Standalone version of Perigee now out of print

I pulled my standalone version of my science fiction novella Perigee out of print- there will be copies available on Amazon and other booksellers for a while but no more will be printed.

I made this decision because I have decided to combine Perigee with its sequel novella Anagama, and throw in a couple of short stories as well. I also want to fix some systemic flaws which have existed in Perigee from the start, such as incorporating elements of a distant friend’s story into it- I feel like the work will be stronger and better without them, and I also will avoid any claims of co-authorship or demands for rights from this friend if I manage to write a screenplay and it sells.

I’ve been taking my time with this because I would rather produce good writing than rapidly assembled words, and I have been focusing on a business plan for the next stage in my scientific career.

Here is a short excerpt of writing from Perigee‘s Chapter One: I had a little trouble with formatting in this blog post, but the basic idea should be clear.

She opened her eyes and spread her arms; like wings, the dust of comets showered in a bright streak over her shoulders and back, into the blackness.

Don’t look back

A naked red planet floated in the distance. She looked at it dispassionately. She had spent so many years staring at this planet, at its crust, its substructures, the fabric of its being, that she felt she knew it inside and out, like a lover.

Don’t look back

There was a painful contraction of her insides, as if a harpstring tightly wound between her larynx and her solar plexus had suddenly, violently, been pulled. The small red planet tumbled. Meridian focused on it, extended one hand, willing it to come to life. She frowned, concentrating on the things it would need: water, plants, microbial life. She was aware that she had done this before, many times in fact. Disconnected images flowed through her mind: maps, charts, chemical formulae.  These were comfortable things, things she understood. Vials of life thawing innocently in her white-gloved hands, the microbial machinery that would help reconstruct a world and keep it healthy.

But there was something behind her—

Don’t look back

Meridian shook her head, but the images kept coming. Her hands, manipulating tubes, gels, huge robotic machines. Rows of small circular wells in a transparent plastic plate, colored yellow, blue, purple. Hairy fungal mats growing on flat white biofiltration screens, embryonic cloned plants suspended in tissue culturing gels, the massive silver chemostats in which the terraforming bacteria grew, sloshing about in a pale brown froth. The small red planet, pinned in the viewscreens of the mother ship like a specimen under a microscope, slowly growing clouds. Meetings, countless meetings, with other faces in the flesh or on computer screens, slowly and carefully mapping out the guts of a colony, of a world.

Something was definitely behind her.

It was gaining momentum.

The awakening planet, her shipboard laboratory, the guts of a colony—water lines, sewer lines, waste composters and biofilters—images of these things rotated silently around her like a carousel.  There was something else, though. She felt sick with fear and dread, she didn’t want to look, but she could feel it, beating reproachfully at her insides, forcing her neck muscles to turn her head.

Don’t look—

Meridian looked over her shoulder.

Suddenly she was back in the oncology unit in the new colony hospital, one year ago, her fists on the glass, watching helplessly as the nurses hovered over him, fumbled with the defibrillator, syringes; the cool glass pressed against her skin as the glowing lines that registered his heartbeat, his brain activity, spasmed once, then twice. She cried out to him, wordlessly: please, don’t leave, don’t go. The nurses lay the defibrillator on his emaciated chest once more, and the thin body jerked. Please, Meridian prayed. Please, David, come back. The lines lay flat. Again the charge was applied, and again; what was left of his beautiful body was being tortured, she couldn’t watch any more. He had gone. She spoke his name, a croak past the tremendous pain in the back of her throat. He couldn’t hear her; he would never hear her again, and as the pain built and spread throughout her ribcage there was nothing she could do except slide to the white floor, and lie there, unmoving, like a corpse.