Ariele Sieling is a Pennsylvania-based writer who enjoys books, the open sky, and trees. She writes in a wide range of genres from science fiction to fantasy to fairytale retellings to post-apocalypses. She also writes non-fiction under A. J. Sieling, including books on writing and publishing, as well as essays on various topics that interest her.

V. S. Holmes is an international bestselling author. They created the BLOOD OF TITANS series and the NEL BENTLY BOOKS. Smoke and Rain, the first book in their fantasy quartet, won New Apple Literary's Excellence in Independent Publishing Award in 2015 and a Literary Titan Gold in 2020. Travelers is also included in the Peregrine Moon Lander mission as part of the Writers on the Moon Time Capsule. In addition, they have published short fiction in several anthologies.

Cameron Quinn is the award-winning author of The Starsboro Chronicles, an urban fantasy serial. Her home is in central New England with her husband, three small children, and too many animals to mention, but she hopes to travel a bit before truly settling down.

Cullen McHael has been an activist, a journalist, a professor, a kick-boxer, a circus performer, a monk, a film-maker, and a game-designer. Cullen dwells deep in the American Midwest where crop circles carve mystery into the endless rows of corn and the stars shine just a little too brightly.

Beamed Up by Ariele Sieling, V. S. Holmes and more!

Enter the strange, dark worlds of four science fiction authors in this anthology from Amphibian Press.

"The Stalk" - Ariele Sieling

Jack is a Digger, dumping dirt into the massive, mysterious Hole day after day. When she is summoned to the Stalk, a looming space elevator, however, she fears the worst. After all, every Digger summoned to the Stalk leaps to their deaths.

This short story is a chilling science fiction retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

"How to Abduct an Alien" - Cameron J. Quinn

When Zurik steps in to help an abductee, he finds an unlikely ally on the spaceship. Back on earth, however, his new friend finds himself on the examination table.

"How to Abduct an Alien" is set in the Starsboro Chronicles Universe several years before Episode One.

"Dead-Switch" - Cullen McHael

Max knows the seedy underbelly of espionage like the back of her hand—especially the black market "cannibals" who trade in upgraded human body parts. Now she wants out. But the only woman she can turn to for one last job may be the last person she should trust.

"Disciples" - V. S. Holmes

Lin's newest mission turns from glorified babysitting to a web of conspiracies, violence, and complex cultural heritage and she must choose between her brother's order not to get involved and the lives of the archaeologists she has put in danger.

"Disciples" is set in the Nel Bently Universe and takes place simultaneously with Travelers.


If there was no darkness, there would be no light. Am I right? V.S. brings us four lovely dark sci-fi tales, including a chilling re-imaging of Jack and the Beanstalk and a woman named Max who wants out of the black market in upgraded body parts – but only after one last job. – J. Scott Coatsworth



  • "Beamed Up is a solid collection of science fiction tales, from 4 talented writers, who know how to spin a cosmic yarn. This is a wonderful peek into the works of the talented authors, leaving the reader yearning for more of their fine work."

    – Jeffery Davidson, Amazon Reviewer
  • "I was a little concerned after reading the first story not because it was bad but because it was so good I couldn't pt it down. I was thinking there's no way the ray can hold up to the standard set by The Stalk but was pleasantly surprised as I read on, each story in this book stands well in its own and is in itself a delightful scifi adventure."

    – Amazon Customer



Cryosleep was a temporary death. The lights were dim, a twilight between waking and sleep. Lin blinked and rolled her shoulders, stretched her neck, curled her toes. Viscous stasis fluid drained silently, leaving goosebumps across her beige skin. Nausea shuddered through her. She ignored it. Instead she drifted in the peace of momentary amnesia. The hiss of heated air punctured the stillness. She flexed her fingers and tapped the smooth metal embedded in the flesh of her wrist. "Commence waking sequence in five…." She counted the seconds down silently.

"Good morning, Opsir Nalawangsa." The low voice was male, and just shy of truly human. The lights rose, gradual and faintly yellow.

"Good morning, Phil. Where are we?" She pushed out of her tank, rising in the zero G of her cryo tube. The lights were fully bright now.

"We're in orbit, 437 km from the surface of the planet Earth." There was a pause, and she almost thought the ship's voice held a smile. "Welcome home."

She snorted. "My genes may come from that ball of dirt, Phil, but I certainly don't." The air rolled over her skin, drying as it went. A click and pop echoed from beside the closed door of the cryo tube. She grabbed the vial from the ship's delivery system and held it up.









She groaned. "What does a woman have to do to get proper grilled fish with her breakfast in bed?"

"When you cure cryo-sick I will personally deliver you a plate of fresh milkfish in bed upon waking."

She rolled her eyes and snapped the vial into the port in her arm. A moment passed then her nausea subsided. Aching in her head ebbed. "How was the trip?"

"Uneventful. You are wanted in Trajectory." Phil's tone often trod the line between a butler's deference and a captain's rebuke.


"Yes. It appears Komodor Muda Nalawangsa has requested you personally. Shall I tell him you're on your way?" Probably just to rub in his new rank of Komodor Muda and the fact he's now senior enough to just 'request' me. "Thanks, Phil. I'll see you there." She unwrapped the plastic from her uniform and slid it on. After seven years of drifting naked in a vat of saline, the stiff electro-fiber felt cumbersome. She flexed her hand, aligning the contacts inside with the conduits tattooed on her skin. A hum. A rush of energy not-quite-her-own. Paired. The word wasn't spoken, not heard in the traditional sense, nor was it a thought. It least, not hers. Increase temperature by 0.5 degrees C.

Her goosebumps sank back into her skin. She slid the door open and slithered from her cryotube. The lights here were brighter, the snaking lines of green and blue illuminating the stark white of walls and the sharp sliver of glass. Her finger brushed the pad in the wall, changing a panel from cycling photos to a mirror. She scraped her hair back and straightened her collar. It was always alarming how little her face changed during years of cryosleep. She wondered when she could return to her work curating their ancestors' history.

"Opsir Nalawangsa—"

"Yeah, Phil, I know. On my way." She shoved through the next door into a corridor. The steep curve told her still-disoriented mind she was on the interior of the ship. A gentle press indicated they were just inside the gravitational field. Planet-side is starboard. She kicked off the floor and sailed along the corridor. Other than several bots and the usual techs, the hall was deserted. Debriefing already started then. It took days for the ship and crew to recover from a cryo-trip to open space. Longer when they arrived at a planet's orbit. She found the first drop-door to the exterior rings of the ship and pressed the symbol for Trajectory. The ground trembled with the rings' gentle turning. When the doors between the outer rings and a transport shaft were aligned the door slid open. Lin dropped, her grin broad. This was her favorite part. The slight artificial gravity caused by rotation grew the farther from the core she got, so what started as a gentle drift accelerated into a true free fall.

WARNING: Falling from high places can result in damage or expiration. Engage mag-catch. She ignored the suit for another moment, enjoying the rushing air. Lights flickered past as she hurtled through dozens of levels. She clenched her teeth against biting her tongue. Suit: Engage mag-catch. Electromagnets in her suit kicked on with a hum and lurch. By the time she arrived at the door emblazoned with the symbol for Trajectory she was floating. A panel slid across the transport tube and she touched down. Gravity settled over her like a blanket. Even her organs felt heavy. Her palm on the door granted access to the waiting area. Another palm on the next door prompted a cheery robotic voice very unlike Phil's.

"Good morning! Please state your rank, full name, and purpose clearly into the speaker."

Lin leaned forward. "Opsir Muda Udara First Class Lin Nalawangsa, to see Komodor Muda Udara Dar Nalawangsa."

"Accepted, have a lovely day!"

Lin smiled, wondering if the security bot's voice grew irate when you weren't allowed through. The door slid open and she stepped through. Trajectory was as messy and chaotic as the rest of the ship was tidy. The bank of screens to the left showed their past trips, and those of other ships in the fleet. One blinked with a digital scan of Phil's face as he debriefed the crew and discussed issues with other ships' minds. The right was a whirlwind of orbit physics and gravitational maps. Her brother stood within the ring of navigation and communication computers that dominated the center of the room. He snarled something at the image of Phil's head on one of his screens. "I don't really care what the ISS has to say. Our orbit takes precedence. It's much harder for us to navigate then for them."

"Sir," Phil offered, "I think they feel differently. They're expecting a shipment and new crew. Their flightpath has been planned for months, and the weather won't hold forever—"

"I'll show them fucking weather…" His mutter almost drowned in a chorus of beeps that rose from Navigation. "Then put me on the com with NASA."

"Paging NASA."

Lin saw her opening and stepped up to the raised floor of the Captain's Ring. "You wanted to see me, Dar?"

Dar frowned, but did not look up. He could have been her twin: black, smooth hair, warm beige skin, and deep oval eyes. Their features and parents, however, were the only things they shared.

"I need you to go planet-side."

Lin's stomach lurched. The tingle crawling up her arms had nothing to do with electromagnets or her suit

maintaining temperature. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me, Lin, I don't have time to play coy. You're going planet-side. Loading should begin in 14 hrs, assuming NASA gets their heads out of their arses."

"I've never been planet-side."

"You've been five times."

"As a child, Dar, this is different." What mission do we possibly have on Earth? It had been decades since anyone bothered to interfere from above. Their Institute ran things well from their Headquarters on the planet itself. Touching down meant something changed. And the Institute always prepared for everything. So it's an emergency if they're calling us in. "What happened?"

"Someone is about to discover where we started. Where the Amba first found us."

"Isn't that what we want? What the Institute wants?"

"Yes, of course. Earth can't develop without understanding our role, but this is sooner than we wanted, sooner than we planned. Clearly someone at the Institute itself helped permits along, and believe me, there will be an investigation into who that person is, but for now, the most we can do is monitor the situation. And monitoring the situation is best done in the field, as it were."

Lin wished there was a chair to sit in, a moment of peace from the shrill beeps and insistent chimes so she could sink her head in her hands to think. I don't want to go planet-side. I don't know anyone there. I have work here. In space, the Institute was everywhere, a personal, constant parental figure like the Amba had been—all the

more loving due to their mother being in charge of the entire Exploration Department. On earth, the Institute was a distant, classified branch of every countries' government. Even if they didn't realize it. "14 hours? What about my work?"

"You can return to it once this is through. This mission takes priority. You'll be briefed on the situation shortly, but for now you ought to pack your necessities."

"Why aren't they sending you? I thought this was what you dreamed of?"

Dar shot her a glare, whether for the dare of questioning orders, or the embarrassment of her bringing up his personal aspirations in public, she wasn't sure. "My greatest wish is to see the rest of our people raised to our level of technology. The stars are the final exploratory frontier, Lin. They won't get there without us. You know that. I have more pressing matters to handle here. You had the same education I did, so you'll have to do in my stead."

Lin's heart was accustomed to his condescension. It still stung. "Of course. I'll stand-by for briefing, then."

"Oh, I almost forgot." Dar tilted his head, as if Phil could somehow hear him better. "Philos, Update Rank: Lin Nalawangsa."

Lin glanced down at the tingle of electricity passing through the fibers of her suit. The bands across her chest and around each limb flickered then changed to red.

Anger filled her body, following the echo of electricity. "I'm demoted?"

"You're reassigned."

"Opsir Muda Udara First Class to Letnan First Class is a demotion," she reiterated.

"It's a lateral move and certainly not up for discussion. That is all." He turned away, as if she ceased to exist at his dismissal.

She bit back her response and left the room before anyone saw her angry tears. The door to the transport tube slid open, shut. For a moment she was cocooned in the visual static of flickering lights and silence. Letnan First Class Lin Nalawangsa. A terrestrial rank, rather than aeronautical. It tasted bitter in her mouth.