I suddenly realised that I forgot to reveal the mystery author for week two of Six Sentence Sunday. How remiss of me.
Week two’s excerpt came from ‘Kil’n People’ by David Brin. ‘Kil’n People’ is one of my favourites because it is a superlative example of classic science fiction ‘what if’.
What if we could clone ourselves? What would our world, our society, look like then? Please don’t be tempted to answer this question by watching the movie ‘Surrogates’ – not a totally sucky movie, but not a patch on ‘Kil’n People’ for innovation, thoroughness and intelligence (but then, the movies almost never are).
Last week’s excerpt was from Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Breakfast of Champions’. It’s quirky, weird, unconventional, and contains certain ideas and images that I have never forgotten (I can’t draw an asterisk now without thinking of ‘Breakfast of Champions’ and smirking/grimacing…).
And that’s the formalities over with. Week Four’s Six Sentences come from ‘Baptism’, which is currently ranked #1 on PatronQuo.com (while you’re there, check out one of my rare literary short stories, ‘Kill All Your Darlings’, ranked at #4).
Tomas barely heard her. He crossed himself as the mermaids encircled the boat, his eyes never leaving them. He had been told that there were no mermen, and that in the absence of available human partners, mermaids coupled with other sea creatures. Indeed, he could see evidence of this in their features; one had a fat round face that bristled with spikes, suggesting that she had been sired by a puffer fish. Another, with her tiny little black eyes set wide on either side of an elongated face, was undoubtedly the offspring of a shark. The impression intensified as she opened her mouth and gave a gurgling approximation of a human laugh, displaying three rows of razor sharp teeth.
Last weekend at the first SuperNOVA crit group meeting I have been able to attend for months, I was asked what I had been reading lately. Sad to say, my answer was “Slush. Slush and kids’ books.” Not even YA, which is oh-so-fashionable for adults to read these days. I was going to post an excerpt from the last novel I could remember reading purely for pleasure, but it’s AWOL from my book shelf. I think my brother has it. (Jacob, if you’re reading this, gimme my book back). So here’s something from another of that author’s novels. I’m a huge fan, and not just because he is widely considered (amongst my circle of acquaintances, anyway) to be the female speculative fiction writer’s first choice for a Celebrity Free Pass. Quite by accident, I’ve stuck with an aquatic theme:
There is a pit in the slope now, that stains the sea with darkness. It is quiet and motionless for a time, and the cray fingers his spear with anxiety, clutching at it and hefting it and feeling himself tremble.
And then, softly, something colourless and cold slips from the hole.
It confuses the eye, flitting with a grotesque organic swiftness that seems to belie intention, like gore falling from a wound. The he-cray is quite still. His fear is intense.
Intense fear. Is there any better kind?