It was exactly this sort of situation that Gina had wanted to avoid by waiting until the weekend to go out looking for the animals. She’d left home an hour ago, and half that had been spent just getting here. Factoring in the other half hour or so it would take her to get back to town, plus time to shower, and she figured she’d have maybe another hour and a half to look for any signs of her mystery beasts before she had to head back. A little less actually, since she’d have the afternoon traffic to deal with by then. And really only half of that time, since however far she walked it would probably take equally long to get back to the jeep.
In a city like Donopolis or Tannhauser, it was very easy to forget that with the exception of the Baz’maha jungle far to the west, the North Province was predominantly a dark-skinned region. For thousands of years the Samara had been populated exclusively by what anthropologists generally called the Chuguk peoples, a diverse collection of cultures and tribes with skins burned varying shades of dark by the harsh equatorial sun. It wasn’t until almost seven hundred years ago, during the upheaval of the Cult Wars, that the Samara became home to a significant minority of lighter-skinned Nordenic peoples, driven north to escape the nightmarish bloodbath that had consumed the lands in the south. In the centuries since the end of the war the descendants of those first Nordenic refugees had settled mainly in the larger cities like Kulig (later renamed Donopolis), Tannhauser, and Suwenna, and today on average made up roughly anywhere from a quarter to a third of those cities’ populations. Elsewhere, in many of the smaller towns, the demographics were still almost exclusively Chuguk with little or no Nordenic presence at all.
“You’re not gonna believe this.”
Gina leaned back out of the cage she’d been cleaning and looked up at her father, Doctor Martin Herodias, standing in the doorway. “Believe what?”
“You know Grier’s bull, Shovel?”
She couldn’t help but smile. Shovel had a habit of charging her jeep when she passed through his territory. “Yeah, what about him?”
“Looks like something broke off one of his horns.”
I’ve decided to put Eleven Days in the Valley on hiatus for a while, so in its place have something new (and very old): Hunting Ground! If you’re relatively new to Gondolend this should hopefully be new to you, but longtime readers will recognize this story as an updated version of Theropod, the story that started it all.
Ringing in the new year with a little instructional lecture detailing the stealth and combat capabilities of the Jovian Alliance Navy’s Marshall-class destroyer.
In this short story, I do a terrible job of not giving away the incredibly obvious twist ending.
This is actually part of a larger story, but I think it works well enough on its own to put up separately as well. Continue reading
Well, it’s been three months since the first chapter of Eleven Days in the Valley went up. I wish I could say I’d spent that whole time, or at least a decent portion of it, working on the story, but alas I did not. Most of the time has been spent distracted by working on other projects (which I suppose I should write up a post about at some point), working at my job, taking a trip to Washington, or trying to get ready to move out of South Dakota (to Washington). Sorry to say, Eleven Days hasn’t gotten much attention these last three months at all. But I did get some work done on it, some parts of which I’m actually halfway pleased with, so finally, at long last, here is chapter two.
One common technique used to establish that an otherwise Earthlike setting is not in fact Earth (or at least, not a version we’re familiar with) is to give it features seen rarely or not at all here. One popular approach, especially in steampunk-influenced works, is to fill the skies with zeppelins. Clearly this cannot be the same Earth you and I are familiar with, if the zeppelin has not largely faded into obscurity but has instead remained a viable mode of airborne transportation!
Hello, Tyrant King. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m afraid I don’t have any new fiction for you quite yet (working on several projects simultaneously is not a good idea, it seems), but I can at least talk about some world-building stuff.