Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Unsprung...Or Maybe It's Just Me...

It's Spring!  Well, it's supposed to be Spring.  I think it is going to be 2 degrees outside tonight, buy hey - the calendar says it's Spring!  Gotta look for that silver lining wherever you can, am I right?

So, I'll forget the snow and ice outside and pretend it's a balmy 68.  Spring gets my head in the game as a writer.  I spend the late fall through winter months hibernating - lurking on loops and blogs, trying to find excuses to stay in my flannel sheets all day...that kind of thing. 

But Spring makes me want to launch stuff.  I'm getting ready to launch a short story collection featuring my Bombay Family of Assassins Series...but I'm also trying something new...

I'm going to post a serialized funny sci-fi book, starting with the first 100 pages, in April!  GASP!
This book may be the true book of my heart.  I'm a sci-fi geek and I LOVE funny sci-fi - Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett (well, more fantasy) and Jasper Fforde.  I'm launching a book I've been working on for years.

My publishers said, 'funny sci-fi' won't sell.  My agent loved it but said that funny sci-fi won't sell.  Another agent who sells to a major sci-fi publisher looked at it and said it was funny, but it won't sell.

It's not hard sci-fi as much as it is more satire.  I love it.  My critique partners love it.  My author friends love it.  We shall now see if it will, actually sell.  I'm setting the bar pretty high - 10 sales to people who are not my mother - nor who were strongarmed by my mother to buy it.  Ten sales (ten thousand would be nice) that give good reviews on Amazon, BN, whatever.  Ten strangers who take a chance on it and love it.

That's all I need for validation.  Then I'll do my 'nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah' dance.  I promise to let you know how it goes.

In fact, here on this blog, I'm giving you the world premiere first sneak peek of DR. AWKWARD: A Bob Palindrome in Space Adventure!  Here you go:


Chapter 1

Do geese see God?


            Bob Palindrome sighed.  Time to save the world.  Again.  Using his rude, middle finger he depressed the green, wailing button for the seventh time this week.  As the siren stopped, the planet returned to its previous state of not-being-in-danger. 

            Not that there was much to saving the world.  All you needed was an appendage of some sort, a small amount of pressure to push the button and the will, or at least, the interest to do so.  A decidedly dull venture.

            Eve stuck her extremely large and swollen head (which at this point was the size of a dishwasher, if dishwashers were oval in shape) through the doorway.  “All good then?”

            Bob nodded and his grotesquely perky cousin removed her head, giving the doorway the appearance of correct size again.  Rising to his feet, Bob stretched his athletic, six-foot-five frame to full length.  How had he gotten talked into this job?

            He was utterly bored.  All he did was sit and push the damn button.  It wasn’t like he was saving lives or anything.  Oh, wait – yes it was.

            It was all Eve’s fault.  Okay, well it really wasn’t her fault that the planet was so silly it required constant button pushing to avoid obliteration.  That was actually the fault of the Python Templars – the pilgrims who settled here.  And their line of reasoning for the button?  It seemed like a good idea at the time. 

            No, Eve needed help and since Bob was currently (and rather unfortunately) free of work at the moment, here he sat.  And with his Ford space truck down in the bay for repairs and the U-net on the fritz, he hadn’t heard from Lola, so there was no hope for escape from the monotony of saving this stupid planet.

            Bob rubbed his eyes and thought of what usually came to mind at these moments – his father.  It was Otto Palindrome who invented this parallel dimension, which he named Mad Adam, and the planets that existed here.  He stumbled upon the simple equation that allowed him to create a new universe while cleaning bird shit off of his minivan.  Something about the splatter pattern spoke to Otto and by the end of the following day, he had invented the parallel universe.  By the end of that year, all 1001 planets had been delivered, custom ordered by 1001 special interest groups.  And it was because of his father that he was doing this instead of what he really wanted to do.

            “Care for a sandwich?” Eve shouted from the other room sounding strangely like a rusty bell ringing.

            “Sure.  What the hell.”  Bob shouted back.  He could hear his cousin shuffling around on the other side of the door. 

            Being that she was his relative, Eve Palindrome usually drove Bob to the brink of frustration, somehow managing to pull him back before he hurt anyone, or himself.  They got along okay and she was fairly decent to work with.  It was just that swollen, misshapen head.  That really annoyed Bob.  Not because it was so large, but because it was kind of his fault.

            Eve had helped Bob a couple of years back on the planet S. S. Enterprise – a planet consisting of four million Trekkies (which was 3,999,999 more Trekkies than Bob thought was necessary in the universe, but that was beside the point).  The planet wasn’t such a bad place to visit, once you A) got past the hundreds of thousands of Captain Kirk-a-likes and their appalling over-acting, and B) realized you didn’t have to stay there – in fact – never had to visit again.  The planet Earth even awarded Bob’s dad the first ever Key To The Planet for finding a home for these people. 

            No, the worst part was when some idiot decided it would be fun to re-create the Great Tribble Invasion from the television show.  Cloning the furry lumps turned out to be ridiculously easy.  Apparently you just needed salt, Mexican jumping beans and the DNA of a long-haired guinea pig.  Within minutes of creating the first one, Adrian WapCaplett (after screaming “It’s alive!  It’s alive!” over and over and thus annoying his neighbors) discovered that the creatures were asexual and could reproduce once they were exactly five minutes and thirty-two seconds of age. 

            The Tribble infestation commenced after three hours and within a week, every heating duct, sewer system and phone line (Bob never did figure that one out) was clogged.  And, every human being was horribly allergic to the little beasts, causing an impressive mucus problem followed by a disastrous tissue shortage. 

            Bob and Eve spent several days on the problem before they discovered that Tribbles melt when you accidentally spill Diet Coke on them.   By the following Thursday, the Tribbles had been reduced to a slimy, yellow goo and the crisis was averted.

            Bob’s allergic reaction to the Tribbles cleared up immediately upon return to Earth, but Eve’s exposure caused her head to swell on and off to rather alarming sizes.  Several doctors worked round the clock so her skull wouldn’t burst.  It wasn’t until the application of several space leeches that she began to look normal, although she still experienced the occasional relapse.  Bring her within twenty yards of an Abyssinian Guinea Pig and her noggin would swell up to the size of a Macy’s parade float.

Well, there you have it!

Wish me luck!

Leslie Langtry


  1. I wonder if Coke Zero would work as well on Tribble infestation? I think you and Bob can pull this off!

  2. Any book with shout-outs to Lost and Star Trek on the first page or two is a winner in my book. Gotta love it. I'm getting this one.

  3. Thanks Anne! I'm a fan too. I still remember the first time I saw the Tribble episode back in the 70's. I thought tribbles were cute and wanted one (I was seven).

  4. Good luck on your new series. Looks like it will be a blast. Get it? Blast, space? :) xoxo

  5. THIS Story is one of the reasons I LOVE Indie Pubbing! Write a great book--put the word out (pun not intended) and let the readers decide--so many books that aren't what the Houses are looking for find fabulous audience! Good Luck with Dr. Awkward Leslie!

  6. Thanks Malena! I'm really hoping it will 'take off!'

  7. Maggie - you are soooo right! It's my new favorite thing!

  8. Leslie, I think this is hilarious...lOL and I am not even a trekkie...will put on much are you asking people to there a link?

  9. Thanks Sheila! There's no link yet - It's going up for sale soon. I'm thinking 99cents since it's a serial.

  10. This is great! Can't wait for the book