|The Arch of Endings ...and other odd tales
by Stephen P. Miles, $12.00 includes P&H, 110 pg, perfect bound, ISBN:
1-931575-50-9, published by Old Mountain Press contains an exciting shoot-‘em-up
new novella and five finely crafted short stories in the sci-fi/fantasy
style that only Miles can write. A must read for any Sci-Fi enthusiast
or anyone who enjoys finely crafted writing. Order On-Line or by sending
your check or money order to Old Mountain Press, 2542 S. Edgewater Dr.,
Fayetteville, NC. E-mail the
your copy online now!
This book has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2005
Also available on line with Barnes & Nobel.
Cover Sculpture: Patricia Wallace Jones
The Arch of Endings: A novella and 5 short stories
covers a wide breadth of the best new science fiction and fantasy writing
lately. Want to know what purgatory might really be like? Check
out the humorous “Helping Katie On.” Think aliens visit us
for sinister reasons? Perhaps they only want something a bit more
simple. Read “Gas Stop” to see what that might be. Mountain
folk may know more than the worlds finest doctors and if your only son
was dying in a hospital, you too might search out someone with “Methusa’s
Touch.” Space really is the final frontier and it all might come
to a screeching halt for everyone if three intrepid explorers don’t do
something quick in the exciting novella, “The Spires of Kelso.” Life
on Mars? What would happen if three ore miners on the red planet
stumbled onto a very well kept secret in “The Arch of Endings.” A
shepherds life is not an easy one at the best of times. What happens when
you toss Armageddon into the mix? That’s just one of the surprises
in “The Hexam Cote.”
Tom Mckensie stepped into the airlock of HABITAT and waited for the sudden hiss of air to crescendo and stop. A green digital above the door to atmosphere began a ten-second count. Mckensie checked his airpak and the laser spade on his utility belt. The smooth roll of the airlock door interrupted this inventory and he stepped out into thin blue sunshine. A veteran of nearly thirty planet falls, Mckensie never lost his delight in the unique variations of the different worlds he mapped.
“But you’re talking!” This simple exclamation wouldn’t have been much out of the ordinary except the recipient was a cat.
“Of course I’m talking. How else would we communicate?” This particular cat was glossy black with round green eyes as clear and uncluttered as mine might have been 40 years earlier...say, before the ‘60's had worked me over.
Methusa, living nearby on some mountaintop, dug her roots and lived her legend. From pink-eye to terminal tumors; from AIDS to plantar warts, she cured them all. She could make the lame walk and the blind see. So the people who lived on the hard ridges of these unforgiving mountains believed. And believed it with something which was much stronger and went much deeper than they even took their hellfire Baptist religion.
The two men sat on a small stoop that jutted out like an afterthought from the gas station’s front. The men looked as old as the building they adorned, weathered and brittle. Arizona summers, especially near Yuma, were not known for their gentleness. Blistering daytime temperatures, a ravenous lack of humidity that sucked moisture from anything unlucky enough to posses it, and the sun; the sun was worst of all. Staring down from a sky forever as blue as a robin’s egg, it ruled the desert with a firm, unforgiving hand.
The Arch of Endings
His name was Crook and herding sheep was all he knew. As far back as he could remember he had wanted to be a shepherd, and so that was what he had become. Although he suspected he was not very intelligent in the larger scheme of things, he was agile and patient and learned quickly the things he needed to know and did not bother about the rest. He was content to wander the North Riding with his flocks and to care for them through the endless turn of the seasons.
Miles’ fiction and poetry has been published in over 150 magazines and anthologies including Playboy, Amazing Tales, Southern Images, Pembroke Magazine, Sanskrit, Crucible, Synthesia, New York Arts Journal, Zone 9, and Guilt & Gardenias. He has published several books of poetry including Rubicon, Songs of the Dying king, 2:15, Silent Women and Crescent to Quarter. He has served as an editor of several publications, including Fayetteville Magazine, New Voices: A Time to Listen, and as editor and publisher of The Cape Fear Quarterly. His plays include DEROS: A Vietnam Trilogy, Living in Jericho, Olde Times, and Clusters 2-456. Miles is currently working on a novel, NNE. His writings, in all genres, have won numerous awards including the Thompson Theater Playwrights Aware, the Sanskrit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature, two first place Tarheel Writers Roundtable Awards, and two North Carolina Fellowship Grants. He was a Bollingbroke finalist in 1993. He has taught workshops in short fiction, poetry, drama, and science fiction/fantasy and has taught Creative Writing at Methodist College. He is a founder of the Professional Writers Group and a past president of Writers’ Ink Guild. He currently works as a security consultant for OSS training U.S. military personnel in survival, evasion, resistance and escape techniques.