The narrator is a holovision comedy star who wants to be a leader in a high-power social group. This book has been called “Mean Girls in space” but, since I’ve never seen Mean Girls, I can’t vouch for that. I trust the source, though.
In this excerpt, the group Our Heroine is with has gone to a planet where slavery is legal. One of the natives wants to attach himself to her. He left the equivalent of a monastery, looking for a refreshing period of pleasure, and has decided Connie is just the ticket to finance that for him. Connie, aware of the toxic nature of herself and her companions, tries to reject his offer.
Trouble Waiting to Happen
excerpt from SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING
by Marian Allen
He stood there, smiling and offering himself for the taking, and his eyes were so trusting, so open and innocent, I could have hit him with a brick. He might as well have been wearing a sign with “Easy Mark” on it in flashing lights.
“Go away,” I said. I sat in a chair near Jackie’s and rested my head and my eyes. I could hear Tosun go to the couch and drag his stuff out from under it.
“There’s a lot of people in this party she’s with?” he asked Jackie. “She said about fifty?”
“About fifty altogether, on this trip. About nine that call the tunes. The rest just dance.”
“Is she the head of them?”
“On the contrary.”
“Ha, ha,” I said, not opening my eyes.
“Is she the richest of them?”
“One of the richest.”
“Others of them are rich?”
“Will you describe the richest of them to me?”
“Why?” I asked.
“I told you,” Tosun said. “I left the Yolanbayt for revelry and luxury. My object has to be rich.”
I opened my eyes. “And that’s all? Rich? No other requirements? Not decent, or productive, or kind, or brave? Not thrifty, clean or reverent?”
“No. The Yol also flows through the wicked and shiftless, the cruel and cowardly, profligate, dirty and obscene. So, all things being equal, all I require in an object is affluence.”
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A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone is determined to something dangerous for them.