Robert Appleton

Exploring Worlds



Now available IN PRINT on Amazon!! Priced $3.95! 

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Eternal Press

Released: 7th November, 2008 

eBook ISBN: 978-1-897559-77-2

7,000 words/ Short Story

Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique

Priced $2.50

Buy from: Eternal Press, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, All Romance eBooks



It is the distant future. A giant exoskeleton built around the earth permits anyone who can pay the price, access to the solitude of a space booth-the ultimate place to stargaze, get laid, or just escape for a while...

Benjamin Umbize recently lost his family to a Namibian genocide while he was studying in England. All he wants is a little quiet time to himself, to research a legendary writer...whose suicide is said to haunt Room 328. Bianca Burnett is a famous pop starlet scheduled to meet her boyfriend for a hot tryst miles above the earth. She hides her sophistication beneath a prickly for-the-cameras persona. But tonight, in Room 328, a friendship will develop that no one saw coming, least of all the student and the diva-a friendship that might just change both their lives forever...  


 Eternal Press Top Ten Bestseller List (November 2008)


Reviewed by: Whitney at Fallen Angel Reviews

Project Dreamcatcher is a giant structure built above the surface of the earth. Although it was built basically for commercial purposes, people can rent booths in the towers of the Dreamcatcher for the experience of leaving the Earth. Bianca Burnett is a jaded pop princess. Her visit is for the simple purpose of avoiding her manager while having a sexual tryst with her boyfriend. She has a ticket for booth 338 but somehow ends up in 328 instead.

Benjamin Umbize has rented booth 328. He is there for research purposes, trying to understand a philosopher's vision as he deals with the loss of his family to genocide. He blames himself for not being there for his family and is desperately trying to find some meaning in his life.

Their accidental meeting in the Dreamcatcher leads to unexpected results. Bianca learns how precious life really is, and Benjamin will leave his mark in a way that he would never have foreseen.

Grandiloquence by Robert Appleton is an intense short story about two people who want to leave their mark but don't really know how. Both Benjamin and Bianca are lost and unhappy. Bianca seems a little obnoxious and spoiled at first, but we quickly come to realize that below the surface lies a much more complicated and intelligent human being than she lets others see. She has pushed her intellect to the background and has taken the easy path. She redeems herself by helping Benjamin come to the realization that he can't live someone else's vision and must develop his own purpose. This story has a bit of an unexpected twist at the end that ties the two characters together, as we know that whether or not they ever see each other again, their lives are permanently changed as a result of their meeting.  



Through the automatic sliding doors, a narrow blue-carpeted corridor wound to the left. It smelled of fresh ink, or some strange detergent. Transparent panels, set at equidistant points along the ceiling offered staggering glimpses of the elevator shaft-a gargantuan tower that rose above the atmosphere itself.

"Anyone afraid of heights?" she muttered.

One of only thirty-two on the planet, the giant tower was over sixty years old. Project Dreamcatcher-an exoskeletal framework over Earth had recently been completed to the tune of many trillions of dollars. In terms of interstellar freight and logistics, the project was expected to save corporations many times that amount in the long term. The amount of fuel required to pull a shuttle free of the earth's gravitational pull was prohibitive, especially when multiplied by tens of thousands of shuttles per year. Despite global opposition, the exoskeleton did constitute a sound long-term investment. Entire industries had emerged on the giant framework over the planet. A cooperative venture hitherto unprecedented in human history, the Dreamcatcher itself had required the exhaustive mining of eleven planets in neighbouring systems.

In the olden days, this would all be science-fiction, she thought. Too bad all I'm using it for is to get laid.

She adjusted her handbag strap on her shoulder and untangled the other two straps-one belonging to her black tank top, the other to her purple bra. Rummaging in the pocket of her denim skirt, she retrieved a stick of gum. Bland flavour. I wonder if it'll last me to the top, she thought, glancing up to where the tower met the clouds in a vague, blue hue.