The Wager and Other StoriesThe Wager and Other Stories

Three stories of extraordinary science fiction comprise this collection, the first in the series of Jospar, the Starflyer. Author Greg Sushinsky has brought a unique touch and originality to his work which provides an unforgettable dimension of wonder, adventure and meaning. Join the many readers who have already entered and enjoy this world.

In a world that devalues creativity, writers stand in a courageous place.
--Greg Sushinsky

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

Free daily dose of word power from Merriam-Webster's experts
  • melancholia

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 12, 2022 is:

    melancholia • \mel-un-KOH-lee-uh\  • noun

    Melancholia refers to a feeling of sadness or depression. It is also used to refer to a sad tone or quality that one perceives in something, such as a work of art or literature.

    // He confessed to a bit of melancholia after the final performance—although he was proud of the successful Broadway run, he would miss his fellow cast members dearly.

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    “His last single, 2020’s 'Finding Rest In a Weary World,' was impressive but relatively subdued, tinged with ambient melancholia even as the beat hit its stride.” — Sue Park, Pitchfork, 18 Mar. 2022

    Did you know?

    When is a word full of humor yet far from humorous? Melancholia traces back to Greek melan- ("black, dark") and cholē ("bile"). Medical practitioners once adhered to the system of humors—bodily fluids that included black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. An imbalance of these humors was thought to lead to disorders of the mind and body. One suffering from an excess of black bile (believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen) could become sullen, unsociable, and liable to depression. Today, doctors no longer ascribe physical and mental disorders to disruptions of the four humors, but the word melancholia is still used in psychiatry as a general term for despondency.

  • alleviate

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 11, 2022 is:

    alleviate • \uh-LEE-vee-ayt\  • verb

    Alleviate means "to make something less painful, difficult, or severe" or "to partially remove or correct."

    // Mom's suggestions for ways to alleviate some of my cold symptoms included her special tea and plenty of sleep.

    // The new tunnel should alleviate traffic on the bridge.

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    "People have tried to alleviate their climate anxiety in many ways." — Antonia Mufarech, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 May 2022

    Did you know?

    Now for a bit of light reading. Alleviate comes from Latin levis, meaning "having little weight." (Levis also gave rise to the English adjective light, as in "not heavy.") In its early days, alleviate could mean "to cause (something) to have less weight" or "to make (something) more tolerable." The literal "make lighter" sense is no longer used, and today only the "relieve" sense remains. Incidentally, not only is alleviate a synonym of relieve, it's also a cousin; relieve comes from levare ("to raise"), which in turn comes from levis.

  • trivial

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 10, 2022 is:

    trivial • \TRIV-ee-ul\  • adjective

    Trivial means “of little worth or importance.”

    // Although her parents dismissed her love of pop music as trivial, she relied on the inspirational messages of many songs to help her through difficult times.

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    “Urged on by co-founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris to ‘win the morning,’ Politico’s reporters and editors covered Washington high and low, devoting space in their influential email newsletters to presidential campaigns and more trivial details like birthdays of prominent local figures.” — Benjamin Mullin and Katie Robertson, The New York Times, 3 May 2022

    Did you know?

    When English speakers adopted the word trivial from Latin trivialis in the 16th century, they used it to mean just what its Latin ancestor meant: "found everywhere, commonplace." But the source of trivialis is about something more specific: trivium, from tri- (three) and via (way), means "crossroads; place where three roads meet." The link between the two presumably has to do with the commonplace sorts of things a person is likely to encounter at a busy crossroads. Today, the English word typically describes something barely worth mentioning. Such judgments are, of course, subjective; feel free to mention this bit of trivia to anyone and everyone who crosses your path.


The Wager

The saga of Jospar The Starflyer and Kasceto The Ruler begins.



Join Jospar on his journey -- As His Story Continues.



Roscoe pits Jospar against the dangerous Kasceto.