A while ago I wrote a longish short story (8400 words), science fiction, set well into the future and sent it off to all the appropriate pro markets. It came back each time, sometimes with a form rejection, sometimes with a little personal note but still a rejection. So I’m putting it up through my own Triple V imprint with some trepidation.
You see, it’s about an astronaut running out of air. I haven’t seen Gravity yet, but the previews seem to have given the game away a bit too much (I’m going over the weekend so I’ll know more by Monday). I know my story’s very different from the movie (near-future vs. far future, international space station vs. space wreck, near-Earth-orbit vs. light years away, George Clooney vs. minor character, etc.), but still kind of feel like I’m ripping off the trope a bit, even though I wrote this before I’d even heard about Gravity.
Still, to assuage that guilt a fraction, for readers of this blog/facebook post, here’s a code to get it free. (I know there aren’t many of you, but feel free to pass the code on… it expires in a month anyway: Gravity will be fading from the theatres and I will feel less guilty).
Go to the ebook at Smashwords and enter the code FY77L. You have to be a member of Smashwords, but I think most of you are already. Let me know if not – I’ll send you the epub or mobi or whatever. You can preview 20% anyway with or without joining.
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: FY77L
Expires: November 24, 2013
It’s also on Kindle, and will show up on Nook, Sony, etc. soon.
Here’s the opening:
Clare Benjamin knew she had three minutes to live. The suit’s oxygen gauge read eighteen liters, atmospheric effective. Fifty breaths. She was already on the emergency tank.
She gave the strobe a flash and saw the way ahead. Conduits and wires. Some of them were damaged, pointing stiff and sharp edges into the narrow passages.
Behind the conduits the pressure walls might be intact. Probably were. She’d felt a thrumming in the hull when she’d pulled herself along through the evacuated hold. Somewhere inside there was an engine running. It might just be some automatic function, but it might also be a converter sustaining atmosphere to some sections of the wrecked ship. If she could get inside an atmospheric room, then she could buy some time to figure out her next move.
“You find it yet?” Suz said through the comms.
Clare pulled herself along another meter in the darkness. She fired the strobe again. The gap looked even more vicious up close. Like the serrated jaw of a deep sea monster ready to ingest her.
“Clare? You got an exit yet?”
“I’m here. No. I didn’t find it.” Suzanne Memphis was waiting outside the liner in their eighty ton tender, the Mercy Me.
“You need to move, girl.”
“Oh? Thanks for the reminder.” Two months ago, they’d been salvaging from The New Jersey, a station at Cannon’s Star, busted and orbiting Cooltown, the system’s biggest gas giant. The station had been shut down by its owners. Suz and Clare’s clients had lost all their personal property being shipped through. Suz had gotten herself lost. The memory still made Clare blanch.