Blog tour: Space Taxis

Welcome to the blog tour for Space Taxis by Adam and Harriet Frosh. Today I have an extract from the book to share. But first, here’s more info for you…

About the book…

In 1977 a New York Cab driver Mike Redolfo is abducted by aliens after being mistaken for a renegade scientist. Meanwhile, back in 1944 a mysterious man and his Jewish fiancée are fleeing across Nazi-occupied Europe.

Redolfo tries to keep a low profile on his new world whilst earning his fare home, but unwittingly gets involved with a shady gang of alien criminals, inadvertently bringing the planet to the brink of catastrophe.

As the link between the timelines becomes clear, Redolfo must discover secrets from the past that may hold the key to saving the planet.

About the authors…

Adam wasted much of his youth watching Star Trek on the TV and films like Planet of the Apes and Alien on the big screen. He redeemed himself by becoming a surgeon but has since graduated from writing articles for science journals into writing his own Sci Fi and Alternate History stories. As a writer he is dedicated to giving his readers a great story laced with strong, fun and scary characters. Descended from Jewish refugees who escaped from the pogroms, he is haunted by the stories of the Holocaust but inspired by heroes who put themselves at risk to save others. Adam likes to hear from his readers. 

Harriet will never be able to let go of Greek gods. No, not the sculpted Adonis-like figures on the beach, but the ancient ones. Loving all things mythological, her writing incorporates myths and legends from around the world. Her other fascination is with the criminal mind, and you can expect to see a blend of these two interests in her writing. As a student of English, she spends her day critiquing literature and her evenings creating exciting characters and fun stories. Harriet is also an artist, and she would like to hear from her readers and those interested in her art.

The extract, as promised…

He can see that without a doubt it is a Checker - his Checker - but this one looks cooler. Updated. Sturdier. The Lucky Day Cabs logo adorns all four doors and the hood. A helmeted head appears from behind the cab and the visor lifts to reveal a beaming Glyrian whose eyes look more bloodshot than they were the day before.

"Let me take you on a tour of your new cab, Redolfo," says the older Squintt. They step forwards towards the vehicle. "Mind the spilt sealant there. You'll see the vehicle now has a perimeter reinforcement cradle - Vost regulations I'm afraid. She's also completely airtight and even has an oxygen supply that'll equip it for journeys to Arianrhod and Cerridwen, the Vost moons, should you ever need to do such a journey." Squintt waves a chubby finger skyward.

"What do these do?" Redolfo points to the array of gadgetry attached to the chassis and roof.

"This is your 3D satellite navigation antenna and decoder. This is the antenna for the Temeria engine, the thing that makes vehicles and even buildings suspend in air."

"How exactly does that work?"

"You think I know, Redolfo? But they say that it works by receiving something called a Telleron semi-particle wave. That genius scientist, Temeria Schneider changed everything on our planet with this technology. I've absolutely no idea what these waves are, but we're told that they're safe."

"So where do these waves come from?" asks Redolfo, scratching his head.

"I heard they come from transmitters - three of them - so they cover the whole planet. No one knows where they are."

"So, who pays for all this technology?" asks the cabbie as he takes a closer look at the exterior gadgetry. "Sounds like it's gonna cost me. They already took my blood from me for my cab licence so they can repair the terrible roads in Brooklyn."

"Don't worry, you'll pay your fair share in licence fees. They say all 3D-emitting technology is a gift from our government to the people. But never accept generosity on Vost at face-value, Redolfo. One day soon, I'm sure that a superpower on your world will use technology to run a satellite navigation system for all your vehicles and mobile communication devices. That's what happened here. Believe me, it appears to be a gift, but it means the government knows where we are at all times. I'm sure they could simply stop and control any vehicle they wish to. I gather Earth doesn't have a world government as we do, but I suspect that'll come."

Redolfo takes off his cap and scratches his head. He starts laughing. "Hot damn, Glyrian. You kept the bullet holes in the door! You knew I wanted that."

Squintt opens the driver's door and points out the additions to the dashboard. "This is your CEWS device...and please don't think you're too smart to need it, Redolfo. This one is your varin fare-collector. It gets updated—"

He's interrupted as something rises from the cab roof with a noisy hiss.

To Redolfo's surprise, he sees that the cab's roof medallion has been replaced with a large, shiny hand. It begins waving up and down. The palm of the hand carries the Lucky Day Cabs emblem. Underneath it is another emblem that is more familiar to him...the New York City Seal.

"What the hell is this?"

"Ah. Yes. This, Redolfo, is the emblem of our company. All our vehicles have it. Glyrian added the seal of your Earth city to make you feel more at home."

"He thinks a waving hand brings the company good luck." Redolfo and Squintt look round to see that was the voice of Diselda. She and Cam-Ell are giggling.

"Nice ride, Mike!" says Cam-ell. "Gonna show me your gadgets sometime soon?"

"Look, girls, I need to get Redolfo up to speed with his cab, and you two are going to put him off!" Squintt barks at them.

"Awww, come on Baranak. We just wanna get to know our new guy."

"Okay, okay," Squintt concedes. "You're all in time to see the addition Glyrian thought you'd appreciate the most, Redolfo." He points to a gadget on the dash. The four of them gather round. A touch of the button. The music of Fleetwood Mac cuts in...

...Don't stop…

The girls are dancing. "Hey, we love your sounds, Mike!" says Cam-Ell.

Redolfo takes off his cap. "Now, how in Hell's name did you do that?"

"Hyperspace probe radio, Redolfo. It would normally take about two-hundred years for radio waves to reach Vost from Earth. Glyrian thought you'd want to hear the events happening on Earth now, so he fitted this long-distance radio grabber system. It was designed for the security service to spy on dissidents hiding on other planets. Just don't ask how he's come by it."

Squintt gyrates his abundant torso to the music. "Hey Redolfo, this isn't half bad." 

Glyrian's smile beams broader than ever. Eventually, Squintt switches off the radio.

"Aww, Baranak, you spoil-sport," says Diselda. Cam-Ell nods in agreement. Redolfo notices how she has tied her hair with underwear made of a more alluring chiffon than yesterday.

Squintt gives them a glare. "Now you both have work to do, and heaven knows if you've missed any business."

"See you later, Honeybunch," Diselda says to the cabbie. 

The girls smile as they turn to leave. Redolfo observes, with fascination, how they return to the office with an exaggerated sway of their backsides. Squintt rolls his eyes at his chuckling new employee.


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