Silversides – Character Study – Nori – Protagonist

SilverSides_CoverThis is a character study of Nori Matsui, the protagonist in my upcoming sci-fi novel, Silversides.  This particular excerpt may or may not make it into the second volume, but it is no less accurate of the events to unfold.

Silversides: Excerpt – Exiting the Necker Cube

“Nori,”  he said attempting to regain her attention.  He was speaking more softly this time, very controlled in a commanding tone he knows gets questions answered.  He waited for eye contact and brushed at his scalp as though having just walked into a cobweb.  “Who exactly are you?” and not waiting for an answer, “Where did you come from?”  Then leaning in closer,  “Tell us again, why did you come here?”

Nori paid little attention to the talking suit, instead focused on her cuffed wrists locked into the grommet of the table, which like her chair, was bolted into the concrete floor.  She studied the burn marks and scratches on the metal, wondering how many others had sat here to the drone of these same questions, whether they were a petty thief or, as she was, someone who had just traveled twenty light years and back through time.   

She raised her attention to the decorated suit of the man, with the port of his belly and chubby arms braced on the table-top, with his manicured fingers rolling inches away from her own.  How easy it would be to reach out and break every one of them before you would ever feel the blinding pain of it, she streamed into him.

Without knowing why, he curled his fingers into his palms

“As I stated earlier,” Nori answered.  “I am here alone.”

The suit pushed up and away from the table with the crack of his back the only audible sound in the concrete room.  He stood there momentarily then began to  nervously massage the folds of skin on the back of his neck.  Unsurprisingly to Nori, he hammered his fist onto the metal table and leaned in close to her face.

“Stop fucking around and answer the goddamn questions!” the spittle from his charge landing on her cheeks but her eyes never blinked.

Nori had been mouthing every word the suit was saying before he did, her blue left eye and green right eye, unnerving him as she did.

He could see the slight extension of her smile, and lost it.

She knew what was coming next and took the blow of his back-hand across her mouth, pausing briefly for the effect before sweeping her tongue beneath her lip, watching him shake off the hurt like he had just punched a brick wall.  He could see there wasn’t a mark or expression on her; just the feeling of deep hatred streaming into him.

“CHIEF!” Shouted a woman’s voice from behind as she stepped out from the shadows. “That will be enough! Now leave here immediately or–by God–I will see to it you spend the remainder of your career at Shemya!”

Knowing she did not hand out threats, only promises, he turned away from Nori to face his Commander-in-chief.

“Madame President,” The Chief Executive Officer acknowledged with a submissive nod, then he turned to the the Marine standing at attention, who opened and closed the steel door behind him.

The president asked for a chair and sat opposite Nori.

“I deeply apologize for my Chief’s behavior….  Inexcusable,” she said with disgust. “I assure you, that will never happen again.”

Nori did not respond, nor did she care.

The President felt something slip over her and brushed the flip of her hair.

“Tell me.  Why did you come here?  Why Times Square, the most recognizable place on this planet?  Surely, you could have picked someplace more hospitable, say–“

“Paris?” Nori said finishing her thoughts.

“Yes… Like, Paris…” the President reiterated, her throat suddenly dry and her alarm apparent.

“I thought about that…” Nori paused. “Paris will always remain a place of inspiration for me, but New York?  New York seems right… So here I am, Times Square… The center of the Universe.”   Nori could feel the hidden fright of the President, having just read her mind.

“You need to shut down five-eighty-one,” Nori cautioned.

“What is five-eighty-one?” the President questioned, the chevrons on her forehead lifting and indicating she was clearly in the dark.

“Start with your Chief,” Nori suggested.  “He’ll be sitting in your seat…”


Need a language for your Sci-Fi/Fantasy WIP?

I’ve said this before… I now understand why all extraterrestrials come to Earth…. So their authors do not have to invent anything.  As a new writer of sci-fi, I had hoped into my starship, skipped across the galaxy at .5 light-speed, landed on an exoplanet of my choosing… and came to a screeching halt.  SHIT!  I have to invent everything from here on out….. Noooooo!

Fortunately for my WIP I have a strong background in technology, biology, marine sciences, ecology, and animal behavior so I had that part down, but the language thing?   … That was not going to be tackled very easily.  On one hand, I needed to convey my protagonist and crew were on another world, interacting with an alien civilization, but on the other, I did not want my readers choking on a language syntax because I had no idea what I was doing.  I cleverly got around that barrier but Then I came across an article on NPR about a guy (David Peterson) who does just this–invent languages.   I listened to the interview (great), then searched YouTube for some virtual face-2-face time and got pointed in the right direction.  Next Sci-Fi… I’m not leaving home…..


The release of From Europa With Love

I am pleased to announce the release of my new novelette:  From Europa With Love – Kindle version available for download on (Free) and Amazon (.99 cents)

Shuttle Captain Kulcin Black follows a distress signal back to Europa but there is no one there to pick up. On return, he discovers he is not alone.

When events in space go from bad ot worse. This is not a love story.

A new scifi from the author of, November Seed



World building – Weather

If you are a writer of sci-fi and have traveled to other worlds, as I have, then arming yourself with a visual aid of the weather can add drama to your work.  I recently discovered a fantastic site called Earth (by Cameron Beccario) and I can’t stop looking at it.   The graphics are mind-bending and served up through supercomputers of near-time data.  It is kinetic art, to say the least.

During a recent Atlantic storm (Joaquin) I was able to compare the weather outside my window with the projections on this site.  I would look up and study the sky: its clarity, clouds, their direction, then compare it to what I was seeing on these projections.  Up until studying this site, I would just look out my window–through the atmosphere–now I look at it.

I have been working on a novel, Silversides, for a few years and I am pouring my knowledge of real-world science into each edit.  It takes place on an exoplanet twenty light-years from here and therefore I have to invent everything.  But after exploring this site, I realized there was one area I was not paying much attention to, and that was the weather.  Sure, I had storms and rain and clouds and sun, but looking back, they were merely adjectives and adjectives from a storybook perspective.

My work reads differently now, much differently.  You feel it.  You feel the shuttering of the craft as it enters low orbit, the pilots trying to stabilize in vitro, their skill with simulation no longer relevant in these atmospheric anomalies.  And below them, skimming over open ocean the waves are building, driven hard by the fetch of winds over greater distances than on Earth where they feel the compression of air at each crest….Joaquin