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About this title: In issue No. 1, for November 2018: Three short stories from the recently released science fiction collection Variant Worlds 2, and an excerpt of over 30 pages from upcoming release Rothschild Apocalypse. Articles include the candid How I Became My Male Characters, and Space-Based Starships And Colonies to give budding writers a good grounding on the basics. Rating: EXTREME controversy.
They say that a good opening sentence has to grip the reader into reading more of the story. Here are the opening sentences from each of the stories in the magazine. Tell me, do they provoke you to want to read on?
There are places that not even god can reach. - Asteroid QQ37, Part 1
Harry Paxton had tits. - The Anomaly Of Object AA
Things were going well in Hydroponics Division, Lender thought. - Asteroid QQ37, Part 2
Every story has a beginning. - Rothschild Apocalypse
A short excerpt from the leading story Asteroid QQ37, Part 1:
There are places that not even god can reach.
Asteroid QQ37 was one of those places. Men with severe prison sentences were taken there to mine, because capital punishment had long since been abolished on the civilized worlds. That’s what they said, anyway, but everyone knew it wasn’t true. The elites that ran the Federation Of Planets used every excuse they could think of to murder their constituents. The elites killed the masses through the food they consumed, the water they drank and with the radiation they sprayed into the skies. Autism, cancer and other induced maladies were running rampant all over the colonized worlds. The masses were too stupid, as always, to comprehend how they were being systematically weakened.
Lender wasn’t among the stupid ones. Lender figured things out and he was vocal about it. That’s how he got his prison sentence. After appearing in one too many protests and posting one too many links to real evidence online, the elite cleansing program targeted him. A hit squad broke into his home to murder his wife and two children, and to plant incriminating files onto his computer. The operatives branded him a murderer and a conspirator. They made up their ‘official story’ that he was trying to overthrow the government. They invented that he was part of a plot to assassinate the president, who was on her third clone by then after previous successful attempts on her life. Nobody knew that, by the way, except for those like Lender that used advanced facial recognition programs to study down to the pores of the president’s face. That bitch had been killed twice and reproduced by the elites, while the public couldn’t be bothered to see that her irises had a synthetic pattern in them. It was obvious to anyone who cared to look.
Len hated religion, as he knew how religious leaders manipulated belief and faith to control the masses. If someone had told him a few years ago that he would one day turn into a religious man, Len would have laughed in their faces. He’d been indoctrinated into Chrislam, of course, like so many others before him, and been taught to bow toward the rising sun of the east every morning. That had only lasted as far as Len’s teenage years, until he discovered that the leaders of the colonized worlds had years before conspired to merge the great religions into one, and that many other diverse religions had existed before the advent of Chrislam.
A new religion, a secret religion, was spreading among the many miners like him whom had lost their hope. Their new god had a name, but the deity’s worshippers kept that name out of their minds as much as they could. The new god had horns and carried a flaming sword in one hand and a book of law in the other. This was a god of vengeance first, of strict holy cleansing and the wiping out of corruption. He would become a god of purity and light only after the cancer of the galactic elite was excised and burned away. In the interim, the god’s flaming sword would swing with fury. The reason Len and others who followed this deity kept their religion out of their brains was because the wardens continually ran mind scans on their prisoners. Too many restricted thoughts would get a miner taken to Interrogation, and that was not a good place for any man to end up. Many times, those men would not come back.
Before the mining sentence, Len had not been a religious man. He hadn’t been a homosexual man either. After getting raped in dark places one time too many by roving bands of desperate men, he had no choice but to adapt to his new circumstances. Len searched out who the political dissidents in the mining colony were, the Truthers like him. He found an Asian man who was nearly as tall as he was, another loner being abused in the same way, and just as strong. He beat that man and raped him, and he made the man watch over Len’s cot as he slept, and to follow him around when he had to go into dark places.
The man’s name was Kyu. He was from New Korea, some new country that was established on one of Saturn’s moons, but Len always forgot which moon. After having enough of being raped, Kyu waited until Len was fast asleep. He beat Len senseless with his shoe and returned the favor. When Kyu was done, he demanded to be treated like a man and not like a slave. By then, both men had gotten accustomed to being near one another. Neither wanted to walk dark corridors alone where bands of men might find them. They become lovers. Kyu no longer sat on the floor while Len slept; now they slept on the same cot. If violence came their way, they stood by each other’s side and faced it together.