Author: P. Joseph Cherubino

R9C3 Snippet

R9C3 Shippet (rough draft from Chapter 1): His friends and current quest companions were close enough for Kalmond to make out something else moving behind them. Its size was apparent, even past the frosted glass of the menu window that Kalmond dismissed with a wave of his hand. What the hell is that, Kalmond thought. At first, the dwarf guessed it was the opposite horizon. But Horizons don’t grow larger. They also don’t kick up clouds of dust and debris. He opened up a chat window with a simple thought. The thick glass panel hovered there on the prairie and Kalmond stabbed it with his thick index finger where the name Keerna appeared, then did the same for Thuglar and Thornbark to create a group chat. “What’s up?” Kalmond asked casually. “Run,” came Keerna’s breathless reply. It was about that time that the ground beneath the dwarf’s feet began to tremble. “What? Why?” Kalmond asked. It may have been the euphoric glow of success he felt from surviving his epic grind that made him oblivious. He pondered his cluelessness for a moment before he realized, probably too late, that the horizon growing larger as it bore down on him was made up of many living things. Like so many things in the Realm of the Nine Circles, they probably wanted to kill him. “Oh shit,” Kalmond said. “Yeah, that’s about...

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Realm of the Nine Circles Snippet

Thornbark’s Run (This is a snippet from a stand-alone short story telling the story of Thornbark’s experience right after the Game World War.) Thornbark galloped along the narrow forest trail at full speed. White lather sprayed from his hindquarters in thin sheets. He turned his human torso around once more and fired off an armor-piercing arrow, scoring a direct hit to the chest of the pursuing evil Orc paladin. An XP bubble rose above the kill, but he didn’t bother to read it. Instead, he turned around just in time to follow a sharp bend in the trail. Had he not turned, he’d have run slam into the trees and lost the rest of his hit points. He didn’t have many of those left. The only thing Thornbark wanted to do was quest through the new dungeon instances under the Giant’s Toe Mountains and eventually reach the new circle. He didn’t really care about the new circle as much as being left alone to quest as he’d always done. Instead, his high reputation level meant every player loyal to the vanquished Lord Mylos wanted him dead. “Next time, horse-boy,” said an incoming text from the dead Orc. The player’s name was FearTrucker, and sure enough, the bull-head icon of Mylos sat right there at the top of his name. “Piss off!” Thornbark replied, and the virtual reality immersion harness translated...

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Best Selling Author

Ha! Gotcha! The title is clickbait. I’m not a best-selling author, at least not yet. I am a struggling author who, at the time of this writing, has five books out and who is working on number six. Last month marked fifteen months since I quit my job and bought a cabin in the woods. I’m here to do two things: make a living as an author or go broke trying, and I’m not making a living. So, is this post a cautionary tale? Is this a Horatio Alger story about a guy who picks himself up by his own bootstraps, thrusts his thumb up his own ass and holds himself out at arm’s length? Am I here to reveal the secrets of how you too can become a best-selling author if you just follow my proven program that costs $1500? But wait, there’s more! But it’s not what you think. I’m not selling anything but a story, and you can buy it for the cost of your time. This story happens to be mine, and it’s about what I did to publish five books with decent ratings that earn me gas and food money. This is the story about how I spent a year pursuing a childhood dream of writing stories that people actually read and enjoy. How do I know people enjoy the books? They tell me...

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Dystopian Mars

“Big engine coming,” Merle said as he pulled up the collar of his GenI suit. The atmosphere was thinning out in the martian summer wind. They say it might take another couple generations for the atmotowers to fill out the Moab Crater. That is, if they don’t break down first. They’d been running full blast for three gens, and the best Merle could get was dust down his collar and clogged nostril filters. So much for the dreams of elders. His head sank down until his chin pressed the collar closed. Now his leathery cheeks took the worst of the sand blasting. His red beard grew redder and heavier with dust. Clanger just laughed. Her statuesque form stood like a landmark twenty feet ahead, unmistakable, even in the storm. She called back to him to be heard without the microband radio. He felt her voice in the storm and its husky timbre through the bone conductors at the base of his skull. She had an electric effect on his spine no matter how her voice conveyed. “Get your mangy white ass up here and let’s light them up,” she said, as if asking him to dance in her own special way. Merle took up the rail rifle and followed the span of Clanger’s hips into the storm. She was his Mongolian Giantess, Amazon Warrior Queen. She was a legend...

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