Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Mongoliad Book Three 1: Leaving Finn - Neal Stephenson

" The Mongoliad: Book Three by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo 1241 – Veturnætur CHAPTER 1: Leaving Finn The Shield-Brethren buried Finn on the hill where they had set up camp. “It is not as grand as one of those burial mounds-the kurgans-we have seen,” Raphael pointed out to Feronantus, “but it has a view of where we came from, and the sun will always warm the ground.” Given the choice, Finn had always preferred to sleep outside, where the sun could find him and warm his bones in the morning. Finn may not have been a sworn member of the Shield-Brethren, but he was a feral brother to many of them. One by one the members of the Shield-Brethren attacked the rocky ground of the hilltop. Without coming out and saying as much, they all wanted to be the one to dig Finn’s grave, as if the backbreaking labor would somehow assuage their individual guilt. It was not that they valued Finn above their other fallen comrades-the loss of any brother was equally horrific-but each was racked with a sense of responsibility for the circumstances of the hunter’s death. As he prepared Finn’s body for burial, Raphael tried not to let his thoughts dwell on other members of their company whom they had lost. Or even his own role in the deaths of those dear friends. With Vera’s assistance, he laid the small man’s body on Percival’s cloak-the knight refused to hear otherwise-and arranged Finn’s limbs as best he could. The stiffness that creeps into a man’s body in the wake of death had filled Finn, and one of his arms resisted Raphael’s efforts. His face, once it had been tenderly washed by Vera, was surprisingly boyish. Raphael felt the weight of his years when he saw the delicate lashes and the unlined swath of forehead clearly for the first time. Too young, he thought, to die so far from home. And he realized how little he knew of Finn. How little any of them knew." 3.5 out of 5 http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2013/02/free-excerpt-the-mongoliad-book-three/

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