Thursday, March 7, 2013

March Giveaway Madness #5: My Only One by Gregory M. Thompson

My Only One, a sci-fi novella:

One book. 

That’s all you’re allowed to own in a future where the world is run by Bureaus and the United Conglomerate of States. There’s a Bureau to control everything from food rations, electricity, and what you read. It’s a restrictive life for a Citizen.

Morton works as an Agent for the Bureau of Lights and Flames and one day his daughter, Eliana, brings home a second book. Fearful, Morton decides to bring back the book to its rightful owner, setting in motion a chain of activity that tests Morton's loyalty to his daughter and the Bureau he works for.

***Leave your NAME & E-MAIL in a comment below for a chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of this sci-fi novella (Kindle or Nook). drawing to be held 3/14/12***


I watched Eliana stroll up the path defiantly, hugging a burlap-wrapped package to her chest. She swiveled her head left and right and as she headed to the front door, behind her. A strange pause, another suspicious look back, and the doorknob turned and she entered seconds later.

“Hello, Eliana,” I said. “Welcome home.”

“Thank you, father.” She said nothing more and started down the hall to her room.

“Eliana, come here please.”

Her head dropped, and she sighed. “I need to drop my University materials in my room and download a lecture for tomorrow's class.”

“That's fine,” I said, “but I'm curious about that package in your hands.”

“It's nothing. Just a University Chip.”

Why hide a simple University Chip?  Each month, the University doles out Chips with that month's lessons. Today was the fourth day into November; the Chips would have already been handed out.

“I am not a fool, Eliana. Come here.”

She plopped down on the couch and handed me the package. I hadn't felt burlap in over twenty years, when I had worked on my grandfather's farm. In 2143, conventional farms slowly disappeared to make way for the Bureau of Agriculture and Food. They maintained ten enormous Growing Centers that cultivated the same kind of food as the old farms and these Centers also dispensed the rations. So most anything related to farms fell to the wayside, which included things like tractors, planting, and burlap.

I slowly unwrapped the package, and when a corner of the contents peeked out, I almost gasped. I pricked my finger against the soft leather corner and closed my eyes. Leather, of course, went only to the rich. The term rich meant something else these days, but it still kind of meant that someone had a lot. If you saw someone wearing anything leather, you knew they were Rich. You also knew that their susceptibility to being a victim of a theft crime increased exponentially. So why would Citizens wear leather in public? To show you were rich. An egotistical status-symbol. People still had a need to showcase their high-level position in society: it had been that way for thousands of years and it would continue with or without my jealousy.

Pulling the woven fabric back, I saw what I thought it would be: a book. The red leather hardcover book appeared in pristine condition as if someone had taken meticulous care of it. Embossed in gold script was the title and author's name. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. A wonderful book. Required reading in school when I was in ninth grade. Now hardly anything is required reading. Besides what the University provided on the Chips, students had no required reading whatsoever. Not even novels since...

“Where did you get this?” I asked Eliana.

“I don't want to say.”

“Whether you want to say or not, you must tell me. We can't have this book in our possession. You, me; not at all.”

***Leave your NAME & E-MAIL in a comment below for a chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of this sci-fi novella (Kindle or Nook). drawing to be held 3/14/12***

Buy Link: 

Contact the Author: 


  1. Don't forget to leave your NAME and EMAIL for a chance to win this novella! Now, grab a cup of something and let's shoot the breeze:

    If you could own only one book for the rest of your life, what book would that be?

  2. Cool story line, two paragraphs and I'm already a fan!

  3. Let's try this again! :D

    Cool story line, two paragraphs and I'm already a fan! :)

    Veronica Jorden

    Only one book??? That's like asking me to only eat one food for the rest of my life. Ugh! How do I choose? I guess I would have to say Pride and Prejudice. I've read it a billion times and I still love it. And yes, my imaginary self is totally head over heels for Mr. Darcy. :)

  4. This is a great story :)

    Leila Smith

    Let's see, only one book...I would go with a little known gem called "God is no fool" by Lois Cheney. It's a great little book of essays and poems on Christ and religion written over forty years ago, but it still provokes the mind today. Though like V said above, it's more than a little hard to choose :)

  5. I'd have to vote for...oh I don't know! This is hard. I'll think on it ;)

  6. Hi Gregory, your book sounds very interesting. The story-line is unique. I'll look you up.

    I guess my one book would be the Bible. It's filled with stories.

  7. Anne of Green Gables. I think…

    I'm intrigued by your premise, and dang it, your excerpt ended too soon!

  8. Only one book: GAME OF THRONES by George RR Martin.

    Mary Preston


  9. If only one book, i would take the tiger's curse by colleen houck..
    Name: Iris Yeo

  10. I couldn't possibly settle on just one book - I devour books daily in all genres *feels sick at thought of such rationing*.

    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

  11. Congratz VJ, Ilona, and Tori!! You'll get your copy of 'My Only One' soon!

  12. Thanks everyone for entering the contest! I really appreciate it!


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