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Branching out…

I’m sat here, having given PW her lunch, attempting to finish a WIP. It’s been a WIP since January 2011 and has been through several versions as a WIP, had a few people critique it and a couple of edits done… and I’m still trying to give it a satisfactory ending.

I’ve decided to do a series of Science Fiction Fantasy Novellas. I’m going to make the WIP I’m working on, part of it – this is an idea for the cover; I can’t use it for the actual cover because the artist who put the software together is also a writer who is publishing his own work using these covers, so it’s a copyrighted thing – I can’t use these covers to make any money.


Hopefully I’ll be able to find an artist who can use this as an inspiration for the covers for my books – the novellas are going to be part of a series called “Tales of Total Terrificness”

(Yes, I know, it’s awful, but I’m ill, I can’t come up with anything better at the moment)

I already have a story to publish in the series – I need to revamp it a bit, get an appropriate cover made – here’s the Pulp-o-Mizer one so you get an idea of what the series is going to be like…

Of course, these will all be published as A. E. Churchyard and I have several other stories in mind for the series. They’re all going to be stand-alone stories at the moment; in the future I may use the main character again in another story or one of the other characters involved, but otherwise there won’t be any links between the actual stories, other than they all take place in the same universe.

So just to keep you wondering, here’s an extract from the WIP for your delectation:

Broad grins greeted the two young officers as they entered the Scout ship after their briefing. Warrant Officer Hela turned on the marines in the main compartment, as Shannar and Fynn strapped themselves into the commanders positions behind the Pilots.

“All right you lot! We are on a Recon Mission! That means you follow orders and you follow orders exactly. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Warrant Officer!” the marines barked.

“If you question any part of the Orders you are given, you will regret it!” Hela’s face was a grim mask.

“Yes, Warrant Officer!” the grins disappeared fast.

Satisfied that the message had been received, Hela strapped herself in. She cued Shannar with the merest glance.

“Helmets on.” He ordered, suiting order to action.

The marines put their helmets on, snapping the seals closed. Shannar activated his cuff comp and suit com, signalling the Captain.

“Mr. Shannar, is everything ready?” the captain said over the com.

“Aye, Captain.” Shannar replied.

“You have command, Midshipman. Good Luck and Safe Return.”

“Thank you, Captain.” Shannar looked over at Fynn. She grinned and made the keep going sign.

The drop ship pilot looked back at him.

“Ready when you are, Pilot Han.” Shannar gave him the traditional thumbs up.

Three hours later, Shannar wasn’t sure if he really was ready. The trip down had been more turbulent than he’d imagined it, having almost lost his breakfast twice. Now they were crouched below a ridge line a mile away from where the ship had landed, looking out over the murkiest terrain he’d ever seen. The air was thick and warm with a smell like cabbage and dirty socks that not even the breathing filters could remove.

“Nowhere near as bad as Vega 9. That’s mangrove swamp for miles, you can’t even see the enemy coming.” Hargreave, one of the oldest marines said over the patrol channel.

“True, at least you can see them coming.” Jacks replied cockily. Jacks was the youngest of the ten marines in the patrol and the most curious.

“The comp says that the air has too much Methane and CO2 to be safe for long.” Fynn commented on the Command channel, in her role as Second Officer, “We’d best stay on the re-breathers for this one.”

“Good call, Mr. Fynn. Hela make sure that the men understand that please.” Shannar glanced at the Warrant Officer to his left.

Hela saluted “Aye, Sir.” She crawled backward to talk to the men without being seen.

Shannar returned his attention to the swampland below. In the mist he could just see the cubic shapes of the Bluen, sliding through the muck “Where did they come from?” he muttered

“What do you mean by that?” Fynn asked, still on the command channel.

“The Briefing Officer said that this planet was colonised in the first wave out. So where did the Bluen come from and where did the Humans that colonised here go?”

“We’ll find out shortly, I should imagine. A new report from the Bridge says there are structures present to the west, along the ridge line.” Fynn pointed.

Shannar switched to the patrol channel, “Warrant Officer Hela. There are structures to the west, we need to check them out. We’re moving out..”

“Aye, Sir. All right you lot, on your feet; lets get sorted!” Hela bellowed over the patrol channel.

Shannar winced and swapped back to the command channel. ”Come on Mr. Fynn. Keep an eye out for Bluen.”

“Aye, Sir.” Fynn motioned to Hargreave and Jacks, who took up the point and tail positions.

Hela cursed and directed the remaining marines to their positions around the officers.

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