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Why is a notorious religious cult of assassins keeping him alive?

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb *** Get Book 1, Vampire: Find my Grave FREE on Google Play.

In this nail-biting, paranormal thriller, the hero's teenage daughter is taken in a blood-thirsty murder by a giant winged serpent; her body is left mysteriously shriveled and crushed. A former WWII MI6 agent, our anonymous hero is suspected of the crime by the police and his divorcing wife.

With strange powers of foresight, he goes on the run to clear his name. He has only one friend, a historian and member of the modern Knights Hospitaller, but with this help, he embarks on a white-knuckle ride to salvation.

In Paris, Georgina, smart, sexy witch servant of the mysterious Catholic assassin sect Concilium Putus Visum seduces him during his quest for the secret weapon of the Cathars. If he can solve a puzzling set of clues to find the weapon, he might kill the monster and save his marriage.

But why do the assassins and the vampire snakes seem to be protecting him? Why is his grandfather's body no longer where it should be; in his grave? What supernatural secret about the family was the old man trying to reveal to him before he died?

Lovers of Dan Brown's evocative mix of mystery and history will love this Occult Thriller - a dark and powerful, nerve-shredding tale, which deftly combines aspects of a crime thriller with those of the occult and historical.

Categories: fiction, thriller, paranormal, occult & supernatural, suspense, werewolf, vampire, fun, psychic, racy.

From the author:

My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted research, had led me to one Guillaume, a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc, France. He was my earliest ancestor. Simultaneously, I had been pursuing a theological interest in the Cathars; first through reading a number of books by Henry Lincoln and later through an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château, near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Cathars were an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted by the Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region of France. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via the Balkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs in post-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christian god was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was an illusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhere outside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my later ancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots when they came to England in the 1500s.

These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one of my ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church and had been prosecuted for some unknown violation. This resulted in him having to pay the church an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, I cannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well so it must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic or Cathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 years before? This question started me on my journey.

A year before I started this work, I read both Dan Brown and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like Brown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

I wanted deeper characterisation. I wanted to write something more than a mere fantasy. Some of my characters are world-weary but all have the tell-tale footprints of life all over them.

Lastly, I wanted the gothic. The themes of blood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire in a good novel. My influences were Kate Bush, The Mission, Lord Byron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is a particularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attracted to. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place in one of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read the novel to find out where ...

Grab your copy today!

thriller, MI6, secret agent, cursed, Paris, Medieval, time travelling, trapped, werewolf, paranormal, gothic, romance, conspiracy, assassin, vampire, da vinci code, tumbler lock puzzle, Leonardo da vinci, racy, French, witch, wicca, coven, holy blood holy grail, Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, fun, adventure, thriller, shapeshifter, snakes, psychic, ancient, Templar, sacred treasure, serpent, succubus, ark, covenant, spell

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb ***

Inchoate
Set in prehistoric North America, this tells the story of how a hard-swearing, delinquent time-traveller calls the first Board Meeting in History and inadvertently incurs the wrath of all his bosses. He is put on trial but is he all he seems?

Urdu translation of Inchoate - سائنس فکشن - نمود سے پہلے

یہ کہا نی شما لی ا مریکہ کی سر زمین کی ہے-عہد، گزشتہ سے بھی پہلے کی-قصَہ 

شروع ہوتا ہے ایک ایسے ملزم سے جو انسانی تا ریخ کے پہلے اجلاس میں نا دانستہ 

طور پر کچھ ایسی حرکات کر بیٹھتا ہے جو کہ حکا مِ اعلی کی ناراضگی کا سبب بن جا 

تی ہیں-اس پر مقَدمہ چلایا جاتا ہے- لیکن یہ ملزم اصل میں کسی اور روپ میں تو نہیں؟

Henry's Car

In this hilarious sci-fi story, a Time Traveler from the 16th Century develops a taste and talent for for stock-car racing.

The Jesus Monster

A lethal alien virus reaches the last healthy community on Earth.

Chapter One of Attack Hitler's Bunker!

Rudolf Eineger was left with his finger inside a dead body. Repulsed, he withdrew it and wiped it on the black SS tunic.

Richard Earlgood, maverick RAF fighter pilot, and Michael Dorfmann, an ambitious Luftwaffe double-agent, plan a daring daylight attack on Adolf Hitler using Hurricane fighters, piggy-backing on 4-engine Stirling bombers to reach the almost completed... impregnable... Führer Bunker in this WWII fiction book.

Anna Styles, a Station X decoder, had a romance with Dorfmann at Oxford and is being forced to 'handle' the double-agent. She still loves Dorfmann but she has fallen for Richard too. This single raid to bomb Hitler's Bunker could win the war, but only one man can win Anna's heart.

Iron I: Too Bright the Sun

Seeking revenge for the death of a friend ten long years ago, Major Jake Nanden has pursued his own personal demons with an almost religious fervour through life and through battle.

He is a soldier so highly decorated that his fame reaches far beyond the desolate moon Io where he is stationed. His victories in the Jupiter Wars are hollow though, for he is a man scared of his own soul.

His life seems to be a trap from which he cannot escape. His is the Replicant Company, and replicants are despised by all.

Likened to a cross between Blade Runner and Paths of Glory, you simply must read this beautifully constructed, intensely dark and powerful Science Fiction tale-with-a-twist if you love Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov.

Chapter one of Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate

His teenage daughter is viciously murdered in Lyon by a long-forgotten biblical monster. A former WWII MI6 agent, our hero is suspected of her murder by the police and his divorcing wife.

With supernatural powers of foresight he goes on the run to clear his name. He has only one friend - a historian and member of the modern Knights Hospitaller but with his help he embarks on a white-knuckle ride to salvation.

In Paris a witch servant of the mysterious Catholic assassin sect Concilium Putus Visum seduces him during his quest for the secret weapon of the Cathars. If he can solve a puzzling set of clues to find the weapon, he might kill the monster and save his marriage.

But why do the assassins and the monster seem to be protecting him?

Lovers of Dan Brown's evocative mix of mystery and history will love this Occult Thriller - a dark and powerful tale.  

Categories: non-fiction, Philosophy, metaphysics, fiction, science fiction, visionary, alien contact, clones, history, military.

Ordo Lupus - from the author:

My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted research, had led me to one Guillaume, a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc, France. He was my earliest ancestor.Simultaneously, I had been pursuing a theological interest in the Cathars; first though reading a number of books by Henry Lincoln and later through an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château, near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Cathars were an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted by the Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region of France. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via the Balkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs in post-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christian god was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was an illusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhere outside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my later ancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots when they came to England in the 1500s.

These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one of my ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church and had been prosecuted for some unknown violation. This resulted in him having to pay the church an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, I cannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well so it must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic or Cathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 years before? This question started me on my journey.

A year before I started this work, I read both Dan Brown and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like Brown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

I wanted deeper characterisation. I wanted to write something more than a mere fantasy. Some of my characters are world-weary but all have the tell-tale footprints of life all over them.

Lastly, I wanted the gothic. The themes of blood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire in a good novel. My influences were Kate Bush, The Mission, Lord Byron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is a particularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attracted to. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place in one of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read the novel to find out where ...

Grab your copy today!

Free, scifi, dystopia ,thriller, sci-fi, alien, gods, replicants, genes, clones, atomic, bomb, Hitler, Asimov, blade runner, phillip k dick, Arthur C Clarke, deity, troopers, paths of glory, film, kirk douglas, Alamos, alien, contact, Jupiter, iron, cross, medal, valour, visionary, V2, Oppenheimer, manhattan, niels bohr, lost starship, plutonium, uranium, enrichment, gallant

Trapped in time, in a dungeon with no way out!

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com *** Get erotic Book 1, Vampire: Find my Grave FREE here.

His crippled wife is kidnapped by the witch Georgiana, now allied with the assassin sect Concilium Putus Visum, and transported back to medieval France in this paranormal time travel thriller.

He is only one man against the vicious and murderous forces of Hell, unleashed once again in the form of the Biblical shapeshifter Serpents.

Suddenly trapped in an escape-proof dungeon, he must somehow escape and train to be a knight so he can enlist the help of a corrupt count. Along the way, he must overcome his sense of revulsion about his own psychic, shapeshifter powers.

Herleva, mother of William the Conqueror, most powerful woman in all of Europe and also a powerful sorceress, offers him help.

He must also enlist the friendship of an ex Templar knight and survive the military conflict at Bouvines, which shaped Europe. But if he does, what will he find in the mysterious Maze Tower?

If you love the Da Vinci Code, you will adore this richly plotted, writhing romance. And make sure you don't miss the shattering climax to series, The Synchronicity Code.

Categories: Fiction, thriller, paranormal, historical, medieval, romance, psychic, military, fun, racy, vampire, werewolf.

From the author:

My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted research, had led me to one Guillaume, a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc, France. He was my earliest ancestor. Simultaneously, I had been pursuing a theological interest in the Cathars; first through reading a number of books by Henry Lincoln and later through an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château, near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Cathars were an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted by the Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region of France. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via the Balkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs in post-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christian god was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was an illusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhere outside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my later ancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots when they came to England in the 1500s.

These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one of my ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church and had been prosecuted for some unknown violation. This resulted in him having to pay the church an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, I cannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well so it must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic or Cathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 years before? This question started me on my journey.

A year before I started this work, I read both Dan Brown and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like Brown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

I wanted deeper characterisation. I wanted to write something more than a mere fantasy. Some of my characters are world-weary but all have the tell-tale footprints of life all over them.

Lastly, I wanted the gothic. The themes of blood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire in a good novel. My influences were Kate Bush, The Mission, Lord Byron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is a particularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attracted to. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place in one of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read the novel to find out where ...

Grab your copy today!

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Features 9 colour illustrations from the Iron series:

Mobile Command Station (MCS) Mark 6

SU 401 Fighter

X.77 Laser Pistol

Ischian Clover Leaf Laser Rifle

Ischian Light Cruiser

Battleship John F. Kennedy

Ischian Battleship Lu-kshîa

LC5150 "Bullpup" Laser Carbine

Please note: these images may not display correctly on all devices. Links to online images, most high resolution, are provided.

Don't miss the opportunity to download Running, prequel to the Iron series, FREE on Google Play.

Get Three Thrillers Free (including Too Bright the Sun) > tiny.cc/lazloferran

Book 1: Too Bright the Sun

A man hell-bent on revenge for the death of his friend, in battle!

Seeking revenge for the death of a friend ten long years ago, Major Jake Nanden has pursued his own personal demons with an almost religious fervour through life and through battle.

He is a soldier so highly decorated for bravery that his fame reaches far beyond the desolate Jupiter moon, Io, where his battalion is stationed. His victories in the Jupiter Wars are hollow though, for he is a man scared of his own soul.

His life seems to be a trap from which he cannot escape. His is the Replicant Company, and replicants, or clones, are despised by all.

Book 2: Unknown Place, Unknown Universe

Three rookie space cadets crash on an unknown planet with aliens hot on their tail! 

While a dissident alien scientist struggles to control time, he discovers that his wife will betray him. His favourite student discovers a way to see into the past but find himself surrounded by enemies in a complex, fragmenting culture.

Meanwhile, Stone, douchebag son of Iron Cross winner Jake Nanden, a nerd and a feminist from the Space Fleet Academy crash-land on an unknown planet after falling through a worm-hole in this gripping and visionary science fiction thriller.

Called Anubians by humans, the jackal-headed aliens are now revealed as Ischians but they are hiding something on this unknown planet in an unknown universe.

Stone's world is shattered while he tries to escape and warn Earth of danger.

Book 3: Worlds Like Dust

Domes now cover Earth's big cities and soon a force field will trap Earth inside!

The jackal-headed Ischians are here! When General Jake Nanden retired from the USAC, he could never have guessed that his greatest battle was still to come.

Since then, he has joined a spiritual cult called the Blue Path, trying to establish communication with a few peaceful Ischians.

But now his world has been torn apart; his wife and youngest son have been killed, probably his eldest too and the Los Angeles and Washington citizens sweat it out under inescapable alien domes.

His son, Stone, warned him of the invasion and he joined up with Gary Enquine to form a rudimentary resistance network.

Now, they must find a way to rise up and defeat the conquerors of Earth! Nanden must escape and unite the remaining human and clone forces, scattered across the Solar System.

Likened to a cross between Blade Runner and Paths of Glory, you simply must read this beautifully constructed, intensely dark and powerful Science Fiction thriller Series, if you love Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov.

Categories: science fiction, thriller, far future, clones, androids, cyborgs, time travel, genes, genetic engineering, military, science fiction

Character interview with Jake Nanden.

Name (s): Jake Nanden

Age: 34

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am 5'11', dark hair, short - Army cut, slightly curly. Green eyes.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.

Getting middle aged, slightly paunchy with drying skin - like paper in places - except my mech arm. That's synthetic skin on there and as smooth and supple as the day it was sprayed on. I even had mine tattooed but don't tell anyone.

Would you kill for those you love?

I kill every day - most days - to keep my culture intact. I would say that is killing for those I love. Of course there is a moral code... And as a soldier the moral code is almost everything. After a while... killing... it sometimes seems to be the only thing you have left. Family are too far away.

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb *** Book 1 Running: The Alien in the Mirror is FREE on Google Play.

A man hell-bent on revenge for the death of his friend, in battle!

Seeking revenge for the death of a friend ten long years ago, Major Jake Nanden has pursued his own personal demons with an almost religious fervour through life and through battle. 

He is a soldier so highly decorated that his fame reaches far beyond the desolate moon Io where he is stationed. His victories in the Jupiter Wars are hollow though, for he is a man scared of his own soul. 

His life seems to be a trap from which he cannot escape. His is the Replicant Company, and replicants are despised by all. 

Likened to a cross between Blade Runner and Paths of Glory, you simply must read this beautifully constructed, intensely dark and powerful Science Fiction tale-with-a-twist if you love Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov. 

From the author:

I have long had a soft-spot for noir films so I decided to write a noir science fiction novel. I also love Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and Phillip K Dick - particularly Blade Runner, all for their quirky stories but deep-rooted scientific authenticity. The result is Too Bright the Sun, which I am very proud of. Ultimately, I think it is a very beautiful story of one replicant struggle for identity and the surprising outcome.

If you love character-driven science fiction, you will love the twist at the end.


Volume III in the Iron Series: Worlds Like Dust will be published early in 2014

Categories: fiction, science fiction, thriller, first contact, clones, starship, mlitary.

Sample

It’s been over ten years since Gary Enquine sent my friend Przeltski to a certain death. Not one day has gone by without the memories of that battle prowling my mind like a waking nightmare. Many times I have woken in a cold-sweat thinking about it. I will not rest, cannot rest, until Gary Enquine has been brought to justice and been forced to pay for his cowardice. Ten years; it’s a long time but I can be patient. Personal journal entry of Jake Nanden for 2101, Feb 3. 1.

***

Chapter One


The little voice asked, after peering out of another portal at an earlier moment in his life, “Is it possible to time travel for I perceive that I can?”

“Only after you leave this life,” said a voice, high and mighty.

Then the little voice changed its tone for it was angry. “But that’s not fair! For, the one thing I wish I can’t have.”

“Until you leave this life,” said the high voice.

“Yes.”

“Then now you can see advantages to moving beyond this life you have.”

And the little voice perceived that all his previous angers, about matters of the flesh and daily living were not proper angers. A proper anger is the anger that desirable things lay beyond the portal of death. And so from that moment on his struggles to survive, to fight against the current, seemed improper to him and yet he could not help himself.


Two of the Ionian Militia sat on top of Przeltski, ripping his helmet off, while another aimed his laser at his eyes. In the vacuum of Io’s atmosphere, Przeltski was mouthing the words, ‘save me’ but it was too late. I knew I couldn’t and had to try and save myself. I was turning to get away but I could still see his eyes half closing, then looking up and his mouth rapidly shaping the words of the ‘Hail Mary.’ The IM would turn their lasers down to the lowest setting and first shoot out the eyes, then take off the arms and if he was lucky then they would aim for his heart. If he was not lucky, the dismemberment could go on and on for as long as they wanted. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. I struggled and struggled and then I was awake and knew it was the nightmare.

***

An eye opened. It was mine. The blurry horizon crystallised into the edge of the pillow as I realised where I was: Io. Being a commander has its perks, one being your own private cabin, but it was small and cramped. I closed my eye, reached up for the ledge of the sill above me and hauled myself out of bed. Feeling for the sanicube-handle opposite the bed, I released the cube from its folded position against the wall, selected ‘L’ and stepped in but then had to open my eyes to use it without spilling. A tube dispensed a sterilising solution onto my hands and the stream of water became hot air to dry them. Yawning enough for tears to clear my eyes, I took one step over to the n-gen, on the white work surface above the bed. I selected ‘Fried,’ then ‘Coffee, black’ and clicked on, the com centre. I had disabled the voice but I could see the display said, “2101, Feb 4. 2 – 06.30 I. 2 messages. Download?”

I waited for the ding that would tell me my breakfast was ready. I knew I had just had another weird dream but I couldn’t quite remember it now. I tried. The n-gen dinged and I opened the white door to reveal the plate of hot, fried food and a mug of black coffee. I looked at the food dubiously and lifted the dark blue mug to my lips. The caffeine rush to my head felt good. Putting my left hand on my hip, I arched my back and then looked down at the pallid skin stretched over my late-twenties belly. ‘Bigger,’ I thought. ‘But only slightly.’ I picked up the plate of fried – bacon, eggs, potatoes, beans, fried-bread and mushrooms – all preselected as my personal preferences and lifted some mushrooms and potatoes to my mouth with the forkette. My buds tested the taste; it had that slight hint of mint or something metallic about it. “Damn,” I said out loud. For a few days now breakfast had tasted like this and I wasn’t sure if it was a fault with the n-gen or this batch of plasma. My n-gen was civvy and another one of the perks allowed to commanders; I’d had it for nearly five years and it had been everywhere with me. Normally they didn’t last longer than three years.

Balancing the plate in my left hand, I picked up the remote, pressed ‘Monitor,’ chose ‘North elevation,’ then ‘R’ for recording and ‘Dec 9, 11.00,’ morning on the day we had arrived, a date I chose out of habit. I then pointed it at the panel, shaped like a window, on the narrow wall behind the pillow of the bed and it was filled with the image of the ground to the north of the command-post. Just like a window, you could even see ‘around’ the window frame if you wished to put your head that close to it. Yellow and reddish sulphur stretched away between the rocky silicates, to a jagged horizon a few hundred yards above the level of the command-post and perhaps two miles away. In places the silicate rock was white and in others a beautiful emerald green. If it hadn’t been for the bright purplish glow of the morning aurora above, I could have believed I was in the Mojave Desert on Earth, which was in a memory I had of visiting my grandparents once. Taking bigger mouthfuls, with my nostrils closed to avoid the nasty after-taste, I downed the breakfast and alternated my gaze between the landscape on the wall and the contents of the room. I took in the half-finished bottle of vodka next to the empty glass on the narrow table across the gang-way from my bed and the open notepad next to it with a few scrawled lines at the top of a new page. Writing pulp crime-novels was my weakness, or my hobby, depending on one’s generosity.

I had finished the fried so I continued sipping black coffee and put on the Trion head-band, activating it by flicking a tiny black switch next to my left temple. “Record,” I said. Most company commanders, at least in USAC, were obliged to record their activities for viewing by paid subscribers; part of a deal USAC had made with the Amtel branch of RA. Most hated doing it but at least you could choose what to record and I never gave the leaches anything of real interest. The recording was made by a cam in the comms centre so a leach couldn’t see what was on my heads-up.

“Download,” I said. A red light flickered once on the com centre. On the heads-up display in front of my left eye scrolled the first of two messages:


Contact: Jena Ω “Hi Jake. I know you’re trying to make me jealous by not replying to my last messages but then again you could just be under attack and I’m supposed to be the rational woman so I can deal with that. I might just be too busy this week to record anything for you too. My boss wants me to prepare a legal-briefing for our merger with a company which has connections with Riccard-Amtel! Can you believe it? Oh I know we try not to bring business into our relationship but I couldn’t help myself. The consequences could be so far-reaching. Promotion, relocation. Who knows? Umm. In answer to your question last time; okay I’ve held out for quite a while haven’t I but yes, women do feel that sometimes. I suppose... Tell me more about what you do... Not during the day (with the boyz and grrls) but after. Are you still writing? Chloe misses u too. xx” End.


Contact: Mary “Hi darling Mum here. How’s the (censored) winter? I know this will probably be censored but I don’t care. There’s lots to tell you but I'll keep it short for now. I’m just off to a local council meeting and later there's an art exhibition, Raccauld, which Justine and I are going to. Actually I’m meeting her for coffee at lunchtime. I think she wants to do some shopping. You know what she’s like. You cannot stop her once hubby has been paid. The Gazette had a nice photo of you the other day which I have stuck in the photo album. You’re a hero around here. The young boys talk of nothing else but the Iron Cross, I hear them when we go for picnics by the river. Oh yes and Robert O’Flannery has been elected Mayor again and has approved redevelopment of the area by the river. Office block I believe. Such a shame. One thing I was going to mention. A peculiar thing happened the other day...”


There was a loud banging on the cabin-door which made me flinch. “Stop record,” I said and ignored the rest of the message in the heads-up. I took two steps to the door and opened it. Sergeant Stone’s chiseled face, topped with a brown flat-top and with shaving foam around its cheeks, confronted me. He was dressed only from the waist down.

“Yes Sergeant?” I tried to sound patient.

“Sir. Seismic activity detected 700 yards east of perimeter. About 100 feet down.”

“Okay. Pick four men and get packed. I’ll be with you in five.”

“Sir? We can investigate if you want. You don’t need to come.”

“No but I want to come. I need the exercise.”

“Sir.” There was no salute. I was informal with my troops most of the time in combat situations, especially the officers and Stone in particular, who had been with me a long time.

***

“Lieutenant Osei, you have the comm.”

We were in the port airlock five minutes later, myself unshaven, all in full-combat gear and Sergeant Stone handed me a Trion X.50. As the red light moved to ‘Gravity-local,’ we all grabbed the hand rails. Gravity on Io was about one fifth of that on Earth or about the same as the Moon and without the S-Grav, the rocking motion of the lift as it took us down to the surface would throw us about. The hatch opened and I led the team out into the moonlit night. I could feel the crunch of sulphur and silicates under my boots but all I could hear was my breath and the steady beep, every two seconds of the uplink indicator. We used a two-step canter to move over the terrain in a defensive pattern of two columns of three, ten feet apart. It was enough distance to give covering fire in all directions without hitting each other if needed. What we were looking for was any sign of a drill rig at the indicated distance of 700 yards. The Ionian Militia (see Appendix for more on the Ionian Militia) normally didn’t have the resources for automated rigs so there would be two or three poor bastards manning it, armed with A.M. 27s most probably. They would be targeting our S-Grav singularity, 1000 feet below the MCS – a known Mob. Command Station weakness. Our MCS was fitted with S-Grav Type 4 which was a lot more stable than the Type 3; its governor was accurate to 14-10 Volts, which it had to be to keep the singularity weak enough to be safe but strong enough to work effectively.

***

Database download on the Ionian Militia: The Ionian Militia (IM) was formed by miners on Io, moon of Jupiter on June 1 2089. Their living conditions were already touch but falling iron prices led to smaller pay-rises and longer hours. They went on strike and in the long summer of 2080 Earth News bulletins were full of items about iron shortages and skirmishes between USAC troops and miners on IO. Led by Richard Ortega, the miners demanded some concessions, most prominent being that their families could live with them. This was granted but shortly after their families arrived, the miners were subjected to further pay-cuts and reductions in supply of essential equipment. From the Ionian Iron Miners Union was formed the Ionian Miner's Union, led by Ortega. This powerful union then began receiving equipment and other supplies directly from the Rebel Alliance on Earth, a move that was seen as highly provocative by the USAC forces, then in administrative control on Io and then attempted to block these supplies and suppress resistance using overpowering force. From the Ionian Miner's Union Ortega then formed the Ionian Militia, a small but highly trained and well-equipped force which operated using guerrilla tactics against USAC. The force gradually grew in size and strength until, ten years later, they are a significant force on Io, controlling one half of its surface. Only a few mines remained loyal to USAC, raising Solar System prices of iron and putting an end to the building of the great J stations. End Download.

***

Micro-singularities were inherently unstable anyway for safety reasons but the governor itself was the only real vulnerability in the Type 4. By necessity it was located in the column only a few inches from the singularity and if it could be damaged by a small explosion, then there was a good chance the singularity would run away and if it grew rather than shrank, the result would be a massive explosion. Several MCSs had been knocked out this way.

The militia squad wouldn’t be a problem but I wanted to be fully alert. My vision was still a bit blurry and I blinked a few times and squeezed my lids shut to lubricate my eyes. My stubble itched on the fabric inside the helmet.

500 yards out I raised my hand and we stopped. I pointed to the Sergeant and two of the corporals in their tan-coloured combat suits and motioned for them to move south of the target location which appeared to be behind a slight bluff. I motioned to the other two officers to follow me north. I was sure Stone would spread his men out a little, standard procedure, and I did the same as we flanked the bluff. I thought I could see a faint plume of yellow dust rising, the usual tell-tale sign of a drill-rig, but it was very faint and I wasn’t sure. I crouched down and tapped the shoulder of the soldier in front of me. I pointed at the faint plume and he turned to face me and he nodded. We tried not to kick up any dust ourselves as we rounded the shoulder of the bluff and the soldier in front held up his hand and stopped. This was it. They were there. His gloved fingers counted down three, two, one and then he moved forward, aiming his X.50 at something as I followed him, pointing mine in the same direction. As I emerged into the dip behind the bluff I saw what I had expected, a low wall of sulphur-dirt around a square dugout, perhaps ten feet along each side, with a cover slung over it to collect the dust. There was one helmet peering through the gap, straight at us. I saw the red beam from his A.M. 27 strike the helmet of the corporal and then the sighting beam turned green as the plasma shot was fired. But he was too slow. The corporal had already jumped, done a one-eighty and was coming down with his X.50 blazing green. I fired too. The poor armour of the Ionian’s helmet couldn’t withstand the X.50 rounds. It split and little globules of red blood floated out from under the cover.

The intercom crackled. It was Stone. “Our man taken down sir. Going in for a look.” That meant there had been another guard on the south-side and he was now disabled. The rear guards stayed back as the leading four of us reached the entrance to the dugout, on its east-side and Stone poked his X.50 inside. He immediately backed out, saying “Two grubs,” over the intercom. By now I could barely see the dugout entrance for yellow dust and we waited for the two miners to emerge from the cloud. They came out with their hands up and Stone made them turn through 360 degrees before making them sit up against a rock a few yards east of the entrance. While Stone, recognisable by the over-sized dagger he usually wore, stood with his X.50 pointing at the two prisoners, one of his team dipped into the entrance to check all equipment was switched off before placing a small charge.

During daylight hours you could not normally see the faces of other men through the visors because the filters would give off glare from the sun but I could see the two faces of the Ionians. One looked full of hate but the other looked strangely sullen, scared even. I decided to question him and not the other.

I tapped his wrist, where intercom units used to be, and drew 220 in the air with my finger, the standard Red Cross frequency. Of course he had to activate this inside the helmet verbally and might not choose to do so. I turned my frequency to 200 and waited patiently. After a minute or more the intercom crackled and I heard a sullen, “Yes.”

“Greetings Ionian,” I said jovially. “It’s your lucky day. You are definitely going to live and you might retain all your limbs if you answer a few simple questions.”

“Smith, Corporal, 00001,” he said. His name, rank and serial number included the obligatory 00001. All Ionians used the same serial number. In effect they had no serial numbers which they felt confused USAC.

I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the other Ionian glanced nervously at Smith, several times.

Is he afraid this one will reveal something?

“Well Mr. Smith, Corporal Smith if you prefer...” I was digging and waited for a response.

“Smith will do.”

“Mm. You don’t seem so attached to the Militia as your friend there. How long have you been mining?”

“A few months,” came the terse reply. The other Ionian winced.

“Uh-huh. Have you targeted a Type 4 before?” The other Ionian looked surprised.

“I dunno. Maybe.”

“Maybe? It’s the latest type. What sort of charge were you planning to use?”

“What do you mean? I don’t have to answer these questions. Look, if you want to get it over and done with that’s fine by me.”

“What charge?” I made it sound angry and pointed my X.50 at his upper right arm.

“Hey! Wait. I dunno. Four pounds, maybe. We hadn’t decided.”

“Oh. I don’t think so. Okay sonny. So I know you are not a miner so that raises a serious question. What are you doing here?”

Interesting. Is he an observer? A news reporter? Not sure.

“No. Listen. I am just a miner. Okay so I have only been doing it a week. This is my first time. Training courses are hard to come by these days.” He laughed.

“An ironic sense of humour... I like it! Shows intelligence. Maybe too much intelligence for a grub.”

My men were gathered around now, tuned to 220, listening in. I could hear their breathing and their smirks from time to time.

I tapped the shoulder of the nearest to me. “Stay on the proper frequency, corporal.”

“He’s undercover sir,” said one of the other corporals. I recognised the voice; Opinnskey. A bit of a joker by all accounts but clever.

“Undercover Opinnskey? Why do you say that?”

“Look at those arms sir. He hasn’t ever lifted an A.M. in his life. Daddy is probably a high-up, I reckon.” He squeezed Smith’s scrawny arms and the others laughed. The other Ionian looked scared now.

“Maybe he is. Maybe he is. Maybe his Daddy is high up in the army.” I thought I saw just the slightest flicker of his eyelid through the visor. “Did you want to see some active service? Blow up an MCS to impress a girl? I bet that would get you a few nights in bed with that pretty girl.” He looked uncomfortable.

“Okay Stone. Take care of the other one.”

Stone turned the dial on his X.50 to minimum ballistic charge and pulled back on the trigger. He aimed the red bead at the Ionian’s right shin. He pulled back further on the trigger and a green shot of plasma pierced the Ionians shin, leaving a neat black hole for a second which quickly ejected red bubbles before the suit sealed itself. I could see the Ionian was screaming but we couldn’t hear him. Stone repeated the shot on the other shin and then on both forearms. We couldn’t take prisoners and the Ionians wouldn’t take prisoners. But we didn’t want to kill so we just disabled the soldiers. Most of them would never see active service again so we were doing them a favour really. Their medics would pick them up quite quickly once we had broadcast the standard Red Cross distress signal for them. Of course some of the other USAC Companies were less lenient.

I could see Smith was grimacing in anticipation of the pain that would surely come. Perhaps he thought he could get a lighter punishment.

“Well?” I asked.

“Well, what?” he said.

“What's the explanation for you being here?”

“I've told you everything. Just get it over with.”

I crouched down and looked into his eyes. I could see a different kind of fear there now. It wasn’t fear for his physical safety.

“Take the other one away Stone.”

I gestured for the rest of our men to go with him and I waited while the writhing Ionian was dragged around the corner of the bluff.

I spoke to Smith. “Okay now we are alone. Anything you tell me will have been extracted under duress. You won’t have been responsible. I used a dose of SPA on you okay? Now all I want do know is; who's your father?”

“Okay. I will tell you something, something big but you gotta give me something. Leave my arms okay. I heard some guys lose the use of their fingers. I need them, you know?”

“Okay. I tell you what. I will just lightly graze one arm but I better hit the other one or people will be suspicious. Don’t worry. I know just where to hit it. I can reduce the pain too. Deal?” I looked at him. “Deal.” He already looked like he regretted it.

“Shit. Okay. My father is Anatolian Smith.”

“And who is he?”

“You haven’t heard of him?” He seemed astonished. “He is the the General, effectively, of the Ionian Militia for the whole of the northern hemisphere of Io. Nothing happens up here without his say-so”

I forced myself to breathe deeply. This was a supreme stroke of luck and I was having trouble breathing.

Sounding calm, I asked, “So what is it you were gonna to tell me?”

“You want to know something big. I will tell you. There is an offensive planned. We have twelve new SU 401s and they are going to hit your mines at Ruwa Patera. Soon. I think maybe next month.”

“SU 401s?”

“You didn’t know that did you?”

“Twelve? When did you say? In March?”

“As far as I know.”

“How? What weapons? Will there be ground troops? What is the strategic objective in all this?”

“I don’t know all that. I told you what I know.”

“Okay. I am going to give you a little ‘general.’ I’ll put it in your feed now. Relax.” I took a small plastic container out of my Medi-pouch and took off the lid. I screwed the end to the connector of the emergency intake on his respiratory unit and pressed the button to release the general anaesthetic into his system.

I waited for a minute. Then I stood up, aimed my X.50 at his shin and fired a shot through his tibia. A neat black hole was filled with little red bubbles which drifted out into the thin Ionian atmosphere. Then a silver liquid, the sealant, trickled into the hole before it finally sealed the suit, leaving just a few red and silver bubbles floating away.

He moaned but he didn’t scream.

“Are you right-handed?” I asked.

After a moment he answered, “Yes,” through clenched teeth.

I fired a shot through his left forearm and then, as I had said I would, I grazed his right arm with the final shot. There was a lot more blood so I called Stone to get one of his men over to put a tourniquet on him.

I stood up.

Well. This is a turn-up. At last a real piece of luck. A chance for real glory, this is. With this I get promoted another rank, maybe two, and then we will see.

A cold thrill ran through my spine but for fear of it reaching my finger tips and making me dance around like a fool, I confined it to quarters.

We detonated the charge, after dragging the two casualties a safe distance away, and started back for base. There was some commotion off to my right; it looked as if two of the officers were arguing on a private link, one of them stamping his foot and shaking his X.50 but I ignored them.

I wondered what the landscape would look like with trees, or even some grass. Riccard was rumoured to be working on a strain of grass that could grow in these conditions. For a moment I fancied myself as the governor of Io, with plans to geo-form it in some way but I caught myself. My life’s path had been decided for me a long time ago and creativity wasn’t a big part of it.

The rest of my waking hours that day were spent communicating with USAC Command, first through my superior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Roanald, and then with Central Intel. Of course at first they were all skeptical about the provenance of my information but they had to admit it was brilliant if thought up on the spur of the moment. They confirmed the identity and rank of Anatolian Smith. Finally, around 20.00 hours, a decision was taken. I was to lead a task force of three companies in a covert mission to prevent the taking of Ruwa Patera, close to Anderstown, capital of the USAC territories on Io; covert because it was hoped we could surgically remove much of the cream of the Ionian Militia in this one operation if they weren’t expecting us.

scifi, dystopia, thriller, war, Io, Jupiter, iron, cross, android, robot, cyborg, valour, gallant, Greg Bear, lost starship, pods, tanks, armour, military, assault, starship troopers, blade runner, Clarke, Asimov, medal, mechanical arm, first contact, violent ,dog-like, replicants, genes, manipulation, aliens, Anubis, jackal, paths of glory, gears of war, dystopia, clones


The explosive Robert Langdon thriller from Dan Brown, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno—now a major film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones.

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church.

Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair...a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

An explosive international thriller, Angels & Demons careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.
*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb ***

Running - The Alien in the Mirror can be considered the cyberpunk prequel to the military scifi Iron Series.

Ishmael Bodd 'wakes up' for the first time, a billion years in the future. He is a Citizen of Supercity, on Marstoo, far away from old Earth in the Universe. In his world, crime doesn't exist and Citizens only need electricity to live, whereas clones, who eat food and drink liquids, are banished to Clonecity.

But he suddenly feels compelled to commit a minor crime and goes on the run. He can never stop running until he has escaped his culture and found the reason why everything suddenly feels so 'strange' to him in this science fiction thriller.

If you like the Terminator series, Blade Runner or Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three, you will love Running - The Alien in the Mirror.

Includes Chapter One of  Too Bright the Sun.

Categories: science fiction, thriller, far future, clones, androids, cyborgs, time travel, genes, genetic engineering, military science fiction



Character interview with Jake Nanden, star of the Iron Series.

Name (s): Jake Nanden

Age: 34

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am 5'11', dark hair, short - Army cut, slightly curly. Green eyes.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.
Getting middle aged, slightly paunchy with drying skin - like paper in places - except my mech arm. That's synthetic skin on there and as smooth and supple as the day it was sprayed on. I even had mine tattooed but don't tell anyone.

Would you kill for those you love?
I kill every day - most days - to keep my culture intact. I would say that is killing for those I love. Of course there is a moral code... And as a soldier the moral code is almost everything. After a while... killing... it sometimes seems to be the only thing you have left. Family are too far away.

Do you like animals?
I love animals. Their love is unconditional. You can never quite be sure with humans, can you?

Do you have a family?
Ha! Ha! Yes. A test-tube. No seriously my mother - Mary, my sister Justine and a dog - a collie called Frisky. My adoptive dad was the famous robotics designer Robert R. Nanden but he's dead. My mother was his assistant and pretty accomplished at that!

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour?
I am not sure about any of my childhood memories. They are probably all implanted. I am a replicant. The first memory I am sure about is playing on the grass with my adoptive mother watching me playing cricket.
She shouted out, "Jake! You are such a talented cyborg!"
Even at my tender age, I knew a replicant was not the same thing as a cyborg and I knew that she should know, as her first husband had been a famous robot designer. Her words had always stuck in my head.
But anyway, adoptive parents of replicant children are always told to create some vivid experience for their kid in the first few days so that the imprinting takes properly. So it's probably not significant.

Do you have any phobias?
Mirrors. Can't stand them. They make me sweat and... well, I'm very nervous around them. I avoid them.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.
I write books - well, I am writing my first; a detective thriller. It's kind of Raymond Chandler-ish. I call it Chandleresque, but I guess that's bad English. My adoptive parents are first generation J5 - that's a space station - so they kinda inherited a USAC - United States of America and Canada - accent. Anyway, I am rambling. The main character is Dusty. He's a sucker for the pretty ladies!

Does your world have different races of people?
We are more concerned with Ischians - aliens. We call them 'Dogs' because they have evolved from something like dogs. Races? I don't think anybody notices any more. Still a stigma to being a replicant though.

Free, replicants, grunts, laser pistol, rifle, cannon, aliens, dystopia, dystopia, utopia, far future, visionary, thriller, worm hole, time travel, big crunch, big bang, gene,s dna, double helix, hominid lucy, AI, artificial intelligence, neural network, telepathy, troop, battle, underground city, clones, A.I., cyberpunk, cyborg, cybernetic, cyber-soldier, reality, philosophy, battle, war, conflict, invasion, colony

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb *** Book 1 Running: The Alien in the Mirror is FREE.

Three rookie space cadets crash on an unknown planet with aliens hot on their tail!

While a dissident alien scientist struggles to control time, he discovers that his wife will betray him. His favourite student discovers a way to see into the past but finds himself surrounded by enemies in a complex, fragmenting culture.

Meanwhile, Stone, douchebag son of Iron Cross winner Jake Nanden, a nerd and a feminist from the Space Fleet Academy crash-land on an unknown planet after falling through a worm-hole in this gripping and visionary science fiction thriller.

Called Anubians by humans, the jackal-headed aliens are now revealed as Ischians but they are hiding something on this unknown planet in an unknown universe.

Stone’s universe is shattered while he tries to escape and warn Earth of danger.

The amazing final part of this adventure, Worlds Like Dust, is now available!

If you like Stargate, Flight of the Phoenix, Stephen Baxter, Arthur C. Clarke or Greg Bear, you will just have to read this thought-provoking part two of the epic Iron Series.

Categories: non-fiction, philosophy, metaphysics, fiction, science fiction, visionary, alien contact, clones, history.

Character interview with Jake Nanden.

Name (s): Jake Nanden

Age: 34

 

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am 5’11’, dark hair, short – Army cut, slightly curly. Green eyes.

 

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.

Getting middle aged, slightly paunchy with drying skin – like paper in places – except my mech arm. That’s synthetic skin on there and as smooth and supple as the day it was sprayed on. I even had mine tattooed but don’t tell anyone.

 

Would you kill for those you love?

I kill every day – most days – to keep my culture intact. I would say that is killing for those I love. Of course there is a moral code… And as a soldier the moral code is almost everything. After a while… killing… it sometimes seems to be the only thing you have left. Family are too far away.

 

Do you like animals?

I love animals. Their love is unconditional. You can never quite be sure with humans, can you?

 

Do you have a family?

Ha! Ha! Yes. A test-tube. No seriously my mother – Mary, my sister Justine and a dog – a collie called Frisky. My adoptive dad was the famous robotics designer Robert R. Nanden but he’s dead. My mother was his assistant and pretty accomplished at that!

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? I am not sure about any of my childhood memories. They are probably all implanted. I am a replicant. The first memory I am sure about is playing on the grass with my adoptive mother watching me playing cricket.

She shouted out, “Jake! You are such a talented cyborg!”

Even at my tender age, I knew a replicant was not the same thing as a cyborg and I knew that she should know, as her first husband had been a famous robot designer. Her words had always stuck in my head.

But anyway, adoptive parents of replicant children are always told to create some vivid experience for their kid in the first few days so that the imprinting takes properly. So it’s probably not significant.

Do you have any phobias?

Mirrors. Can’t stand them. They make me sweat and… well, I’m very nervous around them. I avoid them.

 

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I write books – well, I am writing my first; a detective thriller. It’s kind of Raymond Chandler-ish. I call it Chandleresque, but I guess that’s bad English. My adoptive parents are first generation J5 – that’s a space station – so they kinda inherited a USAC – United States of America and Canada – accent. Anyway, I am rambling. The main character is Dusty. He’d a sucker for the pretty ladies!

 

Tell Us About your world

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

Well, I was born on Mars – at least I was adopted on Mars. We lived under a dome for most of my childhood. My most precious memory is of my dad taking me out on a hoverbike to see the real Mars sunset. Of course, you could see sunsets from the dome, but the U.V. protection took out most of the colour and I had nagged him for weeks to take me outside to see one. With difficulty, because my fingers were so small, I lifted the outer U.V. filter and gasped. The white disk of the sun almost burned a hole in my head. Its white was so intense it was almost blue and the blue became a corona as my eyes quickly looked up and away from it. The corona gradually faded into a riot of colour that filled the rest of my vision. The purples and oranges were deeper than those in a bowl of the freshest and most tangy grapes and peaches.

 

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?

That’s three questions in one! Yes of course there is religion but I struggle to believe in anything other than a goal of justice – for my friend’s death. We have the usual Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, and a few others that go way back on Earth. Plus we have the got Mech! Well, what can I say about him? It started with cyborgs and androids worshipping the God of mechanical things. They believe Mech created humans to service the machines. Lately even replicants are converting. Most replicants find it difficult to have faith in anything other than themselves.

 

Name and describe a food from your world.

We can make what we like using n-gens; nano-generators. ‘Fried’ is my favourite: bacon, eggs, potatoes, beans, fried-bread and mushrooms. I am old enough to remember what these things are called, and what they look like. To most grunts they are just ‘fried.’

 

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another?

We are more concerned with Ischians – aliens. We call them ‘Dogs’ because they have evolved from something like dogs. Pretty formidable though… You don’t want to mess with Ishuns. Races? I don’t think anybody notices any more. Still a stigma to being a replicant though. I think that’s where people’s racism has gone.

 

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people.

Mech, the god for all A.I. beings, as robots and androids were now permitted to call themselves, lived in a red world of dust which corroded him and he had three sons, Iron, Tin and Wire. They lived in the desert for they were afraid of the sea, but one day Iron, who was the eldest son, committed a sin by openly doubting Mech and Mech banished him. Iron wandered alone until he came to the sea, and left his mark upon a rock but no more was ever heard from him again.

I guess the other one is that God looks after us all. Replicants don’t agree. You should see the size of funeral urns replicants get. Then you would know all about inequality.

scifi, visionary, thriller, ancient Egypt, The Gods Themselves, first contact, violent, dog-like aliens, Anubis, jackal, clones, ancient history, starship troopers, crash, alien, planet, flight of the phoenix, the lost starship, Jesus, Christ, deity, worm hole, worm-hole, time travel, time-travel, theology, metaphysics, blade runner, phillip k dick, Arthur C Clarke, Stephen Baxter, Isaac asimov


A war is coming, a battle that will stretch from the prehistoric forests of the ancient past to the cutting-edge research labs of today, all to reveal a true mystery buried deep within our DNA, a mystery that will leave readers changed forever . . .

In this groundbreaking masterpiece of ingenuity and intrigue that spans 50,000 years in human history, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins takes us to mankind’s next great leap.

But will it mark a new chapter in our development . . . or our extinction?

In the remote mountains of Croatia, an archaeologist makes a strange discovery:  a subterranean Catholic chapel, hidden for centuries, holds the bones of a Neanderthal woman. In the same cavern system, elaborate primitive paintings tell the story of an immense battle between tribes of Neanderthals and monstrous shadowy figures. Who is this mysterious enemy depicted in these ancient drawings and what do the paintings mean?

Before any answers could be made, the investigative team is attacked, while at the same time, a bloody assault is made upon a primate research center outside of Atlanta. How are these events connected? Who is behind these attacks?  The search for the truth will take Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force 50,000 years into the past. As he and Sigma trace the evolution of human intelligence to its true source, they will be plunged into a cataclysmic battle for the future of humanity that stretches across the globe . . . and beyond.

With the fate of our future at stake, Sigma embarks on its most harrowing odyssey ever—a breathtaking quest that will take them from ancient tunnels in Ecuador that span the breadth of South America to a millennia-old necropolis holding the bones of our ancestors. Along the way, revelations involving the lost continent of Atlantis will reveal true mysteries tied to mankind’s first steps on the moon. In the end, Gray Pierce and his team will face to their greatest threat: an ancient evil, resurrected by modern genetic science, strong enough to bring about the end of man’s dominance on this planet.

Only this time, Sigma will falter—and the world we know will change forever.

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb ***

Five Short Stories AND Chapter 1 of both Iron I: Too Bright the Sun and Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate for FREE. Solve the Secret Codes in Ordo Lupus.

Henry's Car

In this hilarious science fiction story, a Royal time traveler from the 16th Century develops a taste and talent for for stock-car racing.

Eighteen, Blue

On the Rebel held wastelands of North American in the 22nd Century, biker bounty hunters choose their victims according to their playing card rank. But in this life-or-death game of poker, one player holds the trump card.

Another One for No 19

Machine 19, the last Janitor bot still moving, travels on to its last assignments as Isha and Danel in NewYork District of Central City wonder how to change their meaningless lives.

Lacunashka

Ilya Kuznetsov, a clerk in Stalinist Russia, has discovered that what he thought of as his fool-proof system of recording mail delivery has gone wrong. An envelope is missing and he is determined to find it. 

Categories: non-fiction, Philosophy, metaphysics, fiction, science fiction, visionary, alien contact, clones, history, militar

Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate - from the author:

My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted research, had led me to one Guillaume, a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc, France. He was my earliest ancestor. Simultaneously, I had been pursuing a theological interest in the Cathars; first though reading a number of books by Henry Lincoln and later through an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château, near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Cathars were an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted by the Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region of France. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via the Balkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs in post-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christian god was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was an illusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhere outside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my later ancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots when they came to England in the 1500s.

These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one of my ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church and had been prosecuted for some unknown violation. This resulted in him having to pay the church an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, I cannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well so it must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic or Cathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 years before? This question started me on my journey.

A year before I started this work, I read both Dan Brown and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like Brown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

I wanted deeper characterisation. I wanted to write something more than a mere fantasy. Some of my characters are world-weary but all have the tell-tale footprints of life all over them.

Lastly, I wanted the gothic. The themes of blood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire in a good novel. My influences were Kate Bush, The Mission, Lord Byron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is a particularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attracted to. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place in one of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read the novel to find out where ...

Grab your copy today!

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The only reason anyone went out was to buy drinks in town. The tide of cans was always in on the studio floor.

With plenty of drugs, sex and rock and roll; The Ice Boat is a modern pop-culture odyssey.

Dave has almost got it all; with a rock star lifestyle, romance and a nice flat in London, he almost has the happiness he has worked for all his life. But his reluctance to compromise in love takes him away from London to disaster in Rio de Janeiro. Losing his identity, and his heart, to a scheming Brazilian siren, he manages to evade the corrupt music biz sharks and ends up living with three prostitutes in Amsterdam.

 

This book navigates the seedy underbelly of the music world like a nuclear submarine; magic mushrooms, cocaine, romantic pornography, pop culture freaks, toilet sex, public sex and laughing in the face of death all put in a glimmering appearance in this edgy, international road thriller.

 

Full of suspense and unresolved emotions, The Ice Boat is a real 20th Century odyssey that will have you laughing and crying. Somewhere between Ken Kesey or Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Nick Kent’s Apathy for the Devil, it’s like a kind of two fingers up to those who mock real creativity and innocence in the performing arts.

Includes Chapter One of both the occult thriller Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate AND Too Bright the Sun.

Volume II is now available on Amazon.

Buy Volume I and II together in one book, The Ice Boat 2 in 1, to make a great saving!

Categories: fiction, thriller, pop culture, rock lifestyle, fun, comedy, racy, mountain, small town, suburban, urban.

Sample

Chapter One

It would be another scorching hot day. Rio, close to the Equator has winters only about six degrees cooler than the summers and had been 36 degrees at noon the day before.

Dave walked steadily forward towards a group of stevedores stacking crates near the edge of the quay. He called out, “Que sa la San Antonio?” the name on the ticket, and they pointed to the right, second pier along, with hand gestures.

“Obligado,” he said, and started walking.

It took about half an hour to locate his ship. Carrying his guitar-case and bags, he was sweating when he finally saw her, stern first.

She looked terrible. The name was the only bit of paint still properly sticking, the rest a mixture of rust, white undercoat and semi-matt or gloss black paint on the hull, rust and white above.

Dave reached the area of the quay, fenced-off by the Bremen Ship Company.

Three sides of a quadrangle were formed by a high, rusty white steel fence, with a gate and white steel office next to it inside the fencing. A white notice board on two metal poles advertised the name of the company. Layers of torn paper around the edges indicated many changes of name. He walked up to the gate and pushed it. There was was no one in the office so he walked towards the gangplank. Although the area was at least fifty metres wide, he walked as if on a tightrope, each step precise, so as not to stumble and draw attention to himself. He climbed the sloping plank and reached the deck.

The acting Purser and another man were sitting at a desk, smiling. The Purser smiled at him.

“You’re early. Ticket please.” He held out his hand.

Dave had it already in his hand and gave it to him.

The Purser punched it and passed it back after glancing at it.

“Cabin Eight, down here, two doors on right,” he said, thumbing along the ship, over his shoulder.

“That’s it,” Dave was saying to himself. He picked the bags up and walked down the deck in the direction indicated. As he stepped through the second door, over the ledge, he felt a huge rush of elation.

“I’ve done it.”

He saw a row of doors with numbers painted on them and walked along the corridor, across the ship, till he came to number eight.

He pulled down the handle, no locks, and entered. It was on the forward side of the corridor at the base of the main superstructure, facing forward.

‘At least I’ve got a porthole,’ he thought.

There was a made-up double-bed on the right side, a wooden chest of drawers next to it, and on the other side, a table, two chairs and a fridge. There was almost nothing else.

He didn’t waste too much time looking around. He took any important paperwork he had out of the bag, stuffed it in his pockets, picked up the guitar case, and went off to find somewhere isolated until the ship had left port.

He found a quiet spot, well forward on the ship, on the opposite side of a cooling vent, where he thought he couldn’t be seen from the main superstructure. He hoped that, if there was a problem with his paperwork, they wouldn’t find him till the ship had left. He settled down to wait.

At 1 pm, on time, he heard a whistle. A few minutes later he felt the slight vibration of the engines starting but it was about an hour before he finally could see that the ship was moving.

As Rio floated away, his memory was of a city growing out of a rain-forest with its feet so thick with trees under the tall buildings that you believe a monkey, or a jaguar, could cross from one side to the other, without touching the ground.

He had a receding feeling of dread, thinking about Rio and what had happened to him there. Now perhaps things could be alright again, in time. The last time he remembered feeling reasonably centred was in the flat with Sharon.

***

Dave Dee’s legs were getting pins and needles. He was leaning cross-legged against the front of the old chair. His girlfriend, Sharon, rested her head on his lap and his hands were resting on her wrists. The music and log fire cracking to their left had lulled them to that land on the edge of sleep, where imagination conjures up images cloaked in mysterious feelings.

Suddenly, from the mist, a voice, his own inner voice started, saying, “God, this is great. I really love Sharon. I think this is going to work. It’s been six months now, I think.”

Then another voice, louder than the first said, “Wait a minute. Why am I thinking? Shouldn’t I just be relaxing and going with the flow? This always happens to me and I’m sure it’s why I find happiness so difficult. Let’s just try to switch off.”

The first voice could be heard softly humming to itself but there was still a silent presence floating above it, which must be the loud voice. This was just not saying anything. Dave was slightly annoyed and shifted his weight slightly, which drew a moan from Sharon. He really liked the feeling of her weight on him. It reassured him. He didn’t want to disturb her but the slight movement just now had sent numbing waves down to his ankles and a tightening feeling was making him grit his teeth with pain.

The last movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony gently wound to a close, making Dave thinking of sheep and fresh fields after rain, and then there was silence. He didn’t think Sharon was asleep and hoped if he waited a few minutes, she would be the one to get up and then he wouldn’t have to feel guilty. A few minutes had passed and Sharon hadn’t moved so he decided to move his legs a bit. She moved her head slightly and then leaned forward, hung her head and shook it lazily. She put her hands on the floor, moaned and then smacked her lips, waking up. Then she turned and smiled a sleepy smile at him. “What time is it?”

“Time you got up and put on another CD.”

“Oh no it isn’t. It’s time I made some coffee. You can put another track on darling.”

She walked unsteadily into the kitchen. Dave could hear her moving around while he got up to stretch his legs. The room was about fifteen feet long and was fairly sparely furnished because they had only just moved in together and didn’t have much money. The one door was on the right wall, looking from where Dave had been sitting. It lead to a small landing with the bathroom, shared with the bed sit on the mezzanine below, through a door to the left and stairs down beyond. To the right was the kitchen, and then the bedroom. Theirs was the top flat in the building.

Dave walked down towards the front window to stretch his legs. To his right, only high enough to kneel at, was a small carved oak table with an angle-poise lamp, a writing pad, some pens, incense sticks and a dictionary on it. This was Sharon’s writing table. He saw his new passport lying near the edge.

Dave knew the working black fire place, tasteful modern furniture, beige carpet and white walls would impress Sharon’s parents.

The room was so hot that he felt like he had a second skin of something warm and furry but it felt nice. It wasn’t like the furry skin that covers your eyes as well in a hot room with central heating. He took off his jumper leaving him wearing just his white T-shirt on top. He spun around and unselfconsciously started to dance but then stopped himself. He was too shy to let Sharon find him doing this when she came back into the room. The effects of the last spliff were wearing off and he suddenly remembered he was meant to be doing something. But what? He looked at his hands:

‘Yup, feels right.’ he thought. ‘Definitely something to do with them. Oh yeah. I’ meant to be choosing some music.’

He walked back past the chair to the dining area and knelt down in front of the CD rack. He started flicking the CDs but then realised he knew what he wanted to put on.

‘Was it what Sharon was in the mood for though?’ he wondered.

He suddenly decided to take the risk:

“Santana, Borboletta it is.”

He took the Beethoven CD out and put in on top of the player on the pile of other CDs played tonight. He was too lazy to re-case them now.

He put in the Santana just as the door opened and Sharon came back in, holding two mugs of coffee in her right hand and a digestive in her mouth. She had a self-satisfied, cheeky grin on her face. He pressed ‘play’ and got up to join her. She handed him his favourite blue mug.

Hehe asked, “Is any of that for me, looking at the biscuit?”

She nodded and made an “Ah, huh” sound in her throat before breaking off the half of the biscuit not in her mouth and holding it out. He opened his mouth and she slid it in. He munched, almost contentedly, as the strange opening track, with its whirring sound, like a swarm of moths, started.

He glanced at her slyly to see if she approved. She sat down, cross-legged, facing him on the other side of the glass ash-tray without showing a flicker of emotion. This made him slightly uncomfortable. She pulled out three Rizlas and started licking them. He decided he would close his eyes to concentrate on the music. Dave often felt she was more centred than he was and now was one of those times. He knew enough about people to know that people liked different amounts of control and he knew Sharon needed more control than he did. She was usually the one who instigated sex and she was the one who pretty much decided everything about the flat. In her job at the solicitors, she had quite a lot of control and he could see her excelling at any occupation about rules, which is what the law is. She was a strange mixture of sensuality and control. She was almost anal but not in the sexual sense although he wandered if she had tried that, or might, one day. The album went on about oneness and he did feel a oneness but with himself.

He opened his eyes to see how she was getting on. She was just inserting the roach and was deep in concentration. She didn’t look at him. He wondered if she was thinking anything. His normal level of paranoia was being heightened by the dope, but he was excited at the thought of another spliff. He glanced at his guitar, waiting ready on its stand on the other side of the fire, feeling that, at some point soon, he would feel like playing it. He put his hands behind him but realised that this probably looked like an invitation to hand him the spliff.

fun, London, sex and drugs and rock and roll, comedy, rock star, erotic, romance, rock n’ roll, henry chinaski, inuit, erection, bong, racy, magic mushroom, 420, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, hashish, ganga, weed, marijuana, acid, spliff, suburban, romantic, pornography, pop culture, philosophy, Charles bukowski, red light district, prostitution, urban, pop culture, freaks, small town, rock odyssey, nick kent, jack Kerouac, ken kesey

*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb ***

The Abba-like cleanness of Stockholm was getting to him. He wanted to piss against a wall.

With plenty of drugs, sex and rock and roll; The Ice Boat is a modern rock and roll odyssey.

 

Dave has almost got it all; with a rock star lifestyle, romance and a nice flat in London, he almost has the happiness he has worked for all his life. But his reluctance to compromise in love takes him away from London to disaster in Rio de Janeiro. Losing his identity, and his heart, to a scheming Brazilian siren, he manages to evade the corrupt music biz sharks and ends up living with three prostitutes in Amsterdam.

 

This book navigates the seedy underbelly of the music world like a nuclear submarine; magic mushrooms, cocaine, romantic pornography, pop culture freaks, toilet sex, public sex and laughing in the face of death all put in a glimmering appearance in this edgy, international road thriller.

 

Full of suspense and unresolved emotions, The Ice Boat is a real 20th Century odyssey that will have you laughing and crying. Somewhere between Ken Kesey or Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Nick Kent’s Apathy for the Devil, it’s like a kind of two fingers up to those who mock real creativity and innocence in the performing arts.

Includes Chapter One of both the occult thriller Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate AND Too Bright the Sun. 

Sample

Chapter One

“It’s because you are docile,” said Rosa, pulling on a Gitanes.

“I know. Well… I’m not docile. I just don’t see the point of conflict. That’s all. I’ve always preferred der harmony,” said Dolores.

“Well, the world is not a sweet and beautiful place, darling,” said Rosa.

“It’s not as bad as you think it is,” Dolores replied.

“Doh. You dreamer.” This annoyed Dolores.

“Listen. You think all der men are shit. And you shit on them too.”

“I do not!” Rosa replied, indignant.

“You do. You screw them all out of more money than they can afford, and you give them less.”

“It’s true,” said Rosa, smirking. “They luff it though. They want to be exploited. And anyway, why shouldn’t I exploit them? Men always exploited me, before.”

“What happened?” he asked.

“Oh. You don’t want to know. I could tell you so many stories.”

“Well, tell me one.”

“Well, there was this guy… married, okay…”

While Rosa talked, Dave’s mind drifted. As usual, somebody had made a spliff from the abundance of grass that seemed to be always available in the flat. They had already smoked it. But the previous night Barbie had returned with a new distraction; acid.

Dave had only tried acid once. It had not been a good experience. It had a reputation for being dangerous to the more sensitive individuals. He guessed he was one of those.

“I was a student and I thought he loved me,” Rosa began. “I did everything to stop his wife from finding out. I didn’t wear perfume and made sure I didn’t smell too much of soap. I changed der patterns of when we met. Oh, yes, and I checked his clothes for my hairs when he left. I listened when he talked about his wife, and he talked to me about der things at work. We really liked each other…We held hands. And I was just thinking about whether I should ask him to leave her on not, when, one day, he took me out in der car, he said it was a surprise, and stopped at a house. He said ‘This is it.’ And I thought it was a surprise so I went inside. This woman was looking at me, smiling. ‘This is my wife,’ he said. I couldn’t believe it! I think my mouth was actually open. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and he said his wife and he wanted sex vid me. I told him to, ‘Fuck off!’ and I ran back to the car. I just made him drive me back and I didn’t see him again. Is that weird?”

“Yes, it’s weird,” Dave replied.

“It’s insidious, though, all this,” she said, indicating the room around her.

“What do you mean?”

“Well. I get more and more clients wanting me to control them, and now I want to control everything in my life. I don’t think I’m actually like dat, though. It’s just habit.”

“Yeah. I’m der same,” said Dolores. “Dave asked me; do I like Bondage, and I said, no. It’s true, I don’t, and I don’t like being abused, or even restrained, but it’s like I am being remoulded. Like a tyre with the tread made one way. I find it easier to go that way now.”

Dave smiled. He was hardly listening. He had been impressed, since arriving in Holland, by how good the Dutch were at speaking English. But now he was even shocked. Rosa had used an English word, ‘insidious’, which he didn’t even know the meaning of. He had heard it, but didn’t really know what it meant. His mind was spiraling away, thinking about it and words. Although he wrote songs, and even poetry sometimes, and he was proud of his ability to do so, he had also made a point of not using big words. He said it was snobby, to use big words, and it alienated some of your audience. He also made a point of not looking up words in a dictionary but always finding a simpler word. He had believed that this was just his attempt to communicate better but now he wasn’t so sure. Now, he was thinking that maybe he might have had an aversion to big words for a long time. He also remembered that he had made a point of not reading books for many years, during the period, his teens, when most people are reading a lot of books.

“…cynical. What are you Dave? Are you cynical?” asked Dolores. Dave hadn’t been listening.

“No, I think I should be more cynical, but unfortunately I don’t think I am – not enough.”

In the morning, late, around twelve, when he knew Dolores would be just waking up, he took in some breakfast to her on a tray; toast, marmalade and coffee. She opened her eyes and looked at him from the sheets.

“Mm.”

“Hi. Brought you breakfast,” he said brightly. “… you old tyre,” he added.

She snorted. He meant it as a joke and he could see she thought it was funny. He sat on the bed and after a few minutes, grumpily, she sat up. She yawned and stuck her hands in the air, stretching. She was wearing a blue nightie with delicate little flowers on it.

“Thank you,” she said, and smiled.

She ate the toast and drank the coffee while they talked, and then lifted the corner of the bed.

“Get in,” she said.

Then she curled up beneath the covers herself. He put the fire on, moved the tray to the dresser, and climbed into bed beside her. He wriggled a bit and moved his legs around to feel for anything at the bottom of the bed. He half expected a used condom to be there.

“Don’t worry. I put on der clean sheets before I go to bed… you should know that; you clean them.”

She turned on her side, facing the wall and he fitted into her shape, putting his arm around her waist. He thought she smelled very nice. For a few minutes, he was happy.

Then he felt desire creeping over him, making his blood pound. He hesitated for a long while before shifting his hand down over her arse. She made no sound. He lifted up the hem of her nightie, which was near her waist anyway, and slid his hand under her panties so that it lay flat against the flesh of her arse. She made a whimper and for a nervous moment he thought it was in protest. Then he understood that it wasn’t.

“That’s nice,” she murmured.

He lay like that for what sometimes seemed like forever, and he thought he even fell asleep at one point.

He told her about his dream, the tower, and asked her what she thought about it.

“I’m not good at analysing dreams, David. Shall I tell you mine?”

“Go on then.”

“There was dis little seal baby, and I kept trying to catch it, but it was shlippery, and kept getting away.”

“That’s me.”

“I think so,” she said.

Eventually they had to get up and he had to return to his room to cook and wash.

The month of April was more of the same, except warmer. Dolores wouldn’t let him touch any more of the interesting parts of her body but he was happy to have as much as he did. The carpet didn’t arrive and fed up with waiting, she cancelled and ordered carpet from another company. That delivery was also delayed. Bing the Bong put in some more appearances as they gradually smoked their way through the huge bag of grass.

Dave had saved nearly one third of the money he needed for the fake passport by working in the bar and mixing for bands, but he was almost permanently tired and had lost some weight as he wasn’t spending anything on non-essential food. He had trimmed his moustache and beard, but not cut them off, and Rosa had trimmed his hair.

“There’s a letter for you.”

Herman usually called out if there was any mail when one of them passed. Barbie had picked his up and threw it into Dave’s room as she passed.

“I’m in a hurry. See you later,” she called.

“See ya.”

Dave was living like a hermit, or at least some kind of underground creature, moving perpetually in and out of the lines of washing and piles of clothes and only venturing out to shops. He finished folding the pile of washing lying on the bed and sat down to see who the letter was from. It could only be one of a few people; his father, his brother or Anna. They were the only ones with his address. Looking at the writing on the envelope he knew it was his father. He thumbed open the airmail envelope and started reading the neatly written, well-composed letter.

Hi Dave.

Everything is fine here…

 

It went on to say how much his father missed him, and when was he coming home? It also said that his father was worried about him, and what was the problem with the paperwork; could he help? There was a short paragraph from Ewa at the bottom with some kisses. Dave sighed after reading it. He felt threatened by it and quickly tucked the letter behind some books. He stuck on an Oasis album while he worked; Dolores let him borrow her CD player from time to time and she was away for a few days visiting her Dad.

When Barbie came home later she stopped outside his door.

“I’ve been on a date! He bought me this.” She pointed at the leather mini-skirt she was wearing, doing a twirl at the same time. “What do you think?”

‘God, she’s a gorgeous woman,’ he thought. He also felt a twinge of jealousy.

“Nice,” he said. “Is he rich?”

“A bit.”

The letter and this both irritated him and he went to bed like a grumpy bear that night.

The next day dragged and the next, until the afternoon, when he knew Dolores was due back. When she finally arrived, dragging a suitcase up the stairs along the corridor and into her room, she looked tired and irritable. He left her alone for a while. Later that evening – she had no clients – she came into his room announcing that he should get out more. He didn’t know what had brought it on but he kept quiet. She showed him a magazine with films showing in the cinemas and asked him if he wanted to see a film called ‘Carrington’. He hadn’t heard of it, so she translated the synopsis.

“Sounds interesting. Yeah – let’s see it.” It was about the Bloomsbury set of Artists in England, and he could see it would interest him.

“Yes. Okay.”

“Good.”

She left and he idly flicked through the magazine, and found that it also had TV listings, including those for that evening.

“Dolores! Dolores!”

“What?” he heard, faintly, from her room.

“They’ve got ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on TV!”

He got to the TV, switched it on, and tuned to the right channel. It was clearly about one third of the way through but it was such a good film that he wanted her to see it anyway. She stuck her head through the doorway.

“What?”

“‘2001’ is on.”

“What’s that?”

“You gotta see it. It’s brilliant, especially the end. I can’t explain it now. Just sit down and watch.”

“Okay. Make me a coffee and I’ll watch.” She sounded weary. “But wait!”

She returned a few minutes later with a small, plastic bag of something.

“What’s that?” Dave asked. He handed her the coffee.

“Magic mushrooms,” she replied. She rustled the bag to entice him.

“Oh! Nice.”

She handed him the bag. He unsealed the top and took out one of the small, cone-topped mushrooms. He held it up gently between his finger and thumb and rotated it:

“‘Psilocybe semilanceata’; the most beautiful mushroom in the world! It’s not called Liberty Cap for nothing!”

“Ha! You sound like one of those nature presenters on TV!”

“Ha! Shall we make some tea with them?”

“Quick then.”

While the film progressed, Dave made some tea with the mushrooms and they both drank it.

The film had Dutch subtitles, but the original soundtrack, so he could understand it too. During one of the many slow scenes of the film, Dave spoke up:

“I took these before with the band; Stu, Tom and Paul. Great! We were rehearsing in North Wales. It was November but for some reason it was hot and sunny!”

While he talked, he sat down to lean against the end of the bed. She moved to sit between his legs so that she could lean on him.

“Probably the mushrooms,” she replied.

“Shrooms we call ‘em. Yeah! I loved ‘em. It’s a gentle high, and very natural. I felt really joined with nature. We walked along the cliffs and every so often we would go back to the cottage and have the most amazing jams!”

“What did you make the jams from? Can you make it with mushrooms?”

“Ha! Ha! No, not that sort of jams. Music improvisation is called ‘jamming’.”

“Oh! Ha! Okay.”

“Wait I feel something. I am gonna roll another spliff.”

“I do not like der computers,” she said at the part where HAL plays up. “It’s creepy. Why is he shinging dat song?”

Dave had to explain about the song HAL sings.

As they reached the climax of the film they were also reaching the climax of their mushroom trip.

“Oh God,” Dave yelled. “I forgot, we’ve got to roll a spliff. This bit is so psychedelic. You’ve got to see this.”

“Shall I get Bing loaded up?”

“Yes. Good idea. I’m not sure if I can do this in time.”

Bing was operational in time so they both had a few puffs to get them started. By the time the final sequence was well underway, Dave had a spliff rolled. It was ragged, but serviceable. He lit it and passed it to Dolores. He was already well away, and the colours and sounds were as amazing as ever.

“What’s going on? Wow!” she said.

The mushrooms made the vivid colourscape jump out of the screen at them. Dolores actually ‘swerved’ to avoid a bright burst of approaching red.

“Great innit?”

“Fucking hell!” she said.

“Fuck!” she added, a few minutes later.

London, sex and drugs and rock and roll, comedy, rock star, erotic, romance, rock n’ roll, henry chinaski, inuit, erection, bong, racy, magic mushroom, 420, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Siberia, hashish, ganga, weed, marijuana, acid, spliff, mountain, romantic, pornography, pop culture, philosophy, Charles bukowski, red light district, prostitution, pop culture, freaks, small town, rock odyssey, nick kent, jack Kerouac, ken kesey


*** Get 3 BOOKS FREE > lazloferran.com/3fb ***

Three short stories PLUS read the first chapter of all three novels: Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate, Too Bright the Sun and Attack Hitler's Bunker! for FREE.

Vampire: Beneficence
There was a short message on the piece of paper.

   Sunday at noon.

It was signed in blood: Concilium Putus Visum

A vampire races against time to gather blood for a congregation and save his young girlfriend and daughter from murder by a secret Catholic cult of assassins.

The Jesus Monster
In a small settlement in the Australian Outback, the last survivors on Earth wait for the global virus called The Jesus Monster. Into their midst comes a stranger with a stranger message. This story was written, live, on twitter over a two day period and has been left unedited.

Lacunashka
Ilya Kuznetsov, a clerk in Stalinist Russia, has discovered that what he thought of as his fool-proof system of recording mail delivery has gone wrong. An envelope is missing and he is determined to find it.

Categories: non-fiction, Philosophy, metaphysics, fiction, science fiction, visionary, alien contact, clones, history, military.

Ordo Lupus - from the author:

My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted research, had led me to one Guillaume, a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc, France. He was my earliest ancestor. Simultaneously, I had been pursuing a theological interest in the Cathars; first though reading a number of books by Henry Lincoln and later through an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château, near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Cathars were an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted by the Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region of France. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via the Balkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs in post-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christian god was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was an illusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhere outside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my later ancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots when they came to England in the 1500s.

These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one of my ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church and had been prosecuted for some unknown violation. This resulted in him having to pay the church an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, I cannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well so it must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic or Cathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 years before? This question started me on my journey.

A year before I started this work, I read both Dan Brown and Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainly an influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by the rumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. Like Brown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a great treasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. I also speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our lives if it were discovered in the modern age.

I wanted deeper characterisation. I wanted to write something more than a mere fantasy. Some of my characters are world-weary but all have the tell-tale footprints of life all over them.

Lastly, I wanted the gothic. The themes of blood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire in a good novel. My influences were Kate Bush, The Mission, Lord Byron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is a particularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attracted to. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place in one of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read the novel to find out where ...

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scifi, dystopia, thriller, science fiction, alien, gods, alien contact, Io, Jupiter, iron cross, medal, valour, gallantry, replicants, genes, clones, dam busters, dambusters, WWII, Hitler’s Bunker, visionary, Adolf Hitler, where eagles dare, 633 squadron, vampire, blade runner, phillip k dick, Arthur C Clarke, Stephen Baxter, Isaac asimov, the lost starship, troopers, paths of glory, kirk douglas, werewolf, sci-fi

"The result is a thriller that intrigues and provides historical context. Berry is the master scientist with a perfect formula." — Associated Press

One of USA Today's "Five Books Not to Miss!"

A deadly race for the Vatican’s oldest secret fuels New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s latest international Cotton Malone thriller.

The pope is dead. A conclave to select his replacement is about to begin. Cardinals are beginning to arrive at the Vatican, but one has fled Rome for Malta in search of a document that dates back to the 4th century and Constantine the Great.

Former Justice Department operative, Cotton Malone, is at Lake Como, Italy, on the trail of legendary letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini that disappeared in 1945 and could re-write history. But someone else seems to be after the same letters and, when Malone obtains then loses them, he’s plunged into a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta.

The knights have existed for over nine hundred years, the only warrior-monks to survive into modern times. Now they are a global humanitarian organization, but within their ranks lurks trouble — the Secreti — an ancient sect intent on affecting the coming papal conclave. With the help of Magellan Billet agent Luke Daniels, Malone races the rogue cardinal, the knights, the Secreti, and the clock to find what has been lost for centuries. The final confrontation culminates behind the walls of the Vatican where the election of the next pope hangs in the balance.

Another NYT Bestseller! Over 200,000 sold.
Over 2,000 5-star reviews.
Finalist for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards.
A WWII historical novel inspired by true events.

In a time of darkness, when all seems lost . . . a ray of hope remains.

What readers say . . .
“This novel was the start of my ‘Joel C. Rosenberg Journey’ of novels.” —Dragonmac52
“If you only read one book, make it this one! Brilliant, well-written, compelling . . .” —Aquamarine
“Very highly recommended! If you’re on the fence about this book, get off the fence and read it! A must read!” —N. Perri
“This is a great read. Heartbreaking because it can’t be anything else.” —Bon Tom “
“. . . feels like a first-hand narrative.” —Elizabeth G.
“Fiction based on fact. A deeply moving account. . . .” —Evelyn

Evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide.

As the Nazi war machine rolls across Europe, young Jacob Weisz is forced to flee his beloved Germany and join an underground resistance group in Belgium. But when a rescue operation goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself trapped in a crowded cattle car headed to southern Poland.

Sentenced to hard labor in the Auschwitz labor camp, Jacob forms an unlikely alliance with Jean-Luc Leclerc, a former assistant pastor who was imprisoned for helping Jews. They’ve been chosen for one of the most daring and dangerous feats imaginable—escape from Auschwitz. With no regard for their own safety, they must make it to the West and alert the Allies to the awful truth of what is happening in Poland before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.
“As moving as it is gripping. A winner on all fronts.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Heart-pounding...This is Gross’s best work yet, with his heart and soul imprinted on every page.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life’s work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl—a renowned physicist—holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.

Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.

Bursting with compelling characters and tense story lines, this historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely new and compelling.

A breathtaking thriller featuring "political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises" (San Francisco Chronicle), from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Column of Fire

In 1866, tragedy strikes the exclusive Windfield School when a young student drowns in a mysterious accident. His death and its aftermath initiate a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.
 
From the exclusive men’s clubs and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London’s upper class to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world’s wealth, one family is splintered by a shared legacy. But greed, fed by the shocking truth of a boy’s death, must be stopped, or the dreams of a nation will die.
 
Praise for A Dangerous Fortune

 “A terrific page-turner.”—Los Angeles Times 

“Political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murder, and financial crises . . . old-fashioned entertainment.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Breathlessly plotted . . . relentlessly suspenseful.”—The New York Times
 
“Gripping, complex plot . . . sexual intrigue . . . fascinating characters . . . You won’t be able to put down this exciting page-turner.”—Lexington Herald-Leader

“Follett [builds] to a dramatic climax with the same masterful control that guided Eye of the Needle and The Pillars of the Earth.”—Playboy

“I don’t usually enjoy historical thrillers but admit to being totally captivated by Ken Follett’s A Dangerous Fortune.”—Chicago Tribune

“Highly entertaining . . . Follett’s characters are drawn with broad, realistic strokes . . . this story of greed and retribution should win Follett new fans.”—Publishers Weekly 

“Rich, complex, thrilling, suspenseful, well plotted . . . A Dangerous Fortune is dangerous reading. You won’t be able to put it down.”—Authors and Critics 
The Knights of the Golden Circle was the largest and most dangerous clandestine organization in American history. It amassed billions in stolen gold and silver, all buried in hidden caches across the United States. Since 1865 treasure hunters have searched, but little of that immense wealth has ever been found.

Now, one hundred and sixty years later, two factions of what remains of the Knights of the Golden Circle want that lost treasure—one to spend it for their own ends, the other to preserve it.

Thrust into this battle is former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, whose connection to the knights is far deeper than he ever imagined. At the center is the Smithsonian Institution—linked to the knights, its treasure, and Malone himself through an ancestor, a Confederate spy named Angus “Cotton” Adams, whose story holds the key to everything. Complicating matters are the political ambitions of a reckless Speaker of the House and the bitter widow of a United States Senator, who together are planning radical changes to the country. And while Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt face the past, ex-president Danny Daniels and Stephanie Nelle confront a new and unexpected challenge, a threat that may cost one of them their life.

From the backrooms of the Smithsonian to the deepest woods in rural Arkansas, and finally up into the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico, The Lost Order by Steve Berry is a perilous adventure into our country’s dark past, and a potentially even darker future.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Maya Banks, the bestselling author of romance and romantic suspense has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.

Genevieve McInnis is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.

Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.

“[Maya] Banks has written an emotionally taut Highlands romance. . . . Lush emotionalism, compelling characters and a moving story line will win romance fans.”—Kirkus Reviews
Nationally bestselling author James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon his most gripping and terrifying adventure yet: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland.

An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum—a devastating blast that sets off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world, as the race begins to determine how it happened, why it happened, and what it means.

Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price in money and blood to found the gallery that now lies in ruins. And her search for answers is about to lead Kara and her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator, into a world they never dreamed actually existed. For new evidence exposed by the tragedy suggests that Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, is more than mere legend . . . and that something astonishing is waiting there.

Two extraordinary women and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, are not the only ones being drawn to the desert. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Painter Crowe, a covert government operative and head of an elite counterespionage team, is hunting down a dangerous turncoat, Crowe's onetime partner, to retrieve the vital information she has stolen. And the trail is pointing him toward Ubar.

But the many perils inherent in a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmarish secrets to be unearthed at journey's end. What is hidden below the sand is more than a valuable relic of ancient history. It is an ageless power that lives and breathes—an awesome force that could create a utopia or tear down everything humankind has built during millennia of civilization. Many lives have already been destroyed by ruthless agencies dedicated to guarding its mysteries and harnessing its might. And now the end may be at hand for Safia, for Kara, for Crowe, and for all the interlopers who wish to expose its mysteries, as it prepares to unleash the most terrible storm of all . . .

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