Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Spotlight: Test of Magnitude by Andy Kasch

Test of Magnitude
by Andy Kasch

Series: The Torian Reclamation
Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 23, 2013)

Kindle Edition
File Size: 602 KB
Print Length: 400 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492761788
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Andy Kasch (September 16, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

About the book

Revenge is only justice when it can be administered without hatred.

Welcome to the Tora star system, home of the spectacular Cardinal-4 space station overlooking Amulen and Banor, twin worlds that share the same orbit. One visit and you’ll understand why this station is the pinnacle of Torian achievement and a wonder of the Erobian Sphere.

Unfortunately, your timing isn’t great. Many centuries of peace and prosperity are on the verge of collapsing for members of the Erob coalition, as signs of the first interstellar wars loom. The half-breeds tell us it is because we are now forsaking the ancient law, and have thus allowed an evil infection to begin spreading through the galaxy. But those Erob half-breeds have always been a little over-dramatic, haven’t they?

Brandon Foss, an unhappily married Virginian in his early thirties, awakes from a strange dream to discover he has been abducted from Earth and kept in cryonic preservation on Amulen for two decades. One other resuscitated human is with him, a knucklehead who almost seems as alien to Brandon as their reptilian captors. A friendship of convenience forms as the two Earthlings soon become unwittingly intertwined in Torian politics and military affairs—at a time, it turns out, when the Torians desperately need just such intertwining.

This full-length space-adventure novel has been professionally edited and specially formatted for all Kindle devices (including the latest Torian lightpads). We promise a smooth and enjoyable electronic reading experience, complete with a click-able table of contents. Download it today and embark upon your own personal test of magnitude.


Brandon and Derek’s hunger eventually overpowered their fear, so they ate again when it seemed their captors were not returning. This time, there was a meaty substance included with the flatbread that felt and tasted like dried fish, along with a new variety of spreads. At least they were being fed well. There was also a pitcher of what looked and smelled like red wine next to the water pitcher on the cart.

The temperature in the room remained at a constant comfortable level, perhaps even a little on the warm side, so their lack of clothing had not become a serious issue until now. Brandon mentioned he felt naked and vulnerable in his underwear, and Derek readily agreed. They ventured into the white room to check out the clothing selection after dinner. Two medium-sized beds had been placed against the far wall, each with a large pillow and several layers of different types of covers. Brandon inspected the bedding material and thought it felt silky.

In the middle of the room were two plastic boxes full of clothes. The selection was less than thrilling. The first box was full of costume clothing, probably stolen from a dinner theatre or stage set somewhere. It must have been a Shakespeare play, as it all looked like something one might wear to a renaissance fair. Most of it was men’s clothes, thankfully—although, by modern clothing standards, only a woman could attempt to seriously adorn any of it in public.

The other box was worse. Stretchy spandex pants, flashy open-chest shirts with big collars, and several denim suits in white and pastel blue, some of which included vests and sport coats with rhinestone studs.

“Disco clothes!” Brandon said. He shook his head as he held some of it up with both hands. “This stuff was obviously taken from some trendy retailer in the mid-seventies.”

“What’s disco, man?” Derek asked.

“Nothing a Hendrix fan would be interested in.”

They both went with the renaissance fair costumes, which had the advantage that they were easy to adjust to fit comfortably. Brandon picked out some brown burlap pants, a big puffy white shirt with an attached small leather vest, and a wide, waist-high belt. It made Derek laugh.

“You look like Robin Hood, man. You just need the hat with a feather in it.” There was indeed just such a hat in the box, but Brandon declined on the headwear.

“Well, you look like a monk” Brandon replied, “which I find to be rather appropriate.” Derek had chosen some long brown robes that included a hood and a cord belt. He opted not to wear the hood.

“Yeah—a lot of what’s in there is knight costume stuff, for fighters you know, and I’m a man of peace. This ain’t so bad, brother.”

Dressed and feeling a little better, they meandered back to the video area and settled into the chairs in front of the screens. There was an animal program on one of them that was fascinating. Most of the creatures had leather skin, even some of the birds. There were several fearsome carnivores as well. One of them resembled a giant frog—about the size of a dog—only with many sharp teeth. The majority of its body consisted of its huge brown head. It would blend in with the plants and bushes, and then ambush prey by suddenly springing up six or eight feet and grabbing a bird out of the air, or a squirrel-looking mammal out of a tree, with its mouth.

That program ended and one about marine life began. Brandon walked over to the cart and came back with the pitcher of wine—assuming that’s what it was—and two cups. Derek looked up at him and reached out his hand to signal acceptance of the drink. It tasted like good red wine.

“That is some righteously exotic sea life,” Derek said.

“Yeah,” Brandon replied, “but really, so is sea life on Earth. I have seen shows like this about crazy ocean creatures that are just as fascinating. I mean, there’s a perfect example—a flying fish. We have flying fish on Earth, too, although they are much smaller and can’t fly nearly that far out of the water.”

“You think we’re really on another planet?”

“It’s as reasonable of an explanation as any about what happened to us, I suppose. Only…”

“Only what, man?”

“Only …Derek, what year was it when they kidnapped you?”

Derek laughed. “It’s 1968 of course.” He took another sip of wine, and then looked at Brandon quizzically.


This time it was Brandon who laughed. “No, man.”

“Well what year is it then, brother? I know what show I had tickets for.”

“If we really are on another planet,” Brandon said, “It could be any year. I mean, we have no idea what year it is here, on this planet—what was it they called this place, Amulen?”

“Sounds right.”

“But what I really mean is, it could be any Earth year by now as well. We may have been sleeping a very long time. Especially you.”

“Why especially me?”

“Derek, I wasn’t even born yet in 1968.”

Derek’s eyebrows furled. He set the cup of wine down and stared at Brandon. An ugly grimace gradually formed on his face.

“I get the feeling we have both been in a coma for decades,” Brandon continued. “However long it’s been, it’s been longer for you—like forty-something years longer. It was New Year’s Eve the year 2012 when they got me.”

“No way, man.” Derek just sat there with a rebellious look on his face. “No way.”

“I didn’t want to mention it earlier, because I didn’t want to freak you out.”

“Well whose side are you on, man?”

Brandon was a little irritated by that question. “Look—whatever happened to you happened to me, too. We are in this thing together, and I haven’t seen any other humans around. I am on your side, if for no other reason than out of necessity.”

“If you’re on my side, brother, then tell me what else is going on that I should know about!”

“I don’t know anything else. That’s it. I remember my abduction now, and I know when it happened. They apparently got you a long time in the past from when they got me. Now we both seem to think we are about the same age as we were when we were kidnapped, but I don’t think we really are. Just how this is even possible, I don’t know. I can guess, but—”

“Well go ahead and guess then, future-man, ‘cause I sure got a lot less to go by than you would.” The tone in Derek’s voice suggested that he no longer trusted Brandon.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.” Brandon stood and walked around in circles for a few moments before continuing.

“I’ve been interested in astronomy and science fiction some, so I do have a tiny bit of knowledge to guess from. Albert Einstein’s physics theories have held firm to my time, so the scientists of my day still agree nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. That film we watched earlier showed we were quite a distance across the galaxy from Earth. If that is indeed where we are, it would have taken a very long time to get here, like maybe hundreds of years, even travelling at the speed of light. They must have frozen us, or maybe put us into some kind of a deep preservation sleep, in a state that stops the aging process. Otherwise, we would be a lot older now. Hell, you should have been getting to be an old man even by the time I was kidnapped. It could be that we were put into a cryogenic state or something on board their spaceships for the trip.”

Derek just kept staring at him.

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