Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Winter's Tale

I can't believe it's December already. This year has flown by. As winter approaches, I've been asked to participate in another blogging event presented by Buzz Books, publisher of the two Young Adult anthologies that included my work in 2012, Prom Dates to Die For and Something Wicked.

First, the details of the Buzz Books blog tour and what they're offering readers for the holidays. Then, at the end of today's blog, a free short story with a Science Fiction Christmas theme, written by me.

To celebrate the holiday reading season, Buzz Books invites you to come along for a Sleigh Read. Get any Buzz Book (paperback or ebook) and we’ll gift you or someone you choose an ebook from our list (of equal or lesser value). Send your receipt of purchase to buzzbooksusa (at) me (dot) com and let us know which title you’d like gifted, the e-mail address to send it to, and nook or Kindle version.
Bloggers and authors will be featuring holiday posts and reviews from today through Dec. 31st. See the tour below and stop by those sites for a chance to win an ebook.
Thanks for celebrating stories with Buzz Books this year! We love our authors and readers.

Sleigh Read Tour Stops:
F Nov. 23rd: Author Malena Lott |
M Nov. 26th: Mom in a Minivan
W Nov. 28th: Author Dani Stone |
Th Nov. 29th: Earthbound Books
Sa Dec. 1st: Author Peggy Chambers |
Tu Dec. 4th: Fiction State of Mind
W Dec. 5th: Blogger Julie Barrett
T Dec. 6th: Author Heather Davis, TMI Mom
F Dec. 7th: Bookgasm guest post by Lucie Smoker
Su Dec. 9th: Author Aaron Smith – free holiday story
Th Dec. 13th: Author Jennifer McMurrain reviews Next Left
Fr Dec. 14th: Fantasy’s Ink guest post by Heather Dearly
W Dec. 19th: Chick Lit is Not Dead featuring Something New
Th Dec. 20th: Chick Lit is Not Dead featuring Next Left
F Dec. 21st: Chick Lit is Not Dead featuring Sleigh Ride

And the free, very short story:

                                                            By Aaron Smith                     

The scientists enter the Terran realm. There are many of them and they all coordinate at the same time in each cycle. For three-hundred and sixty-four trips around the local sun they have watched. On the three-hundred and sixty-fifth night, they enter the targeted space and begin their work. It is the small ones that interest them the most, for they prefer to study the Terrans in their purest forms, before the prejudices of age and experience wipe away the ability to think freely and imagine and perceive without assumption. 
            The point where it is easiest to open the wormhole is at the northernmost part of the planet. From there they emerge and divide the world into pre-assigned regions and the gathering of data begins, just as it has once every Earth-year for centuries. The portal opens and the mighty Quantum Steeds, animals specially bred for survival in the turbulent time-space jumps, carry their masters into the atmosphere.  
            The timing of the work to coincide with the Terrans’ observation of the celebration of their mythology has worked well, for it has been known to happen, on rare occasions, that one of the small test subjects wakes during the visitation and catches a glimpse of the scientist. One of the convenient aspects of the specific way in which the Terran mind works is that it interprets information in the way it most expects to be correct, often cancelling out the true nature of its perceptions.  The specimen’s momentary fright will soon turn to an expression of delight as it mistakes the intruder for a figure it longs to behold. The small ones sometimes tell their older counterparts of the sightings, but the adult Terrans dismiss the reports as imaginings.    
            The scientists travel quickly through the dark hours of the Terran cycle. Because time works differently on their kind and its technology, they cover more area than the native species of the world would be capable of. Their equipment is specifically designed for the mission. They clothe themselves in scarlet protective suits to withstand the things in the atmosphere that would otherwise poison them. Sensory tentacles protrude from the upper front region of the suits, pulling information into the portable data banks, recording both positive and negative readings about the behavior and personalities of those whose lives they analyze. The results are always double-checked.
            The scientists are not without the ability to appreciate irony and humor. Some among them are amused that what the Terrans usually imagine extraterrestrial intelligences to be like is so inaccurate, for the scientists are not green or gray and do not bear antennae.  Yet, at the same time, obese elderly males wear attire designed to imitate the protective suits and sensory tentacles and stand on the intersections of travel routes requesting currency to be dropped into metal receptacles to purchase nutrients for those without such resources.
            There are some among the scientists who wonder if their influence, unintentional of course, on the symbolism of the Terran society, has polluted the civilization they have worked so hard to study.                    

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