I’m pleased and proud to be part of two anthologies for Superstorm Sandy relief! One, as I told you, is TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY, and it isn’t out yet.
The other is LET IT SNOW! SEASON’S READINGS FOR A SUPER-COOL YULE. It’s part of Amazon’s Kindle Select program, so it’s free to borrow for Select customers. It will also have free days on 11/25 & 26, 12/14 & 15, and 12/25.
My story in this collection is “The Pratty Who Saved Crissmuss”, a Holly Jahangiri story. Here is the beginning:
“The Pratty Who Saved Crissmuss” – excerpt
by Marian Allen
Dickens O’Henry was mad to begin with.
Not eyes-rolling-around-in-his-head mad, but steam-coming-out-of-his-ears mad. As had many of his fellow citizens in the primary city of the planet Llannonn, he had bought Earth names from a plausible rogue, only to learn that Earth names were free.
So, when his assistant, Humbug Plugugly, told Dickens O’Henry that one of his debtors was behind on his bill, O’Henry greeted the news with savage delight.
“Let’s go pay our friend a little visit,” said O’Henry, with a vicious grin. “After all, the Anti-Hot Solemnities are here, and isn’t that the time for friendly visits?”
“I do believe you’re right,” Plugugly agreed.
O’Henry was, insofar as his surface identity was concerned, the keeper of a Bar and Grill in Central City. His big money, though, came from the distribution of prohibited intoxicants, most notably the intensely inebriating Blue Ruin, smuggled in from Telluria fortnightly on tramp spaceships, the bottles wrapped in Fair Trade hand-knitted mufflers.
The debtor was a slight male named Nittleigh Witterr. At this time of the year, when families and friends gathered to celebrate the strength of affection that enables groups of people to share warm spaces during cold weather and share resources during anti-hot scarcity, and to do so with very little bloodshed, considering, Witterr was certain to be with his only relative in the city.
* * * * *
Head Librarian Holly Jahangiri tipped the packer, checked her timepiece, and scowled up and down the street. Her cousin Nittleigh’s luggage was here, but where was he? She had just climbed behind the steering stick of her hovercar, smiling at the book in the passenger seat and engaging the safety harnesses, when a runner panted to a halt beside her and handed her a note.
“Typical,” she told the book. “Nittleigh says to go ahead, and he’ll come along later.”
“We’d best be off,” said the book — for he was a Living Book, from the very library Holly oversaw. “The sky is overcast, and I fear there may be snow, e’er we reach our destination.”
Snow in the country wasn’t the pretty ornament it was in the city. In the country, there was no Snow Retrieval Board to clean the stuff up and convert it to usable water. In the country, when the snow fell, it meant it.
Holly swept the street with one final glance and swooped away.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here’s hoping you buy the book for the mere $4.99 it ordinarily costs, when the funds will go to Sandy relief. Otherwise, I hope you’ll download it for free on one of its free days and enjoy it as a gift from the authors, editors, publisher, and cover artist to you. 🙂
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write a scene with snow in it.