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A Time and a Place by Joe Mahoney is a Science Fiction Event pick #scifi #timetravel #giveaway

Title: A Time and a Place

Author: Joe Mahoney

Genre: Science Fiction (time travel, portal fiction)

Book Blurb:

Barnabus’s nephew is behaving oddly. Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful, because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared? Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal. Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, freewill, identity, good and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew—and incidentally, all of humanity?


“I have a few questions,” the Necronian said. “I’m sure you do too. So let’s just play a little game. We’ll take turns asking questions. There are only two rules. One, we must answer each question. Two, we must not lie. You first.”

“How many questions do I have?”

“One less. What’s your name?”

“Wildebear,” I said. “Barnabus J.”

“Pleased to meet you, Wildebear Barnabus J. Your turn.”

“What about you?” I asked reluctantly. “You have a name, I suppose?”

“You wouldn’t be able to pronounce my name. Tell you what—just call me Jacques.”

“Jacques?” It was impossible to keep a note of incredulity out of my voice.

“Perhaps you would be more comfortable with ‘Jack’.”

The thought of calling a hideous alien monster Jack made the inappropriate giggle I had been suppressing bubble briefly to the surface.

“Jacques is fine,” I said hastily to conceal the nervous titter.

“Tell me, Wildebear Barnabus J. What are you doing on my fine planet?”

“I came to close the gate.” I decided to take the game seriously. If I was careful and clever, maybe I could learn a thing or two without giving too much away. “How is it you speak English so well?”

“Simple. I used your quantum portal. Spent some time on Earth getting to know the place. So, Wildebear Barnabus J., are you a soldier? Have you come to destroy me?”

“What? No! I’m a teacher.”

“A teacher.” Jacques sounded skeptical. “Why aren’t you off teaching somewhere?”

“It’s summer. I’m on vacation. We don’t teach during the summer.”

“So this is your idea of a tourist destination, is it? Travelling to distant planets closing multi-dimensional portals?”

“No. This is just something I kind of got caught up in.”

“All right. If you’re a teacher, who do you teach?”

“Teenagers, mainly. The young.”

“The young. And what do you teach them aside from useless distinctions in a soon-to-be defunct language?”

“I teach them—excuse me?”

“What?” Jacques asked.

“You said ‘defunct language.’ What did you mean by that?”

“Nothing. I didn’t mean anything.”

“You’re planning to invade the Earth!”

“Well, yes.”

“When?” I asked, alarmed.

“Today, tomorrow, later this afternoon. It’s hard to say. Now that I have your quantum portal it’s really only a matter of time, isn’t it? Answer my question, please.”

“I teach English. Literature, grammar, that sort of thing.”

“And what, pray tell, is a teacher of English literature doing gallivanting around the universe closing quantum portals?”

“It’s just something I got caught up in. Why would you want to invade the Earth? What have we ever done to you?”

“Natural resources. Revenge. Because you didn’t answer my questions properly. Why does anybody ever invade anybody?”

“I have no idea,” I said. “Why did you invade this planet?”

“To get some answers, among other things. Why are you really here, Wildebear Barnabus J?” Jacques’ tone was casual, the question anything but.

“To find my nephew.”

“Your nephew? What would your nephew be doing here?”

“He was—taken. I’m here to get him back.”

“Who took him?”

“One of your enemies took him,” I said. “Speaking of which, what do you have against the T’Klee?”

“The T’Klee?”

“You know—the ones that look like cats. The ones you’re busy murdering. You were on Earth long enough to know about cats, right?”

“Remember the rules,” I admonished.

“There may have been a few accidents here and there,” Jacques conceded. “Not that it matters. The T’Klee are a vile species. An affront to nature. The less of them in the universe the better.”

“What? Come on. What could you have against such simple creatures?”

“I will give credit where credit is due,” Jacques said. “Once upon a time the T’Klee, as you call them, had wonderful technology, some of it their own, some of it not. But they weren’t very good at sharing. I think they hid something that I am looking for here. Tell me, Wildebear Barnabus J., where did you find this quantum portal of yours?”

“You mean to say you’re here on a treasure hunt? Holding the citizens of this planet hostage until you find what you’re looking for? What will you do if you don’t find it?”

Jacques stared at me dolefully with its lone eye. “I’ve enjoyed talking to you,” it said. It may even have meant it. “But this is taking too long.” There was an edge to its voice that didn’t promise good things.

I was instantly on my guard. “Too long for what?”

“To learn what you know.” Jacques produced the slender wand from behind its back. It wrapped the wand in one of its thick tentacles and waved it rhythmically back and forth in front of my face. Tiny green sparkles of light drifted off the tip of the wand into the darkness beyond.

“I don’t know anything,” I told the Necronian, bracing myself for pain.

“You know that much, at least,” Jacques observed.

If I could survive Mind Snoop, I could survive anything, I told myself, though I didn’t really believe it. Jacques touched me gently on the forehead with the wand. My brain exploded into a billion shards of pain. Against which, I discovered, there was no bracing oneself.

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What makes your featured book a must-read?

A Time and a Place is for fans of books unlike anything they’ve ever read before. An unlikely hero travels through a mysterious portal to save a nephew who does not want to be saved, and who he doesn’t even particularly like, in a unique tale by turns comic and tragic. Publishers Weekly calls it “thoughtful, eloquent, and messy.” Deedra on Goodreads writes it “was so well written and intriguing I did not want to put it down!”

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs October 11 – October 19, 2023. Winner will be drawn on October 20, 2023.

Author Biography:

Joe Mahoney worked full-time for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for thirty-five years. He spent a decade making radio plays, working with some of the finest actors, directors, and writers in Canada. In 2007, Joe left production to join the CBC management team. There, he managed broadcast maintenance teams. the eastern real estate portfolio, and spent his final year as Operations Manager for Nova Scotia. He retired from the CBC in 2023 and now writes full time. Joe has also worked as a story editor on multiple radio, television and film projects. Joe’s debut novel, A Time and a Place, was published on October 1st 2017 by Five Rivers Press. His memoir, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of working at CBC Radio, Adventures in the Radio Trade, was published on August 1st 2023. He is a member of SF Canada, Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals, and SFWA, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association. He lives in Riverview, NB, with his wife, Lynda, their Sheltie, Wendy, and their Siberian Forest Cat, Lily.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @ilanderz




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