THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “THAT ONE MOMENT,” BY PATTY WISEMAN AND “NEW CITY,” BY SCOTT ABELS, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHORS PAGE.
THE BOOK: The Fountain
PUBLISHED IN: July, 2017
THE AUTHOR: John Maberry
THE EDITOR: Michelle Proulx did some helpful copy editing. She’s also a writer.
THE PUBLISHER: Eagle Peak Press
SUMMARY: A seven-story collection of fantasy and science fiction short stories. The back story offers more clues.
THE BACK STORY: Back in the day, the author watched “The Twilight Zone.” He also read many Carlos Castaneda books. Those sparked the theme and painful end to the leadoff story, “The Fountain.”
Like everyone, the author has seen or read much about vampires. He also has a loved one with a fairly common digestive disorder prevented by a pill. Voila, “Alfred’s Rare Blood Disorder.”
A family adopts a Golden Retriever. The author’s daughter had one, so he knows all about them. What if the family adopted one with some special talents? Find out in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”
Perhaps Through the Looking Glass, influenced “The Closet Door.” It’s set in coastal Maine, a place where the author’s family spent some time. Dan sees an unfamiliar face in the vacation cottage mirror—a parallel universe with a twist.
Wizards, a common theme. An aging wizard must do a good deed to free himself from an oath he made to a ruler. But some spells don’t always work out the way you wished in “The Wizard.”
The Outer Banks of North Carolina, another frequent vacation spot for the author’s family, is the setting for “The Flame.” He never saw any flames rising from the water but the thought popped into his head one night for a story line.
Yes, Fribble rhymes with Tribble for all you Trekkies. But it’s unlike a Tribble. An odd first encounter, with a somewhat bored and burned out pharmaceutical company employee. “The Fribble” is a story that may be continued in a novella if popular demand ensues.
WHY THIS TITLE: It’s the lead story in the collection—a modern day plunderer looking for fortune meets a long-dead shaman. Karmic consequences ensue.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Don’t have or want to take the time to read a novel? Then a collection of short stories allows easy stops and starts—on the bus or train, the waiting room or wherever. If you like fantasy or sci-fi, then this is for you. It has humor, twists and turns. A mix of times and places with current or retro themes and characters.
“A great read!” says D.G. Kaye, author of several nonfiction books. “If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses. . . Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist.”
“Clever set of short stories,” says Wesley Higaki. “The Fountain is a collection of six science fiction and fantasy short stories by John Maberry. I like the simple, whimsical style of these stories. Each is a clever story that ends with abrupt, but clever, plot twists. The characters are realistic and interesting; their interactions are believable.”
June Randolph says, “If you love stories with a surprise at the end, you will love these. Some are ironic, some cautionary, and some funny. A delight for the gray matter. Perhaps my favorite was Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder. I laughed the hardest at that one.”
AUTHOR PROFILE: John Maberry dreamed of being a writer from second grade. Life got in his way. He supplies details in Waiting for Westmoreland, describing how he came to have a happy and successful life. That, after surviving a hard childhood, failed marriages, an eye-opening year in Vietnam and more. He finished the memoir five years after retiring from a local government job in busy Northern Virginia.
That’s John in the author photo, relaxing with his friend Larry the Lizard. He met Larry in Mimbres, New Mexico. John and his wife relocated to scenic New Mexico six years ago. That move and other priorities, stalled the transition to speculative fiction, mysteries and writing genres. Finally, The Fountain, a collection of speculative fiction stories, came out in July, 2017. He’s also working on a few novels, planning for one every one to two years. The first should be out for the 2018 holidays. No more delays; time is fleeting.
When not working on the novels or the websites, the family enjoys life in their dream home high atop a hill. His wife of 35+ years has her quilting/craft room. He has an office shared with an energetic dog who lounges on a loveseat behind him when not out chasing rabbits. He’s a happy man and a funny guy (strange/weird his wife says).
AUTHOR COMMENTS: Finally on to fiction! The short stories were fun—indulging myself in varying subject lines, themes and characters. I like twists and humor. You’ll see if you read them.
I had to get something out now, couldn’t wait any longer for the novel. I’m actually working alternately on several. Hard to just stay on one. But the one which I’m furthest along on will come out in late 2018, if the computer doesn’t break down or the creeks rise.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: Here’s the opening two paragraphs from “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”
The first incident came on a morning walk past the retirement home, along a tree-lined boulevard. A flash of sun off a sliding glass door across the street caught Roger’s eye. A lady in a green dress stepped through the door onto her fifth floor balcony. She smiled and waved, seeing Lily with her plushy frog. It’s a retriever thing—Goldens can go nowhere without carrying something in their mouth. The matron began watering a potted ficus. He looked away momentarily.
A loud sound of rending metal drew his attention back to the building. With silver hair streaming and dress flapping like a flag in a stiff wind, the woman plunged from the collapsing balcony. Lily barked at the sight, dropping her frog. In that brief moment, a shimmer appeared in the air. The woman disappeared into the flickering space, never hitting the ground. Lily barked again, before picking up her frog and moving on with the walk as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
LOCAL OUTLETS: It’s Kindle only; too short for paper so no outlets other than Amazon. But it’s available in all the countries Amazon serves.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Nowhere else, sorry.
PRICE: $2.99 but watch for three free days in August, the 25th, 26th and 27th.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org