My first piece of advice? Finish your novel then check it, polish it, and only then — when you are sure it’s been proofread to perfection — try to find agents who represent work similar to that of your own, either in style or genre. Follow their reading preferences, if at all possible. What is …

4 It was two long boring tedious days that Kate thought she’d never get through. Twice she picked up the phone to call Susan. But, by Wednesday lunchtime, she decided Susan would probably call her that evening, and held off. On a whim she went back to the cafe she had stolen the Tribune from, …

3 “So you see, I’m not the only one,” Kate said. Talking to Susan, though not about how her first day had gone or, how the week was shaping up to be a week from hell with Satan’s triplets. But about the ad she had found in the Herald Tribune. She sat in the quiet …

— 1 — “The dark does not swallow the light, but gives birth to it.”   On this particular day, a glorious sunny day in mid-winter here on Pantheon the central world of the Imperium, the imposing figure of Ravan Tal strode with a purpose across the soft-pink marbled floor. Each footfall of her boots …

2 OFFICE LIFE WAS AS CHAOTIC as it had always been. Frantic one minute, dull the next. And, as always, accompanied by the usual assortment of zoo personalities; clashing, creeping, manipulating and gossiping. It was only lunchtime on her first day and already Kate knew there was talk about her, behind her back. Some things …

1 THE AIR WAS damp rather than chilly as Kate Mackenzie stepped off the back end of the big red double-decker bus. Which was nothing unusual for an average winter’s day here in London. If it snowed in the heart of the city you knew the rest of the country was in dire straights, or, …

SHE FELT A BEAD OF SWEAT trickle down her back, while others formed ready to soak her shirt beneath her encounter suit. The overwhelming urge was to scratch at the irritation from the carbon that leached out of the suit, but she couldn’t. Couldn’t because of the large rubber gloves covering her hands. Hands that …

“Hi, my name is Finley,” she writes on the scrap of paper with a broken pencil Georgia gave her earlier. “You can blame Georgia for this, for what I am about to write, it was at her suggestion. Well, insistence, that I write it all down, how we came to this moment in time—” She …

It started, as these things always do, with some bright spark saying, “Yeah, no problem, I can do that.” This particular bright spark was named Clark Kent, a wunderkind in biology. His specialty? Spiders. Big spiders. Really BIG spiders. Kent thought he was accompanying his buddy, Dwight Eisenhower, to Bill Wiley’s presentation. Dwight, though, had …