A LONG TIME FROM NOW IN A GALAXY WE CALL HOME...
It is the twenty-third century and scientists, dreamers, crooks and believers have bridged the vast cosmos, staking their claims where distant suns burn fierce in the sky. Yet for all of humankind’s technological marvels, life for many is far from a wondrous fairytale.
What is the connection between a mysterious sleeping woman and a gangster with a penchant for snakes? When the power fails when parents are out for the night, is it wise to be wandering the forest with vicious robot wolves on the loose? Can a young boy change his destiny with the help of a fraudulent wizard and draw the sword from the stone? Brought to a lonely tower for his safety during wartime, should a prince really be talking to a mysterious stranger bringing him gifts? What horrors lurk in the basement for a young woman betrothed against her will to a tyrant? Are the city streets paved with gold for the lowly detective and a stolen brass clockwork cat? Who will help a downtrodden shopping mall Santa Claus to win back the spirit of Christmas? Can a lost little girl defeat the evil ruler with the help of her seven diminutive miner friends? It is supposed to be the season of goodwill!
This collection brings together the main-sequence seasonal tales from the space-opera Worlds of Hollow Moon:
- "Snakes On A Spaceship" NEW!
- "Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf"
- "A Wizard, A Sword And A King"
- "The Ivory Tower"
- "Festival Of The Star"
- "The Clockwork Cat"
- "Santa Claustrophobia"
- "Psyche's Seven"
- Epilogue: Extract from The Avalon Job
- Timeline Interviews, part 2: Main Sequence.
Published for the first time are the timeline interviews, a light-hearted look at how the various novels and short stories fit together. In this volume, Ostara Lee and Zotz Wak talk about events from Hollow Moon onwards...
HOLLOW MOON CHRISTMAS SHORT STORIES have been published every December since 2011. These are generally science-fiction reinterpretations of traditional tales popular in the British tradition of pantomime, while fitting into the overall story arc of the novels. This volume was updated and reissued in December 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023.
(First published 12 December 2017. Last updated 19 December 2023; approx 83,000 words.)
Cover artwork by WyrdStar; 'Moon and Tree' image by Alexas-Fotos on Pixabay.
Timeline Interviews, part 2: Main Sequence
So how do the novels and short stories in the Hollow Moon series fit together? Via the wonders of extra-dimensional time portals, author Steph Bennion interviews detective Ostara Lee and intrepid inventor Zotz Wak, former residents of the eponymous hollow moon...
AUTHOR: ...It was that same Christmas that young Artorius enters the story. His tale is even more strange than Ravana’s.
OSTARA: It’s hard of me to admit this, given what we know now, but growing up an orphan on the holovid sets of Avalon can’t have been nice. Especially being homeless and living where they film Gods of Avalon, that awful bloodthirsty show for third-rate celebrities (“A Wizard, A Sword And A King”). The Avalon Broadcasting Corporation does whatever it likes on that moon! Life in the black is dangerous enough without inventing more horrors.
ZOTZ: Hey, I see you’ve got another story that Christmas from Yuanshi. When we evacuated the hollow moon, Maharani Uma and Surya ended their exile and returned to their home moon in Epsilon Eridani. The peace conference had failed, of course. Que Qiao were bombing Lanka again and so the Maharani sent Surya away to a secret base for safety (“The Ivory Tower”). A prince in a tower, rescued by a girl! That’s funny.
OSTARA: What’s funny about that? Just because you play being a superhero sometimes…
ZOTZ: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Anyway, we were talking about Artorius. I met him a few months later. The Dhusarians had taken him to Falsafah in Tau Ceti. It so happened that Ravana was there also, with a team of student archaeologists from Bradbury Heights, digging up what looked like an ancient alien temple. Ravana went missing, so I went with her dad Quirinus and a grumpy pilot called Momus to find her. What was the stupid title you gave to your second book? (Paw-Prints Of The Gods).
AUTHOR: Ravana talked a lot about gods as aliens. She said the watcher Athene sometimes appeared as a cat. I’ll have you know I was spoofing Erich Von Däniken’s book Chariots of the Gods? and trying to be witty.
OSTARA: It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.
ZOTZ: Ravana made out there were aliens everywhere! She'd been kidnapped by the Dhusarians but escaped with Artorius and two greys. Actual real-life alien greys! I was there and all I managed was a far-too-close encounter with weavers, those horrible giant spiders. That was the first time any of us saw one of those ancient alien portals. It was also when we first met Commander Kedesh of the Grand Priory. That’s where we found the cryogenic capsule from the lost USS Constellation...
Read the full interview with Ostara Lee and Zotz Wak in MERRY CHRISTMAS, MISTER WOLF!
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