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The Priests of Psi – Frank Herbert #BookRecommendation #SciFi

book cover: the priests of psi by Frank Herbert

Blurb

A psychic parasite who hijacks personalities.

A couple who discovers the house of their dreams … in the wrong dimension.

The priests of Psi, custodians of a forgotten wisdom which may exalt or damn mankind completely.

Five dazzling stories from one of science fiction’s masters


Frank Herbert is best known for his iconic desert-centered novels (and TV Series) Dune. This time he moves beyond Arrakis and into new dimensions. I look forward to reading this anthology from one of the masters himself.

Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classics in the field of science fiction.

He was the father of fellow author Brian Herbert.

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Marching On: The Muse Lives

It seems that my writing slump has passed, *touch wood*, and a number of ideas and story iterations are coming to the fore. With Camp NaNoWriMo coming up next month, this is a good thing.

Junk Yard Angel

Setting up JYA is quite a mission. There’s a lot of worldbuilding to do, character profiles to outline, and an actual plot to figure out. It’s great to have this amazing budding world at the fore, and a stellar character at the center of it all, but there’s no story to write if there’s no goal to achieve. That’s what I’m working on now through a number of short stories.

The short stories are set before the JYA novel story, which means a richer background to work from. This also allows me to figure out what’s about to happen, why it’s going to happen, and who will be driving it all forward. So far I have written two short stories posted on my Patreon page. If you would like to read (and enjoy) them, please drop by.

Patreon.com/NthatoMorakabi

Here are excerpts from both:

The Botanist

A little after two in the morning, the doorbell chimed.

Klaus raised his head from his work on the counter and glanced at the silhouette at the door. His gas lamp, fixed on the clay pot and scattered paintbrushes among the work tools, created the only light within the room. The person remained in shadow at the doorway. Petite. Slight. A woman perhaps.

“Good morning?” He called to the figure.

“A little early for botany isn’t it, Herr Klaus?” the voice was light. Feathery. A woman indeed.

“A little early for a visit isn’t it. Frau…?”

The woman idly slinked sideways. High shelves lined the walls, more shelves divided the store into flowers, pots and various garden utensils. The air carried lilac, fressia, jasmine, and an underlying waft of fertilizer. Klaus followed her movements behind the silhouetted flora by the sound of rasping cloth across the floor. She was moving towards the furthest edge of the shop. That was where he kept his private collection.

“Prince Clemens speaks highly of you Herr Klaus.” Her voice echoed from the back. Klaus stood quickly from his counter, the stool scraping across the floor with his movements. He swept a hand agitatedly through his thin hair.

“And what does his praise have to do with this visit? Could it not wait ‘til sunrise?”

Der Engel von Garzweiler

As I shuffled out of the church, I could feel the pitying looks of Mother Mary, and the Saints, casting down at me from their perches.  If there was some sort of guardian in Garzweiler, I hoped she would have a less agonizing face – and perhaps, her gaze set on me too.

The air outside the church nipped at my fingers, and cut through the holes of my shoes. Frau Berger from the convent across the road bustled about draping patched coats over some of the street urchins. Their emaciated bodies, enveloped under the woolen layer, would probably not see food for another week. If this Engel showed no benevolence towards the children, then what compassion would she have for me. It was a sobering thought on that long walk down the wide dirt paths towards a safer, warmer, terrain until my duty the following day.  Death awaited the following day with a plate of food and a pocket full of money.

I walked to my grave.

Innocence – a Wattpad novella

I read a “free to use” prompt on Wattpad that inspired this horror novella. The story revolves around four cops and a fledgling doctor giving a known murderer the Death Penalty, but they do it illegally in an unused basement of the police precinct. The murderer swears revenge before he dies and… well you’ll have to read the rest of it to know what happens. I’ll be posting new chapters every Friday as part of my usual Friday Fiction. Chapter 3 goes up tomorrow.

I watched as Marius de Wet was injected with Pentobarbital. He sat calmly through it all, his eyes falling on each of us as though memorizing our faces. There were only four of us within the dim precinct basement when it happened. Five if you count the shaking, greenhorn doctor who administered the lethal injection.

Rudolph, one of the detectives, was on his sixth cigarette by then, filling the room with acrid odor, the same that lined his clothes and drifted from his breath. Without his uniform, you could see how gaunt he was. The black hair looked slick and thin, face long and sallow, all exacerbated by yellowing teeth where one of the front two had a chip. He tapped his sneakered foot incessantly on the grungy cement floor of the basement holding cell, still sticky with Marius’ blood.

Maybe some of ours too.

Read it: wattpad.com/NthatoM

The Last Robot on Earth

Last year July, my close friend Carin Marais, a fellow writer, Patreon, Folklore/Myth virtuoso, and creator of the amazing upcoming novel The Ruon Chronicles, gave me a prompt: the Last Robot on Earth. As her reward I wrote her the story about Tobor, a robot pretending to be human and taking part in a Hunger Games style competition. The idea has evolved quite considerably from that and hatched a completely new series. *Thanks Carin! Swoons.*

Right now I’m in the world building stages of the novel, and it will be slightly different from my usual fantasy/horror but of course with elements of both. Since it was a Patreon inspired prompt, it will be running concurrent with JYA on that end, which means special rewards if you’re a Pledgee.

Not much I can tell you right now except that one of the characters is inspired by John Constantine, the fictional DC comics character, and the story will lean towards a darker, gritty, comic-book style novel. As a comic book fan (and not because of the movies ugh) my idea needs a lot of work so it doesn’t come off as another Marvel’s the X-Men vs Bolivar Trusks’ mutant killing Sentinels (did i just give the plot away? hehe). Nonetheless, I’m loving the world building.

Other Short Stories

There’s so many ideas and stories in the pipelines, and rather than tackle them one at a time (which is the most sane thing to do) I’ll be dabbling around each one as short stories that will eventually culminate into their respective novels/novellas. This means constantly writing and (hopefully) never getting bored. I will obviously keep you updated as things happen.

typing


How’s your writing going? Any exciting projects coming up? Are you taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo next month?

December Goals: No Jingle Bells Here

5-things

It’s the 1st of December and I don’t need to go further than my emails to know that everyone is getting hyped up for Christmas and December holidays. Not me.

I’ll be busy working towards 2017 during December, and there is a lot to work through.

Anthology

I have announced before that I am working on a short story anthology. Two in fact, one of my own personal stories and another from Patreon suggested short stories. My dear friend and amazing artist Leesan Naidoo, has been designing the covers for each of my short stories, and I must say they look amazing. I look forward to publishing my anthology. Obviously it involves a lot of work, but that’s to be expected.

I’ve also changed a couple of things on my Patreon page and will be starting that up again. If you have any suggestions for a December short story, feel free to send suggestions in the comment section below.

Patreon – Nthato Morakabi

Book Reviews

I’ll be continuing my book reviews as usual. A lot of the books I read, have been for Gamecca Magazine, and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post those reviews on my blog too. Which is why my Wednesday Book Reviews have been a little slow. I’ve effectively been reading two books a week. According to Goodreads, I’m 6 books behind but by next week it should be down to 3 at the most.

Book Review requests are still coming in, and there’s an annual February event looming that I’ll be part of. So much reading, so little time.

If you want to know what I’m currently reading, here’s my Goodreads Reading List.

General HooHah

I’ll be guest blogging during December on a friend and fellow writer’s blog Life In Light of Eternity, with our focus on Christmas in our own little Advent Calendar. Different authors, varying formats and insightful stuff. Join us!

I’ll be revamping my website NthatoMorakabi.com. Design. Content. etc. I’ll also be starting up my monthly Newsletter with updates on everything happening. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

In last week’s post, The Creative’s Burden, I listed a number of things I wished I could do and didn’t have time for. Rather than do the whole “2017 Resolutions” thing, I’ll be kick starting a couple of those ideas this month.

In short, I’ll hitting the ground running. I hope you will continue to endure with me through the last remaining days of this month and onward to 2017.

Happy Writing!

 

Marching into April

It seems like just a week ago I was posting an update about Marching into the new month. Here we are at the end of March heading into April with so many things having happened and new things happening.

Camp Nano

As you know, April is the beginning of Camp Nano and I have been plotting out my Wages of Sin short story compilation. Basically, I have personified the Seven Deadly Sins and this compilation of short stories will be a sneak peak into the life of these beings. No protagonist. No good guy. Just a glimpse into the human psyche in light of the reality of sin.

Wednesday Book Review

As usual, I’m continuing the Wednesday book review thing but now I am taking book requests. There are so many books out there to read, why not help me find out what they are and share them with me? Also, if you have any books you have written, let me know and I can read them and add them to my Wednesday Book Review.

Jozi Flash

As you may know, our latest anthology was published on the 20th of March. You can find it here:

Jozi Flash Now Available

Jozi Flash – A Flash Fiction Anthology

Jozi Flash Cover 2

A Flash Fiction Anthology by South African Authors

There are no zombie-dalek-rainbow-unicorns in this anthology. Not for lack of trying – they just wouldn’t play nicely with the other characters.

Instead you’ll find a genie with a unique wish, a border post between worlds, a light romance, an alien recorder and a very special chair, amongst others.

This is what you get when you challenge five talented South African writers with a series of prompts and strict word limits: Jozi Flash – an anthology of 29 bite-sized stories with a huge amount of heart.  

As unique as the narrators, these tales range from the macabre to heart warming in fewer words than it took to write this blurb.

The zombie-dalek-rainbow-unicorns ate the rest.  

 

 


I am truly proud to present to you an upcoming anthology, published by a local Publishing house, of which I am a contributor. Following a successful and inspirational NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) last year, a number of us local writers decided to continue encouraging each other to write. With daily writing sprints, referrals to blogs, Twitter and Wattpad accounts, and flash fiction competitions, the combined effort of both those who contributed and those who encouraged, made Jozi Flash a reality.

Print

Chasing Dreams Publishing

A special shout out to Nicky Stephens who is the founder of Chasing Dreams Publishing (website coming up soon) and the driving force behind Jozi Flash (including its cover). Dedicated in sending out weekly writing prompts, steadfastly asking for missing writing, tirelessly editing alongside Cecilia Dathis, all culminating into the anthology that is Jozi Flash.

Jozi Flash

Jozi Flash will be officially published on the 20th March 2016, that’s only 9 days from the date of this post. Excitement levels are very high!

This anthology will be available for free download in PDF or ePub format and I will notify you all once it is available. So when that happens, please download it, review it and share it. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know my fellow writers and editors would greatly appreciate it too.


If you would like a copy, let me know and I will ensure you receive one. Should you have any books or stories you would like me to read and give a review, feel free to let me know and I will do so.

 

Leviathan – Short

Sometime during the December period, I saw a writing challenge concerning the image below from The Rogue Verbumancer (http://rogueverbumancer.com/2012/12/31/leviathan/#more-2215). Unfortunately I did not get much writing done in December and I finally managed to write and complete the short story below on the 1st, hoping to get away with it…but I got too lazy to post it anyway (defeating the purpose!) Finally I decided to throw this out there anyway and see how it goes. I do hope you like, it’s a little different from my normal stuff but its up my alley nonetheless. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Well without further ado, I present the December Writing Challenge: Leviathan.

leviathan

The boy ran through the twisting tunnels of an underground sewer, barely able to see past the tears streaming down his face. His bare feet slapped against the wet concrete ground, echoing off into the darkness behind him. A light ahead of him grew brighter and the smell of salt water drifted across the otherwise dank air. The azure orb of his left eye had faded into an ocean green, the eye socket throbbing with the beat of his heart. He could feel more than see his blonde locks flitting off his scalp, brushing against his boiling skin as they fell. His arms felt heavy. Hot. Bubbling. The pain was excruciating but it did not cover the pain ripping through his chest; a chasm of darkness and death. He ambled on nonetheless, fighting a losing battle against both his mind and his heart. He gripped at his chest as a different pain racked through him, bringing him down to his knees. Coughing into the damp ground, the boy fell over to slump against the tunnel wall, feeling the slick surface slither against his bare shoulder. The streaming water beside him lapped at the edges of his path and onto his feet, cooling the boiling skin. He knew he couldn’t fight it any longer, this mental emotional battle; it was too strong, overpowering his senses. With some effort the boy rose to his feet, continuing ahead towards the salty breeze ahead of him, feeling the bones of his fingers grind and crackle, the skin bubbling then melting, fusing his fingers together. He could feel the same sensation travelling through his feet, making it difficult to walk and yet he ambled on, driven towards the sound of the falling water ahead. He could only manage a few steps before his amalgamated feet gave way below him, unable to carry him any longer. He fell onto his knees and let out a yell of frustration that reverberated throughout the tunnels. With his last effort he pulled himself towards the running water beside him, letting his body fall into the water.

*************************

Bernard hurriedly made his way through the village, ignoring the stares of the people around him. His errand was of higher importance than his social status, though his current visage was not helping him. The dark locks of hair on his forehead had matted to his scalp from sweat, and blood lined his left cheek in streaks. His dark eyes were hollow and afraid; a first for him. He walked briskly, though his breathing was heavy and laboured. When he saw the small wooden cottage at the top of the hill he picked up pace, hurrying up the grassy bank and onto the porch of the small dwelling. He knelt before an empty wooden chair, his head down and his dark jade robe flowing behind him.

“Aldon…sir…there has been a…situation.” Even as Bernard spoke he could feel the air around him radiate in a heat that threatened to suffocate him. In an instant, Bernard was staring at the dark leather boots of his mentor.

“Is this involving my son?” Aldon’s voice was deep and stern

“Yes…sir”

“What happened?”

“We were at the edge of the village…near the cove…when Octavius appeared…” Aldon stood up abruptly, his chair scraping across the floor causing Bernard to cringe away.

“And what about my son…”

“We must head to the ocean…sir…I’m afraid the boy knows”

“That cursed Octavius! What happened?”

“Well…”

******************

“Simeon do not stray too far from the cove” Bernard warned the younger boy.

“Yes uncle…but the smell of the sea…it draws me.” Simeon looked out at towards the dark rocks that lined the coast and the dark waters that crashed into them. The sea called out to him, drawing him towards it but he knew he was never to get too close without his father’s permission. Bernard smiled at the boy.

“Yes yes I know but we must make haste before your father…”

“Before papa knows his little protégé is gone! No?” A young man, dressed in a dark green robe similar to Bernard’s, appeared behind Simeon. He gently placed his arm around the boy’s neck, resting his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“You move…you die.” he whispered into Simeon’s ear before grinning happily at Bernard.

“Why Bernard, it has been long hasn’t it.”

“Octavius!” Bernard exclaimed in surprise though his face had turned dark at the sight of the younger man.

“It is Lord Octavius to you old man!” Octavius spat, rapidly pointing his finger at Bernard with his free hand “Or have you forgotten your manners?”

“Manners!? Why you wretched little…” Before Bernard could move, Octavius had spread his fingers apart, his palm facing towards Bernard as streams of light formed on the outstretched fingers. Simeon felt heat radiating across his face as he watched streams of light, liquefy into a burning red ball of pulsing fire. The ball shot out from Octavius’ palm and struck Bernard square across the chest. The old man flew back from the blow, hitting against the rock surface behind him.

“I’m here for the boy, see.” Octavius calmly explained, tightening his grip on the now squirming boy “The king has sent out some ships and…well…let’s say I have a sinking feeling about the king’s ships.”

“No! You cannot!” Bernard breathed, rising to his knees, blood dribbling down one side of his face.

“Oh but I can…and I will. Besides…” Octavius turned to look at Simeon and he could see the boy’s eyes, grim with anger, flash from a dark green to a bright blue. “Besides…it is time for him to know the truth.”

“Octavius! Stop! He is…”

“Was I ready!? Bernard!” Octavius threw the boy to the ground and rushed the older man, holding him up by the collar of his robe. “Was I ready to lose my entire family to…to that beast!”

“He is but a boy” Bernard pleaded

“Boy?” Octavius spat at the ground. He let go of Bernard with a brisk toss and walked over to the boy; Simeon eyed them curiously.

“What does he mean uncle?” Simeon looked past the enraged Octavius towards his bleeding uncle.

“You are the great beast of the sea…” Octavius replied…cutting off the old man “You are…Leviathan.”

Lorraine Ambers

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