Welcome to my post for the #8Sunday Hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors.
Authors participating in the #8Sunday Hop post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Authors and readers can offer opinions, critiques, and support.
This is my first time participating in #8Sunday, and picking an excerpt to share was super stressful! I usually don't share excerpts from WIPs (works in progress) and unpublished works, but I wanted to share a bit from this recently completely short sci-fi fantasy (SFF) story, "Before the Evolution Comes the Smoke". It's one of my favorites to date, and it's currently out on submittion, looking for a home.
BEFORE THE EVOLUTION COMES THE SMOKE
Magda clutched the red satchel to her chest, trying not to breathe in too deeply the stench of hard pressed bodies and vomit. If only she’d had the money to book a private transport to Orbital Station Six instead of using the public courtesy shuttle.
She breathed as shallowly as she could through her mouth as she looked around at the dozen or so other pinched and nervous faces, all apparently as overawed as she to be on their way to meet the witch face to face. From somewhere toward the back of the transport, the sound of retching continued.
When she’d booked the ticket from Iada and indicated she needed to rendezvous with the Orbital Station Six shuttle, the chat bot had typed back, “Pardon?” She’d never seen a technical script express surprise before. It had transferred her to a video chat with a human agent, who had raised an eyebrow, speculation reflected in his dark eyes as the last of the credits in her account counted down, one by one, as they transferred to the travel agency.
When they’d checked her in at the transfer station and when she’d boarded the transport, the attendants all looked at her the same way. Surprise. Speculation. Doubt. They’d all looked at her with the same question: Why her? Why her wish? Of all the millions of petitions directed at Piscinarius, why had the great wizard of the deep chosen to grant her an audience?
I love this story because it fulfills a long-standing wish I've had to write a story that combines witches, magic, and space/science fiction.The title of the story is taken from an InspiroBot-generated motivational saying; the story features two AIs (artificial intelligence), and I spent a lot of time generating sayings on InspiroBot to get the rhythm and feel for how AIs talk (because I cannot achieve that level of crazy-awesome by myself without some training). I hope the story finds a home soon so all of you can read it!
If you'd like to visit all of the other #8Sunday participating sites, vist Weekend Writing Warriors to see the list and links to all the sites.
If you're interested in learning more about my work, check out my Afterlife series or some of my published short stories:
If you haven't read the first book, Hereafter, good news! The e-book version is free for Kindle Unlimited readers and only $0.99 on Amazon through October 29th for non-KU members. So grab a copy today (please note: the link below is an Amazon Affiliate link)!
TERRI BRUCE writes strange, hard to classify science fiction and fantasy stories from New England where she lives with her husband and assorted cats. If you like the works of Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, and China Mieville, then be sure to check out her work. The first three books of her contemporary fantasy AFTERLIFE series are available in e-book, paperback, and audio book wherever books are sold.