The Leviathan Chronicles: The Last Stand at Aeprion
by James Mascia
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Still reeling from his wife’s murder, Joel tries to escape the alien hunter and fulfill a promise he made to her. Years of searching for the fabled planet, Aeprion, has left the space freighter captain torn between giving up the search or giving himself up to Kraxem, an alien hunter.
When Kraxem and his minions attack Joel’s ship again, he is forced into the nebula, where he’ll have to do repairs. Once there, his thoughts revert back to the final day of Kate’s life and the promises that were made. Learning to come to terms with her loss and release the guilt that he feels will be a hard battle to fight, but giving up will prove to be even more difficult and, perhaps, deadly.
Steeling his resolve to forge on, Joel vows to find the fabled living planet before guilt devours his soul and all is lost.
Joel ran from the cargo bay to make a beeline for the cockpit. “We’ll talk about this later.” Then he addressed the computer. “Wanderer, raise shields and start the engines.”
Kate was two steps behind him. “What are you going to do?”
“Clean up your mess, as usual.” He jumped into the pilot’s seat and grabbed the controls. “Hold on!”
Through the viewport, Joel found himself staring down the barrel of a particularly nasty-looking plasma cannon. Behind that cannon stood a group of aliens with yellow, wrinkled skin over a wide-stretched head and bulbous eyes sticking out at each side.
One of these aliens, who appeared to be in command by the way he was barking orders at the others, wore a cape that flapped in the gusts being created by the revving engines. This particular alien glared at him with a piercing stare that seemed to bore into his skull.
“Would that be the other interested party?” He toggled some switches, helping the engines cycle up faster.
“Yeah, that’s him.”
“I think he really wants that rock.”
The ship shuddered again and the viewport filled with a blinding light as the cannon fire struck the shields. Alarms beeped rapidly on the console until Joel slammed his fist down on it.
“I take it back. He wants to kill us, and then he wants the rock.”
“Shields down to 60 percent,” Kate warned.
Another shot hit the shields, setting off another round of blaring alarms.
Joel stared at the alien. Having never encountered this particular species before, he wasn’t an expert at reading their facial expressions. But if he had to describe what he was looking at, he would have said it was unchained rage.
“Open the loading ramp and drop that stupid rock out.”
Kate glared at him in disbelief. “What? No!”
Joel spun in his chair to face her. “I’m assuming you’ve already scanned the hieroglyphs on it, right?”
Kate nodded, her bottom lip quivering, knowing what he was about to tell her.
“Then we don’t need it anymore. This guy obviously wants it, and is willing to do anything to get it. And since I don’t want to die today, let’s let him have it.”
Interview with the Author:
1. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing forever. Before I was even in school I wrote and illustrated my own book called Garfield Takes a Bath (yes, the orange cat from the daily comics). In elementary school I would write plays to perform in front of class, and I wrote a “book” about two cops getting transported back in time to fight off Dracula and his evil monster hordes. In high school I rewrote Shakespeare plays to make movies as class projects (my favorite was Hamlet: The Musical).
So, I can honestly say that since I can remember, I have always been writing. It has always been a passion of mine, and I can’t imagine not doing it.
2. How long have you been a published author?
I published my first novel, The Island of Dren, in 2008. So, 7 years now.
3. What titles do you have available?
I have a number of titles available:
The Island of Dren – about a boy who is shipwrecked on magical island and must stop his own crew from destroying it.
High School Heroes – a series of books and short stories about a group of teenagers who want to be superheroes, but high school constantly gets in the way.
The Poe Murders – a graphic novel that meshes together many of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poems together as if they are happening at the same place at the same time in one big murder mystery.
1,100 Ways to Write Your Story – a book of 1,100 writing prompts that cross over many genres.
The Leviathan Chronicles – a series of sci-fi stories modelled after the classic pulp fiction magazine stories.
I do have others, mostly in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Just search me on Amazon or iTunes, and you will find them all.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
For The Leviathan Chronicles, I wanted to rewrite some sci-fi stories I had written back in college. I am a fan of the classic pulp fiction magazines, so when it came time to rewrite these, I noticed that my own stories had the same feel as some of these old stories like Captain Future, and Buck Rogers. So, I said, why shouldn’t I recreate them as if they were like those old stories. So, I did. The result was new tales, that feel like they could have been from one of the classic mags.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
I have a number of titles in the works. I have the final part of my High School Heroes series. I have a new (as yet untitled) graphic novel about a man who crashes on a planet only to be hunted by the planet’s sole inhabitant. I am almost done with the second story of The Leviathan Chronicles series. Plus I am working on a second book of writing prompts. So, you will see plenty of stuff coming out from me in the near future.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
If you haven’t figured that out already, my favorite is sci-fi, slipping into fantasy and superhero. I have always been fascinated with things like Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, as well as, Superman, X-Men, Batman. I like getting lost in worlds that in the here and now, cannot possibly exist. I like the possibilities of what could be, or might be. And in the case of superheroes, I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to have a Green Lantern ring, or have all the powers of Spider-man? So, when I write, this is the kind of stuff I like to write. After all, I enjoy reading it, so why not write it as well?
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
In one word: Creating. I like creating the stories and the characters. When I write, I don’t always outline. I start with an idea and then I create as I go. I like to say I let the characters take over and see where it goes, so that I don’t even know where things will end up. That, for me, is the fun of writing.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Ahh. Yes, you want an answer like Stephen King, or J.R.R. Tolkien. But the truth is, I would like to do one with my father. He always wanted to write a book, but he had never had enough motivation to do it. He has great ideas, and would do great justice to some horror. So, it would be great if I could do that.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
He fights evil across the known universe and crushes them between his fingers (at least, he does this with his words).
James Mascia is an accomplished writer with a bestselling series, High School Heroes, as well as a bestselling graphic novel, The Poe Murders. He has always been a fan of sci-fi, and is glad to be delving back into the galaxy once again.
James teaches in Maryland, where he also writes. He has a lovely wife and a tiny terror (a two-year-old) driving him mad, but making him laugh.
Check out some of his other work below: