Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Douglas Coleman Show Author's showcase special

This was really a great experience. Douglas is a great radio host, with a manner that's engaging and witty, and he asks great questions of his guests. I'm pleased to share this with you as Douglas Coleman interviews me and a few other authors. Check it out!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hiatus for a few weeks

Hello, everybody!

I'm sorry I've been scarce, but my family and I are preparing for our move to Hawaii. This is a big, exciting thing for us, but it's taking a lot of my time. So it'll be a few weeks before I post again, as I'm focusing on getting us ready.

I'll see you later! Aloha!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Are You Reading Wednesday - 5/27/15

What Are You Reading Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by It's A Reading Thing. To participate, link to your blog post or comment with your own answers to the questions.

The Questions
1. What are you reading?

2. Go to page 34, or 34% in your ebook, and give us a complete sentence.

3. Would you like to live in the world of this book? Why or why not?

My Answers
1. History, Mystery, Imagination, and Woe by Adelle Kirk. It's a dark collection of poetry and stories that has a voice I find amazing.

2. In another, one which seemed acutely fresh to my knowledge, a two-headed mutation lay in repose on the pristine tray, the small brains lifted from each skull with expert care and attention, tendons and phosphorescent arteries still attached, clearly showing the intricacies in how the brain was attached to the spinal column better than any other demonstration I have seen throughout the whole of my medical career.

3. This world is filled with intriguing horrors and dark creations that live beneath the notice of the world...except for a few. I think I'm more comfortable not hanging out with them, thank you very much.

Thanks for coming by! 

Enjoy my writing? Sign up for my newsletter at and receive a free copy of my award-winning urban fantasy novel, Chains of Prophecy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Me, Myself, and Monday! 5/25/15

It's time for another Me, Myself, and Monday! During this weekly feature, I talk about...myself! Let's begin with a favorite question.

On almost every author interview or in-person event that I've been to, I've been asked, "Where do you get your ideas?"

I love Mr Stephen King's response on this issue in his book On Writing, where he mentions (paraphrase) that a writer basically sits with a pad of paper and a pencil, then stares off into space. To the layman, he says, this looks remarkably like goofing off.

But that's not the way it works for me. I get my ideas from gaming.

See, I'm an avid RPG player (that's roleplaying game, for those of you not in the know). I've been reading since before I could remember, but they were my first real introduction to telling stories. I was always roped in as the DM/GM (Dungeon/game master), entertaining my friends by making things up. I had to think on my feet, too, because as anyone who's ever played knows, it's pure folly to assume that the player characters are going to follow your well-laid plan. Oh, no! They'll kill the damsel they were supposed to save, or run off in the opposite direction from the dragon's lair you spent a week preparing for.

And you have to adapt.

I really think that these experiences are what formed both my writing style and the types of things I enjoy writing. I make no bones about the fact that I'm an "organic" writer, someone who eschews plotting his story in favor of running with what the characters do. I decide on a protagonist, an antagonist, and what their central point of conflict is...and boom! There we go! I don't know who any of the supporting characters are going to be or what any of their idiosyncracies are. I find those out during the story.

So I have to thank gaming for giving me the mental flexibility to write this way. I get to be the first reader, now, thrilled by the story as I discover it within myself. I enjoy the hell out of it, and wouldn't do it any other way.

What about you? Tell us something about yourself in the comments, or link to a post about yourself. Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Facepalm Friday - 5/22/15

Hello, faithful readers! It's time for another Facepalm Friday!

And, boy, is this one going to be a doozy.

Unlike the usual Facepalm Fridays where I talk about several different issues, this whole post is going to be about one. One big mother f-ing issue that I have with the American justice system.

If you're a proponent of routine infant circumcision, then you might want to turn away. I'm not going to pull too many punches here.



So a lot of you have heard about the Heather Hironimus/Chase courtroom affair that's been playing out these last several months (especially since I mentioned it last week). This case is now over.

And stupidity won.

Yep. The lawyer, one Thomas Hunker, withdrew the federal case. There is some talk amongst the intactivist community as to whether or not this was corrupt lawyering or something else. I don't know. What I do know is that Mr. Hunker never consulted with anyone in the intactivist community before dropping the case...and that, when questioned by Judge Gillen, acknowledged us as "fringe elements" that he had not spoken to recently and would not again.

Hey, dude! Who was paying your $50000 bill, anyway? Oh, right. It was those freaky fringe element intactivists, wasn't it?

/shaking my head...

But that's not the worst of it. Heather was brought into court and threatened by the judge that, if she did not sign the consent form to have Chase circumcised, she would lose custody and stay in prison for an indeterminate amount of time.

Wait, what? Read that back to me. 

Since when has holding a gun to someone's head been an acceptable means of getting them to accept a medical procedure? Even IF you grant that Chase can't make this decision for himself (he's been very clear on the fact he doesn't want it), and you say that the parent(s) need to be able to make that decision for can you coerce that decision? This isn't a gestapo state, or it's not supposed to be; it's the United States of America! Freedom? Personal rights? Remember that crap?

I don't understand how this can happen in a court of law. I don't care if you were circumcised, if you think it's the best goddamn thing since sliced bread to come along. You're there to uphold the Constitution, the laws of the land, and that doesn't include terrifying a mother by threatening to take her son away so that she'll let bits of him be cut off.

To that end, I'm joining a campaign started by Chase's Guardians, a Facebook group that helped raise the legal fees for the court cases and is dedicated to protecting him. We've already reached out to the urologists and surgeons in Florida, and none of them will perform the surgery. Now Dennis has 90 days to get the procedure done, and we're expanding our reach, writing to every single goddamned pediatric surgeon and urologist in the country to keep this from happening.

Because it's wrong.

This isn't about whether or not you believe circumcision is good or bad, healthy or traumatic, whatever. This is about coercion, about forcing someone to agree to something that they don't want. This is legal rape. 

For that, and I never thought I'd have to do this, I went to find a facepalm worse than the Batman one I gave this last week. And I did.

So, congratulations, Dennis Nebus and Judge receive the BABY FACEPALM!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Triumphant Thursday! - 5/21/2015

Triumphant Thursday is a look at several things I've found in the last week that are just awesome. We celebrate victories, both individual and globally. I share my own and those of others.

So here's the first Thursday Triumph. As a note, I love John Oliver and everything he does.


In this segment, John Oliver discusses smoking across the world and how it relates to the tobacco industry. It's hilarious, as his show tends to be, and he doesn't hesitate to take the industry to task for being ridiculously stupid. My favorite line: After a short commercial from Philip Morris International, targeted at its employees to explain why they're using a particular slogan (Don't be a "maybe"), Oliver said...

"That is a pile of horseshit."

And it's true. But that's not entirely what the triumph is about (although, seriously, watch the video: What it is about is something that he said at the very beginning of the show and that I later confirmed: In the last fifty years (from 1965), smoking rates in the United States have dropped from 42% to 18%. 


That number astonished me, so I checked for the official figures at the CDC website. You can find them here: They have the rates at 19% for 2011. 

Also! Australia passed a "plain-packaging" act, removing the branding from tobacco product and replacing it with disgusting (but awesome) images of eyeballs, lungs, and toe-tagged corpses to illustrate the dangers of smoking. As a result, smoking in Australia, as of March 2014, was at its lowest ever...and they even beat the tobacco companies' lawsuits to make it happen!

But the coup de grace is Jeff, the diseased lung. Presented by Oliver as a new mascot for Marlboro, there are ALREADY BILLBOARDS with Jeff in Uruguay! I can't believe it! Seriously...I don't "lol" that often, but seeing Jeff next to the citizens in Uruguay made me. 

And then there were the Jeff-themed shirts that the show sent to Togo. Oh. My. God.

That's fantastic! I'm sorry, tobacco companies, but your PRODUCT IS A POISON. You don't have any right to say that it's not. You don't have the right to hide it. Stop trying.


Many of you know JK Rowling as the author of the incredibly influential, best-selling-in-every-list-ever Harry Potter series. As a public figure, everything she says or does in public is scrutinized for meaning, slip-ups, etc.

In September, 2014, Rowling published an article in Gingerbread (article: that discussed her efforts as a single mother before hitting it big with HP. It was an uplifting piece about struggle and commitment and all the other great things that we hope to hear from our heroes.

And then, The Daily Mail, a tabloid located in England, ran a piece that accused Rowling of composing a "sob story" about her time as a single mother. It said that she made negative remarks about her fellow church-goers and that they were bewildered and confused by the accusations.

Of course, none of this is true. And so Rowling sued them for libel and defamation. They fought back, saying that there was "no way" their article could be seen as defamatory.

And...she won! Ladies and gentlemen, good wins out again. The paper was forced to apologize, publicly, and have it read aloud in court.

Rowling plans to donate the damages to charity, seeing as how she doesn't need it. Congratulations!

Thank you for reading! If you want more of my writing, sign up for my newsletter at  . Have a good day, and see you around!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What Are You Reading Wednesdays - 5/20/15

Time for another What Are You Reading Wednesday! 

What Are You Reading Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by It's a Reading Thing ( Be sure to stop by and visit them! To participate, just answer these three questions about what you are reading this Wednesday. If you have a blog, feel free to link to the post, your just leave your answers in the comments below.

The three questions are:

1. What is the name of your current read?

2. Go to page 34 of your book, or 34% of your ebook, and share one complete sentence.

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists in this book? Why or why not?

My Answers

1. I'm reading an ARC copy of The End of the World is Rye by Brett Cottrell.

2. "Can they help you make these sandwiches?"

3. It's too early for me to tell. I mean, obviously there's a Heaven, which means an afterlife, and I'm all for afterlives...but there are also incarnations of things like Insanity that show up in people's cars and kill them for the hell of it. So...yeah, still up in the air until I read more.


Thanks for reading! If you like my blog, sign up for my newsletter at to receive a free copy of my award-winning urban fantasy Chains of Prophecy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Reblog: Scookie Reviews: Hidden Gem Awards: Meet the Winner

Tuesday Reblog: Scookie Reviews: Hidden Gem Awards: Meet the Winner: Introducing the winner of Scookie Review's Hidden Gem Awards, Jason P Crawford, and his supernatural novel, Chain of Prophecy! ...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Me, Myself...and Monday! 5/18/15

Welcome to Me, Myself, and Monday! I take this day out of the week to talk about what I'm doing, whether it be in my writing career, my family life, teaching, gaming, or whatever else it is that tickles my fancy to talk about.

So, without further we go!

Elpis: My Serial Science Fiction Novel

Elpis is a science fiction novel about space colonization across the galaxy. Set in a relatively distant future, humanity has located a new planet, much like Earth, on which to pin their last hopes, and named it after the last ray of light left in Pandora's box: Elpis.

I started work on Elpis, planning to make it into a huge, epic, multi-book project in the future. However, if you've been following my book lists, you know that I've already got four series going right now and I don't really need to add another to the mix. Elpis seemed doomed to the back burner, waiting until I had cleared my plate enough to take a look at it.

Then my wife (editor, publisher, etc) said that I should start putting out content for readers regularly, like teasers or short stories. I thought about it and remembered Wattpad, which I had used a couple of times to publish stories and the first few chapters of Bonds of Fate. Then Elpis reasserted itself in my mind (I had about 5000 words written in it at the time) and I said, "Hey. What if I publish one page of this book every day? That would be interesting."

I'm certainly not claiming that this is a totally unique idea. But it's interesting to me; what readers are getting is, essentially, the first draft of the book, written every day (almost; I do miss occasionally and I take one weekend day off every week) just for them. I've gotten good feedback on it so far, with lots of "likes" and a couple of good comments. I don't know how many people are reading it, yet, but I'm enjoying writing it. After it's done, I'll edit it and make it available in paperback version and as a single download (free). In the meantime, you can find it at: If you have any feedback, positive or negative, please let me know. I'm always anxious to hear from readers!

That's it for this week. Tomorrow is Technique Tuesday, where I talk about my writing process and my take on different styles and techniques. Thanks for stopping by!


If you enjoy my writing, I would be honored if you would subscribe to my newsletter: It's published about every two weeks and will help keep you up to date on my new releases, other authors I've found and enjoyed, and important developments. Thank you, and keep reading!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shoutout Saturday!

Welcome to ShoutOut Saturday! Today, I feature three or four fellow independent authors that I've enjoyed recently. Being an independent author myself, I know how hard it can be to get traction. There's a natural, understandable reticence to try out indie authors. After all, lots of the work that's being put out is...well, let's just say it isn't of the highest quality.

These guys, though, are worth it. Submitted for your approval:

Death Defiant by Paige Reiring is a stellar example of how wordcraft can stay with the reader for days after finishing the book. Her cast of characters is incredibly realistic (for half-demons and angels and other things, anyway) with realistic motivations and understandable reactions to the world around them. Her plotline is tight, consistent, and a thrill to read, and the editing in this book is outstanding. I was wrapped up in the text, turning my ebook pages as fast as I could get through them. I didn't want to put it down until I got through...and, after I was done, I found my thoughts returning to the events. How are things going to turn out?

And there's a terrible, terrible scene in this book. It's horrific, and vicious, and emotional. It made me sick to read it, and my gorge turned every time I reimagined it...which was often. And this is another testament to Paige's writing skill and strength. She put me there, in this mad horror, and I couldn't get out until she let me go.

You can find Paige's book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and in ebook format: Death Defiant (Volume 1).


No Reflection by Spencer Rhys Hughes is a terrifying foray into what would happen if a woman were introduced to a supernatural world that she had no idea existed beforehand. Completely normal at the beginning, she is exposed to a horrific sight that triggers her introduction into a world of madness.

Actually, this book reminds me of White Wolf's the World of Darkness RPG.

Anyway, Spencer spins his tale with aplomb. The creepiness factor is ratched up to eleven as we move through the text, leading the reader to see shadows behind every corner. If you're a fan of supernatural horror (Stephen King, for one) then you'll really enjoy this book. The characters are interesting, although I'm really anxious to learn more about them as the series goes on.

You can get Spencer's book here: No Reflection (The Furies) (Volume 1) .

That's all for this week! I know it's only two, but I've been a little behind on my reading :) I really encourage you to check these books out. There're a lot of great things out there that are flying under the radar. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Facepalm Friday - 5/15/15

Welcome to Facepalm Friday!

On Facepalm Friday, I list a few things that I think are just...dumb. Wrong. Stupid. I discuss them and then rate them by the number of facepalms. For my images, I decided to pull the everpresent Star Trek facepalm memes, starting with Picard and going up all the way to Batman. I did not, in any way, create these images.


Earlier this month, a woman filed a federal lawsuit in Omaha against all homosexuals on behalf of the Lord. She wrote a handwritten petition to the court, explaining her reasoning and how all gays obviously know that what they're doing is sinful; else, why would they hide? On May 6th, the lawsuit was dismissed by the Federal judge, who said, "A federal court is not a forum for debate on theological matters." (source: Omaha World-Herald)

What the heck? I just...I don't know. I sat openmouthed at my computer, then laughed for several minutes when I saw this article. I understand that people are raised differently, and that many, especially in the older generation (this woman was 66, I believe), have a difficult time accepting that homosexuality is a scientific fact and has its roots in biology, not choice. (Source: Nature World News, among others). That's fine, and I don't ridicule people for that. I prefer to educate.

But a lawsuit, on God's behalf, against ALL OF THEM? How is that even practical? Who would represent them? Who would represent God? I don't understand what she actually hoped to accomplish by this, except making herself look like a fool. Does anyone know? How could this possibly have advanced her cause, even if the culture were different. What would she have been awarded?

I don't know. Because I understand where this comes from but not how it makes any sense, in any universe, ever, I award this action...the DOUBLE FACEPALM!



So, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Bruce Banner (The Incredible Hulk) have begun, tentatively, a romantic relationship. Mr. Whedon came under fire for this, people claiming that the relationship demeaned the Black Widow character and made her dependent on a man. A lot of it was really venomous and vitriolic, especially when you consider that the man has made a career out of giving women strong characters to believe in.


Okay. Full disclosure: I'm a white male. I freely admit that I have benefited from privilege my entire life, and that there's probably still a lot of it I don't see. That being said...

Is falling in love with someone really anti-feminist? Is that sexist?

The relationship doesn't have that "obsessive" quality that, say, Twilight's does. Natasha doesn't go running after him when he leaves, or spend time wishing he were there. When Bruce is too overwhelmed and says they should run away together, she hurls him into a pit to turn him into the Hulk so he can fight the bad guy.

How is this a weak woman?

She cares for him. That's obvious. But she doesn't lose any of the qualities that make her independent, or powerful. She's as surprised as anyone by their connection, but that's what it is: a connection born out of close association, working together, and familiarization. Not love at first sight. Not childish things. There was no stereotyping or pandering or demeaning in the entire relationship.

That's my perspective, and the perspective of Mr. Whedon, and many other people. I understand the gut reaction of a strong female character having "soft" moments, but I reject the idea that that means sexism. Therefore, I give this accusation...THE FACEPALM!



Okay, bear with me. This'll take a minute.

Since March, Heather Hironimus and her son, Chase, have been on the run from the authorities. When Chase was born, Heather and the boy's father, Dennis Nebus, signed a parenting agreement that called for the boy's circumcision. It never happened.

Now he's four and a half years old, and the father wants it done. In the intervening time, Heather researched the issue and decided that she no longer wanted her son to have the procedure.

Dennis took her to court.

The judge found in his favor and ordered Heather to have the procedure done. She refused and ran off with Chase. An arrest warrant was issued for her, and she's been in hiding in a domestic shelter for two months. This past week, the police brought her in.

She has filed a federal suit against Dennis and the judge who issued the order. Thanks to an emergency motion filed by her attorney, the federal courts are going to make a decision on all issues on Monday.

Chase doesn't want the procedure. Doctors have testified that there is no medically compelling reason for him to have it, so it amounts to cosmetic surgery at best.

And now Heather is in prison.


So I think circumcision is stupid. It has no basis in medical scientific fact except in VERY specific cases, and RIC (routine infant circumcision) is only practiced en-masse by the United States and certain African countries where we're doing it in order to help stop the spread of HIV, at least without a religious reason.

By the way, it doesn't do that very well, and condoms do it better. In fact, the recommendations are that, even if you're circumcised, you need to wear a why have it cut off?

(Reasons that an intact foreskin is better than being circumcised: Doctors Opposing Circumcision)

But that doesn't even matter. What matters is that this is a medically non-necessary surgery that is being forced upon a child old enough to vocalize his choice. He's saying No! Don't cut parts of me off! And his father, and the judge, are refusing to listen. What does that mean for him later? How will he trust his father ever again?

What kind of society are we living in where we won't even listen to children as regards their own bodies? What are we teaching those same children?

Is it any wonder that grown men see women as objects, if they, as children, were treated as such? How can they learn bodily respect and integrity if it's not shown to them?

This is a travesty. This is wrong. I hope that the federal judge sees how horrific this would be and denies it, freeing Heather and protecting Chase. I hope that basic humanity wins out over cultural indoctrination and stupidity.

I am forced to give this development the BATMAN FACEPALM. If you agree and want to help Heather afford her legal fees, go here: and donate. It's tax-deductible. Thank you.

Do you have anything you've heard worthy of Facepalm Friday? Let me know at or in the comments.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Triumphant Thursday - 5/14/15

Welcome to Triumphant Thursdays!

Triumphant Thursday is a look at several things I've found in the last week that are just awesome. We celebrate victories, both individual and globally. I share my own and those of others.

First, one of mine:


Chains of Prophecy, my first published novel, won the Hidden Gem Awards for Supernatural Fiction! The competition was strong, but out of five finalists CoP emerged victorious! Go Sam!

You can check out Scookie's review of Chains of Prophecy, as well as the other finalists, at the link below.

Scookie Reviews: Hidden Gem Awards: 1st Place: #1 The Chains of Prophecy Jason P. Crawford When Samuel Buckland discovers he's descended of a powerful bloodline, he must fi...



The German car company Audi has created a form of diesel they call "e-diesel." This fuel is generated from water and atmospheric carbon dioxide, resulting in fuel that doesn't contribute to climate change - in other words, it's carbon neutral. Audi only has one plant capable of making this fuel at present, but they hope to expand soon and quickly. You can read all about it at the link below.

This is fantastic because it's another avenue away from burning fossil fuels. Scientific consensus demands that humanity find another way to sustain itself or we will make Earth uninhabitable for our species. This is a step in the right direction. Good job, Audi!



You may have heard about the possible breakthrough from NASA: a fuelless propulsion system that may be breaking some of the fundamental laws of physics, allowing objects to travel faster than the speed of light (not yet, but once the tech is expanded out). The measured thrust is low so far, only a few micronewtons of force, but the potential is immeasurable. If this tech bears fruit, we could be looking at trips to Mars in a few days, and interstellar travel could become a possibility. Check out the original discovery below.

Of course, not everyone agrees that we should be jumping up and down. Science requires verification and caution, and some of those protocols have not yet been met.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on any and all of the Triumphs this Thursday!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Are You Reading Wednesdays - 5/13/15

What Are You Reading Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Its A Reading Thing. Be sure to stop by and visit them! To participate, just answer these three questions about what you are reading this Wednesday. If you have a blog, feel free to leave a link to your post, or just leave your answers in the comments below.

The Questions are:

1. What’s the name of your current read?

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share one complete sentence.

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

My Answers:

1. I'm not reading a fiction book at present, so I'll use the last one I read: No Reflection by Spencer Hughes.


3. ...Yes? I'm going to say yes. Even though Hughes has created a world full of supernatural horrors...there's magic in it, and wonder, and I would like to live in a world where that existed, even if it was more dangerous and I had to fight.

Thanks for reading! You can sign up for my newsletter at and receive a free copy of my award-winning novel Chains of Prophecy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Now offering editing services

So I'm putting myself out there as a freelance editor.

Here are my basic rates:
$1.50/page: proofreading (this includes grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc)
$2.00/page: copyediting (this includes the above plus rewording sentences, suggesting new adjectives, inconsistencies, etc). This will also entail the creation of a style sheet for later editors to use.
$4.00/page: developmental editing (this includes comments about what in your story is working, which scenes should be expanded/cut, etc).

I'm happy to work with our indie authors on installment payments, and all of my proofreading/copyediting is backed up by a guarantee. If you find any mistakes, I'll go back in and fix it again at no extra charge.

I know it's hard to find good, cost-effective editors as an independent author...and not all of us can do it ourselves. If you're interested, you can contact me at Please use the subject line EDITING REQUEST so I can easily sort the emails.

Thanks, and keep writing!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Elpis #5

The screen flickered as the computer transmitted the command to the ship itself. Lights flicked on everywhere, and the humming of the engines increased. The drifting beads of water that had escaped climate control so far fell to the ground in a pitter-patter, and she felt the weight of gravity settle about her neck and shoulders once again.

“Acknowledged. Subjects will be awake within four hours, with a five percent margin of error.”

“Right.” Irina leaned down, switched off her boots, and stepped out of her pod’s alcove into the cramped hallway. “Now, remind me how to get to the bridge.”

Soundless Screaming

Nadr al-Sahir leaned against the elevator wall, his eyes closed, thinking, remembering. He turned his head and glanced once more at his tablet’s display, where the message from the Head of Security still burned.

“All primary colonists, report to the main briefing room at once. Do not discuss anything with anyone else. I will explain what’s going on when you arrive.
-Irina Dovenka, CDR

His first instinct had been to query the computer for information, for data, but everything was locked out by Dovenka, and none of his passcodes would get through.

“Don’t discuss with anyone else?” Nadr shook his head. He had passed a few others on the way out, in various states of dress and preparation, but had held to the order, giving a cursory nod as he moved on. “That doesn’t make any sense. Something must have happened.”

Maybe we’re adrift in space. It’s not like you’d be able to feel it. He wiped away the sweat beading on his brow. Or we got lost. Navigation malfunctioned. Maybe…

Monday, April 6, 2015

Elpis #4

She dropped the tablet back onto the shelf and grabbed her electric pistol and holster, belting the weapon on before picking the computer up again. “Where are we?”

“Current location is approximately…”

“No, never mind. How long until we arrive at Elpis?”

“Orbit expected to occur in seventeen hours, twenty-three minutes, with a seven percent margin of error.”

“Fine.” Seventeen hours. That’s not long to figure out what’s going on. She tapped her foot against the floor, boot ringing on metal. Okay. Calm. By the book.

“What caused the deaths?”

“Cryogenic pods initiated wake-up procedures without draining stasis fluid or altering external environment. As a consequence, all subjects involved were unable to escape the pod, and, due to their heightened metabolic rates, asphyxiated within minutes.”

Irina rubbed her forehead with her free hand. “Holy hell. They drowned?”


The only thing that could have done that is the computer itself. Someone must have screwed with the computer, told it what to do…but how?

She chewed on her bottom lip for a moment.

“Give me the list of the primary colonization wave.”

The tablet complied, displaying the colonists who were to be awakened first to initiate the colonization effort. In addition to the command crew, there were one-hundred specialists in various fields—technicians, scientists, economists, mechanics, engineers—that would be responsible for setting up the new colony infrastructure before rousing the rest.

All right. Need to know basis. We’ve got seventeen hours before we get there.

“Initiate awakening procedures for the primary colonization wave. Authorization code Bravo Delta.”

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Elpis #3

Could be worse. She ran her hand through her close-cut brown hair. Got off easy.

She turned away from the mirror, stepping out into the hallway.

“Wha…wait a minute. What’s going on?”

This section of the ship was close-fitting, cryogenic pods stacked in one atop the other. Over a hundred colonists and crew slept away the journey across the Milky Way in stasis. The electrical activity required to keep the pods running charged the atmosphere in the area, smelling of ozone and iron. She narrowed her eyes.

“There should be more people awake.” Irina moved to the next pod, her eyes scanning over the data readouts—heart rate, oxygen consumption, core body temperature. All indicated deep hibernation.

“Commander.” The voice came from her personal tablet, still in its holder in the cabinet. “You have received an automated message with a priority of Urgent. Are you prepared to receive it?”

Irina stopped, turning, her lips thin. She swallowed, squared her shoulders, and marched toward the tablet, picking it up. “Yes.”

A green light flashed across her eyes, confirming her identity, and then the message appeared on the screen. One of Irina’s hands went to her mouth of its own volition as she read.

Urgent: Captain, ISS Venture

CC: Commander of Security, ISS Venture.

Critical System Failure Log: 12:47 GMT, 10 Jun 2416

Complete Pod Failure

 Irina scanned down the list of affected pods. This…this is the entire command crew, from the captain down to the communications tech. She shook her head, checked again. What the hell is going on?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Elpis #2

Have we already arrived? The shaking lessened, and she stretched out her hand, testing it, flexing her fingers as she watched the distorted images collapse into recognizable patterns. She blinked new tears out of her eyes, then put her hand down and turned her head.

The pod had opened to the inner environment of the ship. The glass walls no longer obscured the view; instead, Irina had a clear picture of everything around her.

“Body temperature reaching 35 degrees. Neural recovery satisfactory. One minute to completion of procedure.” Electrodes released their hold on her head, retracting on small metal cables into the pod.
Irina put her hands underneath her body. The platform was warm, and her skin had shed the ice water left over from the cryogenic sleep. The shivering stopped, and she felt strength returning to her muscles. The restraints withdrew, and she floated several inches above the platform.

“Procedure complete. Welcome back, Commander Dovenka.”

Irina pushed herself up, feeling the tendons flex and the ligaments stretch as she moved. Now upright, she reached for the nearby cabinet labeled with her name, opening the doors to reveal clothes and dry rations, a drawer for personal effects, and a portable tablet computer. She dressed, smoothing the uniform over her body. Her fingers felt clumsy, slow, and buttoning her shirt took a few more tries than expected.

Last, she powered on the magnetic boots, and they pulled her to the floor, attaching to the ship with enough force to hold her in place.

Irina examined her reflection in the mirror, poking at the bruises, the dark patches, the irritated areas that indicated the monitoring sites. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Elpis #1

So I've decided that, in order to have some regular content for my log, I will be publishing a serial novel. I'll put up a single page (approx 250 words) every day. I look forward to your comments!

Awakening in the Void

He opens his eyes in the darkness. His chest moves, heaving, searching for oxygen, but there is none; his lungs are filled with frozen slush, and he feels the crystals tearing at the delicate sacs within as the organs move in and out. His heart pumps like mad, wakening from its torpor and responding to the liquid panic flooding his blood.
He screams, soundless, airless. "His thoughts are like his fists, ineffectual and unfocused, slamming against the inside of his brain, losing strength, fading back into the shadow.
But this time, he would not awaken.
Irina Dovenka took her first breath twenty-seven hours later as the automatic systems on her cryogenic pod brought her out of hibernation.
The first sense to return was sound. A slow gurgle of draining fluid, the humming of electricity. An awareness of her own breathing. A tapping sound, something hard on metal, irregular, sporadic. The shivering started then as warmth began seeping into her consciousness, muscles reacting to the low core temperature as best they could, sending her into spasms, uncontrollable. Metalloid plastics rubbed against Irina’s skin, wet and icy, and her teeth chattered in her head. Blurry shapes began to resolve from the blinding white background as her eyes refocused, relearning their function and resuming their work.
“Body temperature reaching 32 degrees. Neural recovery within nominal limits. Two minutes to completion of procedure.”

The machine’s words cut through Irina’s mind like a blade through the fog.