*aggressive electric guitar riff*
Just trying to get you in the mood. Things are going to be very 80's around here today. Visually, at least. So far as the actual story we're discussing is concerned, we'll be dealing with familiar magical hijinks…
…but in SPACE.
Yes, I said SPACE.
You didn't think I could write things in space, did you? Well, I can't, since NASA keeps turning down my applications to experiment with fiction-writing in zero gravity, but I can write stories which are set in space. However, because I am me, they still involve magic and general shenanigans.
The story I'm talking about is my contribution to this year's Phoenix Fiction Writers anthology, entitled Strange Waters. We were each instructed to write a story based on a picture of a sailboat in a beautiful, peaceful expanse of water.
What did I write about, you ask?
A vast, terrifying, soul-rending nebula made of pure chaos magic so wild and vicious that it drives people insane if they merely look at it for too long.
You did ask. And if you're familiar with my work to any degree, you're probably not surprised. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's consistent branding.
As you might have guessed, this is not an Afterverse story. Oh, I don't deny that there is a space element to the Afterverse, and I may get into that someday, but I wanted this story to be completely free of any and all continuity constraints. So we've got an all new universe with all new characters.
*another electric guitar riff* Here we go.
Ric Vayne and the Curse of Ghoul Nebula
Any wizard can fly a spaceship. Hotshot pilot Ric Vayne can fly one better than most. But just as he's about to land a job that could finally pay off his bar bill, he finds himself pressed into service by a deranged captain.
That wouldn't be so bad…except that Ric isn't expected to fly the ship. When he wakes up after getting kidnapped, he discovers that he is the ship.
Which is a bad thing for many reasons–including, but not limited to, the fact that Ric no longer has fingers to hold his spellblaster. If Ric is ever going to get his soul out of a computer core and back into his body, he'll have to be very clever about it.
But he'll also have to work fast…because he's headed for Ghoul Nebula, a place of pure chaos magic. And no pilot–or ship–gets out of there alive.
Yeah, so this is basically Firefly plus Harry Potter with maybe a little Star Wars and a dash of Thor Ragnarok. It's just a short story, but I had such a good time writing it that I think I pretty much have to do more with Ric at some point. Who knows? Maybe he'll get his own full-length book someday.
All the Phoenix Fiction Writers are currently in the process of revealing their stories, one per week. Check out this page to learn more about the other entries for Strange Waters! The book will be available in October 2019.