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STELLAR NURSERY EXCERPT – FRANK SMITH

Find here an excerpt transmitted by Scummy to tantalize the people of earth in anticipation of the upcoming release of Planet Scumm! Some words from author Frank Smith:

One month ago they’d set off from the domes of Titan Colony to meet with the Science Council on Mars—the Madeira’s longest run yet. They’d made it as far as Europa and her quiet seas when they hit trouble. The ship’s computer had detected hull damage, requiring Zadie to take a spacewalk to investigate the problem.

She hated spacewalks. Like many who grew up on the domed colonies, Zadie was agoraphobic. Being in space was an overload. All this was in her psych profile, and yet she still had clearance to do a spacewalk. So—can’t be that bad, right?

“Can’t be that bad,” Zadie said. Her personal mantra.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

With each slow breath, she reminded herself that she was a body inside of the suit—a person who deserved to continue existing. Keeping her eyes on her feet, Zadie took small steps forward. Soon, she was bounding over the hull of the ship…

READ IT IN THE ISSUE


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Smita Bhattacharta — Interview

Author Smita Bhattacharta was kind enough to take set aside some time to answer satisfy Scummy’s curiosity about her work, process and life. recorded below is the exchange as transmitted through another of Scummy’s many minions. 

You sent us a story that’s not entirely sci-fi in character, so what is your relationship to science fiction? What are a few of your favorite sci-fi stories, if any?

I think anything bizarre is of interest to me, and I’d categorize the brand of fiction I like to read and write to be ‘slipstream’ and not strictly science fiction. This would mean books such as those by Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood or even Stephen King. Edgar Allen Po too, if you will– he’s a remarkable writer of weird, goosebumps inducing fiction. So, actually, ‘weird’ is what I go for. For example, I found the British series Black Mirror enthralling and want to write a series of short stories just like those.

Check out PRIEST’s CONCUBINE RIGHT HERE!

Sci-fi has often been a genre that presents alternative ways of looking at and criticizing contemporary mores and values. How do you use fiction as a lens to explore feminism or otherwise challenge the status-quo?

It’s a great question because I think sci-fi is one of the best ways to challenge status quo, somewhat like a premonition or an antecedent. Anything can happen in books, right? And easier if it’s one of your own. I can give my female characters special powers and expand on their ordinary ones. I can make them dream the impossible and have them achieve it too. It’s pretty, freaking empowering!

For this particular story, I related intimately with the protagonist—Selvi. I felt her angst, her fury and her determination to change the destiny thrust on her. She did it smartly and that is one way women can deal with situations they think they cannot change because of unshakable customs or social mores. To be honest, this feeling of helplessness is not uncommon for women in India, especially those belonging to slightly poorer or rigid cultures. But what if a smart one among them rose to be a Selvi and helped elevate the rest of her sistren alongside?

How integral is science fiction as a part of public consciousness in India? 

Very! Our local sci-fi heroes are both eclectic and adorable. We have Chacha Chaudhury (A red turbaned clever old man and his helper from Jupiter who together vanquish evil) and Nagraj (King of snakes, a local spin to the Western superheroes, bit of a cliché though) which areobjects of awe when young, and cause of much mirth when older. We also have some prolific sci-fi writers: Satyajit Ray (Professor Shanku’s stories), Amitava Gosh (The Calcutta Chromosome), Salman Rushdie (Grimus) among others. There are a host of young writers and I think some interesting work is going on here.

You seem like a bit of a world traveler, where have you lived and what has brought you there?

I’ve lived all over India and now live and work in my favorite Indian city, Mumbai. I get restless every now and set off on a solo trip or if my friends are available, set off with them. I’ve been to most of Asia, Europe and America. I’m lucky that my work allows me to travel to some exotic locations where I get to learn about other cultures and people and eat their yummy food. Travel is key to leading a fulfilled life; it helps expand the mind and you realize there are other, often better, ways to live. And of course, it’s fun!

I was looking through your blog and found a post from last year with what looked like parts of the same story you sent us, was this originally part of a novel or serial story?

The Priest’s Concubine was a chapter in the novel I was writing a few years ago which some of my beta readers felt was too dark to be read. Stomach churning and gory, they said. But I loved writing and reading them. So, I concluded the world was just not ready for the book J, and I should take out pieces of the novel and make stories out of them. To be honest, I like gory and macabre, much to the dismay of my loved ones, and this is right up my alley. Also, this story is metaphorical and funny, elements I added later. To me anything macabre but with comic elements makes for great entertainment. Like American Psycho or Fight Club. Fargo and Black Mirror. Dexter. I should really read Kurt Vonnegut soon.

What makes you put down a piece and move on? What stood out to you about the section you salvaged for us? Tell us a little more about your process if you can, what kinds of things do you have in mind when starting on a piece? How much emerges as you write?

When I write, I start living the scene, the characters, the feeling; all duality disappears. As soon as I stop connecting with the piece, I discard it. I cannot bring myself to write anymore. I do give myself a break and try again, and if it comes back, I persist. If not, I focus on another idea. I strongly believe a good short story—the kind that stays in the reader’s minds for a really long time—is an idea that is dying to be written. It does not allow you to sleep, eat or chill in peace. Yes, that happens to me.

In the piece I submitted to Planet Scumm, the villainous priest is everything I detest about patriarchy: the obfuscating rules, the pompousness, the un-shakeable assurance of its leaders that everyone else will bend easily to their directives. The protagonist Selvi is the foil to all this, and through her, I raise my voice against the atrocities the helpless in the world face, especially those ruled by the hard norms of patriarchy and religion.


Smita Bhattacharya is an award winning short story writer based out of Mumbai. She has published two books: He Knew a Firefly and Vengeful. Though, seeking to write the next big novel, she considers short stories her pièce de résistance. Her short stories have appeared in several Indian and international publications (The Statesman, DNA-Me, Fiction Magazines, Chicago Literati, Eastlit, Elsewherelit, Earthen Lamp Journal, Tall Tales, The Pomegranate Anthology). 


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Bill McCormick – Interview

Sean Clancy, one of Scummy’s main minions, was dispatched recently to learn more about the world of Korzac and its discoverer Bill McCormick. Here is the transmission Sean sent to Scummy detailing his findings:
kay, that should work.
It just told me “this call is now being recorded.”

Yeah I think they’re legally required to make sure everyone knows when that’s happening.
Oh, that’s cool. I do a radio show on Fox and we have all sorts of disclaimers.

Oh, no kidding? What about?
I do a weekly radio show called “The Big Wake-Up Call” on WBIG, which is Fox Sports, and I talk about anything but sports. I talk about politics and science and comedy, comic books, whatever crosses my mind. It’s a pretty free-ranging show. It’ll be seven years this October.

And it’s on a sports network?
They’ve got plenty of sports stuff, and they brought me in originally to do pop culture. It kind of got free-ranging, and then when I started getting science fiction stuff published, people would write in and go “Well, if you’re writing science fiction, do you know anything about science?” One thing led to another and here we are.

Always great when you come in for one thing and can move it towards whatever you want to do.
Like I said, it’s a pretty free-ranging show and it’s a lot of fun to do.The guy who hosts it is a guy named Ryan Gatenby, and he’s been doing it–I don’t know–twelve, thirteen years. I’ve been with him for the last seven. So it’s fun. Once a week, get on the radio, wave at people, you know. They can’t see me waving, of course, because it’s the radio, but I do it anyway.

Read KORZAC RIGHT NOW!

So with “Korzac,” it seems like one of those stories where a lot of thought has been put into how this species functions. Did you think of this alien species first, these strange, warlike bug-people? Or did you conceive the plot of the story first, and then slot this species in?
None of the above. I was playing around with a language exercise, and instead of just saying “this is ‘mom,’ this is ‘dad,'” trying to come up with different synonyms so I wasn’t always boring. Came up with “progenitor,” and once I started working with that I came up with this whole fake lineage of random names–mates and progenitors and different things. And I looked at it and I said “Wow, that’d be a fun story,” and I backtracked into it to figure out, well, what kind of species would do this and how would it work? Next thing you know I’m writing “Korzac.”

So you started with alternate terms for parentage and went from there?
Yeah.

Huh.
(Laughter). I know. But, it’s where I started.

Could you ever see Korzac or the Dernians–even something tangentially related to this setting you’ve created–appearing in other stories?
I try and keep my stories separate, but obviously I only have one brain, so things do occasionally cross over. With “Korzac” though, if I was going to cross something over, I would probably just go back and expand that story. It’s a story that if I really wanted to sit down and tackle into it, I think I could make at least a novella out of it.

It does seem like we’re coming in on the tail end of a larger story.
Right. I mean, “Korzac” is actually a slice of the middle if you think about it for a second. Obviously the Dernians have done all these amazing things, and now they’re starting to piece the galaxy together in one giant web. I actually wrote what the threat really is. I’ve got that on my computer somewhere. But it just became such a long, wandering piece that it took away from Korzac. If I was going to go back to it, I would insert that threat and build what the Dernians are like. Probably break out my synonym generator and burn it to the ground trying to get it all to happen. I’ve thought about it, but right now I’ve got two… three… two and a half novels I have to get knocked out and turned into two different publishers. Plus I’ve got four graphic novels and two comic books that I’m working on. Korzac is going to have to be a labor of love. But I’ll get to it. I know it’s one of those things.

What was really interesting about how they’re presented in the story is that–in part–they have this throwback, pulpy science fiction quality with your stereotypical empire in space, but also they’re strangely progressive. Like all good heroes or villains they view themselves as the protagonists in their own story, right? They think they’re doing what’s best? Is that how you see the Dernians?
I’ll be blunt here, I definitely ripped the whole pulp concept from A. E. van Vogt. I mean, everything he did was just larger than life, sci-fi pulp-type stuff. As a child that ruined my brain, forever. So there’s always going to be an element of that there.

As to the species themselves, it was more a matter of–like I said before–backtracking into how they would mate, how they would have all these children and do all of this stuff. I just started having some fun with it. That’s an integral part of anything I write. I have to have a good time doing it. So coming up with the different chambers… (laughter) and what they have to deal with just seemed like a fun way of doing it. And you can actually credit one of my ex-girlfriends for calling her private area her “cathedral and chamber of love.” So that made it into the story.

(Laughter) We won’t mention any names, but…
Yeah I can’t give her name out because I’ve got a new girlfriend now, who lives with me, and…

I understand. You mentioned the work you’re doing, and it’s always great to hear of writers who are able to get their work out there and be busy. Being busy as a writer tends to be both a curse and a blessing. I was looking at your website, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on self-promotion.
My experience is kind of unique, but it’s fun. I lost my job in 2010. I was going through a really dark time. So I started writing, kind of as therapy. I’d always written non-fiction. I wrote stuff that ended up on Fox, I’d been published in a bunch of different magazines. I did a lot of music-related stuff, because I’d played in bands and worked with bands for many many years–some very famous, and some “ehh.” Not so hot.

My experience was coming at it from the entertainment industry. In 2011 I wrote a story, called “And the Beat Goes Phut,” P-H-U-T. It got picked up by Bewildering Stories–much to my surprise and much to everyone’s surprise I think. They decided to release it on September 11, 2011. That was going to be the release date of the story. Then they realized that the “villain,” such as it was–“antagonist” I guess, would be a much better word–was this Muslim guy. It hadn’t clicked that September 11 with an evil Muslim might set off a lot of warning bells and sirens. Personally I wished they would have released it then. Probably would have gotten some great pub. But they pushed it back a month. Anyway it came out, and it came out to really good reviews. Again, much to my surprise. It was really my first real take at trying to do this. I’d played around with different stuff before but I’d never really, seriously done it.

That came out, and then a story called “If Thou Art God,” came out–which I wrote, obviously. Then, all of a sudden offers started coming in. Originally to write for a comic book series, and then to get other short stories done. I’m just kind of fielding stuff right now. I’ve had calls from different publishers and different things and sometimes it’s a good fit, and sometimes it’s accidental. Like finding you guys online.

Do you have anything you try to avoid when you’re sending work out?
My stuff tends to be edgier and a little more adult, so I tend to avoid any religious publishers. I see no reason to offend them. There are certain publishing companies that have very strict guidelines–some I can adhere to and work with and others that I just don’t. There’s plenty of room out there for everybody. Including me! I try to keep my audience engaged. I’ve got a few thousand people that follow me or are friended with me on Facebook. A few thousand more on Twitter. I don’t do Instagram or stuff like that–mostly because I don’t do a lot of photos. Only so many pictures of my ugly head I can throw online. We have a running joke that I have a face for radio, and that’s fine.

I love the fact that my last novel, The Brittle Riders, got bootlegged in Russia. On the one hand I’m upset they sold 35,000 copies of my novel and I’ll never see a penny from it. But on the other hand it’s pretty exciting getting fan mail from Russia!

If someone’s going to go to the trouble of bootlegging your stuff, clearly they liked it.
The funny thing is that, in Russia, the themes I touch on–in Brittle Riders, not in “Korzac,”–are actually against the law. This has got to be an underground book over there, because–

Like a Beatles, rocks and rolls thing going on.
It’s like punk rock literature. Very underground. That’s cool to me. I grew up being a punk. I was talking with a pastor at my church and he was like, “You’re 55-years-old and you’re still more punk than all the kids running around with safety pins.” I came up with a lot of the originals. There’s a lot of that attitude that’s ingrained in me, which makes me a little prickly to be around sometimes but, I try not to. I try not to drop an f-bomb every three seconds.

Any other upcoming work you’d like to plug?
The Brittle Riders trilogy is hitting the first week of April. “Korzac” is coming out, which I’m really stoked about because I wouldn’t let my girlfriend read it until it got published. There’s an anthology out called The Dogs of War, which I wrote a furry-themed horror piece (for). If you’re into furries, there’s a horror piece for furries that I wrote. It’s getting really great reviews. The story is called “The Loving Children.” Then my comic books Legend Parallel and Pestilent. Legend Parallel Issue 02 is coming out right now, and Pestilent will be out this summer. Both are very dark, both are rated “M for Mature.” They’ve got nudity and boobs-a-popin, and lots of really good violence. Lots of gross, mean violence. Ripping peoples’ hearts out and stuff like that–it’s a lot of fun.

That’s how I avoid therapy. See, I have these thoughts in my head, and if I acted them out I’d be in prison, but if I write them out they give me money. So I think this is better.


Bill McCormick began writing professionally in 1986 when he worked for Chicago Rocker Magazine in conjunction with his radio show on Z-95 (ABC-FM). He went on to write for several other magazines and later transitioned to blogs. He currently writes a sports blog at Jay The Joke, as well as a twisted news blog at World News Center. The latter provides source material for his weekly radio show on WBIG 1280 AM, FOX! Sports. Yes, you read that correctly, he does a show about anything other than sports on a sports radio station.

In 2011, Bill started submitting some fictional short stories to various publishers. Much to his surprise, and the consternation of linguists everywhere, they began publishing his efforts. Bill has expanded his repertoire to include comic books, graphic novels, and full length novels. He has currently penned everything from dystopian nightmares to cuddly children’s stories.

Bill is a big fan of nicotine, vodka, music, and this rambunctious redhead (formerly a bottle blonde) who keeps waking up in his bed.


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KORZAC: NÖRDICON OF DERN – BILL MCCORMICK

Korzac: Nördicon of Dern, Most High Admiral of the Fleet of Reverential Destiny, Honorary Moon God of the Exalted Planet Cloorbius, Holder of the Scepter of Gloptium Prime, Wielder of the Sword of Infinite Cuts, Prime Mate of Nizbo, Progenitor of Hazna, Quizbo, and Yath, Prime Mate of Ilxhan, Progenitor of Ooklsa and Horth, Prime Mate of Unquin, Progenitor of Jaexx, Wongaloo, Hipth, Sarf, and Tronk, Secondary Mate of Kandok, Junhre, Lorpa, and Krad, sat hacking into his claw like a skiggling zak.

The Dernian armada needed him to be focused and, for the most part, he was. His Vice Admiral, Oxlis, was a fine mind in his own right and made sure Korzac stayed on top of his game. And he hadn’t become Nördicon by having bad game.

Despite his current illness, Korzac was a prime specimen ,of the best Dern had to offer. Over six and a half feet tall with knee- length purple hair, perfectly oiled, cascading over his black and blue shell. His upper claws glistened naturally and his lower arms, with the traditional six fingers each, were finely muscled. His legs were thick and firm, and his hooves were perfect triangles. His pale blue skin and yellow eyes were straight out of one of those modeling books young femmes liked to swoon over.

Well, normally all that would be true. Right now his shiny black lips were dull gray, his bright yellow eyes were rheumy, and his smooth skin was oddly mottled. He knew what he had, and it wasn’t fatal, but that didn’t make it any more welcome.

He’d attained his rank while only having to use the Right of Assassination twice. The fewest in the history of the Nördicons. His ascension was the stuff of textbooks for all future Nördicons. He supposed that was something to be proud of. Maybe when he retired.

System 232: update.

Quantum bridges complete

Total loss of life: 6.38 billion

They’d slid into Wala-Un-sook space unnoticed. The Deceptor Shields having done their job, magnificently, again. Unlike that backwards planet, Earth, which had been kind enough to surrender right after they’d blown the first hole in one of their continents, the Wala-Un-sooks showed no inclination of being polite. In fact, they were being downright rude.

System 17: update

Quantum bridges detected

Current inhabitants reside on 4th planet from solar center

Population: approximately 1.72 million

Technological status: pre-industrial

Chance of survival… … Zero

He’d been forced to implement attack plan Gama Zed Zed Minor to counter the Wala-Un-sook. Which was fine. He knew his crew preferred a good battle before conquest. He watched as two battle cruisers pulled past his flagship and raced towards the edges of the Wala-Un-sook armada. They had placed their smaller fighters as protection and he wanted them taken out before he committed the destroyers.

They had their work cut out for them. This was the last system their scientists needed to create the Quantum Entanglement Grid, which would keep the invaders out of this third of the galaxy.

Of course, in accordance with the Diplomatic Gnosis of Necessity, they’d asked each planet for permission first. The Grid enablers on each planet would only kill about a third of their population and each was, naturally, offered time to evacuate within their system. All had declined. Earth had even threatened legal action.

That announcement had led to days of laughter in the High Council chambers. It was also the reason Korzac had decided to lead the assault there personally. No one sued a Nördicon and lived.

The Wala-Un-sook, on the other hand, would be offered an honorable defeat. Even as their entrails drifted into the vacuum, they’d earned that much.

At least.

He let out a garnoofing sound which caused the bridge crew to cringe without comment. He privately admitted it wasn’t pleasant while appreciating their decorum.

He hated being sick.

He heard a gentle rustle beside him and turned to face a young cadet. He forgot her name. She was holding a clip-pad with several icons highlighted.

Not everything was glory and battle when you were a leader. He motioned for her to speak.

“Forgive my presence, sir,” she began . “I have the updates on the Grid you requested.”

He nodded for her to continue.

“Since the Earthlings have agreed to participate in Xhak-Ko …”

His raised claw stopped her.

“What? With no Wark-Hana or Quandikran first? Are they that eager naturally or did Ilzak come up with some new threat?”

“As far as I know, neither sir. It seems there was some sort of fertility or rebirth festival going on when Ambassador Ilzak arrived to oversee the installation of the grid. It’s called…” she checked her notes, “e-stir, I believe. Our linguists are having problems with their many languages and religions, most of which contradict each other.  Anyway, sir, he decided to take advantage of it to see if he could get the work going earlier. About thirty percent of the population agreed to join in Xhak-Ko with us so he issued the Formal Writ of Apology for the little hole you left in some place which used to be called … le-wee-zee-anna … and repatriated the citizens of that continent to other locations, either on their planet or in their system, depending on their wishes. He is currently setting up the grid unit on the empty continent. He reports he is one galactic year ahead of schedule.”

He hacked again. Flushed with embarrassment, he nodded.

“Ilzax is one of the good ones. I once saw him stop a war with a simple orgy and some oils. Well, I hope the Xhak-Ko with those primitives was worth his time.”

“Yes, sir,” she continued, “he reports he has personally had carnal relations with eleven different humans, that’s what they call themselves, and says, despite their limited amount of orifices, they really seem to enjoy everything and, he enjoys them as well.”

Despite himself Korzac laughed. Then he garnoofed again. The cadet didn’t blink.

“Very well, cadet, is there anything else?”

“Yes sir,” she smiled, “the remaining thirteen grid units are now complete and have successfully finished testing. The ones on inhabited worlds have produced fewer casualties than predicted.”

He beamed.

“That is good news.”

She bowed slightly.

“Yes sir. Will you be needing sex before I go?”

He frowned.

“Sadly, no. I’m so glumped I’d never make it past your first chamber.”

She giggled at the old joke, bowed again, and left.

Korzac adjusted himself in his chair to better see the battle screens.

The destroyers were arcing into the main force of the Wala-Un-sook armada. The battle would be fierce, but the ending was inevitable. Wala-Un-sook would soon be the property of Dern.

 

System 837: update

Quantum bridges complete

Total loss of life: 1.31 billion

Survivors: 2.33 million

Rescue ships have been launched

Another look at the battle screens showed him all was going well outside. Oxlis could handle things from here on out. He nodded to him, rose from his chair, and exited the bridge. He was grateful the rituals of salutes and obsequiousness were abated in times of formal battle.

He was almost to his cabin when the ship’s doctor greeted him in the hall and handed him a small bag.

“Huff.”

Korzac shrugged, took the bag, and huffed it into all six nasal slits. He immediately felt better. He could feel it, go glass-ice in his veins like the shatter-shatter of his youthful indiscretions.

He turned to the doctor and smiled.

“Believe it or not it’s an Earth remedy. Something called Anthrax. Doesn’t seem to do them any good but it tested out perfectly against the Gorfian flu. How’s your breathing?”

“All clear. I can’t feel any congestion at all.”

“Good. You’ll still need a day of rest so go to your cabin. Your skin and muscles should be fine in two shifts.”

Korzac wasn’t due back on the bridge until then anyway, so this worked out perfectly. Instead of five days of misery he figured he could easily get to the fourth chamber now. He heard his lung rattle and decided that might be pushing things.

Still, he did feel better.

He got to his cabin and sat at his command desk. He pulled up the files on the invaders to see if there was any new information.

They’d been discovered one hundred years ago when Operation Oversight had been put in place. He was barely old enough to play with dolls when it happened. Dernian scientists had launched a probe one billion parsecs above the galactic plane. Their intent was to get a real-time map of this galaxy and its relation to as many others as they could. The idea was that a single location would garner the most complete data when all distances were equal and there was less time dilation to deal with.

What they found, instead, horrified them. An entire section of the galaxy, over forty systems, was connected by quantum bridges and those bridges were expanding. Someone, or something, was, literally, knitting together the galaxy and whatever life forms had been there were gone now.

All attempts at communication had been ignored. They didn’t know if the invaders were organic or cybernetic. All they knew was Dern, and its whole section of the galaxy, was in their path.

All the best scientists, and even many of the lesser ones agreed, within two thousand years this half of the galaxy would be under the control of the invaders.

In another ten thousand the whole galaxy would be overrun. Something had to be done.

An elderly scientist, named Quizex, had tried one last attempt at communication. He’d mapped out where molecules here were quantumly entangled with molecules inside the invaders territory. This would allow real-time communication. His plan was to send a variety of signals, ranging from the lowest audio to the highest visual, simultaneously, and see if they responded to any of them.

The plan was approved by the High Council and put into effect on the fortieth anniversary of the discovery of the invaders.

The quantum connection was enabled, the signals were sent and, then, something amazing happened.

One of the bridges erupted and shattered. They’d seen its demise through the entanglement andhirty years later, when the quantum ripples hit the probe above the galactic plane, they had confirmation.

They still didn’t know anything about the invaders but they knew how to stop them.

Scientists had spent those intervening years figuring out how to best use this knowledge. The day Korzac was announced as the new Nördicon was the day they had confirmation of their theories and presented their findings.

They would place quantum entanglement generators on fifteen worlds evenly spaced around Dern. Once enabled they would create a Quantum Dome which would protect them from an attack in any direction.

Their research had also led to these glorious Foldspace ships which could travel from system to system in a heartbeat. Combined with the Deceptor Shields they already used, they had the stealthiest––and most powerful––fleet known.

Within five years the entire grid would be active and Dern along with its sudden, if reluctant, allies, would be safe.

Korzac settled into his cabin, well pleased with the progress. He poured himself a snifter of gwindakwan, confident the doctor wouldn’t complain too much, and settled in to catch up on the latest news.

System 54: update

Quantum bridges detected

Current inhabitants reside on 3rd planet from solar center

Population: approximately 2.71 billion

Technological status: interstellar

Chance of survival: 40%

He silently toasted those who would be lost, and those who preceded them. Their numbers increasing every day. There was no way Dern could save them all.A glance at the grid screen showed him that, in this section of the galaxy, those few survivors would be safe and able to start lives on new worlds.

Now, if only someone could tell him who these invaders were and what they wanted, that would be great.


Bill McCormick began writing professionally in 1986 when he worked for Chicago Rocker Magazine in conjunction with his radio show on Z-95 (ABC-FM). He went on to write for several other magazines and later transitioned to blogs. He currently writes a sports blog at Jay The Joke, as well as a twisted news blog at World News Center. The latter provides source material for his weekly radio show on WBIG 1280 AM, FOX! Sports. Yes, you read that correctly, he does a show about anything other than sports on a sports radio station.

In 2011, Bill started submitting some fictional short stories to various publishers. Much to his surprise, and the consternation of linguists everywhere, they began publishing his efforts. Bill has expanded his repertoire to include comic books, graphic novels, and full length novels. He has currently penned everything from dystopian nightmares to cuddly children’s stories.

Bill is a big fan of nicotine, vodka, music, and this rambunctious redhead (formerly a bottle blonde) who keeps waking up in his bed.


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