Vacation Throwback: Firstborn

Yeah I know, I might be back by this point. I’m just taking advance precautions. So whether or not I’m back at my desk, here’s one last vacation throwback post.

Any of you remember Firstborn? It was a short bit of flash fiction I pumped out one night after a Reddit prompt last year. Short, cute, and also pretty fun, this story will eventually be in More Unusual Events, but right now it’s free to read for all here on the site. When a witch attempts to con a man out of his firstborn child, things go fantastically awry … and not in the ways you’d expect for any involved.

So hit the jump. It’s short, cute, and a lot of fun.

Firstborn

Vacation Throwback: Fireteam Freelance

I saved this one for the weekend because, well … It’s the length of an epic-sized novel. Maybe a little bigger actually.

Yes folks, I’m still on vacation. But I thought I’d take this time to remind (and notify, for some) of a little experiment I ran last year called Fireteam Freelance.

Fireteam Freelance was a full-length, fully free, episodic story set in the UNSEC Space setting (AKA the same universe Colony, Jungle, and Starforge take place in). Taking place right after the events of Colony, Freelance follows a small team of freelance mercenaries on Earth who, after events on Pisces, start getting some odd jobs from a few new clients. An experiment with episodic storytelling, Freelance gives readers a glimpse of what life on Earth is like after the shattering events at Pisces, and bit by bit the team starts to realize there’s a common thread tying all their jobs together …

By the way, I’ll say again that this is free. You can read the whole thing on the site, no fee needed. It was, after all, an experiment. Having seen the numbers on my end, I can safely say a lot of people slept on it, or waited until it was all uploaded and then just kind of never got around to checking it out, but since I’m on vacation, now seems to be the perfect time to once again promote this fully completed side-novel series, especially for those of you waiting on Starforge.

So yeah, hit the jump and find your weekend read!

Fireteam Freelance: The Complete Series

Vacation Throwback: The Last Call of Christmas Eve

Hey readers! Max here! Yup, I’m still on vacation. This post was queued up in advance. A few years ago I wrote a short story starring Jacob Rocke, the protagonist of the first book I ever sold, and released it on my site as a Christmas Eve gift. And while looking for things to liven the site up with while I was gone, well … What fits better than an old Christmas mystery? It’s out of season, but who cares? Not me, since I’m on vacation, and not you, because hey free story you might have missed!

So anyway, enjoy The Last Call of Christmas Eve out of season. Hit the jump.

The Last Call of Christmas Eve

Dead Silver Free Today Only!

Happy Halloween!

While I work on getting Jungle read for pre-ordering, you should all be aware that today is October 31st! Otherwise known as Halloween! You know, the fun spooky holiday where people dress up in costume and go around shrieking at spooks and looking for candy.

Yup. Hard to miss! Hope you’ve got candy for those ghouls coming by your door! And aren’t tired of hearing Thriller yet!

Anyway, while you wait for the Trick or Treat hour to begin, why not settle down with a free book? Dead Silver, being one of the more “Halloween” books in my collection, is free today and today only for Halloween. Hop over to Amazon to grab it and settle into a spooky, small-town mystery that may be a lot more threatening than it appears on the surface!

Again, Happy Halloween!

Human Resource – A Free Short Story!

All right, guys, a bit of a warning with this one. It’s … dark. Very dark, especially if you stop to think about it. And grim.

Worse still, it’s not entirely untrue.

A bit of background: I wrote this story after my second frustrating workplace injury and experience dealing with Worker’s Comp and my part-time job’s Human Resources department. If you’re interested in hearing the details about that, you can check out this post here, which is all about how I acquired the injury and the recover I underwent. But the short of it is that within days I was already feeling like I had when I’d had my knee injury. In other words, very much like my company just wanted to practice horse medicine and shove everything under the rug.

In my frustrations, I ended up writing this short to blow off a little steam. It’s dark. It’s grim. And, worst of all, it’s actually pretty true, and like most good fiction, that makes it all the more alarming.

The microphone monitoring tech? That’s real. A certain massive mega-conglomerate retailer patented it last year and has already started rolling it out into stores. It monitors all employees at all times. And yes, they do warn that ‘certain problem words’ can trigger an automatic, computer-driven firing. Boop, a text to your phone, go home, you’re done here.

That’s what scariest about this story: It’s really not that far off. The tech involved here is very real, and already being rolled into the workplace much in the same way you see it in this story. It’s just all in one package, and seeing the sudden jump from where we are now to where we may be in five, ten years really does seem jarring, compared to coming in to a new bit or piece every day.

Am I worried we might go as far as this story? Well … in a way, yes. We were once already there, if you know your history of what jobs used to be like before labor laws were put in place.

But I’ll stop waxing on it now. You’re here to read a story. So, without further ado, I present to you Human Resource. Enjoy!

And try not to let it depress you too much. I can tell you it was therapeutic to write.


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The Last Call of Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas readers! It’s Christmas Eve here, which is the traditional time in my family to start opening gifts from friends and family. So, as some of you already know, I thought this year I’d give you all a gift in the form of a Christmas story.

A Jacob Rocke Christmas story. That’s right: set in the Unusuals Universe.

Is it weird? Of course it is. And it’s also a bit rough about the edges (it hasn’t seen any formal editing yet, but give me a break, I only finished it Friday). But hey, it’s a free Jacob Rocke story, and that’s a pretty sweet.

Later this’ll make it to More Unusual Events, but for now? Merry Christmas, guys. Enjoy.

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Incoming Sale!

Readers, I am now officially back! Back at posting (Patreon post about fishing coming fast!), back at editing (Colony is aiming at an October release, so time to get my work in gear), and back home (Ah, computer desk, how I have missed you). The trip home occurred almost without a single hitch … and that lone hitch was an inexplicable case of my luggage somehow teleporting on ahead of me and arriving a full twelve hours before I did (I suspect a secret shadow flight that my bag was placed on by mistake, perhaps serving Unusuals).Yes, everything is as it should be.

Well, except for one thing: No matter how I try to spin it, I still did lose roughly three weeks of editing time on Colony with this trip. Which is a little harsh. I could have had the second Alpha done by now. That’s a delay on my end, and a delay for you readers anxiously waiting on your end.

Now granted, I did make a nice paycheck while I was up there. But that doesn’t really give anything to you guys for waiting patiently over those few weeks. So I figure, why not mitigate that a little?

So boom, sale. Starting Monday, September 5th, my entire collection is going to be discounted. All of it. That’s right, even the new stuff. What can you expect?

Well, for starters, One Drink, my first book, will be completely free MondayOne Drink Cover, September 12th through Friday, September 9th (which is all the further Amazon will let me make it free). One Drink introduced readers to Jacob Rocke, the Unusuals Universe, and a strange case involving a vengeful, ghostly wolf. As my first-published, it’s not exactly the most impressive thing I’ve ever written by a long shot (it’s only got 4 stars on Amazon and Goodreads) … but it is a fun, quick read that gives a good idea of what’s to come, and like I said, it’s going to be free.

Of course, a free book is all well and good, but One Drink has been free before. If you’ve already read that one and are looking for a longer, more in-depth read, then I’ve got good news for you: The sequel, Dead Silver, is going to be half-off for this entire upcoming week. From Monday, September 5th to Monday, September 12th (again, Amazon limits how long I can have a book on sale) you’ll be able to pick up Dead Silver at 51% off. Yup, normally $5.99, Dead Silver is going to be $2.99.

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Unusual Events Giveaway! (Now Closed — Winners Forthcoming)

Unusual EventsHey there! You! Yes you! Would you like to win a free copy of the short story collection Unusual Events? Of course you would! If not, but you still love the excitement of entering things, well … you could always hand it over to someone else who would!

So, why would I ask? Because I’ve got a copy to give away! And someone is going to get it! Pretty straightforward, pretty simple. Name in a hat sort of stuff.

Okay, maybe not quite so simple. After all, for me to pull a name from a hat, there need to be names in the hat for me to blindly grasp for, and that’s where you, reader, come in. See, in order to give a copy of Unusual Events away, I need two things: An entry to draw from said hat (note: blind drawing may not actually be from a hat), and an e-mail address (to giveaway the book to).

So, here’s what we’re going to do. If you wish to enter the giveaway, then simply leave a comment below (which will require you put in an e-mail address  I can see) saying something to the effect of “I want to enter the giveaway!” That will give you one name in the metaphorical hat.

Would you like to receive a second entry? Then share this giveaway post via one of the share buttons at the bottom on Facebook, Twitter, or the like (and make sure you mention that you shared it in your comment, because this I can’t see outside of the total number of shares, so honor system). That’ll give you a second entry.

How about a third? Yes, I’m allowing you to get up to three entries for this one! All you have to do is in your comment, answer this question in its entirety: If you could share a one-hour lunch with any character (and yes, I mean any) I’ve ever written, who would it be, where would you eat, what would you talk about, and why? Tell us all about it! That’ll get you a third entry! (Oh, and, as always, keep the event civil. Nothing innapropriate. That’ll get your post deleted. Sorry)

And if you’ve never read anything of mine, you can always head over either my sample page, Amazon page, or elsewhere with my writing (try links) to get some samples).

Get your entries in now, because once Midnight PST hits, this contest is closed forever! Then, all the entrants names will be put in a hat, the winner drawn, and a lucky winner will get a copy of Unusual Events all for themselves (and if I get enough entrants, I may just go ahead and add a few more prizes, so the more the merrier!)

So … clock’s ticking! Enter below!

Last Day to Sale!

Time will tell if that title, spoken aloud, is only cleverer in my head.

Anyway, as of writing this, there is currently fourteen hours left before the anniversary MEGA-Sale event ends, meaning you’ve only got that long to pick up a copy of Unusual EventsDead Silver, or One Drink at a discount. After midnight tonight, they go back to their normal prices.

You can still buy them at those prices, of course. And you’ll still get a kicking read out of them. You’ll just have to pay an ordinary price, rather than a temporary celebration price.

And in case you’ve missed it, here are the direct details: for the remaining fourteen hours, Unusual Events is 25% off, Dead Silver is 50% off, and One Drink is free.

Grab ’em while you can.

Anniversary MEGA-Sale!

WHOA! Unusual Things has been on the web for one year this Wednesday! Which means sweet things for this week’s collection of posts, like a Reddit AMA this Wednesday to mark the one-year date!

But you saw MEGA-Sale and clicked this right? So a MEGA-Sale (yes, I’m going to keep capitalizing this like it’s the 90s) you shall receive! On everything. For the entire week. Over 320,000 words (1100 pages) worth of fiction.

That’s right, all through this week, starting today (Monday) through Friday, every single thing I’ve published is on sale. Starting at 25% off, and jumping all the way down to free. Had your eye on Dead Silver? Been waiting to snatch up a copy of Unusual Events? Now’s the time.

Hop on over to my Amazon.com page to check them all out at once (note, however, that due to a strange, and in my opinion dumb, quirk, that page does not show sales, you have to click each book to see the sale). Or, if you’re so inclined, use the Books page here on Unusual Things!

The clock is ticking, so grab ’em fast!