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Thank you for joining us today for the final installment of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. More than a web ring of tasty snippets of the latest work of indie SF/Fantasy authors, Sci-fi Fan Sat has been a home for me, a sounding board, and the place where I met colleagues who became my best friends. Without the authors and writers featured here over the years, THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES wouldn’t be the same and might never have seen the light of day. A heartfelt thanks to Laurel Kriegler, our illustrious leader and editor extraordinaire for bringing us together in a positive, supportive environment. This Saturday tradition has been the launch pad for my books, and the books of many gifted and talented authors like Cary Caffrey, TK Toppin, Pippa Jay, Patrick Stutzman, Heidi Ruby Miller, TM Hunter, Peter Vialls, SA Check, Gayle Ramage, Misa Buckley, Aurora Springer, and so many more.
It seems only fitting to leave you with a snippet from the same scene, from the same book that brought me to SFFSat to begin with five years ago. BARRON’S LAST STAND was always THE book I was writing. SOVRAN’S PAWN and HERO’S END just happened to be the backstory. Thanks to Laurel’s encouragement and that of the SFFSat crew, I wrote those first and am just now getting back to the book that started it all. So for my last trick, here is a snippet from BARRON’S LAST STAND in which Bo Barron finds that her estranged husband, Blade Devon has stowed away aboard her ship. In five years, the scene has undergone some revisions from it’s first appearance, but here it is as it will appear in the upcoming release.
“Hello, my love.”
The smooth, familiar, baritone voice hit her like a plasma storm, taking all her defensive systems offline. Her lungs felt as if the hull had been breached and all the atmo had blasted out into the vacuum of space, leaving her helpless to do more than stare into eyes the same shade as the bluestone of the Gallis Highlands where she’d grown up.
A slow, rakish smile softened his stern features.
Her heart pounded in time with the cycling engines. She wasn’t some twitter-pated fangirl who would melt under his megawatt, crooked little, bad-boy smile. That ship broke grav five years ago. He did not get to swagger back into her life as if nothing had happened.
She squeezed the trigger.
Blue energy flashed from the muzzle and struck him in the thigh.
He grunted in pain and reached for his wound.
Bo tightened her grip on her blaster and set her jaw. “Keep your hands where I can see them!”
Welcome to Science Fiction/Fantasy Saturday! Ten to fifteen sentences are yours for the clicking. Today’s snippet is from BARRON’S LAST STAND. Five years after HERO’S END, Blade finds himself on Bo’s ship, Sundance. He is surprised to find the ship’s sick bay not as well stocked as he remembered.
“Sundance, when was the last time Bo resupplied the infirmary?”
“It has been twenty-seven months, four days and six hours since we put in to a Redmaster Blue base for supplies and maintenance.”
His brow furrowed. “Why so long?”
“Our last stop on Altair, Commander Barron encountered an independent group of contractors from the Assassin’s Guild.”
“Get me the log entry on that,” he said.
After a moment, Bo’s voice came over the grille. “Thought I’d stop by Altair today,” she said, tightly. “Nice welcoming party waiting for me.” She sucked in a deep breath through her teeth. “Cross Altair off the list of safe ports.” She hissed something unintelligible.
“End of entry,” Sundance said.
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I felt adrift and disengaged from the film until Han Solo showed up. At last! Here was someone I had an emotional attachment to. Unfortunately, the old, familiar characters we know and love likewise seemed to wander aimlessly, as though even they were unsure what they were doing in the movie. Solo was in an entirely different story that seemed more interesting than the one the young heroes were pursuing. Yes, there was a unifying goal, but by the second act even the bad guy got bored with it and moved on to something else.
THE FORCE AWAKENS is an action-packed romp, but it lacks the elusive spark found in the other films in the franchise.