Excerpt from Zero Perspective

In celebration of publishing my novella, Zero Perspective, I’d like to share an excerpt from the first chapter with you, the awesome person reading this post. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for reading, and an even bigger thank you if you decide to pick up a copy of Zero Perspective!

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…After suiting up and meeting Grant and Miles at the airlock, John led the team into the Esometa.

“It’s a ghost ship,” Grant said, shining his helmet light down the dark, silent corridor.

“Have you ever heard a ship be this quiet?” Miles asked.

“It’s completely shut down,” John added. “Dead in the water, so to speak.”

“Why are the gravity systems still operational?” Miles noted.

Grant shook his head. “Strange. They shouldn’t be.”

They made their way down the hall. John tried to prepare himself for the sight of corpses, which he felt sure they’d find. His stomach cramped at the thought.

“Where’s the bridge?” Miles asked. “You know the designs on these ships, don’t you Grant?”

“I thought I did,” Grant answered. “This corridor should have ended ten meters back and I still can’t see the end of it. It doesn’t conform to the design specifications. I don’t understand.”

“You’ve got the right display, haven’t you?” Miles’ tone carried a wavering anticipation.

“Of course I have the right one.”

“Then where the hell are we?” Miles asked.

Grant studied the information on his arm display. He seemed transfixed, the soft glow of the screen casting pale light on his face. His eyes stared hard, jaw locked in concentration.

“Well?” Miles took a step closer to Grant.

“I don’t know,” Grant said. “Let’s turn around and go back. Maybe we just missed it in the dark.”

“Where does your computer say we are?” John asked.

“It’s not working,” Grant answered.

“But what does it say?”

“It says we’re not even on the ship. It says we’re out there,” he pointed a gloved finger at one of the port windows, “in space.”

“Then it’s obviously malfunctioning,” Miles said.

“No shit,” Grant replied. “I just said it wasn’t working.”

“We’ll turn around and make our way back,” John said. “We don’t want to get lost in here. We’ll go get a replacement so we know where we’re going.”

Grant looked hard at John. “Sure, we need a new computer. But something still isn’t right about this. I know these ships like the back of my hand. And I’m telling you, there’s no way this corridor is as long as it is. I don’t need the computer to tell me that.”

“Radio the captain,” John said. “Let him know our situation before we move on. Maybe he knows something about the ship we don’t.”

“This is Grant to Tyson. Come in, Tyson.”

They waited for an answer, but were met with silence. Not even static came through the speaker.

“Grant to Tyson. Can you read me?” He tapped his helmet. “Hello? Tyson, are you there? This is Grant. We have a situation.”

Sweat beaded on John’s brow. A drop ran down the bridge of his nose and rested at the tip. He focused on it, blurring all else in his vision. It shook slightly, as though seismic activity rumbled beneath the surface of his skin.

“I’m not getting anything,” Grant said. “Nothing at all.”

“This is John. Can anyone hear me?” He tried to keep his voice calm, despite the simmered blood rushing through his heart. He didn’t want anyone to panic. That would make a bad situation worse. And things were already off to a less than perfect start…


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Zero Perspective is available from these retailers:

Print edition on Amazon

Kindle edition

eBook on Smashwords

Signed copies are also available! Contact me by email at LeeFormanAuthor@gmail.com

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Soundscapes and Screams

Some authors prefer silence while creating, others are fueled by melodies that play like the ghostly hands of a muse… In celebration of his new book, Screams the Machine, Sam Mortimer talks about music and how it plays a role in his work as a writer.

Soundscapes and Screams

Sam Mortimer

Every writer is different and has a method of transferring their unique world to page.  Music acts like a transistor in select writers’ stories, modulating the tale’s energy and revealing new angles. It’s interesting to see which bands and artists haunt a writer’s playlist. For instance, I learned about The Raveonettes, “Love in the Trashcan” from Stephen King’s playlist on Itunes years ago. Music connects like the cat’s meow, and right songs enhance the writing process, which hopefully creates an unforgettable reader’s experience. 

Sound or lack thereof, played an integral part in Screams The Machine. Even though music practically hums in my bones, during the first draft, the room stayed as silent as possible.  T’was a rather isolative feeling, but doing so helped preserve the story’s initial soundscape. Nothing interfered with the frequency, if you will. Even the fiction world’s imagery stayed pure and raw in my head, which hopefully allowed me to write better! Also, I wanted to ‘hear’ the breaths of the characters, their voices, and the ambience of the Screams The Machine’s dystopian world. As the story moved forward, an original soundtrack began writing itself in my head. If for some serendipitous reason Screams The Machine lands a movie deal, I’d love to compose a song or two that burned in my mind while writing the novella.

The second draft is where the party began, and least that was the case in Screams The Machine, when writing and music became starry-eyed companions. New energy bounced in and sound’s influence morphed aspects of the tale, hopefully revealing some depth to the world and its characters. Music works in mysterious ways I’d imagine for many writers.

The ambient band Stars of the Lid carried a hefty influence on a majority of Screams The Machine’s second and third drafts, especially during the protagonist’s, Randal Markins, phantasmagoric withdrawal from The All.  Stars of the Lid produce dreamy, intense sounds that give a celestial sensation; they know how to create a potent atmosphere, and that was precisely what Screams The Machine required.  

Randal’s trials and tribulations felt entirely focused while I listened to Stars of the Lid. His pain became clarified in my mind, almost real, and hopefully the reader can experience the same thing. His withdrawal from a presence called The All might’ve been entirely different if Stars of the Lid weren’t in the background.  If you’ve watched Twin Peaks, you’ve likely heard their music.

When Stars of the Lid didn’t play, droning deep-sleep inducing music was moving some particles in the air. Only I didn’t sleep much (still don’t) so the music never put me under—instead, I basically fell into a trance. The experience was gravely interesting, resulting in some of the prose you’ll read in Screams The Machine.

Next book you dig into, consider the soundscape. What surrounded the author as they wrote some of your favorite scenes? Were they jamming to The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Even the Slept or Falls Lake? Maybe Tycho?

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Synopsis

Cash carries a disease; one that’s already killed a large majority of the population and something needs to be done. To stop the crisis from escalating, The Solution (a worldwide organization) is formed and rises to great power. They monitor people’s dreams and shape reality to fit their own wants and needs. In an effort to control existence itself, The Solution is searching for what they believe to be the ultimate tool; a person with the ability to master a deep connection with the mysterious, pervasive energy known only as The Ultimate Reality.

Watching her neighborhood decay, her friends and family perish, Elizabeth Reznik needs to find meaning in her life. She discovers her existence is more meaningful than she could ever have imagined. Operatives of The Solution seek her out, take her from her home and perform brutal experiments on her. Their conclusion? Elizabeth is the one they have been searching for; she is the key to gaining complete power.

The stratagem of The Solution is single minded – own the resources and you own the people. And the last resource available is free will. They will own your thoughts, they will orchestrate your dreams; they will dine on your fears. But there is always a cog in the machine… or in this case, a scream.

Available on:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | CreateSpace (Print)

 

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Author Bio:

Sam Mortimer has worked the graveyard shift in law enforcement, attended film school, and has been writing strange stories since age eleven. He loves reading, music, and strives to meet the demands of his five cats.