Friday, 3 February 2012

Excerpts from new TOS novels

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with excerpts from new and forthcoming TOS novels: The Rings of Time, which just came out, and That Which Divides, which is out next month.

The Rings of Time
June 28, 2020

“Launch minus five minutes . . .”

The space shuttle Renaissance faced the early-morning sky at Cape Canaveral. Its enormous fuel tanks and boosters dwarfed the vessel as it towered over the launch pad. The launch tower pulled away, leaving the shuttle and its booster rockets clear for flight. It was a beautiful morning, the last Colonel Shaun Christopher would see for more than six months. It would be winter the next time he set foot on Earth.

Assuming all goes well, he thought.

Inside the cockpit, Shaun was strapped into his seat, staring up at the nose of the ship. A flight suit and helmet provided meager protection from the titanic forces about to be unleashed. The Atlantic Ocean could be glimpsed out the starboard window. A pair of old-fashioned military dog tags dangled above the lighted instrument panel in front of him. A good-luck charm, the tags had accompanied him into space before.

“Ready to go, Colonel?” the pilot sitting next to him said. Commander Shirin Ludden was among the first of a new breed of shuttle pilots. She seemed shockingly young to Shaun, who was in his early fifties.

“You tell me,” he answered. “I’m just a passenger on this flight.”

Despite their banter, the launch procedure continued on schedule. The sound-and-heat-suppression system fired up far below the cockpit, but Shaun could feel the vibration from all that water where he was sitting. He and Ludden closed the visors on their flight helmets. He took a deep breath of piped-in oxygen. The entire shuttle trembled as the launch engines gradually came online. Shaun felt a familiar excitement growing inside him.

The Renaissance had been intended to be the first in a new fleet of second-generation shuttles, but then the aerospace bubble had gone bust, cratering the economy again and creating entire districts of homeless people in many of the world’s cities. The latest round of budget cuts had left the Renaissance as a one-of-a-kind prototype, kept alive primarily by private investors and international partners who couldn’t afford to build ships on their own. She was an impressive vessel, state-of-the-art. A shame she had to fly alone.
Continue reading the rest of chapter one on Simon and Schuster's website.
Pre-order: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.jp.


That Which Divides
As a former science officer and now the captain of a science vessel, Ronald Arens had encountered his share of interesting stellar phenomena. There had been the odd black hole or quasar, stars in the midst of going nova, and the occasional nebula here and there. He even had spent two weeks studying a rogue pulsar. Nothing Arens had seen with his own eyes or read about in reports submitted by those observing even stranger examples of spatial oddities compared to the image now displayed on the main viewscreen of the U.S.S. Huang Zhong’s bridge.

“Okay,” Arens said, rising from his command chair and moving closer to the screen, “I think this qualifies as an impressive welcome to the Kondaii system, especially considering how we nearly blew out our engines trying to get here.” Built for speed, the Huang Zhong, an Archer-class scout ship configured to hold an enhanced suite of sensor arrays and other science-related information-gathering equipment, had proceeded here at maximum speed after its abrupt reassignment from patrol duty. Despite his comment, the dependable little craft had handled with ease the exertion of traveling at high warp for nearly a week. As for why they had been dispatched, the captain had been told that the ship originally assigned to be here, the U.S.S. Lexington, had been deployed elsewhere on a task of greater priority. Though his ship’s science equipment would do in a pinch, Arens knew it could not substitute for a Constitution-class vessel. To that end, the Enterprise was being redirected to the Kondaii system to take on the brunt of the survey and research tasks. Until then, it was the Huang Zhong’s show.
Continue reading the rest of chapter one on Simon and Schuster's website.
Pre-order: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.jp.


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