A Sinister Reality: Elizabeth Hand’s Waking the Moon

So there I was, rummaging through the offerings at my favorite bookstore—the local Goodwill thrift store. Most customers head directly for the quirky used furniture, funky clothes and vinyl albums, but for me, nothing beats the rickety shelves in the back corner that hold the castoff books. I’ve made some major finds there, from classics (Fahrenheit 451) to kitsch (Valley of the Dolls).

My attention was snagged by a battered gray paperback titled Full Spectrum 2. It turned out to be an anthology of science fiction and fantasy tales. I forked over the asking price of a quarter and raced home, whereupon I gobbled up one great story after another, each more delectable than the last.

One story, by a writer totally unknown to me, grabbed me like nothing has grabbed me since my sister jumped out of my closet when I was nine and she ...

The Tablet of Scaptur

In the 23rd century, there is a radiant world of endless summer where peace is maintained through emotional surveillance performed by a peculiar device called the Intercept. When Violet Crowley, the sixteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s Founding Father, is smuggled an artifact covered mysterious markings, it’s up to her and her friends to decipher the message. “The Tablet of Scaptur” is a standalone story set before the events of The Dark Intercept (available now from Tor Teen).

 

 

October 2293
New Earth

 

The rock was about the size of a coffee cup. Its surface was rough and its color varied between vivid red and dusky rust, split at intervals by what looked to be short fissures of ashy gray.

“But they’re not really fissures,” Violet pointed out. “I thought so at first—but I was wrong. They’re markings. Like—like some kind of language.”

Her friends stood ...