I’m very pleased that my first science fiction novella, Requiem For An Astronaut, has been published by New Con Press. Requiem is set in the environs of East City, the location for my recent SF stories, and features a scientist, Bart, and his search for the lost astronaut Joan Kaminsky. An excerpt follows below.
‘I saw the smoke on the horizon, a black cord smudging the low cloud of morning. The organ farm, I realised, but turned away immediately to busy myself at the edges of the garden. The smoke drifted, diffusing in the area of sky beyond the walls. I concentrated on hoeing the thin soil, falling back on a few logical truisms to make myself feel better. It was always going to happen. Only a matter of time.
Occasionally, I would see the workers from the farm on the edges of my corner of the landscape, groups of young people in white scrubs. Perhaps they knew the dangers involved, with the growing presence of the Lud cults outside East City. In my experience, the young understood the risks but never understood the outcome. More than that, they didn’t understand how you could become the outcome.
That morning, I had gone down to the bottom of the garden to check the apple tree. I moved to this outpost for many reasons – to return to my research, to appreciate the silence, to escape from people – but gradually, the apple tree had become a kind of centre for me. Two years ago, on the day I’d left East City, I passed through the Nordmarket on my way out, stopping to pick up some the necessary tech supplies for my retreat to the sticks.
Of course, I’d had another reason to be there – reasons related to Joan’s appearance above the market those weeks before – and I spent most of my time taking trace recordings of the area. Besides, part of me had probably wanted to finish my time in East City with a visit to the market, as it felt like the apotheosis of life there: antic, voluble and intense, where anything might happen. Where anything had happened, the moment Joan had appeared.’
You can find out more about Requiem For An Astronaut here.