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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Mars Vintage and Other Stories – A. H. Lykke

The Mars Vintage

QSFer A. H. Lykke has a new queer spec fic collection out (bisexual): The Mars Vintage and Other Stories.

An intriguing collection of short stories, from Space Opera to harder sf.

Life can be hard when your papers suddenly aren’t valid anymore and you are forced to leave your home for another planet.

How do you cope?

Friendly aliens come in all shapes, as do the ones you don’t want in your mind.

You will find some futuristic social science and a speculative one thrown in for good measure. The characters are younger and some are older, some are strange and some perhaps, are more familiar. This collection of short stories reveals capable humans, intriguing aliens, and new areas of trade.

From the introduction: ”There is a poetry of lyricism here, an elegance wedded to economy of expression. Like a painter’s vanishing-point, strange worlds stretch out their alien tendrils between lines, as real as any remorseless implication can make them. Such worlds to behold!”

--P. Stuart Robinson, 2020

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From “Trade”

There she was minding her own business in her home-cloud, and suddenly a cold dark hole at the end of a long tube appeared, and she was sucked into it. The agony was excruciating, and she passed out.

She sensed confusion and concern, and woke up in a container filled with a dense liquid, barely large enough for a family, and she was alone. Her family was missing.

-Who are you, and what do you think you are doing to us? She said.

-Do you understand us?

She could sense their meaning, even if not the language.

-Yes! Let us out home again. Silly creatures. Intelligent beings should not be kept in containers.

-We are trying to help you. We needed to put you in a pool, it said. She eyed it. A weirdly quadropedic being clad in dark rubber and metal, with flat sunken eyes, looked back from the edge.

-Er, no. I am quite okay, she said. Why?

-To save your life.

The pressure was unfamiliar and she felt so heavy. The gravity here was larger than at home. She was elsewhere finally. But how?

-We come from another planet, they said, far away.

-Well of course, you do, she said. You look far too strange to come from nearby.

-Hello, I am Mike, the creature said and nodded its single head at her.

-Hello Mike, I said. I am Mother. But it responded with a shudder and the scent of revulsion. Strange!

-We know about other planets. She had to interrupt them, when they were hammering on about how they knew it was strange, and that she needed to believe them.

Alright, so they came from a heavy planet without a proper carrying life-sphere. It resembled her neighboring planet in a way. Just a hard shell with a thin layer of uninteresting gas-mixes. They felt and seemed sincere, their intentions mixed, but they were pleased with their own well-meaning attitude, “good people”.

Author Bio

A. H. Lykke writes science fiction and fantasy. She loves the snow and lives happily in the arctic with her family. The reindeer crossing the streets don’t mind her taking a large number of photos.

Author Website

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