nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘off-planet’ Category

how much for a trip to space?

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Yesterday, October 13, 2021, will be part of Star Trek history since William Shatner (a.k.a. Captain James T. Kirk) took a real journey into space, on board the space tourism ship, Blue Origin’s New Shepard. The cost of a ticket is variable, but in the range of hundreds of thousands into the millions. I said to my husband, “I’ll pass. I’ll just let the Dock-winders come and get me, and ‘take’ me to Meniscus.”

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So, if you are a reader of the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, you will know that the Dock-winders of Meniscus have visited (or will visit Earth) seven times: 1982, 1988, 1995, 2008, 2013, 2020 and 2023 (two years from now). Each time, they harvest Humans for transport to their planet. In every Meniscus book, there is a list of characters and the years they were taken. Next year, I will be publishing three novellas, short urban mysteries, in the Meniscus Peripherals Series. In each book, set on Earth, there will be a mention of a Dock-winder abduction and a connection to a Meniscus Science Fiction Series story.

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If you are not fussy about being ‘taken’ to Meniscus, for free, you can still be transported to the Meniscus world, for the small price of a paperback or e-book. There are now nine Meniscus adventures (ten if you include 1.5), and the tenth in the series, Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, will be released tomorrow, Friday!

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The books in the series are:

Book One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point FiveBook One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point Five

Book Two – Meniscus: South from Sintha

Book Three – Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

Book Four – Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

Book Five – Meniscus: Karst Topography

Book Six – Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Book Seven – Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod

Book Eight – Meniscus: The Knife

Book Nine – Meniscus: Meeting of Minds

Book Ten – Meniscus: Rosetta Stone

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Reading will transport you to Meniscus, second planet in the solar system of Tathlet-Amblyn, a double sun. Meniscus is a world of woodlands, deserts and mountains and the cities of Prell District, North and South. The plants and animals are peculiar and sometimes dangerous. And water moves upward, not down. Rivers do not flow and water is hard to swallow. The Humans who find themselves on Meniscus are the slaves of the Dock-winder system. But sometimes they are able to escape and, with other Humans, build relationships and communities and have exciting adventures.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will introduce two new characters, Abra and Trath. Abra, an historian, finds a manuscript written in both Dock-winder and Gel-speak. Abra believes translation of the document may reveal a secret to overthrow the Dock-winders. She sets out for Hath-men, a village where The Resistance is centred. But traveling alone on Meniscus can be very dangerous.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will be available on Friday, October 15, in both paperback and e-book versions. Once I get copies, it will be available from me or at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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All my best.

(The Dock-winders are fictional.

You don’t have to worry about them!)

Jane

(a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

new in the Meniscus Series: Meeting of Minds

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For your summer read, visit another planet. The plants and animals are strange, the aliens are evil. But some things don’t change. Good memories. Love and friendship. Family.

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But sometimes memories, love and family are lost. When Odymn is captured by the Dock-winders, they erase ten years of her memory. There are two moons in the night sky. Her husband, Daniel, is a stranger. Food and even water are unfamiliar.

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Follow Odymn and Daniel as they get to know one another again. And when the Dock-winders capture Daniel, how will Odymn rescue him?

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Meniscus: Meeting of Minds is available now on Amazon, here, in paperback and ebook. By the end of June, you will find the paperback at Westminster Books in Fredericton. This is the ninth book in the Meniscus Series … time to introduce yourself to the series by reading Volume 1, here, or Volume 6, here. Lots of love and adventure.

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All my best,

Jane

next book in the Meniscus Series: the Cast of Characters

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Other writers often ask me about the use of a beta reader. Of course, I value their input and listen carefully to any suggestions about the book they have just read for me. In a series like Meniscus, the suggestions of the beta reader often help me more with the next book. Sometimes the suggestion has to do with the storyline or a particular character. Sometimes it is a suggestion that becomes integral to the whole series.

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When she read Book Two of the Series, Meniscus: South from Sintha, my beta reader Carol suggested adding a short description of each character in a compendium at the end of each book. I began to do this for the next book and now every book has a Cast of Characters.

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Since some of my characters are aliens, I group the characters as Humans, Argenops (benevolent furry creatures), Dock-winders (self-serving overlords), Gel-heads (unlikeable minions), and Others (animal companions and other sentient aliens).

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In the Cast of Characters I include information on the character’s role in the story, the character’s age, where the character lived on Earth, what they were doing when the Dock-winders harvested them, what Earth year they were taken, their occupation on Earth, their occupation on Meniscus and sometimes their motivation, faults or wants.

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Here is an example, a character description of Zachary, a carpenter and an important citizen of Themble Hill:

Zachary – survivor of the transport crash; 46 one-suns old; harvested by the Dock-winders in 2008 when he worked as a carpenter with his father’s company in Fargo, North Dakota; educated as an engineer; harvested as he made repairs to a roof during a wind storm; used by the Dock-winders as the laser-sawyer in a grammid mill; spent most of grad school playing Sonic the Hedgehog ™ and eating pickled eggs in the campus grad house.

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Sometimes I wish I could change the character description a bit to suit the story, but I try not to do that. I also include all of the characters mentioned in all of the books to date although they may not appear in the current book. So far, I have 41 characters, major and minor, who have appeared in the various books.

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All my best,

staying home and keeping in my two-family bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 8, 2020 at 7:00 am

next book in the Meniscus Series

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May 1 has arrived. With my new poetry books at the ‘proof’ stage, I have shifted gears to work on revisions of the next book in my science fiction series.

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Meniscus: The Knife is the eighth book in the Meniscus Series and continues with the love story of Tagret and Rist. I haven’t looked at the manuscript for two months, so I hope to see it with a new eye.

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When we left them in the last book, Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod, Tagret and Rist are parting company for a while. Rist, after the manner of all Slain, is going to his home to hibernate for the winter. Tagret will pass the winter months in the community of Themble Hill where she will have company and things to do.

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In Meniscus: The Knife, Tagret will go on a quest to save Rist from the dangerous Brotherhood.

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I think ‘The Knife’ is a great title for the book.

First, The Knife is the name of Rist’s home, the first step in Tagret’s quest.

Second, a knife is a metaphor for anything cut in two, a broken vow, a broken trust, a severed relationship.

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knife romance split

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Third, there are no knives on the planet Meniscus. The reason for this is the mythological interpretation of the geological fault that physically separated the gentle Argenops from the oppressive Dock-winders and their Gel-head minions. Long ago, says the mythology, the Themble area was cut from the En’ast area by a magical knife and since then, no knives have been allowed on the planet Meniscus.

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knife culture split

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I have a few steps to do before the book is done:

  • Read the manuscript and make adjustments to storylines;
  • Do line by line revisions (word choice and poetic structure);
  • Add front matter, character descriptions, glossary and gel-speak dictionary;
  • Submit the manuscript to my editor;
  • Incorporate editorial suggestions;
  • Format text;
  • Finish drawings and maps, scan, scale and insert into text.
  • Create cover painting and photograph;
  • Scale photo and create cover;
  • Submit to Kindle Direct Publishing and request Proof;
  • Review and revise Proof;
  • Resubmit and finalize;
  • Push publish!

Then I begin the formatting process for the second time, to create an e-book.

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Sounds daunting but I have done this so often, I have worked out all (well, most) of the bugs. I am helped in this by my ‘little black books’ where I write out the revision and formatting steps, font sizes, image dimensions, Word settings and KDP requirements.

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I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.

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All my best,

staying safe and in my two-household bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 4, 2020 at 7:00 am

Kindle Free Book Deal: Intro to the Meniscus Sci-Fi Series

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Meniscus — a planet far from Earth. When humans are taken there, they face a life of hardship and servitude. But humans are resilient. Follow the story of the humans who struggle to escape from the oppressive Dock-winders and build a home in an alien world.

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Rist and Tagret foreground.jpg

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In the sixth book of the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Oral Traditions, meet Tagret. The Dock-winders have taken her from Earth and deposited her on the streets of the alien city of Sintha. Tagret feels helpless, but she soon meets other humans who will help her get along in this strange and dangerous place.

One of these is Rist, a Slain, a genetically modified human who has forged a life for himself. He does not want or need a tag-along to burden his days. But when Tagret is sold at a Dock-winder auction, Rist uses all his tickets to save her from a terrible fate. Tagret feels safe with Rist and makes plans for the future.

But Rist has a secret …

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Meniscus: Oral Traditions is a great entry point for readers who think they’d like to find out more about the humans on Meniscus. Each Meniscus book is written as a readable long poem and is illustrated by the author. The books are a quick read, and include both adventure and romance.

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For five days next week (August 5 to 9, 2019), I will be running a Kindle Free Book Deal and the e-version of Meniscus: Oral Traditions will be free at Amazon.  here

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Oral Traditions cover blue (5)

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I will be sending reminders during the Kindle Free Book Deal, so stay tuned!!!!!

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All my best,

Alexandra Tims

(a.k.a. Jane)  

New book in the Meniscus Series – Meniscus: Karst Topography

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Only a few days to go before the fifth book in the Meniscus Series is published … October 15, 2018 !

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Review of Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, first book in the series:

I have never read a book that uses so few words to inspire so much emotion …

only 139 pages long, with each page holding 100 words or less per page … You will be amazed at how potent her words are!

I give this 5 stars for its power, its uniqueness, the fabulous graphics, and a terrific story.

Liza O’Connor, The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor

The Series follows the adventures of a group of Humans on the alien Planet of Meniscus. On Meniscus, Humans live in bondage and are not allowed to build relationships with one another. When a small group escapes the over-lords, they work together to build a new community, battling the elements, local wild life and dangerous aliens. Meniscus is the story of how Humans work to overcome any hardship.

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walking among the stars crop (2).jpeg

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Meniscus: Karst Topography

After building a new town at Themble Hill, and thinking they are safe from their Dock-winder over-seers, the Human women of the town are taken by a Prell transport. The Slain return to the town from a supply run to find their women gone. They journey to Prell and use technology to locate the women and intimidation to procure their release. But Odymn is not in Prell and Daniel (one of the Slain) is convinced that she did not survive. Meanwhile, back in Themble Hill, Odymn struggles with her injuries and worries she has lost Daniel forever. Gradually she recovers from her injuries, uses her skill at parkour to recover her strength and mobility and learns more about the strange place they have chosen to settle. Eventually she learns about the rescue mission and determines to follow and find Daniel.

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cover trial.jpg

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Meniscus: Karst Topography will be available October 15, 2018. There is still time to catch up on the Series. The books are written as narrative poetry, 10-20,000 words and each a quick read! A love story with lots of action and adventure. Edited by Lee Thompson.

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Meniscus: Crossing the Churn A woman on a dystopian planet wants freedom and discovers that sometimes fate returns you to where you began; the story of the meeting of Odymn and the Slain, Daniel.

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days  When Daniel is injured, Odymn and a furry Argenop work to return him to health; the story of how Odymn’s past trauma may get in the way of her romance with the Slain.

Meniscus: South from Sintha Daniel tries to right the wrongs he has done and learns he must bear the consequences of his actions; the story of how the Slain returns six of his contracts to their homes.

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb A group of people try to build the first human community on a dystopian planet and discover that their former masters have found a way to follow them; story of Odymn and Daniel’s first winter together on Meniscus and how they help six survivors of a transport crash.

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill A group of people try to overcome the hardships of living together in the first human community on a dystopian planet; the story of what happens when parkour-loving Odymn breaks a leg.

Meniscus: Karst Topography A group of the Slain go on a mission to rescue the woman of Themble Hill; the story of how Daniel and Odymn deal with separation.

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All my best

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

Written by jane tims

September 12, 2018 at 7:00 am

what would a home look like on a fictional planet?

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You may not be aware – I keep two blogs, one to consider subjects about real places and one to explore my ideas about science-fiction. If you are interested, click on over to www.offplanet.blog. This week’s post is about the homes the characters use in my planet Meniscus stories. You wouldn’t trade your home for any of these! Lots of illustrations too!

'hammock'.jpg

Best wishes!

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 2, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Now available … fourth in the Meniscus Series: The Village at Themble Hill

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JDB_0613 (3).jpg

The new book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series is now available. In The Town at Themble Hill, humans on the alien planet Meniscus continue to search for freedom and a safe place to live.

My heroine Odymn, who is expert at the art of parkour, sometimes also called free-running, navigates the landscape with runs, leaps and vaults. She never falls. Or does she? Find out how Odymn copes with a loss of her independence.

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Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill

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… On the alien planet Meniscus, against all odds, a small group of Humans works to forge a new life together. When a Dock-winder drone pays them a visit, Odymn and the Slain trek along the heights of The Fault, to make certain the community is not in danger of invasion. They find a new way to scale The Fault and a perfect location for building a new village. Matters are complicated when Odymn is injured on a parkour run and the Slain’s former girlfriend joins the group. Faced with a dangerous journey through the Themble Wood and the hardships of building a new community, are the Humans in more danger from themselves, the alien landscape, or their Doc-winder overlords?

 

… In the fourth book of the Meniscus series, The Village at Themble Hill chronicles the first days of community life on a planet where Humans are not allowed to associate and freedom is always at risk.

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home is the safest place … so build a home …

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Get the paperback version of Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill here. The Kindle version will be available soon. For readers in the Fredericton area, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill will be available at Westminster Books after May 1st.

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'jump to the stack'paperback

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Fall Show … space paintings

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Tomorrow morning, I will be selling paintings and books at the New Maryland Fall Show (Faith Baptist Church, New Maryland Highway, New Maryland, New Brunswick, 9-2). To accompany my science-fiction books in the Meniscus Series, I have done some little space paintings.

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Oct. 28, 2017 ‘spatter’ 6″ x 8″ $15 Jane Tims

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Oct. 8, 2017 “spacescape” 8″ x 10″ $20 Jane Tims

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Nov. 1, 2017 ‘space’ 8″ x 8″ $20  Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

November 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Next book in the Meniscus Series!!!

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It’s the dead of winter. It’s bitterly cold and food is scarce. Just surviving until next morning is all you can think about. But no matter. There are just the two of you.

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Then your boyfriend declares he is going on his version of ‘walkabout’ for three months. And seven strangers, survivors of a spaceship crash, land on your doorstep. The trials of winter just went critical.

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Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, the third book of the Meniscus Series, follows the continuing story of Odymn and the silent Slain. If you enjoyed Crossing The Churn (the story of the meeting of Odymn and the Slain) and South from Sintha (the story of the Slain’s attempt at redemption), you will love the third story. There are lots of new characters and Odymn’s parkour and foraging skills are put to the test. The book includes new drawings, a map, a glossary, a list of characters and a guide to Gel-speak.

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Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb is now available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com.  A quick read, written as a narrative poem. The paperback is $11.99 (US) here and the Kindle version is $4.96 here .

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An except from the story:

Odymn measures the gap.

Not far.

Perhaps two metres.

Just beyond her comfort zone.

 

Odymn considers

surface of the stack.

Icy, slippery.

Bubbles ooze across rock.

 

The En’ast wood,

a hundred metres below.

 

Odymn tosses a chunk of stone.

It lands,

skids to a stop.

 

Rubs her hands on the dusty rocks.

Needs dry fingers to cling to edge

if her feet keep going.

 

Crouches. Arms behind her.

Launches and leans.

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I hope you will take a leap with Odymn and explore the strange world of Meniscus.

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Copyright Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims  2017

 

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