Below the summit of Mt. Evans

Space Operatic (and other things)

As November draws to a close, I’m wondering what happened to June. Seriously. Life has moved at breakneck speed for the past half year. Here’s the short list:

  • Starting a new day job.
  • A vacation in Denver, including excursions into the Rockies and a drive to the summit of Mt. Evans.
  • Selling the house we called home for the past 24 years.
  • Downsizing to a new home, with the attendant divesting, investing, moving, and reorganizing.
  • Closing our publishing imprints One Voice Press and Serpent Cliff.
  • Creating a new imprint, Red Tales.
  • Trying to find time to write.

The last has been a challenge, given how crowded the days have been. I published rather less on Medium, made zero progress on Howard County Mystery #4, and completely failed to move Space Operatic to publication, as I’d promised in my last post back in March.

Yeah, March. I haven’t been posting here much, either.

The good news is, things are starting to free up just a little. My short story “Hot Ice” did well in the NYC Flash Fiction Challenge, placing fifth in my group of 30 entrants. I’ve kick-started HCM #4 (I’ll let you know the title once I figure it out myself), and here’s the big news:

Space Operatic will be released March, 2020.

This is, of course, God willing. Kathleen will tackle final editing, typesetting, and layout starting in January. The cover reveal will likely be end of January, beginning of February. You can read a possible cover blurb in my last post.

Space Operatic is a humorous science fiction tale featuring grand opera, corporate greed, rebellious miners, bloodthirsty mercenaries, and plenty of unforeseen consequences, all on the outer fringes of our solar system. Here’s a small sampling:


Liwanu eyeballed Pauli as a disappointed teacher might a daft student. “Space Operatic is here to raise morale, not make commercials.”

“They’re here to sell tickets,” Worthington snapped. “Where’s the facilities manager? What am I doing here, anyway?”

“You were invited.” The Culture Minister offered him a grim smile, as though she thoroughly enjoyed watching him writhe under torture. Which, he knew, she did.

“No kidding.”

“Didn’t raise his morale,” muttered Liwanu’s appointments secretary, a plump fellow with a face bearing an odd resemblance to a manatee’s. Liwanu smacked him on the arm, a rebuke he took with amazing aplomb. “Hey!”

Pauli drew himself up to his full height, which wasn’t impressive but probably made him feel vaguely assertive. “We could use them. That Macaroni fellow—”

“Maccarone,” Liwanu corrected.

“—would make a great spokesman.”

“At least Nabucco had an escape door,” Worthington grumped. He had no use for an opera company or the owner thereof, no matter how charismatic. What he really needed was one more body on the board of directors, a loyal sidekick who would unhesitatingly follow his lead, a yes-man too stupid or too desperate to question him. He wasn’t going to find such a stooge standing around here.

Liwanu looked out the window and up into the darkness. She pointed. A pinprick light had appeared in the sky: the transport beginning a cautious descent in the feeble gravity. It brightened with almost imperceptible leisure. “Forget Maccarone,” she told Pauli. “He’s a purist. Even if he needs the money, he’d be too stupid to take it.”

Watching the light grow, unsure that it actually was growing, Worthington pondered that and thought, Hmm.

[From Space Operatic, chapter 2, © 2019 by Dale E. Lehman ]


Please help me spread the word. Let’s make March fun!