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Smart Pills
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-517-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 327 Pages
Published: December 2007
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

"SET YOUR PHASERS ON SPIN CYCLE!" Captain Markus and the eccentric time traveling crew of the AeroStella have their hands full when they encounter Earth, the mafia, and a psychotic US President. The mayhem starts when two bumbling Jersey mobsters, Nick and Squeaky, decide that their only way to get rich is to insure and burn down an old apartment building. Unfortunately their complex is above ancient alien beacon for communicating with their galactic space brothers. First contact by the aliens sets in motion a destructive course for mankind and the aliens. The fate of the galaxy depends on the decisions of Markus, a mobster named Squeaky, and a dog named ’Snoop’.

Reviews and Awards

"Tony Teora is truly a gifted writer of humor.”
Faith Brynie, Author, 101 Questions About the Brain

"Tony Teora’s writing is witty, refreshing and fast moving. It’s terrific."
Robert Whiting, Author, Tokyo Underworld

I really enjoyed your new book, Smart Pills. You have a fantastic imagination and a great sense of humor. I laughed out loud several times while I was reading your book and truly did enjoy the mayhem. I will be acquiring your other authored works now that I know what a treat your story telling style is to read.

Thanks for the entertainment!

Customer Rating for this product is 5 out of 5 An excellent read!
C. Robinson, an addicted reader, 02/28/2008

I really enjoyed this book! The author has a fantastic imagination and a great sense of humor. I actually laughed out loud several times while I was reading this book. There are many interesting threads to the plot line which are slowly pulled together by the author and with aliens, mafia, politics, and time travel, this book has it all!



By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - Han, Luke, Buzz, those are the names of space heroes who save the universe. Markus, Squeaky, Snoop? Not so much. "Smart Pills" is the story of how the fate of the universe is left to the captain of a quirky time traveling crew, a mobster who seriously botched attempted insurance fraud, and a dog. Squeaky's insurance fraud accident somehow sets the universe on the course for destruction, and now he and his unlikely allies must do something about it or be destroyed with the universe. "Smart Pills" is highly recommended for community library science fiction collections and for anyone who wants the save the universe plot with a healthy dose of humor introduced into it.

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/may_08.htm#Fantasy/SciFi



Smart Pills (Excerpt)


Prologue

Reporter: "So…how do you think World War III will be fought, Professor Einstein?"

"I don’t know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

-Einstein

Jan 27, 2003: In These Times Interview

Joel Bleifuss: "My feeling from talking to readers and friends is that many people are beginning to despair. Do you think that we’ve lost reason to hope?"

"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka. "Christians," and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or "PPs."

-Kurt Vonnegut

Reporter: "Doctor Clark, you were once a doctor in psychiatry at the Harvard Medical Center, specializing in helping schizophrenic, paranoid, and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur. How has your work changed with your new role? "

Dr. Clark: "Of course it’s changed. As you may know I just took a job at the White House, assisting President Morano and his staff."

Reporter: "So really, the work hasn’t changed much, has it?"

Somewhere in Washington DC…

Harvard Medical School’s illustrious screwball Hollywood and TV personality psychiatrist, Dr. Theodore Clark, known on TV as Dr. Teddy, stood in his lavish office concentrating on the important things in life: golf putts. He carefully putted Smiley-Face brand yellow golf balls. The balls were automatically placed onto a plastic stand by a shiny robotic hand. The automatic putting system was called the Putt Perfect System. As he putted balls into a special golf-training cup, a computer-generated voice rang out, "Nice shot." On poor putts, the cup’s robotic voice blurted, "You missed me."

The doctor didn’t particularly like the voice because it reminded him of his nagging ex-wife. He swore she screwed up his golf putting along with a whole bunch of other things in his life.

Getting the right woman will fix your game, thought Doctor Clark as he studied the wires, cables, and dials of the world’s most advance golf putting system.

The whole contraption consisted of a computer console connected to a skeletal, robotic hand with both a driving center and a putting center. The system reportedly cost over a hundred grand, and because it was a gift from the White House, the doctor felt no qualms about giving up work time to use it twice a day for half-hour sessions. The president had sent it to Dr. Clark as a Halloween present after the Defense Research Projects Agency asked for a "guinea pig golf nut." The boys at the DARPA lab called it the Terminator Golfing System because it had a few bugs in the AI software and because the silver, skeletal hand once accidentally pulled the tail off the lab cat, Missy.

Dr. Clark looked pensively at the putting device, thinking that the skeletal robotic hand was placing balls at the pace of his arthritic grandmother. He decided to try out the new voice command system. What he didn’t know was that Mother Nature, in the angry form of a lightning storm coupled with a faulty surge protector, had allowed a few extra electrons to slip into the mechanical brain the night before. The computer brain had a few circuits shorted. It was drunk on electric.

"Voice command-speed up the balls," ordered the doctor.

A woman’s voice blared from the console, "Speed up your balls. Command initiated."

The ball’s placement started to pick up speed. The robotic hand moved faster and faster, placing balls in front of Dr. Teddy in a mechanical, maniacal frenzy. Soon Dr. Teddy was missing his shots. The woman’s voice kept repeating, "You missed me. You missed me."

"Stop nagging me-uh, I know. I know, damn it. Slow it down in time," commanded the doctor.

"Down your incline. Command initiated," responded the voice center.

The ball path incline changed, but balls kept coming faster and faster.

"Not down incline! Slow the balls down. Slower, I said!"

"Place your balls down lower. Command initiated, yes, sir."

The metallic hand controlled by a retarded electronic brain with a broken speech recognition sensor thoughtlessly pressed more yellow golf balls into a plastic stand. The plastic crackled as each ball pushed into the now broken golf shot stand. Balls rapidly flooded onto the floor. The doctor frantically swung his club at the computer console. Glass cracked and sparks flew, but even with the console popping and hissing, the Smiley-Face balls kept coming. In desperation he yelled, "Stop!"

A high-pitched woman’s voice said with golf balls spitting out, "Are you sure, honey? You need one more hit to complete target goal. You missed forty-two shots, now forty-three shots, forty-four shots..."

"I’m not your damned honey! Now stop! Stop!" screamed the doctor, still holding his Zing putter more like Hank Aaron at the plate than Tiger Woods on the tee.

"You missed forty-six shots. System stop now. Command initiated."

"Thank God," muttered Dr. Clark.

Dr. Clark walked around the mound of golf balls and sat at his desk. He grabbed his graying beard while inspecting a report on his latest discombobulated patient: US President Sam Morano. Stories from the media jammed the confidential packet. A story from the American Free Press lay on top; it said the US President and his administration were "acting crazier than a bunch of stone drunk monkeys in the banana section of Wal-Mart." The cover showed a monkey holding a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and swinging wildly in a jungle. The monkey’s face was retouched to look like the face of President Morano. Dr. Clark smiled and then frowned.

"The goddamned country’s falling apart," mumbled Dr. Clark as he stared at the picture and then at the mound of golf balls on the floor.

The phone on the desk rang. The caller ID announced his brother, Ernie Clark, a reputable scientist at NASA-that was until the week before when Ernie had emailed Ted what he thought was only a joke.

Dr. Clark hesitantly picked up the phone. "Hi, Ernie."

"Hi, Ted."

Silence fell on the line.

"Oh come on, you’re not still pissed, are you?" asked Dr. Clark.

"Why should I be? Can’t even speak on the phone. Tapped, right? I don’t give a shit...I didn’t mean anything with that email. It was a joke. A joke! You guys get jokes, right?"

Dr. Clark sighed. "I know, I know. Look, it’s no big deal. The NSA and the Secret Service cleared the case."

Dr. Clark didn’t like the situation, but this was a new job. Ernie had been put on probation at NASA for an email to Ted stating that the president was a "couple of dilithium crystals short of a warp core." Dr. Clark didn’t like it that the NSA had read his email and sent it to the White House security detail.

The incident disturbed him enough that he thought of quitting to retire and play golf in the senior tour circuit, but his second wife, Ellen, had argued that this job would be his "big break." He wasn’t convinced, but he liked working only three days a week-for twice his normal pay.

"What could go wrong?" Ellen had asked. Plenty, Clark had thought, but he had played the game anyway. He had ignored his family and worked the crowd in Washington. How else could one become-and stay-the president’s personal doctor?

That thought rang like a broken cuckoo clock through Dr. Clark’s neural passageways as he tried to relax, glancing at the New York Times latest headline: "Is President Morano Threatening Nuclear War?"

"Don’t worry about it," Ernie said." I’ll let you pay for our next game of golf-oh, and I’ll pay for the prostitutes this time."

"Real funny, Ernie. Real funny."

"The ones that the NSA hired…hear that NSA? Can ya hear me calling? Hey, you scum..."

Dr. Clark hung up the phone and picked up another newspaper.