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The Awkward Squad

The Home of Picky Readers

Hello There,

Well, I've just been to my first Comicon. Quite an eye-opening experience and great fun. I was just a customer rather than a trader, but I'll look into having a table at another show because it seems like a great thing to be involved with.

The highlight was probably being confronted by a couple of Daleks in the cafe. They demanded cake, and all my childhood fears squirmed to the surface, but I escaped unscathed, clutching my flapjack for dear life.

I managed to get some interesting photos but I'll get them ready for the next newsletter as I'm running behind today.

I have a free book today, and lots more to introduce, so let's get into it.

Free scifi Story Episode – Mutiny – Part 5

The next chapter of my latest sci-fi work in progress.

In case you missed it, part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, part 4 is here. I'm sharing the first parts of this story as I write it so you can follow along and ask questions or make comments, so please do comment below – I read every comment.
This story is set in the world of Colony B – you don't have to have read any of those stories, but it will help if you have because they do follow on from each other. If you're interested, there's a link below the story.
Truck One
The truck banked into a steep turn, and in the co-pilot’s seat, Lyndsey took a steadying breath as her stomach lurched. Alec seemed intent on throwing the hover truck from side to side, barely slowing as he hunted out a route between the tall phase two symbiont structures, and Lyndsey’s patience was beginning to wear thin. They’d been traveling for hours, having set off from base camp early in the morning, but so far, there’d been no sign of the mysterious figure Kyrksen had spotted; only acres of symbiont, the bizarre angular forms glistening blue-green in the sunlight.
“How much farther, Alec?”
“Not long now. I think we’re almost at the same spot where Kyrksen picked up the image. I’ll check.” He reached for the intercom switch on the control panel, but Lyndsey beat him to it.
“I’ll do it. You have enough to be concentrating on.”
Alec nodded, his eyes never leaving the unchanging view from beyond the windshield, so Lyndsey opened a channel. “Kyrksen, are we on target? Do you see anything?”
Kyrksen’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Nothing yet, but we need to slow down. I need to run a full sweep with as many sensors as I can, and it takes time.”
“All right,” Alec said. “Make it snappy though. I don’t want to be out here for longer than absolutely necessary.”
Kyrksen’s only reply was a grunt before the channel went dead, and Alec exchanged a look with Lyndsey. “He has his uses,” Lyndsey said. “Would you have the patience to stare at the monitors for so many hours at a time? Could you have picked out a lone person in this jungle of symbiont?”
“We all have our jobs to do, Lyndsey. I just wish…”
“Kyrksen wouldn't be such an asshole all the time,” Lyndsey offered.
Alec flashed her a grin. “Something like that.” He opened HS mouth to say more, but the cockpit speaker hissed, Kyrksen’s voice crackling over the intercom: “There he is! Twenty degrees right. Turn. Turn!”
“I can’t see a damned thing,” Alec said, but he complied, sending the truck into a turn, banking hard to avoid a clump of symbiont.
Lyndsey gripped her seat’s armrests, leaning forward to peer out through the windshield. “Wait a second. I thought I saw…yes.” She pointed. “Jesus! He’s really moving.” And her heart leaped in her chest. Because there, dodging between the symbiont structures, a man was running, hell for leather, his head down and his arms pumping; running as if his life depended on it.
“I’ve got him,” Alec said. “Pursuing.” The truck surged forward, the dull, throbbing drone of its engines rising to fill the cabin.
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Here's a Thing! 14 June 2019

Here are a few of the things I've found interesting during the week. All links are correct at the time of posting, but I'm not responsible for them, so if they're not available for some reason, apologies. This week there are podcasts, music, TV, and radio drama.
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Featured Photo of the Week – 12 June 2019

This is a delightful tunnel formed naturally from the young trees leaning over a public footpath. At this time of year, it looks particularly stunning with sunlight shining through the newly formed leaves. It doesn't take much imagination to picture a hobbit scurrying along the path, and there are tunnels dug into the banks, probably the work of badgers.
We're very fortunate that this footpath is on our doorstep, and it's uphill so good exercise for me, and our Labrador, Lottie, enjoys the scents as she dashes from side to side.
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How to be Human – A Guide for Visiting Aliens – Part 13 – Etiquette

When greeting humans, don’t be surprised if they enquire after your well-being. This is common practice on Earth, but don’t worry, there’s no need to recite your full medical history, and they certainly won’t be expecting you to show them your scars; a fact that I discovered to my cost over dinner one evening. All humans are really looking for is a polite standard reply, such as, I’m fine, I’m very well, or even, somewhat ungrammatically, I’m good. My advice is to pick one and stick with it, repeating it when asked regardless of the circumstances, e.g. you may have just been hit by a fire truck, but if you point out this detail, you will be viewed as, at best, pernickety, and at worst, a troublemaker.
Similarly, when taking your leave from humans, say something generic that implies you’d like to stay in touch, for example, I’ll call you, I’ll write, or Let’s do lunch one day next week. Avoid giving specifics, and whatever you do, don’t say something along the lines of, I’ll see you at 4 a.m. on Tuesday when I shall be abducting you for the purposes of experimentation so you may want to wear clean pajamas. Such remarks may be truthful, and they are no doubt borne of a natural tendency to be helpful, but they can ruin what may, up until that point, have been a pleasant evening at the cinema.
An important note on disclosing details of your personal finances. Don’t. If your human acquaintances talk about money, it means that they don’t have enough, so even though you may feel like joining in, harping on about your shopping spree on Drammadon Four or mentioning your portfolio of investments gathering daily compound interest during the fantastically long financial year on Pluto will only upset everyone.
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Offers for Readers

Free 15-17 June.
End Point – by me.
One mission will make or break Sergeant John Chapman’s career; it’s just a damned shame nobody told the enemy.

Not everyone has what it takes to join The Cutters, the Cyborg Tactical Response Regiment, but this is John Chapman's big shot. Taking his unit through his final training mission, he thinks he's ready for anything.
He's wrong.

Free on Amazon Only – Find this book online


Lightwave: Clocker
By AM Scott

Her secret frees trillions…Discovery risks them all.
Saree’s got a secret. A big one. She tunes space fold clocks—the only thing allowing safe travel between star systems. She’s the only human Clocker. The security of trillions relies on Saree’s freedom. And they can never know.

99c- all stores.
Find this book online


What's Next?
After the busy day I've had, surrounded by people dressed in outlandish costumes, I'm not even sure what's next. Sit down with a beer maybe? That sounds good.

I'll get back to the writing tomorrow. Tonight I need to celebrate my escape from the dreaded Daleks.

Until next time, happy reading and take care.
All the best,
Mikey C

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