Saturday, May 21, 2022

An intriguing mission - excerpt from new SciFi story for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

Last week, I flew home from my vacation with family in the UK. It’s the first time we’ve visited them in nearly three years. You can see some photos from my trip in the previous posts. 

I’d like to give you a taste of a new story I’ve been composing for several weeks. It is Sci-Fi with mystery and a slow romance. For much of the story, the male protagonist is unhappily married to someone else, Princess Allia, who is mentioned at the end of this excerpt.

This excerpt is at the beginning of the story. I’d appreciate any suggestions since I’m struggling with this chapter. I think it illustrates the setting, although it’s a lot to throw at a reader. 

Curator Shan Zennia gazed with anticipation at the wall screen as the space shuttle zoomed toward the planet of Harappi. This first glimpse of the location of her new mission stirred a familiar thrill of excitement. She touched the badge of office she wore on a chain around her neck. The badge, a silver sunburst around a pearlescent disk, doubled as a recorder. This assignment promised to be especially intriguing with the potential clash of two cultures amid the annual festival of Vashali.

The screen displayed the view of Harappi from an altitude high above the atmosphere. White clouds drifted over landmasses of dark green vegetation and blue-green oceans. The site of an ancient colony, the planet was mostly jungle with its population concentrated in small coastal cities.

Harappi was unfortunately situated in the nebulous region of galactic space abutting the Emperor’s Sector and the smaller Sectors of Chaktagoonacott and Ptavi. In his warped ambition, Emperor Hadros deemed the planet ripe for exploitation.

Ten sentences plus a little more:

He had sent his battleships, and after a fierce battle, his space fleet had defeated the poorly armed Harappian star fighters. Three months ago in standard galactic measure, he had declared victory. Imperial troops had occupied the capital city of Mattapurna, executed the reigning monarch, Maharaja Bahadur, and killed or imprisoned the members of the royal family.

The Emperor had designated his niece, Princess Allia, as the new ruler of Harappi with instructions to subdue its inferior people and confiscate the products of their farms and mines. Domina Allia and her retinue had arrived in the city only twenty five days ago.

Zennia pitied the Harappian people. Judging by her reputation, Domina Allia would be a cruel and tyrannical ruler.   

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments. If all goes well, I hope to finish the editing and publish this story in mid summer.  

This month is the eighth anniversary of publication of my first novel, The Lady is Blue, although the story was written three decades earlier. The second book in the series was composed and published later in 2014. The third book was published in 2019. 

The Lady is Blue is discounted to 99c to celebrate the anniversary. All three books in the series are 99c at my Direct store only.

All books are discounted on my Direct store relative to prices at other retailers. You can find the current (growing) selection at

Atrapako on Eden. SciFi Adventure and Romance. Feisty scientist solves mystery of scaly aliens on the remote planets of Eden and Vkani.

The Lady is Blue, Book 1, 99c Direct or Other Retailers 

Dragons of Vkani, Book 2, 99c Direct or Full price at  Other Retailers

Trapped on Vkani, Book 3, 99c  Direct or Full price at  Other


Please return to to sample the works of the other writers.


Find a catalog of my published stories HERE.




  1. Sounds like a great read! You throw a heavy amount of info at the reader here in large complex sentences. Smaller bits might be needed. I'd suggest breaking up the sentence lengths with some short punchy lines and maybe insert Zennia's personal opinions into the mix to break up the narrative. I do like it!!

    1. Thanks for your suggestions. I have already rewritten the section to include a little dialog and her impressions.

  2. It is a great introduction, but like Nancy, I think more introspection would be nice. Glad to see you have included that in the rewrite!

  3. Without knowing any more, I think the issue of the hero being married, even unhappily, to someone else, is going to present a problem for romance readers. Depends how you handle it of course. Best wishes.

    1. He is when they first meet. Not true romance. She pities him until events release him. It's sort of forbidden enemies with slow burn romance, and minimal heat.

  4. Oh wow--I already don't like Allia so it might be easy for me to sympathize with the MC--despite him being married.

    Happy publication anniversary! Glad you had a good trip, too. :-)

    1. Thanks. The natives call Allia a demon and Zennia wants to help her consort. I've decided this story is a tragedy with a happy ending.

  5. Hope you enjoyed your time in the UK.

    Nice start to the new story. I look forward to reading more :-)

    1. thanks. Yes, it was great to see my family after three years. We also saw the bluebells for the first time in even longer.

  6. It sounds like the Harappians are in a lot of trouble with Domina Allia in charge. Great intro!