When the finger of fate points ... run away.
The Pan of Hamgee, starving outlaw, bumps into Big Merv; the meanest, scariest gangster in the City and without thinking what he is doing, steals his wallet. When Big Merv realises what has happened our hero's future looks short. Will he talk his way out of it or will he be 'recycled' into a stanchion of the Outer Ring Road extension.
U certificate. 4,000 words.
Written in British English.
This comedic sci fi quick read is a short story prequel to the K'Barthan Series.
It is a short story in the sense that it is not long rather than that the plot fits with any particular preconceived 'short story' format. Or to put it another way there is no twist in this tale. It takes place in a contemporary setting, in a parallel universe - as does the whole series.
There is also an excerpt from Few Are Chosen, the first book in the K'Barthan series, over and above the word count quoted here (which is for the actual story only).
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
Q – So, tell us about the K’Barthan Series. What made you write it? What makes it special?
A – If you want the honest answer I wrote it for me. As a reader, I love British satire and humor (or humour). I love wit; funny epic fantasy series like the Discworld novels and comedic sci fi like Douglas Adams. I like sff and speculative fiction but the best science fiction and fantasy stories, for me, are funny, I like adventure and action and a gripping tale that zips along quickly. And of course, I like genre fiction mashups; Douglas Adams meets StarTrek and James Bond - with a smidgeon of Dr Who and a dash of romance (but no squelchy bits). Think Father Ted meets Red Dwarf or then again ... maybe don't. I wanted a fast paced story, a gripping tale but at the same time a funny one. Comedy in the tradition of all the great humorous British authors, something light and witty and clever. I wanted protagonists people could love and empathise with, mavericks, misfit characters, real people ... except they're not all people obviously, some of them are other alien (ish) species. The K'Barthan series about misfit heroes and heroines winning the day, it’s about good versus evil even when the good guys are on different sides. It's science fiction fantasy action - it's planet based, so it's a bit of a blend. It's pure portal fantasy, except it's comedy sci fi too. You'll find all sorts of quirky characters and interesting alien species: from 6ft Swamp Things with antennae to cute furry creatures like the Blurpons, with their fluffy ears, big button eyes and penchant for extreme violence.
Oh ... and did I mention the flying car chases?
Q – Do our readers have to read the K’Barthan Series in order?
A – Yes otherwise the character development – and some of the technology – will make less sense. That said, the series of K'Barthan Shorts I'm currently writing to go with it can be read any time. Well ... I say shorts, the fourth is a novel - sorry, back to the K'Barthan Series, the books go in this order:
- Unlucky Dip, K'Barthan Series: Prequel
- Few Are Chosen, K'Barthan Series: Part 1
- The Wrong Stuff, K'Barthan Series: Part 2
- One Man: No Plan, K'Barthan Series: Part 3
- Looking For Trouble, K'Barthan Series: Part 4
This volume is the free short prequel.
Q – What is your favourite kind of Book? Would The K'Barthan Series fit on the list?
Q – What is your favourite kind of Book? Would The K'Barthan Series fit on the list?
A – Oh yes. As I mentioned earlier, I love humorous novels and comedic sci fi especially. I enjoy portal fantasy and parallel universes or realities - yes I loved the Narnia books and J R Tolkein, too. I also love a good super villain, a bad guy you love to hate. That said, a lot of my influences come from TV. There was this evening slot in the UK, after homework but before supper, when they showed old classic stuff on BBC2; original StarTrek, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The persuaders, the Avengers, the Saint, Randal and Hopkirk Deceased, The Prisoner, Space 1999. Then there's Star Wars, Blake's Seven and Dr Who, and Red Dwarf, of course. I loved all that.
Q – Do you have a target reader?
A – Officially it’s young adults and teenagers. Now that it’s complete the series is certainly proving popular with ya readers and I had my nephew in mind when I wrote them, who was a teenage at the time.
However, I firmly believe that all the best books should hold a universal appeal, so I also wrote it for me. Thus far – if the people who contact me are anything to go by – it appeals to a certain type of person across the board. The oldest fan of the series I know of was in his 90s and the youngest,10. The kind of readers who review my stuff often compare it to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Douglas Adams, Harry Potter and Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series (but don't expect this to be as good as any of those). People who like my stuff also enjoy Barry Hutchieson's Space Team books but again, while mine are good science fiction fantasy books, don't expect them to as good as all this stuff whatever the review say! This is just to give you a flavour of the kind of tone you might expect.
Fans of these other sci fi and fantasy authors may also enjoy this series:
Terry Brooks, Robert Rankin, C Gockel, Patty Jansen, JJ Greene, FJ Savage, Terry Gilliam, Grant Naylor, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Robert Rankin, Douglas Adams, T M Catron, Scott Bartlett, Iain M Banks, Rebecca Douglass, Elly Griffith, Lindsey Davis, Lindsay Buroker, Jim Webster, Stephen King (stuff like the Green Mile or Shawshank Redemption), Jake Bible, Barry Hutchison, Nick Cole, Jason Anspach, Mark Tufo, Zen DePietro, PG Wodehouse, Bill Bryson, Micheal Palin, Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Jasper Fforde, Heide Goodey, Terry Brooks, Robert Rankin, C Gockel, Donald Swan
EM Foner, John Scalzi, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Robert A. Heinlein, Ben Bova, Jay Allan, Nick Webb, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Mercedes Lackey, C S Lewis, Eric Asher, Kev Partner, John Flanagan, Eoin Colfer, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Darren Humphries, David Weber, John Ringo, Larry Correia, Anne McCaffrey, A G Riddle, Jodi Taylor, Jim Butcher, Michael Campling, Simon Dunn, Scott Sigler, T L Charles, Simon Haynes, Mike Resnick, John Russell Fearn, Benjamin Wallace, Carol Van Natta, Kerrie Noor, Spencer Honor, Joseph J Bailey
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