Friday, May 20, 2022

Simultaneous Times Podcast Episode 51, featuring "The Jellyfish from Nullabor" by Eric Farrell and "Apotheosis" by Joshua Green


Episode 51 of the Simultaneous Times podcast is now available, featuring stories by Eric Farrell and Joshua Green. Simultaneous Times is a science fiction podcast produced by Space Cowboy Books, a science fiction bookstore in Joshua Tree, California.
The stories featured in this episode are: 
The Jellyfish from Nullarbor - by Eric Farrell 
music by RedBlueBlackSilver
read by Jean-Paul Garnier

Apotheosis - by Joshua Green
music by Phog Masheeen
read by Jean-Paul Garnier

theme music by Dain Luscombe

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for May 20, 2022

It's time for the latest weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Star Trek Picard, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and the many other iterations of Star Trek, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Star Wars in general, Doctor Who past and present, The Time Traveler's Wife, The Northman, Firestarter, The Innocents, Conan the Barbarian at forty, RoboCop at thirty-five, the wave of TV show cancellations at The CW and CBS, tributes to Fred Ward and much more.

Speculative fiction in general:

Comics and Art:
Film and TV:
Tributes to Fred Ward: 
Comments on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and the many other iterations of Star Trek
Comments on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general (spoilers): 
Comments on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Star Wars in general: 

Comments on Doctor Who past, present and future:  
Conan the Barbarian at forty: 
RoboCop at thirty-five: 
Comments on Firestarter:
Writing, publishing and promotion:


Classics reviews:
Con and event reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:
Trailers and videos:

Friday, May 13, 2022

Speed of Dark by Patricia Ricketts


Release date: May 3, 2022
Subgenre: Magical Realism

About Speed of Dark:


Mary Em Phillips has decided to end it all after losing her beloved Mamie, who raised her; her husband, Jack, who has left her for another woman; and her only son, Petey, who has died as a result of a freak bacterial infection. But when Mosely Albright, a black man from Chicago’s South Side, comes to her back door one morning needing a drink of water and seeking directions back to the train, her plans are derailed . . . to the chagrin of Mishigami (so named by the Ojibwe, also known as Lake Michigan), who has been trying to lure Mary Em into his icy depths in the hopes that she will save him.

Mary Em wants nothing more than to end her anguish. Mosely is searching for the love he’s been missing most of his life. And Mishigami—who fears he is dying from rampant pollution and overfishing—seeks a champion.

A story of friendship, survival, connection and the unquestioning power of nature told through three distinct voices,
Speed of Dark affirms a love of humanity that transcends all else, including race and background.




A Night in the Woods    March 21, 2000              


Kermit gone? Good God Almighty. Mosely Albright keeps thinking, leaning against a tree, feeling his toes going from blue to purple, wondering why in the name of all creation he didn’t wear his boots. Grabbed his tennis shoes so fast to get outta there. Slashed them last summer to give his toes some breathing room. Felt good then. Lord. Not now. More like walking barefoot through the snow.

            But Reverend Pattrick’s call had come in so quick.

            ‘Mosely, you missing that little man from your mission…Calvin, is it? One who came with you to the Ecumenical Food Drive last month? Think I saw him running into the Tomlin Forest Preserves off Dundee Rd…’

            ‘You mean Kermit? Yeah, he’s gone. You seen him?’

Back Door           7:22 a. m.                 

‘Blasphemy, Maery Margaret—it’s against God’s will!’ 

Well, you’ll just have to understand, won’t you, Mamie?’

Of course, there is no response.

            Mary Em stares at the page of her open journal and it stares right back at her. Nothing comes from nothing, she thinks putting down her pen. She rips out the page and sets it on the table, pats it once and sighs. Killing time until she can head to the train. Killing time. What a laugh!

She picks up The Trib hoping something will grab her. Her eyes wander to her hand as it holds onto page three. Small, delicate fingers that look like Mamie’s, exposing the history of her life in their topography. She drops The Trib and traces a finger across the vein that writhes up the back of her hand. ‘Like the very snakes that slithered off the Green Isle at the Blessed Padraig’s command,’ Mamie would say as she studied her own hands. Then she’d shake her head and laugh. ‘…And me gettin’ closer to the slitherin’ off…’ Like it was no big deal.

She touches the hand again. “Yeah. Me too, Mamie...” Then a rush of fear races up her spine as she imagines the lake in front of her until she sees Mamie’s face. ‘Courage, dearie. We can do anything with a bit of sand in the craw.’ Oh, how Mamie had believed in her, always said there was something mighty about her. She’d grab her and hug her hard into her pillowy bosom. ‘Mind, you come from good Irish stock, dearie! Fit as a fiddle and ready to take on the Orangemen!’ That was Mamie—full of faith. And feist…


The Great Water                                                           

Some humans say I am unpredictable, given to sudden volatility interrupted by bouts of gloom. They would be correct. Others say I am whimsical, that caprice skips along my edges, sings on the crests of my waves, thrills at the variation of my hues. They would be correct too. Still others say I am stable, a vast and wide expanse providing power for their use and rumination for their overwrought souls. Ah, yes. They would also be correct.

Yet it matters not a whit to me who claims what.

I know what I am: sustenance and traffic, climate and reservoir, color and chorus. As rich in bounty as Gaia, Mother Earth; as vast in power as Zephros, Brother Wind; as profound in wealth as Aurelia, Sister Sun; as strong in reflective pull as La Lunette, the ever-changing coquette. However, while I am not as advanced in years as these dear relatives, my provenance is just as profound: I am offspring of ancient glaciers, child of heaven’s precipitations, spawn of the Inland Sea!

You see? Rich in history and poetry.




About Patricia Ricketts: 

PATRICIA RICKETTS received a lifelong love of music, the written word, the visual arts, and healthy arguing around the family dining room table, leading to an undergrad degree in English Literature and a Master in Written Composition. She penned various essays, short stories, poems, and novels during her 30-year career as a high school English teacher. However, her passion really took off when she received scholarship to the University of Edinburgh for Creative Writing. Since then, she has had short stories published in New Directions literary magazine, Realize Magazine, The Slate, Meta Magazine, The Blue Hour, on the Storied Stuff website, and in NPR’s “This I Believe” segment. She is currently working on her next novel, The End of June. Ricketts currently resides in Chicago with her partner.