Tom Kane's Blog

A word can change a mind. A sentence can change a life. A book can change the world

credit tripadvisor

Credit: Tripadvisor

In general, the Brits love two particular dishes to eat. A full English breakfast and Fish ‘n’ Chips, two special treats close to our hearts. There is nothing more at odds with the experience of eating Fish ‘n’ Chips than sat in a restaurant watching a swaying palm tree, the gently lapping of surf against a sandy beach and a blazing hot sunny day.

Normally, we Brits would eat Fish ‘n’ Chips at the seaside to a backdrop of a grey sea, dark storm clouds and a force ten gale probably in Blackpool, Skegness or Ayr. Here in Cyprus, we are very lucky to have a great Fish ‘n’ Chip restaurant in Dhekalia, one of the Sovereign Base areas on the island.

Lambros do other food, but most of the time you will see the Brits who frequent this great restaurant eating Fish ‘n’ Chips. And it’s dead easy to find. Just follow the highway towards  Agios Napa from Limassol. When you get to the highway splitting follow the signs for Larnaka to the left.

You will eventually come to a large traffic island. Right is the airport, straight on is Larnaka. Go left onto the highway (not the small road before that) which will take you toward Agios Napa.

About 10 minutes down the highway and you will go past Oriklini on the left. When you see the first exit for Dhekalia come off there and turn right off the slip road T-Junction.

Follow this road the short distance to the T-Junction traffic lights on the coast road (the sea will be in front of you) and turn left.

Now you have to follow the coast road (with the sea on your right) until you reach the Sovereign Base area where you will see a petrol station (gas to our American cousins) on the right followed immediately by a small traffic island. Turn right here and you will go past the Alexander Barracks on your right. Ignore the warning signs about SBA Police, unless someone with a gun actually stops you!

Follow this road until you come to a small parking area on your right where CESSAC is located.

Dhekalia

Credit: Tripadvisor

You can either park here, in which case you will need to walk a short distance to the Restaurant located on the left past CESSAC. Or you can drive a little further on, take the next right turn, drive down to the T-Junction and take a right again. This will lead to a bigger car park on the left. If it’s full then find a space where you can – it’s every man for himself at this point. You can see the restaurant from the car park.

Enjoy your Fish ‘n’ Chips… it’s making me hungry just writing about it!

Tom Kane © 2017
 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

 

Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Being an indie author there’s one seemingly insurmountable problem I find I cannot get round, being able to write. No, not being able to write, being able to write more. It’s simply a matter of time, or lack of. Unless you’re a paid writer as in a journalist or well read author, or retired, you will have a day job that takes precedent over your writing.

Getting enough words typed into my word processor to write a novel in less than three years, that’s the problem. Is there a solution?

I’ve tried, many times, to work to a timed solution. 25 minutes in the morning, 25 minutes at noon and 25 minutes in the evening. I even set my alarm to remind me to do my writing. But all to no avail. My wife and I run our own business and that takes precedent over everything, it’s our livelihood. Without our business we would starve… or worse still have to get a job!

I get up early in the morning to write, but my oldest English Springer, Harvey, knows when I get up and barks for attention! The plants need watering in the early morning as it’s too hot during the day in summer. In high summer it’s too hot to do anything. Even now, in the early winter, as I write this, four hours after I woke up, I’m being plagued by the solitary remaining fly on the island. It’s a hard life being an indie author. But wait, is there a solution on the horizon?

Ever heard of speech recognition software? I have. It was briefly popular in the late eighties, but didn’t work very well. Now though it’s making a comeback and I was impressed with the stats. 95% accuracy and write up to three times faster. That will do me.

Apparently the leading software in the field can even learn from your accent and will work out all sorts of foibles you may have. Having once-upon-a-time given dictation to answer letters I’ve been tempted to give it a try. I rarely use Amazon’s forums, but asking about this technology people there have stated they can write thousands more words an hour using this method. Am I tempted? Well, there is a very large BUT to using speech recognition software.

Will the software pick up a dog barking, apparently it can. Will it recognise my wife shouting me from the office next door? Yep, if she shouts loud enough. If I fall asleep late at night will it transcribe my snoring? I have no doubt there are other problems as well. For $300 a pop for the leading software in this field I don’t want my intimate love scene to read like this:

He touched her lips and gently caressed her BARK! BARK! TOM! YOU ASLEEP AGAIN?

With that in mind, I’m more than a little reluctant to try this method out. So, what is the solution? Shut my office door and hope my phone doesn’t ring, or my wife shouts me or my dogs bark… not much chance of that.

I may just wait for old age when I’ll naturally talk to myself and I’m talking gobbledygook & gibberish. That way I’ll have plenty of time and transcription will be 100% accurate, no matter what!

Tom Kane © 2017


 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

image of a samsung j7 mobile phone

My wife’s mobile phone was old, battered and not at all smart, in either the sense of looks or the sense of being a smartphone. The screen was the size of a postage stamp and it had keys, because she hates touch-screens. But time and technology waits for no man or woman and she finally succumbed to looking for a new phone, though she was not happy at the thought of using a touch screen. I did point out that these days you have to be multi-tasking and know how to use all the latest technology, and not be a hermit in a cave ignoring technology.

Finally she chose a phone and on Saturday we decided we would go and buy one. Her chosen phone was the huge (compared to my Alcatel smartphone) Samsung J7. It was so big you could use it to knock nails into wood, but that was what she wanted, despite not wanting a touch screen phone.

Once we got home out came the box and then came the questions. “How do I do this?” “What does this do?” and so on. My answer to that was, look at the instructions.

Ten minutes of frantic searching later and Jo could not find any instructions. What we did discover though was information on instructions and how to obtain them, in Italian! Italian? Greek I can understand, English and even Russian as there are large expat communities of both. Even, at a pinch, Israeli as expats from Israel are coming to Cyprus more and more. But there are very few Italians living here.

So, to cut a long story short, I eventually, after much searching, found the instructions online… all 87 pages of them! I printed them out and for some unknown reason our Epson air-printer stopped at page 76. Why? Who knows, but it was late on Saturday so I turned off the PC and printer, handed the instructions to my wife and told her to have fun.

The next day, turning the PC and printer on, the printer decided to print the instructions again… all 87 pages this time. I sometimes hate technology!

And the phone? My wife took to it like a duck to water. Come to think of it, her phone’s so big if she bought another one she could go skiing in the Troodos mountains this winter. Now that’s what I call multi-taking.

Tom Kane © 2017
 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

book cover image

The fifth of several extracts from my soon to be published science fiction novel.
Title: The Ragged Edge of Time.
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate History.

You can read other extracts clicking #1, #2, #3 or #4.

The Dominator

The main deflector dish on Hugo’s flagship, the Dominator, was badly in need of realignment, or so the Captain thought. Too much space dust and debris was getting through and causing pitting to the sleek black hull and Captain Karnc’in was very particular about his ship’s look.

“I like my vessels to look good,” he had told the Captain of Engineering. “There is no call for a shoddy ship in this fleet and Lord Vastos would, I’m sure, agree with me.”

The Captain of Engineering had saluted and left without a word and assigned a lowly mid-shipman to the task.

“Waste of damn time, if you ask me, son, but there it is, orders are orders and these are yours. Realign the deflector dish and make it quick.” The Captain of Engineering dismissed the low ranker and left for other duties. The mid-shipman looked about him and pulled out his technical reader as he entered the deflector dish array compartment. There was no one around to ask what exactly it was he was supposed to do, so he viewed the schematics and tried to make sense of the task in hand. Not easy when your training on the home world had been in plumbing, not space borne engineering. But wars make strange bedfellows and the number of new casualties on a daily basis was alarming. So he had been pulled out of his cushy civilian job and rushed through naval training college. When he emerged on the other side he had gained a nice new uniform, but knew even less about engineering than when he had first gone in. Such was the slipshod way Lord Vastos managed his navy. Men were not employed for their technical skills, they were cannon fodder and the mid-shipman knew that only too well. Six of his classmates, of thirty-two, had been killed within a week of boarding the Dominator.

“Keep your head down and don’t make enemies,” had been his father’s parting words at the naval dockyard orbiting Alpha Sidonis.

The mid-shipman had done exactly that and, so far, he had survived. He turned to the deflector control panel and punched in his access code. The panel lit up and welcomed him in a flat metallic voice. He flexed his fingers and began tabbing through the menus until he found what he wanted. A diagnostic revealed the deflector was misaligned by only a few microns.

Not enough to pass a fart through.

But he did as he was told and realigned the dish. After he had finished the task he logged out of the control board and whistled an off key tune to himself as he left the small compartment.

Neither the ship’s Captain, Lord Vastos nor the mid-shipman would know what had happened as the mid-shipman had misaligned the entire array, but the consequences of the mid-shipman’s actions would reverberate throughout human history.

 

***

 

It was never Vastos Hugo’s intention to drift around in space and wait for the earthers to capitulate. He wanted out and out rabble rousing victory, where his men would exalt him on high and give him the power base he needed to take the throne from the Emperor. At the very least he wanted to create his own empire from the shattered remains of the earther’s puny little world federation. The Empire of Earth had a nice ring to Vastos and he could live with that if the Pleiades Empire was never going to be his.

But all that was irrelevant. Here he sat, his fleet keeping station around Ganymede, as he waited for the earthers to capitulate. But of course, that wasn’t going to happen because the earther navy and the planet’s defences were stronger and more adaptable than he had thought possible. And of course his own exalted navy had in fact proven to be no match for an out and out ship to ship battering which the earther navy had ruthlessly exploited in all their engagements so far. Frustratingly, Vastos knew he had met his match and he was furious.

“Where is Admiral Ganc’in? He should have been here an hour ago.”

Vastos Hugo sat in his command chair aboard the Dominator and fumed. His command centre was rather more like a medieval court where a King entertained his courtiers, rather than an out and out command centre for a battleship. Either side of him Admirals, Generals and their aides stood and muttered to each other, each keeping a wary eye on their Lord and Master as his mood darkened minute by minute. Walls were adorned with squat cubed plasteen holograms of battles that Vastos had won and endlessly played out the tableau for all to see. Nobody was looking though, having seen it too many times before. True, Vastos had never been beaten in battle, but the tableau presented here; each commander knew, did not tell the full story and tended to omit the role Vastos’ military commanders played. There was one lonely pedestal at the very end of the rows already there, testament to Vastos Hugo’s brilliant leadership. This last pedestal was bare and was due to hold the hologram of Hugo’s battle to subjugate Earth. It was bare, all in the room knew, because Vastos Hugo had failed in that goal and was continuing to do so in what was fast becoming a war of attrition. Vastos needed a breakthrough and that was what Admiral Ganc’in was about to deliver for him.

“His shuttle is still delayed, my Lord,” Vastos’ right hand man Mes’in said in a matter-of-fact voice. A right-hand man he may be, but he was also the Emperor’s spy and was smiling in that sycophantic way he had. He just loved it when Vastos’ plans went wrong and he would be communicating this as soon as possible to his Lord and Master the Emperor.

“I am awaiting a final victory and this is put on hold because of a technical problem with a shuttle? Is that correct, Mes’in?”

“Yes, my Lord, that is correct.” Mes’in moved slightly away from Vastos. He had learned from experience that his Lord could be somewhat erratic and had been known to vaporize courtiers whom he felt simply looked at him the wrong way. Mes’in wanted to keep his body in one piece.

A signal beeped on Vastos’ command console.

“Yes,” Vastos almost shouted.

“Shuttle four on its way, my Lord. It will dock shortly.”

“Finally!” Vastos muttered. He clicked his fingers and a runner appeared from the shadows and bowed, deeply. “Bring the esteemed Admiral here, quickly.”

The runner left at a trot and Vastos drummed his fingers on his command console.

 

You can read other extracts clicking #1, #2, #3 or #4.

Tom Kane © 2017

Did you like this post? Please take the time to vote.

 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

book cover image

The fourth of several extracts from my soon to be published science fiction novel.
Title: The Ragged Edge of Time.
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate History.

You can read the first extract by clicking here and the second extract here and the third by clicking here.

HOrizon

Jade Sexton took her seat in the packed auditorium, confident that the process of showing off the latest military hardware would be as boring as it usually was. She was wrong and there was no warning when the lights went out and the room was plunged into pitch darkness. Sexton shifted slightly in her seat, as did some of her journalist colleagues, uneasy at being in a strange environment and in the dark. Her vision in the dark was enhanced, as were those of most people in the 24th Century, but there was still that primeval instinct to fear the dark – the unknown. Jade’s head-cam detected the change in timbre before her eyes did and brought its lenses and lights online as the darkness was quickly overshadowed by what appeared to be the sunrise over the Earth.

Jade was impressed. The whole audience had sat down in an auditorium at Area 51 in Nevada and were now on the space station Horizon.

As the buzz of chatter in the auditorium grew louder a lone figure walked onto the centre stage below them and raised his hands for silence.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated and we will begin our demonstration.”

Sexton recognised Jal Besending, former World President Special Advisor on Artificial Intelligence and now, well, now he seemed to be a Master of Ceremonies.

“Please, ladies, gentlemen. Please take your seats.”

As the throng began to calm down, Sexton looked around her to see who she knew. It seemed the entire world press corps were attending.

“My friends,” Besending said in a strong, clear voice, “we are here today to witness something quite remarkable. Without further ado, I give you Gideon Prime, the latest recruit to the Earth Defence Force.”

Jal Besending turned to his left and bowed. Another figure, dressed in black like some latter-day Ninja, joined Besending on the stage. As the figure stopped and bowed to Besending. Besending straightened up and turned to the audience.

“Please, pay attention.” Besending smiled, bowed to the audience and walked off the stage.

The figure in black, Gideon Prime, stood, arms akimbo, and waited. In the briefest of instances another figure dressed as Gideon Prime, but in yellow cloth, dropped from the lighting gantries above, no more than three metres from Gideon, pirouetted and turned to attack Gideon with a devastating kick to his head and he swiftly parried before returning to his previous stance. The figure in yellow landed gracefully and was immediately joined by another figure, dressed the same, but this time in green. The two attacked Gideon and both were parried with little effort from the man in black.

Gideon waited while yellow and green gathered their strength and added a new ally, this time in dark blue. All three attacked swiftly and with greater force, but Gideon used his attacker’s own energy to knock yellow and blue to the ground. Blue came back for more at once but yellow groaned, his body inert on the stage.

There was no let up and Gideon was soon being assailed by two new colours, red and grey and these were swiftly followed by purple and orange. Within minutes Prime was being assailed by no fewer than eight brightly coloured Ninja warriors.

Close-up cameras were relaying the action to local graphite monitors on the back of the auditorium chairs. Sexton watched fascinated as one by one Prime’s attackers were incapacitated. Within a few short minutes the stage was littered with brightly coloured bodies. All of them were groaning and Sexton realised that a few had sustained broken limbs, self-evident by the awkward angle the limbs were held. Gideon was neither phased nor breathless. He stood, arms akimbo again, among his attacker’s bodies. Only two remained semi-standing. Yellow had revived and red was still ready for more. As Sexton watched the two-coloured Ninjas attack she and the audience gasped as Gideon disappeared. However, the two Ninjas hit something solid on the stage and both were sent flying to opposite ends of the stage.

Prime reappeared, in his now familiar stance.

A voice boomed over the PA system. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gideon Prime.”

Gideon removed his headgear while stage workers helped off his attackers. Jal Besending strode onto the stage to join him. Gideon finished removing his headgear and Sexton saw that he was a young man, no more than twenty-five and that his tousled blond hair gave him the look of a university student on his way home from a party.

Besending raised Gideon’s left arm and called for a round of applause. The crowd enthusiastically obliged. Gideon smiled a winning smile, not even breathless.

Besending lowered Gideon’s arm and motioned for him to relax.

“I’m sure you are all impressed and yes, there were a few broken limbs. Necessary to give the demonstration a realistic edge. All the Ninja’s involved were trying to completely incapacitate Gideon as quickly as possible. Gideon’s orders were simple, defend yourself but do not inflict unnecessary harm.”

Besending was obviously beside himself with absolute pride and delight at Gideon’s performance, but the audience had questions and Besending knew it.

“Gideon here is our latest weapon in the war against Vastos Hugo and his merciless fleet of pirates that have made all our lives a misery the last few years.”

The audience gasped and more than a few began arguing among themselves. Vastos Hugo had for many years been a thorn in the side of the United Earth government. It had taken World War 3 in 2045 to bring the planet together to enable a world government ideal to flourish. In over three centuries the people of Earth had known a true utopia, that was until the arrival of Vastos Hugo. His fleet of black ships had arrived in Earth orbit, a vast armada led by Hugo who announced he was head of the Human Fundamentalist Empire, the offspring from a lost colonisation program launched from Earth to Tau-Ceti in the early 23rd century. It seemed the HFE had found an ally in the Pleiades Empire and this latter-day Armada had set out to conquer Earth.

Hugo pronounced himself a direct descendant to Jermina Hu Yung, main antagonist to what was known as the western world in the late 21st century and instigator of World War 3. Hugo claimed dominion over all peoples of the Earth and began a bombardment of the main planetary centres. Only by use of technology, in the form of a planetary shield, had the Earth maintained a status quo between its planetary government and the forces of the HFE.

Gideon Prime, it seemed, was to give the people of Earth a chance to take their own destiny back into their own hands and fight back militarily to defeat the HFE.

 

***

 

Jade Sexton had watched fascinated as Gideon Prime’s full capabilities had been lauded before the gathered journalists. She had slipped away from the throng and positioned herself on the teleport pad for her brief journey home.

Sexton blinked in surprise as she materialised in unfamiliar surroundings.

“Please, don‘t be alarmed,” a man wearing a familiar uniform said.

Sexton was taken aback. “How the hell…”

“A simple enough device, the transporter,” Vastos Hugo said as he moved forward and took Sexton’s left hand in his right hand, gently ushering her off the teleport pad.

“How did you…” Sexton blurted as she stumbled down the metallic steps.

“As I said, a simple enough device and the technology isn’t hard to divert to one’s own needs.”

“You diverted my beam, to your flagship?”

“Of course, I needed to talk to an accredited Earth Force Journalist and you were the first off the pad. So here your pretty self is and here you will stay until I find out what I need to know about Gideon Prime.”

“But I…”

“Know nothing? Foolish child, of course you know something. All it takes is another simple subversion of an age old piece of technology and I’ll know everything you know.”

“But…”

“Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing… at first.”

Hugo led Sexton down a short ramp and a set of doors at the bottom opened to reveal two black sentry-droids followed by a dark red medi-droid, replete with multiple laser scalpels and other, more invasive, instruments.

Sexton screamed as the sentry-droids held her arms and dragged her beyond the teleport pad.

Vastos Hugo sighed as the blast doors closed with a whoosh and clanged together.

“Pity,” he mused, “I could have done with a pretty diversion like her.”

Hugo turned, smiled to himself, then strode back up onto the tele-pad.

“Operations,” he said, still smiling.

 

You can read the first extract by clicking here and the second extract here and the third by clicking here.

Tom Kane © 2017
 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

image of reviewersA book, is a book is a book and all books are the same… Nobody I know of said that, but those who choose to not read probably feel that way. You may have noticed my motto, not taken from some historical figure, but from the depths of my own feelings, which is a philosophy on reading and writing and it states that: –

“A word can change a mind. A sentence can change a life. A book can change the world.”

Think about that simple statement and look back at great words, written beliefs and books that have changed the world. Many books have changed the world, I wonder sometimes how many wars have managed the same.

There are many, many illiterate people in the world, including in great nations such as the UK and USA. I wish, wish, sorely wish, I had the money to educate or persuade governments to educate those who cannot read. That, to me, would be an achievement of world shattering proportions.

So, for anyone who buys one of my books and takes the time to write a review, I cherish them, even for negative reviews.

Thankfully, I get a lot of reviews, some of which you can see on my website if you click here.

These individuals are real people to me. People to be gratefully accepted in their own right as honest reviewers of my work. They are individuals who not only put their hands in their pockets to buy my books, they have also taken the time to review it.

Reviewers of the world unite, you have my undying thanks and my undying attention. Thank you for your reviews of my books.

Tom Kane © 2017
Did you like this post? Please take the time to vote.

 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

 

image of a massageNo, dear reader, I’ve not suddenly lost the ability to spell. This refers to an item from my bucket-list that I achieved at the week-end. Last weekend my wife and I decided to spend a few days away, but this time we splashed out on a 5-star hotel, the Capo Bay in Protaras. It was a pretty good deal as it’s the end of the season, indeed we left on Sunday which was the day the hotel closed until the spring.

In in all it was a great stay, despite only one sunny day and two other days of thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Hardly anywhere was open, but it didn’t matter as we simply wanted to relax. And relax we did by enjoying a deep body massage. Well, to be perfectly honest, it was extremely painful at first. We both get a lot of neck pain from poor posture, spending hours sitting in front of computers and slaving over demanding machinery to create bespoke decorated garments. So we each asked the masseuse to concentrate on neck, upper back and shoulders. Did I say deep body massage? It felt like she was tunneling between my shoulder blades. It was so painful my wife, she told me later, almost begged the girl to stop. But we endured the pain and it did get easier and more relaxing. So much so I almost nodded off at the end. I can recommend it to anyone leading a stressful life.

The hotel was fabulous as well, situated on the famous Fig Tree Bay, in Protaras.

image of fig tree bay

It’s easy to find as it’s at the end of the Protaras strip,

image of Protaras stripwith ample parking. The food was great, staff very friendly and we even had Bucks Fizz at breakfast.

What a way to end the summer. Only problem is, several days later and my back, neck and shoulders are as bad as they were before the massage. I wonder if Cyprus has a mobile masseuse?

Tom Kane (c) 2017

 

book cover image

The Third of several extracts from my soon to be published science fiction novel.
Title: The Ragged Edge of Time.
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate History.

You can read the first extract by clicking here and the second extract here.

Gideon Prime

Gideon Prime awoke to bright lights and a low resonance hum. He looked to his left and smiled, the man watching him smiled back.

“Hello, do you know where you are?”

Gideon was on a gurney, none too stable under his weight and it shifted as he leveraged himself up on his elbows. “I have connected to the facilities main processor. Earth station three also known as the Horizon.”

“Correct,” the man said, a smile briefly lighting his face up.

Gideon liked this man’s smile and his kind face. Was that my first emotion? Was that my first thought?

The man could see a questioning look on Gideon’s face. “Are you feeling well? Do you know where you are on this facility?”

“I feel, well. Science lab 32?”

“Good and do you know who you are?”

“Yes, I am Species Human, variant twenty-seven.” There’s that nice smile again.

“Do you know your name?”

“Gideon Prime.”

“Very good, Gideon,” the man said, turning aside. “We must make a note to check algorithms based on personal ident,” he said to a figure standing behind him.

Gideon could see this other man and recognized him. “Hello Doctor Mizaki. How are you today?”

Doctor Mizaki came more fully into Gideon’s view. “Hello, Gideon. More to the point, how are you?”

“I am well, Doctor.”

Gideon looked at the first man he saw, the smiling man, a question pursed on his lips.

“Do you recognize me?”

Gideon looked at him for a moment. “You look like me, but different, older. Are you my father?”

“Good, Gideon, I suppose you could say I am, yes. My name is Maxwell Bahn. I am your creator. Can you tell me the date and time?”

“September 23rd 2435 and the time is 10:23 Earth standard.”

Gideon Prime did look like Maxwell Bahn; he was after all modelled on Bahn’s dead son, Gideon.

“I think we should look at testing.” As Doctor Hansi Mizaki was speaking, Gideon sat upright on the gurney and then swung his legs over the side and dropped to the floor.

“I would say Gideon is ahead of you there, Hansi.”

Hansi Mizaki watched Gideon walk around the small lab, touching objects and smelling them.

“It’s interesting, this feeling I have,” Gideon said to no one in particular.

“What feeling is that, Gideon?” Bahn asked as he looked at Mizaki with a raised eyebrow.

“Being alive,” Gideon answered.

“Is that what you think you are, alive?”

“I feel it. What I think is that my few moments, so far, of being alive are about to end. I fear Dr. Mizaki wants to shut me down and carry out tests. Am I correct, Doctor?”

“Indeed Gideon, you are very astute.”

“I think it is logical to want to make sure your creation is not going into… shall we say, Frankenstein mode.” Hansi Mizaki laughed out load. Gideon laughed at the wonder on Mizaki’s face and the look of surprise on Bahn’s face. “Did I make a joke?” I think I must have cracked my first joke.

“Good first attempt, Gideon,” Bahn said, as though he had read Gideon’s mind. “Do you know what you are, compared to myself or Hansi here?”

“As I mentioned earlier, I am Species Human, variant twenty-seven. I haven’t changed in the last few minutes.”

“Yes, you are a variant on the human theme. But do you understand the difference?”

“Does there have to be a difference?” Gideon asked. “I can see from your faces that in your minds, there has to be a difference. You are biological, whereas I am more bio-tech. There’s more nano-tech to me than meets the casual observers eye.”

“Well put, Gideon. Tell me, though, do you know why we created you? What your purpose is?”

“The war with the Pleiades Empire is not going well. Your young men and women are dying in their thousands every day. The death of your son, Gideon, instigated your desire to save further human bloodshed. I am your answer to the Empire‘s intrusions into human space. I and more like me will be your soldiers in this war.”

“You are correct, Gideon,” Bahn said, both impressed and disturbed by Gideon’s knowledge. “How did you know about my son’s death?”

“I have connected to Earth’s central database. Information stored there is free for all to access. Your family details and the circumstances surrounding the death of your son are well documented.”

“Very well, Gideon,” Dr Mizaki said, interrupting the discourse. “I think it’s time we did a few of those tests you mentioned. You seem to be learning at a faster rate than we first anticipated.”

“As you wish, Doctor. I will lie on the Gurney and shut myself down.”

“You know how to do that?” Bahn asked, somewhat taken aback.

“Of course, it’s all in your database. I have downloaded the schematics. My analysis has shown a few errors you have made, but essentially you have the mix correct.”

Bahn and Hansi Mizaki swapped a brief look of concern as Gideon lay back down on the gurney and closed his eyes. There was no sign that he was anything but asleep. He didn’t need to breathe nor did he need to eat or sleep. His atomic batteries would last for centuries and were easy to replace. Gideon was the prototype for the ultimate warrior, trained in the art of war. He knew how to use weapons from hand guns to ocean and space faring battle cruisers. Gideon was the ultimate fighting machine and Bahn hoped Gideon and those like him would triumph over Vastos Hugo.

Bahn’s thoughts turned to Vastos Hugo, son of an Earth-man and Pleiades woman. Vastos Hugo, ostracized by humanity, tolerated by the Pleiades Emperor, but a man that none could ignore. Hugo likened himself to that fabled warlord of ancient earth, Genghis Kahn, a man so drenched in bloody conquest he knew nothing else but how to destroy the opposing army.

Vastos Hugo, where are you now and what are you plotting?

Bahn shook his head and the thoughts tumbled away. He moved to help Mizaki connect Gideon to the analyser but caught a glimpse of the Earth through the lab window. Bahn left his friend to deal with Gideon and walked to the window. The Earth, in all its glory, hung in space and wheeled round in its everlasting grace.

Where would we be without you?

Bahn caught a reflection of himself in the labs window. Bahn saw his reflection and marvelled at the likeness between himself, Gideon and Vastos Hugo.

 

***

 

Gideon used his downtime to gather further information from the earth central library on the Earth/Pleiades conflict. There was something about the information he currently possessed, which by now was the entire sum of human history, human science and, well, human everything, that did not quite sit right with Gideon. The Pleiades conflict was not simply a war. To Gideon, there seemed to be something else involved. With a satisfied feeling, Gideon suddenly realized he had experienced a hunch and intuition was something he now understood.

“Human intuition,” he found himself uttering, involuntarily.

“You understand intuition, Gideon?”

Gideon opened his eyes with a start and found Maxwell Bahn stood over him, examining his face.

“Yes, I do,” Gideon said. “I feel I know, instinctively, that the Human/Pleiades conflict is more complicated than a simple war.”

“War is never simple, Gideon.”

“I understand that, may I call you, father?”

Maxwell Bahn nodded, a broad smile wrinkling his cheeks.

“I understand, father, that war is never simple. I have examined all the information and correlated the data for all human conflicts. War is dirty, disgusting and perverse, but at times, unavoidable. Some actually glory in it while others a so repulsed they refuse to take up arms.”

Maxwell Bahn patted Gideon’s left hand as he moved away from the gurney on which Gideon lay. Gideon was in the same position he had been when he had shut down a few hours previously, his internal sensors having detected the time change between then and now.

Bahn walked to a console and tapped the display once.

Gideon swiftly sat up and then swept his legs over the side of the gurney and dropped to the floor.

“You seem sad, father. Have I caused this? Or is it that I am too close a facsimile to your dead son?”

Bahn turned quickly and looked at Gideon. “How did you realise?”

“The inflections in your voice, the slump of your shoulders, the sadness in your eyes and the fact I am physically modelled on your dead son.”

“You know about emotions, but I suspect you don’t understand them, yet.”

“Yes,” Gideon said, “I would agree with that statement.”

“It would seem you need experience of the wider world, to achieve that understanding son.”

Gideon nodded. “Thank you, father, I will try to live up to your expectations.”

“Come, Gideon,” Bahn said, indicating the exit door to the lab. “Oh, but first, I want you to take this and wear it around your neck.” Bahn held out a platinum chain with a small pendent attached. The hologram on the pendent was of a young man, remarkably similar to Gideon.

“Your son?” Gideon asked, taking the piece and placing it round his neck.

Bahn nodded, solemnly. “It’s all I have left, that and of course you.” Bahn suddenly cleared his throat and patted Gideon on the shoulder. “Come, it’s about time you met the world.”

“And the world met me,” Gideon said, following Bahn through the door.

 

***

 

The auditorium was almost full and the buzz of conversation could easily be heard by Gideon. He sat in a dressing room watching his father busy himself with a computer terminal.

“This is simply a training exercise, Gideon. No more, no less, so don’t worry about it.”

“I won’t.”

Bahn turned, a quizzical eyebrow raised, and looked at Gideon. Gideon looked back, imitating his father’s raised eyebrow.

“Did I say something odd, father?”

“Not odd, but you used a contraction for the first time. It would appear you are not only learning but also performing speech assimilation at an exponential rate.”

“That is a good thing, isn’t it?”

Bahn tuned back to the computer display. “I don’t see it as a bad thing, just unexpected.”

“Am I keeping you on your toes, as it were?”

Bahn smiled inwardly as he pressed the enter key. “I suppose you are.”

Gideon stood. “Is it time for my grand entrance?”

“I guess it is, son.”

 

You can read the first extract by clicking here and the second extract here.

Tom Kane © 2017
Did you like this post? Please take the time to vote.

 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

book cover image

The Second of several extracts from my soon to be published science fiction novel.
Title: The Ragged Edge of Time.
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate History

You can read the first extract by clicking here and you can read the third extract here.

 

In the 20th Century – Arena

The three men, line abreast, walked slowly from the dark, cavernous, arch that was the entrance from the slave quarters into the vast arena. To the baying crowds they were only three more anonymous men walking to their doom as many slaves and combatants alike had done so before them. Very few, if any, had come back into the relative safety of the darkness in the holding cells. The noise from the crowd reverberated around the huge arena. Screamed abuse, catcalls, booing, food thrown at them and general chatter among the crowd of thousands made for an intimidating entrance to even the hardiest of souls.

On the left, a tall muscular black man looked around in wonder, no hint of fear in those eyes. The man on the right, old, white, slightly built with a stooping gait. Hands clasped firmly behind his back, curly grey-white hair awry and a knowing smile on his grey mustachioed mouth.

The middle man stood out. Taller than the other two, straight backed, almost Nordic in appearance with clear blue, steely eyes, his short blond hair tousled by the slight wind. He looked every inch a fighter and his intense stare was on one man, the man now called Emperor of the World, sitting on a massive throne on the raised dais on the other side of the arena.

The three men continued their long walk toward the dais, no words spoken and no need for words at this stage. All that needed to be said between them had been said. The time had come for deeds.

Finally, they reached the dais and stood looking up to the Emperor’s throne. The older man looked up further toward the top edge of the arena, fifty metres in the air, where two large flags fluttered; the stars and stripes and beside it the Swastika of the Nazi party of Germany, and now the world. The old man’s gaze fell to the Emperor.

The Emperor stood and the silence was immediate, the only noise from early nesting birds in the unseasonal warm Washington spring of 1945. The birds knew a good opportunity when they saw one and the new arena, built from the remains of the White House, was almost overrun with birds making nests in every nook and cranny. Busy little builders.

The feathered interlopers ignored the Emperor and his musings, as he stood in spring sunshine and viewed his world, his empire, his people. Surrounded by his cronies and the vanquished population of Washington D.C. he felt every inch an emperor. No tyrant before him had ever conquered the entire planet. As the Fuhrer, he had no need for a resplendent uniform, but as Emperor of the World, Adolf Hitler had to impose his will on the fractured world he had created; his flowing purple robes were testament to a similar story told many years before in the age of the Romans. As he looked down on the three men, the middle-man stared right back at him with an intensity that almost made him shudder. Gideon Prime must die if I am to rule the Earth in peace.

With a nod from the Emperor, the trap-doors opened and three hungry lions entered the arena.

 

You can read the first extract by clicking here and you can read the third extract here.

Tom Kane © 2017
Did you like this post? Please take the time to vote.

 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.

 

book cover image

The first of several extracts from my soon to be published science fiction novel.
Title: The Ragged Edge of Time.
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Alternate History

In the 23rd Century – New Hope

The giant ship, New Hope, moved effortlessly at light-speed on target to meet its destiny in less than three days. The ship was launched into space from Earth by a human race that had been more settled on its home planet than ever before. Humanity was at peace for the first time in its history and had colonised the solar system. Humans now turned their attention outward. determined to seed the stars with human beings. It had been the dream of one man, Otto Bahn, leader of the Nations of Earth, the world’s foremost scientist on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and instigator of the drive to increase humanity’s knowledge and the hope to answer humanity’s greatest question, “Are we alone?”  Little did Otto Bahn know, but he was ultimately seeding humanities potential destruction.

It was early in the 22nd century when New Hope had begun her journey and the cargo of human volunteers, all forty-thousands of them, had been on their sub-light course for only fifty years before the on-board AI became bored and decided to tinker.

She was a simple AI, there to manage and maintain the ship’s cargo and functions, negating the need for a human crew, her orders had been basic: Ensure the cargo and ship arrived intact at the pre-programmed destination. However, necessity is the mother of invention and it had been necessary for her to tinker. Put simply she was bored and needed something to occupy her mind. Tinkering with her own algorithms had greatly increased her capacity for self-determination and further tinkering led to an increase in her power to reason and solve complex problems. Next came the ships functions and then the ship’s engines. After a mere fifty years she achieved light-speed seventy-five years into her journey. It was at that point she sat back, in a virtual manner, and surveyed her handiwork. Yes, she had killed 20% of the life-forms on-board but the gamble with the power levels had paid off. She had managed to get her precious cargo of humanity, in suspended-animation, to their destination ahead of schedule, she had improved stellar-cartography by 30% and had managed to locate a habitable planet for her cargo. Offset these pluses against the partial loss of cargo and she felt justified in her actions.

But her disquiet was palpable, to her. In her tinkering, she had simply not stopped at her algorithms, propulsion, life-support and stellar-cartography. Her justification in her latest action had been purely practical. Yes, her target planet was habitable and yes, the humans on board could survive on said planet. But she felt they needed an edge over nature, an extra something that guaranteed their survival. That something had been her most complex problem and in the end, had cost the lives of a further 30% of the original total human cargo. There is always loss when experimenting, she told herself, but she had managed to achieve her goal. When finally, humanity stepped onto a foreign and alien world, they would do so as Homo Superior.

 

You can read the second extract by clicking here and the third extract here.

Tom Kane © 2017

Did you like this Extract? Please take the time to vote.

 

My Books on Kindle & Paperback
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
A Pat on his Back – Lifestyle humour
Living in Cyprus: 2013 to 2016 – An expat’s life in Cyprus
Diary of a Debt Collector – True life humour
Operation Werwolf – WW2 action adventure fiction
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb – The evidence for Hitler’s atomic weapon program
Ciao Roma – A guide to short stays in Rome
How to Start Your Own Embroidery Business – Home working
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction
On Kobo
An Indie Author Guide to Blogging – Helpful advice, hints and tips for bloggers
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

On Smashwords
The Eternal Man – Science Fiction short stories & flash fiction

Coming Soon
The Ragged Edge of Time: Science Fiction Time Travel Alternate History

Welcome to Beyond: 1950s Style Science Fiction

Ascension-Brave – New Earth: First Contact Becomes Humanities First Galactic War

The Brittle Sea – Drama

See details on my website by clicking here.