Fantastic Travel: How Wizards Do It #fantasy and Defying Reason by Elizabeth Seckman

Last week we talked about traveling about in science fiction. This week, it’s getting from place to place in fantasy.

Of course, a wizard can twitch a magic wand and get to wherever wished. Abracadabra!

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Spells can keep you stuck or send you to someplace new. For instance, tapping your ruby slippers and chanting your destination. “There’s no place like home.”

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You can ride a broomstick. Stay away from water, though!

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(you can purchase this strange item at Amazon)

An encounter with citizens from London Below:

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Ride a dragon!

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Pixie dust!

Welcome to the Woodland Realm

(this image was purchased and licensed, please don’t copy)

A magic carpet ride.

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Viktor Vasnetsov. ”The Flying Carpet” (1880). {{PD-Russia}} Category:Wiktor Michajlowitsch Wassnezow

Mirrors. A strange and interesting way to travel in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell

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(“Jonathan strange and mr norrell cover” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

A phantom toll booth.

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(“Phantomtollbooth” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

Astral/god planes. The gods and goddesses can summon thee. 

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(“Prometheus and Hercules” by Christian Griepenkerl – found online [2], James Steakley. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

A wardrobe

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(“TheLionWitchWardrobe(1stEd)” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

Or maybe there’s a magical portal in your town or an object that takes you to other universes, like a ghost stone.

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What other ways can you think of for traveling to and about fantasy lands? I find myself drawn to that magic carpet.  And I’d like one of those magic hockey sticks.

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How about you?

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Meet Jo of Defying Reason by Elizabeth Seckman

What’s your favorite kind of party? 

Jo- Get some friends together, build a fire on the beach, and share some beers and laughs. 

Elizabeth- Must be nice. Last party I was invited to, I had to buy a spatula. And no one offered me a beer.

How would you spend the first day of spring weather?

Jo- Sounds like time to hit the beach!

Elizabeth- Did I write her to be so damned annoying, or am I just green? I’m in West Virginia…I may be shoveling snow the first day of spring. 

What kind of pet do you own? 

Elizabeth- hah! Jo had a dog, but someone (like Becca James- the anti-heroine in the story) stole it. I, on the other hand, still have my two dogs. 

Jo- Seriously? Too soon. I really miss my dog. I was going to invite you to the beach, but you had to go all Becca on me. 

Defying Reason

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.

Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.

Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.

Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.

A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

Amazon

 

Find Elizabeth at FacebookBlogWebsite

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A Change of Mind and Other Stories

Cover reveal…

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A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.

Preorder Links: Amazon US Amazon UK / Add it on Goodreads

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Zooming Around the Universe. #SpecFic Plus This World Bites by Loni Townsend. Zombies and Mayhem.

Traveling from star to star. How is it done? How do sci-fi folks move from place to place?

The most obvious is by spaceship, but there are a lot of types – X wings, Enterprises, Fireflies, the Sequi, an Olvis Deluxe etc… Need to name a ship in your current work, here’s a spaceship name generator. Unless you enter a jump point (ala Babylon 5) or engage in warp speed (ala Star Trek), the distance you can travel is limited. You’ll note that Star Trek usually travels within one quadrant of our galaxy. 

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(this image was paid for and licensed by me, please don’t share)

Then there are wormholes and portals.

John Crichton was stranded in another part of the universe by a black hole in Farscape.

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Stargate gave us an awesome portal.

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MGM and the Stargate franchise; screenshot by Alfakim (talk · contribs) - Stargate SG-1

Dune folded space by use of ‘spice’ (farout)

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cover image of the collectible card game Dune (1997)

Inspired by dunes in Oregon (told you Oregon is full of fodder)

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The Oregon Dunes, near Florence, Oregon, served as an inspiration for the Dune saga.

 

 

What about travel via light beam? So far beaming requires a ship. What if there were beam points? Or what if you could travel by light? What if you could travel by audiowave? Slower, but it might be possible for some aliens. Why not?

Perhaps you could just don a cape and fly…

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How would you prefer to travel from planet to planet? Maybe you have a new idea.

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This World Bites World Tour

Written by the awesome and uber-talented Loni Townsend, let’s learn more about her, Cera, and This World Bites

1.  What is Cera’s favorite activity/ride at the amusement park?

Cera would like the Strong Man activities. She could lift the mallet in one hand and strike the pad with enough force to ring the bell every time. People would stand in awe of her, and she’d love every compliment on her strength. Unless someone insulted her, insinuating she was a freak. Then she might fry them with a fireball.

2.  What will Cera dress up as for Halloween?

A human. Unless of course it’s Halloween on a non-human populated world. If the world was populated by green slime blobs, then she’d craft an illusion to look like one of them. She spent her childhood hiding from a sovereign who wanted her dead, so she tries not to stand out.

3.  You versus your main character – what was your favorite childhood lunch?

Cera was raised by the best cook on her world, so she had all the recipes at her disposal. Her favorite was the Picala berry baked turnover. The berries were from her home province, before the Sovereign took control. They were a rare delicacy that she got on only special occasions.

Me? I liked cucumber sandwiches, made by my grandma. Other people’s sandwiches didn’t quite measure up to hers.

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It’s her first day on a new world and Cera’s already found trouble. Michael, her guardian, has been bitten by a zombie and will soon join the undead ranks.

Everyone tells her there’s no cure, but Cera isn’t one to be deterred. She’s willing to face off with zombie hordes, demon slavers, and black market informants if it means she’ll find a cure for Michael. But she’s not the only one hunting for something.

Something is hunting her.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Build a Better Hero

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#SpecFicChat is this Friday on Twitter, March 20th, Noon EDT. Hosted by myself and Untethered Realms. Come talk about how you’d like to see heroes and heroines evolve. Just type #SpecFicChat in your tweet to join in the conversation. Get some new ideas, meet new friend, and have a few laughs. Laughs always welcome.

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Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet #SciFi Movie Review and Polar Day by Julie Flanders

Dinner and a Bad Movie

Husband Unit and I watch these movies so you don’t have to. Today’s feature: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Ooo! Husband Unit was attracted by prehistoric women. Dinos caught my attention.

Dinner: veggie sandwiches ala Mary. Cheese, pitas, raw mushrooms, microgreens, sunflower seeds, salad dressing. Slice cheese – one slice per pita half. I toast the pitas for a few minutes in the oven to warm them and give them a slight crunch. I use slices from a block of Tillamook cheddar cheese. One mushroom per pita. Slice thinly. Add half a mushroom to each pita half. Sprinkle on favorite salad dressing, add microgreens and sunflower seeds.

Movie – info from IMDB: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965)

Journey to the Prehistoric Planet

Director: Curtis Harrington (as John Sebastian)

Writer: Curtis Harrington

In 2020, after the colonization of the moon, the spaceships Vega, Sirius and Capella are launched from Lunar Station 7. They are to explore Venus under the command of Professor Hartman, but an asteroid collides and explodes Capella. The leader ship Vega stays orbiting and sends the astronauts Kern and Sherman with the robot John to the surface of Venus, but they have problems with communication with Dr. Marsha Evans in Vega. The Sirius lands in Venus and Commander Brendan Lockhart, Andre Ferneau and Hans Walter explore the planet and are attacked by prehistoric animals. They use a vehicle to seek Kern and Sherman while collecting samples from the planet. Meanwhile John helps the two cosmonauts to survive in the hostile land.

Here’s the exciting movie trailer:

 

Well, 2020 is pretty soon and we are nowhere near colonies on the moon. I laughed at Venus being a 200 million mile journey, since it’s only 93 million to the sun. Points for the female astronaut doing more than serving coffee. In fact, she never served coffee or tea or food.

Bonus points for creative use of hardware, props and set, and a robot named John.  We really liked their rad land transport:

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So two different landing parties wind up on Venus. The reasons to get them down there were a stretch, but OK, there’d be no movie without them going to Venus and at least they didn’t make us wait an eternity like in some movies. So bonus points for just getting on with the plot, despite the fact they could have come up with less complicated more reasonable reasoning.

We’re not sure how the rad transport fit in the landing vessel, but OK. We liked it. There’s some really nice craftsmanship on that thing. 

Basically, the first landing party crash lands and the second party goes in search of the first. And our heroes run into some dinosaurs. They sort of move.

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The best scene of the movie: The dudes who crash landed have a medical emergency and John the robot gets talked through the first aid. Excuse me, I’m still laughing. The dude dispensing the instructions to John talks as if his mouth can’t move faster than one word a minute. “Quick John. You must be quick.” Well, there was nothing quick about any of it. The dude talks slow and the robot fumbles about.

Meanwhile, the dude’s helmet is open the entire time. John winds up dropping a big tablet into the dude’s mouth. Then the guy giving the instructions tells John to quickly give the hurt man some water. John proceeds to dump water all over the dude’s face.

2nd Best: The crash-landed folks get attacked by dinosaurs. They’re small, sort of like Cecil in Gumby and they bunny hop around pouncing on the astronauts. lol Very similar to those vampires in RoboVampire.

Then they’re trapped by lava and John the robot sacrifices himself to carry them over the lava river.

Meanwhile, the search party gets attacked by a pterodactyl while in the Venus sea. So they intentionally sink their vessel. Apparently the rad car doesn’t work underwater, so they have to get out and drag it along. Under the sea they find a pterodactyl statue, hinting that people have been to Venus before. Periodically they hear singing and assume it’s a woman, but we never see her.

Eventually they meet the dudes with John and return to space. Then and only then do we see the Venus woman. Just one. Shrug.

Husband Unit: I was disappointed at the lack of cavewomen and they killed the robot.

Me: Yeah, meeting the natives was pretty anticlimactic, but they did drive that awesome car.

HU: Better than usual, especially because there was no dancing.

Me: Well there’s no beating that number in Giant of Metropolis. The rest just need to give it up. 

So overall, we enjoyed watching this movie and give it a one beer rating. One is enough to have fun with this sci-fi gem. If you watch the trailer above, it includes some of John’s first aid and the bunny hopping dinos. Happy watching!

ONE BEER

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Here’s an exciting new release. How do I know? Because I loved the first book, Polar Night. Julie Flanders writes a good book.

Polar Day by Julie Flanders, Starring Danny Fitzpatrick

Let’s get to know Danny and Julie a little better:

You versus character – what’s your favorite winter past time?

Mine: Morning walks with my dog in local parks. I love walking out in the cold and love the quiet stillness of winter mornings.
Danny’s: Drinking

Who would your character have a movie star crush on?

Marion Cotillard. She’d remind him of his late wife Caroline, who was of French descent.

What is your character’s biggest struggle?

Coming to terms with the fact that he now knows the world is inhabited by vampires and witches and who knows what other supernatural creatures.

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The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.

 Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.

To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?

 

Buy on Amazon ~ Amazon Kindle ~ Barnes & Noble

Find Julie on: Website / Blog

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Heartbreak

I’m writing this in a moment of shock and sorrow. I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know anything other than my world has been turned inside out and I’m so very, very, very, very sad.

I lost someone close to me today, someone who created this site, which makes me all the sadder to type this. He was someone who was always rooting for me, so proud I wrote all these books, the person I turned to for help when I messed up this site. Most of all, I’ve known him since he was born. Never did I think I’d be saying good-bye so soon. Love you, Bill.

The flag on this site is at half mas until further notice. I’ll be away for two weeks… physically away and then I don’t know. I have no idea what will happen.

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Discovering #Oregon #Photo Journal: Between Antelope and Shaniko. New Release: Of Mist and Magic #Fantasy

Besides watching bad sci-fi movies, Husband Unit and I really enjoy exploring the quiet places of Oregon. We had just left Antelope and were on our way to the Pioneer Days festival in Shaniko.

Is there any scene more sublime?

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Every day I spend here in Oregon, I am so grateful to be subjected to this state’s unending grand beauty.

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Then we ran into killdozer. Remember that movie? I was just a kid so it scared me.

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This is what the ground was like under killdozer… very strange…

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There’s a whole world to explore if we care to stop the car and poke around. We always do. There’s so many ideas out there if I’m not zooming by.

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Abandoned… It’s a shame they had to leave such a beautiful place, and leave it so completely.

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Are those volcanic killer ash bees up in that tree? Hmm, let’s sneak away…

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Man and nature can make an interesting poem, or is it a statement?

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Then there are nature’s poems. Hmm, yes.

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I love exploring the quiet corners of this state. What do you like to explore?

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Of Mist and Magic

Of Mist and Magic

Only 99 cents from Amazon. Proceeds of the Amazon exclusive ebook will be donated to Elevate Life and Art studios, an amazing youth organization in Asheville, NC.

Enter the world Of Mist And Magic, where fairy tales are reimagined under the influence of Really Slow Motion‘s inspiring music, in this enchanting anthology of short stories. 

Cover design and images by artist Daniel Pennystone.

Of Mist and Magic contributing authors:

FIRE by Amy Willoughby-Burle
THE FOURTH WISH by Crystal Collier
THE WULFING by M. Pax
PIPER by Loni Townsend
AWAKENING by Shannon Kenoyer Lawrence
THE SNAKE PRINCE by C. Lee McKenzie
FAIRY GODMOTHERS WALK AMONG US by Vidya Sury
ROOTED by Ruth Long
THE ONE-LEGGED TIN SOLDIER by Michelle Wallace
BY THE LIGHT OF STARS by Lisa Shambrook
UNTOUCHABLE by SM Blooding
HOOD by Sarah Aisling
OF DREAMS AND DARING by Samantha Redstreake Geary

Of Mist and Magic Writing Contest Winners:
CHILDREN OF WINTER AND SNOW by Hanah Goetz
THE RETURN by Djinnia

Elevate Life and Art Epic Writing Students:

CINDERS & SMOKE by Jenni Camhi
MAGIC TOWER by Carter Lundgren
CELESTIAL GATE by Jeremiah Mimken
STARCHILD by Josiah Mimken
AEORIEN by James Mimken
COLLAPSING UNIVERSE by Caroline Sprenger

 Excerpt, “The Wulfing” by M. Pax 

©2014 M. Pax, all rights reserved

The eyes of the other two sus glowed with inner light, the power of the ethereal flux. I patted the skin under mine. The tips of my fingers burned. Already the wulfing claimed me.

The casting out horn blasted, tingling along my nerves like the threads of my robe. In a line we three sus paraded out in the traditional order — the Sus of Lonan, The Sus of Dunn, the Sus of Ablin. My mother and the villagers regaled us with chanted wishes and beads soaked in stain. The colors splashed our robes and hair. The massive gate at the far end of the temple opened. The three of us marched out with the flow of the wulfing.

Every bit of me shook, even my tongue shivered. Beyond the gate, the air didn’t move. Thick and stagnant, I found it hard to swallow, feeling as if I already faded from existence. The other two sus coughed and spat, flailing onto their knees. My legs wobbled, threatening to follow their example.

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