Today we have a sneak peek from the the young adult science fiction comedy by author Matt J. Pike, Kings of the World.
The galaxy is on the brink of war and only four dysfunctional, hormone-driven teenagers from Earth stand in its way. God help us all.
It didn’t take Cooper long to come to the conclusion that space sucks. It seems everyone there despises humans, everything’s too far away and the travel makes you heave. Worse still, Cooper’s stuck there with his best mate and two former classmates who want to beat the crap out of him.
And people, well, alien people are trying to kill them. Can Cooper and his inept sidekicks save the galaxy? Or are we all doomed?
Here is an excerpt from Kings of the World…
Things weren’t going well. The crowd gyrated – a seething, sweaty 4000-eyed beast thirsting for blood. Cooper Simpson and his mate, The Ginge, glanced at each other across the stage. They shared a look that meant, ‘Keep playing and for God’s sake, don’t look up’.
The booing reached critical mass. Surely no amount of ‘cool’ could overcome their lack of ability and save them now.
Cooper glimpsed what looked like a whiskey bottle as it fizzed past his head. He heard a shriek of pain behind him. The drummer missed his beat, not necessarily evidence the missile struck him, given his lack of talent, but it definitely hit someone.
I’m going to die, he thought. Death by unimpressed fans. Great.
Things went from bad to worse as the power meter started flashing red – not good news. The power meter was the life-blood of Rock Nation – the music simulation game they were currently jumping around in their respective bedrooms trying to master.
“Do something,” Cooper yelled in a manner which would’ve sounded like a perfect mix of aggression and panic had his voice not broken mid something.
“I was,” said The Ginge.
“In that case don’t do anything!”
“What?” said The Ginge. He looked up from his guitar in the kind of confused manner that led Cooper to think it was strung upside down. Either the guitar or The Ginge.
Cooper knew if anyone was going to save this gig it was him. Time to bring out the big guns, it was time for his go-to lead singer pose. He had been working on it in secret in the three weeks since the game had come out. Now was the time to unleash it. Cooper had crafted his go-to pose to be a subtle mix of lady-pleaser suave and bloke-respecting hard-arse rocker.
The flashing red meter intensified, definitely situation critical. This was the moment. He unleashed his move on the world – the world being the 2000 strong virtual crowd before him.
“Do we rock? Aww yeah!” he screamed triumphantly in full pose.
The first critic disagreed in a review that struck him between the eyes. At least the missile was only a hotdog this time. Like the professional he was, he jumped to his feet as if nothing had happened. The drummer missed another beat – the hotdog could have ricocheted.
Bam! Everything changed. The words ‘You Lose’ filled the apprentice fake rockers’ view. In an instant their world was transformed into a whirl of pixels and light. Then a blur. Then reality – real reality. They had lost; time for recriminations.
“What the hell was that?” sniped Cooper through his headset.
“I’m tired dude,” said The Ginge. “I only had five hours sleep last night and it’s already 1am! Speaking of ‘what the hell’, what the hell were you doing at the end?”
“That? That was the go-to move I was telling you about.”
“I thought you were doing something obscene with the microphone. I was about to grab the mic stand to try and prise you two apart!”