Friday, November 9, 2012

Corporate sci-fi short story: try it for free

"The Dreams of Lord Satu" will be on the Amazon Kindle free download list for a few days. This is one of the stories in my collection, Hay Moon and Other Stories: Sixteen Modern Tales of Horror and Suspense.

"The Dreams of Lord Satu" can best be described as a corporate science fiction story. As many of you know, I often draw on my corporate past when writing fiction. 

Below is the opening snipped of "The Dreams of Lord Satu."

The Dreams of Lord Satu

a short story

Marc Jonas had been having a tolerable day until his boss told him about his upcoming trip to Kelphi. Marc said nothing when he received the news, and his boss immediately perceived his lack of enthusiasm.
“I don’t understand,” Larry Dozier said. “I get the distinct impression that you don’t want to go to Kelphi.” Larry Dozier leaned back in his padded managerial chair and gave Marc an adderlike stare. The wall behind Dozier was dominated by a slowly rotating holographic display of the Leonis star system, complete with individual planets, orbiting moons, and even asteroid debris. From where Marc sat—on the visitor’s side of Dozier’s desk—the massive two-dimensional hologram did indeed appear to be a three-dimensional, panoramic view of space.
The Rapid GeoWorks Company was the largest construction firm in the four habitable planets that orbited Leonis; and the vice president of sales had a correspondingly plush office. The holographic display alone had cost fourteen thousand Leonis ducats. Only the best for Larry Dozier, who had been employed at Rapid GeoWorks for more than twenty solar cycles. Dozier’s desk was crafted from the wood of a ten-thousand-year-old swamp tree. Marc would not have been able to cover the cost of the desk with his entire annual salary.
“It’s not simply that I don’t want to go,” Marc began. “But there’s the matter of my contract.”
“Your contract?” Dozier asked innocently. “Your contract states that you are the new accounts sales representative. Such a position involves travel.” 
Marc squirmed in the visitor’s chair. It was much smaller than the high-tech, biofeedback-controlled device that supported Dozier’s considerable derriere. The visitor’s chair was also lower off the floor. This gave the vice president of sales a certain psychological advantage over anyone who ventured into his inner sanctum.
“I understand that my position involves interplanetary travel,” Marc began. “But my contract states that I only visit planets with dominant human cultures—or friendly alien ones. The Kelphi aren’t friendly. And humans on Kelphi—when they aren’t being eaten that is—aren’t particularly friendly either, from what I hear.” (Visit the page for this story)