Friday, January 26, 2007

"Public Safety" in March Asimov's

I just picked up the latest issue of Asimov's, which has my story "Public Safety" in it. I think it's my best story yet, though since it's in Asimov's it might get a rougher ride than other recent stories... that's a post for another time, though. At any rate it looks like a great issue, with stories by Brian Stableford, Bruce McAllister and others.

Here's the first bit of "Public Safety":

Officier de la Paix Louverture folded Quartidi's Père Duchesne into thirds, fanning himself against the Thermidor heat. The news inside was all bad, anyway: another theater had closed, leaving the Comedie Francaise the only one open in Nouvelle-Orleans. At least the Duchesne could be counted on to report only what the Corps told them to, that the Figaro had closed for repairs, and not the truth -- which was that audiences, frightened by the increasing number of fires and other mishaps at the theaters, had stopped coming. The Minerve was harder to control, but the theater-owners had been persuaded not to talk to their reporters, to avoid a public panic. No matter that these were all clearly accidents: even now, in the year 122, reason was often just a thin layer of ice concealing a pre-Revolutionary sea of irrationality.
On the table in front of him sat his plate of beignets, untouched. He had wanted them when he had sat down, but the arrival of the group of gardiens stagieres to the cafe made him lose his appetite. He told himself it was just his cynicism that caused him to react this way, his desire to mock their pride in their spotless uniforms and caps, and not the way they looked insolently in his direction as they ordered their cafes au lait. Not for the first time Louverture wondered if he should have stayed in Saint-Domingue.

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