13 snippets

Since I should be writ­ing tonight (I got 6,000 words while we were in Edmon­ton, and not a let­ter since), I’m going to dip into my works-in-progress file for tonight’s 13, and present:

13 snip­pets from works in progress

Hope­ful­ly each and every one of these bite-sized morsels from short fic­tion or nov­els-in-ges­ta­tion will make you slaver to read the com­plete, fin­ished work. Let me know, if you so desire, what works for you, and what doesn’t.

  1. Demoi­selle Noir was younger than Riley had expect­ed. Only the pal­lor of her skin spoke of her present con­di­tion; her hair was the col­or of hon­ey, dressed up in ringlets, and her clear eyes were the grey of a storm at sea. Here in her office she wore a dark blouse of some mate­r­i­al that shone like silk and loose flow­ing trousers in a col­or that remind­ed Riley of the foam that crest­ed white­caps. (from Every­thing that Nev­er Hap­pened)
  2. Tom­my, though, his spe­cial­ty was church songs. There were a few that the rest of us would join in on, like “Amaz­ing Grace”, but for most of them Tom­my was on his own. He did­n’t sing them often–he’d get an embar­rassed look when we’d request them, like we were maybe going to make fun of him–but when he did sing one it was unre­al. His voice was a per­fect instru­ment, not some­thing you’d expect from a gan­g­ly kid who spoke with a lisp, and when he’d belt out the cho­rus with the fire­light flick­er­ing across his face, let­ting his voice rise with the smoke, coil­ing upwards past the whis­per­ing trees to the stars them­selves, I’d feel a shiv­er crawl up and down my spine. (from “Three Months and Two Days”)
  3. I under­stand you’re on the way to kill your broth­er,” said the dog. “Sure you’ve got it in you?” (from “The Flood”)
  4. A girl met Yak­oub at the door, naked as birth. A gryphon ram­pant marched across her chest, tat­tooed in gold and red and black, its tuft­ed lion’s tail held high, one paw reach­ing for her left breast. Her hair was blonde, falling in soft waves to her bare shoul­ders. (from Salyx)
  5. Ghost-cap­tain Muir sum­moned me to his office. The room was a palace of the imag­i­na­tion, floored in pale mar­ble, with ludi­crous columns and spires reach­ing for a ceil­ing lost in mist. Rain­clouds had formed over by the west win­dows, and a slow but steady driz­zle watered his for­est of trop­i­cal bon­sai. (from “Out­side, Look­ing In”)
  6. Toi and Chad­ow slept in the roots, twin­ing their sleep­ing bags into the fine white cap­il­lar­ies that branched off from the main sys­tems. Toi lay on his stom­ach, wak­ing to face the tiny dots of light that were uncount­ably dis­tant, unimag­in­ably vast fam­i­lies of stars. Chad­ow pref­ered to lay on her back, fac­ing the dark under­sides of leaves through which, some­times, she would catch a glimpse of fil­tered sun­light. (from The Tree)
  7. In a bowl carved from the burl of a cher­ry tree sat a sphere the col­or of cognac, a stone from Earth her­self. Grz­gy picked it up, care­ful not to let his claws scratch its sur­face, and rolled it around in his palm. Its cool heft had a calm­ing effect on him. (from Earth Fleet)
  8. Final­ly, in a nar­row shop wedged between a bistro and a book­store, she found a tiny Pekingese hand-carved from a piece of Chi­nese jade. The thing was ancient, and the price made me weak in the knees, but Zdama slapped her cred­it card down on the spot­less glass counter and the clerk care­ful­ly wrapped the tiny dog in stra­ta of white tis­sue paper. (from “Between Heav­en and Earth”)
  9. Imry glanced at the cal­en­dar tacked above the eye; Miss Sep­tem­ber, in the best tra­di­tion of men’s mag­a­zines from a pre­vi­ous mil­len­ni­um, had a look about her that was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly hum­ming­bird-shy and hard-core slut­ty. “D’y­ou sup­pose it’s Sep­tem­ber? Out there?” (from “The Long Fall”)
  10. Overnight some­one had plant­ed a gar­den. It had to have been one of the AIs, or one of the robots, and they prob­a­bly had used time shapers, some­thing Lady Schrone was cer­tain she’d marked down as pro­scribed. But it was hard to be angry, because the gar­den was beau­ti­ful: flow­ers, flow­ers of all descrip­tions, radi­at­ing away from a cen­tral point like the spokes of a great wheel, and at the wheel’s cen­ter a tree reached for the heav­ens. Leaves the size of her body unfurled them­selves at the tree’s top, near­ly twen­ty meters from the ground. They were sharp and green against the blue of the sky. (from “The Parley”)
  11. Some­day, he hoped, he’d find a tow­er tall enough to show him the part of the world with­out snow. He was con­vinced it must exist some­where. Sure­ly the whole Earth could­n’t be cov­ered in twen­ty feet of snow. Could it? (from “Fim­bul­vetr”)
  12. For nine days the sky itself had burned, and even now, five years lat­er, John did­n’t like sun­sets. But Miko did, and he was­n’t stub­born enough to argue his way around her insis­tences, so they sat on the black­ened con­crete stoop and watched the sky light up all over again. (from “After the Mis­sile Rain”)
  13. I know a great many things. My web of thought spans galax­ies.” She was a group mind, he knew, a galaxy-wide enti­ty that shared a com­mon name and a com­mon out­look. Her thought was net­worked in an instan­ta­neous com­mu­ni­ca­tion web; some­how, though the physi­cists and xeno­bi­ol­o­gists had yet to explain it, what one Yasht knew, every Yasht knew. (from “Yasht”)

Tech­no­rati: Thurs­day Thirteen

Post a com­ment and I’ll add you to the list!

3 thoughts on “13 snippets

  1. My favorite, and I’m not sure why: #8. I sus­pect I like it for it’s com­pres­sion fac­tor, the com­pact­ness of it.

  2. Hmmm… Inter­est­ing, Doug. That par­tic­u­lar sto­ry might be the nas­ti­est thing I’ve ever writ­ten. Some­day, when I’ve giv­en it an edit­ing pass, I’ll post it some­where, and you can see what I mean.

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