Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Arthur M. Doweyko returning with his science fiction and fantasy short story anthology, My Shorts. He’s going to share an excerpt from one of his short stories with us, but first, let’s get reacquainted.
Arthur has authored over 100 scientific papers, invented novel 3D drug design software, and shares the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, a new anti-cancer drug. He writes science fiction and fantasy. His novels include Algorithm (2010 Royal Palm Literary Award, pub 2014, E-Lit), and As Wings Unfurl (Best Pre-Pub Sci-Fi RPLA 2014, pub 2016, Red Adept). He has published numerous award-winning short stories, including Honorable Mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Competition. He teaches college chemistry and wanders the beaches when not jousting with aliens.
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About the Book
Mind-blowing science fiction and fantasy short stories designed to make you rethink reality and your place in the universe. From first contact to thinking machines, from time-travel to the brutal realities of space travel, each story is finely crafted to set your teeth on edge and to grip your armchair. A policeman decides the fate of mankind when he unholsters his weapon during a first contact with aliens; Harry meets Harry in a time-travel attempt to save his wife; a little boy discovers he can’t lie; Andrew is the last human, a cyborg who must decide to be upgraded to fully artificial, or not. These and other thought-provoking tales await you in Arthur M. Doweyko’s collection of award-winning shorts.
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Keep reading for an excerpt from Little Snowy Mountains:
Dr. Armstrong Pearl reached down through loose gravel and shoved his hand beneath the fossilized remains of the sauropod’s tenth cervical vertebra. He felt something that shouldn’t be there. Sweat ran down along his temples, seeped into the gullies and rills of his weathered neck, and emptied into his khaki shirt front. His fingers traced the unmistakable outline of a human eye socket.
Each year, Armstrong volunteered a week of his time to a group of local Montana diggers—paleontologists who were in the midst of unearthing segments of a sixty-five million year old sauropod fossil. This year’s Little Snowy Mountains excavation was about to become sensational.
“Whatcha got there, Armstrong?”
He jerked his hand up. “Nothing. Just trying to get under this verterbra, Johansen.”
“Careful you don’t get stuck and make us dig you out.” Johansen chuckled at his remark. “We’re closin’ shop in a few minutes, so wrap things up.”
After the man wandered away, Armstrong reached down again—this time extending his fingers below the nasal bone. The skull could be the find of the century. Hominids weren’t supposed show up until ten million years after the dinosaurs died out. He clawed away some more debris, and winced as his hand wedged between rock and bone. His forefinger reached the smooth edges of an alveolar margin which preceded the upper teeth.
Johansen had gathered the rest of the group, and called out to him. With one last thrust Armstrong’s fingertip curled around a tooth, loosening it. Gravel sifted back into the hole as he pulled his arm out. He held the specimen up for a closer look. The dying light brought out the tooth’s details, and suddenly, the evening air turned icy cold. He held a human canine, and it sported a ceramic crown.
* * *
“Dr. Pearl, aren’t you off this week?”
“Hi, Sasha. Just a few things to straighten out before I head back out to the dig. How’s business?”
“The crew has things under control. By the way, happy birthday.”
Sixty years was nothing to be happy about.
“Right. See you in a few days.”
Armstrong founded the Pearl’s Pearls dental clinic in Billings a few years before. In the hallway, he held up an x-ray slide to a ceiling fixture, and the blood drained from his face.
Armstrong threw a curt nod to one of his dental associates, Nolan, who had just walked into the building. He hurried out without saying a word. It wasn’t until he angled into his Hummer that he drew enough courage to inspect the slide again. The ceramic cap wasn’t unique, but the same could not be said of the root canal, which contained two lengths of fine wire. Armstrong’s tongue wandered over the inner surface of his uppers. He knew of only one case where a fine wire probe was broken twice—and that was his own canine. He rolled down his window for some air.