The Ophelia Prophecy
Sharon Lynn Fisher
Our world is no longer our own.
We engineered a race of superior fighters--the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us.
In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.
Some of us intend to do more than survive.
Asha and Pax—strangers and enemies—find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.
Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource—information—viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.
Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.
But neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.
With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.
The Ophelia Prophecy is the thrilling new SF romance from Sharon Lynn Fisher, author of Ghost Planet
If we’re going to be sticklers, the books beside my bed right now are all children’s books, because my daughter and I share a bed and she likes to read before going to sleep (while she listens to very grownup music on my iPhone). Last night’s selection:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (Dr. Seuss)
BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK (Dr. Seuss)
CHRISTMAS IN MOUSELAND (a Penguin book based on the Angelina Ballerina character)
So there’s a slice of my life, whether you wanted it or not! Now down to business.
My in-progress reading:
This is a very scholarly book on trickster mythology, discussing characters like Raven, Coyote, Hermes, and Loki. It has a delightful forward by Michael Chabon. This is an actual book (as opposed to an E one), purchased on a research trip to Powell’s City of Books in Portland. I was touring Powell’s because part of my current work-in-progress is set there, and I found TRICKSTER as I was photographing the mythology section. I bought it as part of my research for the same work-in-progress. Which is tangled and odd if you think too much about it, just like my new book. TRICKSTER itself is both challenging and fascinating. It has a very wonderful first line:
The first story I have to tell is not exactly true, but it isn’t exactly false, either.
This is a library book. I haven’t read much of it yet, but I can tell you I was interested in it for these reasons:
· The title is awesome.
· The name of the publisher is awesome. (Angry Robot)
· The tagline is awesome. (“A Tale of Love, Loss and Robots”)
· The cover is ... you guessed it!
This one was an obvious choice for me, as it blends romance with a speculative exploration of what it means to be human — just like pretty much everything I’ve written so far (GHOST PLANET, THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, ECHO 8).
Audiobook. I don’t tend to listen to books unless I’m on a long road trip by myself. But a good friend told me Gaiman narrates his own stuff and is fabulous. Which I can well believe because I’ve listened to a few of his speeches (like this one at the Digital Minds Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6KB6-7uCrI).
OFFERINGS: LANDS OF SEX AND MAGIC by Skyler White
On my Kindle. Adult content alert! This is an indie published collection of erotica from my author friend Skyler White (AND FALLING, FLY and THE INCREMENTALISTS). Skye’s voice is like expensive chocolate, and she and I write similar sorts of stories, blending love and sex with geeky speculative fiction.
THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson
Kindle sample. I love big fat books, and everyone seems to be crazy for this guy. Also I used to read A LOT of fantasy. Figured it was time to see what all the fuss was about.
Honestly I could go on. And on. Because my TBR could easily fill that mythology section at Powell’s. But I tried to stick to what’s most current for me at the moment. I’d love to hear your recommendations!
Water pooled around Asha’s hips, soaking her thin cotton dress. She studied the glimmering surface of the lake, and the rocky hillside looming on the opposite side.
The reservoir. How did I get here?
Closing her eyes, she pressed her fingers to her temples. The last thing she remembered was climbing to the roof of the Archive with her father. It was a beautiful spring evening, and they’d planned to picnic and watch the sunset. She’d stepped off the ladder onto the corrugated, white-washed metal, and then . . .
She grasped at the words as they breezed across her consciousness. They had the ring of command, yet she had no memory of who had spoken them, or why.
A masculine moan sounded, so close she rolled into a crouch and skittered into the shallow water. The lithe movement of her own body surprised her almost as much as the unexpected voice.
Just beyond the depression she’d left on the beach, a naked form stirred. A stranger. His gaze riveted on her. He sat up straight, fists digging into the sand. No, not sand. His body rested on a bed of some soft, fibrous material.
She remembered the flimsy dress—now wet and clinging to her body—and hugged her bent legs, concealing herself as best she could. Her heart pounded against her thighs.
“Who are you?” they both demanded.
So the confusion was mutual.
“You first,” he said. A command, not a courtesy.
She hesitated. The man now seemed familiar—something about the eyes. They curved down at the inside corners, making them appear to slant under his dark, arched eyebrows. But she couldn’t place him.
He rose to a crouch, eyes moving over her like an extension of his arms, prying at the locked arms that concealed her body from him.
She reached up to release the clip that held her coiled hair to the back of her head, thinking she would cover herself with it. She gasped to discover her heavy tresses were gone.
Tears of confusion welled in her eyes. Fear knotted her stomach.
“What’s your name?” the stranger insisted.
“Asha,” she whispered, uncertain. There’d been another name a moment ago. A name that had seemed to mean something.
Her throat tightened, strangling her words, as she said, “I don’t understand…”
“What are you doing here?”
She raised her eyes to his face, shrinking from the heat of his gaze. “I don’t know.”
His eyes bored into hers, probing for the thoughts behind them. He frowned, brow furrowing with doubt. He doesn’t believe me.
“Who are you?” she repeated, indignation nudging past the fear that gripped her.
He slid his hands up his shoulders to rub his neck, baring the hard lines of his stomach, revealing pale marks under either side of his ribcage. Scars.
“Paxton,” he said. One hand moved to the back of his head, and he winced. He probed the sore spot with his fingers.
“Why are you here?”
“I don’t know.”
She glanced again at the fibrous nest. “What’s that?”
She blinked at him, the meaning of the familiar word eluding her. Before she could question him further, he rose to his feet, scanning the horizon. Her eyes lingered on the marks below his ribs.
He stood so long—motionless and studying the edge of the sky—she began to think he’d forgotten her. His composure was troubling. There was a shared mystery here, clearly, but they were not equal participants.
“How can you be so calm?” she asked, voice lifting with anxiety. “Do you know something I don’t? Has this kind of thing happened to you before?”
Paxton glanced down at the nest. “Yes.”
She gaped at him, but the low whine of an approaching ship changed the subject. Her heart jumped as the black beetle hummed into view, dragging its own reflection across the surface of the lake.
She sprang to her feet. “That’s an enemy ship!” she cried. “We have to go!”
Technically the war was over. Very little left for the Manti to fight. But they still ruled the air, keeping tabs on the last dregs of humanity. Citizens of Sanctuary were forbidden to wander away from the city, and the reservoir marked the border.
Again his eyes skewered her to the spot. “No, we wait here. That’s my ship.”
“Your ship? I don’t…”
She side-stepped a couple meters down the beach, eyeing him fearfully.
Overhead, the beetle whirred to rest, cupped wings lifting to allow a controlled vertical landing. With a series of loud clicks it nestled into the sand, hover gear lowering and locking back against the hull. The lusterless, black skin of the vessel looked like rubber, but she knew it was a secreted resin. As she stared, frozen to the spot, the hull lightened from jet to blond, until it was almost invisible against the sand.
“Pax, you okay?” a feminine voice sounded from the ship’s external com.
“I’m okay,” called Asha’s companion. “Drop the ramp.”
Paxton frowned at Asha. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
A Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist and a three-time RWA Golden Heart Award finalist, SHARON LYNN FISHER lives in the Pacific Northwest. She writes books for the geeky at heart—sci-fi flavored stories full of adventure and romance—and battles writerly angst with baked goods, Irish tea, and champagne. Her works include Ghost Planet (2012), The Ophelia Prophecy (2014), and Echo 8 (2014). You can visit her online at SharonLynnFisher.com.