The Great Space Race

The Great Space Race

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Howard Donovan rolls his eyes in exasperation at the offensive antics of the Pismarian pirate racers as the starting lineup for The 187th Annual Galactic Grand Prix waits. This year’s Grand Prix takes place in the Gamma Quadrant, a dangerous and primitive part of the Milky Way. Pirates and shady characters have found their way into this year’s race as a result, bringing stolen technology like the Winged Particle Surfer to try to increase their winning edge. The Galaxy’s most versatile personal flight craft, the Donovan Jump Jet, will have its work cut out for it in this motley collection of space ships of intergalactic design. Howard will have to be on the look out for cheats and sabotage of all kinds as he tries to negotiate one of the most challenging space race courses in the GAGA.

The account of this thrilling space sport is told in the science fiction anthology, Tales from Space 2. Available this July from StarkLight Press, Tales from Space 2 features this story as well as tales about the wroiling mass of consumers, workers, stars and soldiers that make up the GAF Mainframe science fiction universe.

You can find the first volume of Tales from Space here, in print:

https://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Space-Anthology-Tony-Stark/dp/1518816614/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1466644672&sr=8-2&keywords=tales+from+space

Look for the Tales from Space e-book on Scribd here:

Look for GAF Mainframe books An Incident in El Noor, The Arkellan Treaty and Space Stranded, coming later this summer from StarkLight Press.

Here is an excerpt of Virginia Carraway Stark reading an excerpt from The Great Space Race:

Jason Pere discusses Love and Blood

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Jason Pere is a native New Englander, currently residing in Connecticut with his wife and two rambunctious cats. He has had a long standing passion with the arts. 

Jason discovered CWC early on in 2015 and has been a passionate member since, diving into multiple collaborative fiction projects with other authors. He has work published with CW Publishing and Starklight Press. He also has solo work self-published and published by Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing Incorporated. When not writing or enduring his “Real World Job” Jason enjoys, Netflix time with his family, breaking out obscure board games and dorking out with friends, firing up the his game console and surviving a Zombie Apocalypse or indulging in baked goods and sleep.

 

Jason wrote a chilling short story, Star Crossed, which appears in our Valentine’s Day horror anthology, Hearts Asunder. Here’s an excerpt:

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They were stepping into the elevator when the high heel of Hailey’s shoe caught in the gap between then floor and the inside of the elevator. It took Brady fully by surprise. It was the first time that he had ever seen Hailey be anything other than graceful. Without thinking Brady’s hand shot out and stopped his friend from going down.

Ow!” Hailey exclaimed as Brady’s hand grasped her upper arm. He let go once her feet were stable on the floor of the elevator. The short sleeve of her shirt had been rolled up onto itself when Brady had come to her rescue and it revealed a sizable bruise.

Oh I am so sorry! I didn’t think. I just didn’t want you to fall down. I am so sorry. I didn’t think that I grabbed you so hard. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Brady blurted out as he look at the bruise on his friends arm.

No. No. No. It’s not your fault, it’s mine. This is nothing. I just bumped this on a towel rail in the shower the other day. I really should be more careful,” Hailey said embarrassedly as she rolled her sleeve down and coved up the bruise again. “Now let’s go and get something yummy.”

Ok. I’m glad you’re alright but that bruise did look pretty bad,” Brady said trying not to sound too skeptical. He had worked in sales and customer service for long enough than he had a strong enough sense of when he wasn’t getting the full story form someone.

Thank you but it’s nothing. It really is. Don’t worry about it. I’m fine,” Hailey said in a way that seemed like she was trying to convince herself as much as her friend.

 

Jason had some revealing answers about his inspiration for his story in his interview questions:

  1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?

Yes I do but oh which one to pick. I suppose the best example would be the story of a young woman I met online may years ago. A friendship rapidly turned into a long distance relationship. We saw each other in person on weekends and over the span of a couple months were convinced that we were destined to be together. I had the wonderfully horrid idea to leave my home in Connecticut and visit some friends in Georgia for an extended stay. I invited her to make the move with me and she said she would be happy to follow me. I should have realized that moving across the county with someone I hardly knew and never lived with before would end in disaster but I thought that we were the exception to the rule. We broke up nearly as soon as we got to Georgia and she then began dating and later marrying one of my friends that I moved down there to visit. Oh and that’s not the end of this little tale it gets better. After a very turbulent period things settled down for a while and I started dating someone else (Who I would later marry) until one day my ex-girlfriend and her husband orchestrated an armed home invasion, assault and kidnaping of myself and my current girlfriend. It was a poorly executed crime and all guilty parties were in custody in a matter of hours. So not only did this woman break my heart but she also held me at gunpoint. Still I cannot fully condemn knowing her because if I had not ever known her then I don’t know if I ever would have met the amazing woman that I went on to marry.

  1. What do you find makes the combination of love and horror such a potent combination?

I think that love is probably one of the most profound and indescribable emotions that lies within the human spectrum. It would stand to reason that the greatest emotions we are capable of feeling can lead to the greatest pain, fear and sadness when they are gone, misinterpreted or twisted in some kind of perverted fashion. Love can be a powerful motivator for someone to do horrible things.

  1. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentine’s Day Horror story?

I wanted to do a tragic love story. I went to Romeo and Juliet for inspiration. I wanted a story of two people who really should have ended up happily ever after but just couldn’t get out of their own lives enough to make that happen.

3. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?

Thanks for the great story and interview, Jason Pere! You can find Star Crossed in Hearts Asunder, available from StarkLight Press in Feb.

Jenn Spaulding Shares a Valentine Horror Story or Two

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Our next author in the spotlight is Jenn Spaulding. Her visceral fiction is a big hit in the GAF Mainframe Universe. This time she has written a horror romance set in the present day for StarkLight Press’ Valentine’s Day Anthology, Hearts Asunder. Here is a little bit of backstory on Ms. Spaulding:

Jennifer Spaulding is an author, mother, scientist, and scholar. She has penned four books of poetry, numerous short stories, and she is currently writing articles for Outermost: A Journal of the Paranormal. She is also currently busy with several top-secret collaborations. Look for her poetry on Amazon under J.L. Estes. Her poem “Shattered” was selected to be in the 2012 International Who’s Who in Poetry. Jennifer was also a participant of the 2014 Poetry Marathon. Her poems are featured in In My Mind’s Eye along with many other internationally diverse poets.

Jenn also took a few minutes to answer our interview questions:

Interview Questions

  1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?

When I was sixteen I met 21 year old Steve Jocko. He literally gave me no choice in the matter. He grabbed me and declared me his. He began kicking the shit out of me on a daily basis. Until one day he went too far and almost killed me by rupturing my spleen. I lost 4 liters of blood.

By the time I made it to the hospital the next day, I was on my last leg. I was so scared that he would kill me that I lied to the cops and said I got jumped. I spent two weeks in the ICU. He was beating the shit out of me again the next day. One night he grabbed a long, serrated bread knife and tried to slice my throat but I threw up my hand and he sliced my pinky damn near off.

Finally my mom came to get me after seeing my body covered in bite marks. My mother spent the day getting drunk and decided to go curse Steve out. I was 6 months pregnant and I begged and pleaded with her not to go, but she didn’t listen. She was so trashed I wouldn’t ride with her so her boyfriend’s nephew was sober so I rode with him. She went to my apartment where Steve was waiting outside with an ax-handle. Steve seen me in the van with another guy and his eyes filled with murderous rage. I told the guy to drive, but Steve was there smashing the passenger side window where I sat, so I dove in the back of the van and told him to go. Steve Jocko cowardly beat my mother with that ax-handle. The surgeons said it was like a jigsaw putting the pieces of her skull back together. She lost her eye. He barely got any time in jail.

  1. What do you find makes the combination of the love and horror such a potent combination?

I think that love and horror make such a potent combination because both fear and love are very intense emotions.

  1. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentine’s Day horror story?

I got the idea for Killer Love from a dream that I had about an elusive female serial killer.

Jenn’s gripping tale can be found in Hearts Asunder, our Valentine’s Day anthology from StarkLight Press. It will be available Feb. 1, 2016!

An Introduction to the GAF Universe

As the vibrant heart of StarkLight Press’ science fiction universe, the Galactic Armed Forces universe is the theatre where we put on all our amazingly creative adventure presentations.

For all our new friends and fans, here is a brief overview of our flagship creative site http://www.gafmainframe.com:

Created in 2006, the GAF universe is an active, dynamic and growing science fiction world where commentary on today’s world blends seamlessly with high sci-fi adventure and wry comedy.

It is perhaps the most detailed, plausible, relatable and fascinating creative kingdom in existence, thanks to our loyal fans and creative cohorts.

Loaded with memorable characters, amazing worlds apes and a satisfying explanation for all its idiosyncrasies, the GAF universe has captivated loyal fans from over 15 countries to date.

We welcome newcomers who wish to add their creative energies to the GAF galaxyscape, just as we welcome all media. Music, poetry, news articles, artwork, sculpture, fan fic, videos- at GAFMainframe.com, your submissions are shared widely and much appreciated!

We keep a listing of important characters, events, entities and other data on GAF Mainframe for handy reference. Made as entries from the GAGA’s Encyclopaedia Galactica, these reference blogs contain important backstory on the characters in Tales from Space and other GAF stories. Many have pictures included, and we are working on links to other media like music and videos.

Excerpts from GAF stories in production as well as behind the scenes tidbits from existing novels are often posted, too.

We also offer writing prompts where our fans can stretch their creative legs and play with the GAF characters in fun and adventurous scenarios. Winning contributions are posted on GAFMainframe.com for everyone to enjoy.

Check out the vibrant reference and chat portal for the GAF Universe today and get Galactic!

-Tony Stark.

Our First Christmas Party- Huge Success!

Thanks to the three waves of guests who broke upon our shores at the Pomeroy Hotel and Suites in Dawson Creek, B.C last night!

We enjoyed the fellowship, conversation and fun brought by all our guests.  Early arrivals from Mountainview Safety and other local businesses including Faking Sanity Bookshop stayed until 8, when yours truly had to take a skype. Serendipitously, our intrepid friends from Hythe and Grande Prairie showed up shortly before I finished, and stayed until midnight, when a surprise set of visitors arrived fresh from a harrowing journey through the Pine Pass!

Several guests wound up staying and chatting through the night about fiction, the Galactic Armed Forces, space piracy and galactic terrorism,hy, Tolkien, astronomy and, of all things, bidets. (Not included in suite, this subject seemed a bit of a wild card, although probably not at two in the morning).

After a fine breakfast, some of our guests chose to partake of the pool, and we closed the door on our first successful Christmas party at noon today!

For all of our friends who could not make it, here is a gallery of pictures from the first part of the evening, before the lights gave way to candles and the wine flowed as freely as the conversation.

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StarkLight Press Interviews Roxann Harvey

In our next StarkLight Press Interview, we discuss Roxann Harvey’s winning entry in StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest.
Roxann Harvey is the Business Administrator for her husbands company, Rocky’s Tours Jamaica.  She is a practical Nurse by profession and a self-published Author – very enthusiastic, loving  and fun. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in business Administration.The current Novel that she is working on is “Love and Money Worries”. It is about the life of Catherine Barrows , a very young and beautiful young lady from a small village in the lovely Caribbean Island of Jamaica, her life was full of struggles.
1. What was the first thing that you remember writing?
The first thing I remembered writing was a poem entitled Life a narrow path. I entered this poem on the previous poetry.com and it was a winner. I wrote that poem when I was only 10 years old and I carried it with me into adulthood I will never lose that poem. I currently have more than one version of this poem.
2. What is your main inspiration to write? 

My main inspiration to write started at the age of eight years old I stumbled up on a poetry book written by Robert Frost on my grandmother’s book shelf, I would read a page from that book every day. The poems hit home, at that age they were like a story to me and I said to my self I would like to write like this one day. So at the age of 10 years I wrote my first poem , never stopped writing and reading. At the age of twelve I was still reading Robert Frost book it had many pages and was very thick, I believe I read it over and over, from just reading a poetry book by a very renown author and writer without even knowing at that time, it spiraled me into a a poetry drunkard. A writerholic, even if I am not writing a poem I would find something to write, I just love to write.

3. What is your story for StarkLight Press about?

My story for StarkLight Press is entitled Parents were Cousins, which is a flash fiction, this story is about a young girl by the name of Catherine who went to spend some time with her uncle’s family, she fell in love with her cousin Chris, she also got pregnant by him. She was betrayed, locked in an attic and later on was sent to the asylum. She was locked away to protect the family name because it was wrong for women to be in relationships with their family members. Chris married a wealthy doctor who later on in the story helped Catherine to get out of the asylum.

4. Why did you choose this story/genre? 

I am apart of a writing group hosted by Virginia Stark, she gave us a writing Challenge to write a flash fiction story off a list that had many different reasons why people were committed to an insane Asylum back in 1864 to1869. I liked the one that said parents were cousins, it hit me right there in the head, so I submitted my first story to the group it was liked by my fellow poets, and I was encouraged to expand on it.  Based on the fact that this was the first story I had ever written I believed that I should really expand on it. When Starklight press posted that they were accepting Short Stories and It could be a flash fiction, I said yes! this is my opportunity to make this story come alive. It reminds me of Flower’s in the attic by V.C Andrews a 1979 novel. I really love that story, Therefore Parents were Cousins is my version of Flowers in the attic. It is a reincarnation of the images that the story flowers in the attic has left in my mind, expressed my way.

5. What advise do you have for aspiring authors?

My advise to aspiring authors is to follow your dream, write as much as you can, try to find positive persons to be around who will give you sound advise and push you in the right direction. Get on the internet find writing groups to join. Learn how to self publish yourself. Never give up and never give in to pressure, obstacles and hurdles will come your way, but don’t you faint, continue to press forward because you will reap the reward at the end of the struggle, my motto is “Hard work brings true joy”  I am very grateful  to prove this to be true. If you work hard when you reap the reward of your labor you will be very happy.

6. What are some of your other hobbies? 

My other hobbies are listening to music, helping others, Surfing the internet, socializing, relaxing and enjoying nature.

7. How do your hobbies infiltrate your writing?
 My hobbies infiltrate my writing in a very positive way, I am able to write the things I see, I write about people, I am able to put life’s experiences into words, its putting pen to paper. its living each day as a day with new ideas and new words. My hobbies are like one with my writing, I always have pen and paper close by so I can jot down stuff to write about later. If I am driving and I see a sign I will either write the words on it or take its picture, I always have my phone on me and I use it like a camera, I shot any thing and then put it together later to formulate a poem, a short story, quotes of inspiration and new phrases for my miniature book of constant self encouragement.
8. How has your own past influenced your writing? 
 My past has influenced my writing greatly it is the driving force behind my passion for writing, I grew up in a Christian home. I have seen good days and bad days so I am able to relate to both circumstance in life. Most of my writings are influenced by my christian belief that there is a creator who made all things and it is through him that we live and breathe, that there is hope and no matter our status in life or the situations that we face there is hope.. My poems are encouraging and inspiring to keep going no matter what.  over time I have been learning to come out of my comfort zone and launch out into a variety of genre’s, I explore far beyond my comfort zone and this feels great. I am very optimistic so I am excited each time I try something new. I am always searching for more.
9. Any final thoughts? 
My final thoughts are:
a. To implore anyone that is reading my interview to stay the course, weather the storm don’t give up and follow your hearts desire to write, because words are powerful and if you write encouraging words you will bless a heart, save a life, encourage someone, you will be an inspiration. Set your goals and execute them. No matter where you are from once you have ambition you can be among the greats.
b. A big thank you to my husband Roxroy Lawrence for his tolerance and continued support of me in my writing endeavors also my children for being my cheer leaders.
c. Wow!  I must say thank you very very much Anthony Stark and Virginia Stark for making this short story writing eligible for me,you are awesome. You are doing a great big wonderful job and I wish you all the very best in your writing and publishing business, I can truly see that you love what you do with a passion, you go about it with a lot of enthusiasm and professionalism. This is brilliant as you have all the mechanisms for growth, development and success.

Thought for the Day

writing persistence

This persistence of writing is the only thing that separates the most famous authors in the world from everyone else, and it is coincidentally also what makes the best human beings.

Are we suggesting writers are a superior lifeform?

Yes.

Congratulations to all our short story submittors, and true encouragement to all our next contestants. Check back at starklightpress.com for our upcoming Fourth Short Story Contest announcement! Remember, past winners may re-contribute for our other anthologies and online publishing.

In addition, first time authors are welcome to submit. If you are a winner of our contests, write a comment of encouragement for those considering entering on this post!

StarkLight Press wants to see the people writing, and receiving the interpersonal support they need to do so.  Let’s all get out there and become the superior lifeforms we know you can be!

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.