Quotation from “Peter Grimes” by Benjamin Britten Bonus item: Preamble Bonus item: Space Tektonics, Inc – Manfred Hengst’s orbiting space complex. Bonus item: Glossary of alien words and names....

Top Shelf launching Monday, Nov 4th with Chapter 1 of The Atheling. We have created the Top Shelf for the series to separate it from the main podcast library. Since the series contains sensitive material in places, we have placed an age gate on the shelf as an alert. I post this preamble which will always be available in the Top Shelf Bonus folder along with other items as they are added....

(2-tone print on parchment by Roberts not used in the printed book.) Readers ask: Does Bruto get his human form finally? My reply: The clue to that lies in Chapter 7. But does it matter? This marks the end of over three years of regular podcasts. All these books are for anyone, no age range set. Early October, I kick off the SF quartet which is for older readers and access will be duly limited. I thank all who have listened in and hope we meet ag...

Peter pictured Bruto in the big, empty mansion, dining alone in the Great Hall by the light of the golden tree candelabras. No talk, no sharing songs on the spinet. Now if Bruto sang, his voice would echo through the solitary spaces, with no one else to hear. Bonus item: Bella and Bruto talking together in the courtyard...

“Bruto, it is wrong to force your will on people!” Bella cried. “And we’ll never give in!” She turned to Peter. “I’m beat. I’m going to sleep right here.” “Not me.” Peter remembered the first night they’d fled: the roars and the howling. “No way I’m going to close my eyes. No way … no way….” Note: the pig in ‘Tom, Tom the piper’s son&...

They scrambled up and hurried around the corner of the greenhouse. In the full glare of the late morning sun lay a body covered in a heavy cloak and hood. Bela darted forward and crouching drew the hood aside. Bruto....

As he peered down, the massive shape unfolded from its chair to stand beside it. Then, unaware of being watched, it moved out from the shadows towards the spinet and Peter froze. “What, what is it?” Bella called from the stairs. Bonus item 1: Bella at the spinet. Bonus item 2: What Peter saw. Bonus item 3: How Bella likely would have seen it....

Tomorrow night, (Peter) thought drowsily, slipping into sleep at last, what then? They surely wouldn’t even think of going back into that place—would they? He certainly would not. But you never knew with Bella. Bonus item 1: Bella in her finery. Bonus item 2: Shadow behind the chair...

This final Jason chapter replaces the 1st edition version in the printed book and will comprise Sunday in the second edition. This coming Thursday I begin reading Beauty and the Beast, a retelling. The pen & ink illustrations by Claire Roberts (couple by me) will be included as bonus items with each chapter....

Tears came, warm tears, blinding him. He felt the woman’s touch, a soft caress. “Jason? Jason, love, what is it?” “I want my dad,” he sobbed....

Looking Jason’s way, the prince strode over. “Is not Rani the most delicious creature? Her face is as a million summer gardens, her skin is delicate as—” “Can Rani get us some curry, Firouz?”...

Halfway along the horse’s polished neck, Jason found a small red button. He pressed it, and at once the horse began to buck and bounce like a dime store ride gone wild....

“Grippus, Grampus, hippo-campus! Who cares, let the ocean damp us!” Jason sang … and wished the night would last a long, long time…....

“Let me get this: you sit out here for ten whole years. Then you build this thing and quit. Won’t the Trojans be suspicious?” Epeus stopped smiling. “If they are, we’re all dead men.”...

“Ten years we’ve waited on Troy’s front doorstep. The city must be ours today==or never.” Captain Epeus...

Soothsaying? Jason looked around the circle. What was that?… “Ask something,” Aesclepius murmured. “Quick.” “I—” Jason gazed around. Sons of kings and princes, destined to be heroes. He cleared his throat. “Will I be anything?”...

… Achilles stayed fixed on Jason. “How dare you, mongrel, come up here without lineage?…” Mongrel? Jason got slowly to his feet. “I’m good as you any day.” The big boy laughed. “Prove it.”...

Jason was just about to move on when, up on the rack behind the vendor’s head, he spotted a silver stallion rearing up against a deep blue sky....

Abigail paced to the window and back. “I only hope it’s not too late….” Emma sobered up at once, recalling her thought that the spell might not work now....

Maybe after a night’s sleep, Abigail won’t be so mad. Maybe in the morning she’ll remember the good times, and how nice I was, and she’ll change her mind. Maybe . . . Note: Emma’s text on the mirror is shown in the book. Her last appeal is a crude drawing of the heart halves unlinked....

Chapter 1 – The Hesta
Top Shelf / July 6, 2020

She lifted off the helmet, shook out her hair in relief. Stepped into the open hatchway. There came a shriek from below. High, loud. Female. “Your Aunt Marita?” MacAllister cocked his head. Shira had to smile. “Kataïs—my eldest sister.” Home at last. Chart showing route of shuttle going to Bourg...

Chapter 27 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / July 2, 2020

“Oh, and Hengst—” Sven’s voice climbed the register. “MacAllister’s got the starstrips, don’t let him fool you.” “Why thank you, young man. Your father’s here and waiting to meet you.” The screen cut. Ellisen sat stunned. “I don’t believe it,” he said to Katz. Far from risking his life to join his dad, Sven had sold him out! NOTE: This chapter marks the end of The Orborgon. Volume III of the tetralogy, The He...

Chapter 26 pt ii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 29, 2020

One glimpse she had of a mess of shapes below, the three Fendmen in the grasp of Brocan’s men, Rakia kneeling by her own still form, Brocan stirring—thank the Quaur! No sign of Bard and child—and they vanished. A last thought, Up to Bard now, then Annhilde rendered up her spirit....

Chapter 26 pt i – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 25, 2020

“You have been there, Bard?” Annhilde said at last. “Many times.” Again the old man touched his temple. “I have seen the holy city in the days before the roofs came down.” Brocan sat up and cleared his throat. “You spin a good yarn, man. Sing another.” “Gladly, but not today, I think.”...

Chapter 25 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 22, 2020

“Days of happiness.” Annhilde braced to meet Bard’s keen appraisal, but as he straightened she exclaimed aloud. The eyes that in her vision had been in deep shadow were milky and opaque: The man was blind....

Chapter 24 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 18, 2020

“That was how they expected me to act, so I obliged them. Tahinay, I’m truly glad you’ve come at last.” “You’re—” Annhilde walked into the room. “You knew I was coming?” “Oh, yes. Bard told me. He watched you coming, he saw you arrive. You’re the one who’ll make me walk, and”—Reyula pointed—“she’s the orborgon.”...

Chapter 23 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 15, 2020

Annhilde fumbled the flap open, drew Hesta out. The gray light, striking through a slit in the bandages, touched the eyelids and the tiny mouth opening wide, there burst from it a squalling as would have shamed a felmar pack. Manaton stood. “What does the little one need, tahinay?” “Water,” she cried above the din. “Warm water and a cloth to suck.” “I think I can do better than that,” he answered, and rounding his desk, ...

Chapter 22 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 11, 2020

Anka huddled, setting his back to the wind and rain. The nightmare just went on and on. And it was getting worse each day. Soon, very soon he had to find some way of ending it. . . ....

Chapter 21 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 8, 2020

“What you must have suffered when Threa stole the anuk! You foolish woman, I could have saved you so much.” “It’s hard to change a lifetime’s habit, Rakia.” “I’m sure. Well, let’s drink up and then you’ll see how fast a hansard strikes camp when he’s pressed—and all because of you, rascal.” She lifted Hesta, kissed her cheek, and laid her across her knee....

Chapter 20 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 4, 2020

“I saw Ragnar. . . ‘ Brocan put his arm about her shoulder. “Surely you were mistaken. I tell you, those men left, and Dryac knows how many purses says they did not come back in.” “What if they did in some way—like Hesta?” Brocan frowned. “I’ll have this city searched from end to end. If those men are anywhere within these walls, we’ll find them!”...

Chapter 19 pt ii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / June 1, 2020

(MacAllister) began to walk back toward the hub. “You didn’t read him, I suppose?” “You mean while I was wrestling him away from me?” “Okay, sorry. Look: are you game to read him now?” She eyed him resentfully. He didn’t care, about her, about what Sven had done. So she’d have to look out for herself. “You bet,” she said. “You bet!”...

Chapter 19 pt i – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 28, 2020

(Rakia) handed Annhilde a list. Annhilde looked it up and down, frowning. The other wives, minus Threa, of course. But Vokar was there, she saw with interest. Then first cousins, uncles and aunts, all the relatives of first ranking. “It seems so ungracious,” she said. “To you, maybe. But it is the Gurdn way.”...

Chapter 18 pt ii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 25, 2020

Tell me, woman, what do you feel for me—truly? She buried her head in his chest. If it’s the truth you want, shahansond is what I feel—as you feel it for me. Brocan tightened his arms about her as the sled turned up the hill....

Chapter 18 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 21, 2020

“…This malady we’re both supposed to have, whatever is it?” Monidia considered. “What I feel for Coruan, that’s shahida. The pain of engorged krudt is shahanda. The want of bard for a lady in her tower is shahudah. Shahansond embraces all three, and by that surpasses them, for being pure it lasts forever.”...

Chapter 17 – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 18, 2020

Brocan walked her back into his ap-howdh. “Tonight I strip Threa of rank. And you become first wife in her place.” “No!” “And I say yes!” He slammed the connecting door shut smartly. “The clan must learn of my true feelings for you, and feel the weight of my authority. From this day, none shall say the tahin of this clan is governed by the distaff!”...

Chapter 16-pt ii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 14, 2020

“Enjoy your leisure while you can,” (Annhilde) smiled. “For that one promises a cruel appetite.” She bent to caress the baby’s head, then planted a quick kiss on Monidia’s cheek. Monidia caught her hand. “I’m so ashamed.” “My dear, you weren’t to know. Now rest.” Annhilde went to the door. “Tahinay—” Monidia’s color was better now, and she was smiling. “Welcome to the howdh.”...

Chapter 16-pt i – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 11, 2020

“But I tell you, scorder, you tax me sorely. Even as I struggle to repay my debt to you, so it ever mounts. Listen: tomorrow we’ll breakfast in my tower, and I shall lay Kond at your feet. Now,” he went on, handing Hesta over. “You’ve told me all about this one. So tell me how you came to be, and how you managed to survive.”...

Chapter 15-pt ii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 7, 2020

(Annhilde) leaned down, reaching for the anuk. It wasn’t there. She leaned farther, thinking to have nudged it in her sleep. Still her hand did not encounter it. She fell to her knees, groped under the chair, under the bed, then struggled up, panic in her belly. The anuk was gone....

Chapter 15-pt i – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / May 4, 2020

Ord nodded Prosser to the synergizer controls. Every one of these transmits was a reprieve for them. Right on, old man. Get going, and keep going, he urged, as ghostly shapes began to fill the middle of the lab floor. The longer you stall, the longer we stay. . . ....

Chapter 14-pt iii – The Orborgon
The Orborgon , Top Shelf / April 30, 2020

“And where’s my chamber? I’ll have to spend this night in my old nursery, eight ap-howds over. All steps, such inconvenience.” (Rakia) smacked the pile of boxes and chests. “I shan’t unpack. We’ll be out of here first light. Ah, here’s the hot water. Put that wretched anuk down, let’s get you washed for bed.” Combined Glossary for Vols I & II:...