Today I’ve been busy proof-reading my new novel. In all modesty, I have to tell you it’s a really good story, and because I haven’t looked at it since sending it through the publishing process, I almost have to remind myself that I wrote it! But, of course, I must remember that as usual several of the characters had a hand in the plot too (animals included).
Although I wrote it as a story aimed at younger readers, the more I think about it, the more I’m certain it will have much wider appeal – 9 years to 99 years! That’s also the impression I got from those of you who were reading along under it’s former working title ‘A Nick in Time’. Thanks once again for all your encouragement.
Also today, for a little change from the Rabbit, I’ve been casting a critical eye over friend and fellow author, Paul English’s latest novel-in-the-making, the next in his wonderful ‘Fire Angel Universe‘ series. This is a real treat, because it’s all fresh and new. We have an excellent reciprocal arrangement of reading and commenting on each other’s work, which naturally also involves coffee and cake!
‘Following The Green Rabbit’ is due to be released next month, and I’m sure Paul’s new novel ‘Fire Angel: Igniting the Spark’ will not be far behind.
Captain Kirk holds up his hands. “So let me get this straight,” he looks at each of us in turn. “You imagine something and then it just happens?”
“Yes sir.” I can hardly believe I’m speaking to Captain James T. Kirk. “Apparently the ship is powered by our minds and guided by our imaginations.”
Spock raises a skeptical eyebrow.
“Well, that’s what the Zyborgatron said.”
“The Zybogatron?” Kirk frowns and turns to Spock who is scanning the console with his tricorder. “Anything, Spock?”
“Negative, Captain.” He tweaks the instrument again.
“The longer we stay, the more likely something else bad is going to happen again,” I say nervously. “That Klingon and the Professor…” I glance at Harris and Stevens.
The screen on the console flickers into life. The Doctor’s face appears. “Jemma! Are you still on that ship?” He knocks on the screen. “Get off at once!” We see him peer at the screen, head on one side. “Well I never, is that Captain Kirk?”
“No, just the Doctor; but never mind that now. The ship you are on is dangerous, Captain Kirk! You need to evacuate. Destroy it if you…”
The screen goes blank.
Kirk’s communicator chirps. “Go ahead, Scotty.”
“Sir, we have a problem… It’s the Klingon. He’s standing right behind me with a weapon in his hand. It seems he wants that ship you’re on.”
“Fascinating,” observes Spock. He puts the tricorder down. “Let me try something, Captain.” Spock reaches across the console to the keyboard the boys were using to play Space Invaders. He presses three keys, one after the other: Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
Everything goes black.
This has been the last in the present series of Space Cadets, leaving you, in fine tradition, with more questions than answers.
Fear not, Space Cadets will return! And, of course, we will be bringing you a Christmas Special – there has to be one, doesn’t there?
Meanwhile, the script writers and production team will be busy with some other projects. Stay tuned!
Last Saturday saw the launch of the #WritingMyCity book, the exciting collection of
Cape Town writing, put together by Cape Town Library Service and Open Book.
The selected authors signed a copy for the organisers, Christelle Lubbe and
Frankie Murray. Then we opened our copies and started reading each others stories.
There are some fascinating stories, poems and memoirs in the collection.
Here’s the piece I wrote (page 96):
I’d been late leaving school that afternoon. I’d stayed behind because nice Miss Leibrandt had been helping me with my poem.
On the way home I’d been kicking a can along the dirt pathway between the shacks when I heard shouting over on the main road. Then there was the explosion. Flames shot up into the air, all red and angry-looking. Black smoke billowed upwards.
My house was the other way, but I had to see. I peered out from the end of the lane. People were jumping up and down in the street, arms waving angrily. They were chanting.
Flames licked out of the little corner shop. My friend’s shop. Mr Kabongo whose skin was as black as night, who came from another country further up the map of Africa. Mr Kabongo who told me stories about the animals of the forest where he grew up and the people who lived there before the war in his country. Mr Kabongo who gave me sweets when I went to fetch a half-loaf for my mother.
And now his shop was destroyed. I wondered if he was safe. Had he run, as he’d run before?
The Klingon waves his disruptor, gesturing for us to move away from the console.
“Mr. Kurn will take over from you now, Cadets,” the Professor says. She speaks in a flat tone, almost mechanically. Something’s definitely wrong.
The Klingon grunts something as he walks over us, his weapon is pointing directly at my chest. The Professor tries to say something, but suddenly she cries out and clutches at her left ear, wincing in pain. What’s going on?
We edge away from the console as a burst of static erupts from the speaker. A conversation is going on outside the ship.
“…Spock will give you the coordinates, Scotty… energize!”
Five new figures appear on the deck. It’s Captain Kirk and his crew.
“Hold it right there. All of you!” orders Kirk. The two red shirts close in, brandishing their phasers. One of them points his weapon at us. I glance at Stevens and Harris as slowly we raise our hands. Hold on, you’re supposed to be on our side!
The Klingon attempts to fire, but the disruptor jams. The red shirts rush to grab him just as the Professor collapses on the floor, holding her head in her hands. Dr. McCoy hurries to her side and whips out his medical tricorder. He waves it across her head and frowns.
“I need to get her straight to sick bay, Jim,” says the doctor. “It’s one of those damn mind-controlling worms of theirs!” He glares at the Klingon.
Kirk nods. “Okay, Bones,” he flips open his communicator. “Scotty, lock onto the doctor and his patient, and the security detail plus one prisoner.” He glances at the two red shirts. “Take the Klingon straight to the brig and make sure he stays there.”
Moments later they dematerialize, leaving Kirk and Spock alone on the deck with us. Kirk gestures to us to lower our hands.
Spock looks at Kirk and raises a quizzical eyebrow. Kirk turns to us.
“You kids have got some explaining to do.”
Will Bones manage to save the Professor from the mind-worm? What if he fails?
What was that Klingon up to? and what questions does Captain Kirk have for the cadets? Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!