Hold Still the Sky started out as an idea for an online, short story contest. The contest asked for post-apocalyptic fiction which included humans encountering alien life. I sat for a bit and churned over a few ideas before settling on the basis for the story of Kara. As I started writing, more and more details for this new world came to me and I realized that the story would no longer fit the contest word limit. I spent about five minutes pondering whether or not to cut the story short so I could submit it to the contest or to let it unfold as it wanted to. As you can see by the multiple entries below, I decided to tell the full story. Part One of HSTS is the longer version of the story I would have submitted to the contest. The subsequent parts flesh out the world adding context to Kara's journey as well as highlighting other characters.
I chose to release HSTS in parts due to a desire to play around with the serial fiction format. Amazon has set up its own Kindle Serials shop and the idea of working on shorter sections of a longer narrative appeals to me. The length of the Brief History books gave me room to stretch out as a writer and I learned a tremendous amount from writing that trilogy. After I finished the trilogy I purposefully focused on short works to hone my writing skills. I wrote three stand alone stories (listed on a separate page) before launching into HSTS. When HSTS is finished (mid-to-late summer is my best guess at this point) I intend to collect all the parts into one volume to sell it as a whole. Until then, I am selling each part - roughly twenty to thirty pages each - for as low as Amazon will let me, $0.99.
I made the covers for HSTS (and Flying Machine Blues) myself using the Paper app. I tried using Flowpaper to make some of the covers and even originally published parts one and two with Flowpaper covers. But based on feedback from readers I switched over to the covers you see below. These covers have a simple yet evocative quality that, in my opinion, matches the story inside.
Part One: introduces Kara and the post-apocalyptic world she lives in.
Part Two: introduces the robot dog, Dido, and her creator, Carl Rasmussen
Part Three: follows up on Akers, Pacen and Gus while showing the reader life in a farm dome.
Part Four: (cover not shown here) takes us back to find out what Kara has been up to since we last saw her. Also we find out about Keto Newsome, Gus' old trainer and mentor from early dome days.
Part Five: has just been published (6/18/13).