for the rest of the year.

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