Author: Alexandra

Moon Shot tanka challenge

I stumbled upon Denny blogging over at, theceaselessreaderwrites, who’s participating in Dave’s Moon Shot Challenge. Each contribution is a tanka, a Japanese stanza form comprising 5 lines with a suggested syllable count of 5-7-5  7-7. Here’s Dave’s starter tanka: “Eyes down for stray coins Or lonesome tweets. So what, if Dull skies lack twitter? Where are the swifts blown? Summer’s On hold till they’re back on course. Denny’s addition is: “Of course, coins enrich, as much as the swift’s sweet song, while tweets leave minds dull. Autumn, elevate my thoughts on gentle, warming updrafts. With my humble submission: “Random thoughts sail away Thinking of winter’s cold breath, For a time to come. Summer’s warmth will carry us Through the snow, and biting winds! Feel inspired to join in? Stop by Dave’s blog and add your own stanza.

#Fantastical Fridays no.1

For this, my first #Fantastical Friday, I want to share three books that cross genres due to one or more ‘fantastical’ element. James Rollins has written any number of books that while on the surface might be classed as a thriller or an adventure but, when you look deeper, also included fantastical elements. So let’s start there: AMAZONIA — James Rollins The Backcover Blurb: The Rand scientific expedition entered the lush wilderness of the Amazon and never returned. Years later, one of its members has stumbled out of the world’s most inhospitable rainforest: a former Special Forces soldier—scarred, mutilated, terrified, and mere hours from death—who went in with one arm missing…and came out with both intact. Unable to comprehend this inexplicable event, the government sends Nathan Rand into this impenetrable secret world of undreamed—of perils to follow the trail of his vanished father…toward mysteries that must be solved at any cost. But the nightmare that is awaiting Nate and his team of scientists and seasoned U.S. Army Rangers dwarfs any danger they anticipated…an ancient, unspoken …

List of Contents

I’m following in the footsteps of the very talented Margot over at, Confessions of a mystery novelist, who took up challenge by FitfulFearfulPhantasmal, to write a piece of Flash Fiction as a list of contents. My thanks to both for the inspiration. Here’s what I came up with. This is the official list of catalogued items found floating in the engine room aboard the Daedalus Space Station, by rescue workers. What has happened to missing engineer, Lt. Tony Cho. Main Engine Room: 1. Left glove of EXO suit 2. Acetylene torch and 4 mini gas canister (empty) 3. A single large feather 4. Re-breather mask (damaged) 5. Empty lead-lined class 4 container 6. Roll of fine tungsten steel cord 7. One Goddard magnetized plate 8. One Pistol-Grip spatial screwdriver 9. One ratchet trick tool 10. One ceramic cupeling container 11. Four partial teeth: human 12. One well-worn classic novel, 3 pages missing 13. One broken yellow pencil 14. Empty packet of wriggles gum Missing from Engine Room: 1. Two tungsten steel panels 4 x 4 …

Ack-Ack Macaque, by Gareth L. Powell

DETAILS Title: ACK-ACK MACAQUE Author: Gareth L Powell Publisher: Solaris Books, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-78108-060-3 Genre: SF | Steampunk BACKCOVER BLURB In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque.’ The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins circle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon. WHAT I THOUGHT Ack-Ack Macaque, by Gareth L. Powell, is, without a doubt, one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed in a long, long time. This superbly plotted and …