Thursday, 14 November 2013

Excerpt from the sequel

Did you know that November is NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month. Thousands of writers around the world dash madly into writing a new novel, aiming to write 50,000 words during one month. It's not impossible! I've reached about 17,000 after a late start. Here's an excerpt in which some of the Tellarine Squadron are passing the time by telling their stories.

Count Sessalian Emindile looked up at Valin for a long moment, with a blank stare that chilled Valin's heart momentarily. The man's seen things that would leave me a nervous wreck, Valin realised.
Then Sessalian grinned. "I have just the thing. A little anecdote from way back, when I was forced to flee my home city of Ea-Karitk.
"Ea-Karitk is probably nothing like what you imagine when I say it's a city. Picture a bright jewel spinning in space. Eight great curved plates are sewn side-by-side and joined into an octagonal hoop. In the centre, light from the AM plant is reflected along the hub and down to the plates, or townships, according to time of day. One end of the hub holds the electromagnetic shield array and matter scoops, and the other holds the AM plant which powers the propulsion unit.
"Having said all that, the real city is not a matter of engineering, but a community of citizens living, working, eating and drinking, and occasionally performing lavish plays in which they express their pity for people who don't live in Ea-Karitk. And my district, Rejanus the Green, is renowned for its amateur dramatic societies. And for its apartment blocks which refuse to stop growing until they reach the inside of the great array of domes that covers the township. Building up instead of out meant that we have much more room for lawns and parkland, fairgrounds and bandstands. The citizens of Rejanus make good artists, musicians, architects and civic leaders. They're also remarkably relaxed. They lead balanced lives and don't feel the need to argue or criticise the neighbours - except when it's somebody in the apartment above yours whose chamber orchestra rehearses in their lounge late at night. Or someone whose pet velvetoe messes in the hallway at dawn each day. Such disputes are common.

"I chose my apartment for its location above one of our largest parks, through which you can stroll for an hour without treading the same path twice. I was twenty-two stories up, more than halfway to the dome. I could sit on my balcony in the evenings and gaze up at the other townships as the light on them grew or faded. Each township keeps a different time zone, you see. Some would be hosts of twinkling lights, some would shine brilliantly in daylight, which lit our streets and plazas in our night."

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