In the waning light of an artificial sun, Camelia Dunlevy climbed a mountain with her sister on her back. Delilah was a hollow weight, bird-boned from reconstructive surgeries, unbreakable.
The trouble wasn’t her bones, but her lungs. She panted in Camelia’s ear, unaccustomed to altitude, a small sound that might as well have been a war drum. Camelia couldn’t call for help, she couldn’t leave Delilah behind, she couldn’t walk the road for fear of company men.
And her sister was still giving bad directions.
“There’s a path up the western slope,” Delilah whispered, her breath hot and tickling. “I swear it.”
“There’s no path.”
“I came up once, with Aster.”
“Then you were on a tram.”
“Yes. I saw it out the window.”
“I don’t know what you saw, but it wasn’t a path!”
An explosion rocked the mountain, pelting them in pebbles and moon dust. Camelia dashed behind the nearest bush—a sickly, transplanted thing, hardly any cover—and counted the seconds before the familiar grind-whir-scream of a strikebreaker started up. Distant, but not distant enough. (Continue Reading…)
from the author’s website… “I’ve always loved speculative fiction. That’s the fancy name for stories that involve lasers, or swords, or in the very best laser-swords. So as a kid, I decided to try writing it. And it went really badly.
A few decades later, and I’m a house husband in rural Minnesota, a Science reference librarian who now answers urgent questions like ‘When’s lunch?’ and ‘Where’s the bathroom?’ Not really much different then helping the undergrads back at the University, but it wears thin. In an effort to save my sanity, and avoid housework, I’ve returned to writing.
I think it’s going better, this time.”
The Golden Glass
By Gary Kloster
The Golden Glass
By Gary Kloster
“The jump-pilot,” said Alejandro, “is sleeping with Leo.”
“You just noticed?” Glory said, tugging off her pants. “And now these are getting too tight. That’s it, I’m upping G in engineering. It’ll skew the efficiency but my ass won’t fit through the access panels soon if I don’t burn some of this off.”
Alejandro ignored his wife’s attempted diversion. “How long has this been going on?”
Glory shrugged. “The kids? They’ve been flirting since Evy came aboard. I’m not exactly sure when they actually started sleeping together. Probably during the flight here to Valhalla.” She dropped her clothes and stepped into the head. “Why’s it matter?”
Alejandro sat on the bunk and pulled off his slippers. “You’re okay with this?”
Glory leaned out the door, toothbrush in hand. “They’re consenting adults, and it’s impossible to stop ship romances. As long as it doesn’t effect their work, it’s not our business.”
“I don’t like it,” muttered Alejandro, staring at the stars that filled the wall screen. “Leo’s a dreamer. He should be with someone grounded. Evy’s nice, but she’s not right for him. Damn good jumper, but an air-head.”
“Cheez nah…” Glory spat and tried again. “She’s not an airhead, she’s just young andâ€¦ cheerful.”
“She drinks too much.”
“She has wine with dinner. Her parents owned a vineyard on Laramie.” Glory walked back into the cabin and sat next to her husband. “Alejandro, she’s a nice girl and she’s here on the ship. You have to know that Leo’s been thinking of leaving.”
Alejandro frowned. “Why? He has a good life here with us, learning the trade, and when we finally retire the Evanston will be his.”
“Yes, but that won’t be for a long time. He needs to build his own life. Hell, why do you think I pressed you so hard to hire that newly graduated jump-pilot anyway?”
“You said she had great ratings and a low pay-scale.”
“Yes, but the real reason is that our son was lusting after her the minute he saw her. Thank the gods that it’s working out and we’re not dealing with a harassment suit. Now brush your teeth. Launch tomorrow, and we’re going to be busy.” (Continue Reading…)