Deceneus's blog Science Fiction and Fantasy: space and time travel books

November 1, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — traveler @ 10:37 pm

Technically, the return was a simple teleportation from one point in space to another; the immersion was the real challenge. I came back the same day our first astronaut went into space, and there was no fanfare or welcome back committee. Not that I would have expect any of my old friends, or relatives to be alive after so many years. Maybe my grand grandchildren are still alive… but I never tried to find them, a completely new life was waiting for me. I arrived in the railway station of a small, remote town. “There is too much technology around the planet, your own and the one of the watchers,” my friend from space told me. With no cries, my mind already acknowledged the reality from the moment they asked me to return, still a faint hinge of disappointment lingered inside.  To be honest it was more a push than an ask, but in the end, I agreed with their estimation of a black future, without being sure what a sleeper cell like me could do to stop it. There was no one outside the train station building, and a howling wind was carrying my perfect cover – the desert dust – in big waves that shortened the visual range to less than two meters. I appeared from nowhere, in a way that was acceptable for both sides: the people who left me when my old Gate friend, Houston, closed the channel, and the people around the station, who acknowledged my ghostly apparition from a tourbillon of dust. A few minutes later, settled comfortably, inside the old building, I opened my purse, checking my documents, after scanning the folks around – they were already cleaned by a scouting team that was still in the railway station, but old habits die hard. The girl in my identity card was still a stranger to me, and the card too. There were no such cards when I left, no need to attach arid numbers to people. One, six, seven… I am not one-six-seven … I am… No, I am no longer that person. I still am… It looked a bit like my former me; maybe it would even trick some of my old friends, but not me. And of course, I had no friends still alive. They did not want to take any risk, and I had to agree, my former me was a well-known political figure. I am history, I laughed inside, a bitter angry laugh. You are Zina, the name on the card told me. From now on, this is my name: Zina Tiati. And this is my planet again. I just fooled myself; my ‘new’ planet had almost nothing in common with my ‘old’ planet. They just happened to share the same place in space and a common history, before they split apart. (more…)

October 11, 2016


Filed under: Uncategorized — traveler @ 7:15 pm

I had never imagined that metal could voice fear of its own destruction. The back wall vanishes in flames, wailing like a dying man.


People howling. My own screams suppress every other sound, leaving only wide-open mouths on grotesque, silent masks that I will never forget. I probably look the same to them.

Another explosion.

Fewer people howling. A pressure wave wrecks the space ship, cracks running faster than people. All my instincts vanish in that tiny moment, leaving behind a human bag of flesh and skin, pushed in the opposite direction by the shock of the explosion. I have no fear. No, that is misleading; to be paralyzed is rather different to being fearless.

“We lost the engines, commence evacuation.” The captain’s miserable voice fills the speakers. “I repeat, commence evacuation.” As if he really needed to say anything. Debris is floating chaotically between human bodies, speaking louder than any words. Brainless, I push, pull, grunt, contorting myself like a distressed snake, between the flying fragments – some instincts had found their way back into the flesh bag. I really don’t know where our instincts live; there is nothing useful left in my mind, apart from short bursts of an inner voice shouting at me: run! Maybe that is enough; you don’t need too much in the way of philosophy to run.

My left hand stretches to grab a mask from the wall. I miss it. There is no easy way to coordinate a floating body. It was a small mask you put over your mouth, just a filter. Better than nothing. My foot touches something that is flying around me. I kick fast, and gain a tiny momentum to move back to the wall. I grab the mask. Now I have time to see that the something my foot kicked is Den. He is a man that I call the closest thing to a friend. I met him on the spaceship. He is no longer my friend; his eyes are sparkling hate and anger. And mostly fear. I delayed him. It’s not really hate, more like an animal reaction to a threat on its life. He pushes me, and my back hit the wall. I think it was a hook that I hit. It punches my ribs, and I gasp but no sound leaves my mouth.

Like deadly snakes, gases hiss out from broken pipes, expanding down the corridor, colorful and poisonous. Sirens blare morbidly. On my left, a flying bird takes shape in slow motion. Beautiful. Sometimes my mind recalls it: the pocket of gas bursting from the broken pipe, forming a pair of imaginary wings – a surreal dream. Wrong. Death is by no means surreal. The other end of the corridor is my unique goal; the escape hatch is there, half closed. In a moment, the ‘bird’ embraces a girl moving a few meters ahead of me. It looks so gentle. Having no mask, she reaches out desperately, trying to grab onto something that could save her. Too late. With a last spasm, she becomes a body, still moving under its own momentum, until a flying table intervenes, a blow turning her white, frozen face towards me; her wide, unseeing eyes staring at me: black, black, black.

Rotating, she resembles a clock’s hand. Besides her, Den’s body is rotating too, in the opposite direction. It’s like they are dancing, just that they are not.

“Move!” someone growls, and thrust me up against the girl’s thin body.

“Nooo!” I cry, trying to escape, her white skin pressed into my face. Another blow stops my cry.

I arrive at the door in a weird horizontal position, unable to pass through, as my legs hit the wall. Then my head. People looking at me may think I look like a flying acrobat, but no one is looking at me. At least not in that way – I am just an obstacle for their chance to survive. A tall, red-haired woman grabs my hand, and pushes me into an emergency capsule.

“Press the orange button,” she says, her voice edgy and desperate.

The knowledge of that button was there, inside me, from the many emergency simulations we had in the past, but you can simulate everything apart from the panic killing your mind when the necessity arrives. When I press the button, blue protuberances grow from the walls immobilizing my body. They are soft and rigid at the same time. Like my mind. There is the smell of ozone around me, and a sour taste in my mouth stirring the memory of the poisonous gases, even when logically I know that I am safe now. Safe from those gases.

“Take care,” the woman says, her edgy voice carrying a touch of gentleness and sadness, and I see tears in her eyes. Every time I replay that moment I have the feeling that she pronounced my name too, but I can’t remember. My clenched mouth offers no answer, and she closes the hatch, expelling me into the void just seconds before the ship explodes.

There is no time for fear; with a terrible sound, a flash burns my eyes. Silvery white, mixing with the white of the girl’s fading face, her black wide eyes staring at me, the last thing I remember before the darkness falls, and the world becomes soundless.

That is all I remember of my entire life; everything else was erased by shock and burns. The doctors worked hard to reconstruct my body, but they never could recover my memories. Even the fact that the red-haired woman was my mother returned to me from the news; her picture and mine bound together by something waiting to resurface.




Cold, coming from far away; the white light gently passed through my closed eyelids, switching on a part of myself that was slumbering outside time. Somewhere, in a corner of my mind, explosions still drummed in a strange, frightening rhythm that made me keep my eyes tightly shut: boom, boom, boom…! Vivid images burst inside, erased by flashes, before a new one would emerge – a fragmented movie. It ended as fast as it came.

That color is wrong, I murmured to myself. The light inside the emergency capsule should be blue. The light around me was white, as white as the face of the unknown girl… The flash

“It was not an accident.” The unknown voice sounded worried, and not without effort, I realized that ‘he’ was worried about me.

Some things became clear in that moment, some much later; my vocabulary was limited by the memory loss, but my new mind was ready to absorb, memorizing everything. Until that second, I was neither dead nor alive. Not that I have any memories about my deep coma, but medical knowledge suggests that second should have come much later, after my brain had been fully rebuilt. The machines were still growing neurons and whatever else was needed for my recovery, a benign process with one drawback: pain. My sudden spark of consciousness failed to control my body; some essential parts of my brain were still missing so my mouth remained shut. The doctor had no idea that I was conscious again, and I could do nothing to change his view.

You stupid doctor! I am awake. Help me! Heeeelp! I cried hard, from both pain and frustration, yet it happened only inside my head.

“The ship was destroyed by a missile,” the voice continued, reminding me that I was lying in a hospital bed because of it. A touch of curiosity made the pain bearable, but it never stopped. “And of all the emergency capsules, only one was destroyed. His.”

Without seeing, I realized that he was pointing at me. Why am I so important?

“Who did it?” someone growled, yet something in his voice told me that he already knew the answer. Later, I found that it belonged to Doc, the doctor taking care of me. The owner of the first voice seemed to be different.

“The Travelers.”

In the sudden silence, I hated them for killing so many people. At the same time, a parallel string of animation flooded my mind. The word still existed in my memory! It was followed by a short definition: ‘friendly aliens that help us’. They helped me to die. Friendly.


December 29, 2014

White Wolf Dream

First chapter of Io Deceneus Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The white wolf turned his head with animal leisure, until I met his eyes – black pits of charcoal in all that snow – so close, that shades appeared in their darkness. Don’t panic. Don’t… I turned around … only me and the wolf, his tongue hanging out. Where is everybody? A crystal twig cracked under the snow, and three times the raven cawed in a human voice: “Wolf-man! Wolf-man! Wolf-man!” Unimpressed, the wolf howled in my face, and I howled back, to smother his howl, to smother my mind. A howl … another one… In-between, silence flows, and the mind sees all that you are not searching for.

“Duras, no! Stay here.” Whistling between the snowdrifts, the wind carried voices over the ridge.

A small voice, a girl… What is she doing here? I blinked: the lone wolf was backing off, his lips half writhed into a snarl. In the valley, a pack of gray wolves went out from the forest, and split in two wings – ready to hunt.

“Some scared wolves… We can’t go back, young girl; death is waiting there.”

A man’s voice … almost a man’s voice. “Listen to her,” I shouted, and frosted leaves whispered under his small, uneasy steps. “The gray wolves … they split.” … NothingThey can’t hear me. (more…)

August 27, 2014

Time Travel to Egypt (final version)

First chapter of Io Deceneus Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The streets of Amarna: people were different, the smells were different and the noise was different. By appearance, I belonged to that place – white knee-length skirt and sandals, very like the others, even in the way that they looked worn – yet uneasiness grew inside me. “The Nile is reborn,” people cried around me. I understand… I burned from the childish temptation to answer questions raised three thousand years before I was born. Would they find the stranger in me?

The crack came too late, my shoulder burned, pain shot up and down my arm. “Take me back home!” I screamed. With blurred eyes, I noticed the lowered heads and I bowed. The whip stopped; the buzz stopped; my mind regained clarity, clarity arose from panic, unnatural and treacherous.

Two soldiers dragged me away, and sand filled the cuts in my skin. “Once sand enters the scars it burns for days,” the Gate whispered to me.

Bitch! I thrust myself upwards to stand on my feet; the soldier on the left lost his grip on my arm, then pushed my head in the sand, his words coming out in hiccups: “Snake … try to escape now … feel the sand…” (more…)

December 23, 2012

DNA (changed)

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

“Afraid? Do you want to run away and stop travelling? Or not? Not just yet? Would you still blame the bait? Or finally you will decide alone?” For the first time there was something wicked in her voice. “Why you don’t simply try to feel this new world? To open your mind and melt into the local field? You haven’t had a real taste of it yet. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be worth it,” she continued, softly this time, like trying hypnosis. “You’re unlikely to learn anything about it now, that time will come later, but maybe about yourself … It is the mind of the seeker that must first be educated, and the body follows. But you must have the will.” The hazy sun had already dropped below the horizon and the
land had melted into an inky wilderness by the time she had finished her scolding. The wind suddenly left off and there was complete silence. I was paralyzed with fear; I moved back instinctively, about to run. It only lasted a mere second before we were back on Earth, in my garden’s domestic assurance. She said nothing about it, and I did not pay attention to “that time will come later”.


November 25, 2012

Teaching the Universe

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

“The ‘me’ dealing with you was born only several hundred thousand years ago. I am not too old to be an artefact, as you see.” And she smiled at me, the smile of a young and beautiful woman.

“What if he perceives our presence here?”

“He is already aware, as his boundaries are so small, and there is no life yet; he is following us but he recognises me as being of his own structure, even when I come from a future he is not able to figure. There is no Gate yet at this stage.” (more…)

November 21, 2012

I the Robot invasion

With Capek and Asimov robots entered in our lives via science fiction books. Generation
after generation was waiting  for them to arrive also in our life. The usual perception was about humanoid robots interfering in our paths helping people in different way. The robots revolution was, in fact, already started by the apparition of the unspectacular industrial robots. Since the middle of the 20th century, robotics has become an essential
component of the production industry. However, the next major challenge for robotics
concerns applications for domestic environments and personal use, thus involving closer interaction between robots and humans. (more…)

November 17, 2012

The newborn universe

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel

The lights got brighter, then started to dim till blackness surrounded everything. I was floating in that darkness, in a strange position resembling a man sitting in his chair but the chair was no longer supporting me; it disappeared altogether with the whole restaurant. Her head was floating in a small illuminated sphere – around me. A diffuse scattered light appeared at a distance I was not able to appreciate. Between us and that light there was nothing. Here and there points of turbulence emerged, later their vague movements spread to the entire area in sight. The blackness vanished, chased by glowing yellow, cherry red or ultramarine blue lights. (more…)

November 13, 2012

The banking system in science fiction

Science fiction  and fantasy books are often based on day to day realities extraploated in the future or on other planets. Most of the science fiction books deal with technological aspects, and only a few with the social ones, and even  less with financial issues. The main arguments are that technology is cool, or magic for fantasy books, while finance is boring on one side, and on the other one predicting social future is more difficult than predicting technology.
As in the book, here on Earth,  the financial system is taking slowly over our society.
In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released this month, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35% to 40% of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35% to 40% cut of our gross domestic product. (more…)

November 10, 2012

Time Travel to Egypt again

Changed on chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel

At the moment I don’t feel the need for a speech comparing my small steps with giant steps for mankind, maybe for the simple reason that I have made no contribution, there is
no audience to impress, or perhaps I am just too scared. In movies you see a strange, suspended, and fluid force-field. They touch the field, smile for the camera, hold their breath and jump. Here there was nothing like that: closed my eyes at home, opened them under a bright sun … in ancient Egypt.

The streets of Amarna are crowded. People are different, the smells are different and the noise is different, yet you still have the same feeling of being home. (more…)

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