Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Pirate Sun 1 - Karl Schroeder

Pirate Sun 1 - Karl Schroeder

"CHAIN HISSED ACROSS stone and with a final twitch, let go. With grand gestures the whirling prison began to come apart: first its spidery docking arm flung itself out, piers grasping at cloud before it detached and sailed away; then hundreds of barrels and crates broke free of the simple twine that had tied them next to the service entrance. They flew scattershot, two smacking into the warden’s catamaran just as a mob of outraged prison guards was trying to board it. One barrel shattered the windshield and the other knocked off an engine.

Chaison Fanning flinched at a sound like machine- gun fire, which seemed to be coming from all around him. It started at the far end of the building and raced toward him through the structure. It was the sound of nails exploding free of wood and cement. The place was creaking and groaning like some fevered giant, and the hexagonal corridor was visibly twisting as Chaison bounced down it. He knew every turn and straightaway of these institution-green passages and quailed at the thought of retracing the path to his cell. Only the giddiness of possible escape gave him the strength to climb up, hang on and turn over, then climb down, then hang on, then leap across twenty feet of air to the next junction. The centrifugal gravity wasn’t much, but it was more than zero and zero was all he’d dealt with for months. Every day, Chaison had exercised single- mindedly for as long as his meager diet would let him, but even so he couldn’t keep this up for long."

4 out of 5