Night Terrors

Night Terrors

Night Terrors

Here’s a short scene I may add to Abhuman: Revelation. I wanted to explore what it might feel like to be stalked at night, in the comfort of your own bed–normally a sanctuary.


They always came at night.

When you were still and warm and peaceful. Your heart making a tiny patter, your feet warm, and your head heavy. That’s when they came. That’s when it happened.

The commotion in the hallway woke Cheska. Ngome City was as still as the vacuum of space during the night cycle. Even essential workers, who’s jobs demanded odd working hours, made every effort to glide through the city like silent ghosts.

Someone began yelling. “No!”

That’s what had disturbed Cheska’s slumber. Then loud thumps, hard crashes, and the sharp rapport of objects breaking.

Her heart, which had been barely beating a few seconds ago, now pounded in her chest. She wanted to sit up, to look around. But she was terrified, because she knew exactly what was happening.

Yesterday Wei Lu had been sentenced to the Core for being a deviant (a death sentence), but the Covenant didn’t stop there. When a deviant was discovered, they expunged all living consanguineal relations—all family members up to, what people used to know as, great grandparents. But in Covenant society one never knew their direct biological contributors; each child was carefully crafted in-vitro, their progenitors chosen from the optimal genetic match within the 10,000 or so meticulously curated residents of Ngome City.

And that was the terrifying part about someone being sentenced to the Core—you never knew if you might be next. The convict could be a direct relation. Then the next night, after they were sentenced, designated members of the community would sneak through the city, extracting and extinguishing all consanguineal relations.

It was for the good of her people—she knew that. Still …

Cheska heard powerful sobbing outside the door to their quarters. She kept her head pressed hard to her pillow, forcing herself not to look up. She pulled the blankets over her eyes and tried to conjure up the most recent qvid she’d gone to experience with her best friend, Azara. Dolphins. She imagined their rough skin and playful chirping. She longed to see a real one someday, but she didn’t think their gene bank had samples to seed Krijese with. Not that she would ever see them, even if they had the samples from Earth. It would be centuries before Krijese had oceans capable of sustaining large aquatic life.

Loud voices, more sobbing. The sounds were growing more distant—it was done. Whomever had been related to Wei Lu was now heading to the Core. At least their end would be swift.

Why didn’t The Covenant adopt a more humane process for dealing with deviants? After all, they now grew their protein in vats; partly in deference to the suffering of animals, but also for efficiency’s sake. Couldn’t they reform these deviants? It seemed wasteful to her, but then, Cheska was only fifteen. She supposed there was a lot she had to learn.

She also had everything to lose if they discovered her secret—she was one of them.

Long blends fantasy and science fiction into an exciting read. This is The Chrysalids by Wyndham on steroids!

Amazon Reviewer

"... a splendid beginning to an intriguing new series"

Diana L. Driver

Author

Interesting character, riveting plot, and intriguing ideas make "Abhuman" a great read

Amazon Reviewer

Abhuman: Revelation

The Covenant - Book 1

 
I think, therefore I am. They were wrong.
Cheska lives in Ngome, a glistening domed-city orbiting the planet Krijese. Her people are hard at work terraforming the planet below, making a new home for themselves. Life is good. Life is safe.

Unless you’re Abhuman.

In Covenant society, genetic mutation carries a death sentence. But Cheska has done a good job hiding her powers.

Until now.

Cheska begins having the most vivid waking dreams of a handsome boy named Taro. She feels unnaturally connected to him. Distracted by these visions, she accidentally uses her powers in public. Now exposed as Abhuman, Cheska is forced to flee her home.

Taro tells her in a waking dream, that somewhere on the planet is a safe-haven for Abhumans, called Sanctuary. But when her stolen shuttle crashes, she’s forced to limp across a devastated planet.

When she finally meets the resistance, they explain everything:

She is not who she thinks she is.

She is not what she thinks she is.

And, she is supposed to save them all.

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The Covenant

A YA / Sci-Fi Series

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Abhuman Cover Tweaks

Abhuman Cover Tweaks

 

GREE EYES

BLACK EYES

 

 

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All About The Covenant

All About The Covenant

What The Covenant is all about

“Star Wars and X-men meet The 100”

Star Wars and X-men meet The 100

That’s exactly the kind of story I set out to tell. It had to be like Star Wars, sweeping, nothing less than pan-galactic. Rich in history and lore, and deeply layered. I wanted the incredible, and semi-plausible, powers, such as found in the x-men series. No super, ultra powerful mutants who can kill nations with a puff. I liked the idea of powers though: telepathy, enhanced strength, speed, healing. There are lots of “powers” that we can actually tap into with current science, and if we extend that vector out a century, so much innovation is likely. Finally, I wanted the depth of character that had me spellbound in The 100, by Kass Morgan (Books and TV).

I suppose you could call this series: Warring Galactic Mutants with Feeling?

NOTE ON POWERS: What you’ll notice in Book 2, is that I start to explain a bit about how Abhumans power their powers, or fuel the fire. We have the energy in our bodies to do astonishing things — it’s all in the calories. Let me know what you think of that system.

Why These Story Arcs?

Why am I writing this series? To tell a story, of course. But who’s? At first, the book was supposed to be a straightforward Science Fiction story, told equally from the points of view (POV) of a teenage boy and girl. It was their story, their yin and yang. But as I wrote, the focus of the story changed. I’d never believed this kind of thing happened – where characters would really start to assert themselves and take you in places you didn’t intend to go, but it does–it did. And so the story became about three incredible women [Cheska, Delfina, & Madchen] and the challenges they struggle to overthrow an evil theocracy. It became a story about their intertwined roles as daughter and mother, hero and villain, or mentor and protege. And not to worry, there’s lots of action gluing it all together.

I’m also going to explore a few serious subjects in these stories. Philosophical, such as free-will and morality. But also more serious, and immediate issues, such depression. Do we think a hero does all this stuff, and his emotional state is perfectly balanced? I highly doubt it. So I’m going to explore what I think might happen to heroes who’ve had to much thrust upon them.

Real People

“Real people? I thought you wrote fiction?” Yeah, I do. But I want you to feel like the story people in my books are alive–like they have needs, wants, desires–real lives. To that end, I always start character building with a picture. I start by borrowing an actor’s photo for a quick mental sketch–that nails down hair, features, height, weight, etc. In order to share my characters with you visually, I commissioned a series of character sketches, see below. Then of course I do the normal writerly things, like make sure they have lots of problems.

Click the image to see the full list of major characters.

Aoratos Resistance

Intergalactic Dictionaries

I admit it, I use a lot of strange words in my fiction. I borrow shamelessly from dozens of languages. One thing a few people have asked for over the years, is a pronunciation guide. And so, I put one together for The Covenant series.

Here’s Abhuman as an example:

Some also wanted a quick guide to the various Abhumans – what types of powers they have, etc. I haven’t gone into great depth, you’ll have to read the books to experience the real terror that is The Covenant.

The Covenant Series Structure & Philosophy

How am I structuring this series? Great question! Abhuman started as novella that was well received by Beta readers back in 2015, and I began working it into a larger, full-length novel. But I ran into personal health issues etc, and the project got delayed. This summer (2016) I decided to continue the project, but to write more frequent installments–going back to the novella format.

These are NOT short stories- the first novella is around 37,000 words long. 50,000 is where novel territory begins. This is a similar strategy employed by many authors testing a new series – such as Wool (The Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey.

At an average of around 175 pages, these novellas are about the same size as “novels” that I used to read as a Young Adult (12-18). These days, novels have gotten fat. No two ways around it. 50k words used to be a solid novel. Now 120k+ is the norm, depending on genre.

My plan is to have three novellas represent one larger “cycle”. The first, is called the Abhuman Cycle, consisting of Books 1 to 3 in The Covenant series. Once all three novellas are in print, I’ll issue an Omnibus edition, collecting all three novellas into one larger book. That way folks can collect the smaller novellas (each with unique and stunning cover art), or buy the Omnibus edition.

  1. Abhuman Cycle (Omnibus)
    1. Abhuman: Revelation (The Covenant – Book 1)
    2. Abhuman: Resistance (The Covenant – Book 2) (Q3 2016)
    3. Abhuman: Redemption (The Covenant – Book 3) (Q1 2017)
  2. Metahuman Cycle (Omnibus) – coming next year
    1. Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 4)
    2. Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 5)
    3. Metahuman: TBD (The Covenant – Book 6)

My tentative plan is to finish the Metahuman Cycle in 2017, then see how you folks are enjoying the series. I have truck-loads of ideas for future installments, so if you love it, tell me! Heck, tell everyone! 😉

That’s about all my news for now.


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  • REVIEW – authors live and die by them, especially in the time of Amazon.
  • SUBSCRIBE – sign up to my mailing list so you’re up to date on new releases, and all the cool freebies.
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Abhuman: Resistance – Call for Beta Readers

Abhuman: Resistance – Call for Beta Readers

workflowCall for Beta Readers

It’s that time again! I have the next book in The Covenant series ready for Beta Readers.

WHY?

You get to tell me what you like, what you don’t like, or what you’d like to see happen differently. I listen to my readers.

COST?

$0, Nada, Zip. It costs you nothing. I’ll send you a FREE copy in the format of your choice (PDF, ePUB, Kindle)

BENEFIT?

In addition to early access to the story, you’ll also get entered into a draw for a $25 Amazon gift Card

WHEN?

I’m hoping to get all feedback returned and collected by Jan 15’th 2017. Then I’ll draw winner for the gift card.

HOW?

  1. DOWNLOAD THE BOOK: http://bit.ly/2hbAOI7 (zip file has PDF, ePub, and Kindle versions)
  2. Make some Notes
  3. E-mail me your thoughts on the book (beta@hughblong.com)
  4. I’ll enter you for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 

Abhuman: Resistance

Pre-Order Available

Abhuman: Resistance (The Covenant – Book 2)

Cheska has the power to save them all, but only if she can save herself first.

She may be the most powerful Abhuman every born, with the power to bend space & time. Most fear her. A few seek to control her. Her powers pale compared to the evil theocracy that has enslaved her people.

Genetically engineered to emerge within the enslaved human population, Cheska is haunted by the terrible responsibility thrust upon her. Now that her powers have fully manifested, new memories emerge, and surging emotions threaten to tear her apart.

She never asked for this. Never wanted this. The resistance say that she is their salvation, that only she has the power to fulfill the prophecy and deliver them all from slavery. But she’s already lost almost everything, and they want to take even more?

When the resistance receive a distress call from Cheska’s mother, still up on their cityship in orbit, Cheska demands to be on the rescue team. If she has the power to save her people, then she’s determined to start with her mother.

Betrayed, she makes a harrowing journey through a planetary superstorm, only to find her people already doomed.


She has one shot to save them all, but at what price?

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WHAT? You haven’t read the first book? Shame on you! Kidding 🙂 Grab a copy of Book 1 here:

Abhuman: Revelation (The Covenant – Book 1)

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