Read the Outlaw Galaxy series -- swashbuckling space adventure stories!

Head on over to my website, www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com, where you can download and read some of my Outlaw Galaxy stories for Free. Space fantasy action-adventure at its finest!

Saturday, September 3, 2050

The Outlaw Galaxy Universe


In the distant future...
It is a time of legends and myths, of technology and magic,of epic struggles and journeys to the stars...
A time when great heroes confront the forces of darkness...
A time when adventure beckons across the Billion Worlds of Outlaw Galaxy!

Dive into the Outlaw Galaxy universe, a setting of spectacular space fantasy adventure, brimming with aliens and strange worlds and thrilling space battles. Suitable for readers of all ages, or as I like to put it, "For the young and young at heart."

Find out about the Outlaw Galaxy books.

Read some free Outlaw Galaxy short stories!

There are also a whole bunch of traditional blog posts about whatever shiny thing happened to grab my attention on a given day -- just check the archives.

Read Bill Smith's biography and check out his bibliography of published books.

Thursday, September 1, 2050

Outlaw Galaxy Books

There are always new Outlaw Galaxy books coming out. Here are some currently available:


 Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales
(Outlaw Galaxy 4) Short story collection. Five short stories of magic, wonder and adventure among the stars and distant worlds of Outlaw Galaxy. Free at most retailers. 

Download for FREE at Smashwords, PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, or the Apple iBooks store. Also available as a direct download
About 15,000 words or 45 paperback pages, reading time: about one hour.  (If you like this book, "Tip Jar" contributions are gladly accepted at https://www.paypal.me/outlawgalaxybill.)



Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales
(Outlaw Galaxy 3) Short story collection. Five short stories filled with the adventure and wonder of the Outlaw Galaxy universe. 99 cents at most retailers.

Check out the book at Smashwords (where you can read 20% for free), PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. 
About 18,000 words or 55 paperback pages, reading time: about one hour.

Outlaw Galaxy: Fugitive Among the Stars
(Outlaw Galaxy 2) Stand-alone novel. 


Trip and his friend Johnnie O. visit Johnnie's cousins for a simple vacation riding anti-grav scooters in the trails and woods of Karrison's wilderness. However, their plans are interrupted when an out-of-control freighter crashes near their campsite and they rescue its badly injured pilot, Bosh Tippen. The boys find themselves pursued by gunmen looking to capture Bosh and return him to vicious gangster Croll Weixx!

Check out the book at Smashwords (where you can read about 30% for free), Payhip, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. Novel, about 72,500 words or 207 pages, reading time: five hours. $2.99 at most retailers.


Outlaw Galaxy: Trip and the Space Pirates
(Outlaw Galaxy 1) Stand-alone novel. (Outlaw Galaxy 1, stand-alone novel) 

Benjamin "Trip" Trippany lives with his Uncle Craz in the busy port city of Pennick's Crossing, working in his Uncle's starship repair bay while dreaming of someday having his own ship and adventuring among the stars. A chance encounter and chase through the bustling city delivers him into the clutches of Diamond Black Joe, the infamous space pirate. Forced to join the pirate gang, Trip learns that they plan to attack and capture a Sh'nar cargo ship fleet, where his best friend Jinx works. Forced to choose between his own safety and saving his best friend, Trip is plunged into a rousing space adventure filled with deep space battles, shipboard blaster shoot-outs with pirates and a desperate struggle to save the Sh'nar from Diamond Black Joe's pirate gang.

Check out the book at Smashwords (where you can read 20% for free), PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. About 73,000 words or 210 pages, reading time: 5 hours. $2.99 at most retailers.

Wednesday, August 31, 2050

Outlaw Galaxy Short Stories

I have a number of Outlaw Galaxy short stories online:

Echoes. A father and son share a very special memory of the past. Included in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. (1,750 words, 6 pages, reading time: 5 minutes).

Little Wind. You're destined to be a legendary warrior, the inheritor of your people's most sacred traditions...and it all feels like a lie. Included in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. (5,300 words, 18 pages, reading time: 20 minutes)

Here. Alone. There's nothing better than spending the day watching the starships coming in to land at the starport, imagining what their stories might be.... Included in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. (2,300 words, 8 pages, reading time: 5 minutes.)

One Man's Trash. No matter how desperately you need a new starship, don't trust your co-pilot to pick it out.... Included in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. (4,500 words, 15 pages, 15 minutes)

We've Come A Long Way. A tavern on a StarStation, a well-deserved rest after a long journey across the stars ... and a moment of reflection amidst a bar fight. Included in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. (1,150 words, 4 pages, 4 minutes)

Also, the short stories "Hunter's Truth" and "Hopes, Dreams, Fears" from Outlaw Galaxy 3: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales are on the sample page for Outlaw Galaxy 3: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

This Time There is No Excuse

 Four years ago, some of you could be excused for voting the way you did. You wanted someone different, someone who was not a career politician, you didn't like or trust Hillary, whatever. Low information voters always have excuses.

But this time, this year, it is time to stand up and be counted.

This time you know exactly what you are getting. You are getting a man who has no qualifications or even any desire to do the job. 

A man who has not only allowed but actively encouraged policies that have resulted in nearly 200,000 deaths instead of trying to stop a disease outbreak. He is guilty of what a former Federal Prosecutor called, "Negligent Homicide." He has committed a crime against humanity through his actions.

A man who has put innocent children in cages and encouraged policies that allowed them to be subjected to outrageous neglect and harm. 

A man who has shown unlimited corruption in his policies and administration, who routinely hires people with no qualifications for key positions, who defies court orders at every turn and who feels the law does not apply to him. 

A man who routinely lies and makes up the most outrageous falsehoods about anyone who dares to question him.

A man who, in the judgement of the Republican controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reached out to a foreign, hostile government and cultivated their support to gain personal power and wealth. 

He is objectively a traitor to the United States, by any standard.

He and his enablers have all betrayed this country. And thousands and thousands more will die as this disease rampages out of control due to their callous disregard for the sanctity of human life -- so much for being Pro Life, these hypocritical, awful men and women.

This time there is no excuse.

If you vote for this man and his enablers, you are siding with what can only be called evil. 

You cannot profess to be a good person, a follower of Jesus and God, and support this man and this party.

We are all called to account for ourselves at some point. We must look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves, if nothing else ... but I truly doubt we get off that easy. All of us are held to account for our actions at some point.

If you support this man, at this point, after four years of this nonsense, you know what you are supporting. You are going into this election with your eyes wide open. You no longer have any excuses. 

If you support this man, at this point, you are objectively a bad person. May God have mercy on your soul.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Bill Smith Bibliography

The Outlaw Galaxy Series

Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales Five short stories of magic, wonder and adventure among the stars and distant worlds of Outlaw Galaxy. Free at most retailers: Short story collection, 15,000 words, about 45 pages, reading time: one hour.

Outlaw Galaxy 3: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales Five short stories filled with the adventure and wonder of the Outlaw Galaxy universe. Short story collection, 18,500 words, about 53 pages, reading time: one hour.

Outlaw Galaxy 2: Fugitive Among the Stars Trip and his friend Johnnie O. visit Johnnie's cousins for a simple vacation riding anti-grav scooters in the trails and woods of Karrison's wilderness. However, their plans are interrupted when an out-of-control freighter crashes near their campsite and they rescue its badly injured pilot, Bosh Tippen. The boys find themselves pursued by gunmen looking to capture Bosh and return him to vicious gangster Croll Weixx! Novel, 72,500 words, 207 pages, reading time: five hours.

Outlaw Galaxy 1: Trip and the Space Pirates Benjamin "Trip" Trippany lives with his Uncle Craz in the busy port city of Pennick's Crossing, working in his Uncle's starship repair bay while dreaming of someday having his own ship and adventuring among the stars. A chance encounter and chase through the bustling city delivers him into the clutches of Diamond Black Joe, the infamous space pirate. Forced to join the pirate gang, Trip learns that they plan to attack and capture a Sh'nar cargo ship fleet, where his best friend Jinx works. Forced to choose between his own safety and saving his best friend, Trip is plunged into a rousing space adventure filled with deep space battles, shipboard blaster shoot-outs with pirates and a desperate struggle to save the Sh'nar from Diamond Black Joe's pirate gang. Novel, 69,000 words, 197 pages, reading time: about four and a half hours.

Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels

A comprehensive guide to 100 of the coolest starships and vehicles from the classic Star Wars movies, novels, comic books and games. How does Luke Skywalker's X-wing stack up against the Empire's TIE Interceptor? How deadly were the Empire's Death Stars? What makes the Millennium Falcon the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy"? Each entry includes a description of the vehicle or starship, as well as an illustration and detailed diagram. Del Rey Books * $18 * ISBN 0-345-39299-X

Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology

A guide to the gadgets and weapons of the Star Wars universe, from lightsabers, Chewbacca's bowcaster and blasters to holographic imaging systems and Boba Fett's rocket pack. Includes descriptions of hand-held and starship weapons, "everyday" technology, espionage gear and exotic, "one-of-a-kind" items. Del Rey Books * $18 * ISBN 0-345-41413-6

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

Don't just read the novels, join the action! Take on the role of a Rebel fighter pilot, a Jedi Knight, a smuggler or anything else you can imagine as you and your friends battle the forces of the evil galactic Empire.

Praised for the simplicity and intuitiveness of the D6 role-playing system introduced in the first edition of the game, the Second Edition greatly expanded techniques for cinematic storytelling, added many more skill and character type options, and greatly expanded the scope of the Star Wars roleplaying game to cover all eras, from Republic era to well into the New Republic era, while detailing how to player all types of characters beyond the traditional "Rebels vs. the Empire" roles.

Both editions available on Amazon: I recommend Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, although the original Second Edition is also available. By Bill Smith, Peter Schweighofer, George R. Strayton, Paul Sudlow, Eric S. Trautmann, Greg Farshtey * West End Games * ISBN 0-87431-435-6

Star Wars: Ships of the Fleet: The Galactic Empire An amazing three-dimensional "pop-up" book with a comprehensive guide to the Empire's most deadly starships and vehicles. See the interior of an AT-AT Walker, find out how the many types of TIE fighters stack up in battle...and see, in dramatic fashion, how the Empire's Super Star Destroyer Executor stacks up against the other ships in the fleet! Little, Brown * ISBN 0-7522-2270-8

Star Wars: Ships of the Fleet: The Rebel Alliance The Rebel Alliance's most powerful combat vehicles and starships are described in this fascinating three-dimensional pop-up book. See the interior of Luke Skywalker's X-wing and the workhorse Y-wing fighter, find out about the Alliance's amazing A-wing and B-wing fighters and learn about the Mon Calamari battle cruisers and their orbiting starship yards! Little, Brown * ISBN 0-7522-2275-9

For Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (West End Games)

Author
  • The DarkStryder Campaign (Boxed Set)*
  • Creatures of the Galaxy.*
  • Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts.*
  • Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition.
  • Planets of the Galaxy, Volume One.*
  • Star Wars Gamemaster Kit.*
* Co-Author

Editor/Developer for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (West End Games)
  • Secrets of the Sisar Run
  • The Black Sands of Socorro
  • Hives of Scum and Villainy
  • Mos Eisley Adventure Set
  • No Disintegrations
  • Operation: Elrood
  • Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
  • Shadows of the Empire Planets Collection
  • Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
  • Imperial Entanglements
  • The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
  • Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens, Enemies and Allies
  • The DarkStryder Campaign (Boxed Set)
  • Alliance Intelligence Reports
  • Fantastic Technology
  • Platt's Starport Guide
  • Goroth: Slave of the Empire
  • Classic Campaigns
  • Creatures of the Galaxy
  • Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion
  • The Star Wars Planets Collection
  • Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations
  • Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
  • Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition
  • The Last Command Sourcebook
  • Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters
  • Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
  • Star Wars Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
  • Planets of the Galaxy, Volume Three
  • Dark Empire Sourcebook
  • Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
  • Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook
  • Wanted by Cracken
  • Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley
  • Star Wars: Gamemaster Screen
  • Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
  • The Politics of Contraband
  • Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
  • The Abduction of Crying Dawn Singer
  • Mission to Lianna
  • Planet of the Mists
  • Planets of the Galaxy, Volume One
  • Death Star Technical Companion
  • Star Wars Gamemaster Kit
  • Cracken's Rebel Field Guide

Magazine Articles

  • "Aliens Among Us", Star Wars Kids magazine, #2 (February/March 1999).
  • "Behind the Wheel--With Kids Who Race!", Star Wars Kids magazine, #3 (April/May 1999).
  • "Brain Blasters," "Who is That Alien?" Monthly columns. Star Wars Kids magazine.
  • "Boba Fett" poster for Star Wars: Boba Fett collectors' magazine.
  • "The Jedi Knights" poster Star Wars Galaxy magazine.
  • Star Wars Villains poster magazine.
  • "The Imperial Fleet" magazine article. Science Fiction Spectacular.
  • "Hunting the Hunters." Star Wars Galaxy magazine, #6.
  • "Battle of Cadinth." Star Wars Galaxy magazine, #2.
  • "Taggor Bren." Star Wars Galaxy magazine, #1.

Other Writing Credits

  • Press releases and website maintenance for Mohawk International Raceway, Hogansburg, NY. (2009-2010 seasons).
  • Copywriter, www.HersheysRacing.com (2001-2002 seasons; website now inactive).
  • Promoter, press releases and announcer for Frogtown International Speedway (now Mohawk International Raceway), Hogansburg, NY (1998-1999 seasons).
  • Columnist, Area Auto Racing News (1998 season).
  • Star Wars Finest: Vehicles and Vessels trading cards.
  • "The Devil You Know." Shattered and Other Stories (for Shatterzone), West End Games.
  • "The Dreams of Midnight." Mysterious Cairo (for Torg), West End Games.
  • "Gypsor's Luck." Dragons Over England (for Torg), West End Games

Bill Smith Biography

Bill, hard at work writing at a beach ... in the woods (it's an
Adriondacks thing). I write all of my first drafts by hand in
cursive. Go ask an old person what cursive is, kids.
Bill Smith's books have sold nearly half a million copies. He has written for leading publishers such as Del Rey Books, Little Brown, Lucasfilm, Topps, West End Games, TSR Inc. and Wizard Press.

From 1991 to 1997, he served as the Star Wars roleplaying game line editor for West End Games. In 1995, he was voted "Favorite Designer" by the RPGA, the world's largest organization for role-playing game enthusiasts. He has also written for Hershey Foods, the WIT Agency, and has been involved in motorsports promotion, marketing and journalism for nearly three decades.

Bill can't remember a time that he didn't love science fiction and fantasy. He remembers being three or four years old and watching Star Trek reruns with his Mom and spending time in his Kindergarten class drawing crude pictures of Sleestaks and thinking up new story ideas for Land of the Lost.

Bill was in the fourth grade when he realized that he wanted to be an author. Growing up in a small, rural town, he discovered Star Wars not through the movies, but through comics and novels.

He very clearly remembers pestering a classmate to borrow his copy of the Marvel Star Wars Super Special, flipping through drawings of X-Wing and TIE fighters battling above the Death Star, and thinking to himself, "I want to write this when I grow up!" He then got the Star Wars novelization and The Star Wars Album with all kinds of cool pictures and deatils. It was love.

His fate was decided. He spent countless hours writing stories featuring Han Solo and his trusty sidekick, Luke Skywalker, and soon after that, added Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers stories, in addition to creating his own characters and settings. In eighth grade, he spent a few minutes flipping through a friend's Dungeons and Dragons rulebook and was captivated. It led to a long-time fascination with creating adventures set in the world of elves, orcs, and twenty-sided dice. At about the same time, he also discovered and fell in love with Marvel and DC comics, read his first Tolkien and Terry Brooks, and his homeroom teacher introduced him to the wonderful Brian Daley Han Solo novels.
Bill, his wife Amy, and their son, Billy. (summer 2019)

Bill earned a BA Public Communications (1990) from the The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, where he was editor of the student newspaper. During his college years, he also did public relations and race announcing for the Champlain Valley Racing Association, all the while hoping to write roleplaying games, comics and fiction professionally.

In 1991, Bill joined West End Games and fulfilled his childhood dream of professionally writing and developing role-playing games and stories. As line editor for the Star Wars roleplaying game, he edited or contributed to over forty Star Wars game products, authored updated versions of the game, and wrote two Star Wars Essential Guides for Del Rey books. Bill also consulted on several projects for Lucasfilm, including the X-Wing computer game guidebook, the Parker Brothers Star Wars Monopoly edition, several Star Wars novels, and the Star Wars Customizable Card Game from Decipher.

In 1997, Bill left West End Games. He and his wife returned to their hometown in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains. At that time, he began writing what would become the Outlaw Galaxy series. In addition, he served as PR director and promoter at Mohawk International Raceway (then Frogtown International Speedway) and taught at a local high school.

In 2000, Bill and his wife moved to Central Pennsylvania, where he worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. He developed and wrote the original HersheysRacing.com website (now inactive). In addition, he has held a number of jobs, both dreadfully ordinary and delightfully unusual. He particularly enjoyed his time as a ghost tour guide in Gettysburg, PA (GhostsOfGettysburg.com) and as announcer at Hagerstown Speedway and Susquehanna Speedway Park (now BAPS Motor Speedway).

In 2004, Bill and his wife returned to their hometown in Northern New York, in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains and just a few miles from the Canadian border. They still live in their hometown, with their son Billy and their adopted poodle, Ted, and enjoy much laughter and a great deal of gratitude for the many blessings they have in their lives.

Bill works a day job to support his writing habit and enjoys writing Outlaw Galaxy stories. He hopes you enjoy them.


A cold Spring day, Billy and Bill hanging out ... 

While Ted the poodle photobombs Amy. "Excellent!"


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"We've Come A Long Way," An Outlaw Galaxy short story


"We've Come A Long Way" appears in Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales, available for free at SmashwordsPayhipAmazonKoboBarnes & Noble Nook, or the Apple iBooks store, as well as a direct download. I hope you enjoy this story! (If you like it, "Tip Jar" contributions can be made at paypal.me/outlawgalaxybill.)

~ * ~

In the distant future...
It is a time of legends and myths, of technology and magic,of epic struggles and journeys to the stars...
A time when great heroes confront the forces of darkness...
A time when adventure beckons across the Billion Worlds of Outlaw Galaxy!


We've Come A Long Way
An Outlaw Galaxy short story

"We've come a long way." Brandt spoke softly as he held the glass in his right hand, gazing out the lounge's viewport and taking in the breathtaking view of the planet Wynnsparrle. Red-pink cloud cover dominated the viewport. Just a tiny sliver of open space was visible above the curvature of the planet.

The immediate area near the viewport was filled with starships, most of them cargo freighters waiting for permission to dock here at StarStation Tkerthian Home. In the distance, dozens of ships -- small flecks of varied colors trailing tails of fire from their engines -- criss-crossed above the planet. Some of the ships were angling nose-first to dive into the clouds and drop down to the starports on the planet's surface, while others pushed for open space, headed for jump points to distant stars.

Brandt looked into his glass, now half empty, and swirled the remaining green liquid to create a miniature whirlpool. His nose caught the aroma of Friigin spice, inviting and sweet, and he took a long, slow drink. He let the thick, syrupy mead coat his teeth and tongue, then swallowed.

His partner, Ghaz, nodded with a grunt. "A long way? You're telling me! Vistrik to Wynnsparrle in three days? That's over fifty light years of hard flying."

Brandt chuckled. "That's not what I'm talking about." He finished his drink, savoring the rich flavor of this local brew. He felt the burn on the way down.

Ghaz shook his head as he gazed around the lounge, continuing on as if Brandt hadn't said a word. "Not a lot of pilots could lay claim to Vistrik to Wynnsparrle in three days. No, not many at all."

"I'm sure you're right, Ghaz," Brandt said as he looked out across the lounge. There were plenty of pilots here, sitting, eating, drinking, chatting, going through the motions without any real enthusiasm or interest. They, like Brandt and Ghaz, were just waiting to move on as soon as their ships were refueled and loaded with crates and containers destined for planets in other systems. They were all vagabonds, stopping here and there on worlds scattered across hundreds of light years, never staying anywhere for long.

Brandt turned back to the viewport and stared down at the planet. "That's not what I was trying to say, Ghaz. Think about this. Who knows how many millennia ago, we were just primitives. Imagine what life must have been like. Huddled around fires, living in caves, wearing animal skins, hunting with spears. Fearing the night and the dark. We must have been little more than animals ... and yet somehow we made this incredible journey. We invented tools, medicine, technology ... developed art and literature. We grew. We somehow got to the point where we left the world that gave birth to us ... in fact, we left so long ago that we don't even remember which planet it was. And now? Now, we can jump from one star to another in a few hours. We've spread across ... how far? Perhaps the whole galaxy? We can engineer life-forms, build intelligent machines ... transform entire planets." Brandt paused, then smiled at his partner. "Like I said, we've come a long way."

"Hm." Ghaz shook his head.

Brandt stared at his partner. The expression on the man's face made Brandt wonder if his partner was inspired ... or frightened and ready to ask, "Who are you and what have you done with my partner?"

"It was just a thought," Brandt muttered, backing away from his observations with a weary shrug.

Finally, Ghaz smiled and emptied his glass, tipping it towards Brandt in a polite salute. "Never knew that underneath those calloused hands and behind that crooked smile lurked the soul of a philosopher ... a poet."

"A poet? Never thought of myself that way." Brandt cocked his head to the side and grinned proudly. "But I think I like that." He looked down at his empty glass and, with a satisfied smile repeated, "A poet."

Ghaz glanced at his chrono, then looked up at his partner and eyed the empty glass. "Our ship's supposed to be ready within the hour. You okay to fly?"

"What? A man can't have a profound thought now and then?"

"Just checking," Ghaz said with a wink, not mentioning the many arguments and fights when Brandt had been ... well, describing his behavior as less than philosophical would be stating it politely.

"I'm fine." Brandt shrugged, as if following Ghaz's train of thought. "I don't think about things like that too often, but sitting here, gazing out at that planet and all of those ships ... well, our ancestors couldn't imagine what it would be like to live in a time when jumping from one star to another was ordinary. Oh sure, there were maybe a few who looked up into the sky and saw the stars and dreamed ... but us? We're about to jump to another star and our biggest concern is getting our ship loaded so we can get to Abaater on time and get paid. We have come from such humble origins ... ." Brandt shrugged again, then looked at his friend. "It's awesome when you think about it, that's all. Don't you ever think about that?"

Ghaz was about to shake his head and admit that, no, he hadn't ever thought about anything even remotely like that.

Then, from the back of the lounge, there was the din of rising voices and a flurry of sudden movement. Three men and a couple of aliens Brandt couldn't identify jumped to their feet. The room fell silent as the argument's intensity increased. Arms waved and fingers pointed and faces contorted in anger. Brandt glimpsed an all too familiar swish of movement as the participants reached for their blasters. Brandt and Ghaz were among the first to dive beneath their tables.

Blaster pistols whined. Flashes of light lit the murky tavern in strobing pulses. The smell of ozone filled the air as energy beams exploded off walls and tables. Brandt nodded towards the entrance. "I think it's time to go."

Ghaz gave a quick nod. The pair crouched low, scooting across the floor on hands and knees, using tables, chairs and other patrons for cover as they crept towards the door.

As they dove through the entrance and emerged into the safety of the StarStation's main courtyard, Ghaz glanced back towards the tavern and the sounds of battle. "We may have come a long way ... but we've still got a long ways to go." He let slip a grin and elbowed his partner in the ribs. "Maybe the poets will show us the way."

As Ghaz disappeared into the crowd, Brandt smiled. "Or maybe, eventually, this journey will make poets of us all." He winced as more sounds of blaster fire echoed from the back of the tavern. "Maybe someday."


~ * ~

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to check out the entire selection of Outlaw Galaxy books.
Some of the Outlaw Galaxy books now available:

Outlaw Galaxy 4: Little Wind and Other Tales. Short story collection available at Smashwords, PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, or the Apple iBooks store. About 15,000 words or 45 paperback pages, reading time: about one hour. FREE!

Outlaw Galaxy 3: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales. Short story collection available at Smashwords, PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. Read a sample. About 18,500 words or 53 pages, reading time: one hour. 99 cents. 

Outlaw Galaxy 2: Fugitive Among the Stars. Read a sample or check out the book at Smashwords, Payhip, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. Novel, about 72,500 words or 207 pages, reading time: five hours. $2.99 at most retailers.

Outlaw Galaxy 1: Trip and the Space Pirates. Available at Smashwords, PayhipAmazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook or the Apple iBooks store. About 73,000 words or 210 pages, reading time: 5 hours. $2.99 at most retailers.