A straightforward cargo delivery takes a left turn when Hal Spacejock gets sidetracked. But with 200 shares in a worthless company on offer, who wouldn't step into a makeshift teleporter which has already claimed one victim?
Hal and Clunk, stars of the Hal Spacejock comedy series, feature in this short story. 'Framed' slots into the series any time after Hal Spacejock Second Course, but can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Kurt took up his position in front of the robot, while Hal took up his position behind a large rock twenty metres away. With shaking fingers, Kurt reached for the cap on Clunk's head. Meanwhile, Hal's fingers were in his ears and his eyes were screwed shut.
"It's okay," said Kurt. "It's just a solar panel."
"Attached to what?"
"His brain, I think."
"Oh wonderful," muttered Hal. "He'll be thinking and talking and arguing, and he still won't be able to do anything useful."
Four Hal Spacejock novels have been published in Australia over the past six years, earning excellent reviews and gathering a small but dedicated worldwide following. Now all four titles are available in ebook for the first time.
The author, Simon Haynes, is currently working on a new Hal Junior series AND Hal Spacejock book five, but he took time out from his hectic schedule to write Framed after a rash promise on Facebook: to finish the story off and publish it within 48 hours.
About the Author
Simon Haynes lives in Western Australia, where he divides his time between herding deadly spiders, dodging drop bears, and making up wildly inaccurate sentences like this one.
By day he's an author. By night he's also an author.
He loves wry, dry humour, and his hobbies include daringly inserting the letter U into words where -- in some parts of the world at least -- this simply isn't the done thing.
As for his genre-spanning novels, they include epic fantasy (with robots), scifi comedy (also with robots), middle grade humour (featuring robots AND the wanton use of the letter U), as well as a series of historical mystery novels set in 1870's London. (No, of course there aren't robots in those. He's not completely out of his mind.)
When he's not writing Simon is usually renovating his house, sim-racing online, using twitter (@spacejock), gardening, tweaking his book covers, pondering the meaning of the universe and reading, and if you think it's easy doing all that at the same time you should see what he can do with a mug of coffee, a banana and a large bag of salt.
When he's not making outlandish claims he likes to count how many novels he's written, and how many genres he's written them in. (Lots and too many.)
Finally, if you want to hear Simon reading one of his award-winning stories, you'll find an enticement to join his newsletter here: spacejock.com.au/ML.html