MENTOR: Jaye Robin Brown
ALTERNATE: Sarah Cannon
CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Science Fiction
WORD COUNT: 80,000
Sath’s life is simple until he’s kidnapped from his planet, whisked to the wildest circus in the galaxy, and falls for winsome pilot, Vim—but when robber barons want to exploit Sath’s home world, it’s up to him to stop them.
The earth is the floor of the sky. It was an odd little snatch of phrase, something Sath had only heard once, but the idea of it had taken root in his mind and made a home there. It was last thing he remembered thinking, when he was still tending his herd on Benyus, before the sky itself turned to fire, before he awoke to a young man’s voice, and the shrill, continuous call of an upset capa.
“Does that thing ever shut up? There’s people around here trying to sleep.”
“I’m out of ideas, Vigor. What do you want me to do? Sing to it?”
The second voice was softer, raspy. Female?
“If it don’t shut up, I’m gonna shoot it and eat it. I bet it tastes like bacon.”
“It’ll fill your belly for a long time to come if I get the price I expect for it. You ever hear the story about the goose that laid the golden eggs?”
“No, Cap’n, but an omelet would hit the spot right now. Would you please SHUT UP?”
This last was surely directed at the silver-furred capa sow standing between Sath and the speakers, but she was unlikely to oblige. Capas were simple in their wants and needs, but once they had a complaint, they were utterly single-minded about expressing it.
Sath flexed his fingers. They were sore, but they moved as they should. He shifted his legs. Odd. He could smell smoke on himself, but none in the air, and the ground was very cold.