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by kalinka

From: “Raider!”

November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Wanted to remind everyone of the fresh shortstories (or, as Col pointed out on my WP blog, some of them are not all that short) on P’kaboo.net.

Just an off-the-wall thought:

Remember that old clichee, “I don’t only love you for who you are but for what you bring out in me” ?  Deep deep thought.  Really deep thought.

Anyway here’s a bit of a Wednesday read.

…from “Raider!”

Ironic,” commented Federi as he swung the Probe in the direction of the Solar Wind.

What?”

“ ‘s the way pirates go,” he said, grinning at Perdita. “The Devil in person comes to fetch them!”

Perdita smiled and shook her head. Federi was peering critically at her.

Federi,” she asked, “when did you meet Dana?”

Never really,” said the Tzigan. “Hired killers don’t often actually meet their employers. ‘s risky for the employer. Assassin’s always a double-bladed sword.”

Uh-huh,” said Perdita with a little smile. She’d been wondering. “And what made you default from your assignment?”

Hah!” Federi snorted. “Speak for yourself, Perdita! Would you have, after meeting Captain?” He shook his mane. “Don’t answer that, actually.”

Execute the Executioner,” said Perdita cynically. “Trigger-bleeding happy man that.”

Not really,” replied Federi. “You haven’t known him all that long, Perdita. He… barks a lot.”

Perdita laughed.

Perdita, he’ll come round,” said Federi.

Back off!” snapped the terrorist boss. Federi bared his teeth and nodded.

Sorry.” He stared at the sea, and the Solar Wind that… failed to come into view. “Flying stars, what the hell is that thing?”

Danaan Battle Maiden,” said Perdita. “They can carry up to three hundred petites. Most vicious soldiers New Dome has. Destroy everything on sight. The bigger carriers can take two or three thousand at a go, but the Battle Maiden is a favourite where Dana travels with an entourage. The ship itself is a weapon.”

Federi stared at the huge black metal ship.

If a giant manta ray had solidified into metal; if a Stealth had been forged to look like the meanest scimitar ever designed; in short, the thing looked as though it, the ship itself, had been designed to hack and slash and rip holes into other vessels. Like a ragged, notched blade. Its top, except for a saurian ridge of barbed hooks, was smooth and black.

The bridge was on the underside. Federi took the Probe lower, dipping and immediately lifting her away again. He veered away, hoping they hadn’t yet been seen.

That was the nastiest design for a warship he had ever seen. Underneath the manta ray-shaped wing hung the body of the ship, ridged with more saurian lines of massive hooks and barbs. The thing looked as though it had been cast in one piece, with no seams at all. The compounding body of the Solar Wind wouldn’t last a second if that metal spaceship should decide to take a jab at her. Not even counting those huge chutes that were clearly for launching missiles or maybe hooks, and those other things that looked like oversized nozzles, for shooting – what? Fire? Burning acid?

And if that monstrosity decided to drop by only a few metres, it would crush the Solar Wind’s rigging. And a few more, and the whole Zephyr would be pushed down under the sea. And run through with those spikes. Ye Gods!

Clearly diplomacy was the only way. Negotiation was in order.

Does it have any weak points?”

Perdita shook her head. “It wasn’t designed to have any. That’s seamless tempered titanium.”

Federi nodded grimly. “They must have seen us! Why aren’t they shooting?”

Firstly,” said Perdita with a smug grin, “you’re on one of my jets. They are invisible. The only way the petites can see us is visually. Then, secondly, they don’t have reason to shoot us… they can’t know that we’re connected to the Solar Wind.”

Federi nodded again. “They’ll know in a moment,” he commented and activated the com. “Who’s on the bridge?”

Johnny Anyhow, sir,” came the sharp answer.

Ah,” said Federi. “Habla Espagñol?”

Si, si,” said Johnny.

Perdita grinned. If the petites were listening in, they might understand English, because Dana would have trained them for that; but never Spanish! Full hit for the gypsy!

She kept her hands poised over the console, ready to take a flying leap with the Probe into the upper stratosphere if it needed to be. All deflector shields were up. It should take a few punches before the Danaan could make a dent; but then again she wasn’t sure how much further Dana had advanced her weapons since she had left New Dome.

The thing above your head,” Federi went on in Spanish, “is a Danaan space shuttle. Don’t ask,” he forestalled. “And Johnny, here’s what you do.”

Perdita watched in fascination how the Solar Wind furled her sails, pulled in her rigging, secured it automatically to her own deck, and then sank away into the depths of the sea.

Brilliant, Federi! In the ocean, too! They’ll never find them now! The seawater fudges the reading!” She grinned broadly. “Had no idea the Solar Wind could do that!”

You’ve never been submerged before?” asked the gypsy, surprised. “You didn’t know about it?”

It’s one of those things about Radomir Lascek,” began Perdita and lapsed into silence. Damn Radomir Lascek!

Why do you say, seawater fudges the reading?” asked Federi, intrigued. “Doesn’t this craft use sonar?”

Albitrino tracing,” said Perdita. “Different technology. Renders sonar obsolete.”

Federi nodded. He’d get the details from her! Or better, he’d tell Wolf to get the details. “Perdita – what petites? Little whats?”

Girls,” said Perdita with a sigh. “Always little girls. None younger than fifteen; none older than nineteen. Dana trains them to a vicious edge.”

Federi grinned. “And they break everything?”

They bring stuff with them… chemical stuff, bombs… there have been rumours of biological stuff, even…”

Orcs and trolls,” quipped Federi. And he shuddered as his gypsy radar sounded a low warning bell. A death toll.

Wolf had taken a bullet for him. And he was going to be taking a bullet for his Captain… except that it wasn’t a bullet… “What biological stuff? Any virus?”

No. Disease has been dealt with by the Danaan long ago. In fact…” She trailed off, a calculating gleam in her eyes.

Are they human?” asked Federi.

I believe so,” replied Perdita. “Is Rushka human?”

She’s Hungarian,” said the Tzigan. “That’s different.”

Perdita laughed. Federi tagged the Probe onto the roof of the Battle Maiden. “Show time!” He handed Perdita an atomizer bottle.

Virus?” she asked.

Paean told you?” Federi asked back.

Perdita opened a special compartment in the Probe and threw a lightweight, bullet-proof Sancho vest at him. Federi caught it but passed it right back.

Already wearing one,” he replied, opening his shirt just enough for her to see. She also saw the curl of Paean’s hair dangling there on its chain. Over the vest.

And that bit of hair?”

Federi buttoned his shirt back up and said nothing. Perdita turned her back and put the bullet-proof Sancho vest on herself.

Spray-gun in left, gun in right,” the Romany instructed, pulling a Federi special out from somewhere in his clothing and handing it to her. She shook her head and pulled a Perdita special out of her belt. The guns were both Sancho brand and nearly identical.

Think they’ve spotted us?” asked Federi.

Nah – they’re too busy looking down, wondering where the Solar Wind has gone!”

Following Federi down the ropes from the roof of the Battle Maiden, in under its wing, Perdita wondered if he were a cat burglar in one of his many clandestine lives. The Tzigan was fully equipped! With two ropes and his special glue they made their way in below the Battle Maiden, and to the side of its body. Perdita pointed out the hatch.

Federi first made a whole lot of extra loops of rope against the body of the craft before he ran his hands along the sealed seams and across the latch.

How does it open?” he asked in a hushed voice. Perdita moved into some of those loops. Handholds and footholds. Good thinking!

Electronics,” she said. “Authorized genetic signatures only.” She dug in her pocket. “But I may have…” Federi examined what she was holding out to him. A tiny patch of plastic explosive.

Last resort,” agreed the Tzigan. “Put it away, Perdita! We’ll try not to damage her too much, first.” Interesting that she carried such stuff with her! Almost, she reminded him of himself! He grinned at the Sancho woman. “Always so much more fun actually commandeering something like this!”

He pulled a little card out of his pocket and ran it over the latch. Nothing happened. He shook his head and dug deeper in his pocket. Perdita watched in fascination. She understood suddenly why the gypsy dressed the way he did. It was all functional! The parts that weren’t designed to cook a person’s psyche were for storage and similar. Spaces to conceal weapons and equipment. Nearly, she thought, like Perdita!

Hah,” said Federi softly, grinning. “Got it!” He pulled something small and electronic-looking out and positioned it over the lock. He pushed a button. The little machine whizzed and squee-ed, and then there was an electric fizzle, some acrid smoke rising, and a pop. Federi grinned at Perdita and sank the machine back into his pocket. He gave the latch one sharp tug. It opened suddenly. He sprayed a mist into the inside of the ship and ducked out of the way behind the door. Instinctively Perdita hugged the side of the craft as well, clinging onto the handholds Federi had made. Seconds later, a few shots ripped out of the hatch. But not many. And then, silence descended.

Federi sighed a small breath of relief and stuck the other vial he’d been concealing in his hand, back into his pocket. The aliens had been knocked flat with Paean’s green virus. He wouldn’t need to poison them.

Ace,” said Perdita admiringly. “What was that gizmo you used to open the hatch?”

Powerful electromagnet,” said Federi. “Hotwires just about anything. Last resort, because it breaks the lock.”

Perdita nodded. She was making notes. The assassin’s shady background was showing. And a feeling for flair! She had to give it to him – the magnet was a less messy solution than her explosive would have been. Though the lock was as broken.

We go in now,” said the Assassin, “but carefully. It won’t have got to all of them yet.”

The Danaan petites were beauties, every last one. Carefully stepping over them, Federi mulled about that special beauty that went with sleeping children. Children? Yes, he thought, his torch beam flicking over their faces. There was something about these that was younger than the equivalent Earth teen. Their features were still more childlike, their eyes larger in proportion to the rest of the face. Little aliens.

Now what?” asked Perdita, shining her torch beam on the dead console. The short-circuit of the latch had blown the whole system out, lights and all. The daylight that fell in through the space-darkened glass was barely enough to prevent them from stumbling over sleeping bodies; not enough to see much other detail.

We put them in a boarding school in Dublin,” grinned Federi. “How strong is the tag on the Probe?”

Strong enough to tug this,” replied Perdita. “Unless… We’ll have to override the positioning system, that’s clearly not – Federi, what would you have done if the Battle Maiden had crashed into the sea?”

Made a plan fast,” said Federi.

And if she had impaled the Solar Wind?”

Solar Wind’s long since moved out under her,” replied the Tzigan.

They’ll try to get back to Dana,” warned Perdita, nudging one of the petites with her boot.

Ginavis then,” decided the gypsy. “Under Jodi Callum’s matronly supervision. Perdita, you go and find the weapons and make a list. Want to know what she’s brung with her.” He eyed the compiled hostages with worry. “Dana’s not amongst them, is she?”

Dana’s most likely already on the Solar Wind,” said Perdita. “She’s none of these. You’ll recognize her.”

Why?”

Rushka’s mother,” said Perdita vaguely. She wasn’t going to let on what a bad fright she’d had the first time she had seen Rushka.

Federi activated his wrist com.

Johnny, how far have you moved the Solar Wind?”

Bout half a mile,” said Johnny.

You can surface.”

Got you, Federi!”

What now?” asked Perdita as she and Federi finished tying up the thirty petites with whatever was at hand – for which purpose they had ripped out the thin glass-fibre lighting tubes. Federi used his special glue to secure these impromptu handcuffs.

A force of only thirty. It looked as though Dana expected no resistance at all. But Perdita was not fooled. The rest of the fleet was in all likelihood lying ready just beyond the Interstellar Leap Node…

We have about three hours,” said Federi, finishing off. “We’ll get back to them. First have to check on the Solar Wind. Chances are Dana is on it.”

She is,” said Perdita with certainty.

 (C) Copyright Lyz Russo 2008

 

 

 

 

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by kalinka

mad time plus a story post

November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

I didn’t promise too much in the last post when I said I’ll be absent…  anyone following me at http://skrikvirniks.wordpress.com/ knows all the stuff I get up to.

Sometimes it feels as though my life is not my own anymore.

At any rate I find to my surprise that there are still views on this blog, so I’ll try to post at least occasionally.  What have I been up to – that’s material for the blog above.

In my last posting of a Solar Wind excerpt, Col advised me that I could easily post an action scene.  I think I’ll select one from “The Assassin”. (Solar Wind 2.)

The Unicate is a tough nut to crack.  During Federi’s mission he discovers that they are targeting the wrong people…


Nemiscau

Night had fallen. Federi snuck from one ruined building to the next. Sidewalks and road pavement only survived as patches here and there. What was left of Nemiscau, the town, looked rather forlorn in the dark. This was more than ancient bomb devastation. There were various houses that weren’t in any way broken, just deserted. He wondered.

Federi dug his little radioactive counter out of his pocket. It came from the Hun. One of the interesting titbits he hadn’t turned over to Captain that time before Hamilton.

Yes, there were still remnants of radioactivity here, even after sixty-odd years. Federi avoided those buildings out of which the signals came more strongly. Almost as though… He was sorely tempted to investigate. But he’d need protective clothing. Hell, his Federi-instincts were pulling him irresistibly towards those hot houses.

No. Not yet. First, deal with the target. He found the house she lived in – an inconspicuous log-cabin style building like most of the older ones. With a damaged roof. He double-checked the address. Yes. This one was actually living inside a ruin.

This was a different setup from Miami! The Assassin in him was suddenly wide-awake. He rounded the house through the overgrown garden. No love had gone into these plants in decades. There might even be snakes… yes, he thought, that sounded about right! Or crocodiles. He approached the back door, then paused.

All the windows were open in the hot summer night. Those that still had glass. How could anyone live in such a place? But he definitely sensed a presence. A vicious one. Sharp, like Anya Miller. He frowned. The target was aware of him!

But then, why didn’t she do anything? He studied the windows. Left open – like an invitation! A trap!

Oh hell! And he was already in that trap! He hadn’t set foot in her house yet, but she could see him. Why didn’t she shoot? He melted into the greenery. Something hissed by his foot. Then blinding pain shot through him. Vanishing lizard, he thought as his leg collapsed out under him. As he went down, he grappled for the creature, but it had disappeared. Ha! That proved it!

There was a lovely lady slinking towards him from the house. She was carrying a garden lamp, revealing her complete beauty, making her a clear target; and a gun. Not afraid of him in the least. But fully clued in. Her name was Dahlia, he recalled. No surname had been on file. The Admiral had added her to the list, Captain had informed them, on a hunch. She wasn’t too high-ranking, but the Admiral suspected she was more involved than was visible.

Get up,” she smiled, “get into the house!”

Federi struggled upright, but his left leg was missing. He glanced down. It was still there, but he couldn’t feel it at all.

Did my little pets bite you? Inconvenient,” said the lady. “Precious Federi, did you really think you could assassinate the Unicate?”

No,” gasped the Tzigan.

Do you miss your family?”

Federi levelled a silent stare at her. What was her intent, needling him? Was she hoping to rile him into shooting at her? When she so clearly had the upper hand? Why didn’t she simply terminate him?

You’re wondering why I don’t just shoot you down?” Dahlia smiled. “But has nobody told you that cats love playing with their prey?”

Federi grunted. Whatever, if it gave her such pleasure! It bought him – seconds only, he realized. His otherwise agile mind was numb with a grey fear. So this was it. Shawn would not be avenged. Captain’s plan hung on a thread now – the thread that Jon and Ailyss had hit enough really important targets in Europe that the Peace Talks were viable. He started shaking his head. No way. The plan had failed; shipwrecked on an old gypsy curse…

Amazing,” marvelled Dahlia. “I’m facing the Bane, in person! The great Legend! My, my! And how great are you now? You’re not even very tall, as Romanians go! I should take you to Headquarters and show you off to everyone there,” she mulled. “But – no, then someone else will get the pleasure of killing you. And they may even decide to torture you and you may get the chance to escape. I’ll tell you what I’ll do.” She smiled. “I’ll feed you to my little pets. I wonder if they will like the taste of your meat… but they’ll still be hungry after you, I can tell.” She crumpled to the ground.

Federi froze, and turned very slowly. He wasn’t prepared for any of this.

(@copy Lyz Russo, 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by kalinka

find me…

October 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

To my dear LD friends who still blogger around on this dubious platform:

I’m not sure if I’ll ever post here again, it is just one blog too many.  If you want to read my more active blog, please click through to:

http://skrikvirniks.wordpress.com/

On WordPress I’m gipsika.  This is because kalinka was, of course, taken and I wasn’t in the mood for becoming kalinka357.

:)  See you there!

signing off

…kalinka…

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by kalinka

5 titles on Amazon & Kindle

October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

… and I’m too lazy to write a new post so I’m re-blogging from my “proper” WP blog, “The Red Ant”:

Our books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=p%27kaboo+publishers

There is also Forest Circle Quest, not yet in the Amazon Store but can be obtained from CreateSpace under P’kaboo imprint, https://www.createspace.com/4012062. It should be in the general store in a day or two.

My eyes are square and my head is spinning. Uploading these projects, I noticed (like in a house) just how much there is to do, on the current and new titles.  There is no lack of projects.  Time I started working “smart”, not just “hard”.

We had a studio concert on Friday.  I do believe each played his/her best.  And I’m impressed that grandparents came to listen, too.

Our oldest shortstories are nearly at the end of their free month.  Pls go and have a look at www.pkaboo.net/freestuff.html if you haven’t already.  And if you have one, submit, submit, submit….

…gipsika…

Story Post:  From “Raider!”  (Solar Wind 4)

The goddess led the way up to the second level. The room was in semi-darkness; outside strobe lights were shining great haloes into the water. Merrows looked in through every porthole-shaped window.

In the middle of the room there was a large round glass contraption that looked like a terrarium, except that it housed a pillar inlaid with thousands of tiny crystals of all shapes and colours. There was a window straight through the pillar, inside which a fragile double pyramid of something hung suspended, it seemed, in nothing but air. It looked like the thinnest lead glass artwork Paean had ever seen. Flickering inside it were sparks and flames of plasma of all colours.

“The Central Crystal!” breathed Paean.

Federi shook his head. “Don’t think so.”

“You may consult the Oracle now, if you wish,” said Bridget graciously. “And after that I want to ask you questions.”

“That is the Oracle?” asked Paean sceptically.

“It is the Oracle,” Bridget assured her as Federi shook his head again with a scowl.

“Well then,” said Paean, “I’d like to know how we can rid the Earth of the Unicate.”

The console fizzled and hissed and a card with writing on it formed out of thin air. Bridget cautiously opened the glass and removed the card that was hovering in mid-air. She glanced at it and scowled.

“This sliver shows arcane runes,” she said. “They appear to be in a magical code that has been extinct for over two hundred thousand years.” She handed it to Paean, who glanced at it and laughed brightly.

“It’s English! The card says, ‘how should I bloody know what you must do about the Unicate? Who is Paean Donegal, you or I?’”

“What?” asked Federi, incredulous. He snatched the card from her and read it. “Right! Good grief, how did that console do that?”

“It really is an Oracle,” said Paean reverently.

“Or a huge trick,” completed Federi. He peered sharply at Bridget. “Does Dana still have any kind of influence in this place?”

The change that came over Bridget was remarkable. She morphed from a glowing, golden goddess into a benighted hag. She let out a screech of rage.

“Dana! You have been consorting with that filth? And you dare set foot in my empire, you dirty, rotten…”

“Scoundrels,” completed Federi. “Little luv, I think we’ve got our answers. Later, Goddess.” He performed another swift bow, and this time his nose connected a bit suddenly with his shin. He rubbed it as he grabbed Paean’s hand and pulled her after him, back out of that room, down the golden stairs, and back to the bubble sub. Bridget followed at the fastest pace her divinity would allow. They barely made it into the submarine and slammed the hatch. Federi checked the seals as the water started to rise. The floodlights were still on; Bridget had vanished.

“Luigi?” checked Federi. The croach crawled out of his pocket with the teleporter.

Yes, Master.

“Good!”

The pressure meter of the sub rose, and rose. Much too fast.

“Breaking the bleeding sub!” growled Federi.

“Teleport,” squeaked Paean.

The outer hatch of the hall opened and the water rushed in. Federi fumbled with the teleporter.

“It’s set to Seafloor,” said Paean. “Just press ‘leap’!”

“Lost the settings,” replied Federi, stressed. It didn’t help that his fingers were slipping; the Central Crystal had just grabbed onto his mutant pathways and was pumping fear.

Merrows crowded in and clung to the craft on all sides. Paean noted that they even had claws at the tips of their tails. Toenails, she thought rationally. They shouldn’t be able to hold onto the bubble sub; there was nothing much to cling onto. Mostly volcaniplex. And… their claws were scratching the glass.

“How can they scratch the glass?” she squeaked.

“Quiet, little luv,” growled Federi, hacking around on the teleporter. “Don’t show them your fear.” He found the right setting and activated it, and they leaped.

Before them lay the Seafloor Base.

And four of the merrows were still clinging to the bubble sub, gouging the volcaniplex.

“Can’t Perdita’s giant shark still be around and eat them,” said Federi.

“Federi, they’re damaging the volcaniplex! Nothing can break volcaniplex!”

“Some things can,” he replied. “The right kind of torpedo… Perdita’s explosives… diamond…”

“They’ve got diamond-tipped claws?”

“Paean, control your fear! You’re sending them into a frenzy!”

“They’re trying to open this can so they can eat us!”

“That’s the program,” agreed Federi. “Tear us limb from limb, eat us… don’t worry, we’ll die from the pressure the moment the sub cracks open.” He hacked around on the teleporter some more.

Federi was in fact battling the mutant’s reflexes more than he was battling the teleporter. He couldn’t take this mess into Seafloor; they were not set up to deal with merrows. He wouldn’t be surprised if those armoured creatures would survive machinegun fire. Surface? And set four monstrosities free to roam the planet. Four against which…

A sound like a gunshot reverberated around the sub. A crack spanned the volcaniplex. Paean screamed. And next they were in the fuzz-field of a teleportation. But through the vagueness and disturbance she could still see the merrows clinging onto the sub even now. And Federi wrapped his flared sleeves around her and they were teleporting out of the teleporter field, Luigi clinging onto her sleeve for his life. The world spun uncontrollably. Paean hung onto Federi, her cheek against his sparse beard, her eyes squeezed tightly shut. There was a massive explosion. That was just before she got seriously dizzy, banged her head terribly and slipped into oblivion.

© Lyz Russo, 2008

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by kalinka

“Oloff die Verraaier”

September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

In an effort to improve Ray’s Afrikaans, his teacher ordered him to read ten pages a week.

I got him a nice Afrikaans reader – the book with the above title, by Gerrie Radlof.  And ten pages by another ten pages we’ve made our way through the book, Ray reading aloud and me explaining where he doesn’t understand words.

The book is extremely well written.  If I thought I knew about pirates and their doings?  Here’s a pirate story out of the Cape Dutch time, with real hey-ho blood and guts, and a very clever Oloff who is playing an incredible double game.  And right now where he’s gone straight into the enemy’s trap – another pirate captain who is jealous – Ray has to go and sleep…. aaaaahhh!!!

Luckily “Oloff” is part of a series.  I’ll be getting him more of the same.  I’m so happy that there are decent Afrikaans storybooks for young boys again.

On another note, the 6 new shortstories that are up on P’kaboo’s Freestuff page are getting a lot of views and downloads.  This is great; only, could we have a few more please?  We are trying to put a collection together.

If you haven’t yet, treat yourself to a read… or submit one of your own!

Enjoy!

 

…kalinka…

 

 

 

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by kalinka

Karma

September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

I read an inspirational email recently, and it made me pause.

It was about Karma.  All those little (and big) knocks life deals you, that we simply assume are meant to hammer you (ok, ok, me) into shape, might in fact be Karma.  Universal vengeance of small and larger misdemeanours.

The concept is to accept them with serenity and move on.

Serenity.

An interesting concept.

… kalinka…

(And we’ve already had over 300 downloads of our free stories on P’kaboo this month!  :)  Meanwhile submissions are still open, I think I’d better extend the date.  Who’s up for submitting a short-story?)

 

 

 

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by kalinka

Another great sub! :) Enjoy!

September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

P’kaboo has been blessed with another intriguing short-story submission:

  “Betwixt and Between”, by Lucy P Naylor.

This is an especially intriguing one, laced with superstitious overtones.

I have to add that all the submissions so far have been excellent.  If you love short-stories, you will enjoy the ones that are up!

Please also note:  The shortstories are not in any way organized, except according to the upload date.  This means that if you ignore the ones that have been up now for a couple of weeks, you’ll be losing out!  The newest always go on top…

Enjoy!!

 

~gipsika~

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by kalinka

Bookshop got a new coat of paint ;)

September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

So with the pending release (they are already available as ebooks, and partially, on Amazon) of 3 new novels, we’ve “refurbished” the P’kaboo Bookshop.

Let’s face it, the deco was passe’ (special characters not available here?), the layout a bit jumbled.  It’s nicer now.

Everyone who can write is invited to send in a short-story.  So pls, plug in your keyboard and “laat waai”.  The ideal would be to collect about 30 short-stories.  So far we have 5.

 

 

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by kalinka

Flesherton Fish and that mystery ingredient (Not a Foodie Post)

September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

We watched “Gooby” on the weekend; story of a teddybear that came alive.  One of the characters is the schoolteacher, who is a failed author…  (it’s hard to tell, was he published?)  Nobody knows of his “famous” little character, “Flesherton Fish”.  It is extremely sad (and of course for his school class, embarrassing) to see this would-be famous author step in front of the class as though he were a celebrity, and watch him lose it bit by bit as he realizes that nobody knows his books.  A later scene shows him reading to the class from his books…

What is it that makes Enid Blyton Enid Blyton?  Let’s face it, we can all see the attraction in Terry Pratchett’s work (if you don’t, the chances are you haven’t read him – he’s a legend, btw) :  The recipe is, original(ish) storylines (some highly, others moderately – Douglas Adams, whose books  I love btw, took the quirkiness perhaps a bit too far for many readers); extremely colourful characters with some very relate-able components, connectors to the real world (little satirical observations about human nature, politics etc) and an overdose of funny.  With such a lot of good stuff it’s no wonder he owns 15% of the English readers’ market.  But Enid Blyton?

Even the best-selling Basil van Rooyen states in his book (“How to get published in 30 [relatively] easy steps”) that he doesn’t know what makes a great story.  If he knew, in his own words, he’d be a best-selling author and not an obscure publisher.  (He sells himself short.  He is a best-selling author.)

I don’t have an answer either.  Artists study the great painters of the past and try to copy their work to hone their techniques.  All we authors can do is read the works of the masters.

But you have to admit, those of you who have already had a read, that the 5 new shorties on P’kaboo are cute!  They are compact and well-written, and each of them packs a punch.  They are:

By the Wayside – Dr Emma Briant
Eulogy for Miss Eulalie – L S Bassen
Memoirs of a Chief Replicator Technician – Marie Marshall
The Unusual Girlfriend – Nick Legg
Wedding Portrait – Leslie Hyla Winton Noble

Have fun reading and pls remember to like the page:

http://www.pkaboo.net/freestuff.html

(Of course the older shorties and Iain’s VB game are all still up there too.)

Ok I think I originally wanted to post about that horrible red strip across our blogs that makes a nice design impossible, and illustrate it with Jon Marsden’s most surprising lack of colour sense, but I think I’ll leave that for later.

AAg what, here it is (LOL keep in mind, “Flesherton Fish”):

He glanced across the “restaurant”. They were making daily improvements; today the tables sported red tablecloths with white under-covers. At least the embarrassing caricatures Federi had subconsciously engraved into some of these compounding tables were hidden that way. It looked rather quaint and went together in a very interesting way with the red curtains with white spirals-and-diamonds designs on them. Spiral serviette holders with fake diamonds in them had also been added, and real wine glasses. Where the hotel found all these items was a little mystery, as there was no factory on the island, nor any décor shops. The Captain had his suspicions about Marsden and one of the space jets – the one he had brought down from the Space Base for his wife’s personal use. Jon Marsden was the epitome of a perfectionist; and Michelle no less. But for all that, her colour sense was probably worse than that of Federi, thought Radomir Lascek unkindly. Because Federi dressed in nasty colours to tease people; whereas poor Michelle probably really thought that fire-engine red was very elegant for a top-class hotel.

Out of hand, all of them! He glanced across the room to where Sherman Dougherty sat smoking his pipe by the open window. Outside, a tropical downpour, otherwise the veteran would probably have preferred the porch. The Captain decided to seek his old friend’s advice about the unruly crew, right down to Jonathan Marsden. Later.

~

 

 

 

 

 

Avatar of kalinka

by kalinka

OK like the other WP blogs but I don’t like the Red

September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

“The Park in the Dark”

..

My other blogs:

http://skrikvirniks.wordpress.com/

Where I blog on WP

http://pkaboonews.blogspot.com/

(This is our official news blog about P’kaboo Publishers.  Here we announce events, new books, new authors, post readers’ reviews and newspaper reviews etc.)

http://violintrix.wordpress.com/

(Violin Studio blog.  Sharing updates, dates, and hopefully some tricks, tips and anecdotes.)

http://letterdashian.wordpress.com/

(Because my letterdash blog is scheduled for destabilizing, I started this one – trying to find all my Letterdash friends on WordPress.)

I’m seriously tempted to redirect to this last one.  WP has more options than 24.com