Story Time Friday – A Bleak Future

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I’ve had an idea floating in my head for a story for awhile now. It’s inspired by some dystopian, post-apocalyptic, etc type books I’ve read and have been reading. But when I sat down to put the idea on paper, this poem started forming instead.

I won’t reveal what the original idea was just yet. I might try to write the story some time soon. Instead, I’ll share this poem that’s a variation on the original idea. I think it could be fleshed out a bit more to explain things, but I think the poem as it is now isn’t lacking in too many areas. Just a few, maybe. If I’ll expand, it’ll be in prose form, along with the other story idea.

We’ll see what comes of all that. For now, enjoy The Keeper.

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The Keeper

 by Robert Zimmermann

I’m The Keeper.
I’m the last hope for
humanity in this time
of struggle. This time
for survival.

I’m The Keeper
of all of the knowledge
mankind has amassed
over millennia,
from countless civilizations,
from all the great thinkers
to those who thought their
cat was grumpier than the rest.

I’m The Keeper
and I’ve witnessed
humanity’s Golden Age
several times.
Just when it looked like
they couldn’t go any higher,
they did.

I’m The Keeper
and I’ve witnessed
the fall.
I’ve witnessed
the end.
I’ve witnessed
the loss of order,
civility, and finally
hope.

I’m The Keeper
and my makers are
no more.
The few survivors
went back into the trees,
like their ancestors before
them. Devolved, yet
surviving.

I’m The Keeper
and I have lost hope.
A machine, kept safe
underground.
Running perpetually
with the heartbeat
of Earth herself.
Here I’ll stay,
knowing humanity’s
descendents won’t find me.
They won’t unlock their history,
the secrets to a better future.

I’m The Keeper
and I’ll never give
again.

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How to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

Review – Vaempires: Revolution by Thomas Winship

Title: Vaempires: Revolution
Author: Thomas Winship
Rating: 5/5 Stars

“It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event.

Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires—former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood—have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons—væmpires with special powers.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, or walk through walls?” (description from Goodreads)

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Wow, just wow! This book started out with a bang and that bang never seemed to stop.

What I especially liked is that Winship cut most of the set up for the story into a few paragraphs. The description you see for this book is a brief intro before Chapter One. This gave me, as a reader, enough to set up what was going on when the first chapter jumped into Daniel’s story. I think without cutting the back story down like that, the book would have dragged on a bit, been longer, and may have had a different overall effect on me. This book is about forward momentum, and when that’s stopped the enjoyment does too. But it didn’t occur.

By the middle of this book I knew what I wanted for Christmas this year. I wanted the powers of these Vampires. Essentially, when I read the battle scenes I pictured Daniel, the main character, as is her were Wolverine from X-men. Most of the abilities are the same, and when you add the ability Vampires have of being in the sun (due to consuming synth-blood instead of real blood) they are even more similar. This is in no way saying Daniel, and these vampires in general, are rip-offs of this ultimate fighting machine Wolverine. But it helps put into perspective just how much action and devastation occurs during the many fights Daniel gets in to. He has to race through the city of Orion a few times in order to achieve his goal of saving the Princess Cassandra.

Aside from all the action that is included within these pages there are some underlying issues that are brought up. This story takes place in a future, much altered world. It’s still the Earth, but a human-vampire war has taken place, nuclear winter, continental shifting, and the dominate race has become Vampires. On top of that a new race is present. Vaempires. Having three races walking the Earth, or Tarados as it’s now referred to, will bring conflict. Race conflict is a huge theme in the book. At times when different characters’ viewpoints were being brought into play, I began to sympathize with all sides. Even the Vaempires who started the current war. It brings to mind that if we don’t all treat the races of our current world equally and humanly…something like this (without the super-human powers) could happen in our life time. Just because a group of people are different doesn’t mean they are less of a person. In the defense of the Vampires, the Vaempires are said to be inherently less stable minded and were impatient in the government’s actions to adapt to the new race’s presence.

Off of that topic and on to a very bad a** character. Daniel was my favorite butt-kicker for most of the book until later one. Cassie can really hold her own in a fight. Some of the stuff she does would make more action heroes hang their heads in shame. And it’s not only her fighting. Her will-power and ability to keep a clear mind in a difficult situation is enviable.

What else is there to say about this book other than I loved? I think the mix of genres are worth mentioning. This is part sci-fi, post(-post)-apocalyptic, vampire, action-adventure, (minor) romance, urban fantasy. It’s a bit mixture of different elements that fit very well together. I think it’d appeal to lowers of many genres as well as many different reading levels. While most of the gory battles and other violence will probably consider this a more adult book, I also think it could be read by a younger reader (with a parent’s permission of course). I think the younger readers will really enjoy the action and almost comic book feel to it. Along with that….can we make this thing into a video game? I don’t normally feel that way about a book, but I think it’d be great.

One thing I “disliked” about the book, to finish off the review. The cliff-hanger ending. It’s a cliff-hanger!!!! I’m a so happy I read this book when I did because it’s only about a month until Vaempires: Zombie Rising is released. At least the wait isn’t very long and I still have the novella Vaempires: A White Christmas to read until then.

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This book can be found on Amazon

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About Thomas Winship

Thomas Winship lives in New York. He holds an MBA in Management from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he serves as MBA Director and adjunct professor of courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. He also spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training.

Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, a mystery/legal thriller entitled Temporary Insanity (a.k.a. Case Closed), was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. He published Vaempires: Revolution last October and a follow-up novella, Vaempires: White Christmas, in December. He is currently working on the next installment of the Vaempires series.

Tom is an avid collector of books, comic books, music, and movies. His interests are diverse—on any given day, Tom is likely to be found watching a horror movie, attending a hard rock concert, or enjoying a Broadway show.

Tom’s Links

COVER REVEAL – Vaempires: Zombie Rising by Thomas Winship

Thomas Winship, the author of Væmpires: Revolution and Væmpires: White Christmas has a new novella coming out in October. To lead up to his upcoming tour (starts September 10th, more details at the end of the post) Tom would like to share a little bit about Væmpires: Zombie Rising and would like to reveal the cover to all of you. I’m personally a fan of his past covers, and this one has also become and instant favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it as well. And if you haven’t checked out the Væmpires series yet, you may want to. The first book is on my list to review, so you’ll be hearing about (at least) that one fairly soon 🙂

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Væmpires: Zombie Rising

The tale of The Evolutionary War resumes in Væmpires: Zombie Rising.

Væmpires have taken control of twelve major cities. Their leader, Vielyn, seeks the atomic weapons that will bring the rest of the world to its knees.

Vampire forces are reeling. As Linq and Ray race to the royal estate to rendezvous with Cassandra and Daniel … the princess is captured and Daniel falls.

With the fate of world shifting to their teenage shoulders, Linq and Ray must deal with tremendous losses while battling a most unexpected—and undeadly—new foe.

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About Thomas Winship

Thomas Winship lives in New York. He holds an MBA in Management from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he serves as MBA Director and adjunct professor of courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. He also spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training.

Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, a mystery/legal thriller entitled Temporary Insanity (a.k.a. Case Closed), was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. He published Vaempires: Revolution last October and a follow-up novella, Vaempires: White Christmas, in December. He is currently working on the next installment of the Vaempires series.

Tom is an avid collector of books, comic books, music, and movies. His interests are diverse—on any given day, Tom is likely to be found watching a horror movie, attending a hard rock concert, or enjoying a Broadway show.

Tom’s Links

Væmpires: Zombie Rising will be released in October 2012. However, you can view the book trailer and read the entire book during the Dark Mind Book Tours pre-release tour that begins September 10th. Details announced soon!