WINNER!

Cosmosis wins the 2014 Southern California Book Festival for best Compilation/Anthology!

Only $2.99 on Kindle and $8.99 for the paperback! Now that’s value!

Purchase here!

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Pre-Halloween Treat

Where am I…and why am I shaking?

I look around, mind unclear, nervous. I’m in some kind of box; small, rectangular panels, polished silver walls. I try to think through the fear. No help, I’m lost. I can’t remember anything, my thoughts interred in sludge. Stabbing pain, like microwaved needles searing my gut, my limbs, my brain. Panic radiates and my trembling surges, muscles turning unruly. I lean on the metal wall, scan the cube frantically, and question again…

…Where the hell am I?

I close my eyes, gentle my breath, trying to calm. I stare in the mirrored wall. A face shines back. Sunken and gray, the image is ugly, twisted, formaldehyde shriveled, yet vaguely familiar. My blood runs cold and I shiver madly, the reaction rising as much from seizure as the icy question the image incites. Is that me?

No. I close my eyes, shake my head. I’m strong, I’m healthy. I’m no monster! No! I reaffirm in my mind, opening my eyes, only to see the image following in chiral pantomime. NO! I scream as I realize…

…I don’t know who I am!

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Available now on Amazon!

The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 meters/second. The cost of Cosmosis is $2.99 on Kindle (although not live just yet), and $7.92 for the paperback. Coincidence, I think not! So speed over there and get yourself a copy; it’s not a sales pitch, it’s fate! As for the 458, well, those of you who text know that 458=ILU. And I do…I love you! (which holds true even if you don’t buy the book!)

-TP

<-Click banner to the left for a ride thru the wormhole

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Word Fast

I’m doing a word fast. Yep, you read it correctly, a word fast. No speaking, no Facebook, no Twitter, no writing, nothing…not at least for the next 24 hours (maybe longer). A food fast is supposed to be rejuvenating for the body, My creativity over the past day and a half has been ailing, feel like I suffered some kind of “art attack.” Maybe this will help resuscitate my muse.

This is no joke, this is real…I am not talking, at all, there is nothing you can say or do or post to make me comment on this link or talk in any way. You can try if you’d like, but you’d be wasting your time. I can’t be bought, bribed or cajoled. I am utterly committed, can’t be swayed. You can ask my roommate. I am not talking. I have only communicated via hand signals with her. And she showed me something a little while ago that was REALLY entertaining, but I held my tongue. I am NOT going to break my vow of silence under any circumstances, not for at least 24 hours, no matter how hard you try and distract me…

You can send over a beautiful escort to see me, and I will not speak to her, or call to thank you (for at least 24 hours). Not even if she has a killer hourglass figure, raven hair, maybe about 5′ 4″, 5 ’5″ish, maybe a little ethic flavor thrown in for good measure,…nope, you’ll get nothing. Not a word, I wont even communicate with her….verbally.

You can send and amazon gift card or wire me $150 bucks or so to my Paypal account (thomasprycebooks@gmail.com) and I will not respond. No “thank you,” no nothing (not for at least 24 hours).

You can share this post on your Facebook timeline or Twitter, tell all your friends what a brilliant writer this Thomas Pryce is, even have them all storm over to the website, http://cenozoicpublishing.com/ Have them sign up in flash-mob droves and crash the server, and I will not be fazed, not be distracted from my quest. Nope, not a whit.

You can PM me pics of your boobs, but that will not distract me either, or get me to break my “word fast.”. I will not even respond. This is too important. It’s a scientific experiment, and must be seen thru.

A Lit. agent from the prestigious Donald Maass Agency can call me with a contract to rep my new book, Cosmosis, and I will not respond. Sorry Mr. Maass (or underling), busy right now, try again later.

You can send me concert tickets to Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Pearl Jam, or even some wild reunion tour like Led Zeppelin, and I will not respond. To do so would only blemish this experiment, an spoil my data.

So you can try all these things if you want, or some other crazy idea, be my guest, but I promise you this, I am committed to my objective, and will not respond to this feed for any reason whatsoever. Nope, I’m done! I’m going dark, off the grid, Monastic silent…starting riiiiiight…now!

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Front cover final

Vast gratitude to Robert Friedrich, artist extraordinaire, for such a “steller” build. Gave him a few simple prompts and in perfection he captured the common-thread metaphor to the pages within. But the fact that the DNAed planet looks like a mushroom, and there’s a living forest of toking toadstools in one of the stories (Bad Trip), well, that’s just psychic brilliance! Cosmystic? Anyone?Cosmosis E book front Front cover final

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Intro to Cosmosis (realease date….soon)


Introduction

The evolution of most manuscripts, I suspect, is as unique and complex as the life path of the soul that scrawled the words…and this project is no exception. To sum up in a word the journey that brought Cosmosis to publication, that word would be tumultuous. But worry not, won’t be torturing you with details here. In my view, to do so would be tantamount to waterboarding with words. So by policy this intro will be—succinct.

Besides, and more to the point, it ain’t about me, it’s about the story. (Or stories in this case). Just as there’s no I in team, there’s no me in story. And let’s all hope and pray upon the stars above that there never will be.

As means of an overview of what to expect in the coming pages, an analogy might serve best. Think old school drive-in, at least in terms of format. A sci-fi double feature, replete with preview and even a cartoon. For logistics, I’ve reworked the order a bit, sending the preview to the end instead of the open (I mean they call it a trailer, don’t they?)

Two novellas—War Torn and Bad Trip—will lead the evening, set the mood. The double bill will be followed by White Light, a preview to the next novel (at least based on current propulsions). And rounding out the gala, serving as bonus cartoon—General Maps.

General Maps is a sliver of fiction written a while back for the “Ruckus” writing contest. An annual flash fiction event sponsored by some of the keen and able rascals over on the Craigslist Literary Forum every September. In attempt to keep it fresh, the Ruckus guidelines shift every year. The prompt for this particular affair was to write a story about an “ambiguous hero.” Who knows what the call will be next go round. Stop by and check it out some time, maybe jump in and join the fun if the urge should emerge.

For now, however, grab your bag of popcorn, park it, adjust the volume on the nibbled alloy speaker, wrap yourself in an old blanket, and sit back and enjoy a Cosmosis night.

-TP

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Cosmosis: final cover shot

final cos cover Cosmosis: final cover shot

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War Torn sampling

Nathen drifted in and out of consciousness as the trek wore on. How he managed to keep from falling off Cass’s back, he had no idea. Had to be some kind of deep-seated survival instinct that kept him from letting go and slamming to the ground in what most certainly would’ve been a neck snapping impact.

Crossing the barren flatlands, Nathan’s mind trudged on in fitful reflection, thoughts derived from both sides of the consciousness fence. His headspace teemed with the haunting images of the recently puréed GIs—Garenov, Kaliss, Zellenger—their final screaming features, along with the faces of Adams and Diaz, roving across his mind like some neuro-surreal Baatan death march.

Save for maybe Kaliss, these were not bad men, he reflected in a fleeting upswing of clarity. They were just doing what they were trained to do, what they believed to be the right thing. Even way back when, while he and Helen were living back on earth in their little off-the-grid cabin up in Northern Oregon, trying to distance themselves from the warlike ways of humankind, they had no issue with those who served. It was the forces of instigation that drew the crosshairs of their dissent, the various shape-shifting corporate entities that perpetuated and profited off the endless violence, then skillfully sold their actions to the general public in grey-washed sound bites. At the time when they’d relocated to Lunatopia, there were over fifty “conflicts” going on around the globe. And more than a few among other human settlements within the solar system.

Then came the war with the Phraaks, the mother of all conflicts, the first time humankind went to battle with an alien foe. Nathan could hardly remember what started the whole confrontation, some kind of dispute over the natural resource rights to a “newborn” planet that wandered between intergalactic territories. A small skirmish among the two groups had taken place, from what he could recall; lives were lost, one side suffering more casualties than the other. Then the inevitable escalation had begun, as the score had to be evened. From there it bloomed into an all-out clash between the two species that went on and on for years, even as the wayward planet had moved into an entirely new galactic region, one belonging to a third deep space race—the Drutarks—who had assumed all mining rights.

Not for the first time Nathan scowled as the story replayed in his mind. On the upside, the conflict had united the people of earth and those relocated across the solar system—Mars, Europa, Titan, the moon and Ourea (a massive man-made planetoid set parallel to the earth’s orbit) against a common foe, which had nearly ended human on human violence entirely.

But it had done nothing to curb the output of violence as a whole, he fumed as up ahead the crash site finally came into sight; the mayhem, the destruction, the killing just channeled into another cause—a cause that put the military industrial complex in position for the easiest sell ever. Following the initial loss of human life, there were no shortages in rationalizations—the differences in appearance, the inferiority of their alien ways, the sacrilege of their Gods, and the go-to tactic of all; fear—if we don’t wipe them out now they will eventually try and conquer us. Justifiable genocide.

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THE BOX

THE BOX

Where am I, I wonder, looking around tensely, and why am I shaking?

I’m in some kind of box; small, silver walls, a door, some kind of panel. No help, I can’t remember, my thoughts swallowed in mental quicksand. I’m lost…lost in a box. Quivering, pain and panic escalating, I size up the box, and question again…

…Where the hell am I?

I try to calm, rationalize, breathe. I stare at myself in the mirrored walls. Gaunt and gray, the face that shines back is ugly, unfamiliar, deranged. I tremble, my blood runs cold. NO! I scream in my mind as I realize…

...I don’t know who I am.

The seismic seizures continue; I can see tremors rippling in my legs. The vision adds to my swelling anxiety. I feel it in my mind, my body, my bones, the question—who am I—tearing at the fault-line of my life. Don’t surrender, I wince, stay strong!

I exhale hard, try to relax and take measure of the box. It’s upright, polished clean, too big to be a coffin. Oddly, the revelation brings no comfort. And rising from somewhere deeper within this husk that is apparently me, another odd thought…

…I almost wish it was.

Heartbeat racing, I begin to sweat. The box seems to be getting hotter, confusion and angst churning to boil, exothermic emotions that cause my head to throb. Must stay focused; give hyperventilation an inroad, no fucking way.

The buttons, they must mean something? The numbers—do I push them? If so, which one? I don’t know. Terror enfolds me, tendrils tightening. I feel like I’m about to pass out.
I don’t know what to do!
I don’t know what to do!

…I just want to go home!

Two, yes, two. The second button—didn’t I press it already? I can’t remember. I don’t know. I’m lost. But I must do something, and I must do it quickly. Because it seems like the walls are closing in. I feel like I’m suffocating. I must get out of this box!

I take a chance, risking it all. With a trembling finger, I press. The button lights up and the box starts to move. Disoriented as I am, I think it’s going up. I don’t know where up is but it somehow seems better than down.

After an eternal seven seconds the box lurches to a stop. My vision is now starting to fade. Oh no, don’t pass out now, it feels like something’s about to happen. My instincts are correct; the door slides open with a hiss. I feel an immediate rush of fresh air. My lungs heave, sucking like a shop-vac.

My head begins to clear. My name, I remember now. There’s a green carpet beyond the sliding doors—I remember now. There’s an ice machine across the hall—I remember now. I feel my anxiety ease with each returning memory. Now there’s just one thing left to do.

I step through the door and out of the elevator.

-TP

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War Torn (ch 8 – opening few paragraphs)

The blow hit Nathan with such force he thought the shock alone would trigger a heart attack. He felt a spearing pain in his chest, heard a sharp crack as the butt of Lieutenant Kaliss’s rifle slammed against his rib cage. Nathan went down, field-comm flying from his grip, hands clutching his chest. Writhing on the roof of the hover tank, feeling like he’d just been kicked by a mule, his vision began to spin with stars as he strained to breathe.

As Kaliss had approached, Nathan fully expected to be shot dead as he continued transmitting to the rest of the team, ignoring his shouted orders to cease. Even though he was pretty sure field executions were technically against ESAD military regs, Nathan didn’t figure that would prevent Kaliss from taking the shot.

Peering from his fetal position, Nathan managed his first gasp of air. He winced. The inhalation eased his body’s craving but the movement brought excruciating pain. Through patchy vision, he saw Kaliss standing above him, panting, eyes inflamed with barbaric ire, the business end of his pulse rifle aimed squarely at Nathan’s forehead.

Aha, Nathan’s mind submitted in pointed insight, he just wanted to be sure he didn’t miss.

Nathan closed his eyes, took another breath of the dusty air and envisioned his reunion with Helen.

It was time.

As good a time as any, he thought as he lay atop the crumpled war machine waiting for the kill shot, mind bleary, body broken. Given his injuries and the perilous escalating events, his life expectancy could be no more than a few hours anyway, so might as well get it over with. Plus, his actions had filled him with a deep calm that he had not experienced in some time. For he had accomplished his goal, he stepped up to inform the team of what he knew about the storm, its strange behavior, and how they could possibly use it to their advantage. So if he had to go, better to go now, ride off into the sunset with contentment saddled to his final flickering brainwaves.

With death likely seconds away, there’d be no way to know if the information he provided would do any good—whether the others would stand up to Kaliss, or not. He had done all that he could to save them, putting his own life on the line in the process. The deed gave him no personal self-glory, but it was not without gratification, the reward ascending from his heart in swelling intuition—warm and fulgent—igniting a signal fire that glowed through the gloom of his shipwrecked psyche.

Helen would be proud.

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