Preview of my novelette "Mirrorblink"

MirrorblinkMy 12,000 word novelette "Mirrorblink" will appear shortly in Interzone and editor Andy Cox was kind enough to send me a preview of the story's art spread. (Click on the image at right for a bigger view. Please note that while the art is finished the page layout is a work in progress).

What do I think about the art? Only that it slapped my eyes silly and reprogrammed the shambling mass I call a mind into feeling nothing but shock and awe!

Which is another way of saying, "Wow!"

The art is by Warwick Fraser-Coombe, who did an equally great job illustrating my story "Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo Peep."

"Mirrorblink" is set on a far future Earth. Humanity lives in small villages where advanced communications technology is forbidden. The most dangerous thing one can do in this world is travels, meaning visiting villages beyond your own. Not only are people suspicious of strangers, there are other dangers lurking outside the village walls, including alien beings called Observers and massive burns of plasma which occasionally rain from the skies, destroying all life in the blast area.

Here's a little excerpt from the story.

Ein of Wastal of the Town of Near Side approached the crossroads holding her pass before her like a child gifting a beloved toy to a friend.  Above, the Day shined hot and clear, with only the smoke on the horizon marring the sky’s even blindness.  Ein had hoped the smoking remnants of that distant burn would dissipate before she reached this new town, but naturally no such luck.

Ein’s body shook from starvation--her food pouch almost empty, her muscles weak and stringy from weeks of half rations--but as she stood before the crossroads she ignored her hunger.  Father Jajher had often warned Ein against approaching strange towns while distracted.  So Ein forgot everything except for the old man in the guard house and the rifle he aimed at her heart.  

Not that the guard actually aimed at Ein.  He aimed at the kaleidoscope of faces and names projected into the air by her pass--an ancient data mirror containing the downloaded memories from hundreds of people.  In theory the data proved Ein was who she claimed to be.  But tradition demanded a pass be held before one’s chest.  If the guard rejected the pass, the rejection would be a hypersonic needle through both mirror and heart.

The complete story will be in issue 243 of Interzone, available in early November. If you can't find Interzone in your area, be sure to subscribe. Interzone is absolutely the most beautiful and exciting SF magazine in the world.