(This is the second in a trilogy. If you wish to go back to the beginning, here you go.)
Past the facts lies a realm where your guess has to be good enough: probable space! Its places and peoples have their own odds, from 2to1 on down, getting less substantial all the way. All the planets there are the ones merely theorized here, from tiny Vulcan, to Counter-Earth, to Phaeton, and beyond.
Long Odd Silver and Roman Koch are prisoners, stolen from the newest world in probable space and brought to the Counter-Earth called Antichthon. Buried deep in a desert prison, going mad, they must find a way to join forces with one of the locals: a crazy fellow by the name of Linus ‘Likely’ Hood. Linus is eager to break his brother out of that very same prison, and ride off together on the backs of stolen mechanical bulls!
Halloween is fast approaching, and the ghosts are getting restless. All will come to a head when the hollowing holiday arrives and the impossible becomes dreaded inevitability.
(reading time: 1 hour, 15 minutes) (reading time for entire novel: 6 hours, 5 minutes)
Planet in Theory
Funeral March to Gothic Rock
Banjo Says Tariff
The song playing on the radio was quaint the first few times. After that it was the height of irritation, even in that gravity-free place where height was relative. The only instrument was the banjo, and it only had one thing to say: sit tight or loosen the purse strings. These weren’t lyrics, that would’ve added a human voice to the endless plink and plonk of the four strings, which to many of the crew sounded like a hand with a missing finger going about its life clumsily and blissfully unaware.
No, the tune was a reminder that they weren’t in charge, and that the people who were in charge weren’t budging, not even an inch in that place where inches couldn’t matter less, unless their demands were met. There was a tariff, and they had to pay up if they wanted to enter Antichthon’s atmosphere with their perishable cargo. Continue reading →