Time’s Warriors, the fifth book in the Time’s Edge series, will be released on March 1st!
We write science fiction about characters with extraordinary gifts, gifts that most would say are impossible in real life. But when we look around at our family and friends, we notice that many folks have abilities that can only be described as superpowers. Here are some examples:
The Cuteness Factor. We’ve all seen this one. Sure, there are a lot of cute kids in the world, but some can focus that cuteness with amazing results. The world stops for them. Folks give them gifts for no reason. People trip over themselves to do things for them. They send their cuteness vibrations out into the universe and the cosmos rearranges itself to suit them. A Class-A superpower.
The Power of No. This is a good one. Folks with this talent can say no and others accept it. No explanations, no apologies. Just the one word and no arguments, thank you very much. Rare, but definitely powerful.
The Inability to See Dirt. An amazing skill, mostly possessed by men. Dirty dishes in the sink? Cobwebs in the corners? Mud on the floor? Nothing gets through the shield that prevents these guys, uh, people, from seeing dirt. Some are so powerful that even when the dirt is pointed out to them, they still cannot perceive it. Truly amazing.
Techno-demigod. What a great talent this is. The techno-demigod can simply sit down at a malfunctioning computer and it will immediately start working again. He can also perform this feat with other things, such as copiers, phones, and computerized appliances. A household and workplace deity.
The Finder. Finders are very useful. They can locate just about anythings. Can’t remember where you left your glasses? The finder knows. Where did you leave that important paper that you just had in your hand and now cannot locate anywhere? The finder will spot it within ten seconds of walking into your office. They have a knack of seeing what others do not and an ability to notice details that is super-human.
Moms. The superpowers of moms are many and potent. A sampling:
- The ability to see through walls and into rooms where their children are playing/arguing/plotting
- The ability to sense a fever/bruise/scratch or any other physical ailment in a child even if the child is not in the same state
- The ability to hear children who are playing/arguing/plotting even if the children are in another room
- The ability to freeze a person with her glance
- The ability to freeze a person or even an entire group with her voice (We wrote an entire blog about his one. See The Mom Voice.)
Are there any superpowers in your family?
Shelfari, amazon.com’s “community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers”, has a neat feature; readers and authors can add quotes from books they enjoyed. We had a lot of fun selecting quotes from our novel Time’s Edge. Here are our favorites (in no particular order):
“It’s impossible to walk through solid rock… You have to walk between the molecules that make up the rock.” Nick, the Sarzonian guardian
“Seers. They make everything they say sound like a prophecy.” Jafrey Ral
“What I can do is science, not magic. Magic is just a term for an aspect of science that hasn’t been explained yet.” Michael Blayne
“Within this dimension there are doorways to every place in the galaxy… A misstep in this hall can have serious consequences.” Alrick Zartollis
“If we live through this remind me to buy you a Ratherian beer.” Commander Lucas Joyston
“This place is a cross between a medieval castle and a space station.” Kate Weston
“The robot was my ancestor…just as the amoeba was yours.” Edgar, Michael’s robotic servant
“I’m ready to believe anything from a man who spends three months on a simple probe retrieval and then returns wearing a cat.” Zilla, the commander of Division 9
“You are not the portent. You are the great event.” Rista Jahlan
“Alrick will kill you if you talk, and Michael will kill you if you don’t. Glad I’m not you.” Jafrey
What would you do if you were on a quest you didn’t like to find an object you didn’t want…
If your wife made a prophecy that hinted you could not succeed…
If an oracle warned that everyone close to you would perish if you failed…
If those closest to you were keeping secrets that affected not only your quest but your very life…
If your life and your destiny were the most closely guarded secrets of all…
Most answers are revealed by Time.
But what do you do when time is running out?
An excerpt from Time’s Edge, Chapter Two: Do You Believe in Fate?
ON THE THIRD floor of the same building, Professor Albert Artolli paused outside the closed door of his office. Light was glowing beneath the bottom of the door.
It was after four o’clock on a Friday, a time when the science hall was usually deserted. He eyed the door, realizing there were only a few possible explanations for a light being on in his office at that hour, none of which he particularly liked. No one should have been in his office, unless…
The professor thoughtfully stroked his beard, staring at his reflection in the dark glass of the door. Gray steaks ran through his brown hair and beard, and his blue eyes were framed by wire-rimmed glasses. He knew his old-fashioned vest and jacket made him look like a professor from one hundred years earlier. He smiled slightly and grasped the doorknob.
The professor opened the door abruptly, drawing a startled exclamation from the young woman who sat at a desk in the office.
“Oh, it’s you,” she said in relief.
“Who were you expecting? A monster?” the professor asked sharply. He wasn’t particularly pleased to see her there.
“No, not a monster, exactly.” She looked at him with a frown, wondering, he knew, about the tone of voice he had used. He sighed and shut the door.
“Kate, what are you still doing here?” he asked.
“I’m finishing some reports for Dr. Riley.” She gave him that I-have-a-feeling-you’re-up-to-something-look he knew so well. “What are you doing here?”
“I left some files here that I want to work on this weekend.” He headed toward his desk. “Fortunately, I remembered them before I left campus.”
Her dubious look told him she didn’t entirely believe his tale.
He sighed again. Kate had been his secretary for the past six years. She worked for him full-time and went to college part-time. She was now twenty-four years old and in her senior year, a beautiful woman with dark brown hair falling in waves over her shoulders and large eyes of an unusual color—not quite blue, not quite green, but a bright shade that was a combination of the two. He had known her since she was a baby and often felt she was his own daughter. Unfortunately, that meant she also knew a lot about him, such as the fact that he generally didn’t come back to the office on a Friday afternoon.
“I had a hunch you might still be here,” he began, deciding that an offensive approach would bring him less trouble than explanations. “You should have left here over an hour ago.”
“I hate the thought of leaving unfinished work,” she replied. “I’m not doing anything tonight, and I prefer to keep busy.” Then she shrugged. “Besides, I felt I should stay.”
The professor shot her a sharp glance. He had not missed the significance of her remark. “Is something wrong?”
She said slowly, “Do you believe in fate, Al?”
He raised his eyebrows. “That depends on what you mean by fate.”
“Do you think some things are meant to be? That some people are destined to do certain things or to meet each other?”
The professor sat down in his chair, frowning slightly as he weighed the question.
“Fate, as you called it, isn’t carved in stone,” he said at last. “Everyone has a destiny, but how they fulfill it is their choice. Some even choose not to fulfill their fate.”
“How can you escape fate?”
“Because fate doesn’t really exist. No one is fated to do anything. Everyone simply makes choices.” He frowned thoughtfully. “I do believe everyone has a greater purpose or destiny. But that isn’t fate. It’s not certain. You can choose to walk away from your fate.”
“Then why don’t more people do that? Why do people accept their lot?”
“It’s easier,” the professor said with half a smile. “Making a choice is often difficult and many fear to make the wrong one.”
“So they make none?”
“Yes. But that in itself is a choice.”
“I see.” She pondered for a moment. “But accidents happen. There are things that aren’t choices but random events, and they affect your life. Isn’t that fate?”
“No. They are, as you said, random events that are the result of a choice or, perhaps, many choices. They may not even be your choices, but they can affect you nonetheless. No one lives in a vacuum. We all affect each other by our actions.” He eyed her curiously. “Why the sudden concern about fate?”
Kate stared down at her desk for a moment. Then she raised her head and looked directly at him. “Something is coming. I know it.”
He nodded as if she had said the most ordinary thing in the world.