Thursday, January 23, 2014

Excerpts from my published stories: Angel Song (AfroSF - Science Fiction by African Writers)

Hey everyone, hope you're all well. :-)

I want to thank everyone who checked out yesterday's excerpt of 'TWISTED' - if the stats are anything to go by (88 views!) then plenty of people read the excerpt and (hopefully) bought a Kindle-copy of the eFantasy issue in which the story appeared. :-)

Today I've got another excerpt for you, from Angel Song, the Military SF story that was published in AfroSF alongside an awesome collection of stories showcasing many of the best African-SF writers I've come across. :-)

This tale is all action and has a slight hint of religious flavour - or does it? That's up to you to decide... ;-)

I hope you enjoy it!

***

 "Get those fucking Blowers ready!" Ed screamed, buffeted on all sides by screaming, fighting soldiers.  “I’m makin’ a hole!” He rose, tossed the last of his S-grenades over the crest of the rise and collapsed to the dirt, throwing an armour-encased hand over his head.
A second later the pressure-wave reached him and his ears popped. The ground rose, then fell a foot below him and he thumped down, his teeth rattling.
Ed paused for breath and then engaged his helmet’s IR-filters before pushing himself to his feet. With the IR activated he could see through the swirling dust, and what he saw was a crater, so smoothly hollowed out that it seemed the landscape had been replaced with some artificial depression. It glowed, the fiery orange of residual heat roiling above the crater like an air-shimmer. The power of singularity-grenades was terrifying. Ed understood why platoon-leaders were the only ones who were supplied with them, and then only five-a-piece.
Ed thanked humanity's myriad gods that he hadn't been in the middle of that blast. Somewhere in the air above that crater, a miniature black hole the size of a pinhead was dying away, sucking into compressed oblivion who-knew-how-many of the enemy. He scanned the space behind him and then moved forward. His troops were getting to their feet too, but some - faces slack and eyes staring - didn't move. Casualties of the Angel-advance they had died to halt.
"Come on, let’s move it! Press them! Press the fuckers!"
Ed led his four thousand and they rushed into the stillness of the grenade’s aftermath. The digits in his HUD kept him updated on how many men he had left in his force. Twelve-thousand men had died already, and that was just in his command. The current front line, which encompassed thirty square kilometres, had been filled with two-hundred thousand soldiers just this morning. When the HUD’s unit counter reached two-thousand he would abandon the attack, as ordered by High Command. Sometimes it seemed to him that High Command thought massive casualties were somehow sustainable in this war, and that leaving a core of shell-shocked veterans was good for the war’s continuation. Ed didn’t understand it, but it was what he had to work with. He also didn’t understand why this planet – so far from Earth that Earth was just a dim star in the night sky - had been targeted by the Angels; it was well off their invasion vector, so out-of-the-way that it didn’t have a name, only a designation that he had already forgotten.
One of his men, a lieutenant who’d been on the job for precisely forty-five minutes, ran up beside him and shouted, "The Blowers are offline, sir! The Techs were hit!"
"By what?" Ed screamed back, although it was obvious; when someone died in this war, they weren’t hit, they were touched. Caressed.
They had to shout above the distant thunder of surrounding engagements – four groups of similar size hitting the kilometres’ long front-line of advancing Angels . Ed hadn’t even noticed that the Techs had fallen.
He was losing focus.
As one they streamed down the side of the crater, jump-running. Thirty yards ahead Ed could see the sky begin to fill with the radiance of another advancing wave.
More of the Angels were coming. How many people must have died to make so many Angels?
That thought, more than the numbers who had died trying to push the Angels back, staggered Ed.
               "Get the Blowers up here! We’ll make-do without the Techs!"

***





A war against Angels? Well, to find out just what's going on in 'Angel Song' you'll have to get yourself the AfroSF Anthology - Amazon US (Kindle & Paperback), Amazon UK (Paperback & Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Exclusive Books.

I hope you'll give this anthology a read - and then post a review on Amazon, your FB-profile, your Twitter stream, wherever! :-)

Until tomorrow,

Be EPIC!

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