Teaser Tuesday 1/8/2013: “A Hymn Before Battle”

So not long ago I started reading a book called Gust Front, which very excitingly starts in the middle of a galactic war between a group of aliens called the Posleen on one side and a Galactic Federation consisting of several other alien races plus the Terrans on the other. I eventually realized that the reason Gust Front starts that way is that it’s actually the second book of the Posleen War, the first being A Hymn Before Dying, which I switched over to and am now reading. No harm done, except that there’s at least one character in this book that I know survives into the next one. Spoilers!

In this scene from A Hymn Before Dying, a friendly alien called a Tchpth, which looks like a crab, is explaining to the President and his advisors why using nerve gases or other chemical weapons against the Posleen is doomed to failure.

“Your vicious and disgusting mustard gas would make me quite ill at lethal concentrations, but nerve gases would be completely ineffective. Despite my oft-noted resemblance to a cockroach or a crab you are much more closely related to your order crustacea or arthropoda than I.”

Oh, snap! Take that, you vicious, backward omnivores (another pet name the Tchpth have for humans)! With friends like these …

And of course, here’s this week’s excerpt from The War of the Ravels, in which Mercy is suffering from altitude sickness, and would like someone to bring her a cup of soup. And possibly a blankie.

A diagonal gust of wind knifed across the cliff face, reminding Mercy that her attic room and her bed and anyone who might bring her soup were all far, far away. There must be somewhere better than this she could be, though. She tried to get up, but her muscles wouldn’t cooperate, as if something were holding her to the ground; after a moment she realized it was Nebandalex, restraining her. “Do not try to get up again,” he said. “The last time, you collapsed and nearly started rolling down the mountain.”

Hmm, rolling down a mountain is bad, unless you’re a boulder. And even then it’s probably not that much fun for the boulder.