A taste of “An Emergent Universe”

Fifty-eight light-years [-4.4, -6.8, 16.0] from Sol, on the planet Gift (Tommy’s Gift)

Tillie, former slave of the Nesu, senior master of the hydroponics guild, and former master of the only hydroponics farm above the commons in the Nesu portion of the Nesu Tol, screamed in frustration and sat down in the mud at the edge of the field. “Why won’t anyone listen to me?”

One of the guild-less dirt farmers that he had talked to, Kenel, looked up from the furrow he was gently weeding. “Because, without your tanks and pumps, you’re a useless pile of crap, you are.” He leaned over and picked up a handful of the rich black dirt he had been hoeing, letting it trickle through his fingers. “Crap that we don’t need here. You know nothing about real farming.”

Tillie, jumped up and lunged toward Kenel. “You can’t talk to me like that!”

Kenel’s raised hoe stopped Tillie before he stepped onto the first furrow. “Walk on my seeds and I’ll do more than talk.”

Tillie whirled and stomped away, splattering more dirt on his once brightly colored pants. He hurried toward the group opening the crates and boxes the Nesu Tol had left on its second visit.

Tillie and his journeymen and apprentices had quickly identified and marked crates containing equipment and chemicals they would need to build a working hydroponics farm. The arguments had started when he asked the other guildmasters to give him priority in getting everything assembled. There had been no dispute about the fusion bottle. Everyone needed power. But he couldn’t get anyone to wire the pumps to the fusion bottle, or put together the prefab building he needed to cover the tanks, or to connect the plumbing and water supply. Didn’t they understand that, without his farm, they would starve when the food Tommy had left ran out? Yes, the dirt farmers might make crops in time, but on a strange planet in strange soil, how could they know for sure? His hydroponics was proven.

When the masters of the other guilds had refused to help, he had turned to the dirt farmers. On the ship, the dirt farmers had learned to be self-reliant and could have, at least, attached the plumbing.

One of the just-opened crates fell in front of Tillie as he approached the crowd, scattering rolls of electrical cable on the ground. From the crate’s markings, it was one of his.

“We need that,” someone shouted. He wasn’t a member of Tillie’s guild.

One of Tillie’s apprentices, Drak, and another man grabbed one the rolls, each trying to pull it out of the other’s hands. The roll stretched into a long oval, and Drak slipped, his legs sliding forward and his head lurching back and down. When Drak released the roll, the other man stumbled into Tillie, knocking him to the ground.

Drak regained his feet, one hand holding the back of his head. When the other man held up the distorted roll and screamed, “Ours,” Drak charged him, planting his skull into the man’s stomach and pushing him on top of Tillie.

Later, no one admitted throwing that next punch. The fight didn’t last long. None of the combatants weighed more than sixty kilograms and the ground was slippery. The warriors might have prevented the fight, but they were hunting meat. Other than a few bruises and scrapes there was only one casualty.

Selective breeding of humans by the Nesu had created two distinct body types: the warriors, who were muscular giants, and the farmers and artisans, who were short and slender, with bulbous heads balanced on a skinny, vulnerable neck. In the brawl, someone stepped on Tillie’s neck. His last thought was that they should have stayed on the ship.

12 thoughts on “A taste of “An Emergent Universe”

  1. Loosk very good. Just finished the first book and awaiting the next. If it continues in this vein, it will be well worth it.

    If you need proofreaders, I’m happy to assist.


    1. Hello Tim very interesting post. The author recently posted an unrelated work is to be released very soon (end of August 2015). I hope that means this or a similar work will be following, in spite of the fact he did not directly indicate any such plans.

      1. Mr. Gillaspy, please don’t despair. Your first book is without a doubt a winner! Very nice idea and well executed sci-fi. Your second book appears to be fantasy, I don’t know, but as a a sci-fi nut, I personally don’t read much fantasy. Perhaps this is the situation here. You have a great following in sci-fi, but not many crossovers to the fantasy side. Please believe and know that we who have read (and in my case re-read) “A Larger Universe” can’t wait for another book on the subject. I personally will be purchasing the book when it is available.

  2. I have been a sci-fi reader for 60 years. If your books were bad, no one would be asking for sequels. I have read both books and they were good. The tommy universe could have many books in it. If most of the weasels are gone and half the crew are on their new planet, everything will have to be changed and more crew recruited, probably from earth keep up the good work.

  3. Mr Gillaspy, please don’t be discouraged, yours is one of the first books I ever purchased on kindle.
    I have since purchased over 400, yours remains one of my firm favourites and one of only 3 I have ever read more than once (yours over 5 times). I google for updates on an almost monthly basis.
    I have to agree with others, The Lesser Talisman just doesn’t appeal to me, that said though, I’ll purchase it and give it a go, if for no other reason than my purchase may be the one to “push you over the line” and get you back on track.
    The storyline in a Larger Universe was awesome, I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at just how well you’ll do with its sequel(s)

  4. Thank you for the kind words and the encouragement.

    Now, about: “I have to agree with others, The Lesser Talisman just doesn’t appeal to me,”

    Because it’s fantasy? It does have the trappings of fantasy, but, as I say in the Afterword, maybe it’s not magic after all. Believe it or not, after (if) you read the novel, I conceived this story to be in the Tommy universe.

    Because you read a little of the beginning and didn’t like the prose? That’s fair. I had hoped I had improved, but …

    Because you only read stories set in space? I had hoped the readers that liked “A Larger Universe” would give my second novel a chance, assuming that I knew how to tell a story regardless of setting. I was wrong…

    Anyway, please don’t buy “The Lesser Talisman” unless you intend to at least try to read it. That wouldn’t be fair to you or to me. If you do buy it, but can’t finish it, then I would like feedback on why.

    Thanks again.

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