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
  • sandbag

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 1, 2022 is:

    sandbag • \SAND-bag\  • verb

    When used figuratively, sandbag usually means “to hit or stun as if with a sandbag,” “to criticize or treat unfairly” or “to hide one’s true abilities or purpose in order to deceive people, gain an advantage, etc.”

    // She felt sandbagged by some of the feedback in the writing workshop, but resolved to take what was useful and ignore the rest.

    // He claimed he was playing badly because of an injury, but I think he was sandbagging us.

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    “While tentpoles resuscitated moviegoing this past summer with pics like ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ it’s true that the more adult-skewing fare is having a much harder time now. Nowhere was this more true than with David O. Russell’s ‘Amsterdam,’ which rivals believed had a shot at opening to $12M-$15M this past weekend.... What should have been an awards-season play with its originality quickly was sandbagged by critics at 34% on Rotten Tomatoes.” — Anthony D’Alessandro, Deadline, 10 Oct. 2022

    Did you know?

    How much nuance is there in a bag of sand? Here’s the nitty-gritty: when sandbag was first established as a verb in the 1800s, it meant (quite understandably) “to bank, stop up, or weight with sandbags,” but since then it has taken on several figurative meanings, some more obvious than others. First came the simple (and decidedly unfriendly in application) metaphorical extension: “to hit or stun as if with a sandbag.” Less literal uses followed, including “to treat unfairly or harshly” and “to coerce by crude means.” By the mid-20th century, sandbag was being used by poker players to describe the act of pretending a strong hand is actually weak, in order to draw other players into raising the bet. This use of sandbag has since evolved to refer to a general strategy of misrepresenting one’s intentions or abilities in order to gain some sort of advantage.

  • quiddity

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 30, 2022 is:

    quiddity • \KWID-uh-tee\  • noun

    Quiddity refers to the essence of a thing—that is, whatever makes something the type of thing that it is. Quiddity can also refer to a small and usually trivial complaint or criticism, or to a quirk or eccentricity in someone's behavior.

    // The novelist’s genius was her unparalleled ability to capture the quiddity of the Maine seacoast in simple prose.

    // He portrayed the character's quirks and quiddities with tender playfulness.

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    “This is typical [of author Karl Ove] Knausgaard. He observes a subject so closely, mining so far into its essence—its quiddity—that the observations transcend banality and become compelling. In other words, he draws the space between the objects.” — Peter Murphy, The Irish Times, 20 Mar. 2018

    Did you know?

    When it comes to synonyms of quiddity, the Q’s have it. Consider quintessence, a synonym of the “essence of a thing” meaning of quiddity, and quibble, a synonym of the “trifling point” use. And let’s not forget about quirk: like quiddity, quirk can refer to a person’s eccentricities. Of course, quiddity also comes from a “Q” word, the Latin pronoun quis, which is one of two Latin words for “who” (the other is qui). Quid, the neuter form of quis, led to the Medieval Latin quidditas, which means “essence,” a term that was essential to the development of the English word quiddity.

  • motley

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 29, 2022 is:

    motley • \MAHT-lee\  • adjective

    Motley usually means "made up of many different people or things," and often appears in the phrase "motley crew" or "motley mix." It can also mean "variegated in color."

    // I love movies that feature a motley crew of characters putting aside their differences and coming together, whether for a heist or to save the world.

    // Many of the jesters at the medieval festival were dressed in bright motley garb.

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    "As evidenced by Burmese pythons and ubiquitous iguanas, there’s a motley roster of nonnative reptile species surviving in Florida—three times the amount of indigenous species—but there are two in particular that are on the rise." — Bill Kearney, The South Florida Sun Sentinel, 12 Aug. 2022

    Did you know?

    The word motley wears many colorful hats, each having a distinct use. As an adjective it implies variety, be it in hues or humans. As a noun it can identify an eclectic variety, a multicolored fabric, a garment made from such a fabric, or the jester known for wearing such garments in the European courts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The word's origin is unknown, but some etymologists suspect that Middle English mot, meaning "mote" or "speck," may be its source. There may be a speck of truth to that. Surely, etymologists (and lexicographers) don’t jest.


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.