Nebador Archives presents an epic young-adult science fiction adventure - Book One

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NEBADOR Book One: The Test

This epic young-adult science fiction adventure begins when a strange young man arrives in a medieval kingdom. Stepping out of a swamp near the capital city, mysterious bracelet on his arm, only an unearthly fearlessness saves him from mutilation or death by a wild stallion. He is soon smiling and gazing over the kingdom from the top of a high hill.

the narrow streets of a medieval walled city
original cover art commissioned to artist Rachael Hedges

Openly seeking a crew for a mysterious ship no one has seen, it is soon clear he is looking for something other than salty old sailors. He must learn many hard lessons of survival, and at the same time locate his crew in the rigid craft guilds and religious orders. Tempted by love and pursued by a powerful high priest, he discovers his bright and spirited students in the last place he wanted to look.
Book One front cover Book One back cover

Just as he starts to teach them, dark political forces catch up with him, and he and his students must undertake a dangerous journey. Bonds of trust and love begin to form as they struggle to find a way out of the medieval walled city.

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Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)

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Screenplay 1 (including free download)


Chapter 1: First Contact

    The boot, of some strange, shiny material, made a sucking sound as it pulled free of the sticky mud. One step farther along, water spiders skipped away as the boot plunged back into the swamp.
    After several more strides through the watery black ooze, the light-haired young man looked ahead. Bushes and willowy trees covered the higher ground, still many steps away. Green eyes sparkling with curiosity, his face revealed about two decades of life, perhaps a little more.
    He teetered for a moment, regained his balance, and wiped the sweat from his brow with a sleeve. Glancing back to where his tracks began, he watched as the large bulge in the swamp sank lower and lower. Shivering, he groped for the wide, dark metal bracelet on his left arm. After fingering it thoughtfully for a moment, he relaxed, took a deep breath, and turned back to his path.
    Finally, with only one muddy step remaining, he tossed his shoulder bag onto the grassy bank and reached for a small tree. As he pulled himself onto higher ground, the swamp sucked at his boots one last time, inviting him to join the many creatures whose bones rotted in its murky depths.

    As soon as the young man stood up, three large four-legged animals grazing nearby raised their heads and made throaty sounds. After a moment of thought, he whispered, "Horse." They shifted positions and returned to grazing, all three female, one close to giving birth.
    Suddenly a large, dark-brown stallion bolted from behind a bush, called a threatening high-pitched challenge, and began stomping the ground and moving forward.
    The young man stood with his back to the swamp as the huge male animal approached and towered over him. The man's right hand moved toward his bracelet, but the stallion thrashed its head violently and sliced the air with powerful hooves.
    The young man lowered his hands and focused on breathing evenly.
    After more ear-piercing calls, the stallion began to relax, but did not retreat. Snorting, the horse took in the scent of the puny human it could easily butt right into the treacherous swamp.
    The young man began to hum a simple melody while keeping his hands at his sides.
    The stallion twitched its ears to catch the new sound, then suddenly opened its mouth and gripped the man's shoulder with powerful teeth. For several heartbeats the teeth lingered, threatening to crush muscle and bone while the young man hummed softly.
    With a jerk of its head, the stallion released its grip and leapt away, knocking the man off his feet. The three mares bolted. The stallion paused a stone's throw away, looked back, and finally galloped after the mares into the grasslands that spread out northward, toward the snowcapped mountains on the horizon.

    The young man swallowed, let out a long shaking sigh, and closed his eyes as he listened to his throbbing heart.
    A minute later, he slowly stood up, and gradually a look of contentment appeared as he scanned his environment. The land everywhere was full of light green shoots and new leaves. From overhead came the cries of winged creatures. Looking up, he saw them circle, dark feathers stretched out to catch the rising air. With few clouds in a blue sky, the new spring day promised sunshine and gentle warmth.
    The young man's eyes and ears told him he was otherwise alone. Touching and moving his shoulder carefully, he found it merely bruised and tender. He stood in silence for another moment, just looking around at the plants and listening to the birds and insects. Finally, after taking up his shoulder bag, he put one foot in front of the other toward the grassy hills in the west.

    He had only been walking through the damp grass a few minutes when a path offered itself, and he gladly accepted its guidance. A little farther along, the trail skirted a small lake where he paused to rinse the mud from his boots.
    As he sat on the grass at the edge of the still water, he noticed shy, careful movement among the rocks and plants nearby. He remained silent and waited, and soon a small furry creature came into view with hops of its hind legs between nibbles of greenery.
    "Hello, little . . . rabbit," the young man said softly and haltingly in a language clearly not his own.
    The rabbit twitched its nose and kept one bright eye on the newcomer, but continued eating.
    "My name is Ilika, and I just arrived in your beautiful land from a place called Satamia, in the greater region of Nebador."
    The little creature's long ears turned to the sound as it continued to demonstrate which plants were delicious, and which were not.
    "You are my first contact in this land."
    The rabbit raised its head for a moment, then went back to eating.
    "Well . . . I did meet someone earlier, but the situation was a bit emotional . . . and we didn't get a chance to talk."
    Suddenly the piercing cry of a bird of prey filled the sky, and the rabbit vanished into the rocks with one leap.
    "Be well, little one. I must continue my journey."

    Half an hour later, with deep breaths of the crisp air, the young man strode to the top of the highest hill. Standing tall, he looked west. In the small valley below nestled simple farms, little thatched cottages, and people beginning their work in gardens, fields, and animal pens.
    Beyond the farms, on a gentle rise of open grass, stood the medieval walled city, its gray stonework glowing in the morning light.


The setting of Book One, the capital city:

plan of the capital city

Book One front cover:

Book One front cover

Book One back cover:

Book One back cover

Português

Français

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning Notes

Where to Get It (including free downloads)

Screenplay 1 (including free download)

NEBADOR
Book by Book

the narrow streets of a medieval walled city
Book One:
The Test
Spring 2010

English

Português

Français

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

a lonely beach along a wild seashore
Book Two:
Journey
Summer 2010

English

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 13 (8MB)

Comments

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Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

the colorful aurora above majestic mountains
Book Three:
Selection
Fall 2010

English

Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 5 (13MB)

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

stranded on a frigid ice continent
Book Four:
Flight Training
Spring 2011

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

fascinating planets with strange life forms
Book Five:
Back to the Stars
Fall 2011

English

Letter to Readers

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Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

a shining jewel floating in the blackness of space
Book Six:
Star Station
Summer 2012

English

Letter to Readers

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Illustrations

Deep Learning

Where to Get It

unseen guests at an event of universe importance
Book Seven:
The Local Universe
Summer 2013

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Where to Get It

stillness and silence where movement and sound should be
Book Eight:
Witness
Summer 2014

English

Letter to Readers

Comments

Illustrations

Where to Get It

Heather's meeting circle at a top-secret military facility
Book Nine:
A Cry for Help
Summer 2015

English

Letter to Readers

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Illustrations

Where to Get It

a strange eco-system deep underground
Book Ten:
Stories from Sonmatia
Summer 2016

English

Letter to Readers

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Where to Get It

Nebador Archives

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by J. Z. Colby
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