Jonas had never been so far up in all his life. The sidewalks he was used to had no railings because it was only twenty centimetres to the street, not hectametres. He walked more carefully, one hand against the reassuring wall. The air was clearer up here, and the early morning light was almost blue after thousands of yellow and grey-green mornings below. He looked again at the address as a tungsten-yellow Phœnix Valkyrie roared past, freely sharing bullets with the DPD at close range. Jonas pulled his coat around himself, thanked the OneTrueGod for a day out of the factory, and prayed for Clara's safety.
Kriever didn’t like public trans, and insisted on driving his old Sting Ray everywhere. He glanced over to the passenger seat, where she sat with his coat still over her shoulders. “Which way, doll?” he asked. The rain had eased up, for now...
“I didn't like the way you treated Sam just now,” she said when he reached her table. “Sam was begging for it.” She was wearing something much too short, but Kriever was too busy to be impressed. “Put on a coat and take me uptown, doll,” he said.
The asthmatic death rattle of the air-scrubber was a comfortable sound, a beacon home in the crushing waves of the street. It had guided him home every night now for eight years to the same drafty building and the same putrid stairs, and the same motherless little girl at the top who made it all worthwhile. Clara was eleven and all that came with it. Her father would give his life to save hers.
“What's the word, Feng,” he asked the alien as it hovered back and forth, stirring this pot...mixing that... “I just told the blue boy I ain't seen nothing,” he mumbled. “You eating tonight?”
Read 'em while you can, lasses and lads. They won't be up forever.
Hans Schantz at ÆtherCzar has launched his Thanksgiving Ratburger Sale: all books at 99¢ or free, through the first week of December.
I am happy to announce that my novella Pyre & Ice has launched on Amazon, in both Kindle and Paperback editions. This is a prequel to the short Under a Wayward Sun in Tuscany Bay Books' Planetary: Earth anthology. Walking on the surface of Saturn's moon. Current Terran Fleet guidelines require full-body cryosuits to be… Continue reading Pyre & Ice, now live!
I've been following A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry recently, and the blogger's running a four-week series on pre-modern blacksmithing: this is gold for my current WIP, as the VC is part of a "primitive" or what we'd think of as a "stone-age" tribe threatened by an "early iron-age" empire (pseudo-Roman, with more bronze and a… Continue reading Pre-Modern Ironsmithing.
One of the seminal reasons I opened this sporadic blog in the first place was for a venue to air my writing-- some of it going back to high school, twenty years ago-- that was mouldering on my hard drive without a chance to be read by readers. The story The Wolf's Cry was one… Continue reading The Wolf’s Cry: Author’s Notes on an Unfinished Tale
"My friends, guests, neighbors, jokebrunts, et cetera, et cetera, I have asked you to come because Things are Happening," said the satyr.
"Now, here are my maps, all very incomplete, of course—a little hobby of mine. Folks from all over come in here, mostly gnomes, of course, but a few dwarves not too proud to duck a bit sometimes. The Father has blessed all his children, and I feel my blessing is to share in hospitality."
Were those footsteps? He hid himself behind a massive oak—greater than any he had seen in Europe. The trunk was more than five feet in diameter, and smelled musty—very musty. He could almost smell the centuries of age in the bark. But there were the footsteps again! This time he was sure of it. He peered out around the trunk...
"I'm wondering if there isn't a connection between this Viking’s appearance and our man's disappearance." "Yes, but I still don't know. It's all...so...well, I don't know. So unusual..."
"Good reflexes," Hazard thought: "just the sort Sarge appreciated when the brain behind them could keep up."