Saturday, July 27, 2019

"Medusa in the Graveyard"

Emily Devenport has written several novels under various pseudonyms including one which was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Medusa in the Graveyard, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Someone approached, their feet crunching on the path. Oddly, it wasn’t until that moment that it occurred to me that we must also have gotten our gravel from asteroids.

Cocteau held a wine bottle in one hand and a glass in the other. She navigated the garden path with grace, belying the sparkle in her eye that I guessed had come from several samplings from the glass―and possibly several previous glasses.

She hoisted the bottle. “I have made a lovely friend. He makes coffee and he likes wine.”

“Ogden Schickele?” I guessed.

“The very one.” Cocteau sat beside me on the bench. She was a tiny thing, and she looked delicate, though not fragile. She moved with confidence. Her demeanor, as she regarded me from her perch, reminded me very much of Dragonette.

Her hair was so white, I wondered if she lightened it. The contrast with her dark skin made her look like a magical creature. A fairy godmother? An elf? Yet despite her apparent age, her skin was smooth, and Cocteau’s accented voice possessed the timbre of a fine instrument, pleasing my ears so well, I knew I would be looking for reasons to like her rather than sensible reasons not to.

“Captain Thomas says you’re the real deal,” I said, “sought after by giant companies, and by captains of ships much larger than Merlin.”

“How could I resist Merlin?” Cocteau set the bottle beside her as if it were a favored child. “She is named for a beautiful falcon, so small and fierce and full of surprises.”

Like you, I thought.

“You know, Oichi―” Cocteau took a sip. “―when I made queries about you, when I was deciding whether or not to sign on for this contract, my sources called you Miss Kick-Butt.” She winked. “It’s the reason I accepted.”

I wondered whom she could have talked to who would have known so much about me, but I couldn’t help smiling back. “I don’t kick people’s butts for fun. These days I spend a lot more time putting out fires than setting them.”

“There’s more than one way to kick butt.” Cocteau took another sip. “Oh my Lord this is good wine. And the coffee! My French soul is in ecstasy.”

Perhaps she was related to the filmmaker after all. “You are entirely French?” I said. “You know this?”

“No one is entirely anything, these days,” said Cocteau...
Cocteau sums it up perfectly, on the bottom of page 69. Oichi and the Olympians have learned that they're not alone in the cosmos – they have neighbors, and old enemies could be allies under the right circumstances. Vengeance is no longer relevant or useful. Now they have to figure out how to rebuild what they were so eager to tear down when they plotted their revolution. Who will be their allies? Who will want to trade for their wine and coffee?

Who will be their new enemies? The answer will not be clear to anyone until Oichi and her team travel into the Graveyard and speak with the three alien ships with whom they share some DNA, entities who have remained in self-imposed sleep for millennia. With each step they take toward that destination, the picture becomes more complicated, because The Three are not the only ancient entities in that spaceship junkyard – and they aren't the only ones looking to forge new alliances.

Weapons may help people win wars, or even prevent wars if their existence is a deterrent, but conflicts aren't resolved by weapons, alone. One step into the Graveyard will prove that things that go BOOM are primitive compared with what the entities in the Graveyard can do. Wonders and terrors are harbored, therein, and Oichi is one of the few who has the nerve and the hubris to seek them out.

There will be consequences...
Visit Emily Devenport's blog.

The Page 69 Test: Medusa Uploaded.

My Book, The Movie: Medusa Uploaded.

My Book, The Movie: Medusa in the Graveyard.

--Marshal Zeringue