Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.
I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy (which is problematic as even the authorities disagree about what it was really like).
It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers (I crossed 49k last night) and into the book.
In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed. Last week’s snippet skips ahead a few paragraphs from the one before. It’s after she’s finished her training for the day. The discussion of Scotland from before is replaced by the ceremonies for the first jump of the mission.
“At ease gentlemen,” The captain stood down, “Dinner first, and … the celebrations after.”
Jamie glanced at Terry, “First jump with a full stomach?”
She shrugged, “At worst I’ll add some color to the room,” after she sat she added, “At least exploration ships like Serapis have the ability to make the fermenter’s output seem like real food.” Not like that in-system training shuttle, looked and tasted like shitte. “Though haggis?”
“Could be worse,” Jamie held a slice in his fork, “Belter Marmite;” he took a bite, and added, “Not bad, not as good as the real thing, but it’ll do for the high road.”
Terry nibbled hers, and followed with a hearty bite, “I’ve had the real thing; this is better, no sheep’s lights.”
“I won’t ask what they are,” Jamie frowned at her.
“Everything bar the wool and the bah; lungs, eyes and the sweetmeats.”
The sailor across from her turned vaguely green, “I’m glad this isn’t real.”
Unlike the sailing ships of the 19th century, a spaceship cannot carry enough air, food, and water for a long journey. They will need to recycle their waste to generate more. Not something for the squeamish. Nor, it seems, for the Russians, who object to the American’s recycled water on ISS.
Serapis, being a long range ship, has the ability to modify the microbial output of the fermentation system to make it palatable. Not all the ships, especially smaller ones, do. Marmite, a yeast extract sold in the UK and eaten spread (very) thinly on bread, is something of an acquired taste. There are wide range of recipes for it which I haven’t tried. Vegamite is the Australian product that is similar, but not the same. (Saying which is better is one way to start a war.) Our local farmer’s market (in Decatur GA) stocks Vegamite so it is available in the USA should you so desire.
Haggis is actually delectable. Despite its ingredients. It’s also something that you can only smuggle into the USA (I had it in the UK).
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.