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WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS: Love Scenes From the Black Market (Blackball)

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!

Click on the image below to check out all the authors participating this week!

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This week I share the seventh of sixteen stories from my next release Love Scenes From the Black Marketa dark anthology.

This week’s excerpt is from Blackball, a sci-fi horror about a prisoner in an isolated interstellar prison who has to fight for his life when something decimates the inmate population while he’s stuck in solitary confinement.  (For anyone familiar with The Last Acolyte or Dead Planet, the prisoner in question happens to be Earthling loser turned galactic assassin John Rike.)

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“Look at his eyes.”

I did, mostly because Zann was beginning to bore the shit out of me, and I really wanted to shut him up.

But he had a point: the Shoon’s eyes were creepy as hell.  They seemed to take up his entire head, and in a way almost seemed to take up the entire room, not that there was much to take up.  You run out of space fast in a fringe territory prison, the melting pot of the Auran Galaxy, where Loraithians, Rigellans and Galdarans rubbed shoulders with Jak’taar, Chandaari, the occasional Ro’daan who strayed too far from home, and a whole mess of other races I didn’t know anything about and didn’t want to know about.

It was my first prison stint, but if I had my way I wouldn’t be there much longer…but that was easier said than done.  As the only human on Purgatory 6 (not to mention the entire Galaxy) I drew a lot of attention, most of it unwanted.  Lucky for me I was more than capable of taking care of myself, but I was getting tired of looking over my shoulder on an almost around-the-clock basis, wondering which gang or goon or friend of some guy I’d killed on the outside was going to take a stab at me…almost as tired as I was of Zann’s obsessing over the damn Shoon.

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Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

17 Comments

  1. Teresa Cypher

    Dang–you write great characters. Awe, I can’t limit it to just characters…actually, you write great books. 🙂

    Reply
    • Steven

      Awww, thanks Teresa!

      Reply
  2. Cara Bristol

    What an awesome story setup — to be in solitary and have the prison population wiped out. Wow.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Cara!

      Reply
  3. Peter Vialls

    I love the phrase about the eyes taking up the entire room – gives me an immediate mental picture. I’m intrigued to see where this is going.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Peter!

      Reply
  4. Kim Magennis

    I felt ‘Rike’ as soon as I read your piece. I love how you got me to recognise him in such a short space. I know it is in the blurb and was mentioned a few weeks back. But I got it like a flavour or smell. VERY cool.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Kim! I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, I guess. ;D

      Reply
  5. Botanist

    Laughed at the line “mostly because Zann was beginning to bore the shit out of me” — that speaks volumes for his attitude.

    Reply
    • Steven

      He’s my id. ;D

      Reply
  6. veronicascott

    I love Rike, nice to see him again, even in this situation. He has attitude to spare, which I always enjoy. WHEN is this book out????

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Veronica! Right now I’m looking at early June 7th! =D

      Reply
  7. Ed Hoornaert

    There’s a lot going on here, all of it meaningful. I especially liked the subtle way you told us so much about the POV character…I hesitate to call him ‘hero’, because from this snippet I’m not at all sure of that.

    Reply
    • Steven

      Thanks, Ed! And he *tries* to be a hero…well, sort of…

      Reply
  8. Christina Ochs

    Nice to see Rike again, full of attitude as always. 😀

    Reply

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