In the 23rd century, Earth has achieved interstellar travel. The greatest find is a planet with deposits of ether ore: a mineral required for journeying across the ether lanes. Since the ore is protected by an indigenous race, Terrans must barter for the material as supervised by Earth Nations United.
Parno Hadjara is the chief anthropologist of the staff that journeys to Kapnos 3. Kathlynn Shumard is the ENU supervisor. Soon after landing, Parno and Kathlynn approach the indigenes. Though the two are adversaries, they are drawn to one another.
The indigenes soon begin a mass ritual filled with sex, violence, and voodoo. The rite reveals the location of an abandoned space vessel surpassing Earth technology. The indigenes offer the Terrans a bargain: Remove this vessel from our land, and the ether ore is yours.
The entry to the ship will open briefly. Parno rushes to the site and enters, followed by Kathlynn, and the entry closes. The Terrans are trapped in a huge ship whose crew was murdered. The one alien remaining is a ghost who can only achieve peace by killing Parno and Kathlynn.
In order to escape, the Terrans must learn the workings of the ship. The ghost tries to kill them via spontaneous combustion, offworld narcotics, drowning in alien viscera, high-tech disintegration, and common beatings. Though severely injured, Parno and Kathlynn are healed by the ship.
When the entire ship begins disintegrating, Parno and Kathlynn are forced to face the ghost. If they succeed, the ether ore is theirs. If they fail, they and the ghost will achieve unending peace.
Excerpt from the first Amazon reader review:
•A beautifully written book, with engaging characters and a great story.
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I’m an artist working in the disciplines of painting, photography, digital art, moving image, literature, and sound. First and last, I’m a writer. My photographs and digital images have appeared in Camera & Darkroom, Photographer’s Forum, Graphis Annual, Digital Fine Art Magazine, American Photographer, and on many web-sites. I have won the “Creative/Fine Art” category in Popular Photography’s International Contest. My paintings, prints, and photographs have hung in several local and national exhibitions. I also won the Toray Industries Digital Art DCA Grand Prize. Villard and Tor have published my print novels, Ether Ore and Black Body. My short fiction has appeared in theNewerYork, LitUP, Weirdyear, The New Bourgeois, Nonlocal Science Fiction, Dirty Chai, Smashed Cat, Linguistic Erosion, Monkey Bicycle, Gadfly, Streetcake, The New Post-Literate, and Farther Stars. The editors of the Chicago Review published two novel excerpts of mine and wrote of their “indisputable literary merit,” “brilliant passages,” and “historical importance.” Reviewers said of Black Body: “Masterful…utterly satisfying.” “Glorious!” “Beautiful…highly original.” “Wonderfully intricate and fascinating…a blood-thumping good story.” “Eerie and hypnotic.” “A mind-blowing masterpiece.” “Stunning and provocative.” “Gorgeously great-humored and lovingly imagined.” “I am amazed at the people who hold up Hemingway and his ilk as the last writers of ‘Literature’ when their tales cannot hold a candle to the writing of Mr. Turk.” “Beautiful phraseology. The writing style is terrific…incredibly rich….” “Exquisitely sensual and unexpected fiction. Absolutely unforgettable.” And so on. Black Body was a Science Fiction Chronicle “Book Of The Year.” Another reviewer wrote of Ether Ore, “This is an amazing piece of inventive plotting and imaginative world-building, with Turk’s totally unique and eccentric syntax adding to its aura. And its ending is as cathartic and poetic as any I have ever read.” The Amazon Hall Of Fame Reviewer, Grady Harp, wrote this about my novel, Only The Impassioned: “H. C. Turk…is able to define the possibilities of being truly aware of the significance of man in the universe. …A great novel…to be read again—perhaps several more times.” Over two dozen web-sites, podcasts, film festivals, and/or radio programs have featured my sound and video art. More to come.
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