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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mike Shepherd Moscoe: Expert Tracker, Caring Guide

Cold Raked Launa's bare skin, but it was the fear clutching her heart that made her shiver. Beside her in the darkness, Star nickered and yanked on his primitive halter. When Launa asked what would happen if one of the animals bolted from the energy capsule, the scientists shrugged. They had built the time transport, but that didn't mean they understood it.

So begins First Dawn, the introductory novel of Mike Moscoe's Lost Millennium trilogy, and the first novel he published. It concerns Jack and Launa, two people from a contemporary Earth ravaged by a designer plague. A time machine has been developed, but returning is not in Jack and Launa's plans. Instead, these two people are sent by the United States government with one mission: to prevent a peaceful society that lived six thousand years ago from being slaughtered. 

Beautiful artwork (sadly uncredited)
adorns all three volumes of
Mike Moscoe's Lost Millennium trilogy.

It's a radical solution, one that allows no hope for those currently suffering or dying from the plague. But the hope is that Jack and Launa, by preserving this ancient society, can divert the evolution of the Human race onto a more peaceful track. Instead of nation fighting against nation, and terrorists plotting to destroy any aspect of society they disagree with, might it be possible to engineer a modern utopia in this manner? Well, there's always hope, right?

While preparing to attend a science fiction convention, I noticed that Mike Moscoe, a newly published author, would be attended. I attended a panel on which he participated, and afterward approached him with a few questions about his publishing experience. He told me that these were complex questions, and motioned me out of the room. To my surprise, he found us a comfortable and quiet area in which to sit, and proceeded to answer all my questions in the most exacting detail. 

For, believe it or not, one entire hour!

Never in the years since has a published author opened up to me like that, and explained the nuts and bolts of his or her publishing experience in such minute detail. Later, I realized that I wasn't ready to be published yet, but the guiding light Mike shone down the publication path gave me hope. In the meantime, I would go on to enjoy all three installments in his first trilogy, three space operas, and several installments of the Kris Longknife saga (published as Mike Shepherd). And as I read each one, I derived pleasure not only from Mike's prose, but from the memory of the time he lavished upon me. 

Someday, I hope to read more novels about Jack and Launa. Beyond that, I hope to have my own books published. Should the latter event occur, it will in no small way be due to people like Mike Moscoe, who took the time to sit down with an unformed, naive writer, and guide him along, for a few steps, down the narrow, difficult-to-follow deer track through the writing wilderness, that may eventually lead toward the primitive wood-and-thatch hut of publication. You know, the one you could walk around through the forest forever, passing by it time and again, but never spot it through the trees.

Happy Birthday, and eternal thanks, Mike (Shepherd) Moscoe. 

Dragon Dave

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