Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The Outer Alliance: Pride Day Post
As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.
Yup, the first of September is pride day at The Outer Alliance. To celebrate, members will be posting short excerpts of their work. I've decided to post a tiny bit of the novel I'm currently writing. People ask me - "is it SF? Fantasy? Supernatural? Weird?" It's kinda all of those. It has gadgets. It has magic. It has... weird things. Weird people, getting into dark, deep trouble. Alternatively, they sit down and have tea. There are footnotes. It's kind of the global village on a bizarro scale.
Untitled: Excerpt (Novel In Progress)
She found the house on Custard Street without incident. It looked unremarkable. Olivia had expected something gaudier. The zealots must finally have learned the efficacy for flying their cockamamie ideas under the radar. Olivia opened the small white gate and walked up the path. The front door was made of steel; the first sign that those who lived inside had reason to fear for their safety. There was no bell. Olivia banged on the door with her fist.
"We don't want anything!" a voice yelled from inside.
"Open the door."
A hard laugh. "Whatever!"
"I have an appointment."
"If you open the door—"
"Who are you?"
"Lying will get you no further than the porch."
She cursed under her breath. "Olivia Midnight."
Quiet. Olivia waited, already convinced that coming here had been a mistake. The sound of locks being turned held her back. The door opened to reveal a tall, gaunt-looking man in a grey suit. A pink tie set off brightly against his white shirt.
"Whatever brings you here, Harlequin?"
"I told you. I have an appointment with Levin."
The tall man frowned. "I don't see why Levin would want to talk to you." He looked past her, onto the street. The only immediate threat was a small kid on a tricycle. He scowled. "Come in before someone sees you."
The house was old. The fixtures all seemed antique. Not much evidence of computerised control panels. Manual light switches. A sweet smell lingered at the lower level of a more powerful musty odour.
"Stay here," the tall man instructed her gruffly. "And keep your magic in your pockets. None of that Abracadabra bullshit. This place will spike like an irregular heartbeat if anyone's monitoring the area."
He turned and disappeared down a dark hallway. Olivia felt antagonised for having to explain herself. She was used to getting her way easily. And yet… In the past her alliances had always seemed so strong, so clear-cut. When she'd still had a relationship with her father. When there had still been the hope of reconciliation between their differences of opinion. What would he think of her if he knew the things she'd done? Olivia refused to be swayed by her conscience. Not now. She had already risked too much. The idea that all of that had been in vain was unbearable.
While she waited, Olivia noticed the hodgepodge of framed photographs hanging on the yellowed walls. They were old. Most were black and white, a few in colour. Some had been faded by the sun in previous places they had occupied. Olivia wondered if they all belonged to Levin. She knew practically nothing about him. She had accepted his invitation on instinct.
Footsteps approached. The gaunt man paused in the shadows of the darkened hallway. A curious frown creased his forehead. "This way." Olivia followed.