Thursday, December 26, 2013

"The Vastalimi Gambit"

Steve Perry has sold dozens of stories to magazines and anthologies, as well as a considerable number of novels, animated teleplays, non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays, along with a couple of unproduced movie scripts. He wrote for Batman: The Animated Series during its first Emmy-award winning season, and during the second season, one of his scripts was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing. His novelization of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire spent ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He also did the bestselling novelization for the summer blockbuster movie Men in Black, and seven of his collaborative novels for Tom Clancy's Net Force series have made the New York Times list.

Perry applied the Page 69 Test to The Vastalimi Gambit, the second novel in his Cutter's Wars series, and reported the following:
So, this is where I set-up the page in the second book of my space-opera series, but, you know what? I think pretty much everything you need is on the page. You should be able to get a feel for who these folks are, and what they are about from context, and whether or not you'd keep reading. See what you think:
Kay resisted the urge to extrude her claws as they walked across the road.

When they were ten meters away from him, Vialmasc said, “Well, if it isn’t the hairless ruta who ran. You won’t escape me this time.”

He spoke barely passable Basic, and she knew that was for Wink’s benefit.

Kay smiled at him. “Is that the best you can do? One would think that a fighter who used to have skill could rise above such a pedestrian insult.”

Vial shrugged. “It’s not the talking, Kluth, it’s the doing that matters. And you will find that my skill is unchanged from the time you observed it last.”



“One hates to kill a worthless opponent, there is no honor in that.”

“After I finish you, I’m am going to shred your tame human.”

“He is legally immune to Challenge.”

“Challenge? Hardly worthy of that, is he? I’m going to exterminate him, as I would any other pest.”

“You think?” Wink said.

Vial glanced up. Saw that Wink held his knife in his left hand.

The big Vastalimi whickered. “How amusing! What do you think you are going to do with that stubby toy, ape? Wave it and hope I die from fright?”

“No, actually, I planned to use it to cut your balls off and stuff them into your mouth after I shoot you with this.” Wink held up his pistol in the other hand.

Vial looked at Kay. “You were speaking of honor? None among humans, is there?”
Visit Steve Perry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue