Category: Writing


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It’s time for another snippet from Rescue Operation, the end of the Council meeting deciding what to do about Horizon. For links to snippets from other authors click on the logo above for Weekend Writing Warriors, or on the logo below for Snippet Sunday. Sorry I didn’t get around tyo everyone last week, but I was away at a family reunion.


 

Bow Shock Near Young Star LL Ori
Source: Hubblesite.org

Two more of the swing voters spoke, again in reluctant agreement. Good, if any were using CP, his blocking was effective. Even he, poor as his CP was, knew that Horizon would not respond to the bluff—but it wouldn’t be a bluff. Zhaim already had slavers on the ground.

“I’m against it,” Dax growled—but then he rarely used mind-touch. Afraid his feelings would be read.

“Shall we vote?” Zhaim asked, but he already knew the result. Eleven to nine in favor of slaving on Horizon, and there was no way Roi would be able to get the seventeen votes needed for a reconsideration, however much he might love the planet.


And Roi is off planet, out of touch, and doesn’t yet know anything about this. Next week I’ll jump to his reaction when he does return.

 

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Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents is a Saturday blog hop with up to 200 words from something we’re writing that has elements of both Science Fiction and Romance. (Click the logo above for rules and links to other participants.)

Both Sides Now is science fiction, adventure, politics and a dollop of romance. Here we’re getting acquainted with the hero, Kevi (as Doc thinks of him) who is the first to speak.

“Well, that’s changed if I can just get word to those I trust on Central. Zhaim’s kidnapping me turns the whole situation on its head. But I need to stay out of Zhaim’s hands long enough to contact someone I trust, and for that I need a hiding place. Confederation forces here on Horizon will be loyal to Zhaim.”

“Terry figured you’d need that. But the group’s small, and keeping those most vulnerable to slaving out of sight leaves us short-handed. You’ll be noticed if you don’t pull your weight.”

To Doc’s surprise, Kevi grinned. “Anything but cooking,” he said. “It’s not that I mind the drudgery, I’m just a lousy cook. I’ve got medical training, and I’m good with kids and animals. But I’d better darken my hair and eyes. My coloring’s unusual, even for this planet.”

“Looked in a mirror since you woke up?” Doc said, waving toward a piece of polished metal on the wall. “We darkened your hair on that road, and Terry left me some brown contact lenses.” He started rummaging through a cupboard. Now where had he put the contact lenses?

Year 10 Day 195

I am beginning to think this polar ocean may very well be landlocked, or nearly so.

I am flying along the shore of the huge land mass to the northeast.. Now and then I fly north, and find drift ice. Sometimes I don’t even need to fly north; ice extends to the shore. If I fly south I can find stunted trees. But mostly I find low vegetation: low bushes, sedge, grass, and bog. Occasionally I see reindeer, huge hairy elephants, animals like buffalo or other really strange ones with large noses, but they are relatively rare. Nothing that looks like the People.

Frankly, it is even more boring than the desert coast I was exploring a few years back.

Today is the southward equinox, the start of autumn here. The sun is setting at the North Pole; I teleported there to see the sun roll around the horizon. I’ve come more than a third of the way around the planet, and it’s getting cold. Already I’ve seen one snowstorm. At least I now know that the mountains far to the west are on a peninsula, rather than an island.

I think I’ll wait until the northward equinox to continue mapping this coast.

Quotes from Andre Norton

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling from July 17 through July 23. The first six are from The Warding of Witch World, by Andre Norton.

Warding cover“To see a demon come to life is no light thing.” Stymir, comparing chilling tales told by the fire with what seems the reality of those tales.

“The end was always worse than even the stupid fool who fell to the wiles of evil could imagine.” Audha’s thought as she realizes that she may be in such a bargain with the Dark.

“Do you not understand even yet that it was because of your hate and anger you opened the door to me?” The “Demon” to Audha.

“To fight on enemy territory when one knows nothing of the odds has never availed any attacker much in the end.” Simond’s comment as they try to decide what to do about their “demon.”

“Certain things cannot truly die.” Frost, speaking to Strymir with the message that war is not always the answer.

“We cannot go on if our bodies fail us, no matter how our spirits urge us.” Inquit’s council that they stop and rest.

“You don’t have to be a young aristocrat if you don’t want to, but you can act like one.” Sue Ann Bowling, Homecoming. Lai’s advice to Roi at his birthday reception

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Enjoy meeting new authors and trying snippets of their work? Click on the logo above to find the links to others from the Weekend Writing Warrior signup list, and on the logo below for Snippet Sunday.

I’m posting again from Rescue Operation, continuing from last time, when Zhaim suggested slaving to collect dues from Horizon, which has threatened to leave the Confederation. We’re still in Zhaim’s point of view.


Hubble Interacting Galaxy IC 1623
Source: Hubblesite.org

Besides, it’s really just a threat. With that over their heads, they’ll find a way to pay their share. I know them. After all, I’ve been Guardian there for almost fifty years.

Well, if it’s only a threat …. That was Ramil, one of the swing votes he’d been plying with worries about the possible spreading influence of Horizon’s not paying its dues.

Ania nodded. Sometimes children have to be threatened for their own good.


Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be that simple.

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Saturday, and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade. Click the logo above to find links to other participants.

I’m quoting from a WIP, Both Sides Now. Doc is answering Kevi’s question of how long he has been unconscious.

“About four fivedays.”

“Any idea of the Confederation date? I lost track of time in Zhaim’s hands.”

Doc waved toward a Horizon calendar on the wall. It was a paper calendar—he didn’t have power to waste for electronics here. But he’d kept the days crossed off, and it had Confederation dates marked at intervals. Kevi got up and examined it, and then shook his head. “Over a year,” he said. “It seemed like forever. But things have gotten a lot worse, if Confederation troops are attacking civilians.”

“They have,” Doc replied. “That was Terry’s main argument for trying to rescue you.”

Kevi looked down. “And I suppose you think I was responsible for the slaving in the first place. Indirectly, I suppose I was. But it was oversight, not intention. I never supported slavery. I was born a slave myself. I hate the whole institution. The Horizon slaving was passed behind my back when three of my closest supporters and I were off planet, and I’ve never quite been able to get the seventeen votes I need for reconsideration.”

Year 10 Day 142

Well, I have a new puzzle.

The ice cap at the North Pole is very definitely floating. It’s not smooth; in fact collisions of large, flat areas of ice have resulted in ice ridges tall enough to be called small hills. But when I try to perceive land under them, there is nothing but salt water. Deep salt water.

This doesn’t make sense. Water is much more efficient than air at carrying heat from the equator to the poles. Given an ocean at the poles that is open to equatorial water, warm water from the equator will quickly thaw any temporary winter ice. Certainly the polar ocean is open to the warm ocean to the east of the continent where I am living; I’ve flown over it. What is happening on this planet?

Unless….

I went back and studied the few images I have of the planet from space. It’s hard to tell the difference between clouds, snow-covered land, and ice, but I cannot rule out the possibility of land almost surrounding the frozen ocean aside from the corridor I’ve followed. It’s relatively warm now in the north, and there are about another eight fivedays before the sun sets at the North Pole, so I suppose I had better spend that exploration time following the coastline from the northernmost land I’ve found to the east. At least I should find out whether the mountain range where I saw the aurora is part of an island or a peninsula.

Jarn’s Journal is the (fictional) journal of a human-like alien stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. He is interacting with some of our ancestors, but also exploring the planet with the aid of levitation, telekinesis and the salvaged computer of his wrecked spaceship.

These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between July 10 and July 16, 2014. The first six are from Beauty and the Werewolf, by Mercedes Lackey.

Beauty and the Werewolf cover“What is wisdom, then, but knowing when it is best not to speak, and when it is best to hold one’s hand?” Bella quotes this to Sebastian when he tells her that he learned early not to try to do everything by magic.

“Escape into concentration is the only escape we have.” Bella explaining to the kitchen staff why she and Sebastian have been so engrossed hat they missed a meal.

“A gilded and comfortable cage was still a cage.” Bella can’t help but resent her captivity.

“A failure is just the success of proving one way doesn’t work.” Bella quoting her father when Sebastian is a bit down about his failures to find an answer to his problem

“Let’s concentrate on what we can do something about.” Granny to Bella, when Bella is wishing for things she has no hope of changing.

“You need to start thinking like a sly old woman.” Granny advising Bella.

“I must have been crazy to think that all of the crossbreds would be alike.” Sue Ann Bowling, Homecoming. Marna, when she discovers what has been happening to Roi—and that he is totally unlike Zhaim, the crossbred she met first.

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Sunday again, and snippets from works in progress, awaiting publication, or published. For links to other authors on Weekend Writing Warriors click the logo above; for Snippet Sunday click the logo below.

I am continuing with Rescue Operation, on its final revision (I hope.) This is the start of a new scene, at a council meeting a few days after the one I’ve posted.

Star-Forming Region S106
Source: Hubblesite.org


 

“You’ve got to be kidding!” Zhaim pulled out of the interface enough to see Mako’s face as the councilor spoke aloud in shock, and smothered any feelings of triumph the others might catch.

I wish I could find another option, Zhaim thought at the others, but the citizens of Horizon are absolutely refusing to pay their dues. Haven’t we all agreed that planets of the Confederation must pay for the protection and interplanetary problem-solving we offer? We can’t let them refuse to pay their share; it’s an invitation to others to refuse. Their population is increasing rapidly—faster than their economy. They can afford to lose a few people as slaves. Breeding stock of the silkies and horses—no, we need to keep the economy going.


The logic of Empire?

I’m experimenting with embedding images, so if it looks a little different from usual, that’s why.

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It’s Saturday, and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents: click on the logo above for links to other participants. I’m continuing with Both Sides Now, but the point of view has switched to Doc, who thinks of Roi as Kevi.

Doc led the way back to the front of the cave, trying to integrate his new observations of Kevi into what he knew of the Regent. He remembered Terry’s comment: that the stories could not be fitted into a coherent whole, and that none of them fitted with what Terry had observed. None of them fitted with what he had just observed, either. “Sit down,” he invited as he led Kevi into the front room.

There was a casserole in the oven—Coralie’s doing; Doc tended to rely on the frying pan himself. Kevi tucked into it with an enthusiasm that left Doc wondering if they’d fed the R’il’noid enough on the trek back, and later while he was healing. Doc had not been used to unconscious patients who chewed and swallowed food, let alone rode horseback.

“Have we been starving you?” he asked.

Kevi grinned. “If you had been, you’d have known it,” he assured Doc. “But I always come out of healSleep hungry. I’ll be eating like a horse for the next few fivedays. How long have I been out? Last thing I remember was Terry feeding me at that cave above the sinkhole.”

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