So this week, I’m still reading Great North Road, the science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton that I was reading two weeks ago.
At this point, I’m very close to the end of the book, and in the middle of a scene where just about everything is a spoiler. Instead, I’m going to reach back into the middle of the book for the scene that stuck with me the most:
Saul swept his beam around the twinkling frost-coated surfaces. It stopped briefly on a bristly gray lump on the floor beneath one of the range cookers, then he forced it onward. The cats had probably been huddling in the place they knew was sometimes warmer.
So, yeah. Characters have been dropping like flies (or rather, like the science fiction equivalent of a fly: the Red Shirts), planets have been destroyed (mostly in flashback), an apparently unstoppable alien is on a murderous rampage, and me? I’m still upset about the throwaway mention of couple of cats that froze to death hiding under the stove in a mansion on a planet that’s suffering from a sudden and severe global drop in temperature. Because of course I would be.
Don’t worry, Charlee, you and Chaplin are in no danger of freezing here in Southern California. And meanwhile, under the cat’s close supervision, editing continues on Father’s Books. I’m back towards the beginning on this pass; nobody important has gotten killed yet. And in this little exchange, one of the characters, six-year-old Janice, is talking to her mother about her imaginary friend Candy.
“Last night. She came and visited me. We played while you were sleeping.”
“What did you play?”
“Hide and seek. Tag. Patty-cake.”
“Uh-huh.” Beth was starting to tune her daughter out again.
“Then we had a tea party and she told me how she died and burned up in the fire.”
Beth processed that for a few seconds, then said: “What?”
Janice didn’t asnwer; she just smiled inscrutably, kicked her legs back and forth, started humming.
Uh, yeah, Janice, just keeping doing that. It’s not creepy at all.