Cover art for the book “Pyre and Ice”
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Pyre and Ice is a science fiction novelette written by Josh Griffing. I first became aware of it when Josh mentioned the book on Facebook.
Turns out Josh and I have both written superversive tales, and we each have a short story published in the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology Sol (this is all stuff I didn’t include in my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads).
I had no idea what to expect of “Pyre” except that it was set on Saturn’s moon Titan and at least two of the characters spoke in difficult-to-decipher Scottish accents. As a comparison, the character Alex in the Expanse series is supposed to speak with a heavy Texas drawl, but the text in the book doesn’t lean heavily on that for the purpose of readability.
The main protagonists are McGregor and Stobbins, two technicians on a terraforming mission to Titan. The operation seems to be run by the military but allows for civilian contractors including in the supply chain (and thereby hangs a tale).
Cover art for “The Founder Effect”
After the whole Baen Books or rather Baen’s Bar kerfuffle and being “shamed” into silence by various groups and individuals (including garnering the disapproval of Paul Weimer who I actually kind of like), the one thing I decided to do when I gave up everything else, was to read more Baen Books.
I probably have over the years, but unlike modern “fandom,” I’ve never paid much attention to who published what book as long as I enjoyed the reading (or even if I didn’t).
I can say that I do remember consuming Cobra (1984) by Hugo Award winning author Timothy Zahn. I don’t know how many others I’ve read over the years, but my current review is an effort to pay more attention to that sort of thing. After all, for whatever “crimes” individuals on Baen’s Bar may be guilty of, to the best of my understanding, the worst we can hang on Baen Books in general and editor Toni Weisskopf in specific is that she neglected to police her forum. I’ve seen discussion groups violently crash and burn over the years for this exact reason.
Photo credit: Sarolta Bán
Sonia watched the last of the trees lift up and fly away. It had been her fantasy ever since she was five and first heard that Mars hadn’t always been able to support life.
She had joined the junior Arbor Society when she was eight, became a regional counselor at twenty, and now at thirty-five, she was the assistant manager for the entire Martian Forestation project.
In her right hand was her husband Andrew’s left, while on her other side, five-year-old Billy, and his nine-year-old sister Charlotte were huddled against her.
Found at Cracked.com
“I think it’s so sweet…how you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me…”
“Go on, Halley. Go over and talk to him.”
“Shut up, Judy. He’ll hear.”
Oh, what are you afraid of?”
“I told you, Diane. I’ll talk to him when I feel like it.”
They didn’t know Isaac could actually can hear them. They thought he was just talking to John and Robert during lunch period and that he couldn’t tell what was happening just a few feet away.
He thought to himself, “God, I hate high school. I wish this wasn’t necessary.”
“Fine, Halley. If you’re too chicken, I’ll go over and tell him you want him to ask you out.”
“No! Wait, Diane.” As her girlfriend started to walk forward (a bluff probably), Halley grabbed her arm and pulled her back.
“Anyway, see you later, guys.”
“Stay cool, Isaac.” Robert made a salute with his fist.
“Later, brother.” John just nodded. They both saw Halley finally start walking toward him and knew he’d need his space.
It’s all changing. My home, or what’s left of it, is barely recognizable. Hard to believe I grew up here. This used to be the field where I flew kites, played tag with my friends, where we ran around pretending to be superheroes.
We sure could have used a few of those, but now it’s too late.
The K’trn didn’t make contact with Earth by radio or landing ships on our planet. We found out about them when we detected the bioweapon heading toward us from space. In spite of all the talk of building a defense against asteroid strikes, we couldn’t stop the thing in time…and it was just the first of many.
I’m sure the K’trn don’t call them bioweapons. I wonder what their word is for terraforming? That’s what they’re doing, changing Earth’s climate, atmosphere, everything, so it’s like their home planet.
They should begin colonizing their new world, the Earth, any day now.
I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 4, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My story comes in at 157 words.
Today, April 5th, is First Contact Day. In the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact, April 5, 2063 is the day when Vulcans make first contact with humanity after they detect the warp signature from Zefram Cochran’s experimental warp ship, the Phoenix. I hear some Star Trek fans actually celebrate this day. I thought, in honor of the occasion, I’d write a first contact story, though mine is much more grim.
To read other stories based on the prompt above, go to InLinkz.com.