At the end of 2017 I included a simple poll in my last message to my mailing list for the year. I asked: what do you want to see more of in my author newsletter? The answer, overwhelmingly, was more free short stories and original content from myself. Not more notice on upcoming releases, not more free or discounted offers from other writers, but more short stories like “Totaled,” “Stowaway,” and “The Trials of Io.”
So, in 2018, I’m going to make good on that! My goal is to include at least one free short story in every other newsletter–so one per month. Some of those stories will then show up on Amazon and other vendors, sometimes for free, sometimes for 99cents. But if you want to get a free exclusive early read, be sure to join my author mailing list. It’s going to be a great year!
If you haven’t already read my two free shorts, “Totaled” and “Stowaway,” check them out. And you can get a free copy of “The Trials of Io” when you sign up for the list.
Thanks everyone! Happy reading 🙂
Whew! What a November it’s been. Life has been wild here in Iowa, I’m not ashamed to say. Between teaching voice, hacking away at the dreaded dissertation, chasing a toddler around the house, and writing, I’m amazed I’m still getting any sleep! I know, I know: first world problems. But I’m not writing this to complain; more to explain why I’ve pushed back the release date for The Star Wizard: Starship Fairfax Book 4. It’s been on preorder on Amazon for a couple of weeks and was supposed to go live December 3, but if I’m being honest with you and with myself, it needs a little more time. I don’t want to rush it to make the deadline and release a book that isn’t worth reading, so I’ve pushed the release to December 11. It’s just an extra week and a day, so never fear! Book 4 will be along, and, if all goes well, Book 5 will follow in the last few days of 2017.
Thanks for your patience with me as I figure out this writing gig. I also have some very exciting news I’ll be announcing soon regarding an upcoming co-authoring project to come out in 2018. Stay tuned!
Just in time for Christmas:
Good news! “Stowaway,” one of my Starship Fairfax prequel stories, has been included in another of Alasdair Shaw’s short sci-fi story anthologies. The Guardian is available as an ebook for just 99cents from multiple retailers, with an affordable paperback option as well. Could be the perfect Christmas gift for the sci-fi reader in your life! Check it out here.
I’m trying something new. In preparation for the eventual publication of my short book of poems, I swallowed the sun, I’ve set up an Instagram account and begun posting images of some of the poems. Word on the street is this is how the kids share poetry. I wouldn’t really know, having not been hip to the kids for a few years now (I’m an old or pre-wall millenial, just barely not a Gen-X’er). Continue reading “Instagram Poetry”
For anyone following the saga of my cover design journey, I’m very happy to share I’ve made still another round of modifications on the cover of The Lunar Gambit: Starship Fairfax Book 1, ending up with this:
Not too shabby, eh? So what’s changed since the last iteration about a month ago? Mostly just that the Earth in the background is a little lighter, coupled with a deeper contrast on the ships themselves. I was so stoked about the higher render and the new explosions and lasers with the last version, I think I overlooked a significant flaw in the lack of contrast between the ships and the Earth. That is definitely better now. The only problem is now I think I’ve lost some of that delicious contrast between the Earth and the title typography. Ach, can’t have it all! Anyway it’s not too bad, when you remember what I started out with:
A Starship Fairfax Prequel Short Story
By Benjamin Douglas
Copyright 2017 Benjamin Douglas, all rights reserved. No portion of this story may be duplicated or distributed without the author’s permission.
Ada Xander woke up cold, stiff, and standing up in pitch darkness. She tried thrusting her hands out in front of her, but they were stopped by a wall of metal. Her mind raced. She tried to slow her breathing, remembering where she was. Oxygen was limited. If she hyperventilated she might pass out and never wake up.
Slowly, cautiously, she ran her fingertips down the right side of the wall until her hand met the small perturbance. There you are, she thought. The latch wasn’t meant to be opened from the inside. It had been installed as a redundancy, no doubt, in case the ship operators had ever needed to smuggle persons, but most of the time small cabinets like the one into which Ada had stuffed herself were probably crammed full of ill-gotten goods or illicit compounds. Her fingers locked around the latch. She pulled, it clicked, and the wall swung outward. Continue reading “Stowaway: a Starship Fairfax prequel short story”
“Totaled” is available for free in the Amazon US and UK stores, Barnes and Noble, and Wattpad. It is also featured in The Officer: Eleven Science Fiction Short Stories, ed. Alasdair Shaw.
A Starship Fairfax Prequel Story
The Kuiper Chronicles
By Benjamin Douglas
Copyright 2017 Benjamin Douglas. All rights reserved. The author’s permission is required for any reprinting, distribution, or recording of this content. All persons within are fictional and not intended to be representative of any real persons.
The ship’s computer was acting up again, Dolridge was sure of it. There was no reason for the unauthorized persons alarm to be going off. Not this far out from port. If there had actually been any unauthorized persons aboard, they would have been detected hours ago, back in the Kuiper Belt. There weren’t any ways to get around the scans. So why was the computer insisting on telling him otherwise?
To aggravate his splitting headache, of course. Continue reading “Totaled: a Starship Fairfax Prequel Short Story”
Lots going on this week for me. If you haven’t seen this already, you can get a copy on Amazon of The Lunar Gambit: Starship Fairfax Book 1 for FREE today and tomorrow yet! And The Hidden Prophet: Starship Fairfax Book 2 is marked down on a Kindle Countdown Deal to 99cents for another day yet after that.
This is all to celebrate the recent release of The Neptune Contingency: Starship Fairfax Book 3, available for purchase on Amazon, and available to read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that if you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter just yet, consider the perks: a day before I hit “publish” on Book 3, I sent it to everyone on my mailing list. For free. No strings attached. Just as a little thank you for being there and supporting me. Stuff like that happens! And when you subscribe, you automatically get access to a newsletter-exclusive prequel short story, “The Trials of Io,” in which you get a glimpse into Darren’s distant past. Ooo, mysterious, I know!
That’s all the book news. In my other life as a college voice teacher, things are heating up moving into November. Students are getting sick and buried under piles of homework left and right, and let me tell ya, trying to keep the studio together always begins to feel a bit like herding cats around this time of year. But the autumn wind shaking the leaves loose and sending them scurrying across the lawn out my front window makes it all a little more bearable.
If all goes well, I’ll have the next installment of Starship Fairfax out before too long, and check this out: I have a couple of super-secret collaborative writings projects in the works, too! More on that to come. That’s all for now! Stay warm and healthy, everyone. Add a little spice to your cider tonight.
Check it out, everyone! I got some very helpful feedback from the indie author community over at KBoards, and the result is this newly revised cover for The Lunar Gambit. The changes seem minor at first, but I’m convinced they yield a superior quality and aesthetic overall. Let me know what you think! Here it is as a thumbnail and full-sized:
His ship is wrecked. His guns are empty. And he’s been thrust into command on his first tour. What could go wrong?
Lucas Odin seems like a qualified first officer–on paper. But his only battles so far have been simulations, each one a miserable failure. He just isn’t a “take charge” kind of guy. To be honest, he’d rather spend his first tour gaming on the ship’s modded sims than dealing with real people. But when the Starship Fairfax is waylaid by pirates, Lucas inherits a mission already doomed to fail. If he wants to keep the ship flying, keep his crew alive, and take back what was stolen, there’s only one way:
By taking charge.
They abducted her father, murdered her family, and chased her across the Kuiper Belt.
Ada Xander is away from the family mine on Cyron-2 for the first time, and running for her life. To evade her hunters and find the answers she seeks, she needs to do more than just survive. Space pirates, the inner-system mafia, and the looming Old Earth Empire are just a few of the formidable obstacles in her path, and she’ll do anything to clear it. So when her path and that of the Fairfax collide, all hell breaks loose. Will Ada find what she seeks before becoming the enemy herself?
The Lunar Gambit is the first-in-series of Starship Fairfax, a military science fiction adventure set in the Kuiper Chronicles universe. You can learn more about the series and the author at:
COMING LATE 2017: STARSHIP FAIRFAX BOOKS 4 & 5!