In the year 8016 on the newly colonized planet Cecilia, space-age technology, hapless Earthling colonists, and a magical realm no one knew existed, will come together in a collision course when two young men from different worlds cross paths and fall in love. Sheridan Diggins, an astro-cab driver barely scraping a living, finds himself thrown into the deep end of a magical pool when Yuli Soulweaver, the prince of the dead, decides to come to the surface and woo him.
Of course, as it usually happens, nothing goes as planned, and murderous entities from Yuli’s world come after Sheridan to stop him once and for all. In the distant planet Cecilia, there are no grand space operas. No thrilling space adventures. No exciting scientific explorations of unknown quadrants. Only a young Earthling suddenly embroiled in high stakes drama when science and magic come together in the most hilarious ways possible.
Contains the stories:
Sheridan Diggins and the Dead Horde: The year is 8016, the planet, Cecilia. When 21-year-old Sheridan Diggins takes his youngest brother along in his astro-cab, he doesn’t expect a dull day to turn into a mind-boggling adventure involving a cursed space ship and corpses rising from their graves. And what he ultimately uncovers is something neither questionable science nor bottomless pints of Owen’s Galactic Beer can prepare him for.
The Golem Upstairs: Sheridan Diggins hasn’t had much luck in love. So when the prince of the underworld takes a sudden fancy to him, the future should look promising. Unfortunately, dating the youngest prince of the dead comes with a few complications. And it includes the fact that someone from Yuli’s world has discovered the lovers’ dirty little secret and has sent a mindless monster to do away with Sheridan.
The Romeo and Julian Effect: Intimidation from the underworld against Sheridan is escalating, and Yuli Soulweaver’s beginning to display alarming symptoms of fatigue that could be caused by ominous forces from his world. Nobody messes with a Diggins, however, and disgruntled immortals might very well be in for a huge surprise in their campaign of terror against a young colonist with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Monsters, Science, and Fanatics: After what should have been a relaxing time with his brother, Sheridan’s world goes on a tailspin when Adley’s kidnapped by Sheridan’s tormentors and held hostage. The demand is for Sheridan to bring Yuli back, which means Yuli has vanished from the land of the dead, and no one -- especially Sheridan -- knows his whereabouts.
EXCERPT FROM "Sheridan Diggins and the Dead Horde"
The two were soon back to staggering and stumbling their way to the house’s front door. It was one of those mansion-like domiciles, its ambitions for size and space justly checked by its chosen location, which meant the owners were rich but not the filthiest rich. Three floors high, it was nevertheless rather narrow and deep, its shape following the space allowed by the rock formations flanking it. In brief, it looked like a gothic crooked house, oozing old, dark secrets from its very foundation while being futuristic in everything else. That it still managed to avoid collapsing from its odd weight distribution was testament to the ingenuity of the architects and engineers of the planet Twyford, who’d helped -- and continued to help -- colonists build their homes on challenging surfaces. The house’s garage was separated by the presence of a massive, jagged boulder. It also tilted slightly at a diagonal -- the right front corner leaning down if one were standing inside the garage and looking out. Sheridan could only wonder how the owners parked their astro-car in it.
That was one thing about life on Cecilia: settlers were obliged to adapt to the terrain and not the other way around, a la Earth. Besides, legend had it that early colonists had actually bought into a sense of smug entitlement and tried to level large areas of the planet for habitation. They’d tried to recruit help from reluctant friendly aliens, who’d warned them of the inefficacy of their schemes, claiming, “This planet has never liked being altered. We’ve already tried and failed. Either you adapt, or you suffer what you usually refer to as karmic justice within your lifetime.” It was an odd thing to hear from very scientific aliens, to be sure. None of the colonists believed them and insisted on their help, nevertheless. Unfortunately for them, Cecilia really did have other plans, and for every piece of shattered rock, a colonist broke a limb, punctured a lung, cracked a skull, singed a handful of brain cells, or even lost an eyeball (or both). Colonists weren’t a superstitious lot, but they knew a losing side when they saw one. Pride was checked, and settlers settled in more ways than one. Reluctant friendly aliens swiftly turned to sympathetic friendly aliens and offered them comfort dessert and a very meaningful raised brow: “We told you so. Morons.”
Sheridan only needed to ring the doorbell once, and a butler answered. Sheridan assumed the man was a butler, anyway, given his uniform and his pretensions, the latter losing some of its sting, thanks to his bright lime green skin color and pastel pink hair and eyes. All the same, he greeted them with bored condescension, listened to their request with a pastel pink brow raised high and the corners of his mouth turned down, and then nodded stiffly.
“We have five communicator devices scattered throughout our home,” he said. “Seeing as how your request is quite simple enough, you’re welcome to avail yourself to one. You’ll need to wait out here, however, as the master and mistress aren’t particularly keen on having strangers without a formal business card.”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever floats your boat,” Sheridan replied, giving the butler a dimpled, close-lipped smile. “Thanks, Jeeves.”
The butler merely blinked, excused himself, and vanished indoors. In another moment, Sheridan was hollering into a communicator device, describing the location of the astro-cab as best he could to the owner of the tow ship he’d contacted. That is, he’d entered the main emergency tow number by memory and then randomly entered a number between 1 and 30 at the prompt, which was an extension that was linked to one of thirty licensed tow ships in Cecilia.
After the call, the butler wished them good luck and gently shut the door between them.
“Okay, well -- that was quick,” Sheridan said, turning around and draping an arm around Adley’s narrow shoulders. He turned the boy around and walked back down the footpath, dreading the trek. “Maybe next time you’ll have to pretend some kind of life-threatening injury, so we’ll be invited inside and fussed over with lemonade or something.” Right -- as if millionaires were keen on welcoming the dregs into their sparkly homes, even during an emergency.
“There won’t be a next time. Your astro-cab will be recharged regularly, and you’ll have your wallet and communicator with you wherever you go.”
“Don’t make me hate you, Adley. You’re way too young to be hated.”