Sunday, April 15, 2018

Scylla and Charybdis by Lindsey Duncan

 Release date: April 15, 2018
Subgenre: Space opera

About Scylla and Charybdis:


Anaea Carlisle, raised on an isolated space station populated solely by women, believes the rest of the universe has been plunged into anarchy and ruin by an alien-engineered disease known as Y-Poisoning.  On a salvage mission, she helps rescue a hypermental named Gwydion who challenges everything she thought she knew.

Forced to flee the station with Gwydion, Anaea finds herself in an inexplicable, often hostile world, permanently divided between the Galactic Collective and the Pinnacle Empire.  She longs for some place to call home, but first, she’ll have to survive …



Anaea stepped cautiously, feeling her way where the lights had died, stunner in her hand. She strained in the darkness, drawn taut by unformed hopes and fears of what she might see. The mask shielded her from contagion, but not attack. It also trapped a few strands of dark auburn hair in her field of vision; she puffed them away with a shallow breath.
Wrecks like this weren’t common. Small ships, following the hyperspace corridor – to what end? To escape the ruins of civilization? The women of Themiscyra had fled here over a century ago, but they had done so in a colony ship, with the resources to build, to thrive, and to conceal themselves from the criminals that had survived the fall. For decades, isolation had been Themiscyra’s only protection from greed and desperation.
Why come out here with nothing?
Anaea had thought she was prepared for her first salvage mission, but training in a simulation when she knew friendly faces waited just beyond the door was nothing like trying to navigate the unfamiliar corridor. She had applied for the salvage team five months ago and been surprised when she was accepted. They must have needed people.  She was even more surprised that a wreck had been spotted during her posting.
She tried to picture the ship from the outside, imagine how long this corridor was and how much further she had to travel. She remembered seeing it swell on the shuttle's viewscreen, as dull and pitted as an asteroid. The scroll of diagnostics, too much information and not enough, including the ship manifest and roster.
There had been nineteen people on this ship, the White Hound. That left seven women and ten men who might be alive. Any of the men could be mad with the disease, lashing out at anyone who neared. Anaea reached the dining room door and checked the panel, breath quivering in her throat. It had sealed itself: the chamber was vented to space. She moved on.
The door of the recreation area opened as she approached, releasing a smell that made her choke. It wasn’t biological, she realized; it was the stale bread odor of burnt electronics.
Beyond that, she was almost blind. The chamber’s far wall must have staved inward, knocking over equipment and supports. She started to climb over the hillock of metal, then hesitated. Surely no one could have survived this.
She spotted a human-sized silver tube, battered, but intact. Half a label indicated it was a virtual reality chamber. She guessed it was sealed to prevent the user from distracting others in the room - but what could keep out could also keep in.
She climbed, slid, pushed her way to the tube. A weights apparatus lay across the tube door. She laid her hip against it and pushed. The shrieking of metal made her flinch.
The sound almost masked the rhythmic thump from within the tube. Anaea gasped and redoubled her efforts, jamming her body against the piece of equipment. It slid free, knocking her back.
The person inside the tube must have shoved against the door. It swung open, and someone tumbled on top of her, muscle, flesh and weight.
Anaea screamed and jerked her wrist up, firing the stunner by instinct. The energy discharged above her, a spangle of starlight in the wreckage.
The person rocked forward as detritus rained down. She realized that, without thinking, whoever it was had tried to protect her. | Amazon UK

About Lindsey Duncan:

Lindsey Duncan is a chef / pastry chef, professional Celtic harp performer and life-long writer, with short fiction and poetry in numerous speculative fiction publications.  Besides her forthcoming novel with Kristell Ink, her contemporary fantasy novel, Flow, is available from Double Dragon Publishing.  She feels that music and language are inextricably linked.  She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio

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