Friday, August 10, 2012


Karyl drove ever westward, crossing the long trough of Palatine Linea and the southernmost edge of the bright frosts flung across half Dione’s globe in wispy swirling patterns by explosive venting from deep fractures, created when ammonia-water melted by residual heat in the lithosphere had intruded on pockets of methane and nitrogen clatherates. After ten days or so, he stopped at the garden habitat of the Fifer-Targ clan and was woken in the middle of the night: the ships of the Brazilian and European joint expedition were on the move, breaking orbit around Mimas and heading out for different moons. Members of the clan were packing and rounding up livestock, following a plan they’d worked up for just this eventuality, preparing to leave their big, tented habitat for shelters. They refused Karyl’s offer of help, so he wished them luck and left them to it and drove off. It was night out on the surface, too. The habitat had been built in short string of low craters created when several vent pits had collapsed, with all the lights switched on inside, its domes shone like a string of glass beads in the black moonscape under Saturn and the swathes of fixed stars, a target that dwindled behind Karyl and quickly sank below the horizon.

He picked his way across the moonscape by the mellow light of Saturnshine. He had suppressed the urge to call Dana and ask if she was all right. Maybe later he’d call her mother, who had been somewhat sympathetic to him. Right now, he needed to work out what he was going to do. He avoided roads and cut directly north-east, towards the southern end of Latium Chasma. One of his caches was tucked into the east wall of the chasma; he could pitch camp there and find out what was happening and figure things out. Wait things out for four or five weeks if he had to, or load up with supplies and follow the chasma’s long straight trough north, into the fractured labyrinth of Tibur Chasmata, where there were any number of hiding places.

(From 'Karyl's War'.)

An extract from a Quiet War story that's only available in an ebook, Stories From the Quiet War, at a price that wouldn't buy you a small (sorry, regular) coffee in Starbucks.

I've been making some minor adjustments to the three ebooks I've published (the other two are a novelette, City of the Dead, and a collection, Little Machines), so they'll play nicely (I hope) with the new generation of Kindles. A few minor typos and transcription errors have also been excised.  Housekeeping tasks that make me appreciate the support of a publisher - I'd rather be writing than coding HTML, and trying to figure out why table of contents tags are stable on one platform but not on another.  But Kim Newman and I are planning to release another Kindle single soon - our novella 'Prisoners of the Action', which appeared in print some years ago in The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ellen Datlow. The links are to the US editions, by the way; the UK editions can be found in the list of ebooks to the right.
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