Teaser Tuesday 8/13/13: “Starliner”

This week’s book, from the Baen free library, is Starliner, by David Drake. This is about an interstellar passenger ship (the “starliner” of the title, natch) that gets dragged into a war between two planets along its route. At least, I assume it’s going to get dragged into the war. Otherwise there’s not going to be much going on, is there?

Ms. Fessermark took the drink and downed a good three ounces of it before she lowered the glass. That ought to calm her down, if it didn’t simply knock her legless when the full effect of layered rums and liqueurs set in.

Apparently even cruise liners in space know how to mix drinks! As a side note, the Amazon Kindle page for this book mentions that “at the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (DRM Rights Management)”, which means that with a little know-how the book can be converted to be read on devices other than the Kindle or loaned out to other Kindle owners, just like a “real” book, without running afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which criminalizes the bypassing of DRM, even for fair-use purposes like making a backup. Baen seems to be one of the few mainstream publishers to get that allowing e-books to be loaned and borrowed is a way to inspire word of mouth for titles that may otherwise lack publicity. Good for you, Baen!

Speaking of books that haven’t got DRM on them, here is this week’s excerpt from The Ravels or The War of the Ravels or The War and Peace of the Ravels or whatever I end up calling it. For now let’s just say it’s the conclusion of the story that began in Shards!

She retrieved the telescope, put it to her left eye, and looked out across the Ravels, sweeping the circle of her magnified vision back and forth. There were the Fists, massively solid, yet so riddled with dwarven tunnels that she imagined a good blow might cause them to collapse. She knew that, unseen beyond the rugged peaks, the elven forest of Torgonderrer sprouted on the plateau, a remnant of much more extensive ancient woodlands now submerged beneath the Boiling Sea. Something dire had transpired in Torgonderrer recently; they had seen a vast plume of smoke drifting southward not long ago, as if a large woodland blaze burned. The smoke had only persisted for a day, leading the two of them into endless speculation as to what had happened. Perhaps Brennendah would find something out during his visit with Jordneh. Swinging the spyglass west, to her left, she scanned the downs, searching for the small dust cloud that would be left by the wagon. There it was. She caught sight of the dark shape of the cart itself just as it vanished behind another drumlin, and moved the glass upwards to where the road emerged from the other side of the low, rolling hill. As she did, she noticed that the storm from the sea had begun moving overland, two dark, chunky, oily arms of cloud reaching northward to encircle the Ravels, overtaking the wisps that already drifted in that part of the sky.

Kaderleh frowned. Why weren’t the other clouds moving with the same speed as the oncoming storm?

Why indeed? Kaderleh will soon find out, and she probably won’t like the answer …

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