Antarctica Starts Here
Just arrived in the post, a handsome hardback edition of The Year's Best SF 18, an anthology edited by David Hartwell. Twenty-eight stories selected from 2012's harvest, including one of mine, 'Antarctica Starts Here.' As always, a nice tick mark.
Stories sometimes arrive unexpectedly; sometimes they are the confluence of several sources. This one came out of my interest in life in Antarctica, the multinational bazaar of Hong Kong's Chungking Mansions, and speculation about climate change and exploring what might happen if civilisation moves in on Antarctica. But the story is really about a couple of restless tourist guides, Dan and Krish. Dan is an old-fashioned romantic with a deep admiration for the early Antarctic explorers; Krish is a pragmatic who has adapted to the new reality of the slowly thawing southern continent; a discovery in the new landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula underscores their differences and puts their friendship to the test.
It begins like this:
We were coming back from a hiking trip in the Rouen Mountains with five Hyundai executives and their gear in the back of the tilt-wing when I glimpsed a flash of reflected sunlight in the landscape. An ice-blink where there was no ice. Dan had spotted it, too. Before I could say anything, the tilt-wing was banking sharply and Dan was saying over the internal comms, ‘A momentary diversion to check out a place of interest, ladies and gentlemen.’