Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gibraltar Stars - Michael McCollum

" Lieutenant Barbara Whalen sat strapped into the control station of her scout boat and watched the blue-white orb with two largish moons grow slowly in her forward bubble. Like all terrestrial worlds, it was a beautiful sight, especially after so long in the deep black. There was a large polar mass in the southern hemisphere (a designation assigned after observing the planet’s direction of rotation and applying an ancient standard known as the Right Hand Rule). In the daylight hemisphere, a massive arrowhead-shaped continent of tans and browns and umber ploughed through an azure sea, its edges tinged aquamarine by extensive shoals on its southern flank. Over everything lay a bright white swirl of clouds blown west to east by stratospheric winds. Lower than the continent, nearly out of sight around the curve of the planet, mirror cyclones moved in tandem on each side of the invisible equator."

3 out of 5