A while ago I wrote a short story called Sleepless. A few people have asked about it so I’m going to crank it out as a freebie for my mailing list or something.

I have mocked up some cover roughs — love to hear which appeal to you most (and why). Blurb for it is below for context. Go on. I know everyone’s got an opinion, and I’m actually ASKING for yours. Free shot! Right where it hurts. Do it.

If sleeping meant dying, could you stay awake forever?

Jennifer Prescott is the commander of the Texas. She’s hauled on the big starship for as long as anyone that matters. On a routine voyage, things start to go wrong. For starters? There’s that damned sound. It’s everywhere, making the Texas shake like a terrified child.

If it was just the sound, it’d mean a call to maintenance. Hard words for a soft set of hands. And that’s how Jennifer had started fixing things. And how she’d continued, right up until people started dying.

Flying through the hard black where a thin sliver of metal is all that’s between you and the void, can Jennifer keep the crew alive — and awake — long enough to get to safe harbor?

Sleepless was one of the first stories I wrote when finding my writer’s legs. A couple of friends asked me about it, and then told me they could stand to see a little more. It’s the work that inspired the upcoming Tyche’s Journey trilogy. There are definitely copies of it out there in the wild, but they’re rare enough to make you feel like the Chosen One if you find ‘em. While short, this is sweet — a perfect accessory to those completists out there. I’ve given it a quick edit but have left it more or less how it all started. I’d write it differently now, but let’s not do a Han-shot-second and screw it up, yeah? I hope you all enjoy it!

— Richard Parry”

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