CHEATC0DE – Cyberpunk Gamelit by Michael Campling

CHEATC0DE – Cyberpunk Gamelit by Michael Campling

Most people play the game. Hank lives it.

Find this book on online

Chapter 1
Nineteen

LATE AFTERNOON—THE TIME WHEN KIDS GO HOME FROM SCHOOL. But the street outside Parkville High is empty. No one walks home in this neighborhood. No one except Hank. Today is Hank’s final day of school, and while the other kids cheerfully climb onto the bus, jump into their cars or get picked up by their proud parents, Hank slips out the school gates with his head held low and sets off for home without a backward glance. The motley motorcade of yellow buses, minivans and secondhand SUVs swings out from the school yard and sails along the street, heading for the leafy suburbs: the passengers chatting happily, swapping jokes, or concentrating on their phones. Some are listening to music, their eyes closed, earbuds jammed in place. But no one looks out the window. No one spares a glance for the boarded-up shops or the tumbledown houses with their crooked roofs and cracked windows. No one wonders what’s beyond the sagging chain-link fences barely held in place by drunken steel posts. This street is a wasteland: barren, desolate, empty.

But Hank walks on, his shoulders squared, his hands thrust deep into the pockets of his jeans. He tunes out the rumble of traffic, ignores the diesel fumes. Soon, they’ll be gone and he’ll have the place to himself. He turns a corner, and though he doesn’t raise his head, his eyes flick from side to side, scanning both sides of the street, watching. This is his street, and if there’s anything new, anything missing, he’ll know it in an instant. But there’s nothing to cause concern. Not today. Today, the street is quiet as the grave. The red brick houses don’t just look empty, they seem abandoned: paint peeling from the doors, windows dull with grime, concrete yards cracked and sprouting tufts of grass.

Hank allows himself a grim smile. He’s almost home. He takes a breath, flaring his nostrils. It’s a hot summer day, and the humid air is tinged with a trace of decay. Every summer it’s the same. Hank’s dad, Mervin, says it’s the drains, but how the hell would he know? How the hell would he know about anything? His dad hasn’t set foot outside the house for years. For a heartbeat, Hank pictures his dad, imagines him shuffling from the sofa to the refrigerator, from the bathroom to the bedroom, back and forth, back and forth like a goddamned zombie. He pushes the thought away, pushes it as far as he can. But it isn’t easy. It’s hard to ignore someone when he relies on you for everything. Even harder when you see his face every time you look in the mirror.

Hank takes after his dad. Always has, always will. Everyone says it. And it’s not all bad. Back when he was in his prime, Mervin was a big man: taller than most and built like an athlete. A good man on the basketball court, Mervin played power forward for the college. He could’ve turned pro, so they say. But not Mervin. Ten years pushing paper for the army then kicked out on a disability pension. Hank could never figure it out, and truth be told, he didn’t often try.

Still, the genes came through. Hank has that stature, that poise. He walks like a military man: his shoulders square, his back straight, his arms hanging halfway loose by his side. It’s not much but it’s what he’s got, and it’s enough. Most of the time. The drunks and the vagrants leave him alone. And Hank has the knack of seeing trouble five minutes before it hits the fan. He does OK. He makes his own luck. Most of the time. And when things turn ugly, he’s fast enough on his feet to get the hell out of the way. (more…)

Apocalypse Z – Book 1 by Baileigh Higgins

Apocalypse Z – Book 1 by Baileigh Higgins

Survival is just the beginning

Find this book on online

The people of Springfield thronged the entrance of the shopping center, jostling for space as they fought their way inside. Angry shouts were overlaid by shrill screams and the cries of frightened children. The blare of car alarms filled the parking lot, and columns of black smoke rose against the skyline. A single ambulance pushed its way through the dense traffic, the first one she’d seen all day despite the bloodshed.

Dylan grabbed a free shopping cart and added her struggles to the rest of the crowd, trying to get inside the supermarket. Coming here was a huge risk, but she needed food and water, or she’d never survive the coming days.

Gritting her teeth, she shoved her way through a gap between two middle-aged women. They screeched at her like banshees, their hostility palpable in the chaotic atmosphere, but she ignored them like the clucking chickens they were.

With her eyes set straight ahead, Dylan continued to forge a path through the mass of bodies blocking her way. She couldn’t afford to care about anyone else or back down from a fight. It was every man for himself now, and people were desperate to survive. Desperate enough to kill, maim, or steal if need be. And I don’t plan on becoming a victim. (more…)

Dial G for Gravity – Sci-Fi Humor by Michael Campling

Dial G for Gravity – Sci-Fi Humor by Michael Campling

With a client in the shapely form of a gorgeous dame, a musclebound assistant, an alien with an attitude, and fish called Algernon, Brent uncovers a galactic conspiracy.

Find this book on online

Chapter 1
Earth
Brent Bolster opened his eyes and reached for the gun beneath his pillow. His bedroom, normally lit only by the intermittent scarlet glare from the neon barroom sign below his window, was bathed in an eerie green glow. The alarm clock? Brent’s fingers closed around the polished steel butt of his old-fashioned pulse pistol. Something isn’t right. For a start, he didn’t have an alarm clock. He’d owned such a thing at one time, but now there was only a hunk of molten plastic on his nightstand. He’d had a difference of opinion with the device over the intricacies of the daylight saving system, and the clock hadn’t glowed for a while; not since the flames went out anyhow. Brent closed his eyes. Green glow—so what? It was probably just one of his electronic devices letting him know it was still switched on, or maybe his handset needed recharging. The damned thing ate through carbon credits like they were going out of fashion. He let go of his pistol and rolled over onto his back, trying not to think about his next carbon bill. And someone cleared their throat.
Brent sat up straight, one hand sliding under the pillow. Where the hell was his pistol? He’d had it just one second ago. How could it be gone?
The alien standing beside his bed coughed politely. “Excuse me, but are you looking for something?”
“What the hell does it look like I’m doing?” Brent demanded. “Ah, what’s the use?” He stopped searching and eyed the alien. The creature was a typical Gloabon: tall, at least six feet four, and humanoid with the usual complement of arms and legs. Its head was roughly egg-shaped, the bald dome of its smooth skull catching the glow from the computer tablet the creature held in its hand. But at least this alien was fully clothed: decked out in a pristine blue flight suit, the tight material emphasizing its angular body. Brent hated it when the Gloabons showed up naked; it was enough to put him off chorizo for life. “So, what do you mean by busting in here in the middle of the goddamned night? What do you want?”
The alien grinned, its pale lips pulling tight to reveal a row of pointed white teeth. “Honored Earthling, my name is Rawlgeeb, and I’m pleased to say that tonight, I shall be your abductor.”
Brent groaned. “Not again.” He patted his hand across the cluttered surface of his nightstand, receiving only a small electric shock from the ruins of his digital clock, but then his fingers closed on his wallet. (more…)

Vengeance Lost by J. L. Stowers

Vengeance Lost by J. L. Stowers

When a star blows up, someone’s going to pay.

Find this book on online

Alaska’s Vengeance dropped out of hyperdrive and straight into hell.
“Shields up, full power.” Captain Dani Devereaux unclipped her harness and leapt out of her seat in one graceful motion. Her eyes studied the battlefield displayed on the large screen before the crew as she gave her next command. “Begin evasive maneuvers.”
“You got it, Captain,” First Officer Jag Reinhart called from his station. He projected the ship’s status and expertly manipulated the holograph. “Shields are up and here we go!”
The scene before them jolted sideways as the battleship veered to the side to avoid a barrage of fire. Dani stood in the middle of the bridge, watching the action unfold before her on the floor-to-ceiling display. The ship’s artificial gravity field worked relative to the ship, so despite the banks and rolls, she was able to maintain her balance effortlessly.
“Incoming communication,” Communications Officer Cassia Simpkins announced from her station seat.
“Let’s see it. Half screen.” (more…)

Flight of the 500 by C. D. Tavenor – New

Flight of the 500 by C. D. Tavenor – New

Join Raith on the adventure of a lifetime: The QuanCom 500 Light-Year Classic!

Find this book on online

The Viper, slingshotting around Europa, hit max acceleration on the far side of the Moon. Its pilot—using both his hands, his access to augmented reality, his instincts—arced the ship toward the next maneuver, a check-point situated in Io’s low orbit.
“Hector, give me updates!” Raith shouted to his crew through their private channel. Even as a synthetic intelligence, he couldn’t keep track of everything.
“Hold on, hold on, I’m getting you the latest over-unders. Give me sixty seconds.”
“You know how vital this part of the course is; I need it now!”
As Io neared, the Viper topped 100,000 kilometers per hour. It was like threading a needle through a target hidden inside a haystack, but he’d performed this maneuver a hundred times before.
“All right, all right,” Hector said over the com. “I’ve got it. Hundred to one odds on Carlos beating you here, ten to one Kana crashes . . . hundred to one you don’t crash.”
“Well then, glad they have so much faith in me.”
“Orders?”
Raith checked the encryption on their secure channel. All good. “Do it. You know what to do, as we discussed prerace.”
“On it.” (more…)

the collective scifi science fiction sf

Join The Collective

You'll get a weekly email of scifi snippets, all from new releases or discounted books.

Thanks! There's just one more thing to do. Please check your inbox for a confirmation message and click the link it contains. This is to avoid spam and a rupture in the space-time continuum.

Pin It on Pinterest