New science fiction book extract and news

I have finished editing my book (ADA KING) and I’ve even sent a sample off to an agent! Now, feeling like a teenager waiting for a boy to call, each email a source of dread and excitement all at once. Acceptance or rejection, one or zero, all or nothing. It’s a very digital experience but it can take months for an agent to get back to you so I’m not holding my breath. Positive feelings all round, though!

To celebrate, here’s an extract of the book for your delectation:

Ada King excerpt – Prologue

As she lies back in the deep tub of blue plastic, there is a fizz of bubbles that escape from her hair and skin. Butterfly flits across her view. She contemplates buoyancy. Is this why Ikatere does what he does? She lies with her ears underwater and brushes her fingertips over them. The thin outer cartilage sounds like a drawn-out snare drum roll. She brushes the backs of her ears, close to her skull and it sounds like thunder. It has been a long time since she even thought of a bath. There had been no rain recently. Each of her friends had donated some of their fresh water rations, all to give her a gift. The awning flaps in the wind as the raft bobs on the choppy, sunny waves. It is a perfect day to be in a raft city and the tangle of floating communities forges this ocean towards the sun.

Which ocean? After long enough, all oceans become one, all people one. All wars are civil wars.

The city’s clean masts and towers are at odds with the flat structures – flotsam and jetsam rescued from the sea and welded together, a riot of colour glinting in the sun – cathedrals of bamboo, man-o-wars of fibreglass and plastic, tentacles of delicate kelp, tenements of sailcloth and, everywhere, rope, joining the city, knitting it with strands of many colours that sometimes bind the uprights like weeds and sometimes trail diagonally with laundry prayer flags fluttering in the wind.

She knows she doesn’t have long. Agung will come to interrupt. Today is the day they turn on the mindfields and she has paused from her work only at Ikatere’s insistence that she is too fraught, too tense. He does not understand as she does the consequences of what they are bringing into the world today. But he was right to make her pause for a moment and let the warm water caress her skin. Agung will come soon.

Agung. Leader of the Rafters and a man whom she has never seen equalled in determination and wit. If she had met him out of context, she would never know it from his face and expression – a sleepy, round-faced man. She would never have guessed that he had the gumption to uproot an entire community and bring them out here to freedom. She would never have guessed the deviousness with which he planned to give his people the edge during the tumult that is the time called now. Agung the sharp. Agung the brilliant.

Agung brought her here. Her name is Ada King and today she will become the mother of a new way to be human.

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