Sam Sykes is a good Internet friend of mine. Why? Because he’d crotch-stomp me if I said any differently. He’s also a bloody good interview, achingly funny and of similar age to myself. It’s like we’re destined to be buddies.
You’ll notice, perhaps, that I’ve not said anything about his books. Easily explainable. You see… I haven’t read them. Derp. What a friend I am, huh? Still, doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about the release of his second novel, Black Halo (or move his first novel, Tome of the Undergates even closer to the top of my TBR pile…). Luckily the good folks at Tor.com have Sam’s fans better covered than I do.
Dawn had never been so quiet in the country.
Amid the sparse oases in the desert, noise had thrived where all other sound had died. Dawn came with songbirds, beds creaking as people rousted themselves for labor, bread and water sloshed down as meager breakfast. In the country, the sun came with life.
In the city, life ended with the sun.
Anacha stared from her balcony over Cier’Djaal as the sun rose over its rooftops and peeked through its towers to shine on the sand-covered streets below. The city, in response, seemed to draw tighter in on itself, folding its shadows like a blanket as it rolled over and told the sun to let it sleep for a few more moments.
No songbirds came to Anacha’s ears; merchants sold such songs in the market for prices she could not afford. No sounds of beds; all clients slept on cushions on the floor, that their late-night visitors might not wake them when leaving. No bread, no water; breakfast would be served when the clients were gone and the girls might rest up from the previous night.
A frown crossed her face as she observed the scaffolding and lazy bricks of a tower being raised right in front of her balcony. It would be done in one year, she had heard the workers say.
One year, she thought, and then the city steals the sun from me, too.
So, head on over to Tor.com and read a lengthy excerpt from Black Halo and support young Sam Sykes. I get to keep my balls intact and un-mushed, you get to read a good story and Sam gets to feel special. Really, it’s a win-win(-win) situation.