The Wager and Other StoriesThe Wager and Other Stories

is comprised of three stories of extraordinary science fiction, 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
  • Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 5, 2020 is:

    incandescent • \in-kun-DESS-unt\  • adjective

    1 a : white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat

    b : strikingly bright, radiant, or clear

    c : marked by brilliance especially of expression

    d : characterized by glowing zeal : ardent

    2 a : of, relating to, or being light produced by incandescence

    b : producing light by incandescence


    The attic was lit by a single incandescent bulb, but that was all the light we needed to read the labels on the storage boxes.

    "Her husband, Patrick Loungway, a cinematographer, suggested that she use an anamorphic lens to replicate the look of a CinemaScope film. The wide lens, in conjunction with theatrical lighting that varies from golden glow to incandescent glare, provides the sense of Hollywood transport and reverie she sought." — Arthur Lubow, The New York Times, 26 Oct. 2020

    Did you know?

    Incandescent first lit up the English language toward the end of the 18th century, at a time when scientific experiments involving heat and light were being conducted on an increasingly frequent basis. An object that glowed at a high temperature (such as a piece of coal) was incandescent. By the mid-1800s, the incandescent lamp—aka the lightbulb—had been invented; it contains a filament which gives off light when heated by an electric current. Incandescent is the modern offspring of a much older parent, the Latin verb candēre, meaning "to glow." Centuries earlier, the word for another source of light, candle, was also derived from candēre.

  • Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 4, 2020 is:

    distend • \dih-STEND\  • verb

    1 : extend

    2 : to enlarge, expand, or stretch out (as from internal pressure) : swell


    "At the Aurora … the finest performers in Josh Costello’s cast … add still further pleasure to the avalanche of wit. They make it sing—and croak and hiss and squeal, thunder and bark and gurgle. They distend syllables. They ride the waves of diphthongs. They scale octaves in a breath and then find a comedic thump of a note to land on. It’s pitch as punch line." — Lily Janiak, The San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Apr. 2019

    "Stomach bloating is when the tummy becomes distended, causing it to feel uncomfortable. It often occurs after eating a big meal. But for some, bloating is more than an occasional inconvenience." — Katrina Turrill, The Sunday Express (UK), 21 Apr. 2019

    Did you know?

    The history of the word distend stretches back to the Latin verb tendere—a root whose kin have really expanded the English language. To find evidence of this expansion, look to words that include "tend" or "tent"; many have tendere, which means "to stretch, extend, or spread," in their family tree. Perhaps the simplest example is tent, which names a shelter made from a piece of material stretched over a frame. You'll also find the influence of tendere in extend, tendon, contend, portend, and tendency.

  • Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 3, 2020 is:

    brainiac • \BRAY-nee-ak\  • noun

    : a very intelligent person


    "As the Kendall Square Association advocates for transportation fixes, the Cambridge group likes to say that you can't find the cure for cancer while sitting in traffic. You can't. But all this congestion might just spur you, or some other brainiac, to find a cure for traffic." — John Chesto, The Boston Globe, 31 Jan. 2020

    "Our goal is to broaden the appeal of STEM tourism making it accessible to all—as in, you don't have to be a brainiac to enjoy it." — Michael Novakovich, quoted in The Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Washington), 26 Dec. 2019

    Did you know?

    As Superman fans know, Brainiac was the superintelligent villain in the Action Comics series and its spin-offs. His name is a portmanteau of brain and maniac. (For those who believe it comes from a 1950s "computer kit," fly here, but come back.) You don't need x-ray vision to see the connection here—etymologists think Superman's brainy adversary is the likely inspiration for the common noun brainiac. The term was not coined right away though. The comic-book series was launched in 1938 and the character Brainiac debuted in 1956, but current evidence doesn't show general use of brainiac to refer to a superintelligent person until the 1970s.


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.