Please enjoy this excerpt from M.M. Buckner’s The Gravity Pilot, coming from Tor Books on March 15. In this novel, the author of Watermind tells the story of a couple torn apart by opportunity, both accidental and ambitiously sought, in a polluted and gritty future. The following excerpt details the reckless gravity dive that sets everything in motion.
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See him glide into the blue dance. Watch him soar on thermal swells. Feel the crosswind skew him sideways through drenching Arctic clouds, and he steers, banks, treads the shining air, till down down down the eternal spiral curve he falls….
AAD. Automatic activation device, opens parachute in emergencies.
Orrpaaj Sitka lay stretched on his back, visualizing his skydive. Light gray eyes. Windburned skin. Stinky gym socks. Clean soap in his ears. High up in a geodesic dome, he rested on an I-beam and squinted through the glass at Alaska’s winter sky. Forty meters above the concrete, one leg dangling free, his body made small twitches as he practiced the moves in his mind. Twenty-two years old, and how he could narrow his focus. The sun, the clouds, the shaping forces of the universe all centered on one event: his skydive that day. No other notion could stick in his head. Not on that day, surely not. He swore to himself that nothing else mattered, but he was lying.