Astro Hal made a surprise trip back to Earth this Halloween.

My short story “Lines of Fire”, published by Reality Skimming Press in the Megan Survival Anthology, is now available on Smashwords. There’s a nice blurb about it on the Reality Skimming website, AND an interview. Ellen Koehler (editor) was a pleasure to work with, and I share the company of some talented authors in the anthology, so be sure to check out the rest of the works. Jeff Doten also did a sweet picture of one of the aliens from his world (a “trip”) surrounded by flames as…

This poem was written months ago at the Astro-HAL blastoff party by my good friend Brad OH. I’ve been meaning to share its simple brilliance for a while now, so without further ado… As I took a walk through space I came upon the strangest place A Comet circling a star A nebulous cross of near and far And who lived there except my pal The one and only Astro HAL. -Brad OH (www.BradOHInc.com)

The distinctions between who’s right, who’s wrong–and especially who can be trusted–get increasingly blurred as Shepherds of Sparrows reaches its climax. What seems to be a straightforward matter of us versus them becomes a multi-faceted struggle for power, and even when Nestor thinks he’s got a handle on things, however tenuous, the situation spirals out of control once more. In this illustration by Debbie Ha, we see Nestor encounter a deadly surprise after putting himself in mortal danger. The trap is sprung and enemies surround him. Find out…

Pleo, the middle child of the Ald’erda family, has the most radical reaction to his parents’ murder. He seethes with anger toward his father for putting them in such an ostracized position, and flounders for somewhere to direct his rage. After failing to join the mob who would have him killed, he decides he’s on the wrong side, and needs to punish the hunters who think a child’s genetic make-up is cause for execution. Much like Olivia and Voltan, Pleo also wants his family to be brought back…

I launched “Shepherds of Sparrows” on Dec. 4, 2013, at Happy Harbor Comics. It was a BLAST. Jay, one of the co-owners, was extremely helpful getting everything organized, set up, and just in general showing support for the whole event. It’s very well set up, with a good space for someone to present and have an audience not jammed between rows of books. There’s also a projector and speakers, which I made use of to showcase a radio broadcast from the planet Monitum. On the projector I got…

I’ve been blessed to have Jeff illustrate a ton of content from Shepherds of Sparrows, and feel obliged to share his thoughts and insights regarding his creative process. His balance of colour and shadow is superb. His vision to bring life to words has made me giddy with excitement many times over. Read more about him below! This interview originally featured on Reality Skimming. *** Jeff has been drawing, painting and sculpting things since he arrived on the planet. So far he has been unable to stop. He…

Nestor Tark, the man Di Mon entrusts with the investigation of the conflict in Shepherds of Sparrows, gets pulled in too many directions as the story unfolds. He is forced to prioritize everything that he holds dear, and as a result, he and his wife Remei are separated. Nestor is familiar with being the lone wolf, a solo crusader, so when he hears that the lynching mob has caught Remei, he doesn’t hesitate to go alone into the heart of enemy territory, back to where the story began….

A somber sky looks down upon the fires of Grianach as the conflict intensifies. Voltan and Olivia overlook what was once their home, and feel lost in a world now totally alien to them. In this illustration, Jeff Doten has done a beautiful job of capturing the ominous atmosphere of what lay ahead for the children. They will have to carve their own paths, find their own ways of coping and moving forward after so much has been lost. The wind can blow these sparrows in many directions,…

In this illustration by Debbie Ha, we see the wonder of discovery through the eyes of Voltan, who has finally found a way to put his hyperactive mind to good use. He explores and manipulates protein structure using interactive goggles and gloves—which he masters immediately. Although Prokhor, his mentor, showed Voltan the door, it’s almost as if the mentor is clutching on, trying not to be left behind. The curse of Voltan’s genetics turns into an asset as he makes leaps and bounds in the research to end…