Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

Sorry this is truly ridiculously late, but I had forgotten I had a two hour panel to record for virtual Liberty con. I’m now wondering if I’m on any others. I never did much I was supposed to do, since the House thing hit. We’ll see — SAH

Welcome to the Sunday Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*


They say you can never go home. That’s something CJ Reamer has long believed. So, when her father suddenly appears on her doorstep, demanding she return home to Montana to “do her duty”, she has other plans. Montana hasn’t been home for a long time, almost as long as Benjamin Franklin Reamer quit being her father. Dallas is now her home and it’s where her heart is. The only problem is her father doesn’t like taking “no” for an answer.

When her lover and mate is shot and she learns those responsible come from her birth pride and clan, CJ has no choice but to return to the home she left so long ago. At least she won’t be going alone. Clan alphas Matt and Finn Kincade aren’t about to take any risks where their friend is concerned. Nor is her mate, Rafe Walkinghorse, going to let her go without him.

Going home means digging up painful memories and family secrets. But will it also mean death – or worse – for CJ and her friends?

Originally released as Hunter’s Home, Prey includes approximately 4,000 words of new material.


After the battle of Tower Baelfire ended, Lom lay dying. Bella was tasked with not only the job she never wanted, but the one she did. Could she keep Lom alive long enough for him to come to the rescue when their kingdom needed them? And what did Raven, mysterious trickster spirit and honorary uncle to Bella, want with them? If the threat was big enough to have the trickster worried, Bella knew she needed to have Lom at her side. Underhill might look like a soap-bubble kingdom, but Bella and Lom knew there was a gritty underside. Why else would fairyland need a dark man willing to carry a big gun and be the Pixie for Hire?

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Bloody Eden

Seven years after a nuclear war forced Jason Calvin to fight his way across Georgia and through a brutal warlord, life has settled down a bit in a town called New Eden. As the town sheriff, Jason keeps the peace. After saving a family from a horrible fate, that peace becomes threatened when a sadistic military man shows up, claiming the family are fugitives from his draconian justice system and they’re coming back whether anyone in New Eden likes it or not…and maybe some of New Eden’s own as well. Unfortunately for him, Jason isn’t about to just let something like that go. “Bloody Eden” is the action packed sequel to the hit novelette “After the Blast”.


He’s a man on the run. But on this harsh alien world, freedom doesn’t mean he’s safe…

Peter Dawe can’t face his mother’s relentless grief. With her anguish deepening his guilt and the colony’s governor out for revenge, he’s desperate to escape a deadly situation ready to explode. So he jumps at the chance to journey north away from danger, chasing the rare sight of a long-lost aircraft.

Buoyed by the glimpse of a machine he’s never seen before, Peter discovers the pilot desperately needs aid for his newborn son. But with sinister agents searching for them both, the remote planet may not be big enough to preserve the young fugitive from his enemy’s vengeance.

Can Peter find them refuge before they all fall to their doom?

Long in the Land is the thrilling second book in the Martha’s Sons science fiction series. If you like captivating world-building, edge-of-your-seat tension, and memorable characters, then you’ll love Laura Montgomery’s high-stakes tale.

FROM JAMES YOUNG: Acts of War: A World War II Alternative History

Somehow I doubt that this is quite how anyone expected Adolf Hitler’s death to turn out…Squadron Leader Adam Haynes, No. 303 (Polish) Squadron

August 1942. London is in flames. Heinrich Himmler’s Germany stands triumphant in the West, its “Most Dangerous Enemy” forced to the peace table by a hailstorm of nerve gas and incendiaries. With Adolf Hitler avenged and portions of the Royal Navy seized as war prizes, Nazi Germany casts its baleful gaze across the Atlantic towards an increasingly isolationist United States.

With no causus belli, President Roosevelt must convince his fellow Americans that it is better to deal with a triumphant Germany now than to curse their children with the problem of a united, fascist Europe later. As Germany and Japan prepare to launch the next phase of the conflict, Fate forces normal men and women to make hard choices in hopes of securing a better future.

For Adam Haynes, Londonfall means he must continue an odyssey that began in the skies over Spain. For while fighting Fascism has already cost him dearly, he would sooner perish than see a world where freedom has been snuffed out by a jackboot heel.

Despite nominally being a noncombatant, American naval officer Eric Cobb finds that neutrality is a far cry from safety. Forced to choose between the letter of the law and its spirit, Cobb makes a choice that irrevocably changes history.

In the Pacific, Tamon Yamaguchi must prepare himself and his men to fight a Pacific War that is far different than what his nation and the IJN had planned.  Forced to call off a meticulously planned surprise attack in December 1941, Japan instead turned north.  Rather than finding resources in Siberia, the Imperial Army found defeat and a tremendous loss of face.  Now, the Imperial Japanese Navy has once more turned its intentions towards Hawaii and the USN’s Pacific Fleet.  Although Yamaguchi knows that his force will likely be detected, he intends to strike a heavy blow for his Emperor regardless of cost. 

Acts of War is the first novel of the Usurper’s War series, which charts a very different World War II. As young men and women are forced to answer their nation’s call, the choices they make and risks they take will write a different song for the Greatest Generation.

FROM BLAKE SMITH: The Road to Stonberg.

Gavril of Grimsby is not your ordinary monster-slayer for hire…

Gavril thought defeating a giant was the most interesting thing he’d do all week. But when a merchant caravan needs guards for the treacherous journey over the mountains to Stonberg, he can’t resist signing on, and learns that even peaceful men don’t always have peaceful lives.

FROM JULIE PASCAL: Too Late For Vengeance.

An immortal thrown overboard in the middle of the ocean has abundant time to plan her revenge.

Very few humans survive the Obsidian transformation that grants them the ability to pilot between the stars, the ability to slip between. Now both star pilots and humans are trapped on the surface of a primitive world, abandoned to an eternal quarantine. Human refugees and their descendants struggle to build a new civilization and a new life. The immortal star pilots become known as Obsidian Witches.

FROM BECKY R. JONES: Academic Magic.

Zoe has found her dream job at a small liberal arts college teaching the history of Medieval witchcraft and magic. Academic life is exactly what she expected it to be…until the squirrels stop by to talk with her and her department chair and best friend turn out to be mages.

Zoe discovers a world of magic and power she never knew existed. She and other faculty mages race to stop a coven from raising a demon on the winter solstice while simultaneously grading piles of final exams and reading the tortured prose of undergraduate term papers. But first, she must learn to master her new-found powers.

FROM MARGARET BALL: Tangled Magic: A Regency fantasy romance.

After waiting ten long years for Richart Dalkey to realize she’s no longer the awkward young girl he grew up with, Elspet is thrilled when he finally comes to pay her court . . . until he divulges the true reason for his visit. His proposition? A sham engagement to discourage debutante Dorothea Turvoll, who’s infatuated with Richart and whom his mother wants him to marry. Elspet convinces him to pretend he’s desperately in love with her and actually court her instead, certain that with time—and a little bit of magic—he’ll see they’re meant to be together.
But another woman in Din Eidyn has her sights set on Richert, as well as some dark magic of her own, and she’ll stop at nothing to win the one man who can give her the social standing she desperately desires. Before long, the charade gets out of hand, and as scandal engulfs the ton, Elspet must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the love she’s always wanted.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA: As She Was No Horsewoman: A Pride & Prejudice Sequel.

Elizabeth has never learnt to ride a horse. Darcy thinks this a grave oversight in her education, and with the help of a little mare named Rose, sets out to teach his wife the art of horsemanship. Poor Elizabeth had no idea what she was getting herself into…

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: Print

36 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. She was staring blankly at the screen and tapping her fingers on the edge of the keypad in frustration when Twitch interrupted her bleak thoughts with a kiss in her hair. “If you’re going to spin your wheels on it, take a break and have some water.”

    “You’re right.” She closed the screen with a sigh, and snuggled into him, accepting the canteen passed into her hands. “Wait, didn’t I just drink this dry?” He hadn’t moved from where he was wrapped around her since they’d sat down.

    “Delegation. It’s like a magic power, as long as I have a team to back me up.” He grinned, and she heard several others laughing on the headset. “Drown your sorrows in drink, and then tell me why you look like you want to set the computer on fire.”

    After she lowered the canteen, Lizzes sighed, and shook her head. “Half the information I need to put in there won’t fit the format.”

    “Oh, that’s easy. First, the prelim report is just a one-pager. In fact, if you put in ‘We went looking for evidence of oil, and here’s what we found’, that’s about what he needs. As for the full report, you have time. Put the good stuff in the footnotes, or in the appendix. That’s where all the good stuff hides anyway, because the brass just glance at the first few lines and see they all fit standard formatting, and never actually look up what you stuck on page three, much less page six.”

    “You never met my thesis review committee.” She grumbled.

    “No, but I know your boss. Who do you think taught me to read the footnotes and other fine print?” Twitch was laughing again, and she looked over at Mikey, who was, in defiance of all logic and chemical stimulants, hooked into the straps and sound asleep.

  2. If there is something scarier than letting a laser printer try to print out High Imperial text, I don’t want to know what it is.

    The poor LaserJet was making noises like a damned soul in Hell, only much less merciful. The heads made this “wrrrr-chunk” sound every few seconds as it continued to print, and the body of the printer seemed to quiver in sympathetic agony. “It won’t…summon anything,” I asked, carefully looking at the printer and fingering Whisper as it made a new sound, something like what a mouse would make if you stretched it by the nose and tail across a violin’s body and drew a bow across the mouse’s exposed belly.

    Cee nodded. “Absolutely. No prana flow, it’s regular ink and not conductive, and there isn’t any kind of charge going on. It’s perfectly safe.” The printer’s tone changed again, from “wrrrr-chunk” to “wrrrr-scratch“, then resumed the “wrrrr-chunk” sound. “I think.”

  3. “Life extending treatments, Platinum expense account, what’s not to like about the job?”

    “Did you read the whole contract?”

    “All 730 pages?”


    “It says here at the bottom, I’ll be on Ultimal Thule for 150 years!”

    “The devil’s in the detail and the detail’s always in the fine print.!”

    1. “There’s worse places than Ultimal Thule. It’s on the Network and they have full-category printers there…”

      “Oh? Where?”


      “…yea, you have a point. At least Ultimal Thule death is only a rare occurrence.”

  4. “You nuts, Harris? We can’t print this.”

    “But, Boss, it’s the scoop of the century. An exclusive interview with the Martian All-Mother? No sponsor’s interests can be worth passing *that* up.”

    “No, I mean we can’t print these crazy Martian diacritics. Go rewrite the names in English, and
    we’ll talk.”

  5. “So, what’d that hack want this time?” Harry asked, crashing down on a bar seat and ignoring the glare the bartender gave him.

    “Another interview request,” Max responded, giving the grizzled veteran the same neutral expression he gave the departing reporter. “He says it’ll make it the biggest selling issue the Dawn has ever had.”

    “You told him where to shove it, right?” the larger man replied, a look of disapproval darkening his already-rough features. “Every damn word the Dawn prints is bullshit, right down to a, and, and the.”

    “I had to make do with a simple ‘No comment,’” the swordsman responded, a mischievous smile crossing his face. “I left the harder swearing to Kuroda-san.”

    “Reporters aren’t welcome here! Period!” Kuroda interrupted, wiping away at a glass furiously. “They never apologized for calling you a mass murderer, Maximilian! And who told you you could come here, you one-eyed oaf?!”

    “The Chief invited me, thanks,” Harry grumbled, giving the Azuman man a sour look. “And I think the only use for those hacks is decorating lampposts too, you know.”

    “Eh, guess you can’t be entirely insufferable.” Kuroda admitted with a chuckle, filling a tankard with beer and giving it to the ex-mercenary before attending to his other customers, leaving the two hunters to go over the day’s events with their preferred drinks.

  6. Perhaps she could find the silliest novel ever printed in the library and distract herself with that.
    Two birds, glorious in blue and scarlet and gold feathers, flew over the street together, and she laughed. No, she did not think that anything would distract her from the prospect before her.

  7. She took the book in hand. It was printed, which surprised her some. There could not be a large market for it, all the more that they had to use magic on it, to keep it out of the hands of fools who could only produce disaster with its spells.

  8. Some ideas I’ve been batting around for a long time now…

    “Just print my name in the name field, press my thumb on the thumb field, and that was it,” said Ben Tristram. “I’m in the fleet now. We’ll draw uniforms when we start basic training on Earth.”

    “Send me a picture, huh?” said Cherry, trying to keep her voice steady.

  9. Continued from above...

    Committed to print, serious scholars referred to it as “The Battle of Eden Colony.” Popular scholars called it “Nelson in Space.”

    Fleet personnel who were there called it “Finlandia’s Last Stand” after a few drinks, and “The Battle of the Double F—k-Up” when they were hammered, which was often.

  10. One more…

    On a clear twilight, one could make out Eden Spaceport, high up, a silver lattice against an indigo sky. Reserve vessels were docked there, and Paul Cambridge watched the shuttles, tiny specks in the dusk, carrying his wife and her shipmates, names on a printed duty roster, to their stations.

  11. There were posters on various walls. In writing, not printed. Then, I wasn’t quite sure what they were written on. What did they have that was cheap enough to be used as paper for posters? Even if few enough posters to be handwritten.
    She did not stop to read them.

  12. There it was, printed on the front page of the Christian Science Monitor: “It’s Boogening to Look Like Kulturkampf”

  13. “A printing press,” said Angela, flatly.
    “There are many who read here,” said Celestine. “The dream does not reach many who are plowmen or spinners. Only those who have some learning, or skill, or strength.”
    “Or perhaps the others have the wit to not come,” said Angela, looking at books.

  14. I hate this bloody dimension. Why can’t they have a decent number of dimensions! Do you have any idea how hard it is to fix a dimensional translator when you can’t recreate a tesseract with the necessary crystalline structure? What I wouldn’t give for something with a basic 4-D print capability.

  15. Twenty-five hand-pulled prints by the third. It had seemed like a simple order when Lacey Beauregard had accepted it, but it was rapidly turning into a nightmare. She’d never realized just how many ways a simple four-color lithograph could go wrong. There were the obvious ones, like errors in registration, and then there were the subtle technical ones with things like ink formulation that a lot of people wouldn’t even notice — but her client was an expert, and would recognize them.

    And there was no question of bowing out at this point. She’d already spent most of her initial one-half payment buying supplies, and the rest of it had gone to basic living expenses. Somehow she had to get this order completed, to specifications, even if it meant pulling an all-nighter

    1. Now you’ve done it, you’ve started a DO LOOP… It will print forever or until it runs out of paper… Or the dot matrix heads give up the ghost…

  16. Vincent Van Gogh sat down for dinner with Nostradamus.
    Nostradamus looked disgusted at Vincent’s painted fingers. Vincent didn’t return the favor. Not that the man’s appearance didn’t put him off, but he was more troubled by the way Nostradamus traded on his status as a time fixer to make nonsensical prophecies, with just enough echoing truth.
    They were atop the rotating tower outside time. When Vincent looked out he saw the stars wheeling and the constellations melting in a riot of vivid light and color, an imprint of the movement of time through space; the life and death of men, empires, suns.
    When he closed his eyes at night that panorama wheeled behind them, as if he were looking at a print, a picture. He must set it on canvas. Maybe then it would leave his brain, and erase the feeling that time was a monster he should stop before it devoured everyone and everything.
    Nostradamus was swilling red wine, and letting it run over his wild beard. “Shakespeare is late again,” he said.

    1. And no, I have no clue what this is about. Dan said the first sentence and this spooled out.
      Please don’t make me write it. Sounds hallucinatory.

      1. My first thought would be to avoid ordering mushroom pizza while in any Front Range city. My second thought would be, “That sounds like something out of Dresden Codax before it went farther off the deep end.”

    2. Save it. If you get enough, you can put out a collection of standalone short-shorts.

    3. “They were atop the rotating tower outside time.”

      I confess, the first thing I thought of when I read this sentence was “What did they order for lunch?”

      Moral: Don’t read comments on an empty stomach.

  17. I feel like apologizing, but reading that paragraph brought up this:
    The little man glared at the prophet. “Well, if you’re so good at predicting futures, what’s going to happen to me?”
    “Nothing much.”
    “Oh? Well, that’s a relief.”
    The prophet looked down the stretch of 30 barren years in a windowless office and tried not to weep.

  18. “And this,” said Brian Markham with a merrily-hammed flourish of the light tarp off the table, “is how they royally scragged that trigger-fetished Reg patrol half a day ago.” (He had a rank, and serial number too, but the Reaction Force observed such niceties only when useful. Which was one more reason the Regulars of the Fed JAF mostly hated them.) “But the real story,” and he gave a quick nod to Alexandra Lyshenko to do the same with the oven-sized block three metres off to one side, “is where all of these seem to have come from.”

    If he didn’t sound particularly outraged that the locals — the Martians, the Red Siders, the Lib Scum — had murdered a dozen-man street patrol, well, it was because he wasn’t. Dumb DRegs has started shooting for next to no reason, and the (allegedly-unarmed) population had pulled out the most amazing kit of This and That and shot back. Enthusiastically, often skillfully, and so often with a look of grim, I-know-it’s-you-or-me determination. Gotta respect that.

    Life in the Auxilliary Rapid Reaction Force of the Federation Joint Armed Forces had a tendency to be unpredictable in duration, or downright short; all it took was one uniformed member of the L33t 0xPert KlAss giving some straight-up suicidal order, and there it was. (Suicidal for the XXPert officer, almost never; for the ARRFs underneath him/her/yit, all too commonly.) So, usual sympathy for Regular-ly suicidal incompetence was thin as Mars air.

    “Meet the Mother of All indigenous shooty-things,” Alex picked up smoothly, her (almost-)Standard English only a bit accented. “Ladies and gentlemen,” — her sly use of the old phrase would’ve got her demeritted harshly if any of the zampolits or Regular brass had been around — “this is where most-all of what you see there on that table came from. On an estimated timescale of days, not weeks or months, and likely from basements all over Skia City here, not any manufactory or even local shop.” She smiled a merry sort of smile, at least conventionally at odds with her subject. “You’ll note that, unlike say the old pattern of dropping Sten Gun plans into occupied Europe, there are a lot of designs in just this small sample, not only small variations, and most of ’em turned out pretty combat effective.” Waited a beat. “At least against dumb-ass sitting-duck Drafty-Regs in issue armor.”

    As if it’d been choreographed, or maybe because it had, she went over to the table as Brian went to stand by that solid-looking box. And hefted one of the longer examples among the ranked weapons easily — which even though it took over two and a half times the mass to produce the same weight as on Earth, still meant she was uncommonly strong for a woman. “This is a fairly conventional firearm: burning double-base smokeless powder, local home or shop manufacture by the between-sample variations; 0.50 caliber sabotted down to 0.30 for an exit velocity around 4500 fps.” Her smile recognized her naughtiness in not using metric units, now renamed Système Globale by the New Regime. “Single-shot auto or burst of 5. And the bullets are jacketed lead alloy with a tungsten-rod core.” She looked up. “This is not sophisticated.”

    Swapped it for another, with a longish barrel and a very ‘retro’ look. “Think of this as the bastard offspring of a Brown Bess and a Girandoni Military, with a few improvements since the 18th-19th Centuries. Runs, like the Girandoni, on compressed air, though this one is about 3000 psi. Again, lead-over-tungsten ball. Rotten aerodynamics, but as a short range weapon… it kills if it finds a vital soft spot in the body armor. About 900 fps, semiauto.”

    Next picked up an even longer-barrelled gun with an odd-looking, complex set of hardware where the chamber ought to be. “Variation on the same theme, in two-part gaseous harmony. CO2 and H2 — the CO2 compresses H2 to drive the bullet at something like 8000 fps; the classic 20th century light-gas gun if well short of the miles-per-second the nonmilitary models delivered. Polymer-moly-coated copper and tungsten projectile. Slow semi-auto, but this one can and did go through two thicknesses of standard-issue body armor and a man in the middle. More like ‘sophisticated’ by this point.

    “But not so much as this puppy, here.” There was an obvious effort to her still very smooth movements as she picked up the next, with a stubby-ish ‘barrel’ that was more a pair of flat metal strips spaced inside a transparent glass or plastic tube. “Yes, this is what it looks like. Heavy little sucker, not very handy at all. A touch inefficient, even with the dielectric-gas tube it sparks over in firing.” She grinned broadly. “It also takes… if you will, Brian…” and waited till he’d picked up a heavy backpack-sized thing from behind the boxy little ‘printer to say, “…a power reservoir, basically a Faraday wheel kinetic storage generator. Two-three shots a charge. But,” (that smile again, like the dawn) “it’s a personal railgun.12 to 15 K feet per second, hits like a bazooka. The vids you’ll have seen… understate the results.”

    And she yielded over to Brian, who’d put the clumsy-looking, 250-kilo spinbat down on the boxy ‘printer. “None of this equipment is mass-produced or off the shelf. All of it, though, is pre-designed and almost all of it pre-tested, back sometime in the past here. And this box, this, is what puts that all together. Three-dee, UV-laser-sintering metal-powder printer. Makes rough blanks, or even low-tolerance finished products, from dust… iron, steel, brass, tungsten, Inconel, Hastelloy, any or all of that stuff. Not good enough by itself to make a final product gun barrel, or even a decent inside or outside precision thread.”

    He smiled, not unlike Alex had. “But, Malloy, tell us how that gets solved.” At which a reddish-faced man stood up from the small crowd.

    “Plus-minus. Additive manufacturing followed by subtractive. You make a blank that’s almost an in-spec barrel or receiver or — uh, whatever you call the bits and pieces of those other things — then bore or mill or grind it, ‘conventionally’ as they used to say, to shape. Much easier than trying to make a whatever-it-is from raw metal stock. Especially if you’re clever about it.”

    “And the reason” — Alexandra had picked up smoothly — “just about everyone who lives in Schiaparelli City has one of these down in the ‘basements’ off their top-level, pseudo-Earth houses, is that these big boxy things are one of the pillars of their whole economy. Everyone needs parts, to fix all the stuff needed to keep life going… and except for a few things, say like the ‘printers themselves, none of it is mass-produced in anything like a Terran factory.”

    “So this is it, then, for us if not the Chain of Command or the D-Regs yet,” said Brian with a sort of wistful smile on his face. “Nobody can ‘take away all the guns’ in any meaningful way, because they’ll just make more while our backs are turned. You can’t take away the ‘printers without an instant shortage of all sorts of critical parts, because that’s how those are usually made, one each as needed. You can’t ‘interdict the flow of guns’ because they’re made on site or even at the point of use. You can’t find a ‘technology chokepoint’ because this basketful of technologies, here, together don’t have one.”

    And that smile deepened, widened. “We’re the ARRF-holes that everyone else on Earth, JAF included, loves to hate. We’re the best and the brightest killers the Mommy Planet can make. But unless we want to be dead-center of a big crossfire between Martians and Feds, or get Swalwelled when the Fed Expert Class nukes Mars out of pure anti-rebel spite… we need to get clever fast.


  19. Miri glanced over when she heard a tiny scritching sound over by the low stone wall, then froze. SOMETHING had just left a print, nearly the size of her hand, in the weathered surface.

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