Strange Dreams are Made of These

This is what happens when you mix reading The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold, a Marvel movie, and an ear infection.

The following contains some spoilers for the book by Luke Arnold.

It was a very strange dream. I dreamt that I was part of the human army in Luke Arnold’s book, but we were all brainwashed and put into Ultron-Sentinel hybrid robot armor/bodies. Instead of fighting magical creatures like in the book, we had to fight superhumans like the X-Men, the Avengers, Batman, the Ninja Turtles, the Ghostbusters, and others.

At one point my Sentinel helmet was destroyed by one of the heroes which exposed my face. At this point, I started to wake from the brainwashing and realize how stupid it was for the “monster hunters” to make anything with pieces from Ultron; he could remain inside those pieces, which is what he did; and near the end of the dream, Ultron activated his plan and started to put the hybrid-human-controlled robots under his control. 

It was then that I thought, “Not another Ultron taking over the world plot. Groan,” and I woke up.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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Milk | A Short Tail

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Milk. It’s been a loyal companion for centuries. We like how it makes us look. We like its mustache. We like asking if someone has any. We like how it helps us find those who are lost. 

But now, milk is in danger thanks to BLISS. Unlike BLISS, milk strengthens bones. Milk is healthy. Milk goes great on cereal. Milk has no side effects (unless you’re lactose intolerant). Milk is available at any store instead of some dirty back alley.

Next time you need a cool drink or help finding a lost child, think milk…the only true bliss.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2021 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

The Secret Origins of La-Zar | Writing Warm-Up

The origins of La-Zar, an alien ninja marksmen and member of the International League of Super-Transbeings. La-Zar’s costume completely covers their body, so it is impossible to tell if they are male, female, or something else. The ILOST members use male and female pronouns trying to get a reaction out of La-Zar; it never works, so they call La-Zar male or female interchangeably.


La-Zar was trained to be a bounty hunter ninja by the Whispering Monks on Mount Silence on Planet Bob. Technically since it was on Planet Bob, the monks were called the Bobbing Bobs who resided on Bob Bob, but that name annoyed everyone else in the galaxy, so they were called the Whispering Monks of Mount Silence because they hadn’t spoken a word in over 2,000 years. Not that anyone cared because if they did speak it’d only be “Bob,” or maybe an occasional, “Bobby.”

The bobs (people) of Planet Bob were born with three eyes, but the third eye remained closed. Only through mediation and adherence to the commandments of their god, Jeff (go figure), would the eye open. Once accomplished, the bob reached their full potential.

According to their religion’s origin, one day a bob was able to say the word “Jeff.” The other bobs took it as a sign and decided “Jeff” was a sacred word spoken only by the chosen ones of Jeff.

The Whispering Monk ninjas teach their acolytes not to speak because if they did then everyone would know they came from Planet Bob which defeated the purpose of being a secretive ninja.

Hmm, maybe that’s why La-Zar never speaks. Maybe he/she is really a Bobby. Though some believe La-Zar came from the planet Australia. The rumor is that a gang of kola bears killed his/her parents. She/he wandered the desert plains until the kangaroo pirates found her/him. He/she joined the pirates until he/she learned of the Whispering Monks. La-Zar believed the Monks could teach him/her how to get revenge on the kolas that killed his/her parents.

After graduating, La-Zar received her/his first assignment. He was to kill Baron Hawk. The assignment and pay came from the ruling class of the planet Crunch.

La-Zar tracked her prey to Earth where she learned that Baron Hawk was an ILOST alpha. The rulers of Crunch wanted him dead because he inspired the 99 percent to revolt against the one percent. The rulers were losing the civil war and wanted vengeance while they still had the resources to do so.

La-Zar was unable to complete the mission. This resulted in La-Zar being exiled form the Whispering Monks. Fortunately, Baron Hawk knew of La-Zar’s existence and saw his potential. He offered him a place among the International League of Super-Transbeings heroes.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.

Until next time…thanks for reading.


Smashwords End of Year Sale Dec. 18-Jan. 1

Hostage Night | Story Sample

The following is a sample from my current work in progress. It is unfinished so the final product may look different.

A 4,112 word short story about a date night gone wrong. Joe and Sally go to the movies but the theater is soon under siege.


“Oh wow!” said someone nearby. “You guys are seeing Dragon Reign?! That movie was great! I really liked the part when…” A holographic gag appeared over his mouth with the word “Spoilers” written across it. Even though he continued to speak, we couldn’t hear him.

Sally glanced over at me while the man waved his arms in excitement. “I love the new spoiler warning feature added during the latest Omni-Cuff update.”

Finally, the spoilers gag disappeared. “I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.” The man waved then faded into the crowd.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Who wouldn’t want a spoilers gag feature added to their mobile device?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Click image to go!

The Terror of Night Dad | Halloween Special

Vincent Tyler wanted nothing more than to be a father. Except he couldn’t have children. His grief, and possible madness, became so strong that one day he unlocked superpowers. He delve even further into madness by deciding to use those talents to protect the innocent. Vincent Tyler would remain a accountant during the day; but at night, he would transform into the terror of the underworld, Night Dad.

As Night Dad, Vincent possessed the power to persuade the guilty to do as he wanted by using his “dad voice.” He also knew how to embarrass a criminal and share this weakness with all present. His last talent is the ability to inflict pain through his cringey “dad jokes.”

Night Dad stalks the shadows in his white shirt and green sweater vest. So, be on the look out for his Number One Dad hat and listen for the soft whipping noise of his blue tie blowing in the wind. If he catches you…he’ll remove his belt and…

“WHACK!!”

The villains jerked back in fear and gasped in terror.

The storyteller’s eyes took in the sight of the gathered fearful fiends with morbid glee. General Destruction chuckled to himself.

Rat Fink nervously thumbed his fingers; sweat dripped down his long nose and into his whiskers. The whiskers bobbed up and down as the sweat fell off and down to the floor. “Has this guy never heard of adoption?”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


The adventures continue in the Dogboy Universe

You ready for more sci-fi stories? Hungry for some fantasy? Longing for adventure? Consider purchasing a Joe Rover book today!

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Intrigue and Multiverse Adventure | Alternate: A Jimmy Ray Journey Review

I was provided a free review copy of Alternate: A Jimmy Ray Journey by the author.

There may be spoilers ahead!

Jimmy Ray, a seemingly ordinary man with an ordinary life, finds himself on an extraordinary adventure in Alternate: A Jimmy Ray Journey by Christopher James Buxton (narrated by Mark Delgado).

The story about an average man who is recruited to become a member of an organization that travels to other realities seemed typical. Jimmy Ray has always been average, but he learns that his DNA allows him to reality hop. Not only that, but his DNA is even more special.

The plot seemed like the typical average person is really the Chosen One trope. In fact, on the surface the story seemed to be quite average. But, it was the stuff below the surface that made Alternate interesting. For instance, why is Jimmy Ray’s DNA so different? Is he an alien? Is he from another reality? Also, the boss of Alternate seems to be up to something. Everyone from Alternate co-workers to Jimmy say Martin is up to something. The story’s narrator even mentions his odd behavior. But right when you think Martin is going to reveal his true nature, his odd behavior is explained away… at least until the next time.

Buxton does an excellent job of providing red herrings and leaving you questioning everything. You even begin questioning if the apparent bad guys are even bad guys; at one point they seem to be trying to help Jimmy and Cia.

I did, however, notice some problems with the audiobook recording. There were times when the narration repeated a couple words as if there had been a second take that wasn’t edited out. But, Delgado’s expert narration made the small mistakes virtually unnoticeable. Delgado was great at voice acting; each character had their own voice and Delgado stuck with it.

Finally, Buxton’s descriptions of action and location made each scene feel alive.

It may take you a moment to warm-up to it, but Alternate: A Jimmy Ray Journey is an excellent story for fans of intrigue and multiverse adventure. 

Alternate: A Jimmy Ray Journey is available at Amazon as a Kindle book, Audible audiobook, and paperback. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


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Amphibia and More | Rapid Reviews

Amphibia (Disney Channel, Disney+)

I wasn’t interested with the show about a girl who is transported to another world; there seems to be a lot of those “in another realm” series out there lately. 

I finally gave it a change thanks to a video by Vailskibum97 (and the fact there wasn’t much else on). I ended up watching the whole first season in about three days. 

I was a bit worried while watching the first episode. The animation seemed too “loose” and the characters’ reactions seemed too goofy or over-the-top. But, I continued to keep an open mind and soon found the animation to not be so wild. It was still pretty out there, but not as bad.

Plus, you gotta love all the pop culture references and jokes, like the blue shell during the race in the “Bizarre Bazaar” episode.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Codex of Tyler Grayson: Creatures Among Us by Richard Gibbard (book)

A story about people who are writing a book (or codex) about monsters, demons, and such was intriguing. It seemed like a nice twist on the monster hunter trope where the hunter already has all the information or is just a noob. In The Codex of Tyler Grayson we see the manual being made. 

But, what I really enjoyed is how well the author showed the readers the characters’ personalities without telling us. I was able to get an idea of who the characters were many times before even meeting them. The way the characters were described or how others reacted to them told much about the character before they even opened their mouth. I knew much about Tyler and his friends chapters before they even arrived.

Finally, I was able to learn about the world and the story’s rules pretty quickly. Within the first few chapters, I knew about the Scribes and the Codex. I knew that there was magic, and it was hidden from the rest of the world.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Are there any books, movies, or games you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section. And don’t forget to like, follow, and share.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Do you like sci-fi and fantasy? Hungry for adventure?

From July 1-31, many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The participating books will be anywhere from 25% to 100% off. While there, check out some of the other participating authors.

#Hamilton and More | Rapid Reviews

Hamilton (Disney+)

Can you call it a musical when 99 percent is singing? Or is it borderline opera? There’s a funny thought after seeing Jefferson and Hamilton engage in a rap battle: opera.

It was a bit harder to keep an open mind regarding a musical about Alexander Hamilton’s life. The hype was real; it was off the charts. Everyone talked about the play and how wonderful it was. I felt like nothing short of the players coming on stage and telling the world how to cure cancer was going to be “wow” enough. But, as the play progressed, I found myself enjoying it more and more. By the end, I was invested.

The singing was wonderful. I loved how they used the company players/background players as “special effects,” such as acting like a hurricane or rewinding time.

It was a little hard to get the jokes at first. The singing–especially the rap songs–went too fast and all I could hear was “blah, blah, blah-blah…*laughter*.” I felt like, “What did I just miss?” It made the experience less enjoyable to feel left out. Other times, I could understand them, but they would move on to the next lines so quickly I didn’t have time to process the joke.

Speaking of enunciation, the players, for the most part, enunciated the lyrics well. I could tell they had experience projecting for a theater crowd. However, there were times when it seemed like they muttered or sang fast.

The lighting was also well done and everyone hit their marks and cues, as far as I know. You know the old theater saying, “If you make a mistake, act like you didn’t…the audience will never know.” The whole performance seemed fluid.

Finally, I enjoyed how the singers fluctuated their voices so you could tell when they were sad, scared, or happy. Their acting ability came through their singing, which can be hard to do sometimes. (I also enjoyed the few times they broke the fourth wall by addressing the audience or acknowledging that a sad scene had just occurred.) 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Breaking Free by Caleb Monroe (book)

The story about a man and his griffin was immediately captivating. The way Monroe described the storm made me feel like I was there with Jacob. The way Monroe described Jacob’s mental issues made me feel Jacob’s pain; I felt as if I were in his shoes. I felt each bout of anxiety.

The book did have typos and missing words here and there but not enough that I couldn’t figure out the story. Also, I felt like I couldn’t get a completely clear picture of what Jacob looked like. I could piece together an image from his actions, like brushing his hair back, but it felt fuzzy.

I really enjoyed that the book seemed to be meant for teens, or older teens, yet the main character was in his 20s. The book had the style and language of a book targeted for a mid to late teen audience. Normally, a teen story will focus on teenage characters. The book could be classified as new adult, but it seemed to miss the more mature language, violence, and themes new adult fiction might contain–except for Jacob having a mental illness. This twist in the classification of genre made the story even more intriguing, though confusing at first when I tried to figure out Jacob’s age. It took me a few chapters to realize he was an adult.

Finally, it didn’t seem like there were large sections of boring material, or large areas of endless exposition. Any exposition seemed to flow right in line with the story. Near the end, I did start to feel tired and wanted to finish, but that is more because I was almost done reading and I wanted to finish than anything to do with the story.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Do you have any movies, books, or games to recommend? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Do you like sci-fi and fantasy? Hungry for adventure?

From July 1-31, many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The participating books will be anywhere from 25% to 100% off. While there, check out some of the other participating authors.

Bonus Level | Power Play Book Sample

The following is a sample from a current work in process called Power Play. This segment comes from the chapter “Bonus Level.” This is a work in process and the final result might be different. Happy Fourth of July!


“NOOO!!” shouted Mason. The machine spewed sparks and flames better than a Fourth of July beach party. He fell to his knees and began to sob. I felt somewhat bad for him. Yes, he was trying to suck the life out of the tournament contestants in order to power his dimension drill, but he was only trying to find his lost friend.

Over Mason’s sobs, I heard a new, disturbing sound: laughter. Cold and cruel laughter coming from Christine, the assistant/Cleaner queen.

“My queen?” said one of the spider-people raising himself a little higher on his six legs.

“Fool!” hissed Christine, and I thought she was going to smack the Cleaner-subject across the face. “Your queen has been gone for many years.”

Christine pulled her fire-orange hair upwards. Along the back of her neck were what looked like black and white mushrooms. I could see pulsating black vein lines along her neck and running down towards her back and up towards her head.

She returned her gaze to us and her eyes, all four of them, were fully black. “You animals have ruled too long. Even the plants and insects have had their time to shine.” She raised her arms towards the ceiling; the drill machine launched more explosions behind her adding to the drama and making her look like some singer during a fireworks show. “Now, the fungus rises!”

The news of this new threat finally reached Mason as he stopped sobbing and slowly returned to his feet. The queen faced him with a vile and mocking expression. “Thanks to you,” she said, “I gained access to the Wyrm. Now, my lovely spores can grow across the Omniverse and once again destroy it.”

“On-once again?” asked Mason.

“There have been forty-one Omniverses before this one; each destroyed in a great Catastrophe.” She then pointed at me. “And it is all your fault.” I felt weak in my knees. How could I have caused some disaster? The fungus-Cleaner queen snapped her fingers. Three more spider-people arrived pushing in an object.

The three spider-people looked similar to the Cleaner queen; black and white fungus grew along their bodies and their eyes were all black like giant pupils. The object looked like a simple transport machine, but it also looked like a child designed it. It was made of cardboard with drawn on levers and buttons. Duct tape held up the corners and joints, and it looked like bubblegum had been placed in areas to act as patches. Laying on top of the toy machine was a familiar looking ratty red baseball cap. I knew it was the one Danny always wore. The one…I gave him as a going away present…back when we were kids.

“Behold!” said the fungus queen. “The machine that caused the time loop.” She sneered at me. “Created by you.”

Mason faced me; his mouth nearly dropped to the floor—and with how decayed the lower portion of his head looked, I wondered if his jaw might actually hit the floor. “You…made a time machine…out of cardboard?”

The ex-assistant ran a clawed finger across Mason’s cheek. “Why so surprised? Humanity can create or destroy worlds with a stroke of a pen; why not a time machine out of cardboard and tape?” She chuckled for a moment then snapped her head towards me. “That is why humans are so dangerous. They possess the most dangerous fuel source in the multiverse…imagination.”


Hope you enjoyed this brief look into an upcoming book (coming after the one I’m currently editing).

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright Joe Rover 2020. All rights reserved.


Do you like sci-fi and fantasy? Hungry for adventure?

From July 1-31, many of my books will be on sale during the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. The participating books will be anywhere from 25% to 100% off. While there, check out some of the other participating authors.

Q&A: What’s with the Costumes

Time to answer some questions that you probably didn’t even ask!

What’s with the costumes? Why do superheroes wear those skintight, often colorful, costumes?

Some might say that they are similar to costumes worn by circus performers. Hmm, maybe. But, the reason is because they are a physical representation of a person’s chi/aura (aka psychic fingerprint). Much like some tribes would paint/tattoo people with symbols that represented their ancestors or spirit guide. The costume is like a second skin allowing the hero closer access to the phantasmic energy that powers their talents. Much like removing your shoes on holy ground–it removes barriers between you and the divine. I’d rather wear a colorful uniform than have to run around naked.

Also, it allows for things like going invisible without having to de-robe. Or growing in size without ripping your clothes.

Psychic fingerprint?

Our bodies produce electrical currents through chemical reactions and molecule vibration; these currents are determined by genetic makeup, blood flow, personality, and more, so each person’s is different–like a fingerprint. The colors are dependent on characteristics and speed of energy flow. For instance, a cheerful person and a melancholy person could have the same base color, like red, but the cheerful person will have a brighter shade of red while the melancholy person’s will be a darker red. 

Everything (not just transbeings or living beings) has a psychic fingerprint/chi because everything is made of vibrating molecules. The symbol/emblem on a hero’s chest is a representation of their “true name.” Everyone and everything has a similar symbol, you just can’t see it because they don’t go around wearing it. Now don’t go thinking that because you know their true name you can control them–like in some fantasy stories. It just allows you to communicate with the person/thing. Much like in physical life. It’s part of why using a hero’s name while crying for help…uh, helps them hear you; just as saying someone’s name in normal life gets the attention of the person you are speaking too. But it is a deeper connection, kind of like telepathy.

That is how things like telekinesis works. You aren’t commanding the mountain to move; you are asking the mountain to move and it responds because it trusts you. People with plant manipulation talents aren’t forcing the flower to bloom but rather encouraging it to bloom. Just as you can ask someone to help you with the dishes, but you can’t force them to do the dishes. They chose to help you because they care about you or scared of the consequences. Here is the difference between light and dark talents/”magic.” Are you asking the water to hold you up so you can walk on it or are you forcing it into compliance?

Why do some heroes wear capes, some don’t, and some wear jackets/longer garments?

Some transbeings (villains wear capes too) are so strong that their phantasmic energy…”leaks.” Their power is so great that it comes out their backs or stretches along their sides like a jacket or robe. This is why angels are usually depicted with wings. They don’t actually have wings but their phantasmic power is so great that the energy leaks out their backs and looks like wings. So, when it comes time for the costume (which is a representation of a person’s chi) to be made…we get capes, jackets, or fancy robes. 

Why do transbeings sometimes call out their attacks?

Part of it goes back to the “asking the mountain to move” that I mentioned earlier. You are asking the air to heat up or the lightning to strike. The other part is focus and strength. When you need to lift something heavy, you use more muscles, but how to you use more muscles when something is metaphysical? Answer: emotions. Emotions are mental/spiritual muscles. So, you can add more omph to your talent by calling it out. It is the same reason why martial artists will grunt when they strike or block; they are adding more power behind their act. *Most of the time transbeings can just think their attack or wave a hand because what they are doing is within their limits.*

What’s with wearing your underwear on the outside?

First, it’s not underwear; it’s armor. It used to be just part of the tights in order to show appearance/color variation, but now it’s armor. Second, um, I’ll just leave it at “sports cup” and you can figure it out. I mean, we are in battle with villains.

Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading!