Swords, Space, Scotland #SF #wewriwar

wewriwa
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.

The second is the start of a science fiction story in the same universe as Cynthia the Invincible, but set in 1893 Dartmoor, The Curious Case of Miss James. It’s available on Amazon.

The Art of Deception, first in a series of late Georgian/early Regency spy novels is now up.. You can get the first part here.

You can find my work here.

Author: Amelia

A mild-mannered professor of computer science in real-life, I remove my glasses in the evening to become, well, a mild-mannered author in my alternate reality. I mostly write sweet romantic fiction, although with an occasional science-fiction or paranormal angle thrown in. I have interests in history, mathematics (D'oh), and cryptography. I'm also something of an Anglophile, and know that country pretty well. In addition to writing, research, and more writing, I volunteer with the scouts. I'm something of a nature-nut, enjoying long walks in the country with almost ultra-light gear, boating, and identifying wildlife.

21 thoughts on “Swords, Space, Scotland #SF #wewriwar”

  1. Great character development going on here.

    I’ve never had Haggis, but grew up eating what out small, family farm produced. My grandma, whose parents were immigrants, believed in wasting absolutely nothing when an animal was slaughtered, so we grew up eating pickled pigs feet, roasted beef heart, pickled tongue, and pon haus.

    My son worked in NC for six months a couple of years ago, and developed quite a taste for liver mush, which turns out to be not too, too different than the pan haus I ate as a child.

    1. That all sounds good to me. My Chinese students and co-workers sometimes try to gross me out with the more economical aspects of their cuisine, little realizing that crubbeans (boiled pigs feet) and similar things are part of my background too.
      Thank you.

  2. Great interaction between the characters here – I’ve never tasted haggis and have no inclination to do so, although I did see a ‘vegetarian’ version on TV the other day, laced with whiskey, which sounded a lot mor palatable! I don’t like Marmite either, I’m afraid, but then I’m Welsh and was brought up on ‘bara brith’ a kind of cakey bread, with fruit in it, and eaten spread with butter.

  3. I hope Belter’s Marmite is… more pleasing to the tastebuds than the real stuff. Definitely NOT for the faint of palate!

    Though the way Terry said sheep’s lights, I was thinking something closer to prairie oysters.

    1. Them too, but they’re generally eaten at ‘docking’ time on the young rams (wethers to be). There’s a rather coarse farmer’s joke about a ewe that was ‘under the wether’ which I will leave to the imagination.

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