#SampleSunday Scene From New Paperback

My science fiction “comedy of bad manners”, SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, is now out in paperback!

Here’s a scene from it which I call “The Sap Actually Bought It.” In it, Connie Phelan has reluctantly taken charge of two natives of a planet where slavery is legal, but only in order to rescue them from Darryl, a manipulative bastard in her tourist group.

“The Sap Actually Bought It”
by Marian Allen

sideshow180Emtis Bulfa started after her, then hesitated, and spoke to Darryl. “Forgive me, if I state the obvious, but this is vitally important.”

“What is it?” Darryl said, his mind on other things.

“Don’t listen to her,” I said. “She might tell you something you need to know.”

He gave her what passed for his attention.

“Mem Phelan has claimed the slave, Tiph, in the name of the Empress. Interference with the slave, Tiph, is an Imperial crime, enforceable by extradition from anywhere in the Terran Union. Do you understand, Mem? There are some things you aliens can’t do and then run home and brag about.”

“I understand, I understand. I’ve had my fun out of Tiph, anyway. The Empress is welcome to her.”

“Yes, Mem.” The Registrar looked at Tiph, at Tosun, and at me, nodded, and left.

As for Tiph, her golden eyes were not only sparkling again, they were glittering.

“Shall I make him leave, Mistr–Managlawn? My pads are harmless, but I still have my teeth.”

“I’m going.” Darryl looked at me from under his lashes and grinned boyishly. “The Season’s only started. So far, I’ve never enjoyed one more. I’m going back to the party now–What a story this’ll make! Coming, Connie?”

“I’ll be along later. I wouldn’t want to steal your thunder.”

The sap actually bought it, and left looking pleased. What a chump. It was almost a shame to take advantage of him – almost.

He’d go back to the party and turn this series of random pratfalls into an uproarious story, and he’d never realize that, goofy as I was, I won the fight. He must have made it on the streets on meanness: it couldn’t have been brains.

Available in paperback.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character violates a conviction or principle so deep, violating it throws their very identity into question.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “#SampleSunday Scene From New Paperback

  1. Jane

    October 6, 2013 at 10:50am

    A nice Sunday visit with Connie.
    Violating principles? A good way to look at a story in progress; i.e., does your character actually HAVE any principles? And does one have any notion what they might be?

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 6, 2013 at 3:33pm

      Exactly! Connie’s principles are challenged throughout this book. She always thinks she knows what they are, but she learns that she doesn’t know herself as well as she thinks she does. It was fun to write. 🙂

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