QSFer Angel Martinez has a new MM sci fi book out:
The Brimstone. Cargo ship, hive of thievery and profiteering. Captained by a demon prince and manned by a crew that puts any batch of misfits to shame. You’ve come along with a cargo of anti-gravity cows and one of jeweled-toned potatoes. You’ve shared the horrors of frogs and nightmares. Now share some, more or less, quieter moments with the Brimstone crew—small snippets plucked from various spots in each personal timeline, from Shax and Verin’s childhood in Hell to after the events of Beside a Black Tarn.
The Brimstone Journals, Collection One also includes an exclusive holiday short story, never published as part of the blog series. Shax would probably like to keep it that way, but too bad.
Previous Books in the Series:
- Potato Surprise: A Brimstone Prequel
- Hell for the Company
- Fear of Frogs
- Shax’s War
- Beside a Black Tarn
These are the journals of the Brimstone crew—a day-to-day accounting of the ship and her passengers. They do go in chronological order, but don’t worry, the journal entries still have that lived in journal feel.
These are those stories.
Of course, the Brimstone didn’t always exist. There were early days, before Shax and Verin left for space & time travel adventures.
Mandatory Festivities or We Don’t Say the C-Word
Time: Five and a half months after Beside a Black Tarn
Location: Aboard the Brimstone
“What’s that for?” Heckle pointed to the gold jingle bell their captain was tossing up and down as he ambled up Brimstone’s cargo ramp.
Mac caught it on an upward arc, earning him a hey! from said demon captain. He grinned down at Shax and handed the bauble over to Heckle. “It’s a jingle bell, Heck. Humans used to put them on sleigh harnesses in the winter. For Captain Shax? It’s just a pretty.”
Heckle rolled the jingle bell in his palm until Shax made an exasperated sound and held out his hand for it. While the imp readily gave it back, his forehead was still creased in puzzlement. “But…that doesn’t make sense. There’s no horses on station. Or sleighs. Or…snow. I don’t think.”
“Ah, that.” Shax threw an arm around Heckle’s shoulders as they strolled across the cargo bay. Mac tried not to seethe with jealousy that it was so easy for his short ass. Mac would have to kneel beside Heckle to do that. Back to tossing his prize, plucked from a jewelry store display, Shax went on, “The jingle bell became one of many symbols of that particular birthday for humans. Since it had been symbolic of their winter holidays. And it is, according to the station calendar, nearly that day.”
“Can’t say the word Christmas, Cap?” Corny asked from his right.
“I can.” Shax sniffed in offense. “I choose not to.”
“Kinda miss Christmas.” Corny held up a hand when their captain bristled. “Now, you know I never held with all that church stuff. But still, folks got friendlier around then. All the decorations. The songs. The food. Even at the orphanage, we got treats. Sometimes even presents if some rich folks were feeling mighty charitable that year.”
“It sounds like a nice holiday,” Heckle peeked up hesitantly at the captain.
Shax sighed. “I suppose it was, long ago. I do miss pagan holidays. All the feasting and fertility rites.”
“You mean orgies,” Verin grumbled.
“Yes, those were nice, too. Offerings, ah, presents were always lovely as well.”
The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.
Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.
She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.
Email: [email protected]