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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Friday Flash: Rule Breaker

Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in the space between worlds. Oh, he visited planets—a lot of them—but he didn’t live on any particular one. Nor was he born on any of them. When he thought about it, which wasn’t often, he would say that he had gone from non-existence to existence the way the universe did.

And how did he pass his time?

He had fun.

He explored planets, rode comets, swam through nebulas. He visited ancient times and distant futures. Who knows how long he lived this way. Without a planet to give him reference, how could he measure time? Without a sun to give him a night and a day, how could he know when a day, a month or a year had passed? He slept when he wanted to, ate when he felt like it, went wherever his fancy took him.

How sad, you might be tempted to say. All alone in the universe, no family, no planetary roots. Nothing. Just him satisfying whatever every whim. But don’t worry, there’s no sadness here. No loneliness, no boredom, and no longing to belong.

Those are human sensations and while he might look like a human, he wasn’t.

“So, does this story have a point?”

Linda had no patience for this load of space junk. People didn’t spontaneous generate. They couldn’t ride comets and there was no such thing as non-humanoid aliens. That was pure fiction.

It had to be some sort of trick. Plus he was as irritating as being strapped into an escape pod with a fly buzzing around your head.

On the other hand, he didn’t show up on she spaceship’s sensors and did a whole lot of impossible things. She’d seen them. Maybe he did have a point. Maybe he was telling her the truth.

“Nope. No point at all,” he continued. “You asked me who I am and I thought I’d tell you something interesting.”

“But is it true?”

He grinned and Linda’s stomach fluttered like she had just swallowed that figurative fly buzzing around her head. She swatted at it with her mind and her stomach calmed down.

“What’s truth?” he asked turning up the power on the smile. Linda defiantly stared him in the eyes feeling slightly like a rabbit trying to stare down a fox.

“Generally it’s taken as a generally accepted consensus of facts,” she said turning to sarcastic offense in an attempt to stay focused on the moment. “You know, empirical data and all that? Or don’t you believe in facts?”

“Facts are fluid, like everything. It’s a matter of choice.” He sauntered over to her desk and started flipping through a picture frame with a collection of images from the last time she was planetside. “I’ve never been here. It looks cool. Feel like showing it to me?”

“What if I choose to report you?” She snatched the frame out of his hand and put it back on the desk. “Technically you’re invading the ship and my parents need to know about intruders.”

He flopped down on the bed and spoke to the ceiling.

“I’ll choose not to be seen.”

She resisted the urge to drag him to his feet and make him take the conversation seriously.

“It’s that simple?” she asked.

He sat up and nodded. “I can teach you if you want.” His barely contained eagerness reminded Linda of her little brother when he was finally about to get something he’d been wanting for light years.

“But I’m human,” she said.

“And I’m not?”

“You just said you weren’t.”

“Ah, but that’s because the story would be more interesting if I weren’t. Or perhaps it would be better if I were human. What do you think? Should I be human or no?”

“This isn’t a story. It’s real life.” A serious conversation with this guy was impossible.

“And what’s real life other than an extended story? Don’t let it be written for you. Take control of the plot and decide for yourself what the rules are.”

“Even the rules of physics?”

“Especially the rules of physics.”

Maybe he was right. Just by being here he broke any number of rules. She blinked her com lenses in place and flipped to the room’s monitoring equipment. As expected, she was the only one who showed up. Scrolling back through the the surveillance footage, it showed her walking around the room just as she had, but there was no sign of her having spoken or interacted with anyone in any way.

“Show me,” she said. “Something small.”

Space Boy jumped up and went to hug her but she stepped out of the way. She’d touched him once before and that had gotten her into big trouble.

“Without touching me,” she added.

“Fine,” he said with a pout. “Hmm… Something small. Oh! I know! Look into the mirror.”

Linda did as she was told, careful to stay out of reach. In the reflection she saw him hovering behind her dancing about like he had to pee.

“What do I have to do?”

“Change your eye color,” he said.

“Just like that? Decide I want to change the color of my eyes and blam! they’re a different color?”

He nodded, too excited to speak.

Whatever. She’d try it and then when it didn’t work he’d have to tell her the truth.

She stared at her own face in the mirror, directly into her eyes, shifting back and forth from one to the other. She wouldn’t say what color out loud in case this was some sort of trick he was playing on her. Nor would she go for any normal eye color.

Pink, she thought. I want pink eyes.

Of course, nothing happened.

Then her body forced a blink and when she opened her eyes again, her irises were no longer their normal brown.

They were pink. Bright neon pink.

Exactly as she’d chosen.

He was right. She could break the rules of physics.  Cool.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2010 in Friday flash, Online Fiction

 

YA Fantasy Roundup

This week was jackpot week. Not just one but three books going into my BUY NOW! List.

You’d think this news would make me happy (and it does) but at the same time it saddened me a little. You see, all three books that wowed me are by well established authors, two of which have been publishing for over twenty years.

Fortunately there are first-time authors like Wendy Desol (from a few weeks ago) who redeem us debut and not-yet-published authors from all being branded with the word no authors wants to hear: “Next!”

  • Pastworld by Ian Beck: Another prologue book. (Really I’m not against prologues at all. When they’re used well, they’re awesome, but it’s hard to use them well). This one is no exception. Total information-dump, I’m bored before I even get to the first chapter. Next!
  • The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith: I read the first chapter and was really getting into the character and her situation (I could even get past the present tense narration which normally doesn’t work for me) and then it jumped so far to a second point of view that it convinced me that it wasn’t a novel but a short story collection. I actually had to read the Amazon reviews to discover that it wasn’t. If I’m that confused at the beginning, I’m not going to commit $10 to get unconfused. Next!
  • Night Star by Alyson Noël: It’s great that we’re dropped right away into action, but the fight that’s going on is too unclear. Is it a game? Is it a life-or-death fight? A sports competition? I think it’s a real battle, maybe between two vampires. I’m all for in media res, but sometimes that can go too far. I have too many questions that are pulling me out of the story and when I’m pulled out of the story, it gets a… Next!
  • House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan: Someone lost somewhere with hounds after her. With the road melting in front of her. Is it a dream? Doesn’t seem to be. Then we jump back to what put her in that situation. My belief is that if the opening scene isn’t really where you’re starting the story, then don’t put it first. Of course, everyone (including myself) is welcome to break that “rule” but do it knowing that you might lose readers. As this book lost me. Next!
  • Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson: Ooh, a prelude rather than a prologue… Let’s see what it’s got in store for us. Uh-oh. Not so good. The prelude opens with a description of the weather and the first paragraph ends with a bit of tourism trivia (the Mansion of Honor, built by the owners of the Carlsberg Brewery as a home for Denmark’s most distinguised citizen, the world-renowned physicist Niels Bohr). Does that grab your attention? Mine neither. Next!
  • The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint: No brainer here. I’ve been a fan of his since his first novel back in the early 80s. If de Lint’s written it, it’s going to be good. Period. And look! A prologue! One that works! If it weren’t for my “one book at a time” rule, I’d click the Buy Now button, but I’ll be a good boy and finish the Spanish novel I’m reading right now.
  • The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith: Another setting-the-scene prologue that doesn’t need to exist. Someone please tell me why don’t writers trust their storytelling abilities enough to give us a story without having the main character (or some fictive dry textbook) explain things to us first. Thank you. I’ll love you forever. Apart from that, it seems like an okay story but I don’t connect at all with the main character’s voice. Next!
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi: I’ve never read Bacigalupi but I have the impression that he’s well loved in the Steampunk world. And if this book is any example of his usual skill I can see why. Tossed into the middle of the story, with lots of background information being given and not much of anything actually happening and yet the book has me mezmerized. I’ve only read one chapter and the Distopian world and the characters have me so fascinated that I’m thinking about them when I’m supposed to be working. I want to find out more about them and the world they live in.
  • Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card & Sammy Yuen Jr: I discovered Card about the same time I found de Lint and while not all of his books grab me the way de Lint’s books do, I always react to a new title from Card with a thrill of excitement. And the thrill kept building throughout the sample. While the book feels like classic Card, there’s a touch of someone different to the mix–Yuen–and that just adds to the desire to buy it and start reading right away. Note to self: info-dumping, when done like this book does, rocks. In the second chapter we’re introduced to the second point of view character but not with anything he does. Instead we’re told about the world the two characters live in and told this second character’s place in it. And yet, there’s no “telling” (of the kind writing experts always warn us against) going on at all. It’s a definite Buy, but with three books to choose from, I’m now left with a dilemma… Which first?

What about you? Read any of these? Sampled them? Tell me about it! Do you agree or should I give another one a second try?

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2010 in Book Reviews

 

Friday Flash: Cooties

“Linda’s got cooties! Linda’s got cooties!”

“And just how did I get these so-called cooties?” Linda surpressed a smile. Her little brother was often a brat but when he was trying to be a pain, he usually just came out cute, like right now. His face was all scrunched up and he was dancing around her like a wobbly planet orbiting around a star.

“You’re a girl and all girls have cooties.”

She shrugged her shoulders.

“You got me there. But do you know why girls have cooties?”

“Cause you’re stinky?”

“No. To infect little boys with deadly kissing viruses!” She dove forward but purposefully landed short. Karl squealed and took off running. Linda lumbered him, letting spittle dribble down her chin. “Come here and give your sister a kiss!”

Karl squealed again and whipped around the corner of the passageway. Linda chased after him and came up short, almost slamming into Helen, the ship’s medic. Karl was on the floor holding his nose. Blood seeped between his fingers. Tough kid that he was he looked more angry than scared or hurt.

“You have hard knees!” he accused.

“That would be because they are made of bone,” she said, her voice its usual dry, bored tone. “Come and I’ll stop the bleeding. And you Linda,” she added changing focus, “it’s time for your physical.”

Since they lived with artificial gravity, everyone needed to get regular checkups to make sure their bones weren’t disintegrating or something equally gross. Linda had been having them as long as she could remember and had never had a problem, so she wasn’t at all worried. She considered telling Helen about her Space Boy hallucinations, the boy would could supposedly travel without a ship and faster than the speed of light, but she didn’t want to have to face the barrage of questions and probes such a revelation would create. Better to just stay quiet and hope he’d either go away or prove himself real for once and for all.

The medic quickly fixed up Karl’s nose and sent him on his way and then she and Linda got on with Linda’s checkup, which went well until the medic got to the particle-scan part and the computer beeped.

“That’s never happened before. What’s up?” Linda asked then noticed the blank stare that meant the medic was staring at the readout in her com lenses. The medic re-ran the scan and the computer beeped again. She did it a third time, getting the same warning.

“Julie? Frank?” Helen said as she tapped her ear to open up a comlink. “Could you two come down to the infirmary?”

Uh-oh. Her parents. That only meant something bad. Possibly very bad.

“Don’t worry, dear,” Helen said. “Everything will be all right.”

Not just very bad. Catastrophic. The medic never used the word dear, ever. She barely tolerated Linda and Karl and had absolutely no maternal instinct. That she was trying to be nice was freaking Linda out. A lot.

“Look, just tell me. I’m not Karl. I can handle bad news without my parents here to hold my hand.”

The medic shook her head but her eyes were focused again on her com lenses and Linda knew she wouldn’t get anything more out of her until her parents arrived.

Which they did at a run.

“You’ve seen the scan?” Helen asked.

“How could this have happened?” Linda’s mother asked.

“How could what have happened? Is someone going to tell me what’s going on? What do I have?”

“Let’s get logical here,” her father said to the other two women, ignoring Linda which made her want to jump up and down or maybe throw something. Or both. “This can’t be possible so there must be a computer mistake.”

“What can’t be possible? HELLO!!!” All three adults jumped and having their attention, Linda continued. “I think I have the right to know what’s wrong with me!”

“Nothing’s wrong with you Comet. The computer has just made a error.”

“I’ve run the test three times. There’s no mistake. She’s infected with migya.”

Migya? What in the black emptiness of space was migya? She opened her mouth to ask when her father started explaining.

“Comet, migya is a type of living mineral that’s only found in the Urdax system but it’s a forbidden planet so there’s no way you could have gotten infected by it.”

Space Boy! This morning he had barged into her room and grabbed her hand saying that he had wanted to take her to some planet with “awesome singing stones” he had just seen but she’d said no, as usual. The idiot had infected her with this migya stuff.

“And it’s dangerous?” she asked not sure how to read her parents’ reaction. They were serious, but given that the medic hadn’t thrown her into quarrantine right away, the stuff likely wasn’t deadly. She hoped.

“Long term exposure causes the slow crystalization of your brain,” Helen said, “but a one-time dose won’t hurt you. Without further exposure, the migya dies off on its own so you’ll be fine.”

“But we need to figure out how it got in here,” her mother continued. “No one has been near Urdax in centuries.”

Well, she had her proof now. Space Boy was real, or at least real enough to carry these migya things with him. And real enough to hurt the next time she saw him. How could he be so stupid as to infect her with some sort of rock bug?

And if he was real, that meant she had to tell her parents about him. And it wasn’t going to be pretty. They were so going to throw her in a black hole for not telling them right away. She could have kept silent, but she knew her duty to the ship.

“Um, I think I know how I got these migya things.” She swallowed hard and dived into the explanation.

She was totally going to make Space Boy pay for this.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2010 in Friday flash, Online Fiction

 

YA Fantasy Book Review: Stork by Wendy Delsol

Amazon didn’t have any new YA fantasy offerings for me this week so instead you get a book review. Actually, it’s more than a book review – it’s more of a “read this book now!” thing.

Last week I told you about my excited reaction to the sample of Wendy Delsol’s debut novel Stork, and then told you I wouldn’t read it until after I’d read a Spanish book from the library.

Well, I lied. On the bus home that day, not having anything else to read I started in on Stork and couldn’t stop. I normally try to limit my reading to bus rides so that I’m not spending ALL my time in English (too much time in English does a lot of harm to my already iffy Spanish). However, I couldn’t resist. The story pulled me in and didn’t let me go.

The main character goes from sarcastic whiner to caring young adult without it being too much of a stretch. By nature she’s obviously  happy and giving – she’s just pissed off at her change in circumstances – so it only takes the friendliness of a few people around her to to bring her out of her sulk.

Of course, gaining a (semi?) boyfriend doesn’t hurt. 😉

This growth mirrors the progression of her powers. She’s forced to act as a responsible adult when choosing a vessel for the next baby that’s to come to the community and that maturity can’t help but flow out into other areas of her life.

The supporting characters are all believable and each has enough of a unique voice that they don’t all merge into one. Plus although I had guessed the true villain early enough on, Delsol threw in enough distractions to make me doubt my guesses.

I have just one complaint – it wasn’t long enough. As the final confrontation came upon me I looked down at the progress bar in my Kindle and realized I was almost done. No! It wasn’t just because I was enjoying the book and the characters though. I feel the final conflict could have had an even stronger impact if I had been given a few more mini conflicts before the biggie. There was nothing wrong with the way Delsol chose to deliver the climax, but if I had my druthers (what a great word, no?), I would ask for a slightly longer second half of the second act.

The book ends, however, with the hint of a sequel, or even a whole series. And if we’re lucky Delsol is already working on the next Katla and Jack novel.

Check out the Kindle version of Stork on my Amazon site.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Book Reviews

 

Space Boy Translation: El Chico Espacial

La lluvia de estrellas pasó por encima de la nave y el salon se llenó con sombras marcadas que barrían el suelo. Karl gritó mientras intentaba capturar sin éxito las formas oscuras que se deslizaban por el cuarto y le recordó a Linda a un perro cazando olas en el mar, incapaz de cogerlas pero incapaz de parar de intentarlo.

Bueno, hace mucho tiempo que Linda no veía un perro o el mar. De hecho, creía que llevaba trece planetas sin ver uno u otro.

Linda volvió a ver los meteoros y deseó compartir el momento con Janelle. Había conocido a esa chica del puerto-espacial en el ultima planeta y entre las reparaciones de la nave de su familia y retrasos en algunas transferencias de carga, Linda pasó cuatro meses enteros conociendo a Janelle. Pero ahora, seis meses más tarde desde el punto de vista de Linda no-sé-cuantos años habrían pasado para Janelle. Claro, como Linda vivía en el espacio en un nave de mercancías, debiá recordar todo sobre la relatividad y cuantos años pasan para la gente en tierra firme pero le daba igual. Solo le importaba que cualquier persona a que conociese en un planeta tendría como mil años y pico antes de que pudiese volver a verla. ¿Qué más da?

Una alerta retumbó en su oído y con un parpadeo puso sus lentillas de comunicación en su sitio. Abrió el mensaje, esperando que sus padres o alguien de la tripulación le hubiese mandado un tarea o algo así. No había nadie más que pudiera comunicarse con ella aquí en la mitad de nada.

¿Te gusta la lluvia de estrellas?

Se levantó y prestó atención al remitente: Chico Espacial. ¿Quién? No reconoció el nombre como apodo que usaba alguien en la tripulación. Intentó mirar los detalles del mensaje pero no había nada. Lo que, claro, era imposible. Alguien le estaba tomando el pelo, aunque no era muy creible. Bueno, seguiría con la broma para saber quién era y qué quería.

Bueno, no tan chulo como otras. Los meteoros del sistema de Kilen son mil veces más guay.

Linda nunca había estado en el sistema planetarío de Kilen y no sabía si había una zona de meteoros alli pero si alguien quisiera burlarse de ella, le contestaría igual de mal.

Mentirosa. Kilen es una mierda. Si quieres ver meteoros super chulos tienes que ir al sistema de Popne.

Mentiroso él. El sistema de Popne estaba en otro lado de la galaxía. ¡Era casí desconocido!

¿Y tú cómo lo sabes? contestó ella.

¡No te tiro en un agujero negro! Puedo llevarte ahí si quieres. Te veo en la planta tres delante del los ascensores de la cubierta de proa.

Vaciló. Debía cuidar a Karl, pero tenía que saber quien estaba burlándose de ella. Echó un vistazo a su hermano quien todavía cazaba sombras. Ir a los ascensores y volver le costaría como diez minutos máximo. Nadie se daría cuenta de que se había ido antes de que volviera. Solo tenía que ir, pillar a este tio y decirle donde podía meterse el sistema de Popne.

¿Karl? Tengo que ir al baño. ¿Estarás bien solo un ratito?

Karl dejo la caza para fulminarla con la mirada. —No soy un bebé. Tengo cinco años ya.

Te veo en cinco minutos. Llegaría en tres pero Linda quería llegar primero.

No salgas del salón— dijo a su hermano —pase lo que pase. Vuelvo ahora mismo. — Se levantó y dirigió tranquila a la puerta. Cruzando en el pasillo empezó a correr. ¿Quién sería?

Iba hacia los ascensores a hurtadillas, despacito cuando casí estaba allí. ¡Descomprimirle! Ya había llegado, dándola su espalda. Y no le reconoció pero había podido ser la ropa que llevaba el chico que paraeciá un tipo de traje espacial ligero super hortera. Le dolían los ojos al verlo. Quien hubiese hecho esto debía currar mucho. Sabía que la tripulación se aburre bastante en los viajes entre planetas pero Linda no podía creer que alguien se hubiese aburrido tanto. Se acercó.

—¿Popne? ¿Desde aquí? Ni hablar.

Habría seguido pero el tío dio la vuelta y Linda no le reconoció para nada. No le conoció y conocía a todos en la nave, ¡toda su vida! Y como la nave estaba entre planetas no debería poder entrar nadie. Parpadeó para ponerse las lentillas en su sitio y dar la alarma, pero vaciló. Quizas no pasaría nada si le hablara un ratito. Quizas descubriría como podía entrar en la nave antes de denunciarle. Y la vacilación no tenía nada que ver que con lo mono que fuera el tío. Para nada.

—Si, Popne. Es super chulo. — le dijo el chico como si su presencia no fuera algo completa y totalmente imposible. —¿Lista?

—No. ¿Y sabes por qué? Porque no se puede ir a Popne en un instante. Además, no te conozco para nada. ¿Por qué crees que viajaría contigo?

—¿No nos conocemos?

—Claro que no.

—Ups.— Miró un artilugio extraño en la muñeca. —Pues, nada. Nos… si… nos veremos muy pronto.

—Si, hombre.— Este tio era muy raro y se estaba poniendo más raro cada momento.

—¿Me haces un favor?— la preguntó.

—¿Qué?

—No me cuentes esta conversación cuando nos conozcamos por primera vez, ¿vale? Odio confundirme así.

—¿Que no haga qué?— Pero no estaba. Linda no tenía claro como pudo escapar tan rápido. En un momento estaba delante y al siguente desapereció.

Volvío hacía el salón y con su hermano pequeño. Las luces de los meteoros debieron hipnotizarla o algo parecido porque no había manera deque todo eso acabara de pasar.

¿O sí?

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2010 in Ficción española, Online Fiction

 

Friday Flash: Spacewalk

“But Mom! You know how much I hate spacewalking!”

“Linda, you’re fifteen years old. It’s time you grew up. Your brother’s only four and he loves being out in open space.”

“That’s because his head’s a vacuum and he feels at home out there. My brain on the other hand is full of many things and it’ll explode if I go out there.”

“The only thing you’re full of is yourself. Now put on your pressure suit and get going.”

Decomp it! She’d do anything to get out of it, but when her mother started insulting her nothing would move her. It took a lot of effort not to roll her eyes, but Linda managed it. Barely.

“Yes, mother. I’ll go now.”

#

As the outer hatch began to open the air around her whooshed out into space and although her magnetized boots held her in place she still gripped hard on supports on either side of her and she swallowed the desire the scream.

Then a helmeted head poked around the outside hatch and a hand quickly followed it waving at her and she clamped down harder on the scream.

Perfect, her hallucination, Spaceboy, had come to play again. Each time he appeared he left no trace on the ship’s sensors and no one else could hear him speaking to her across the com link. It made no sense and she would have said something to her parents or her family’s doctor, but since Spaceboy didn’t bother any one she hadn’t done anything about it because even an imaginary friend was better than no friends at all.

“Whatcha doing?!” his voice rang inside her helmet and she winced.

“You don’t need to shout, you know. I can hear you perfectly fine.”

“Oops, sorry. It’s the first time I’ve used one of these things. I normally don’t bother, but I know how much you hate spacewalking so I didn’t want to freak you out too badly.”

“How can you spacewalk without a helmet? That’s impossible! And how do you know what I like or don’t like?”

“Because you told me. Or maybe will tell me. Whichever. As for not needing a helment, it’s just mind over matter.”

“If either of us takes the helmet off, it’ll be a case of brain all over airlock, so don’t try it.”

“Suit yourself. What are we doing today? A grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup on Nitiura? I know a great creap restaurant.”

She didn’t bother asking what either of those things were but given the restaurant part they had to be food of some sort. Nor did she ask where Nitiura was. It was just her mind spacing her as usual. She blamed it on her hormones. Like the zit that had shown up on her forehead this morning.

“I’m going to crawl across the outside of the ship until I get to the decomped antenna, find out that nothing is wrong with it and then force my freaking-out muscles way back here. That’s me. You’re welcome to do whatever you want.”

“That’s boring.”

He vanished from view, giving Linda a moment to gather her wits together enough to start the spacewalk.

His head thrust itself into the airlock again and she shrieked.

“Don’t do that!”

“Everything all right out there, Comet?”

Spacejunk! “I’m okay, Dad. Just letting off some steam before making the leap.”

“Don’t think about it, Comet. Just focus on the skin of the ship and you’ll have no problem.”

Linda couldn’t focus on anything what with the way Spaceboy was sliding around the rim of the airlock, a stupid grin on his face.

“I’m fine, Dad, really.”

But she wasn’t. The ship was moving through space at near light speed. If she let go of the ship and made the mistake of sliding outside the gravity field, she’d get left behind in a flash and end up dying alone in the darkness.

“The antenna’s good,” Spaceboy said. “Let’s go. I’m hungry.”

“I can’t take your word for it. I have to go check for myself.”

“Then what are you wasting time for?”

Why did her imagination come up with such an irritating boy? Easy on the eyes sure, but as annoying as a solar flare during planet docking.

He reached out to pull at her arm and she flinched away, but she didn’t break his grip. He’d never touched her before and she assumed that being a hallucination he wouldn’t be able to. And yes, here he was touching her. Holding her. Pulling on her arm just like a real person.

She let him pull her out of the airlock and along the outside of the ship, half walking, half floating. How was this happening? Was he not a hallucination?

He pulled her up to the antenna and pointed at it.

“Look, it’s fine. Now can we go?”

Where his hand held her arm she felt a tingle that wasn’t at all bad. In fact it felt quite good.

“Go where?”

“Wheeee!” He threw himself off the ship and she grabbed for a handhold and bit down on the remains of breakfast that wanted to come up again.

“Don’t do that,” she said through gritted teeth.

“Oh, sorry, right. Hatred of spacewalking.” He swam back to the ship and took her arm again. “But you know, if we’re going for that soup and sandwich you’re going to have to let go.”

“I will?”

“Yup, and you’ll be all right. C’mon!”

She shook her head and was rewarded with dizziness.

“No. I can’t. Really.”

“Suit yourself. But you know you will, one day.” He let go again and swam out towards the limit of the gravity field, turning once to wave at her before crossing the border and vanishing from her sight.

She watched the empty spot for a moment, then started her slow way back inside, feeling just as nervous as before but for a completely different reason.

He was right. One of these times she would say yes.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in Friday flash, Online Fiction

 

The YA Fantasy Roundup

Only a few releases again this week, but great news. I found a book that doesn’t just make me say maybe – I found one that I have to buy, right now, without checking the price first. It makes up for all the times I’ve had to say “Next!”.

Just to remind you… This is how it works:

  1. From Amazon I download samples of YA fantasy new releases
  2. I then read them all (to a greater or lesser degree)
  3. Finally, I decide which (if any) I would actually want to buy.

Let’s take a look at what the week had to offer:

  • The Cassi Code: A Galahad Book by Dom Testa: Another prologue book, this time giving me a summary of the setting and the tensions between people when the book opens. For me, this kind of information should be slid into the novel itself, not as a prologue. Next!
  • The Girl’s Guide to Vampires & The Girl’s Guide to Werewolves by Barb Karg: A tongue-in-cheek pair of books telling girls about origins, history and myths. Not what I’m looking for. I want a plot-driven story not a funny history lesson. Next!
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: Even if I hadn’t just read Patricia C. Wrede’s blog post on Dialect and writing unique voices the first person narration in this book would have gotten on my nerves. The author uses phonetic spellings (preparayshuns for preparations) and odd syntax (“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”) Plus the whole thing is in present tense which I don’t really enjoy reading. So, of course… Next!
  • Stork by Wendy Delsol: This book has everything going against it for me. It’s about a pretty girl transplanted from California to Minnesota and she’s a sarcastic attitude-filled whiner. However, the idea is so original and the voice so strong that I couldn’t resist. I whipped through the sample and immediately hit “Buy Now” plus I looked to see if the author had written anything else (nope) and looked her up on the web and Twitter. (No, I’m not a stalker, really!)

But first, I’ve promised my partner I’ll read more in Spanish, so I have to find something readable in Spanish. I’ll likely go to the library for that since there is so little available in Spanish on the Kindle.

What are you reading right now?

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Book Reviews