Excerpt: ‘The Drowning Pool’ by Vonnie Winslow Crist

‘The Drowning Pool’ is a lovely mix of science fiction and fantasy, with Indian cultural elements. It a flash piece, so the excerpt is just a small tease….

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‘The Drowning Pool’ by Vonnie Winslow Crist

Excerpt:

The swimming pool on the Chandra Estate in New Thoothukudi was shaped like a coffin. From local historical records, Darshan knew this had not been the case when the pool was first constructed on Mars in the twenty-third century. Then, it had been oval in shape, and the centerpiece of an elaborate garden. But that was prior to Lalita’s drowning.

The facility manager stood on a slope of well-manicured grass and contemplated the pool. Mango and arjuna trees, genetically modified to fit the terra-formed planet’s climate and trimmed to near-perfection, and jasmine, bred to bloom year-round, surrounded the pool’s patio. Wrought metal chairs circling form-stone tables with decorative umbrellas poking out from their centers were positioned around the pool awaiting the wedding reception guests. Bathed in the glow of solar lamps and the scant moonlight of Phobos, the scene beneath the environs-dome was postcard beautiful, except for Lalita’s ghost perched on the edge of the pool.

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Vonnie Winslow Crist’s Author Page

Insignia: Asian Science Fiction Page

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Excerpt: ‘Connecting Through the Cosmos’ by Holly Schofield

 

Another great story in Insignia: Asian Science Fiction is by new contributor, Holly Schofield.

‘Connecting Through the Cosmos’ follows twins Andy and Stephen’s struggle to survive working for an alien race.

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‘Connecting Through the Cosmos’ by Holly Schofield

Excerpt:

Stephen grows aware he is slumped in his console chair and the Crow has withdrawn to its quarters. The screen is dark. He drags off his helmet, letting it fall to the floor beside the Crow’s discarded headset. He grabs the towel he keeps under the chair and mops the conductive gel and the sweat from his head. He pictures Andy doing the same.

The dizziness, nausea, and lingering pain take time to subside. He had just given a part of his life, his mind, and his soul in order to help the Crows’ colonization efforts. He scrubs his face, checks orbits, and realizes that PanEuro-TianGong8 has swung close by. He will head there tonight and spend most of his pay, attempting to forget the sensations he just experienced. He cannot imagine how Andy copes. His little brother lives ‘in the moment’, suffering transfer agony to an even greater degree than Stephen. And Andy’s isolation on Kepler-48b is total—he will have no human contact until the warm-up session with Stephen tomorrow.

After a while, Stephen eats a protein bar then forces himself to stand. When the Crow sleeps is Stephen’s time to do his research. The components of his own helmet utilize well-documented human neurology, but the Crow’s headset is taking him much longer to understand.

The countdown clock reads 17 years, 6 days, and 4 hours.

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Holly Schofield’s Author Page

Insignia: Asian Science Fiction Page

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JULY NEWS: Smashwords Sale, Open Submissions, + more

Hi everyone, hope you’re all having a great July. Sorry I haven’t posted for ages, life’s been busy and I’ve cut back on my social media time recently. I hope to get back into things again from August though. I have a lot of projects I want to do. 🙂

Anyway, here’s what’s happening at INSIGNIA STORIES this month…

SMASHWORDS SUMMER SALE – ENDS JULY 31.

For the next week, all Insignia Series anthologies are on sale for just 99c! Simply go to the desired book page and enter the sale code listed with the usual BUY information. Easy!

LINKS:

Insignia Vol 1: Japanese Fantasy Storieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/399204

Insignia Vol 2: Chinese Fantasy Storieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/462261

Insignia Vol3: Southeast Asian Fantasyhttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/627976

Insignia Vol 4: Asian Fantasy Storieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/714228

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UPDATE ON OPEN SUBMISSIONS

Submissions for both the ‘Asian Dystopian/Cyberpunk’ and the ‘Birds & Beasts’ themed anthologies are still currently open.

I only need 2 or 3 more stories for the Dystopian/Cyberpunk call, so I’d like to close this soon. If you have a story -send it in! If you need more time, please message me about it. And if you have a friend who might be interested in submitting for this theme, please share the Submissions Page with them.

I definitely want to publish this anthology before Christmas, so need to get started with edits, cover design, etc.

As for the Birds & Beasts theme, I only have 2 accepted stories. This will stay open for a few months, so I hope to get more writers interested in doing this one. Tell all your friends!

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BOOK OF THE MONTH

I’m always happy to post a good Asian fantasy book recommendation here on the site. Reviews are also welcome. Email me at blackwingsandwhitepaper(at)gmail.com with your suggestions, links, images, etc.

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Memorial Weekend 99c Sale!!

Happy Memorial Weekend to our US friends! I’ve just moved back to Japan so am a little sad to be missing the holiday weekend, but I have great memories of trips to Chicago and Lake Michigan in previous years. It’s also pretty nice here in Nagoya. 🙂

I thought it was a good week for a little sale, so how does getting ANY Insignia Series anthology for just 99c sound?

99c SALE – May 27-30

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All three anthologies will be only US0.99c (or he equivalent in foreign currencies) this weekend on both Amazon and Smashwords sites.

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories

Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories

Insignia: Southeast Asian Fantasy

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And writers, don’t forget to check out our Submissions Page. We’re currently seeking fantasy stories set in any Asian country, with Asian heroes/heroines. We need a good variety of both nationalities represented and also styles of fantasy. We lay out the stories in two categories: ‘Adventure/Folktales’ and ‘Adult/Literary’. YA stories are very welcome, and we have a special request for stories set in the India/Himalaya region. Deadline is JUNE 30, and more details can be found on the main submissions page.

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HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!!!