Talatu (Taster – YA SF Novel to be published March 2011)

“Wata rana shekaru aru-aru da suka wuce…” That is how my father always began stories which, very roughly translated from the Hausa, means “once upon a time”. So… Once upon a time there was a girl called Talatu, she was a special girl, born on a Tuesday (which is what her name meant in the language of her forefathers). But being born on a Tuesday is not what made her special, it was the fact that she was born on a ship travelling between the stars. She was the apple of her father’s eye and would sit on his knee as he told her stories about his home in Northern Nigeria on faraway Earth. Little Talatu would waddle around, following her father down the lines of plants that he tended, she would sing along with him as he named all of the plants for her. She was Yarsarkini Talatu, Princess Talatu, and her father was the king of a land of flowers and fruit, of strange smells and jets of water that always seemed to catch her unawares. Princess Talatu was the happiest girl on the whole of the ship…

But, life is not a fairy story, little Talatu grew up…

“Talatu Idris! You’re asleep again! See me after class.”

What a way to wake up… I looked around the classroom while surreptitiously pinching myself, I wanted to make sure that I was really awake this time.

Anyone who knows me, even in passing, will not be surprised at all that I started my story asleep. I wake up tired and, at any given moment, can be found having a quick snooze. Warrant Officer Clooney says that, once I get control of my gift, it will make me a better soldier as the ability to catnap at any time or place is key to surviving protracted contact with the enemy. As I don’t actually want to be a soldier and any potential enemy could be sixty light years away back on Earth, the point may very well be moot.

Of course, we are soon to arrive at Campbell’s Star and it could be crawling with “hostiles” so I guess that I should listen just in case…


About dmlbooks

Dennis M. Lane is a British writer who left the shores of the UK in 1986 and hasn’t looked back since; he has now lived in South Africa for eleven years. His first poetry collection “8 Million Stories” was published in November 2010, followed by the collection of science fiction poetry and short stories “The Poring Dark” in September 2012 (two of the poems have been nominated for the 2013 Rhysling Award and another for the Dwarf Stars Award), his first novel “Talatu” in March 2013, and “The King’s Jewel” the first book in the five novel “Helix Key” series in August 2013. He is currently working on Helix Key Book 2 and a second collection of short stories (entitled "The Unmedicated"). When not writing, Dennis enjoys narrating and voice acting and recently set up Dramatic Voice Productions in order to take his interest further. To relax Dennis watches old movies from his extensive DVD collection, his three loves being science fiction B movies, Hong Kong martial arts, and anime. He has been presenting “A Review from the Jacaranda City” since May 2011 and has looked at classic old movies from “On The Beach” to “Creature from the Black Lagoon”.
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