The Tropic of Eternity is to be released on August 7th and it will be book three of The Amaranthine Spectrum. I’m stoked to be part of the blog tour for this release and below I have a special treat! An excerpt from The Tropic of Eternity. I hope you guys enjoy.
There were stories of the lagoon dating back nine thousand years, from the time of Drolgins’ first visitors; tales passed down through the generations, lingering in people’s collective memories until, like the folk who told them, they had twisted into something else entirely.
Impio was a vast body of chalky water, possessing near its southern tip a murky blue hole lying visible on the sandy bed. The first travellers to reach the place called the hole Saint Anthony’s Mouth, after the soft, glottal sounds that filtered up from its depths. It was thought to be nearly bottomless, a fissure reaching down all the way through the moon’s sulphurous crust – home, the oldest of them said, to giant fish with glowing illicium lures – and into whatever realms lay beneath. It was a place of odd currents and indeterminable effects: those who swam over the hole would suddenly sink like a pebble, and anyone venturing down after them never returned.
As the ages passed, the hole acquired a new name, having eaten so many hundreds in its time: the Gulp. The voices that bubbled to its surface were spoken to and parroted, the way someone might talk to a pet, but no longer studied. Soon even they were ignored, and the great, venerable moon of Drolgins moved on.
A small, leaky Vulgar fishing boat bobbed on the tide, dredging for sluppocks and crablings with a ripped net, its occupants dozing off in the midday heat and batting lazily at the flies.
Their boat, its anchor rope snapped, had drifted over the course of the morning from the rocks of Milkland and into the cloudy, pale waters surrounding the Gulp. By mid-afternoon, they were almost directly over the hole, rocking and creaking in the warm wind, the flies dispersing. In place of the insects’ drone, the dreams of the Vulgar on board were filled with strange voices and faces. The faces asked the crew questions about their lives, and, in their dreams, they answered.
The boat remained in place, its shadow falling over the small blue mouth until something stirred in the depths, rising in a cloud of sand to investigate the hull. It passed beneath, a blue shadow rocking the little vessel and tinkling its bells, and made its slow, sinuous way towards the harbour.
Muerto Hichie, Muerto, Omer, muerto . . .
The Vulgar Ogarch Berphio of Gulpmouth sang a little more of the sweet song, a lamentation for dear, young Hichie, as he cracked the top of his giant breakfast egg and dug into it with a spoon.
‘Muerto Hichie, oh, how I loved you!’ he breathed, dribbling yolk into his beard and grubbing for his napkin. ‘Taken away, so soon, too soon. Taken away from meeeee . . .’
The mayor stopped to listen as he ate, scooping busily around inside the egg. Bells.