Tobias Buckell, author of Crystal Rain, has recently released one of his 2008 short stories with a creative commons license and that’s good news for us.

A snippet from his website:

Inquisitor, warrior, and priest Ixtli’s fast-paced journey by airship began in Tenochtitlan, facing the solemn row of white robed pipiltin. The rulers of the grandest city of the world had roused him from his house, burly Jaguar Scouts with rifles throwing open his doors and shouting him awake.

“I’m to go to New Amsterdam?” Ixtli could hardly keep the distaste out of his voice. The colonies were cold now, and filthy, and smelly.

Mecatl, the eldest of the pipiltin and rumored favorite of the Steel Emperor, explained. “There has been a murder there.”

“And have the British lost the ability to police their own?” Ixtli had little love for the far north.

“The murder is of a young man. His heart has been removed in what looks like an Eagle sacrifice. Find out the truth of the matter, and whether apostate priests have immigrated to New Amsterdam.”

This was news to Ixtli. Followers of the sacrifice usually inhabited border lands between cities, scattered and un-united. None of them tried to keep the old ways in any Mexica city.

But in the chaos of a savage, foreign city like New Amsterdam, maybe they could rebuild their followers.

“And if I find it’s so?” Ixtli asked the pipiltin.

“Find the truth,” they told him. “If it is true, then we will have to root out the heresy from a distance. But if it is not true, we need to find out what is happening.”

And seven hours later Ixtli was passing out of his father country and into the great swathe of territory the French called Louisiana, the large airship he’d booked passage on powering hard against the winds.

Take a gander at The People’s Machine HERE or download a copy HERE.

  • Harry~DD January 10, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Downloaded and will be enjoyed soon enough! I have that paticular novel on the review list for these two months. Sounds interesting enough.