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Looking for Life by Clayton Graham is a Science Fiction Event pick #sciencefiction #scifi #giveaway


Author: Clayton Graham

Genre: Science Fiction anthology

Book Blurb:

Readers' Favorite Finalist 2021 Literary Titan Book Award Top Shelf First Place 2021 Authors Shout Top Pick 2021 Global Book Awards Gold winner 2022 Independent Author Network 2022 Finalist Incipere Book Awards First Place 2022

Strap in, turn down the lights, and enter worlds that will stretch your imagination to the full…

From a stranded alien comedian to the darkest depths of the human psyche; from a mind-blowing galactic adventure to clandestine extraterrestrial behaviour on Earth. They’re all here in this spell-binding collection of short stories to keep you guessing at every turn.

With tales of alien invasion, deep space mystery, time travel, and dystopian future Earths, this is a collection which takes inspiration from the much respected ‘old masters’ of Science Fiction. Here be new realms to explore—can you cross the void and challenge your dreams?


Confusion reigned for several seconds, ably reinforced by a dull ache inside his skull that seemed to ricochet in slow motion from ear to ear. He swiveled his eyes and surveyed the interior of his enclosure, pausing here and there to review an unfamiliar object. Where the hell was he? And why did he feel like crap?

As his eyes turned, there was a whirring sound; when they stopped—silence.

Charles Edgar Fantom, he thought, retired astronaut of distinction.

He shook his head. He had asked where he was, not who he was. He felt dopey, drugged. A hint of fear threatened rational thought.

Recovering from an operation? The room was white, brightly lit. It could be a theatre. But there were twinkling lights all around him, as if he had been thrown into the middle of a star field.

Far-flung Fantom they had called him, with Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto safely tucked under his belt. An astronaut, yes, but where am I now?

He raised his eyes to the ceiling and once again heard the whirring sound. Should he try to stand? The room was becoming clearer as he gradually adjusted to the various depths of field, and he felt an abrupt urge to explore. Old habits die hard.

He decided to stand but found he couldn’t. Nothing happened. He tried to call out; no sound found its way to his ears.

Fantom’s eyes turned, and he caught his reflection in a shiny console. A sinister numbness seized his mind, but there was no nerve-tingling shock. But hell, there should have been! The reflection did not show a human face, but the unemotional features of a robotic head.

Two large lenses stared back at him. A rectangular mouth used for God knows what sat beneath the artificial eyes. He glanced at his body, finding nothing but a black metallic box, the underside of which was hidden from view.

He wanted to scream, but he had nothing to scream with.

A screen suddenly lit up in front of him, and he found a morsel of relief as he realised he could read the words:

Hello Charles

This is your LFL computer

Glad to see you have awoken safely

Fantom watched, his robotic eyes slightly glazed, his mind still cold and blank. Was he dead or in a living hell—or was he perhaps dreaming? He tried to pinch himself, but, of course, he failed.

The screen went blank, and then more words came into focus:

Please watch carefully

On July 17 2231

You, Charles Edgar Fantom, passed from Earth’s life

There! He had it. He was dead. Yet here he was actually watching and thinking. Or maybe he was a computer aligned to the thoughts of the late version of himself.

Your brain was saved and linked to the prototype of the machine you now inhabit

Fantom mentally wiped his brow. So he was alive after all.

The year is now 2381, and you are in deep space

You have been in effective suspended animation inside this spacecraft

Fantom blinked, the process itself just a surge of electrons. Unbelievable! Far-flung was not the word. For the past 150 years, he had been dead to the universe!

The screen blinked out again for several seconds, as if giving him time to digest the enormity of his situation.

In five seconds, your body will receive full power

5, 4, 3, 2, 1—

Fantom braced for the shock but was surprised to encounter only a slight tingle in the bodily zones below his head.

You are now on full capability

You can move, talk, smell, and hear and have two operational hands

He automatically glanced downwards. The screen flickered.

You are capable of withstanding intense extremes

Both pressure and temperature

You are now ready for your mission

Mission! Here comes the catch, he thought. He ordered his brain to extend his right arm, watching in fascination as a jointed cylindrical tube—attached to which was a beautiful replica of a human hand—came into view. He waggled the fingers playfully.

“When you are ready.”

He actually heard the words this time, gobbled up by his electronic ears.

“Here begins your mission.”

The screen was abruptly filled by the head and shoulders of a man. He was tanned with short gray hair, strong blue eyes, and an aquiline nose. The face was full, set above a large square jaw, and it carried a look of determination.

“You don’t know me, Charlie, but I sure know you. You must be the oldest human alive.” Fantom stared at the screen, totally intrigued. The face broke into a grin. “Let me introduce myself. My name’s Jamie Alexander, and I’m the head of the World Federation for Space Exploration and Utilization.

“You, Charlie, as you will recall, have a unique record in space, and that is why you were chosen in 2231 to undertake this mission.” The face grew serious. “Your assignment is to bring life back from another world. Nothing big, just life forms your new body can carry. Please note you have no weapons. It is not that kind of mission.

“No human body could live long enough to complete this mission, yet alone withstand the traumas of space. So you have a new body, Charlie.” The face creased into a grin. “And you get a bonus—one hell of an extended life.”

“What happened to my old body?” A fair question, Fantom thought, considering the circumstances.

“You wish to know?”

The recording was obviously primed to recognize possible questions. “Yes, I bloody well do.”

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What makes your featured book a must-read?

A multi-awarded collection, Looking for Life contains tales of the fantastic that sprinkle in the persistent and enduring feeling of hope that underlies the incredible journey of the human race. This collection pays homage to traditional science fiction, but elevates it to the action-packed and high-concept modern standards which readers now expect.

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:

As a youngster Clayton Graham read a lot of science fiction. He loved the ‘old-school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.

A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in science fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand. Clayton loves animals, including well-behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic. He has won many book awards including Author’s Show ‘50 great writers you should be reading’, Readers’ Favorite International Award finalist, and Book Excellence Awards finalist.

Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun, his first novel, was published in 2016 and is the exciting prequel to Amidst Alien Stars and Alien Whispers: Conflict and Communion.

Space Opera novel, Saving Paludis, was published in 2018 and won a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award.

His books may be light years from each other but share the future exploits of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme. In between novels Clayton has also published highly rated short story collections Silently in the Night and Looking for Life, where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.

He hopes you can share the journeys.

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Oct 17, 2023

Thank you, Clayton, for sharing your book in our Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookish Event!

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