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by (author) Kristene Perron & Joshua Simpson

JoKri Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
    $17.99 USD

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Cultural Theorist Seg Eraranat was ready to conquer his first new world, claim its riches, and return to his dying planet a hero. What he wasn’t prepared for, however, was to fall in love with one of the locals—Ama Kalder, a feisty young boat Captain—or to lead her people in rebellion against their tyrannical overlords. Hunted by enemies across two dimensions, Seg and Ama will have to strike an uneasy alliance to survive. The fate of two worlds is in their hands.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Kristene Perron is a former professional stunt performer for film and television (as Kristene Kenward) and a self-described fishing goddess. Pathologically nomadic, she has lived in Japan, Costa Rica, the Cook Islands and a very tiny key in the Bahamas, just to name a few. Her stories have appeared in Canadian Storyteller Magazine, The Barbaric Yawp, Hemispheres Magazine, and Denizens of Darkness. In 2010 she won the Surrey International Writers’ Conference Storyteller Award.Kristene is a member of SF CanadaShe currently resides in Nelson, BC, Canada but her suitcase is always packed.A career nomad, Joshua Simpson has driven trucks through the lower forty-eight states, treated and and disposed of hazardous waste, mixed mud as a stone-masonry laborer, failed abysmally in marketing, gotten on people's nerves as a safety man, and presently gets on their nerves even more using nerve release techniques in pain relief therapy.He lives amidst the scrub and mesquite of West Texas, with his cat.

Excerpt: Warpworld (by (author) Kristene Perron & Joshua Simpson)

He slid the pieces back into the kit, puzzling over the arrangement, as he considered an answer she might comprehend. “Let me start at the beginning. My People travel across the dimensions. There are worlds, next to each other, worlds beyond counting, and the barrier between them is like—like the separation between water and air. It is a different world below the waves, no? And these worlds, they have a fuel on them, we call it vita.”“Vita,” Ama repeated. “And there’s vita at the temples?”“Yes, at most places of religious observance. Places where people gather and believe and worship.” He stood, stumbled to his quarters and returned with his map disc, which he set on the deck. He pressed his finger to a button and smiled slightly at her gasp as a holographic map of S’orasa appeared, with the selected reconnaissance targets highlighted. “My people,” he explained, “are as far beyond the Shasir in development as the Shasir are beyond you and the Welf. And very soon, we will come to take the vita from them. When my People come, nothing will be able to stop them.” “You’ll come and take this vita from the Shasir and then leave?” Ama asked, as she stared intently at the globe. “More than that. They, we, will also take people, thousands of people, and any useful technology we can lay our hands on. I doubt there will be much technology to be found here, though samples will be taken of course. And the process will not be easy or peaceful. My People will come with fire and they will destroy anything that opposes them.”Ama’s mouth came unhinged. Her head turned slowly and she stared at the spot where Manatu had disappeared. “I see,” she said, her voice hollow. “And you’re the leader of this…exploration?” “Not precisely. More like the scout. I’m a Cultural Theorist; I’m here to find the vita, as part of a team. Manatu was my bodyguard, and now he is gone. That’s why I’m telling you about all this, because I need your help.” “What about your team?” Ama asked, her tone guarded. “They can’t help you?”“They have their own assignment.” He deactivated the map. “I want you to understand, the target assignment process has begun, the forces are being assembled, and the planning is going on right now. When my People come, it will be with skyships of metal far beyond anything the Shasir can field. Unstoppable, they will go where they please and take what they want. Even I can’t stop the process at this point, only guide it to the proper targets.”“And you expect me to help you? To help you conquer my world?” Ama didn’t wait for a reply; she snapped around and thundered up the stairs. “If you’ll calm down and listen, I’ll explain.” Seg jogged up behind her. “Don’t bother,” Ama said, the morning wind lifting her hair. When she turned to Seg, her usually animated face was sober. “You’re going to tell me how helping you is for the good of my people.”“It can be,” Seg said.“I’ve heard that before. I believe it now as much as I did then.” The strain of the past twenty-four hours showed plainly in her eyes. She looked past Seg, to the horizon. “But I understand. Your magic is greater than ours, as your gods must also be. I would offer some resistance but…” “You can’t.”Ama’s expression was tired, defeated. The first beams of sunlight washed across the deck, shabby in comparison to the light of the warp. “The sun’s already up, we need to pull anchor and get moving if we’re going to make T’ueve before dark.” Her eyes moved from the bow to the stern, then back to Seg. “If I do as you ask, you have to promise you’ll protect my people, the Kenda."“You have my word, the Kenda will be spared.”“Good,” she said, swallowed and nodded. “We’ve wasted too much daylight. We can talk more once we’re moving. I’ll extend the skins, you winch the anchor.” At the bow, Seg cranked the handle of the winch to raise the anchor. All things considered, she had taken the revelation better than he had anticipated. “In any event,” he said, after a pause, “the Shasir are much better targets, in general, than the Kenda; the Shasir and the Welf specifically—”Something sharp, pressed into his lower back, stopped his words. Seg froze, his hands still on the crank. “Get. Off. My. Boat.” The defeat and acquiescence were gone from Ama’s voice. She jabbed at him with the weapon. “OFF!” The imminence of death gave him a strange clarity. He could see the individual ripples as the water waited to enclose him, suffocate him. “I saved your life.” “That’s the only reason you’re still breathing.” “I can’t swim.” “You should have thought of that before you came to pirate my world.” She pressed the blade harder against him. “Wait!” Seg shouted, as his upper body was forced further against the rail. “Kill me and the raid still happens. But let me live and I can direct the strikes away from your people.” He turned around slowly, hands held high.“Just like the Shasir. Lots of promises. All lies.” With a quick movement, she flicked the weapon, a gracefully curved blade at the end of a long staff, and slashed across Seg’s shoulder, then repositioned the tip of the blade under his chin. “You’ve already lied to me once. I may not be able to stop your people but I can warn mine. Now jump, or I’ll send you over in pieces.” He winced at the cut and fought down the impulse to raise his hand to it. “Your warning won’t change anything. When the raid ends, your people will still be under the boots of the Shasir. I’m offering you a chance to topple their order, an opportunity for real freedom.”Ama kept the pressure on the seft but at the last word she flinched noticeably.“Freedom,” Seg repeated, seizing the word that had stalled her anger, “for all of the Kenda.”“If I help you,” Ama said, her voice wary, “what do you want from me?”“I need someone to assist me. Be my extra eyes. Help me transport my equipment while I pursue my targets. Once the information is collected,” he shrugged without thinking; the cut’s sting, heightened by the briny air, brought on a wince, “we won’t need you for the raid. Couldn’t use you anyway. Get low, stay away from the target areas, and then whatever comes after is the business of your people.”“And if you change your mind? If you decide the Kenda would make good slaves after all?” “I understand my word means nothing to you, but it’s all I have. You’ve spoken of your family, I know you care about them. Refuse my offer and you put them all in danger,” Seg said.Ama’s eyes darkened. “Enough!” She spun the weapon and cracked him in the ribs with the handle. The blow knocked the wind out him, he ducked forward to catch his breath. “Wait…” he wheezed, and raised a hand.She dropped the weapon, lunged forward and shoved. He was a tall man with a high center of gravity; he went over the rail with barely an effort.The world slowed for Seg as he dropped over the side. Over his head, he saw the water rush toward him, a giant, gaping mouth ready to swallow him whole. The water parted around him and shocked his entire body with cold. Wrapped in the cold water, he lost orientation. Up? Down? He had no way of knowing. He thrashed his arms and legs as he tried vainly to remember the basic elements of swim training he had received as a cadet – they hadn’t even actually gotten into water.He had not caught a breath before he went in and inhaled his first burning gulp of seawater. Panicked, he increased the thrashing and somehow managed to surface. Water spewed from his mouth and he coughed uncontrollably as he struggled to stay aloft. One sip of air was all he took in before he sunk under again.

Editorial Reviews

Warpworld is written with astonishing depth; to step inside its pages is to walk its strange lands in realtime and be caught completely in the action. It's total immersion of the heart-pounding variety. - Anne DeGrace, author of Treading Water

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