Gareth L Powell
All Pod wants to do is hang with his friends, Erik and Kai. But he can't, not any more. Not since the Clampdown. Not since the Elite looked down from their high orbit and decided to rationalise human society, to make it ordered and safe. Not since they sent him here, to the bridge, to work off his criminal debt.
He hates the bridge. He hates the stinging wind and the crashing waves. He hates the tedious, backbreaking work. But most of all, he hates his foreman, Fergus.
Miriam Webster knew something was wrong. All of the dogs in the neighborhood were barking their heads off, including her little Bull Terrier, Mason. She closed the book she had been reading and placed it on the night stand. She checked the digital readout on the clock-radio: 9:43. She had been reading for nearly two hours, totally lost in the magical world of that wonderful wizard boy and his amazing adventures.
The first reason cabs in Bangkok are dangerous is that cab-drivers in Bangkok have no fear, and after you've been in a cab doing 120 kmh approximately three inches from the tires of a semi doing 80, well, then you appreciate a nervous driver.
The second reason is that cab-drivers take amphetamines to stay awake. This allows them to make more money, but unfortunately, it also drives them slowly insane. Every so often one of them snaps. The results are not pretty. Machetes, guns, that kind of thing.
Mason felt awkward wearing one of Gallia's old gowns. Previous to her employment in the Edgeworth home, she had only worn a skirt on two separate occasions. They never suited her and she felt more comfortable in men's clothing.
But society had its standards and Mason wanted to keep her job. With her charge safely in bed she lingered in the servant's hallway watching the party, unnoticed. From there she could see just inside the parlor.
Masculine. A dangerous word because it could mean so many things, and isn't really allowed to mean any of them anymore. Sandra, who is a middle-of-the-road feminist, feels guilty for thinking of her boyfriend Ted as masculine because he likes to watch the fights and is good at fixing appliances. Greta, who has renounced feminism as a self-centered ideology of victimization that undermines the dignity of women, thinks of her husband as masculine because he looks like a Byzantine icon and thunders like an old-testament prophet. Kristine, who has changed her name to Illya in the belief that Troy was secretly a matriarchal paradise to which Helen had fled to escape Menelaus' crypto-homosexual misogynistic energies, is trying to redefine masculinity by dying her male cats pink and naming them “Dawnbeam” and “Young Hag.”
"It's true!" he cried, in his ordinary voice this time. And all the people crowding beside him on the Temple roof shouted, "It's really true!"
That's the second-to-last line of the story. I ought to know because I wrote it myself. Now you know it too; that's the benefit of hindsight. Everything would be much easier to believe in if we had more of that. And having started at the end, I could now go on and tell you the whole story backwards. It's not unfeasible; it's been done before. But, aside from the fact that it would probably make you seasick, it would also take away the suspense and ruin the whole story. I suppose that's where hindsight falls down.
It was a fine day to spend in the park and it seemed most of the town agreed. It was one of those days where everything merged into perfection; the breeze, the sun, the sky. Only the occasional piece of litter gave any hint that it was not completely manufactured, or that we weren’t living in some talented, terminally benign artist’s rendering of a park at midday. If there is such an artist, I suppose his market would be hotel rooms with the occasional greeting card on the side. I doubt that I’ll every see my work displayed either place; I suspect that most of my stuff ends up at the bottom of drawers or discarded in the trash. Probably that would be the case with the little girl.
“Look,” Melaine called, waving the bunch of meadow flowers she’d just picked. “What’s that thing flying up there? Just above the plum trees. It isn’t a bird, is it?”
A small object was dancing in the dusk-clouded summer sky.
“It’s a heart!” declared Antonia, who always knew everything. “A flying heart. Male, and quite young.”
“It must be the prince’s,” the third girl, Magda, said. She was well-informed about everything the royals did. “He sent his heart on a quest, because he’s looking for a bride. He’ll marry the girl who captures it.”
Click for Part One of May These Stone Give Shelter
Sharra stared at the six unconscious cyborgs. The sedatives Samuel had snuck into the nutrient feed had worked. With her technical expertise and biology experience, Shawn had ordered her to play nurse. He wanted answers without the cyborgs possibly interfering with test results or equipment. Being here made her skin crawl even though she knew they’d tested negative for disease.
For thirty years, the elite forces of the American military had had varying degrees of enhancement. Embedded radio frequency tags carried their medical history. Samuel had a portable scanner that was able to read off their names as they walked past each.
Tamara Wilhite, interviewed by Leigh Dragoon
How did you first become interested in writing? Is it something you always had a passion for, or did it grow on you over time?
I’ve always been interested in writing, though it started out as corny poetry as a child. I started writing science fiction in high school in the early 1990s when I couldn't find any true science fiction in the book store anymore. I was never interested in alternate realities or Gaia-earth connection or fantasy, which is most of what came out at that time.