Sleight of Hand: A short story

Bowman Press
3

After a cosy meal, the protagonist retires to his host's workshop for an after-dinner drink ... and becomes the unwitting subject of an experiment.
 

2000-word short story. Winner of the 2001 Aurealis Award for Horror, Australia's premier speculative fiction award.

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About the author

Simon is a huge fan of Isaac Asimov's work, in particular the robot novels and Foundation series. He also enjoys dry, witty comedy, and loves satire.

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4.3
3 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bowman Press
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Published on
May 3, 2018
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Pages
20
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Fiction / Science Fiction / Humorous
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 "Star Trek meets Cheech & Chong!" – #1 INTERGALACTIC BESTSELLING author Tom Sadira invites you to take a trip to the farthest reaches of outer space in this hilarious sci-fi adventure saga.

Charlie Hong is on the run from both sides of the law.

He’s spent the last year in hiding, cultivating one last hair-brained scheme to escape his troubles: a clandestine marijuana operation. Just as he’s about to cash in, his cash crop is stolen by a bright light appearing in the night sky. After catching a ride with one of his plants, he finds himself thrown into a world far stranger than anything he could have possibly imagined.

Does the stoned stowaway have what it takes to free the Starseed, a massive living spaceship overflowing with bizarre life forms, from the clutches of a mysterious force field trapping it in Earth’s orbit?

More importantly, before he decides anything, does he have time to light one up?

INTERPLANETARY PRAISE FOR FAR OUT CHRONICLES:

“★★★★★ Tom Sadira’s Far Out Chronicles has restored the galaxy’s faith in Earth’s ability to produce fresh and riveting science fiction. Without it, the Council would have demolished that dirty, backwater planet long ago.” — Emperor Izzug Brutag of the 713th Galactic Council

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“★★★★★ …so witty and delightful it made me wish that my processor core was capable of laughter. I have scheduled it to be stored in my memory banks for more nanoseconds than is logical…” — Qu’tron Krix, Prime Instance of the Cyborg Continuum

“★★★★★ The hivemind of Pollux Major loved the Far Out Chronicles so much that we couldn’t wait for more books in the series. We’ve used our forbidden time-jump technology to travel forward in time to get our hands on the complete works of Tom Sadira. All we can say is: it was totally worth the risk of temporal paradox!” — The Hivemind of Pollux Major

Readers have compared the The Far Out Chronicles series to Douglas Adams ' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Barry J. Hutchison's Space Team series, Robert Heinlein, Ernest Cline, John Scalzi, and James S.A.Corey.

Get three books in one! Set in the distant future, where humanity spans the galaxy and robots are second-class citizens, Hal Spacejock will strike a chord with fans of Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, while simultaneously forging its own wacky, off-beat path through the cosmos.

Hal Spacejock Omnibus One contains the first three books in the Hal Spacejock series (A Robot Named Clunk, Second Course, and Just Desserts) PLUS a bonus short story: Hal Spacejock Visit.

Hal Spacejock 1: A Robot Named Clunk Clunk's grateful when his boss sends him off for a refit, because old robots are usually junked instead.

Since the upgrade centre is on the next planet, Clunk's asked to perform a trivial little task while he's there: help a freelancer pick up some cargo.

It's a simple job, straight in and out ... but don't be late.

How can he refuse? Clunk's a certified co-pilot, so landing in a deserted field under cover of darkness, avoiding customs ships, orbital lasers and trigger-happy warships along the way, is not a problem.

Unfortunately the freelance pilot is a much bigger challenge, because Hal Spacejock is obstinate, over-confident, and woefully under-skilled, and yet he refuses to cede control of his ship to a mere robot.

Worse, Hal's only got 24 hours to pay off his debts, or he'll lose his ship ... and his life.

Can the two of them sort out their differences and deliver the cargo, or will they still be wrestling over the controls when both deadlines expire?

A Robot Named Clunk is one part buddy movie, two parts laughter and three parts madcap adventure.

Hal Spacejock 2: Second Course Hal Spacejock’s cargo business is going so well he’s considering getting into passengers ... especially the beautiful and mysterious Sonya Polarov.
Meanwhile, Rex Curtis runs the galaxy’s biggest freight company, and he’s sick of independent pilots stealing his cargo jobs. He’s determined to make a statement by destroying the biggest nuisance of them all: Hal Spacejock. And all he has to do is ensure Hal’s latest cargo job ends in disaster.
Unaware of the threat and distracted by Sonya, Hal’s time-sensitive cargo sits aboard his ship while the deadline looms ever closer. If he doesn’t get a move on, the late fees will ruin him ... and cost him his life into the bargain.

Hal Spacejock 3: Just Desserts Cargo pilot Hal Spacejock has a problem: his hold is stuffed full of expensive food, and the cheap freezer equipment he bought from Bent Jimmy has just failed ... exactly as Clunk predicted.
Hal needs replacement parts before his cargo rots, and he's forced to abandon his precious ship at the spaceport to go looking for them. Which is a pity, because an secret agent has just decided Hal's ship is ideal for an urgent mission.
Can Hal find the new parts and return before it's too late, or will he lose his ship, his cargo and his livelihood ... again?

Hal Spacejock Visit Hal returns to his ship after a shopping expedition and finds Clunk in a right old state. Break out the crayons and colouring sheets ... they're booked in for a school visit!

Omnibus Two, containing Hal Spacejock books 4-6, is also available.
What if weapon technology advances so fast that a military science fiction universe would be a death sentence?

Simply put, we'd create a weapon that can destroy everything and some idiot would use it. 

Welcome to the universe after we finally conquer the urge to blow up everything. 
Think of it like this, 'Out there' the grownups are in charge, by necessity.

But even a universe at peace, is still a very dangerous place.

22 years ago, a spaceship crashed on Earth Seven, a primitive 3 rated planet under contact quarantine. The boy who found the wreckage is now the man who will unite the planet under his rule. Allor heals the sick with alien technology. Allor will end the cult wars. His sister runs an informant network and collects the heads of his rivals. His mother has created a religion to worship him. Oh, dear!

All planets in contact quarantine are called Earth and given a numerical designation. For example, you are on Earth Five. What? Don't act surprised. Look around. War, famine, poverty, ecological disasters, murderous mythologies, Trump? And no one comes to visit, not a single tourist? You’ve had plenty of clues.

The History Department sends Koven Modi, a rookie Field Historian, to Earth Seven to investigate the use of comms technology on a planet with a medieval civilization. Koven is not the best person for the job, he's the only one left. Everyone else is out looking for missing Physics Professor Klept and his dog, who might just cause the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies to collide. Koven's goals are simple. He wants to avoid getting killed, avoid work as much as possible, and avoid getting dumped by Tanit, his girlfriend. 

Earth Seven is a story that challenges basic sci-fi assumptions and offers new alternatives. What started as simple thoughts, 'Why do they always ..., what if …,' resulted in Earth Seven, a small book of slightly larger ideas. 

An example? OK.

How would you like to be the most popular pizza topping in the galaxy? Yea, I didn't think so. Out among the stars, we're all vegetarians. What? Ohhhh, you believe pizza was invented on Earth Five? Well that's delicious, but incorrect. 

Read Earth Seven now BEFORE your planet self-destructs (currently a 63.82% probability).

Science Fiction Satire, because you've earned it.

Words your mother won't like? Definitely.
Imaginary Sex? Of course.
Satirical Viewpoints? Overwhelmingly.
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