I decided to create a brief excerpt of my novel, just to make sure that the marketing buzz centered on it reaches intolerable levels. This has been line edited, if not story edited; I don’t write this well when I’m doing 2,500 words an hour.
Excerpt: Fugitives from Earth
“A lovely morning, isn’t it? I was disappointed that it had to be spoiled by such bad news.”
“Oh?” Rosetta Lovelace took a sip of coffee and stared out the enormous gallery windows of Ronaldo Chen’s gallery suite. The sun had risen over the horizon half an hour ago from the perspective of this room, though it was not yet dawn for anyone living at ground level. There were certain privileges of rank, to be certain.
Chen had wandered over to his desk and called up a file on his computer. With a gesture, its display increased in size three times, enough for her to see it across the room.
“I’m not sure if you can read this,” he said, “so I’ll do it.” He cleared his throat dramatically. “‘It is the opinion of the analysis section, as it has been for some days now, that the Atlas Project cannot be recovered without significant expenditure of assets, includign the deployment of numerous and capable individuals to recover the ship in question.'” He turned toward Rosetta, ran a hand through his thinning hair, and awaited her reaction.
She sighed. He was waiting for her to tell him that she’d been trying to make this point for weeks. Rosetta finally admitted that she couldn’t quite resist. “Mr. Chen, you’re well aware that this has been the opinion of my analysis team for some time now.”
“Yes, yes.” He waved her off and wandered over to the sun-facing window before continuing. “Maybe I’ve been an idealist, Rosetta. You’re my chief assistant because you’re not afraid to tell me what I don’t want to hear, but sometimes I’m just not capable of hearing it.”
He turned back to her. “So. The Atlas is lost. Three billion in research, construction, and marketing, and all we have to show for it are some advertisements and some unhappy stockholders.”
“It may not be entirely lost.” She said, holding her hands up. “I won’t lie – we’re looking at millions in personnel expenses – but we may have a chance to recover the ship, even before the public relations situation, if you will, gets out of hand. I think you’ll agree that it would be worth the cost.”
“Damned right it’d be worthwhile. Get me that ship back, Rosetta, and you can name your salary. I’ll be in a meeting next week with the UNASCA folks – I want you to sit in. By that point, we need to tell them something concrete; they can smell blood and their teeth are already too close to our neck.” He was staring at her intensely, his eyes radiant. “Make no mistake: Belt Group’s future depends on that ship and its technology. Money is no object.”
He seemed to deflate a bit, brushing at his lapels self-consciously. “Oh, and take another cup of coffee before you leave.”