Webs

As I head off to WorldCon, a story for y’all. This is “Webs,” published in Asimov’s this past July, reprinted now on my site (thanks to Asimov’s generous electronic reprint policy).

“The suns were setting over Ariel’s cliffs, a great blaze of crimson and gold, when the first pounding came at Anna’s door. The stories from old Earth talked about the glories of their sunsets, but they were nothing, nothing, to the drama of Ariel’s twin suns. And yet, it wasn’t the sunsets that brought people to Ariel, that had brought her and her husband, all those years ago.

Bam-bam-bam! No polite neighbor knock, but desperation in the hammer of fist against metal. Anna had taken three steps across the small room, automatically, but now she hesitated. She’d been watching the news for hours, and though nothing dramatic had happened yet, the newscasters sounded tense. They spoke in short, clipped sentences, and their eyes flickered up and down and away, as if they were monitoring a dozen developing situations, just waiting for something to break. The air felt thick, almost too thick to breathe – it was a good flying night, the kind her husband had loved…”

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