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?”
Oh, for a thousand such fathers as this one!
The picture above is a colorized portrait of my father. He has been dead for a dozen years, but as I write this it chokes me up to see my father looking back at me again. He was my protector. While the rest of my family often mistreated me, when dad was home I was safe and he made sure I was treated fairly. My father was a stalwart man of principle, a genius engineer, and a servant of God. He was a formidable man who could bring gravitas to any discussion, but he could also tell hilarious jokes for two hours straight after all the serious matters had been taken care of.
My father showed me how to be a man, by being masculine for our entire life together. His Biblical frame of reference did not bend to accommodate the world, the world had to adapt itself to my…
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“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” H. L. Mencken, Prejudices (First Series)
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.
The last command before the order to jump is always "Stand By."
Once again, Joe Moore’s Yard Sale has just what was needed this afternoon.
I think it was Goebbels who said: Lie big, and stick to it. Never answer, or even acknowledge, any criticism. Soon, your lie will become accepted wisdom, and any questioning of it will be seen as insane, evil, or both.
We’re there. The successes of this strategy are not merely numerous and ubiquitous, but form the basis of modern culture. For example:
Marriage is optional. Divorce is morally neutral, if not a positive good. Nothing bad happens when families are built on less than a handshake and destroyed on less than a whim. The vey idea that it is a great evil for a child to be deprived of a mother and father and a home is terrible bigotry.
Homosexuality is a positive good, at least as good as heterosexual relationships. The very idea that there is any reason besides base bigotry and fear (‘homophobia’) that virtually every culture throughout…
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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!
This is the second post of the Ironsmithing set from the Unmitigated Pedantry blog: it's a week late because the original blogger split Pt. 4 into two sections. So without further ado, here are parts III, IVa, and IVb. https://acoup.blog/2020/10/02/collections-iron-how-did-they-make-it-part-iii-hammer-time/ https://acoup.blog/2020/10/09/collections-iron-how-did-they-make-it-part-iva-steel-yourself/ https://acoup.blog/2020/10/16/collections-iron-how-did-they-make-it-part-ivb-work-hardening-or-hardly-working/
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.
A timely word from the men of Vanguard Presbytery.